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Spycraft Academy

B. N. Miles


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Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

About BN Miles

Copyright © 2021 by BN Miles

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The house was completely dark, its owner long gone for a visit to his country estate. Some of the dockworkers in a quell sector were talking about it yesterday as the man's fine ship glided from the lake to the capital river. The question was, why did he leave the capital in the middle of autumn?

He had no family to speak of besides a wife he'd put in the ground twenty years before. No siblings. Dead parents. Dead aunts and uncles. The cousins he had were either too distant for him to feasibly know or he was feuding with them.

Sam knew all of this because he knew mostly everybody's business. It was important to sniff around where he shouldn't because it presented him with opportunities such as the one currently in front of him.

The man had no family, and yet he was leaving right before the social season for the capital’s upper class—when the last colored leaf fell to the ground. Most of the noblemen and rich merchants would be at the play halls, out dancing, or at a dinner at least every other evening. This one just left, though. Presumably more north, where the grand country estates hugged the coast of the Shadow Sea. Now, why would a rich widower in his forties turn down the opportunity to mingle with young, pretty noblewomen? Given his stranglehold on the sugar trade in the city, he could have his pick of the flower patch, so to speak.

Very, very odd indeed.

Sam tightened his cloak against the cool wind that swept from the city streets to the sheltered garden alcove, rustling the sweet leaf bush he crouched in. Varin didn't get very cold in the autumn, not like in the Northern states. The capital, Roslav, was smack-dab in the middle of the state, and the warm East Sea kept them protected from the brutal northern winds that came down from the Gilded Mountains in the Zanrun Despotate.

In saying that, Sam's cloak was thin, so it was still pretty damn cold. Couldn't be helped. Heavy clothing meant knocking things over on a sharp turn. He'd gone fifteen years without landing himself in jail, he wasn't about to break his streak.

"I still don't like this," Mattie whispered beside him.

He didn't either. All of the neighboring houses were vacant, their owners gone for the evening. The only guards around patrolled the streets, but there were none patrolling near this one. This would be an easy, fat score. Too easy. Almost felt like a set-up.

If they got caught here, they wouldn't just lose hands, but the possible profit outweighed the risk of beheading. And besides, who would go out of their way to set up two vagabonds like them?

"I dislike passing this up much more," Sam whispered back, glancing at his partner. It was just Mattie and him tonight. The others were busy on a job near the outskirts.

Mattie chewed her bottom lip, took a deep inhale, then nodded before moving forward on quiet feet.

To hide her movements, Sam coaxed the shadows out. He lifted his hand and cupped the air, focusing on the drooping blackness of the bush. A tug in his belly, a tingle in his veins, and then the microscopic forces of the air coalesced in his palm before shooting through the tiny path he'd cut through the wind. It grabbed at the shadows, forcing them to stretch and circle around Mattie's slim frame.

It took only seconds and a minuscule amount of his energy, and Mattie was now practically invisible.

Silently, she moved from the bush and into the open, his shadows blacking out her body until not even a silhouette remained. She darted toward the back door of the house, just a short sprint, and when she was in the safety of the stone awning, Sam pulled back on his shadows.

Mattie was so well-hidden in the threshold that even Sam couldn't see her, so he wrapped his phantom cloak around his body before following her path at a quick run. When he molded himself to the door, he kept the sheet of blackness against them both while Mattie worked.

She gripped two thin lockpicks between her fingers like needles and worked quickly, manipulating the mechanism until it clicked three times. She grabbed the gilded iron handle and pushed the door open, holding out her hand as she did so. Her talent couldn't be seen, not like Sam's shadow magic, but it was apparent when the iron door hinges didn't creak.

A welcoming warmth fanned from inside and they froze in the doorway, like a fire had been lit earlier in the day.

"Sam?" Mattie whispered.

His eyes darted from the sheet-covered furniture to the dead hearth. Since there were no guards, it should have been just as cold inside as it was outside, but it wasn't. Somebody had been here no later than supper, but none of the cinders burned.

"The kitchen probably," he whispered, casting his eyes about the room more carefully. He stepped inside the threshold and held his hand up for Mattie to wait. He had a hunch, but he wanted to make sure he was right before letting her come in. He was the one who would engage with whoever was here,

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