The children had been sent to watch the road. Rumor said the Lady meant to break the Rebel movement in Tally province. And here her soldiers came. Closer now. Grim, hard-looking men. Veterans.
“It’s them!” the boy gasped. Fear and awe filled his voice. Grudging admiration edged it. “That’s the Black Company.” He touched the girl’s wrist. “Let’s go.” They scurried through the weeds.
A shadow lay upon their path. They looked and went pale. Three horsemen stared down at them. The boy gaped. Nobody could have slipped up unheard. “Goblin!”
The small, frog-faced man in the middle grinned. “At your service, laddy-boy.”
The boy was terrified. He shouted, “Run!” If his sister could escape… Goblin made a circular gesture. Pale pink fire tangled his fingers. He made a throwing motion. The boy fell, fighting invisible bonds like a fly caught in a spider’s web. His sister whimpered.
“Pick them up,” Goblin told his companions. “They should tell an interesting tale.”