Sisters: The Black Sister

The Waygate stood amidst the trees, gleaming in the moonlight. Shiare dismounted, a small chill smile appearing on her face, and reached for the carved stone leaf.

“I shouldn’t.” Kianna stepped out of the shadows, arms folded. Saidar glowed around her, cutting Shiare off from the One Power. “I thought this was where you would come. You’re late. We’ve been here five minutes already.”

Shiare’s hand had gone to her knife as soon as Kianna had spoken, and she jerked it back to throw. Abruptly it was pulled from her hand and across the glade on flows of Air.

“Very pretty.” Kerena turned the slim-bladed knife over in her hands, smiling mockingly. “Not much use though, is it? Except maybe for killing your Warder.” The copper-haired woman’s smile turned as cold as Shiare’s had been. “You didn’t deserve his loyalty, Darkfriend. Amaena was going to defend you, did you know that? She didn’t believe you were Black. This convinced her.” Kerena held up the knife, the pale light shimmering on the blade. “Only a Black sister would kill her own Warder.”

“You’ll stand trial for that along with everything else.” Kianna’s voice was silk over steel. “And you will stand trial, Shiare. We’re taking you back to the Tower whether you want to go or not.”

“Make me,” Shiare spat. Empty words, but her pale green eyes glittered like ice. A bystander unable to see the flows would never have believed she was shielded. “The Shadow is stronger than you will ever be. The Great Lord of the Dark will devour you!”

The threat was unsuccessful. Kerena merely raised an eyebrow. “The Green Ajah stands ready to face new Dreadlords in the Last Battle.” She turned to her sister. “This is a Dreadlord, Kianna. Personally, I’m not impressed. How about you?”

“Not particularly, no.” Kianna smiled coolly. “But you’ve saved us time by confessing, Shiare, and for that I thank you. It won’t do you much good at your trial, though. Did you want to ride back to the Tower, or do we have to drag you?”

“You can’t!” Shiare’s defiance was rapidly breaking down; Kianna and Kerena could have that effect on people. “I’m your sister. Your Ajah sister!”

Kerena’s hand snaked out and slapped her hard. Dazed, Shiare staggered back, her head ringing. “We are not Black Ajah,” Kianna said in silken tones. “And you lost your right to be called Green when you turned to the Shadow. You are no sister of ours, Darkfriend, Warder-killer.”

Five shadows moved amidst the trees around them, men on horseback, swords glinting in the moonlight. Warders, two leading spare horses. Shiare slumped, seeing herself surrounded.

“Back to the Tower,” Kerena said calmly. She swung herself into the saddle, and looked down at Shiare. “Mount, Darkfriend. We want to be back before dawn. Your trial is tomorrow morning.”

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