[This post is from Thordin’s point of view.]
“You waste time, Pluton,” the flag-bearer said. “Either they give us what we have asked for or we do with them what we will. There is no in between here.”
“I have warned you—”
“And not acted on your warning.” The flag-bearer glanced toward the woman. “See what your brother has become? Do you see his weakness?”
“I see no weakness there,” the woman said, her tone mild, though there was a hidden, razored edge to her voice that sent shivers up and down Thordin’s spine. His fingers tightened on Thom’s arm.
What the hell are we doing still standing out here, Thom?
“Fools,” the flag-bearer snarled. “We will see who wins this day.” He thrust the flag toward the woman. “Treat with them as you desire. I will not have a hand in it any longer.”
She fumbled the flag and it fell to the ground with a soft clatter, the white marred by grass and mud. The former flag-bearer spit on it, then turned his mount and rode away, back toward where Thordin presumed the army they negotiated with was waiting for orders, waiting to see what would happen.
The leader watched his former flag-bearer go with a blank expression, one that frightened Thordin more than anger would have.
“Well,” the leader said softly. “I suppose that answers the question of his loyalty quite succinctly, doesn’t it?”
“I told you this was dangerous,” the woman said, then glanced toward Thom and Thordin. “You two would do well to forget what you have just witnessed. Pluton’s request stands, as does his deal. We came for the Hecate and the Ridden Druid.”
Thom took a slow, deep breath. “We don’t know where they are. I told you that. She came and she took him and we haven’t seen them since.”
“Mm,” the woman said. “Unfortunate.”