Twenty-eight – 01

[This post is from Marin’s point of view.]

The path up was as narrow and steep as the scouts had warned. I was glad that we’d at least been able to convince Thom to stay at the staging point rather than try to come with me and the ranged team. There was no way he’d ever been able to make the climb. Maybe he’d known that.

Without asking, I couldn’t be sure. Either way, I was glad that he was safe at our fallback point—at least as safe as he ever really got.

If we failed, they’d find our staging area and that would be that.

Failure is not an option, Marin. Don’t even consider it.

It couldn’t happen. It wouldn’t happen.

I shifted my bow slightly, glancing back over my shoulder at the others behind me, each picking a careful route upward toward the rise where our archers and sharp-shooters would launch their surprise attack on Orcus’s forces—and hopefully sow enough confusion to make the rest of our plan work.

Sif met my gaze for a second, then jerked her chin toward the path ahead. “Eyes front,” she whispered just loud enough for me to hear. I shot her a tight smile and nodded, turning my attention back to the pathway ahead.

It had been anything but an easy climb so far.

It only gets harder from here. Don’t forget that.

Everything we’d been through in the last year had led to this. Somehow, deep down in my gut where I buried things I didn’t want to think about, I knew that.

There was no question—not anymore. Everything had led to this and one way or another, this was where we would make our stand and hopefully—hopefully—send a message loud and clear to anyone or anything that decided to tangle with us.

Bad idea. Bad, bad idea. We are far more than you bargained for and if you come against us, you will lose.

Of that, you can have no doubt.

At least, that was the hope.

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