Tendrils of emerald creep out from the main glow, and spreads. Swiftly a web of connected green light hovers between us and the approaching cavalry.
My entire body is stiff with tension. I concentrate more on Horin than what he brings forth, for the lad is precious to me, as Lyra is, as Siri is. I see his tension. He is frightened, but is also incredibly focused.
A gossamer net now separates us from the Blues. I realise they have slowed. Many soldiers jerk their mounts to a standstill and eye the net warily.
Then, as if an external force has made a choice, keening fills the air. We grab our ears, as do the milling soldiers beyond. Horses here and there prance, about to bolt.
The net is no longer gossamer; it is a solid barrier. Sound has created something tangible from weaves of air and light.
Horin retreats, carefully back stepping his donkey. He does not remove his focus from the net. I wonder if it means he needs to maintain eye contact for it to function. My answer is swift in coming, for Horin nods emphatically, as if satisfied, and turns away. The shield holds.
Someone laughs in derision beyond, and spurs his horse forward, racing at the barrier, sword raised to cut it to shreds. Others shout encouragement, and his feral grin of intent closes in.
I hold my breath, Mirlin does, and so do the Messengers. Horin no longer bothers to watch; he clearly knows what the result will be.
The soldier hurtles into the net … and man and horse scream. I flinch. In the blink of an eye, man and horse vanish.
Horin is alongside. “It will move with us to protect us from behind. We are safe.”
I stare at him, at a loss for words.