Will an arrow pass through? That is the question. A net, after all, by nature possesses holes. A competent archer should have no difficulty finding the chink in this armour.
Horin and the others have retreated and do not think to look back. Mirlin and I stare in fascination at the approaching arrows; it is as if they travel in slowed motion.
Thunk! Thunk! The projectiles smack into the net and bounce back, skittering away in uncontrolled movements.
As the archers stare in amazement, we grin at each other and turn away. Swiftly we catch up to the others, and I lift Horin to sit on Forest in front of me. The donkey follows, ears twitching.
“Start talking,” I say to him, kneeing our mount to one side as we amble back to the line of people.
He stares ahead. “I didn’t know, not until they started testing for talents in Porlese. They never got to me, but I started seeing and feeling things the closer they came. They had us in batches, and …” He shakes his head.
“How did they test?” I ask.
“A rod. They touched it to the neck or wrist and it changed colour. Every time it changed, I felt something strange. At one time I saw you through snakes.” Horin cranes his neck to look at me.
“Yes. I was aware of you also,” I murmur. “I told Lyra you may have the warrior talent, which you displayed here today.”
Horin stares ahead again. “I felt a shield around me and saw it spread out to guard us. All I needed to do was believe.” He gives a laugh. “It worked. Damin, what talent is yours?”
“Delver,” I say. “It is of the mind.”
I heave a breath. “Lyra may have all the talents.”
“I knew it,” I hear him whisper.