They attacked almost as silently as the Loyalists defended. It seemed like a strange, fast dance of thrust, parry, dodge, strike. The attackers, all men from what I could tell, had the same type of crossbows as Sentinel Vytar and were just as accurate. Olmar, who’d been standing on the sidelines offering helpful hints to his son, took a bolt through the neck. Uri cried out, rushing to his father, and my sense of time slowed, showing me the red spurt of his life reaching out to touch his son’s frantic face.
I gathered the wind and blew the bolts back at the attackers, driving them back. The Owl and a few others took that opportunity to grab real weapons and attack. The attackers dropped their crossbows and hand-to-hand or sword-to-sword combat ensued.
A sharp pain in my left shoulder made me whirl. A bolt had grazed my arm. Attackers dropped down through the uncertain ceiling and we were surrounded.
“Run, Angestirian!” The Owl yelled at me, blocking a blow to his head.
But there was no where to run.
I dropped my stick, which I’d been clinging to as if it were a real dagger, and held my hands up, surrendering. The other Loyalists followed suit. The Owl gave me a dirty look. I knew he probably could have survived, but the others – mostly common folk – would be slaughtered.
Unfortunately, the attackers were not interested in taking prisoners.

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