“If you stop to think about it, we’re never going to get this done.”
Lorcan gave Neda a measured look, “And that’s a bad thing?” But he kept coiling the rope, counting out the knots in his head. “There might be another way.”
“We don’t have time,” Neda had gotten to fifty before him and was already lashing the rope to her pack. “If Bethany and the others think of something, they’ll take care of it. But for now,” she tugged on the straps to test the hold, “we’re the only chance they have of escaping the stormfront.”
“But we’ll be dead.”
Neda stopped, turning to give him her full attention. Lorcan didn’t look up from his counting, but he tensed in anticipation of the blow, eyes carefully averted. He hadn’t meant to say it, but the closer they got to the eye of the storm the looser his hold became.
There was a long silence and Lorcan cursed his lack of control. Neda wasn’t as bad as her father or her father’s father, but the Vocina temper bred true; thirty generations of dilution had done little to calm that fury. When she finally spoke, he braced himself against the expected pain.
“I rescind your oath.” Formal words, spoken in a language he’s assumed long dead, and he stumbled backwards in shock, feeling the collar crack. “I unbind your service.” The magic rose around them, cutting storm winds into a whirling vortex. “I release you, do as you will.”
And with that, six hundred years of servitude ended.