They split their force into three groups. The main group would travel the main thoroughfare while the other two groups would wend like wraiths down side streets. It let them hide their number as well as flank the enemy if they attacked, and they knew attack was inevitable.
They knew Ahriman was smart enough to set his men to waylay them. This place was ripe with ambush spots especially in the wan light. The enemy also knew the ground, which gave them an advantage.
Whitherward they went as night devoured the city despite having no plan or information. They all knew the stakes were too high not to risk it.
Although he stayed focused on the surroundings, Nándor’s thoughts wandered to Ruya and what she had endured the last few days. He wondered if her lips would curl in that winsome grin ever again or if it had been crushed.
His lips thinned. What did his wastrel cousin do to her? If he harmed her . . . Just the mere speculation had wroth anger festering in his blood. The wound of betrayal pained him as deep as the wound he carried.
His woolgathering ceased when a subtle shift had his is eyes darting toward the gap between two buildings. The enemy readied themselves.
The near invisible, silent command to prepare was issued. Eyes scanned the shadows, waiting for the enemy to strike first.
Like locusts they swarmed, surrounding the Sylvan. They came from every opening, their voices raised in war cries. Swift and fierce swords flayed and legs kicked out.
Foes fell before the skilled Sylvan, creating an opening for Nándor to escape and continue. This delay cost him time he needed. Only he stayed with them.
A flash of light distracted Nándor. “Ruya,” he whispered before blocking a blow.
Tién smashed her foot into the face of one attacker as she swiped her sword at a second. When she saw him turn away to take on another man, she urged her horse toward him. “Go!” Tién shouted as she faced another enemy, wresting his sword out of his hands with hers.
He started to protest, but she pointed her sword toward the unblocked path. “Your battle is with your brother. You must stop him.”
Nándor urged his horse forward, taking one last glace at the wight Sylvan.