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If there was one thing that Boris hated, it was the heat.

He had wanted to escape it since he was a little kid running around the streets of Libris Del Sol, but he’d never managed to. Instead he was swept up into the mundane and bounced from job to job in the souks until he had eventually landed a position delivering items to the marketplace within the palace walls. From there he managed to escape the suns by overseeing what went into the home of the royals itself. With that gone, he had joined the caravan of refugees heading north, to fulfill that childhood dream of cooler climates.

But if there was one thing that Boris hated more than heat, it was humidity.

Summer in the patron kingdom of Lieron was unbearably damp. He’d been cursed with long, thick fur that matted in the moist air, and it pressed against him like a thick, gray blanket that allowed no air through to save him. His only escape from nature’s torture was to spend the whole of his days in the river, where the never ending stream of water separated the layers and cooled the skin beneath. Unfortunately, this made him completely useless as a member of society, and when the nomads decided to leave for Arlogate, he was more than happy to go with them.

The crisp mountain air was amazing, and Boris made up for his previous inactivity by helping out anywhere he could. Today he had just finished rebuilding part of a tent that collapsed due to a novice rider steering their taratin into it. As nothing outside of the boy’s pride had been hurt, the whole ordeal was quite humorous and the former chamberlain laughed about it as he crossed the campgrounds to his own tent. He was nearly there when an angry, but oddly familiar, sound cut across his awareness and halted his venture.

“Have you been with us this entire time?” A stocky woman with red and yellow hair bellowed at him.

“Since we left the library, yeeeeessss….” He hesitated. “Should I have not been?”

“Yes!” She shouted, then corrected. “You were at the wedding, weren’t you?!”

Boris stopped and glared at the woman. “Is that a threat?”

The woman backed off a step and crossed her arms. “You should be dead.”

Exasperated, he shook his head at her and placed his hands on his hips. “Why would that be?”

The woman threw her hands down. “The drunkard’s council was murdered.”

Boris put a hand to his head and pushed the fluff that hung into his eyes away as a sarcastic laugh escaped him. Whoever this was, she had her facts more than a bit mixed up. “First of all, Nuha was on that council and he pretty much saved us all.” The woman tried to interrupt with a comment on that, but he held a hand up to stop her. “Next, I was just a chamberlain. I never served Julian in that capacity. I was readying the prince’s chambers for his wedding night. I was not in attendance.” He returned his hand to his hip. “Who are you?”

“Someone whose life was ruined when the general took the throne with my cousin as his sorcerer. Someone who – ”

“Oh. I remember you now. You were the handmaiden that attended to the southwestern tower. Look. I may have overseen your duties for a time, but that never placed me on the council.”

Ta’mika folded her arms across her chest and pursed her lips. “You still served him directly, did you not?”

“I did and I don’t know what your problem is with him. Julian was a good man.”

“Julian raped my daughter!” The woman exploded. “He probably would have taken my cousin too. The bastard never hid his lust for her. Instead he let the sorcerer get away with murdering her. He was a lech and a tyrant and he was never meant to rule!”

All the while she was was ranting, Boris slowly backed away in hopes that her rage made her blind to his leaving. Unfortunately she noticed and narrowed her gaze on him, breathing heavily. “You did not serve a good man.'”

“Okay. So he was terrible. That means his family and staff needed to suffer for it? Why?”

“Because you let him get away with it all!”

Boris sighed and let the woman continue screaming until she wore herself out, at which point she simply stared at him, her scowl contorting the wrinkles on her face in an almost comical manner. He’d tuned her out, and only now did he realize she had posed him a question. “I’m sorry, what was that?”

She released her breath in a huff that flicked the tears from her eyes. “How could you let him do all of that?”

He shook his head. “Look… I didn’t see it. While he didn’t treat me badly, he also didn’t confide anything in me. I just received orders to clean his messes. Physical messes, like clothes, food, the occasional misplaced bowel movement… I agree with you in that he drank too much, but the only face he ever showed me was a friendly one. I’m sure that his council  – and even his family, saw much the same.

This time it was Ta’mika who loosed a sarcastic laugh. “Ignorance is no excuse.”

“Are you going to kill me then?” Boris asked dryly. “Here and now, or are you going to wait until I’m asleep?”

“No…” She trailed off, weighing her thoughts. “No. Just… Just leave the caravan – my family alone. Get off at the next stop and never come back.”

“I was planning that anyway.” He muttered quietly as he turned away, but before he took too many steps, he turned to address her over his shoulder sympathetically. “For what it’s worth, I’m sorry that you suffered through all of that.”

Ta’mika sucked on her bottom lip and waved him off dismissively. “Whatever.”

Sivoa: Mounring is a series of illustrated scenes that take place after the events of Sivoa: Sunrise and are updated once a month , throughout 2018, at

Sivoa: Sunrise is the first novel in a 3-part series and is available for sale in print on and in ebook almost everywhere ebooks are sold.

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