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.I followed.It took two hours to skirt the town and make it back to the wagons.When we arrived, the camp was quiet, and I carried wu'Lichak inside and placed her on the blankets Luka had prepared."How is she?" he asked."Still out, but not for long." I changed out of my clothes and gave her a mixture Jutta had prepared which she said would keep her sedated for at least twelve hours.It wasn't the ideal solution but better than knocking her out each time she woke up.The next day was a rest day.At breakfast, the four of us spent the first two hours lying about what had happened in Lady wu'Lichak's office.I laid out the basic framework for the lie, and had to admit Santo, Lujza, and Luka did well filling in the details.Sister Rong would have been satisfied with their performance.Lujza seemed to enjoy the deception.Luka was a little stiff in the beginning, but warmed up after the first hour.Santo was a bit stilted, but I doubt anyone noticed.Little happened the next day since there was no performance scheduled.Most spent time on repairs or cleaning equipment and clothes and relaxing.I kept disappearing into the wagon to check on wu'Lichak.I skipped the evening gathering, and instead carried my food, with an extra helping, back to the wagon, saying I had some home cleaning and wanted to get it done before Luka retired.Back at the wagon, the wizard's drug was wearing off as Jutta had predicted.I intended to get her fed and cleaned up while she was still semi-drugged."Ryaaana?" she slurred as she began gaining consciousness."Whaare am I?""Yes, Lady wu'Lichak.You are hiding in my home.""Why?""Remember, you asked me for a telling.The vision I saw most clearly was of you being poisoned in the castle.So you agreed to come with me while Lord Boyan finds who wants you dead." I used our conversation to feed her the dinner I had brought."Oh.This food is very plain.And not much.I hope you have my fruit drink.The special one the head cook, Gilda, made just for me.""Yes, but after you've washed and relieved yourself.Come I'll help." I helped her undress, washed and dried her, and had her use our night pot to relieve herself.By then, she was beginning to recover, and I handed her a small cup of redberry juice with Jutta’s drug and two drops of Passion smeared on the rim.It worked.When her lips touched the cup, she smiled and gulped down the liquid."That's not my special drink!" she banged the cup on the table and pushed it towards me."Now!""I'm sorry, Lady wu'Lichak.Someone is fetching it.It will be here shortly." She sat there glaring at me for a minute until her eyelids drooped and closed.As her body began to slump, I gently lowered her onto our makeshift bed and covered her."How's she doing, hon?" Luka asked when he finally retired for the night."I got her fed, washed, and drugged again with not too much trouble.I suspect it will be harder as the drug leaves her body.Based on what she said, she thinks is a special drink made especially for her, and it's brought to her before bedtime.She named the cook who was supposed to have made it, but that may just have been something they told her to get her to take the first drink.""How long do you think?""Several days, but I'm guessing.I'll know.She's a very shrewd woman so it should be obvious when she is herself again.What we won't know until then is whether she has the strength to stay away from the drink.""If she can't?" Luka asked, forehead wrinkled with worry.Yes, that was a real concern.I thought her a strong woman who would be repulsed by the idea of not being able to think logically.But if I were wrong, the clan would suffer."I'll kill her," I whispered.I couldn't let the clans suffer for my actions.I quickly changed topics."I hope I can trust you alone with a beautiful and sexy woman while I'm gone." I kissed him quickly before he could respond and slipped out the door.Anil located Jutta, and I headed in her direction.Although she was less than forty paces into the trees, I doubted I or anyone else could have found her.She had become part of the forest."Good evening, Jutta." I said when I stopped next to her."Are you alright?""Good evening, Ryana.You need not worry about me.I'm quite content here in the forest."I believe we will have company soon.There are several bodies searching the woods."I decided to wait, dressed in every-day gypsy clothes.About a half hour later, two orange-robed individuals appeared and began sneaking around the camp.I assumed they were looking for some sign that wu'Lichak had been or was here.I thought it best to leave them alone, since there was nothing to find unless they entered my wagon.An hour later they left, with Kasi following.Several hours later they returned to their camp.One person broke off from the group and headed for a small campfire fifty paces from the main camp, which had a hundred tents of varying sizes and multiple fires.When he reached the fire, three men sat waiting.Kasi found a convenient branch close to the fire and landed."Well, Eloy, did you find anything?""No, Prophet Pedro.We searched the gypsy campgrounds and surrounding forest.There was no indication that Lady wu'Lichak or anyone from the castle had been there, and there were no guards." The man said.Pedro nodded and waved Eloy away.When he was well out of hearing, Pedro spoke."Well Lord Masso, what now?""I've sent Captain Vico and forty of my soldiers after Lord Boyan and Lady wu'Lichak's party with instructions on how to entice wu'Lichak to return with him.If Boyan interferes, he is to kill him on the pretext he kidnapped wu'Lichak." His face turned ugly for a moment."And I have a Sub Captain Paian, second in command of wu'Lichak's army, Minister Saoul, and Yetta, her maid, under the control of the Passion drug.They have already started spreading the rumor that the gypsies have kidnapped wu'Lichak and are holding her for ransom.Tomorrow night, I'll deliver them another dose of the Passion drug [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]