Excerpt of Magyk by Angie Sage
(Page 8 of 9)
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"Are you sure? I want no mistakes this time,"
he said menacingly.
"Our spy, my lord, has suspected a child for a while. She
considers her to be a stranger in her family. Yesterday our spy found out that
the child is of the age."
"What age exactly?"
"Ten years old today, my lord."
"Really?" The Supreme Custodian sat back in the
throne and considered what the Assassin had said.
"I have a likeness of the child here, Lord. I understand
she is much like her mother, the ex-Queen." From inside her tunic the
Assassin took a small piece of paper. On it was a skillful drawing of a young
girl with dark violet eyes and long dark hair. The Supreme Custodian took the
drawing. It was true. The girl did look remarkably like the dead Queen. He came
to a swift decision and clicked his bony fingers loudly.
The Assassin inclined her head. "My lord?"
"Tonight. Midnight. You are to pay a visit towhere is
"Room 16, Corridor 223, my lord."
"Heap, my lord."
"Ah. Take the silver pistol. How many in the family?"
"Nine, my lord, including the child."
"And nine bullets in case of trouble. Silver for the child.
And bring her to me. I want proof."
The young woman looked pale. It was her first, and only, test.
There were no second chances for an Assassin.
"Yes, my lord." She bowed briefly and withdrew, her
In a quiet corner of the Throne Room the ghost of Alther Mella
eased himself up from the cold stone bench he had been sitting on. He sighed and
stretched his old ghostly legs. Then he gathered his faded purple robes around
him, took a deep breath and walked out through the thick stone wall of the
Outside he found himself hovering sixty feet above the ground in
the cold dark morning air. Instead of walking off in a dignified manner as a
ghost of his age and status really should, Alther stuck his arms out like the
wings of a plane and swooped gracefully through the falling snow.
Flying was about the only thing that Alther liked about being a
ghost. Since he had become a ghost he had lost his crippling fear of heights and
had spent many exciting hours perfecting his acrobatic moves. But there wasn't
much else about being a ghost that he enjoyed, and sitting in the Throne Room
where he had actually become oneand consequently where he had had to
spend the first year and a day of his ghosthoodwas one of his least favorite
occupations. But it had to be done. Alther made it his business to know what the
Custodians were planning and to try and keep Marcia up to date. With his help
she had managed to stay one step ahead of the Custodians and keep Jenna safe.
Until now. From far away in his distant hideout up in the Badlands,
been trying to track Jenna down since his first Assassin failed to complete the
task ten years before. After DomDaniel had killed the Queen, he had sent in his
emissary, the Supreme Custodian, along with his henchmen, the Custodians, and an
army of Custodian Guards, to take over the Castle and hunt down the baby
Princess, or the Queenling, as DomDaniel disdainfully called her. It had been
ten long, frustrating years, during which every attempt to find her had been
foiled by Alther Mella.
DomDaniel, however, did not realize that his old Apprentice was
still intent on thwarting him. None of the ghosts in the Castle would Appear to
him on account of his connections with the Darke, and DomDaniel was completely
unaware of their presence, Alther's included. He blamed the exasperating
Marcia Overstrand for his failure to find the Princess, and he was growing
increasingly impatient. However, although DomDaniel did not know it, he had
recently had a stroke of luck.
When the Supreme Custodian took over the Castle, one of the
first things he did was to ban women from the Courthouse. The Ladies'
Washroom, which was no longer needed, had eventually become a small committee
room. During the past bitterly cold month, the Committee of the Custodians had
taken to meeting in the former Ladies' Washroom, which had the great advantage
of a wood-burning stove, rather than the cavernous Custodian Committee Room,
where the chill wind whistled through and froze their feet to blocks of ice.
From Magyk: Septimus Heap Book 1 by Angie Sage. Copyright Angie
Sage 2005. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission of the
publisher, Harper Collins. No part of this book maybe reproduced without
written permission from the publisher.