|Chapter 10: Vale of Crystal|
The presence of the Raver, lurid and tangible, burned through Linden Avery's nerves like a discharge of lightning, stunning her. She could not move. Covenant thrust her behind him, turned to face the onslaught. Her cry drowned as water splashed over her.
Then the swarm hit. Black-yellow bodies as long as her thumb clawed the air, smacked into the River as if they had been driven mad. She felt the Raver all around her--a spirit of ravage and lust threshing viciously among the bees.
Impelled by fear, she dove.
The water under the raft was clear; she saw Sunder diving near her. He gripped his knife and the Sunstone as if he intended to fight the swarm by hand.
Covenant remained on the surface. His legs and body writhed; he must have been swatting wildly at the bees.
At once, her fear changed directions, became fear for him. She lunged toward him, grabbed one ankle, heaved him downward as hard as she could. He sank suddenly in her grasp. Two bees still clung to his face. In a fury of revulsion, she slapped them away. Then she had to go up for air.
Sunder rose nearby. As he moved, he wielded his knife. Blood streamed from his left forearm.
She split the surface, gulped air, and dove again.
The Graveler did not. Through the distortion of the water, she watched red sunfire raging from the orcrest. The swarm concentrated darkly around Sunder. His legs scissored, lifting his shoulders. Power burst from him, igniting the swarm; bees flamed like hot spangles.
An instant later, the attack ended.
Linden broke water again, looked around rapidly. But the Raver was gone. Burnt bodies littered the face of the Mithil.
Sunder hugged the raft, gasping as if the exertion of so much force had ruptured something in his chest.