Home > Son of the Dawn (Ghosts of the Shadow Market #1)(5)

Son of the Dawn (Ghosts of the Shadow Market #1)(5)
Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan

He could see the werewolves’ teeth too. Zachariah knocked one werewolf over the side of the ship and knocked out another one’s teeth in the same swing, then had to dodge a swipe of claws that almost sent Zachariah over himself. There were so many of them.

It was with vague surprise that Zachariah thought this could be the end. There should have been something more than surprise to the idea, but all he knew was the hollowness he had felt walking through the Market and the sound of his brothers’ voices, colder than the sea. He did not care about these vampires. He did not care about himself.

The roar of a werewolf sounded in his ear, and behind it came the crash of a wave. Brother Zachariah’s arms ached from wielding the staff. It should all have ended a long time ago, anyway. He could scarcely remember a reason why he fought.

Across the deck a werewolf, almost fully shifted, whirled a clawed fist directly at Lily’s heart. She already had her hands locked around another werewolf’s neck. She did not have a chance to defend herself.

A door swung open, and a Shadowhunter woman ran out into the path of the werewolves. She was not ready. A wolf tore her throat out, and as Zachariah tried to get to her, a werewolf slammed against his back. The staff fell from his nerveless fingers. A second werewolf piled onto him, claws digging into his shoulders, bearing him down to his knees. Another climbed on, and Zachariah’s head slammed onto the wood. The dark rose before him. His brothers’ voices could be gone, along with the crash of the sea and all the light of the world that no longer touched him.

The dead woman’s eyes stared into his face, a last empty gleam before the dark consumed all. It seemed as if he were as empty as she. Why had he ever fought?

Only he remembered. He would not allow himself to forget.

Tessa, he thought. Will.

Despair was never stronger than the thought of them. He could not betray them by giving up.

They are Will and Tessa, and you were Ke Jian Ming. You were James Carstairs. You were Jem.

Jem drew a dagger from his belt. He fought to his feet, backhanding a werewolf through the open cabin door. He looked to Lily.

Raphael was standing in front of her. His arm was flung out to shield her, his blood a macabre scarlet splash across the deck. Human blood was black at night, but vampire blood never looked anything but red. Lily screamed his name.

Brother Zachariah needed his staff. It was rolling across the wood of the deck, silver in the moonlight and rattling like bones. Its carving leaped out, shadow dark against the silver, as the staff rolled to the feet of a boy who had just stepped out into this space of chaos and blood.

The boy who must be Jonathan Wayland stared around him, at Brother Zachariah, at the wolves, at the woman with her throat ripped out. A werewolf woman was bearing down on him. The boy was too young to even bear warriors’ runes.

Brother Zachariah knew he was not going to be fast enough.

The boy turned his head, hair bright gold in the silver moonshine, and picked up Zachariah’s staff. Small and slim, the most fragile of barriers possible against darkness, he charged at the snarling teeth and bared claws. He struck her down.

Two more went for the boy, but Zachariah killed one, and the boy spun and struck the other. When he twisted in the air, Zachariah thought not of shadows, as he had with the vampires, but of light.

When the boy landed on the deck, feet spread wide and staff twirling between his hands, he was laughing. It was not a child’s sweet laugh, but a wild exuberant sound that rang out stronger than sea or sky or silent voices. He sounded young, and defiant, and joyful, and a little mad.

Brother Zachariah had thought earlier in the night that he did not hear laughter often. It had been an achingly long time since he heard a laugh like that.

He stabbed another werewolf running for the boy, and another, throwing his body between the boy and the wolves. One got past his guard and swiped at the boy, and Zachariah heard him make a small sound between his locked teeth.

Are you all right? he asked.

“Yes!” the boy shouted. Brother Zachariah could hear him panting at his back.

Never fear, said Brother Zachariah. I am fighting with you.

Zachariah’s blood ran colder than the sea, and his heart hammered until he heard Robert Lightwood and Lily coming to their aid.

Once the remaining werewolves were subdued, Robert took Jonathan with him to the bridge. Zachariah turned his attention to the vampires. Raphael had taken off his leather jacket. Lily had ripped part of her shirt off and was tying the material around his arm. She was crying.

“Raphael,” she said. “Raphael, you shouldn’t have done it.”

“Sustained a wound that will heal in a night in preference to losing a valuable member of the clan?” Raphael asked. “I acted to benefit myself. I generally do.”

“You’d better,” Lily muttered, wiping tears savagely with the back of her hand. “What would I do if something happened to you?”

“Something practical, I hope,” said Raphael. “Please salvage material from one of the many dead werewolves next time. And stop embarrassing the clan in front of Shadowhunters.”

Lily followed Raphael’s line of vision, over her shoulder to Brother Zachariah. There was blood smudged and mixed with her blurred eyeliner, but she gave him a cheeky fanged smile.

“Maybe I wanted to rip my shirt for Brother Let-him-see-my-rack-ariah.”

Raphael lifted his eyes to heaven. Since he was not looking at her, Lily could look at him. She did. Brother Zachariah saw her lift a hand, her fingernails painted red and gold, and almost touch his curly hair. Her hand moved as if she might stroke the shadows over his head, then curled into a fist. She did not permit herself the luxury.

Raphael motioned her away and got to his feet.

“Let’s go find the yin fen.”

It was not difficult to locate. It was in a large box in a cabin belowdecks. Lily and Brother Zachariah carried the box up between them, Lily clearly ready to make a scene if Raphael tried to help.

Even after all these years, seeing the glimmer of yin fen in the moonlight made Zachariah’s stomach lurch and turn, as if the sight pitched him onto a boat on a different sea, one in which he could never keep his balance.

Lily moved to tip the box over the side, and let it be swallowed by the hungry waters.

“No, Lily!” said Raphael. “I will not have drug-addled mermaids infesting the rivers of my city. What if we end up with glowing silver alligators in the sewers? Nobody will be surprised, but I will know it is your fault, and I will be extremely disappointed in you.”

“You never let me have any fun,” Lily grumbled.

“I never let anyone have any fun,” said Raphael, and looked smug.

Brother Zachariah stared into the box full of silver powder. It had meant the difference between quick and slow death to him once. He set the fire using a rune known only to the Silent Brothers, a rune meant to burn away harmful magic. Life and death were nothing but ashes in the air.

Thank you for telling me about the yin fen, he told Raphael.

“From my perspective, I took advantage of your weakness over the stuff,” said Raphael. “You used to take it to keep yourself alive once, as I understand it. Didn’t work, I see. Anyway, your emotional state is no concern of mine, and my city is safe. Mission accomplished.”

He wiped his hands, gleaming with blood and silver, over the lapping waves.

Does your leader know anything about this mission? Zachariah asked Lily.

She was watching Raphael.

“Of course,” she said. “My leader told you all about it. Didn’t he?”

“Lily! That is stupidity and treason.” Raphael’s voice was chill as the sea breeze. “If I was ordered to execute you for it, make no mistake, I would do so. I would not hesitate.”

Lily bit her lip and tried to pass off how hurt she clearly was. “Oh, but I have a good feeling about Brother Zacharide-him-like-a-bad-pony. He won’t tell.”

“Is there a place here for a vampire to be stowed away safely from the sunrise?” Raphael asked.

Brother Zachariah had not considered that the protracted fight with the werewolves meant the sun was close to rising. Raphael glanced at him sharply when he did not answer.

“Is there only room for one? Lily needs to be secured. I am responsible for her.”

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