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(Part 88 of Eternity’s Eclipse)
(Book 5 of the Fantasian Series)
Opening his eyes seemed like the hardest thing Sterling Blade had ever done. Forcing himself to awaken meant forcing himself to remember. The truth would come back to him: the truth that Crystal had lied to him, that she had built a following around the slaughter of his people, and that – perhaps worst of all – she had no remorse for her sins.
It was a lot to take in. And from the moment his eyelids fluttered open, the weight of it began to press down on his shoulders.
He’d fallen asleep by a shallow brook. The night had changed the landscape drastically as the blizzard took its toll on the forest. The snow drifts that once extended like a blanket had come to stand as tall as a person. The evergreen branches had come to bear small icicles. The once flowing water had frozen over with ice.
Only half aware of his own actions, the human grabbed a rock from the bank and began slamming it into the icy st
The Most Prominent Hunters
(Part 78 of Eternity’s Eclipse)
(Book 5 of the Fantasian Series)
“I never thought I’d live to see you run out of quips.” Sterling admitted.
Crystal’s eyes snapped to her shoulder, locking on the human with undeniable venom. She didn’t bother with a retort. Instead she scooped a fistful of snow from the ground; and, before it could melt, dropped it unceremoniously on the knight’s head.
“Now you have to ask yourself,” he pressed on “whether or not winning that drinking game was worth it?”
She groaned, implying it was not.
“Then,” Sterling reasoned, going even further “you have to stop and ask yourself whether or not you’ll be able to hunt me while you’re hung over.”
The dragon didn’t groan: she wailed. With a pained huff she fell backwards, sprawling in the snow – and sending Sterling head-over-heels in the same motion. She lay there, eyes closed and teeth clenched, seemingly
The Pipsqueak in Control
(Part 61 of Eternity’s Eclipse)
(Book 5 of the Fantasian Series)
“I’m assuming you had something to do with this?” Sterling asked, gesturing towards Eve. The shark rolled her shoulders in an uncommitted shrug, a smile teasing at the corners of her mouth.
“Perhaps I did? Perhaps I didn’t?”
“Then perhaps you can explain why our friends here haven’t torn an ‘abominable lycanthrope’ into nice, pretty little pieces?”
“Perhaps that’s the only explanation.” Eve relented. “But you hardly seem disappointed that an ‘abominable lycanthrope’ turned traitor.”
“Well… your motives brought me into some very pleasant company.” Sterling observed. “So I can’t say I’m disappointed, no; and I might even go so far as to say I owe you one.”
“That isn’t a physical debt, I hope?” a playfully edgy voice asked from overhead.
The Unusual Company
(Part 47 of Eternity’s Eclipse)
(Book 5 of the Fantasian Series)
Sterling squeezed his eyes even more tightly shut – as if, by blotting Amber out, she would be human again. But the hot, humid breath continued to trail down his spine; and the prompting question remained.
“Is this supposed to be a game of Twenty Questions?” he asked resignedly.
“It can be, I suppose…”
“Alright: then are you an animal, mineral, or vegetable?” he inquired sarcastically.
“You’re about to be a bloodstain on the floor.” She warned with playful scorn. “Don’t ask questions you already know the answer to. And for calling me a ‘vegetable’ I think you’re down to your last question…”
“May I have a hint?”
She pondered the request for a moment, the act accompanied by the soft scratching of a claw against her chin. At length she produced a single word – one in which each abstract sound
(Part 38 of Eternity’s Eclipse)
(Book 5 of the Fantasian Series)
“Rise and shine!” Lina called enthusiastically. She emerged from the trees, shaking several stray leaves from her newly grown fur. She took a moment to admire the spotted patterns in an instance of conceited self regard; then the scrutiny of the newly transformed wolf and her companion resumed.
“We’re burning moonlight.” She warned, her voice loud and carrying but the tone similar to that of a grumble. “Let’s try to get back to the others before morning, eh?”
Katarina didn’t seem ready to “get back” anywhere. Each lycanthrope transformed at a different time; for some it was highly variable, for some it was instantaneous at sunset, for some it came only after hard dark. At times both the wolf and the leopard chieftain were on par, shifting in conjunction with one another; but that happy medium was a rare thing, since Lina was typically among the first
Resistance C73: DemonstrationResistance
Chapter 73: Demonstration
With no time to explain things any further, I ran down and began hustling the dragons to form up in front of the trucks while the others did the same with their own platoons. I had Hector take the roll, ensuring yet again that everyone was present.
However, before I could give the next set of instructions, I heard the sound of approaching aircraft. “All of you go and look up in the sky.” I remarked, pointing in the general direction of the sound.
Of course, the three helicopters were being flown in, and landed some distance away. From the dragons, I only received silence as they stared in sheer shock. Hector even dropped his weapon. Flayme and Fyre, who had strolled over at some point also shot me questioning looks.
Flayme pointed at one of the helicopters. “I….don’t believe we taught you to wield magic, yet you make metal boxes fly.”
I smirked. “No magic. Just an engine.”
Noting that the other dragons
Resistance C72: PreprationResistance
Chapter 72: Prepration
I woke to the sound of knocking on the door. A glance outside told me that it was barely sunrise.
Grumbling, I dragged myself to the door, wings and tail and all, and opened it. “What?”
In front of me loomed Hector, whose huge frame almost took up the entire doorframe. “I’m sorry to wake you at this hour, but the men wouldn’t let me hear the end of it!”
“The end of what?” I replied, rubbing the sleep from my eyes.
The burly dragon gave me a somewhat sheepish look. “Some said that they saw machines. Flying machines last night! Such things don’t exist! Surely you must agree! You must put such strange thoughts out of their minds at once!”
“Strange what?” It actually took me a while to process that, still being half asleep. “Oh, right. Helicopters. Yeah, sorry to disappoint you, Hector, but yes, flying machines are a thing.”
Hector shot me such a disappointed look tha
Resistance C71: ChoppersResistance
Chapter 71: Choppers
Fenek must have been watching my own memories unfold in my mind. He seemed as shocked as I was on the day itself. He sat there for a moment, shaking and staring at me. I had to punch his shoulder to get him back to reality.
“You see, Fenek, this is why. We didn’t get to defend ourselves. You people didn’t negotiate. If they did, there would probably have been a favourable outcome, especially since your world was dying. Millions were killed, and the majority of them were not military. The Council massacred unarmed civilians, Fenek. That’s what the glorious dragon victory was. It was murder.”
As expected, Fenek sat there in silence. Didn’t blame him, though.
“If you have a question, just spit it out, Fenek. No point sitting there and sulking.” I remarked pointedly, throwing a pillow at him.
The brown dragon started, but caught the pillow and tossed it back over. “You described days, not weeks…
Golden Stain, Chapter 24Chapter Twenty-Four – Wormhill Assault
“You aren’t going,” Mailliw said.
“Oh?” Yion inquired. She stood a short distance from Zirath, all three of them near the edge of the group of scouts. She was wearing a heavy cloak, carrying a sheathed sword on her belt, and was leaning on a walking stick. “It appears to me that I am, according to the dragon with hands.”
Mailliw could only blink. He and Jay clearly should have been more careful about ensuring she stayed behind, but it had been a busy day and when they’d seen her the previous evening, she seemed to have calmed down. They hadn’t realized she had another plan.
He shot a glare at Zirath, but the dragon was absorbed in a conversation with some other scouts. All right, then. He turned around and went for Lady Syra, who was overseeing the operation.
Mailliw didn’t say anything, only pointed at Yion and let his expression do the talking. Syra heaved a sigh.
Golden Stain, Chapter 10Chapter Ten – Goldblood Castle
Jay awoke intact and with a fresh white bandage wrapped around his midsection. He groaned, the wound pulsing with pain as he pushed himself into a sitting position.
A nearby woman noticed and came toward him with a freshly poured cup of tea. “Good morning,” she said, proffering the cup. “Drink this, it should help.”
Jay obediently took the cup and scrutinized the woman. She was middle-aged, with a suntanned face and deep wrinkles around her eyes. He was sure he’d seen her before… After a moment, it clicked. “Heral!” he exclaimed, making her chuckle.
“You seem to be in worse shape every time I see you,” the healer sighed. They’d met briefly in Dezla, when Jay had needed her assistance with several broken bones he’d managed to acquire. It was a long story.
“It’s been five years, I’m surprised you remember,” Jay said. He blew on his tea and tasted it;
Golden Stain, Chapter 6Chapter Six – Friend of Humans
This is gonna be an adventure, right?
Mailliw looked back at Asrah. She was perched on top of a tall rock, tail extended behind her for balance, scanning the empty terrain rather overdramatically.
“It was supposed to be,” Mailliw muttered under his breath. The only reason he’d taken Asrah along on this trip were the rumours he’d heard of a dragon family still searching for the daughter they’d lost five years previously. A dead end, for better or for worse. I’m still not convinced we shouldn’t return to Dezla.
Dezla is boring! Asrah exclaimed, hopping down beside her foster father.
Only you would think that, Mailliw said with a chuckle. I would bring you there now if we were only closer. At this point, going to Dezla safely would require cutting through the Western Lands, something that wasn’t an option for him anymore.
Well, good, Asrah
Mind of Mailliw Epilogue pt. 2I arrived in Dezla three weeks later with my new companion. The hatchling, who I named Asrah, grew increasingly fond of me during that time, barely leaving my side. Now that she had come to trust me, she seemed to be much more carefree, as I suppose any child would. I was even able to develop a telepathic link with her, which came in very handy for keeping track of her.
Our arrival in Dezla was not a quiet one. Considering the manner in which I had left during my previous visit, this was to be expected. Fortunately, it was a warm welcome. Apparently, someone had already filled them in that I would be coming, and they had already prepared a small house for me. They didn't need to tell me who that someone was.
As I entered the dwelling in question, I noticed a letter resting on a small table. As Asrah began to explore, I opened the letter and started reading it. It wasn't very long, but it
Golden Blood -- Ch. 56Chapter Fifty-six - Jay
We made it back to the labyrinth, fairly sure that no one was following us. I hated to take any chances, but things had gotten a bit frantic, and I wasn't sure what else to do. We hurried inside the cave and turned into the tunnel, progressing until we thought we'd gone far enough. Finally we took a break, and I fell back against the wall, trying to catch my breath.
What should we do now? Solan asked, once we'd all gotten a hold of ourselves.
"I don't know." I shook my head. "You guys have to hear what happened back there."
I explained my conversation with Resk, and how he'd led me right to him. Mailliw shook his head. "I thought it was risky, seeing as you have no idea how to control your telepathy."
"Well, what's done is done." I grumbled a little defensively. "I'd say I found out some important things, at least."
"Like what? That the King still wants to capture you? That's nothing new, Jay."
I shook my head. "I know, I know. I guess this was kin
Resistance C70: HistoryResistance
Chapter 70: History
The attack came out of nowhere. No warnings. No advance party. No scouts. Nothing.
One moment it was daily life. I was back in camp for my annual reservist training with my company. The unit had just moved to a new compound too. Admittedly, for a military compound, it was pretty nice. The only qualm was that the cookhouse in this new camp was horrible, but that was something we could do nothing about, aside from complaining the place down, of course.
The whole thing began while I was in the armoury on duty. I was one of those guys who check the guns as they’re being returned, and then yell at people for not cleaning their weapons. Not much of a job, but someone has to do it.
So it was afternoon, just after lunch, around half past two, maybe? The company was just coming back in to return their guns from an exercise. Routine stuff. No rounds were fired, so I didn’t even have to check anything. It looked to be just a routine day.
Of course, it wa
Golden Blood -- Ch. 31Chapter Thirty-one - Jay
It had been two days since the murder.
I still couldn't believe what had happened. It was too unreal, too cruel, too pointless. If I had hated the High Tamer before, I now despised him with every ounce of my being. He would pay for what he had done, I would make sure of it.
The problem was, I was in no position to exact revenge. I was in no position to do anything, as a matter of fact. Between the constant watch, the binds on my wrists, and Solan's resumed silence, there was no way for me to devise a way to escape. My only hope was that someone from outside would be able to save us from our plight. And we were in the middle of nowhere.
The one bit of hope I clung to was that Mailliw, and perhaps some of the dragons we'd met, were following us. If any of them had some tracking skill, it wouldn't be too difficult, would it? The High Tamer was making no attempt to mask our presence in the northern rocklands. Though the hard dirt didn't hold footprints, we l