“I am Reglan,” said the captain. “No Matter, know this…
Your flesh will not be wasted.”
Mattoby the Gat takes his motley crew on a quest to uncover the secret of the Lumenstones and the evil forces unleashing them. On their journey, they encounter the disturbing Goblin Haunts, battle a group of witches and struggle to survive hostile terrain and each other’s tempers.
Their path takes an unexpected turn when Anditor, the young son of Vidor, describes his encounter with Reglan, the Lord of the Werewolves, and the chest of stones aboard his pirate ship…
…a story that will lead the nine into peril.
Chapter 4 – The Jealous Prince
“I wish you would reconsider.”
Eijivar stood from packing his sack. His bow and arrows were lined up neatly on the floor by his bag. His great sword and several daggers were already sheathed in his belt. He wore the travel clothes of the guard in plain greens and browns. The only exception was the intricate embossing of emerald threads forming vines down the arms of his shirt. He wore calf-high leather boots, and a travel cloak was folded on the floor next to his things. He kept his back to the Great King. When he finally did look up, it was to stare out over the grand balcony framed by three archways into his rooms.
“She has made her decision?”
“Yes, and it is sealed.”
“You didn’t know?”
“He kept it from everyone. Can you blame him?”
Eijivar snorted and went back to packing. The King observed him for a few minutes in silence. Eijivar had served him faithfully for countless years like a son. He was proud, arrogant even by Valdaren standards, but he was a fierce fighter, unrelenting in battle. He would have made a good match for any other Valdaren princess, but he was never right for Lorien. The King had always known that. He knew his daughter’s heart and mind. He agreed with her decision. He hated her timing. Eijivar could not be replaced by a dozen Valdaren guard.
“This isn’t just about Lorien.”
Eijivar stood. He placed his hands on his belt. The fingertips of his right hand brushed the handle of his sword. He turned to face the King.
“Really? Maybe not for the rest of the world, but it certainly is for you…and it was…for me.”
But the Valdaren prince raised his hand, palm up, toward the King. There were no words that would convince him. The King sighed deeply. He placed his hand over his chest and bowed. When he straightened, he walked out of the room and shut the door behind him. He nodded to the two guards waiting in the hall for him, trying their best not to look astonished at the bow their King had just given to Eijivar and that man’s refusal to acknowledge it.
“Notify the rest of the company that we will meet in one hour,” he instructed.
“What about Ajie and Lorien?” one of the man asked.
“They are waiting in my chambers. I will inform them.”
Behind the door, Eijivar stared outside, motionless. The only change in him was that his hand was now wrapped tightly around the handle of his sword, the muscles of his arm straining. Fury welled inside him. Had he known the night before that Ajie had that ring, things would have ended differently. He would not have backed down for a second. Ajie had been wise in hiding it. It was an irrevocable bond. Eijivar knew that. And yet…
He bent over and packed his cloak into his bag. He secured the bag and threw it over his shoulder and did the same with his bow and arrows. He crossed over to the wall opposite the terrace. The long wall was decorated up and down with ancient weapons he had collected. Some of them were so rare that they were priceless in the cities of men. He gently removed an ornate dagger from the straps that held it securely to the wall. He rolled it over in his hands and admired it. It was a goblin dagger that pre-dated the Great Wars. The handle was carved from dragon bone depicting a battle between a phoenix and a dragon. He ran his fingers along its curvatures. It was his favorite. He removed the dagger from its sheath and stuck the sheath in his bag. He allowed the dagger to drop out of his hand onto the floor. The old bone cracked down the middle, separating the soaring phoenix from the fire-breathing dragon.
Eijivar left the room, not bothering to close the door behind him. He walked quietly down the hallway to the back exits. He descended the long, spiral stone staircase to the bottommost tier of balconies and vanished into the woodlands, traveling in a westerly direction.
Book 2, “Nine”, is available now in all eBook formats at Smashwords
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Book 1, “The Lightbearer”, is available as a FREE eBook at Smashwords.
All material Copyright ©2017 Tanya Cliff