We have good and bad news. We’ll start with the good first.
Our scribe voted, and her vote must have saved the world from a terrible fate because a) it’s still spinning, and b) the everyone and their brother stopped texting her to vote.
So rest easy. All is well. Somehow our scribe made it so. We have no details about that yet, but clearly, she’s developed a superpower we were not aware of.
Now for the bad news. Curse Breaker: Sundered is not publishing today. I know. We’re sad about that too, but J.C. lobbied for an additional scene then the Holy Spirit dropped by and asked for one too.
Our scribe had to give them each a scene. It wouldn’t be right not to. We encourage you to complain to them about the book not releasing as planned today. Apparently, one representative from the Holy Trinity wasn’t enough for this book.
I blame the Adversary. Everyone wants a piece of him. So we’re moving our launch to next Monday (fingers crossed).
Our scribe has forbidden anyone to ask for more scenes. She has 50 pages left to edit, and we are NOT allowed to increase that.
Curse Breaker: Sundered is already a whopping 110,000 words (over 300 pages). It’s 25% longer than Curse Breaker: Falls (83,000 words). Which means it has 25% more action and drama. 🙂
Instead of our regularly scheduled adventure, we’re bringing you Part 3 of Chapter 2 from Curse Breaker: Sundered. (In case you missed it here’s: Chapter 1, Part 1 of Chapter 2 & Part 2 of Chapter 2) We hope you enjoy it while we gear up for the book launch!
CURSE BREAKER: SUNDERED
(Preceded by: Curse Breaker: Books 1-4 & His Angelic Keeper)
~ ~ ~
Chapter 2: Call in the Guards (Part 3)
“Monsters!” Thing One broadcasted.
“Can you see what it is, and what it’s doing?”
Staying low, Nulthir retreated as more rocks fell. They were closer and louder than before. They kicked up a dust cloud, and it rolled over them, choking him. Nulthir coughed as he waited for Thing One’s reply. Please let that adorable amalgamation’s dark-adjusted eyes see something I can’t. You owe me one, Fate.
“Ye-es, it has many arms.”
“Many arms? What does that mean?” Lurston or maybe Yazi shouted. Between the dust and the dim light of the symbols glowing on some of his fellow Guards, it was hard to tell who’d spoken.
“Just what he said. Look there.” Iraine pointed to a blur sliding through the shadows, but Nulthir couldn’t make out anything more about it than its snaky shape.
“They’re pulling down the wall to get to the Shining One! Go, friend Nulthir, go to the Shining One.”
“Where is he?”
Iraine gripped his shoulder. “I see him. He’s there.”
She pointed at something to their right, and Nulthir spotted a glimmer of light off in the distance. She patted his shoulder as she stepped out of cover holding out her glowing arms. Numerous religious icons glowed on them, but their light was just barely enough to illuminate her face. One of those things swiveled around and lunged at her, but she dodged.
“Follow me. Lead the way Thing One.”
“Yes, go to the Shining One.” Thing One screeched and swooped down on the dark blur targeting Iraine with his claws extended. He raked them across the snaky appendages pummeling what must be a wall, and they twisted about to swat him. Somehow, they’d sensed his presence. Perhaps they, too, had eyes.
Thing One flew in a wide loop to draw some of those ‘arms’ away from the rock Iraine had just scaled. She vanished at its apex, and darkness swallowed her.
“Go, now, while it’s distracted.”
“Won’t it just follow us if it’s really after that Shining One?”
“That’s the general idea. Now go,” Nulthir shoved Anthanen toward the light, and what he hoped was a hole in the wall. Thing One’s heroics left them an opening and bought them time to reposition. If Anthanen survived, he’d probably quit the Guards. And I wouldn’t blame him if he did. He picked a hell of a week to sign on with us.
Nulthir dodged one of the creature’s many arms and vaulted over another one that shot by at ankle-height. How many arms did this monster have? It seemed to have a limitless supply. Where was the rest of its body?
Thing One made another pass as something heavy slammed Nulthir to the ground. Footsteps approached while he struggled to free himself. “Keep going. Get out of here. I’ll join you later.”
“That’s an order lieutenant.”
“Will you bring me up on charges if I decline?”
Agalthar grunted and thrust his hands under the object. Between his prying and Nulthir’s squirming, he finally extricated himself.
“Thanks, now get out of here.” Nulthir shoved Agalthar toward the rockpile.
“What about you?”
“Don’t worry about me. I’m more durable than I look.” Nulthir gave his friend a grim smile and called to Thing One as he headed back into the fray. He didn’t check to see if his friend had followed his orders this time.
His rune-light wasn’t bright enough to illuminate the rock pile underfoot with its fading light until he bent to pick up a head-sized stone. When he rose, its light fell on the dark blur just inches away to his right. The thing was swiveling about in search of Thing One until his rune-light fell on it, revealing a slimy gray tube as wide as his leg. That tube ended in a grabby leaf-shaped thing covered with suckers and chitinous hooks.
Nulthir ducked as it swung around then he smashed a rock into it. Another arm slammed into his back, and he tumbled through the hole that creature had made. It was just big enough to accommodate him, and he hit the ground hard on the other side. He gained his feet in time to avoid Draya, who’d leaped through after him followed by Yazi, Gare and Lurston.
Thing One shot passed them. “Hurry, the Shining One’s hurt.”
“Now you tell me.” Nulthir clenched his fists. Just what he needed, a wounded ‘Shining One’—whatever that was—to carry around with him down here. Because monsters and evil mind-enslaving creatures aren’t enough.
“Where are the others?”
“Over here,” Huwain called from just ahead. “There’s another tunnel up ahead.”
Indeed, a soft glow radiated from around that bend. It was the cross glowing on Huwain’s heart.
Nulthir gave the cavern one last glance then ran to catch up to his men as rocks rained down on the place he’d just been standing. Those tentacles must have pulled down the wrong stones, or maybe they were the right ones since a wall of rubble now separated them from a monster and a whole lot of innocent people. Damn you, Fate.
Nulthir turned his back on it because there was nothing more he could do for them except get his men and women out of there alive. Gare stopped him.
“What if that creature follows us?”
“Better us than that crowd of innocent people.” Nulthir patted his subordinate’s back and gave him a push to get him moving. A rumble shook the rock pile dislodging some of the smaller stones.
“Looks like you’ll get your wish, Captain.”
“Then let’s lead this thing on a merry chase. There’s got to be some open ground we can lure it onto.”
“Then the shooting begins,” Yazi patted the crossbow strapped to his back.
Nulthir gave him a grim nod as they jogged to catch up with the others. It was time to find this ‘Shining One’ and get some answers.
~ ~ ~
Papa and I return in Chapter 3 next week, or if you can’t wait, download a preview of Curse Breaker: Sundered now!
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Until next time, dear reader
This is your host, Ran, the only son of Sarn, and his chief herald, wishing you a great week! 😉
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