Relic Hunter is available on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Nook, Google Play & Smashwords and more!
Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered Relic Hunter. You mean the world to us. Your copies should arrive tomorrow, May 7th, and we hope you enjoy them! 🙂
And now, to celebrate the launch of Relic Hunter, we bring you Part 3 of (you guessed it):
“Any idea what we’ll find?” Zoya asked.
Yan didn’t say it, but his eyes did—please, no more demons.
She shook her head. “No clue. I’ve never seen the relic-finder turn that color before.”
She wanted to squeeze her cousin’s shoulder to comfort him but with only one working hand, Zoya had to hold onto the relic-finder. Otherwise, it couldn’t guide them to the magical item in need of containment.
Ricter was trained to respond to signals from her legs, but she wasn’t sure she was astride Ricter. Or if her current mount had been similarly trained. In fact, everything since the demon incident was more than a little fuzzy, and she wasn’t sure exactly when they’d finished that or how. Why was she noticing these holes in her memory now?
It had something to do with the stone in her hand. The relic-finder did more than what its name implied. Were they just traveling under some sort of beguilement? If so, they’d have to sort that out later. Duty called, and Zoya was keen to answer it. Later, she’d return to that village armed with enchantment-fighters and get the truth. Because a spell that strong could only be cast by a powerful artifact or a magical creature. Either one spelled trouble, but it was her job to rectify that ASAP.
The relic-finder pulsed against her palm reminding Zoya she had a more immediate claim on her. It urged her to hurry, hurry, hurry—lives might be in danger.
“Where are you leading us and what will we find when we get there?” Zoya wondered aloud.
The stone didn’t answer in words. Back and forth it flipped between an effulgent green and a swirling black slashed through with angry red lines, and each time the latter appeared, it sent a bolt of fear through Zoya. But it wasn’t her fear, it was the stone’s. How can a rock fear something?
“We got this. You and I are well-trained,” Zoya said because Yan looked like he needed to hear it.
Instead of replying, he shot her a concerned look. As if I’d ever be a liability in a fight, oh please. If running and throwing things were an option, she could still win. But there was no army to bail them out, just the two of them and whatever they could cobble together or draft into service.
Maybe this wasn’t such a hot idea after all. Before Zoya could get too mired in doubt, the ground shook with an unnatural vengeance. The stone in her hand emitted a blinding green light and an ear-piercing wail of ultimate agony. Okay maybe she’d made up that ‘ultimate agony’ bit, so she had a reason not to chuck the relic-finder into the nearest hole. It was sawing away at her last nerve.
Yan winced. “What is that awful racket?”
“I didn’t know stones could scream. Don’t you need lungs for that?” Zoya pressed her thumb into the relic-finder to quiet it, and the scream cut off.
“I think it’s all inside our heads, so why am I hearing it? You’re holding the thing. I’m just your sidekick.” Yan shot her a sour look.
Zoya shrugged. “It’s a magical item, so normal rules don’t apply.”
“That’s why we find and contain them.”
“Too true, cuz, too true.”
But Zoya had a bad feeling they were riding toward more than one relic from the ancient-magical world. And we don’t have any backup. That gave Zoya pause for a nanosecond because they usually didn’t have any backup unless they were near a chapterhouse, and trouble rarely ever popped up within shouting distance of the order.
Instead of fleeing, Zoya signaled her mount with her legs, and they charged into possible danger. Maybe he was Ricter after all. He’d always been the gung-ho type but then again, so was she. That was probably why the order had elevated her to the rank of Knight-Quester.
Thank Fate, she was still wearing her breastplate. At least if they ran into any other nasty surprises, her heart and other important organs were protected. But what had happened to the rest of her suit of half-plate armor?
A Nasty Run-in
He must hold it in check. Sarn was currently under at least a mile of rocks and dirt. He must not let the magic clawing at his insides out, or everyone would die. I can’t let that happen.
Sarn opened his mouth to beg the men dragging him to let go, but no sound emerged. Terror had tied his vocal cords into a tight knot, choking Sarn, and the ground quivered, reacting to his fear. It could sense him because of his magic.
Sarn struggled, but his captors’ grip was firm, and he was just a half-grown boy with no hope of escaping two solid men in mismatched armor. So his captors marched on unaware of the dangerous power building inside their prisoner. His bare feet tingled, and that sensation climbed his calves, heading straight for the hands crushing his upper arms.
“Stop, please, stop. I don’t want to hurt anyone, and I don’t want you to hurt them either,” Sarn silently begged his magic, but its warm tide kept rising inside him, sending tremors through the tunnel. They weren’t strong enough yet to collapse the mine.
He must stop his magic before it got to that point. If Sarn could, but the power was a wave intensifying with every breath. It was readying itself to crash down on them all. His magic was as old as the world, and it only cared about the two men dragging Sarn toward somewhere he didn’t want to go. No one else mattered to it.
Maybe if I calm down it’ll stop. But as Sarn thought that, he knew it was futile. There was no way he could calm down, not when he knew what was coming.
As one crude tunnel led to another, it wound ever deeper into the mines. Sarn’s breaths shortened, and his fear mounted. The Master of the Mines wanted him. I don’t want to see him. He’ll make me do things I don’t want to do.
Things Sarn didn’t want the magic to do either because every request made that power harder to control. If it broke free, it would silence the echoes of the orphans working in the deep shafts. I can’t let that happen.
If you’re looking for:
√ badass heroines (and villains) with brains, blades, and humor
√ a fantasy adventure filled with side switching, double-crossing and magical mayhem
Then, get Relic Hunter now at Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Nook, Google Play & Smashwords to continue reading this story.
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