Final DraftChapter Eleven: The Odd Shop Keep

“Sometimes things are hidden
in the most obvious of places,”
Arajuan to Anika

“Get up, get up,” a woman’s voice rang out, “Breakfast is ready.”
Anika dragged herself from the bed. On the foot of her bed was a new dress, a lovely medieval elven styled gown. It was black with red lace trim along the sleeves and hem. The skirt was black except the middle; it was red like the lace. Beside the dress was a small tiara with a bright red gem in the center. She was certain it was a ruby.

She washed again in the washbasin and slipped from her silk nightclothes into the beautiful garment. The sleeves flowed down her arms to the tip of her long middle finger. The skirt just touched the ground around her feet. She placed the tiara on her head. The black corset top squeezed her into an hourglass. She tied a red sash with a money pouch attached around her waist. For the first time in her life, she looked feminine and royal. She slipped on a pair of shoes she found at the foot of the bed. They were black strapped sandals that looked elegant with the dress.

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Chapter Eight: A Question of Character Final Draft

“Hate me.

I love when things are complicated.”

Koraki to Anika

Arajuan did not have the luxury to stop. A tight schedule meant he had to push on. He could still smell her blood on him, feel her heartbeat against him. His own heart pounded against his ribcage. He knew this feeling, a roar in his chest from a time before he was Arajuan. She was the lady of shadows; how could he do this to her?

Arajuan had to shake this off, aloof, wicked, heartless. This is war, the price of war is death. He would laugh but it was not funny. The men followed him, orcs were the core group, from the same tribe Tsuke and Tuk hailed. The others were victims of towns he decimated. He relished in their fear when new towns he conquered saw his necromantic arts. It was a delight when they knew they bound their fate to him.

The war drums played as they marched. Socrates landed on his shoulder. He knew his master better than anyone; they were bonded as brothers. Socrates sensed Arajuan’s troubled heart.

“The girl, was she the wyrmling?” Socrates asked

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