By: Vladimir Duran
Length: 251 pages
Release date: Nov 29, 2013
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Wriath is coming and war is coming with him. Vlad has walked three journeys on his path to becoming a Harrower, a King’s Knight. And they have all lead back to the wizard world. To the place he had been an outcast freak, a hated reminder of days gone by and terrifying signpost of things to come. Now its time for him to become something far more dangerous, a man with noting to lose.
Now that they were in a good uproar it was time to really cut loose.
Lavishly appointed by lavishly appointed corridor, Wraith made his way through the halls of castle Blackblade. Everywhere he went Council guards were waiting for him. His estimation of their skills had not been wrong. These men and women, who fought with strategy and covered each other's backs. A real military unit.
Six Council guards made up the second group of them he ran into. Automatic barriers should have come up from the floor to give them cover. Taking the network down had locked in their shuttered position. But Council guards weren't so easily deterred. They had barricaded themselves behind a toppled twenty-foot tall statue of a nude man. The stone figure glimmered with hastily laid defensive spells.
Spellfire rained down as soon as he came into rage. Wraith danced his way through lightning and flame as he closed the distance to the defenders. Heat seared the air around him to oven temperatures and tested the effectiveness of his shields. He didn't counterattack as he danced, saving his energy for the moment he could see the whites of their eyes.
When Wraith finally got that close, however, he found the guards almost fully retreated down a side passage. Again, smart. If an enemy could get past that kind of firepower, trying to take him on in close combat was suicidal. Better to retreat, regroup and come at him again later from a different angle.
A little faster to disengage and they all might have lived. As it was, he only managed to take down one of the six and possibly maim another.
The plan for Wraith's infiltration of the castle originally depended on chaos. Vlad had thought that meant holding back enough to allow the guards to raise the alarms. Maybe a skirmish or two thrown in. Now, he reconsidered. If the Guards were this good bringing anything less than his best could get him killed. He'd become too accustomed to fighting Hunters, playing with his food in order to savor the meal. These were not Hunters. Hunters were trained to the level of pre-Ocean grunts. They were so afraid of their master the only thing keeping them in line was the huge salary that came with the job. Again he was impressed by the power of loyalty.
So he stopped holding back. He stopped striding arrogantly down passages and started sneaking his way from corridor to hall to palatial room. When he attacked he did it from the shadows or out of blind turns, striking hard and fast and drawing blood when he did.
But if he stepped up his game, so did they.