Here’s an unedited excerpt from “Unfearing”
There comes a time when one must be brave in the sight of danger. And as sure as the rising sun on this day, all fears will be kept at bay.
“Sorvos, they’re coming!” Kehr called out from atop the hill, his voice eager.
I glanced back quickly at the defiant faces of my warriors, ready and willing to give their lives should it come to that.
The Arhaenians were our strongest enemies. Many had tried to conquer the kingdom of Ledron and had failed, but Arhaen and its fierce leader, Harus, will stop at nothing to destroy us all, especially when they themselves were merely an image of our people. Our battle with them would surely be our greatest challenge yet.
I positioned my horse and steadied before the fearless heroes and heroines who chose to fight with me. “Warriors of Ledron, hear me, your leader. Today, we will defend our kingdom, and we will be victorious!”
A sudden thrill reached my heart at the sound of their battle cries. But as much as I feared for their lives and what the end result of this day might be, I absolutely could not allow them to see the worry in my eyes. Instead, I would stand firm as their leader and ride out into battle with an unfailing spirit. Should I go down on this day I would be forever remembered as Sorvos, the great leader of Ledron, who like his fathers before him had fought mightily in his golden armor.
Swords clanked and flames collided as the fight began, in the midst of it all I made sure to protect my warriors above myself.
My eyes bored through the swarmed field, spotting Harus, still on his wild black horse watching the battle a top the hill and waiting for the moment to strike. I gritted my teeth in anticipation as I sped toward him, but halted my horse as a ball of fire came at me from the right.
I moved rapidly to destroy it with my own flames and jumped off my horse. My gaze found the cowardly Arhaenian, and I headed for him. He would feel my wrath.
The young lad trembled as I approached. His fright withheld him from moving fast enough to attempt another attack. I ran up with ease and took hold of his hand. By the appearance of his uniform—a pale blue shirt and grey pants—he was of low ranking with little or no experience of the battlefield. There was no way my heart could bare killing him.
“You’re no warrior,” I gritted and dropped him to the ground. He reached for the dagger at his side and I quickly knocked him unconscious with my power. For a moment, I thought of how the boy reminded me of my younger self, not realizing danger was drawing near.
“Sorvos, behind you!” Michael screamed, his voice streaked with terror. I spun just as Harus wielded his sword at my back. A true coward indeed, seeking the opportunity to destroy his opponent when he wasn’t looking.
Briskly, I swerved to my left and sidestepped him, crossing the blade at the tip of my spear with his.
Harus grunted as I pushed my force into him. He crumbled to the ground on one knee as he lost his balance. His eyes filled with fire as he glared into mine. “You… I will destroy you for taking my beloved.”
“She was never yours!” I spat back at him. “Your evil heart would have brought her end had she not escaped.”
He was a vengeful and petty man. One who was waging war against Ledron after the woman he loved fled from his side. Harus had recently learned that she’d settled in Ledron and became my mate, thus, his illogical reason for starting the war.
Margit was the fairest beauty I had ever laid eyes upon. Our attraction for each other burned deeply. We wedded only days after she arrived in Ledron. Margit spoke of the cruelty of Harus and how living in Arhaen was no different from being imprisoned. It was no wonder she escaped.
Seeing where this fight was going, I drew out the power within me and absorbed us both in flames.
Harus forced me back and swiftly jumped to his feet. He roared as his flames blared out of his hands and attacked me. I defended myself by stopping his fire with my own, but it was no use, we were each other’s match. The only way to win was if one of us surrendered, which would get myself and my warriors killed if I should make such a choice.
Unless… yes, that would definitely work.
I called out to my ancestors and spoke chants of Methius. His binding tricks were successful in the past against the most powerful of his enemies. Methius, along with Seronus, were the two greatest warriors Ledron had ever possessed.
Immediately, upon speaking the chants, Harus started to shiver. His eyes widened in disbelief and his sword fell from his grasp as he became encircled with blue flames. The binding power of Methius wasn’t strong enough to destroy Harus, but powerful enough to trap his body within the dark depths of his kingdom for centuries.
Harus would never be able to step foot in Ledron or the human world. He would remain, from this day on, a spirit lingering in the land of Arhaen, and only Methius had the power to free him.
“Sorvos, you coward!” he barked, struggling to free himself from the binds. Each time he tried to summon his flames he’d fail. “Free me now!”
I walked closer to Harus and whispered, “You shall now be called Ethryen, man of the shadows.” My curse echoed in the air, surrounding Harus and his warriors. They ceased fighting and glanced at their leader, fear consumed their eyes. Just as they started to run, a blaring light formed above them and they all vanished within.
“Ledarians!” The anger in Harus’ voice made me stagger in my steps. “This is not my end! You will never be rid of me!” His jarring cries drifted in the wind as he vanished within the blue flames of Methius.
“What happened? How did you defeat him?” Michael asked as he hurried to where I stood and settled his spear into the ground.
“The chants of Methius,” I replied, patting his shoulder. He nodded slowly and glanced about the field, almost as if seeking assurance that Harus was truly gone.
“He’s gone,” I told him, then turned and walked away to go check on the others.
This was a day I intended to forget until my enemy unleashed himself once more. But for now, I would take comfort knowing that the blood of my fellow Ledarians was not spilled on the battlefield. The kingdom of Ledron and the human world was safe.