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Destruction's Children

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234 pages2 hours

Summary

Why do you fight? Why do you pay the price? Destruction’s Children brings the war home for the Knights of the revolution. Jackal is forced to relive his mother’s brutal death while Olga dreams of getting blood on her hands. Vlad reaches a pivotal point when forced to confront reality, there is always someone better. What do you do when you can’t see the way forward anymore? Make one up.

Excerpt

Taking a sliver more of his attention from the attacking wall of spells, Vlad split his single thick cord of earth into an eight-headed hydra of golden brown light. Single spears started thrusting up from the ground in a continuous assault, like a deadly life-sized whack-a-mole. One and all the spears stabbed straight at the blond Knight. The shifting grinding sounds of salt and silica compacting and grinding together carried a long ways on the flat ground.

Besieged from all angels, every way Mikael turned another spear, or three, tried to spit him. He danced and jumped among them with exceeding grace. Not so much as brushing a spear. Glittering brown strands threaded through their pale lengths warned him. Touch one and it would explode like a fragmentation grenade. Fast enough to dodge spears was not fast enough to dodge shrapnel. Probably wouldn’t do much damage against the kinds of shields he likely had. But he didn’t dare give Vlad an opening like that. His advance was halted.

One of his advances halted anyway. A sliver taken away from the wall of spells was a sliver too much. Vlad couldn't keep up with them anymore. Inch by slow inch the aurora seemed to grow larger as the first waves of destructive spells got closer.
Not a minute into the fight and they were at a stalemate. Mikael was fast but the spears were quickly becoming a forest of stalagmites around him. Touching even one would set off a chain reaction that would set of the others. He could let go of the spell he’d woven to attack but that would mean giving up the initiative to go on the defensive. Vlad was worse shape. If he took concentration away from his attack to shore up his defense Mikael would start advancing again. Retreat was not an option. Unraveling that many spells at once pushed his abilities to their limit. Trying it awhile moving would have been impossible. As hard as he worked the spells were still getting closer. Worst case the blonde Knight would wait him out.

Whose luck would run out first? Time drew itself into a thin brittle line as the desert sands awaited and answer with bated breath.

Neither was apparently very inclined to trust in luck. Almost as one, both men decided it was time to engage Knight State.

Wraith stopped unraveling spells and charged forward at an angle, meaning to cut the corner of the firing solution's first wave. Instantly the wall of spells rushed forward, enveloping the Knight in color and sound and pressure. No matter how tightly packed a firing solution, was there were always gaps in between individual spells. Pack your spells too tightly together and they could render each other useless and or, worse, rebound on you. Wraith found those gaps and moved through them with consummate grace. He put Mikael's earlier dance to shame. In the Midst of his dance he felt his spell go off, the spears had exploded.

Seven seconds. That was how long it took wraith to make beyond the far edge of spell fire. Seven seconds of blinding colors, deafening sounds and crushing pressure. He survived.

He was not the only one. Mikael’s remote point dissipated and Wraith felt him stop weaving whatever that big spell of his had been. At first he could see only a vague image through the haze of dissipating spell fire. But the air finally cleared enough to let him see clearly. Mikael stood untouched in the rubble of Vlad's forest of stone spears. The air around his rippled more than heat haze could have accounted for. A broad smile stretched across his face.

"I suppose this means you're ready

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