Faith and Moonlight Part 2
by Mark Gelineau, Joe King
Release Date: May 15, 2016
Cover (use links below to download)
Roan wants to escape a brutal past. Kay, a dark future.
They are Razors now, with the power to break the very laws of the universe. The power to become everything they ever wanted.
Or exactly what they fear.
Buy link: amzn.com/B01E44S4IW
Mailing List: www.gelineauandking.com/mailinglist
Amazon Author Pages:
Mark Gelineau: http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Gelineau/e/B00I6TQUCE
Joe King: http://www.amazon.com/Joe-King/e/B01460OK50
Author Bios (Short)
Mark and Joe have been writing and telling stories together for the last 25 years. They share a love for the classic fantasy tales of their childhood. Their Echoes of the Ascended series brings those old epic characters and worlds to new life.
She took a final deep breath and then, in the space between heartbeats, she pierced the veil.
Erik had once described it to her as feeling like slipping beneath the water of a warm bath, but that was not how Kay found it. When she pierced the veil, it felt like being plunged into a river of ice.
She gasped and her concentration wavered. This time, after countless failed attempts, she rode out the shock, calming herself as she focused on breathing.
As Kay did, she felt it. The energy of the First Ascended was alive all around her. The constant hum of the waterfall was immediately buried beneath the roaring power. The sensation was like standing on a cliff in the middle of a storm, only the wind and lightning was not passing overhead.
It was going inside the gathered students.
Pain stabbed Kay’s heart and she flinched. The power slipped from her, making her limbs tremble as it spilled out.
She gritted her teeth and fought to bring her focus to bear. The coil. Nothing but the coil.
In her mind, she pictured herself standing perfectly still. The image began to spin as lines of light enveloped her, and she pulled the spirits to her. She kept drawing power inside, coiling it tighter and tighter. The more she drew in, the harder it was to take more. She felt full, like she was holding a deep breath.
Kay raised her practice blade, focusing the gathered energy down her arms and coiling strands around the blade. Ahead of her stood a wooden practice dummy. She swung the blade, releasing the coiled energy. It flowed through body and blade as her sword struck the dummy three times with blinding speed. Each strike brought a sound, like musical notes, and her attacks rang harmoniously.
“Beautiful,” she heard from behind.
She turned to see Erik, a huge smile on his face. He looked proud and awestruck. Kay blushed.
He followed Gideon into a small cafe. Already, there was an assortment of colored capes from other Razor schools at some of the tables inside. As he and Gideon entered, an older man with an apron around his portly waist waved.
“The eyes of the Ascended on you,” the man called out.
“Their gaze on you as well, Orin,” Gideon said, sliding comfortably onto one of the benches.
Roan took a chair across the table. “You know him?”
“Sure, everyone knows Orin. Used to be a legend back in his day.”
Gideon shrugged. “He lost.”
Before Roan could ask further, Orin carried over a tray with two mugs. He walked with a stiff, lurching step, and Roan saw his left leg ended in a wooden prosthetic.
Orin set the mugs in front of them. “Just you two today?”
Shaking his head, Gideon picked up his drink. “Nah, the others are coming.”
Orin leaned back and Roan felt the man’s eyes on him. “New blood?” Orin asked Gideon.
“Something like that. He’s one of Pamalia’s gambles.”
“Looks like it paid off,” Orin said, gesturing with his chin toward Roan’s black uniform and bright, white cape. “Must be pretty special for Pamalia to bring you in so old.”
Roan shook his head. “I’m not—”
“He is,” Gideon said.
Roan glared at Gideon, who returned an insufferable smile.
“You know Preceptor Pamalia?” Roan asked.
“She was my instructor,” Orin said. “Taught me well, too.” The man reached up and tugged at his collar. On his neck were two tattooed V’s on the left side of his throat. Roan had heard about marks like that. Victory Kisses. Earned in the Grand Tournament.
The man stood straighter. “Faith till the last,” he said.
“Faith till the last,” Gideon replied without hesitation.
All around him was carved stone. The high walls of the structure and the long, curving benches were marvels of smooth, polished perfection. Almost all the available spaces were filled with people. Below the audience was a large pit of sand, glowing golden next to the white stone of the arena walls.
It was glorious.
Above them, thick fabric had been stretched between poles, all in the familiar colors of the various Razor schools. Roan noticed they had come out under a stretch of bright white cloth.
“Look there,” Gideon said, pointing. Inside the sheltered area, comfortable seats were filled with men and women wearing fine clothes. “Over there, standing next to High Chancellor Ellis, that’s Tonamil, winner of last year’s Grand Tournament,” Gideon said. For the first time since Roan had met Gideon, there was no edge to his voice. He sounded young.
The pounding of drums rose from the sand below. The low noise mingled with the tumult of the crowd, and they quickly took their seats.
Roan sat forward, excited for the matches to start. As he leaned his arms on the edge of the railing before him, he caught Gideon’s eye. “Watch and learn,” Gideon said, his eyes serious.
The fighting began, and whatever Roan had been expecting, this was not it. Multiple Razors took to the sands, throwing themselves into battle with abandon. The air was filled with the roaring spirits of the Ascended. With so many Razors coiling, the sound was wild and rough, like the howling winds of a storm.