Blood Royals 3: Blood Justice
(warning: unedited excerpt)
Mitguard, Mortal Earth, 10,000 years later
Finally, the forgotten daughter, young Sadrina, would succeed where she, Delyna, had failed so many times. In the deep of the dark woods, surrounded by old trees and older magic, Sadrina faced Sadaen and held all the power needed to finally send the bastard to his eternal rest.
How many times had she faced him and failed? Too many to count.
Now it didn’t matter. So what if she wasn’t the one to take him down? All that mattered was his death.
Yet the moment came. And then passed.
Sadrina spoke quietly and then turned away, leaving Sadaen whole and hale, without even raising a hand against the homicidal demon who was her father. How could this be? How could he walk away from justice so easily?
Time and again. Did the trail of death in his wake mean nothing?
The deep seething rage that had kept her on the hunt rose within her. Blind with the unfairness of his strength and despair over her eternity of failures, she swept forward from the darkness. Her attack was swift, the collision solid.
But he was unmoved. His arms became a prison. Like so many times before, she’d failed. Tears of frustration burned but didn’t fall.
With one hand, he painfully unarmed her, tearing her scytari away and holding her so she couldn’t reach the long swords at her side.
Then the world melted, twisted from dark to black and then back to a dim glow promising the coming sun.
The place she knew. Her villa, built on the site of Raylina’s shrine, reformed into as much of the memory as she could restore. In a way it was fitting. He could kill her here. She sagged in his arms expecting the worst.
“Sweet Lyna, I surrender.”
She blinked up into his face dumbly. Surely she hadn’t heard right. He would never give up, had told her so thousands of times. Then the truth tickled up. Only one thing would stop his need to kill. He must have finally ended the holy order he’d sworn to destroy. “You’ve killed them all.”
He laughed. “No, I’m afraid the monks apparently breed better than I can hunt. The church that killed Raylina lives on.” His grip loosened, shifting her one way and then the other. Taking all her weapons, he threw them off to the side until she felt naked before him. Only then did he set her free enough to put air between them. “I tire of the fight between us.”
She was still baffled and wary. “What do you suggest?”
“I’m ready to be judged. I propose that you kill me, or at least do your damnedest to end my life.”
“I don’t understand.”
“If the Creator wants me dead, you’ll succeed. If not, you will fail. Either way, I will not lift a hand in my defense.” His lips quirked up on one side. “In fact I will give you three unmet attempts. But if I survive all three attempts, then we will be done with this thing between us. Do you agree?”
“You lie like the devil you are. You would stand there with nothing to gain and let me kill you? I don’t believe it. It’s nothing more than some new trick.”
His eyes widened for a moment in surprise. “You are an untrusting one, aren’t you, angel?”
“I’ve followed you for too many lifetimes to be anything else. Now answer my question. What do you have to gain?”
His fingers brushed her jaw, thumb rubbing over her lower lip in a quick caress that had her flinching and jumping back from the fiery touch. Only then did he answer. “If you fail to kill me, I win your body, your passion. Three times you can try. Three times I will lay claim my prize.”
“And if you die under the first attack?”
“Then it is as it should be, and we will both finally discover peace.”
“Death for you.” And what for her? Hunting Sadaen had become the only meaning in her life. What would she do if he did die? How would she go on?
“Do you agree?”
The deal was dangerous and possibly costly, but far too good to pass up. “You will not protect yourself?” If not, then she could finally kill him and move on to something, anything, else. Even if she could imagine no other life, there had to be something better than battle after battle and failure after failure.
He shrugged, his claw-tipped hands out to the side. “If you agree, then I will do nothing in my own defense.”
“Then I agree.” Awakening her powers, she summoned her weapons, scytari back in its sheath and one long sword to each hand.
All material (c) L. Shannon