Excerpt from WIP: The Monad Trap (Connected Realms book 2)

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Catharin slept through the night, so when I awoke, I carefully disentangled myself from Petra while making certain the blankets still covered her. She drowsily stirred enough for a quick kiss, then I dressed hurriedly and strode quickly through the Tower down the two levels to where Neekel awaited in his assigned room.

"How does my lord Alexan intend to travel?"

"You have heard the story of the seven leagued boots?" The story seemed to be one that went wherever humans did. He nodded. "I can do slightly better." I took him by the hand and teleported us about two paces into the air above the King's camp.

He cried out at the sudden fall, but my sympathy for him was limited. I let him fall about my own height in the light of dawn - being east of Treemount, the day was a few minutes more advanced here at Avande. Had he been seriously injured, I would have healed him, but the odds were against it.

I admit I could have spotted us on the ground. My survey of the previous evening was precise enough, but ultsi learned at an early age always to build in a margin for error when we could. Being too low would have violated one of the Exclusion Principles on a macrocosmic level. In other words, BOOM! - with fatal consequences for everyone around, possibly even myself. By comparison, the density and fluidity of air meant things were much more controllable, and a few feet high was no challenge to survive unscathed. I lit with legs bent slightly to absorb the fall.

I looked around, ascertained the location of the King's tent, and strode off in that direction. Neekel would find his way back to whichever superior he reported to on his own. I was challenged by one guard who'd seen our abrupt arrival, but his partner stayed him, saying, "It's Jarl Alexan, fool! If you challenge him and he doesn't know the pass, you'll get both of us killed to no good purpose!"

"Actually, I try to avoid killing King Edvard's men for doing their jobs," I responded, "But I doubt you'd enjoy the experience anyway. The pass is Queen Veronia." I'd read it out of their surface thoughts.

"Thank you, Lord Alexan!" and they both saluted.

The King's tent was not far. "Alexan! I'd hoped to see you yesterday!" King Edvard was already armored for the day.

"My apologies, Your Majesty, but I was on an errand of my own when your messenger arrived. Since it was too late in the day to begin an assault when I returned to Kiltig's Tower, I decided to wait until this morning."

"If I'd known you were coming, I'd have the men in better order for an assault already. Do you have a plan?"

"Nothing solid. I brought along a few mana bombs like I used on the diligar cohorts last year, but a quick survey didn't suggest anything masterful. I decided to consult with Your Majesty, as your engineers have had a week to prepare the field."

"Not nearly enough time. They tell me the soil is too moisture-laden to be easily tunneled. Pity you can't simply knock the walls down."

"Who says I can't? It would require loosing enough energy to destroy most of the rest of the town, though, and I presume you'd prefer to have the townsfolk alive and paying you taxes. Would it be sufficient to simply remove it?"

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This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on November 18, 2019 4:15 PM.

Character Interview: Zebulon Kyle from The Gates To Faerie was the previous entry in this blog.

Excerpt from Working The Trenches is the next entry in this blog.

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