I find myself with little time today. Between Atolovus’ edits, writing the beginning of chapter thirteen of the second book, and continuing on with chapter two of a third book unrelated to the first two, well, ninty-nine percent unrelated anyway, and a dozen other things poking me in the back of my mind, I have elected to keep this post simple. This is the most updated version of chapter two before our current run of edits, which by the way, should the final. We are still playing with the book cover, and our cover designer has introduced some nice beginning versions, but I’m still looking for the right images to complete it. Anyway, I hope you all have a great week, and thanks for reading!
“Holy Quorydun, what is that putrid smell?” Druhahn exclaims, glancing about as his hand retreats to his sword handle. He then turns and calls back good-naturedly, “Sarge, you been eating bergin again or what?” The other six soldiers begin laughing quietly as they smile at each other and their leader. Sergeant Sarcius Konstantin and the other five mon catch up to Druhahn and the hair on the back of Sarcius’ neck rises the moment the stench of death reaches his nostrils.
Sarcius forces himself to ignore it as he replies in tandem with shifting and suspicious hazel eyes. “Druhahn, there is nothing I would eat that would make me smell like this—inside or out!” Their leader raises his broad tip spear and motions toward the vegetation around them, his eyes shooting back to his mon. “Stay focused,” he growls, “We need to determine the source of this smell. I reckon this’ll get worse before it gets better.” Sarcius’ mon nod in agreement before they begin looking around.
Each soldier pulls a square piece of green material out from within their armor, quickly wrapping the cloths over the lower half of their faces then tying them off behind their necks. Without further word, they split up in pairs and begin poking about with their spears and swords among the undergrowth to each side of the road while two young mon stand guard back to back in the middle of the road, their quivers uncapped, arrows nocked, and bows drawn.
After a short time and from further into the orange brush, Sarcius comes to an abrupt standstill, all color draining from his face as the red-orange hair on his arms stands up. He starts looking around wildly as panic rises in his chest and neck for just a few moments before his training takes over. “Mon, get over here—now!” All the rangers quickly converge on Sarcius’ location as their imaginations swim. When they finally break through the sudden clearing, even the most seasoned mon stops and gags.