At long last, here’s the summary for my upcoming book: The Golden Lands, Volume 5: Kiilda
Locked in a fight to the death in the subworld of Kiilda, John’s only option is to defeat Kiilda if he ever wants to see his little sister again. Meanwhile, Faith is quickly forming a friendship with Tarsh Landid. But when Castrum Fortress is surrounded by the Brown Bandits, it looks like the only thing that will satisfy them is the former “Ghost of Hedekira”…whether he’s dead or alive!
(NOTE: the protagonist in this excerpt is Faith Pinck)
I’ve sensed that this encounter would have to happen. I saved him; in fact, I might be the only person here that’s done anything genuinely kind for him. Of course he would seek me out, eventually. And now he’s found me.
“How bad were they hurt,” Tarsh breaks the silence, “the captain and the scout?”
“Pretty bad,” I answer. “Frances had a bunch of cuts, and she had been stabbed through the stomach. Ashida has a few broken bones. Frances is lucky to have survived.”
“Did you heal her?”
I stop, grunting. “No, I didn’t,” I reply. I look sidelong at him, “You’re the only person that I’ve healed.”
He looks at me with his bright, icy blue eyes. “I have a hard time believing that.”
I feel like he knows that I’m not lying. I was talking about healing people with whatever power I used on him. He ignored that, however. I guess it was a rather thoughtful comment. “Well, actually,” I chuckle, “I guess I have healed John several times. The first time was when he—” I pause, suddenly feeling awkward.
“When he got his ass kicked by me,” Tarsh says matter-of-factly. There is no arrogance or hostility in his voice.
“Right,” I reply, disregarding the vulgarism of his statement for the moment. “Then there was the time when we ran into some Evil in the forest, and I helped him with a shoulder wound. Well, we helped each other. I’d be willing to bet John will need someone to help him with whatever wounds he acquires while fighting Kiilda.”
“Yeah,” Tarsh agrees. We keep on walking, and then Tarsh says, “I feel like we didn’t know each other when I was younger. How old were you when you came to Aran?” He names the town where I had been living before I decided to join John on his quest.
“Fifteen,” I answer. “I only lived there a year before I met John.”
“I see,” he nods. “That makes sense.”
We keep on walking. Gradually, the awkwardness builds up again. I feel like I want to say something to him, and he wants to say something to me, but we just don’t know how to speak to each other. That, or we just don’t know if each other is comfortable with talking, and that’s making us both feel uncomfortable. I think the moment is as discombobulating as that notion.
Then Tarsh finally speaks, “Faith, I—”
A horn sounds from the southern-most turret of the castle. For a moment, there is silence. Then we hear the sound of clanking footsteps. Soldiers are beginning to run towards the walls. Or whatever soldiers we have left. Tarsh and I exchange a glance, and then together we hurry to join the soldiers. “What now?” I think.