Enjoy this 3 minute read from Chapter 1 of my next epic fantasy release, The Veridian Wars.
Mal’s face reddened once again to the colour of his hair. “What about you then, Larzus? Want to know why you’re here?”
Larzus folded his arms and assumed a too-casual stance. His handsome face looked as haughty as any magnus. “Go on. What you got on me?”
“Got caught with your loincloth down, didn’t you?” Mal was smiling now.
Larzus slowly unfolded his arms. “How’d you know about that?”
“Men who can’t keep it in their tunic can’t keep secrets.” Mal laughed. “It’s one thing to fuck the camp followers, quite another when it’s the wife of your commanding officer.”
“Don’t you start, Tiny,” Larzus jabbed a finger at him. “That was years ago, and I got the whip for it.”
“Your commander likes his revenge served cold, then,” Grigor said.
Mal was still smiling, it made him look different to his usual open-mouthed stupor.
“All right, weasel,” Larzus turned back to Mal. “What about Tiny here. You haven’t said shit about him.”
The smile faded and Mal’s mouth hung open once more.
A jolt of nausea rose like a fist in Grigor’s stomach.
“He’s the only slave soldier among us, and he’s about to buy his freedom.”
Grigor clutched his stomach as he glared at Mal. How the fuck did the weasel know?
“Grigor got close to his commanding officer, the famed and noble Titus.” Mal shook his head. “Can’t have a freedman knowing all his secrets. Not with a reputation like his now. Or the son’s at least.”
Grigor felt his lip curl.
“You can’t deny it,” Mal squeaked.
“Fuck off, Weasel,” Larzus said. “Go annoy someone else.”
“You’re the one who asked—”
“I said, fuck off!” Larzus shoved Mal, thrusting the small man backwards.
“Can’t handle the truth, huh? Mark my words,” Mal snapped, straightening his leather cuirass. “I never even mentioned the Eight Fools of the End.” Then he turned and made his way over to the other side of the ferry to bother Rathaquar.
Larzus stalked off and spat into the lake.
Grigor sniffed and studied the now-dark horizon, as black as the mountain. The ferry was almost at land, and Grigor was done with this trip as much as he was done with Mal’s speculation. In truth, all the weasel had revealed made sense. Disappointment filled him, but Grigor had dealt with that familiar feeling more times than he could count. He spat over the side as he realised what a fool he’d been.
He’d allowed himself to trust Titus, and Grigor trusted no one. Not since he’d been given away as a boy by the man he’d trusted most. He clutched the ferry’s railing until it felt like it might burst beneath his grip. Dammed if Grigor would succumb to a magnus’s fancy. Freedom was within his grasp. He would survive this night. That soothseer, and the Hauflin ferryman had it right. As for fear, Grigor thought, staring at the mountain, he dined on the stuff.
The Veridian Wars is a standalone epic fantasy novel and is now available for preorder. Get 10% off when using the coupon code: VERIDIAN
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