So, I’m going to do one last teaser for Quest of the Brokenhearted since it’s at the new price. Picked part of one of my favorite battles. Hope everyone has enjoyed the glimpses into Kira Grasdon’s big adventure and grabbed a copy during the sale.
Kira runs through the black flowers and wraps her kusari-gama around a gnarled tree in order to leap off the cliff. She feels the breeze of sharp claws barely missing her legs as she swings out and back to solid ground. Rolling when she lands, the adventurer charges back into the garden, which is dotted with corpses used to nourish the plants. A slender branch swings at her chest and she gets her arms up to block the attack, the limb shattering against her dark metal bracers. Hearing her invisible opponent coming, Kira spins with her chain stretched out as far as it can go. She feels her weapon hit something to her left, but the monster is gone before it can be snared. Walking through a patch of sharp ivy, she depends on her enchanted greaves to protect her legs and ignores the leaves that punch through her leather boots. Reaching up to her flexible breastplate, the adventurer pushes on the blue eye of the draconic face that protects her torso. A gentle numbness washes away the pain in her feet, but she finds that she dislikes how the enchantment makes it difficult to grip her weapon. Pushing the red eye, she turns off the magic and settles for simply having lightweight platemail instead of a broken suit of leather. Swinging her kusari-gama behind her, she drapes the weapon over the short, curved horns that protrude from her shoulders. With a flex of her back muscles, the rack sinks into the metal and she casually spins the sickle at her side.
“The great Slayer of Champions is toying with me,” a hissing voice says from the branches of a willow. Leaves fall as the invisible creature leaps and a small puff of petals from a nearby rose bush is the only sign of it landing. “What happened to the aggression and savagery? Perhaps you’ve lost your stomach for the game. After all, you let Freybug live and the Ore Child’s defeat was more at that knight’s hands than your own. We’ve all heard the truth. Depending more on luck than skill, are we?”
“If you think I’m that weak then attack me,” Kira growls as she walks along a path. A vine lances out from the underbrush, but she sidesteps the plant and severs it with a slash. “Maybe you’re the one depending on luck here. We’ve been fighting for an hour and I still haven’t caught sight of you. It’s like you expect me to get bored and drop my guard or trip over one of your pathetic traps. The only reason I’m alive is because you can’t do anything. So, come out here and prove me wrong.”
In a melodic voice, the champions teases, “I like to play with my babies’ food. The faster your heart beats, the more nutritious you will be as fertilizer. My ivy has already had a taste and they look healthier than ever. That armor will make an excellent potter for some new plants as well. So many uses for one corpse.”
Swinging the club end of her weapon at a tree, Kira dents the bark instead of hitting her enemy. A footstep gives her enough of a warning to flip over a strike that leaves five holes in the damp ground. Her sickle passes through empty air, but comes back with a light sheen of what could be translucent blood. Unsure of what she is fighting, the adventurer continues lashing out at anything that looks suspicious. The slightest noise causes her to jump in the opposite direction, her moves purposely exaggerated since she does not know the distance that she needs to avoid every attack. Twice she feels her weapon make contact, but the resistance is similar to what she feels when passing her hand through thick cobwebs. Her mind racing, Kira swings to her left and throws a punch to her right to see if the champion keeps jumping to the opposite side of her strikes. She is immediately kicked in the back of both knees and sent crashing into a patch of lilies. The white, rubbery flowers cushion her fall, but they spring back with enough force to launch her into the branches above. With the champion laughing, the adventurer angrily frees herself and drops back to the ground. Hitting the lilies again, she is sent flying across the path and lands against a moss-covered boulder. Her armor protects her from injury, but she still feels the air knocked from her lungs and falls into a crouch.