This is a fairly short excerpt, but it has the introduction of Archillious. I wanted to use him at least once here since he tends to hang around spoilers. For more of him, check out War of Nytefall: Lost on Amazon.
“You’re welcome,” the priestess replies, a sense of relief washing over her. She is about to mention the door when Lost runs for the open window and jumps out with enough strength to land in the trees at the edge of town. “Dawn Fangs are certainly interesting creatures. So powerful even in the daylight, which means they’re nothing like other vampires. I should research them and see if I can help High Priest Pyodorus with his work. It’s almost time for me to pick a final project and mentor and that could be fun. What is all of that yelling? Don’t people realize this is a temple and a library.”
The young woman hurries down the steps to see if her colleagues need any help, the voices getting louder by the minute. Passing a window, Calia spots the local patrons run out of a side door and can barely hear them yelling for the guards. The priestess grabs a staff from a rack kept by the next stairwell without slowing down, but prays that she will not have to fight. Her hopes are dashed when she comes to the bottom step and freezes at the sight of an enormous crowd that has filled the first floor. The front doors are left wide open due to the dirt-covered mob spilling out into the street. People of every civilized race and age can be seen in the mass of bodies, each one brandishing at least one weapon. Scanning the faces, Calia notices that many of them are twitching at the corners of their lips and some are gasping for air. There is a wildness in all of their eyes, which unnerves even the high priest who stands before them with his glowing hands spread wide.
The crowd gradually calms down and parts to allow a tall man in a leather jacket to walk to the front. Unlike the others, his jaundiced eyes are filled with an eerie calm and he maintains a grin that only breaks when he licks his lips. A tangle of black hair is on his slightly narrowed head, which repeatedly threatens to cock to the side. Putting his hands in his pockets and pulling his jacket open, the man reveals a green and blue jester outfit complete with curved shoes. The stranger chuckles when he gets within an inch of the high priest’s face and the holy figure refuses to lower his arms. To the hooting laughter of his friends, the stranger imitates the Garian’s stance and leans in close enough to touch their noses together.
“Little voices have told us that the person we seek is here,” the man whispers as the high priest takes a nervous step back. Feeling like he has won, he turns around and claps to get the others to cheer. “Nobody beats the great Archillious in a staring contest. For my victory, I request a special girl who owes us immortality. She has silver hair, a bunny, wears pajamas, and . . . met with that one in the back. An eye twitch can tell a man with my unmatched abilities so much. Now, pretty please tell us where our dear mistress has run off to this time and only the people who look at us funny will be hurt.”