Here’s a fun excerpt from War of Nytefall: Rivalry. I was originally going to do this scene the other way around, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity for humor. I don’t think Clyde would either, which is why this makes sense to me. He enjoys getting rises out of people, especially since he can’t find a good fight. Enjoy and get your own copy for the whole story.
“Thanks. Sorry about the late delivery,” the slender man says to the guards before urging the horses forward.
Passing under the entrance to Nyte, the metal carriage earns a few lingering stares due to the cold mist seeping out from under the bolted roof. The Elven merchant and his Orcish wife are too plainly dressed to garner anyone’s attention, which is what the pair had hoped for when they made their plans. Hitting a bump in the road, the brown-haired woman sneezes to cover a grunt that comes from the underside of the carriage. The sound nearly startles the horses, but a soothing whisper that only they can hear helps the beasts remain calm. Praying that their precious merchandise is still intact, the elf hands the reins to his wife and opens a panel behind his head. A blast of cold sends frost into his face, but he manages to see that the chocolate statue of a winged demon is still in one piece. He has to stick his head entirely inside to see that a collection of edible orchids is safe, the fragile flowers held beneath a glass case that is topped with a candy parrot. Tapping rhythmically on the freezing wall, the merchant closes the panel and goes back to steering the nervous horses towards the castle.
“I have an auditory illusion going, so we can talk freely,” the wife says in a deep, masculine voice. She fixes her simple dress to hide her legs, which are itchy from having all of their hair removed. “Xavier’s forces are probably looking for my visual tricks, so it’s better to use good old disguises. Can’t believe I can regenerate limbs, but I can’t get my hair to grow back any quicker than that of a mortal. I’m envious of the others since they get to hide. These things hurt a lot. How does Chastity move around with such agony in her chest?”
“Being on your back all the time makes it easier,” the elf jokes with an impish smirk. The disguised burglar tries to laugh, but the tight wrap around her chest threatens to snap. “I told you we shouldn’t have switched like this. You took this too far, Clyde. Bad enough that my upper torso is being crushed to make me look like a guy, but you didn’t have to sew fake breasts onto your body. Nobody would have noticed a padded dress since we’re hired help. Can’t believe we’re going to have to fight like this. Keep in mind that we aren’t sure if we can get Luther and Titus out of their disguises in an emergency. At least Bob is doing okay underneath us, but I’m not sure how he’s going to get into the castle.”
“We have the cart and he can hide on the shelf,” Clyde replies as they go around a busy courtyard. The temptation to steal one of the banners is strong enough to make his fingers twitch, but he settles for making a lightning fast swing of his arm to slice it in half. “The important part is that we got through the wards and we’re still together. Once we reach the castle, we’ll unload the others and get them into the party. Xavier will drop his guard if the ceremony finishes without us appearing, so we’ll attack right before the desserts. Did you pack a change of clothes for us to use?”
“I’ll be a dwarven warrior and you’ll be a fireskin caster.”
“Those are way too bulky.”
“They were the only costumes Chastity had that didn’t smell funny.”
“I told you to buy fresh ones.”
“Spend money on something I can borrow or steal? It’s like you don’t even know me.”