Welcome back! Today’s excerpt from War of Nytefall: Savagery shows a small confrontation. Noticing that a lot of these are showing what Alastyre is up to instead of Clyde, but he’s the new face. Also, I can’t show one of the side stories here because it starts with a big reveal. Enjoy.
A thin circle appears in front of Gregorio’s lair and belches out a torrent of seawater as Alastyre awkwardly swims through the hole. The portal folds in on itself and remains a faint line hovering above the matted grass. With a wide grin, the hunter walks through the unwarded front door and jumps into the dark shaft. After hearing stories about the old vampire’s home, he expects a long journey through bizarre landscapes and at least one part where he is doused in either cold water or noxious slime. Instead, he plummets for a minute and lands in an empty dome of solid granite that narrows the entry hole as soon as he touches the floor. The solitary entrance to the lair is open enough to let a tall beam of light into the room, which he can see is marked by strange etchings that resemble faces. Having no interest in the decorations, Alastyre leaves and finds himself in the dimly lit dining hall. The door creaks shut behind him and he freezes at the sound of footsteps from the previous chamber. A single hiss is heard before all of the noises stop, except for a gentle and persistent moan that one could easily mistake for the wind. Moving silently, he barges back into the dome to find that it is still empty. Glancing at the wall, he notices that the etchings have disappeared, but he cannot see any evidence that a trap has been triggered. He waits for a few minutes to make sure his instincts are right, but nothing happens. Annoyed at having wasted his time, he backs out of the room and stops when he sees that there is a golden energy surrounding the entire area.
“You’re late,” Gregorio says from the middle of the dining hall. Goggles over his eyes, the Dawn Fang sits on a circular table amid a collection of tiny, metal discs. “I knew you had a spell that would go off once I dropped the wards, but I thought you would appear immediately. From the look of you, I’d say you had to take Clyde’s ocean portal. It was supposed to be on the back wall of his fortress, but he knocked it into the water by accident during a sparring session. He hates that path while I say it’s an important lesson in restraint. At least you didn’t show up with a shark gnawing on your arm. Now, to what do I owe the honor of your malicious and threatening company, Mr. Stryker?”
“I’ve come for all of the Dawn Fangs that live here,” Alastyre replies, his steps slightly restrained by the gnome’s powers. Expecting an ambush, he clenches his fist and turns at the slightest movement and sound. “This is an important stronghold for your kind, which is why I sought to eliminate it first. More importantly, you are a source of wisdom for Clyde, so I wanted you out of the way. Now, I assume that this is where he has taken refuge and you have convinced him to wait. Why else would he not have returned almost immediately? I also know that Lost is here too. She could be a major threat to me because her powers are of the mind. Best to kill her as soon as possible. That goes for the small army of students you keep here.”
“So sorry, but you missed my charges by seconds,” the vampiric gnome claims with an impish smirk. Taking a cup of coffee out from behind his back, he sips at the warm drink and watches the monster turn in a circle. “I wondered what the nature of your powers were, which is why I invited you inside. Besides, I’m almost out of melons and coffee. You kidnapped my supplier and, I assume, removed her head already. Chastity was such a beautiful and caring woman. I’ll miss the treats she snuck into my deliveries. I see that you are having a little trouble moving around. There is a visible stiffness to your limbs. There’s Dawn Fang blood in your veins, but it’s alongside something else.”
“Where is Clyde and Lost?”
“Obviously, they aren’t here.”
“Then, I have no reason to keep you alive.”
“Obviously, you do.”
“And why do you say that?”
“Obviously, I know where they are.”