The Undying Illusionist, Tales of the Feisty Druid: Book Two
By Candy Crum and Michael Anderle
“Archers, hold!” Arryn shouted.
Her voice was the only sound that could be heard, other than the gentle shifting of feet and the slight creak of the bows as they were pulled tight.
The early Spring temperatures were still frigid in the mornings. The air was cold enough Arryn could see her breath. But that didn’t matter. There were other things—far more important things—to focus on.
A light fog had descended upon the area that morning, creating the illusion that everything was calm. Peaceful.
But it wasn’t.
This particular morning was clouded over by more than the fog. Several guards stood ready on the ground and several more stood on the wall with Arryn, bows in hand, as she tried to remind herself to breathe.
The possibility of a remnant invasion on the city had become a reality.
Several weeks after Samuel’s group had been rushed, another crew further south than that had been as well. Unfortunately for them, they didn’t have Samuel and Andrew and had been completely overrun.
There were no survivors that time.
Still, the new Chancellor, Amelia, had felt confident the remnant had only been protecting their lands. That the men—both Ren’s group as well as the second—had been working too close to the Madland’s borders and incited an attack. But Samuel had far more experience with them than anyone, as did his friend, Ren.
Amelia had believed the Capitol Guard was ever vigilant and capable of handling an incursion, but more importantly, she never believed such a thing would happen.
Arcadia was just too far away from the Madlands and too heavily protected for the remnant to risk attacking and failing. While they were incredibly strong and lived only to destroy, they were still capable of higher reasoning. They would know not to advance on a city so well-armed, or so the Chancellor had believed.
Arryn sighed as she thought back to the first conversations between them regarding the invasions. Amelia had been hesitant to rush into preparations, fearing the city would become alarmed and think they would be under attack again.
What Amelia hadn’t taken into consideration was that it didn’t matter how well-armed the city was.
The Guard was untrained and underprepared.
Nearly the entire Arcadian Guard was brand-new. Almost all of them lacked sufficient training with weapons of any kind, let alone magitech weapons and hand-to-hand combat. It would require a hell of a lot for any single member of the Guard to take down a remnant, more so if there was an army of them.
The only way they would be able to survive such an onslaught would be to have skilled archers on the walls to thin out the horde before it reached the gates—and Arcadia didn’t have a single one.
Given the current situation, Arryn, Cathillian, and Samuel had taken matters into their own hands, fixing that problem after they had rounded up a few men who were interested in learning extra skills. Brave men who took their job seriously and would stop at nothing to protect their city.
They weren’t the best archers in the world–yet—but they knew how to shoot, and they occasionally hit something… Especially if that something approaching was a big-ass horde.
It was a hell of a lot better than what they’d had before.
As Arryn stood on top of the wall that separated Arcadia from the rest of the world, she stared outward into the fog as she tried to see anything that might be coming their way.
“Hey, bitches,” Arryn said, holding tight to her bow and taking aim at what seemed like nothingness. “How lucky are ya feeling today?”
There was a laugh beside her from one of her archers. “Lucky enough not to fall off the wall and on my ass. Anything else, ask me later.”
A smile crossed her face. “Fair enough. Let’s just hope Cathillian doesn’t get hit on by one of their chicks. They might be ugly, but Cathillian can’t deny a girl that thinks he’s prettier than she is.”
Everyone laughed, and Arryn sighed, happy she could bust up the moment.
There were five bowmen to her left and five to her right, spread evenly apart to defend the southern wall. Given the last remnant attack, Cathillian, Samuel, and Arryn all believed they’d be coming from that direction.
Unless they were smart enough to change directions to throw them off, of course.
Samuel seemed to think that might be possible, too, so he and Cathillian took the eastern wall. The Arcadian gates had been closed, but only after some heavy convincing on Arryn’s part.
After a man covered in blood from head to toe had raced his horse into the city, screaming about yet another remnant attack, one would think he’d have been believed. But because he came to warn them the remnant were planning to come for Arcadia, the powers-that-be hadn’t been so convinced.
Amelia’s own family had been overrun and killed by the remnant while she hid, only barely surviving herself. But even with her own history and the similarities in comparison to the farmer’s story, her concern for alerting the people unnecessarily outweighed her own fear of something that she believed would likely never happen.
The man lived on a small farm several miles south of Arcadia. The remnant had overrun his home, killing his entire family in the process. He’d been the only one to survive and had made haste toward the city after hearing one of the beasts mention Arcadia.
Though the Chancellor had been hesitant to cause fear and chaos, Arryn and the others believed him, and soon, Amelia would come to as well—but it was too late. Things had already escalated, and the attacks were controlled. Now, the only thing they could do was hope for the best and do their best to protect their walls as the horde grew closer.
The fog seemed to thicken, and Arryn found herself wishing that the druid Chieftain’s daughter, Elysia, was there. She would have been capable of lifting it. Arryn could only control the weather when she was pissed off.
But the fog wouldn’t matter.
She knew she didn’t need to see the enemy coming. No one did. According to Samuel and Ren, the enemy was more than happy to announce themselves.
And they did…
Loud gravel-voiced screams ripped through the air, chilling Arryn to the bone. She looked at the men beside her, only to see them glancing toward one another with fear on their faces. They turned to Arryn for direction, afraid of what was about to happen.
She knew how they felt. It was up to her to be their backbone.
“Archers, aim!” Arryn shouted. She heard the wings behind her before she saw the large Golden Eagle who was Cathillian’s familiar fly overhead. “Echo, warn Cathillian. The remnant are here. Oh! And that the ladies will eat him alive, and not in the good way.”
BOOK TWO!! Praise the Bitch and Bastard! 😉
I… Don’t… Believe it…
It’s here, it’s here, it’s finally here! Snippet One of Book TWO!!!
The Undying Illusionist will be here August 9th!
I’ve been having a lot of fun chatting with you guys, reading your comments, and the reviews (oh, the sweet, sweet reviews!) At this moment… The Arcadian Druid is STILL sitting at 100% 4 and 5 star reviews!!! This… Is huge. I am SO happy to see that! Thank you!
You know what else has been amazing!? You guys have been checking out my other books as well! DAMN PEOPLE!!! Try not to make my heart explode with excitement and happiness TOO soon in the game, OK? (That was a joke… please keep trying. It’s okay! I LOVE seeing the love going to the other books hahaha!)
In case you’ve read Michael’s author notes from the first book, I wanted to point out that – YES – he probably did have to edit out a lot of my exclamation points. As you can see–I love my punctuation. A lot…
It’s kind of a running joke now, that and my name.
I love these guys, and I have loved working with them AND engaging with all of you. Please, please, please — never stop. We love to read the comments and the love.
Long gone is the days where authors were just a name and a few hundred pages of doorway into their freakish minds. Now… You are more than welcome to chat all day with us and experience our freakish minds as soon as we get a minute to break away and respond! And we love it!
PLUS–it gives us a chance to have HUMAN conversations. Imagine voices talking to you all day… Well, that’s basically what being an author is.
Wait… Other authors feel that way, too, right? Otherwise, I MIGHT BE going loopy for real!
Before I get myself committed, and I can’t finish the other books… *le gasp!* … Here is Snippet One! The Prologue to Book 2… The Undying Illusionist.
To find out more about Candy and her other books http://www.candycrumbooks.com