Teaser Tuesday

A little action from Bloodlust: The Seeds of Ruin, my newest Domains of the Chosen book.

SeedsOfRuin-Front-Y

The massive projectile shot though the air. To most in the crowd it seemed unnaturally fast, almost like a lightning bolt. To swift-footed Hummingblade, it was easy to measure the speed of the projectile and avoid it, leaving the ice to plunge into the sand where she has been standing, and shatter.

The crowd cheered when they saw how deftly the Gladiatrix escaped the lethal projectile. Hummingblade, however, was more concerned with the Frost Reaver, which closed in the wake of the ice attack. It swiped at her with a huge paw, under which she ducked, and then swung its tusked jaw toward her.

A less skilled Gladiatrix would have leapt over the tusks and struck at the beast’s face, but Hummingblade was keenly aware of a second paw ready to swipe at her, and she leapt out of reach instead. The Frost Reaver was cunning enough to try a feint, it seemed.

As Hummingblade channelled, the beast reared up onto its hind legs, its shadow falling over her, before it came down like an avalanche, trying to crush her with its bulk. The Gladiatrix leapt aside, raking her sword along the beast’s back as it slammed into the sand. Most of the slash was absorbed by the Frost Reaver’s thick plates, but some blood splashed on to white sands. She finished weaving another spell then, a Mind Vice which would cause the Frost Reaver great agony as its brain misfired. She could feel the spell take effect as she cast it.

Undaunted the Frost Reaver, swung its head at her again. This time Hummingblade leapt over the deadly tusks, feeling the heat of its breath and inhaling the carrion stink of its maw, and struck out with her blade. She could have finished the fight then, driving her sword through the beast’s eye and into its brain, but she needed to work the crowd into a proper frenzy. They wanted blood, not a quick, clean kill, and so instead she slashed The Frost Reaver’s scalp, painting its forehead crimson.

The crowd roared and shouted her name as the blood ran freely. It was easy then to see why people like Skaerus might want to turn against the Domains; popularity could only help their cause.

The Frost Reaver, however, was still fighting for its life. It turned and exhaled a puff of freezing particles in a cloud. Hummingblade, perhaps distracted by her thoughts, was caught in the blast. Frost formed on her skin and armour, and she stumbled. Claws crashed into the ground beside her as she careened away, her skin freezing and cracking as the intense cold washed over her.

Then, too late, Hummingblade saw the shadow of the tail in the wake of the attack. She felt an impact like the kick of a bull as it connected with her body, sending her flying back and skidding across the arena. Pain surged through Hummingblade as she tried to regain her breath. Her ribs were broken. Fortunately, the beast’s blow had thrown her well out of its reach. She pushed herself to her feet, gritting her teeth as the ruined, frozen skin on her cheeks and abdomen split. The Frost Reaver was thundering toward her, blood running into its eyes, jagged shards of ice forming above it.

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