Immortal Swordslinger 3
Immortal Swordslinger (Book 3)
Copyright © 2019 by Dante King
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“We approach Hyng’ohr, master,” Yono said from within the Depthless Dream Trident.
The ship raced through the waves of the Low Sea, leaving behind a long white wake. We were sailing against the wind but the ship’s magic was indifferent to the effects of the weather. Its power came from the will of its crew, expressed through the well worn seahorse carvings at the stern. Human desire drove the wooden vessel toward the coastline to the west.
“Earth Augmenters are a stubborn bunch,” Yono whispered. “You’ll find them difficult.”
“The Swordslinger has triumphed wherever his feet have trod,” Nydarth countered.
The two spirits within the Immense Blades had been bickering ever since we’d left the Diamond Coast. Despite their voices in my head, I couldn’t help but smile as I stood at the prow and drummed my fingers against the boat.
The dock on the shore was quickly growing closer. Were the birds circling above it gulls like those from Earth? Or were they something stranger? Since I arrived in the Seven Realms, I’d encountered all manner of previously unimaginable creatures, from my half-ogre friend Kegohr to the monsters I’d slain for their magical cores. The mundane and yet fascinating creatures that lived along the coastline outside Qihin City just added to a thriving world of unfamiliar life. I met something new every step of the way. Sure, some of them wanted to kill me, but what was life without a bit of a challenge?
“Hey, hey, hey.” Kegohr came to stand beside me. The wind tossed his braids and ruffled the fur on his gray-skinned shoulders. Back home, I was considered tall, but Kegohr towered a whole foot above me.
I noticed a slight green tinge to the skin on his face. “How are you feeling?”
Kegohr laid a hand on his stomach and groaned. “Better than I was. Though I ain’t ever getting used to all this rocking. I’ll be glad when we’re back on dry land.”
“Is that why you’re at the front? So you can jump off a few seconds sooner?”
“Only a little bit. Mostly, I wanted to see what was up ahead. This is the furthest I’ve ever been from home, you know?”
“I get it, big guy.” I remembered the mission in the Himalayas before I was transported to this world. I’d traveled all over the globe, working on security assignments, but I’d never been anywhere so strange.
Of course, I’d ended up somewhere far stranger when I fell off that mountainside and a magical sword transported me to this land of magic. Bewildered as I’d been at the time, I could now appreciate that Nydarth, the spirit of the sword hanging at my side, had saved my life. Of course, she’d brought me here for her own purposes, but I wasn’t going to complain. Without her, I never would have learned the magic of Augmenting or joined and then saved the Radiant Dragon Guild, never would have traveled with my friends from there to Qihin City and helped its ruler defeat Horix, the evil guildmaster. Being snatched away from my previous reality had a lot of positives.
“Why don’t you practice your Augmenting?” I asked the half-ogre. “Take your mind off your belly until we get to dry land. We’ll be in Hyng’or soon.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Good idea.” He opened his hand, closed his eyes, and summoned an ember between his fingers.
“Just don’t burn up the boat,” I said as he settled into practicing the fundamentals of the Augmenter’s craft.
Kegohr opened an eye and grunted.
My other traveling companions gathered at the opposite side of the ship. Princess Kumi of the Qihin leaned over the rail with one arm swinging back and forth, catching the salt spray. She smiled as she sang to herself. The magical notes made a wave rise in tendrils to touch her, then fell away as the boat left it behind. A bikini-like top and split skirts revealed skin that glistened in the early summer sun. Black braids hung behind her, and the pastel seashells tying them together clattered in the wind.
Vesma, petite even in leather body armor and loose pants, sat with her back against the side of the ship. Like most of the Augmenters I’d met at the Radiant Dragon Guild, she had pale skin, dark hair, narrow eyes, and a penchant for fire magic. But few of those other Augmenters could match her extraordinary athleticism or girl-next-door beauty.
“Are we nearly there?” she asked with a small scowl.
“Why?” I asked. “Aren’t you enjoying the trip?”
“I’ll be happier when we can get on with our mission.” She rose and spun her long-bladed spear through the air, each stroke passing teasingly close to me. I wasn’t in any real danger, not with the spear in such skilled and affectionate hands, but I had to fight the instinct to raise my defenses.
“We’ve almost reached the docks outside Hyng’ohr,” I said. “If the Cult of Unswerving Shadows is there, it won’t be for much longer.”
Guildmaster Horix had belonged to the Cult of Unswerving Shadows, and he’d followed what was called the Straight Path. Now, Lord Ganyir of the Gonki Clan had requested help from my guildmaster, Xilarion, who sent us to investigate troubles between his clan and the Steadfast Horn Guild. Like back on Earth, I’d become somewhat of a special agent. But unlike Earth, I now wielded elemental powers and multiple Immense Blades.
“You sure are confident in yourself,” Kumi commented. “You really think that they’ll play