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My artist bailed. If anyone knows anyone who wants to collaborate 50/50 getting these published I would love to hear from them. There are 150 total and these are a few samples of what I'm looking for in the final draft. The idea is something to read while you're on the can, they feature these two characters, a toilet and sink naturally.
Stories of Evermore
EDIT: *Deep sigh*, well this is what is left of my 115,000 word novel. It was brilliant! The greatest thing ever written! Okay, it was just okay. But it doesn't matter because it's lost forever on a hard drive that burned out. Yep. Just like that. Gone. Thought I had a backup but the disc was "corrupted" and since then I've lost it. So... after a couple years of tears, I started a new, better streamlined novel, now with ninjas. See below:
“There is no such thing as magic, only things your mind cannot understand because you lack training Mulin. When your mind can overcome the barriers you have set, as with all Hatsau, you too will wield abilities that seem magic to the normal eye.”
“No, I mean magic, M-A-G-I-C, as in…” Thwap. The Sensei’s thin cane came down hard on the student’s wrist.
That was five years before the Hatsau were hired by the Elvaksa to murder the royal family—and by hired Mulin recalled, he meant overpowered through Elvaksa magic and forced to murder the royal family. Mulin had nothing against killing whoever, royal or not. He did not like being forced to do it in such a manner however. It was rude, and disrespectful. Especially the way the Elvaksa did it. Especially at the command of his old Sensei (who he never liked). Especially especially for the reason that, “Their magic is too strong.” Ugh! It still irked him. Did he ever get an apology? Nope! Well good riddance. Now his old Sensei, the current (former) leader of the most feared tribe of assassins in the world, is dead in a pool of blood at Mulin’s feet. Not that Mulin had waited five years to kill his Sensei just because he didn’t like being whacked on the wrist, or even that the hypocrisy of being whacked on the wrist and elsewhere many times for many things but most often for describing the Elvaksa’s odd rituals and new powers as what they were, M-A-G-I-C (since his training missions were exclusively it seemed in their territories on purpose he suspected so he could get whacked), not that that hypocrisy had driven him to kill his old Sensei... He did it because!!!
Well okay, he did it for those reasons, but also because he did not want to see his proud Hatsau become puppets to anyone. They were professionals. People paid them for an essential service they’d just do themselves, poorly he’d add, if the Hatsau were not there to do it for them. The point was they were free to say no, yes, or kill the person asking. Now it’s all, “do this” “do that” “why?” “Elvaksa say so, that’s why.” Heck with that.
Crap. What now?
“Master, are you in there?!” came the calls and the bangs on the bolted door. Master? Heck with that. Mulin kicked his dead former Master/Sensei for good measure, and quickly dashed out the window smooth as a shadow.
The problem with ninja assassins is that they are everywhere, including outside of the window… waiting for Mulin. Who is captured and taken to the Forest of No Return at the tender age of 18 for a life sentence.
“Screw you guys. I’ll be back.”
No one ever comes back from the Forest of No Return, thus the name.
* * *
Speaking of Witch, I Am
“The answer is still no, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.”
“So there is a chance!”
“No one can see the future. That’s impossible!”
She rolled her eyes and walked back down the path, away from the small village, now with the supplies she had picked up there, and toward her cottage which was located deeper in the woods. He remained on the road to watch her go, as was his custom, until she was out of sight.
Ziden’s honor (and in this case desire) dictated he insist on walking Telna to her home, however his honor (and not his desire) dictated he honor her wish he not walk her home. When he tried last time to walk her home via the loophole of not asking, and therefore avoiding being asked not to, she volunteered that she desired he not do such. This had left Ziden with something of a moral conundrum. Much careful thought had led him to the conclusion that honor dictated he wait until Telna was out of sight, and then follow her home. In this way her wishes of not technically being walked home were met while also his honor satisfied, and should anything occur between here and her cottage, he would be present to fulfill his duty to serve and protect all citizens (especially Telna in his mind) of Amaril.
She now far enough ahead, he snuck into the woods just off the path to ghost her progress, trying his hardest to hear over the clank of his armor, any noise which would indicate trouble. It was a short distance, half a league, but quite uncomfortable in armor and off the trail. Upon arriving at her cottage Telna turned her head his direction, of course though, thought Ziden, she could not see him, shining there behind a thin bush as the setting sun sparkled off his armor. She shook her head and entered. Satisfied in a job well done, he did a quick survey of the surrounding area, looking for any signs of bandits, and began his trek back to the village, confident she was safe.
Telna was cooking something that smelled wonderful as Ziden walked in and greeted their children, “hello my knight in shining armor, welcome home lover!” she fell into his arms. The children came and it was a big, happy, family group hug, “Dear, I think whatever you are cooking is burning…” “Oh that’s nothing, just the cottage.” “Dear, cottage cheese is not to be cooked.” “Here children into the pot.” “What’s that.” “Monsters outside. Aren’t you supposed to be a Knight or something.”
Ziden snapped instantly out of dream and chocked out a thick soup of black tar and smoke. His eyes began to water uncontrollably as the smoke filled them. It was black, pitch black, and heat. Even in a daze he remembered where his window was and rolled out of it. The entire town was burning.
* * *
In fact Mulin blamed most of his problems on magic. It was dangerous and in his experience never led to anything good. “Alaiya, be careful. How well do you know Leaf exactly?”
She was over his limp but breathing body, “I know of him well, I do not know him though, at least I did not before the forest. Seems like I knew nothing at all now,” They had been waiting for him to awaken for several minutes, not sure what exactly to do next. There was no one around, nothing around but destruction. They did not want to go back in those woods and be trapped again; well not trapped it seemed, but the price for escape did not appear worth it after what they had experienced. So they waited longer and time went on.
Mulin felt a bit of guilt and conflict, two things he rarely felt and two things he certainly never had felt at the same time. On the one hand he could see… literally he could see because he was not surrounded by trees for the first time in a long, long time. He wanted to jump for joy and that made him feel guilty because these two people he had no desire to kill particularly (which practically made them best buds) had just lost so much. The conflict was a bit harder to swallow because Hatsau do not hesitate and hesitating was what he was doing. Last time he had encountered magic if he had killed the ones wielding it none of this ever would have happened. Of course then he did not know what would happen, just thought it odd that he was seeing what he was seeing, but now he’d learned his lesson. He should know better than to let Leaf live. And this magic was far greater than anything he had seen coming from Elvaksa.
He should kill Leaf. “I mean, do you consider Leaf a good friend now?” He continued as if minutes had not passed.
There was a flash of anger in her eyes, wetness in the corners as she turned toward him. Leaf’s head was on her lap by then, “What exactly is that supposed to mean Mulin?” the emphasis on his name also hinted at her state of mind.
“Well, I’m just saying, you know…”
“No Mulin I don’t KNOW. What exactly are you saying!” It wasn’t a question.
“Nothing with that attitude.” He turned away going over the situation in his head, staring off into the distance, weighing his options. He did not not like Leaf, but how did he know he wouldn’t do that again, and next time maybe he’d be too close… He almost was too close twice now. Leaf was sleeping, he wouldn’t feel a thing. It would be over quick. He’d made the mistake of not doing this once before. Hatsau do not hesitate. He drew his swords and turned.
And an arrow was aimed at his face, Alaiya standing holding the bow fully drawn, how without him hearing he did not know. Now calm and quite as a drizzle in autumn she asked again, “Really, tell me now. What were you saying?”
“Alaiya, you know I can cut you and your bow in three pieces each before you have time to let go of that arrow.”
“Maybe,” not a muscle twitched, eyes focused on his, looking for the tell-tale pupil dilation like an assassin would, but Mulin was an assassin, and his pupils did not dilate.
“He’s dangerous. He’s almost killed us twice.”
“He saved us twice.”
“Saved you. I was never in danger.”
“You’re in danger now.”
“Am I?” His movements were like a soft breeze, hypnotizing and so uniform was every part of it that one could not see he was moving at all, and as long as she talked and was focused on him she would not realize he’d come too close…
“Stop moving,” She knew to keep track of the background even as she focused on the eyes and movements of the muscles. Though not a limb had shifted, he was getting closer. “I want you to know that I never trusted you.”
That for some unfathomable reason hurt Mulin like a punch to the gut…