It's about time...
Updated: Jan 5
Since it's been three years since my first Slayer book came out, I figured it's time for me to finish the sequel. Well, I'm happy to announce that I've written it. Here's the first few pages to give you a sneak peek!
(P.S. This is not the book's cover, I just made a cool preview of what the cover *could* look like. Enjoy!)
The year was 678BC and no one quite knew how the small events in one single nation were going to affect the rest of life for all of history. In Syria, they had just surrendered their territory to the Persians and had given up all they had been fighting to win for centuries, including their freedom from the wicked Persian ruler, King Corvis, who was a ruler like none other and was also a man of great power and great wealth. Even the people of Syria hadn't known what the actions and events of their nation would bring to the world and the surrender of their nation to King Corvis would do to all of mankind for all times to come. Had they known, perhaps something could have been done to prevent the events which had taken place.
When King Corvis was at the height of his reign in Syria, seeking the destruction of many people all over the land, the time came for him to choose a wife. At this point, he was still a relatively young man of 45 years or so with many attractive qualities, which caused his confidence to boast that any woman would want him, and his assurance overwhelmed him, making his attractive qualities seem far less appealing to any reasonable woman.
“Pantsis,” Corvis said to his lead advisor on a morning when he’d grown especially tired of his loneliness. “I’ve spent all my days lonely. I require a wife. You are my most trusted advisor. Find me a woman worthy of marriage. She must be beautiful and wise but also young. I also want her to be from Syria and not a Persian so the Syrians will not grow angry and think I have betrayed them.”
“Most certainly, Majesty. I will see to this most diligently and will draft notice straight away. I will search all the kingdom to find the perfect woman.”
Pantsis studied hundreds of women until he found just the right one whose beauty surpassed all the other young maidens in Syria. She had hair that was darker than the night sky and her skin was not tarnished from working in the fields in the sun. Pantsis felt her eyes were like light browned chestnuts and knew King Corvis was partial to the darkened color of chestnut eyes.
When Pantsis reported back to the King the woman he had found, Corvis was pleased and commanded to see her and inspect her himself.
“I want to see this young rose that you say is to be my bride. What is her name and what is her age?”
“A young woman of 19. Aeliana Kattan from Syria.”
“Wonderful. She is to be my wife. Bring her to me at once.”
As the King was a man to be pleased with only his eyes, he was satisfied at her pale skin and nice figure, and he cared nothing for Aeliana’s disposition or manners; he spent little time getting to know Aeliana and merely saw that she was of lovely adornment, making arrangements for them to be wed at once, much to the young woman’s dismay. Aeliana was a woman of passion and excitement and was led by her heart, not her reason. When she was told she was to marry for obligation, she was devastated.
“My dearest, he is the King and you must obey orders. You must marry him,” said Aeliana’s aunt as they packed her very few belongings.
“I do not love him, nor could I ever.”
“Marriage isn’t about love, especially not to the king.” Aeliana's aunt kissed her and said goodbye as palace guards escorted her out.
When Aeliana arrived at the palace, King Corvis greeted her in the throne room, and she was surprised by his handsome face but was turned off when he spoke.
“Welcome to my palace. You will be pleased with your rooms as everyone who visits my palace is pleased with the measures taken. My palace is quite extraordinary.”
She gave no response to his arrogance but only curtsied and was shown out the side door to her room. On her way past, her glance caught notice of a man she found particularly attractive and her eyes stayed fixated on his flowing dark hair and relaxed face.
“Hello,” she said and nodded.
His eyes followed her as she walked by but he said nothing in return as a conniving smile appeared on his face.
Later that evening, while the new queen was readying herself for bed, a knock came to her door.
“Your Highness,” her visitor whispered.
Unknowing of who it was and still nervous to be in this new and uninviting place, she slipped into her robe and cracked open the door, peeking her head around.
“Oh, good evening,” she said, seeing the face she’d been so drawn to earlier, who was also one of the king’s most loyal friends, Delino.
Delino took her hand and brought it to his lips as he studied her beauty. He looked into her eyes and brushed her long brown hair back from her face.
“Her Highness’s comfort is my highest priority,” he responded and entered her room.
After their affair had gone on for many months, Aeliana became with child. She did her best to hide her state the best she could and stayed away from the King as often as she could and was ashamed of her condition. When the King summoned the presence of his queen one day, she sent word that she was unavailable to him as she was unable to hide her condition from him any longer; the King was enraged.
“I demand to see my new queen at once!” he ordered from the palace servant who had given him word that the queen would not be joining him that morning.
“Your majesty,” the servant knocked. “The King demands your immediate presence in the throne room.”
“You may tell His Majesty that I am unwell this day and I shan’t be joining him.”
The servant curtsied and went away. The queen’s continued refusal to see the King caused King Corvis to go to her chambers himself.
“What is it that ails you, my queen?” Corvis asked as he stood outside Aeliana’s bedroom chambers and knocked.
“I have fallen ill. There’s no reason for alarm.”
“I shall send someone to assist you in your illness.”
“Truly, that is not necessary.”
“Someone will come to you first thing.”
Afraid he would find her condition, knowing they had not been together for some time, she devised a plan to remove him from her life forever. Later that evening, when her lover made his usual visit, she explained everything that was happening.
“I do not want to be his queen anymore. When he finds out about the child, he will surely do away with us or send us away! This child belongs to you,” she whispered to Delino. “Will you help me find a way for us to be together?”
He leaned over her, bringing her lips to his. As they kissed, he said, “I will do whatever my Queen demands of me.”
“I have a plan to murder the king.”
“Murder? But he has not wronged us.”
Aeliana kissed Delino as she said, “Are you more faithful to him or me?”
Unbeknownst to her, unfolding amid her plan was something more powerful than she. The King’s advisor, Pantsis, had a vision of the plan she was brewing and informed the King.
“Sire!” Pantsis called out as he rushed into the throne room the very next day.
King Corvis stood from the throne, taken aback at the state of his advisor, and he called out to him. “Pantsis, what ails you? Hurry at once.”
“I have seen the future.”
“Tell me, my trusted one, what is it you see?”
“Your death. You will be betrayed by the ones you hold most dear.”
“They must be punished!”
“Their actions cannot be stopped now, Sire, but they will be held accountable for what they have done and will do, my lord.”
“And what will be their punishment?”
“Because of the evil that is within their hearts, henceforth from this day onward, every woman born into their bloodlines shall be cursed to slay all the evil that walks the earth and every man born into their bloodlines shall be cursed to the night and the two shall be separated all of their days.”
“Delius? Why are you here?” Satan said and walked away from the Beast’s cage. “Don’t even think you’ve come back for my prized possession again.”
“No. I’ve come to strike a bargain with you.”
“Bargain? Me?” Satan laughed for a moment. “Actually, go on. I’ve been known to strike a deal now and then.”
“Good, because you have something I want.”
“And what would I get from this arrangement?”
“Ooh, this does intrigue me. I had her once down here locked in a cage, but that didn’t last long. We all know Aldestine is calling dibs on her soul.”
“Well, I can pretty much guarantee it this time.”
“Fabulous. What do you want me to do?”
“Release Tom Barclay.”
Satan groaned. “No can do.”
“I don’t have the power.”
Satan walked down the corridor into the lower Hell cavity, motioning for Delius to follow. Satan pointed to the Demortusmaros—the Sea of the Dead Souls. “Demetrius does. He’s the guardian of Hell’s souls. There’s only one being higher than him when it comes to releasing souls.”
“But I don’t need a soul. I just want a vampire.”
“Either way, you need Patrick or Demetrius. Besides, he already left.”
“Damn,” Delius said. “When did he get out?”
“A few weeks ago.”
Delius began walking out of the lower Hell chamber to the main gates.
“Delius, what on earth do you want with that pain in the ass anyhow?”
Delius turned back to look at Satan and grinned.
“Big plans are in the making. Prepare to be amazed.”
Satan watched as he walked up the mile-long entrance to Hell and disappeared into the city streets above.
“What did he want?” Patrick asked as he approached from the darkness behind where Satan stood.
“The more dislikable of the two.”
“Young Barclay isn’t down here,” Satan said and approached where Patrick stood at the gates. “He left not a few weeks ago, actually.”
“Who let him out?”
“Beats me. You act like I care about who comes and goes down here.”
“You bloody demon! That’s your job!”
“Hold that thought.” Satan turned away and used his rod to shoot a fireball at someone, incinerating them on contact. “That’ll teach you. I have only a few rules down here and you just broke one of them! Does anybody else want to break the three rules? Let me see a show of hands. I didn’t think so. Get back to your business.”
Patrick laughed. “What’s your rules?”
“No spitting. That’s a vile and disgusting habit. Let’s at least show a little decorum. No pissing on each other. We have to live here. We may not have morals, but civility we can have. Plus, there’s no maid service. I’m not going to clean up the mess, are you?”
Patrick smiled, let out a small laugh, and shrugged, agreeing. “What’s the last one?”
“No one drinks my liquor. No one.”
“Ah. I see. Who supplies the condemned with their liquor?” Patrick pointed to the barrels and to the many, many drunkards.
“The demons fetch it.”
Satan turned and walked toward his isolated corner where sat his throne of dead serpents. A four-foot-long preserved serpent made up each arm and rows of seven-foot-long serpents made up the back, extending down to the bottom.
“I wish I could help you, but as I said, young Barclay isn’t here. Plus, I really don’t like you. The last time you were here, you made me give back two humans to Aldestine.”
“They didn’t belong here!”
“I was just having some fun! You never let me have any fun.”
“Don’t do it again. Demetrius is the guardian of the souls, not you.”
Patrick walked away from Satan, frustrated that now he was going to have to find Tom.
“That wretched demon is never any help to me. I should cast him into the Sea with all the trapped souls and be rid of him once and for all,” Patrick mumbled as he walked up the dark stone stairs.
©Meg S. 2023
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