(An Excerpt from Chapter 8 — Enta— of “Itara: Son of C’reseth” — Book I of the Itara Trilogy)
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The Svorin heaved a down strike. Mason deflected it, but the force in the collision knocked him to the ground. Eyes wide with amazement at the swordsmanship of his opponent, he rolled out of the way as the officer’s sword impacted the cobbles in a murderous spray of sparks. Mason gripped the hilt of his sword, feeling the leather bite against his palm. Taking this chance to end it, he put all his anger and hatred for the Dominion into his strength, and thrust the silver blade upward into the stomach of the advancing captain. He could feel the push through. The fire of contempt burned within him, aided by the rush of fear and adrenaline, and for the first time, noticed a soft white hue illuminating the pads of his fingers.
The officer’s blind hatred jarred to overwhelming pain and disbelief. Hot blood trickled into his armor, and leaked down the center groove piercing through his gut–protruding through his back. He wrapped a shaky hand around it, and attempted to pull the blade from its new sheath.
Mason scrambled back, grunting as he kicked the Svorin away. He stood quickly, angling the blade downward so the nocuous fluid oozed away from his fist.
The captain staggered, hardly accepting his fate. In his strange eyes, he had been slain by the hand of a child. His belief that this slim boy would faire poorly in battle was quickly dwindling along with his life. Reaching out a gloved hand toward the throat of his vanquisher, he stumbled to one knee, and fell. The Svorin’s eyes froze open as his body went numb and a disgusting gurgle left his lips.
Mason panted. His back ached from hitting the ground, but it was a small price for survival. Another life had met its end by his blade, but unlike Retik or the road, guilt did not follow the nausea. He examined his right hand, curling his fingers, and watched the ivory glow feathering them fade to nothing. Confusion surfaced as his mind searched franticly for an explanation to the odd light and the strange warm sensation it harbored, but he could find none.
Quickly, he wiped the blade off on the captain’s armor, then clutched his hand into a fist. Anything unexplainable by immediate logic became an abomination owned by magic. They would hunt him down and imprison him for resisting arrest, followed by the slight chance of a trial. But P’nai accusation incited instant death. The Phocrume kept in Khale would consume his hand, and then he would be hanged. He stepped back, panicked, and looked hurriedly around for his friends. Hearing no response or shouts of joy in their victory like he expected from Khyler or Izzika, he turned around and immediately tensed up at the reason for their silence.
Khyler struggled in the firm grip of a Svorin soldier hefting him off the ground and muffling his cries with a thick, gloved hand. His feet dangled like a rat’s in the jaws of a cat. His wide eyes flicked to Mason, terrified as he kicked to free himself.
Jareth’s still body lay on the ground, the long braids of his hair splayed out like dead snakes over his face. Two Dominion guards lifted him and carried off like cargo.
Mason aimed the sword toward the one holding Khyler and cursed. The other guards must have heard the brawl and added their numbers for reinforcements. His breath froze in his lungs.
A faceless Dominion soldier next to Khyler’s captor gripped the leather thongs of a bag tightly in his fist. The kicks and punches of an angry Fire Sprite pummeled the surface from within, crying out for salvation. He dunked it into a horse trough in front of The Twin Sisters Inn briefly, igniting shoots of hissing steam at contact. It neutralized her power instantly, rendering her defenseless.
Mason raised his sword against the new threat and charged, screaming strength into his muscles. The tip of the blade aimed for the heart of the soldier holding Izzika, but the man refused to move.
A sharp blast of pain drove its jagged nail through the back of his skull, and he lurched forward violently. Mason hit the cobbles hard, scraping his cheek. Flashes of light danced in front of his eyes as the world pushed him into a haze, and he dropped beneath a shroud of nothingness.