The carriage driver felt the wind from an arrow fly past his head and then bury into a tree. Others landed on the sides of the royal carriage and the carriage that followed.
He snapped the whip in the air to motivate the horses to quicken their pace.
“Protect the royal carriage!” a knight screamed through the erupting chaos.
Immediately several knights surrounded the king’s carriage as arrows flew past them from all directions.
“Stefanos, what is happening?” The queen cried as she held one of her infant twin sons tightly. She then fell to the floor and covered her children with her free arm.
“Lower your heads; keep them down, we are being attacked!” The king leaned over his family in an attempt to protect them from the bombardment of arrows that sailed through the carriage windows.
“Athair, I’m scared!” cried the youngest girl to her father.
“Màthair!” the eldest daughter clung to her mother’s dress tightly, while holding the other infant twin boy in her arms.
As the carriage bounced against the rocks along the path, it bumped against trees as they attempted to escape.
An arrow struck the driver’s neck, paralyzing him with pain. As he cried out, another arrow hit him between his eyes, killing him instantly. His body slumped to the side of the perch, rolled off, and then hit the ground.
The footman attempted to make his way to the perch as the enemy advanced from a hill above them.
An arrow hit him in his back, as another made contact with the side of his neck, causing him to fall.
The second carriage, carrying the castle steward and several servants, ran over the lifeless body of the footman. This caused the axle to break and the carriage to flip on its side, allowing the four horses to run away.
It was then that the knights realized they were fighting the king’s own soldiers. One of the king’s soldiers of rank called out orders, “The king and his family are in the first carriage, kill them all!”
Three knights rode their horses alongside the king’s carriage as several foot soldiers followed after them. Other knights held back, fighting off the traitors.
The King’s carriage now without a driver slid across the dirt path and brushed against the sides of several trees.
The knight, riding next to the King’s carriage, leapt from his horse onto the perch, just as the carriage hit several rocks in the road.
As he mounted the perch, the shaft, the harness, and the cockeye broke loose, releasing the carriage from its four horses. While the horses ran away, the King’s carriage tumbled down a small hill, rolling twice, and then landing along the riverbank with half of the carriage in the water. As the water began to fill the lower half where the children lay, the king reached out his hand, pulling them into his and the queen’s arms. “Are you okay, Kinsia and Tilila?”
“Yes, Athair,” the girls answered in unison.
The king quickly checked the infant boys and then looked at his wife and whispered, “They are alive, Loren.”
The queen rejoiced, “We all survived, thanks be to the guardians, Felix and Andria.”
“Praise to the guardians.” The king hugged his family close.
The sound of steel clashing against steel as the knights fought against the enemy stilled the king’s rejoicing. “Hush, children, everything will be okay, I promise, but we must get out of this carriage and escape.”
As the knights fought off their attackers, the Castle Steward climbed out of his carriage and hurriedly made his way through underbrush to where the king’s carriage lay. His heart fell when he saw a knight lying underneath the carriage, dead. He climbed the carriage, and opened the door.
“Milord, are you okay?”
“Yes, we are all safe. I am pleased to see you have survived as well, my dear friend.”
“We are not safe, Milord. We must go.”
“Quickly, retrieve the girls first.” The king took his son from his eldest daughter and held him tightly.
“As you wish, Milord.”
The steward pulled the two girls from the carriage and helped each one to the ground. He then took the first twin boy from the king, and climbed back down to where the girls stood. Once there, he gave the infant to the oldest girl, then climbed back on to the top of the carriage.
The children and the queen cried with fright as several arrows whisked past the steward.
The king cried out, “Keep my children safe!”
“I swear it my king, I shall keep you all safe!”
Just as the steward reached his hand down to retrieve the second infant, an enemy soldier jumped onto his back, knocking them both to the ground, with the soldier on top of the steward.
After the soldier hit the steward several times in the face, he pulled his sword from his sheath. As he prepared to strike the steward, someone ran a sword through his back until the tip protruded through his chest.
A knight withdrew his sword from the body quickly pushed it off the steward. He pulled the steward to his feet. “Go, take the princesses to safety. I shall retrieve the king.”
The steward nodded, “Tell the king I shall guard the princesses with my life.”
“I shall, but now, you must go! Stay straight with your path, up the mountain and you shall reach la des ange’s and find sanctuary among the elves there,” The knight answered and then quickly scrambled up the carriage to retrieve the king and queen.
The castle steward turned to the girls and touched each one on the shoulder, prodding them along as he promised, “The brave knights will protect your pàrantan and bràthair, but we four must go now.”
The king held his wife and infant son close as they listened to the raging battle. When the castle steward did not return, the king cautiously peeked out. What he saw shocked and grieved him. His own soldiers were fighting against his knights.
“Milord, come!” called the knight to the king as he took his hand.
The king pushed his wife foreword. “Quickly my love, get out. I’m right behind you.”
Once he and his wife had their feet on the ground, the knight who pulled them from the carriage pointed toward the woods, “Your children are with the castle steward and on their way to the elves at la des ange’s.”
The queen sighed with relief, “We must follow them.”
“Thank you for coming back for us,” The king exclaimed.
As they began to run toward the woods, three soldiers with several hideous creatures surrounded them. The king pulled his sword from his sheath and readied himself for battle. His heart was heavy with grief, but also terror at the realization that some underhanded alliances had been forged against him, and the realm.
The king had no time to contemplate the reasons for the treason as the soldiers made their moves against him, and the knight fighting next to him.
The soldiers lunged toward him and his companion, but several knights attacked the soldiers from the side, giving the king reason to believe that hope remained.
Suddenly a fierce dragon from above flew down into their midst and plucked two knights from their group.
The mighty dragon then shot flames from its nostrils, setting several people on fire. The hideous beasts at the same moment, jumped toward the remaining knights, biting and slicing them with their sharp teeth and claws.
When the castle steward and the children reached the cover of the mountainous forest, he glanced back to see that the king and queen were surrounded by hideous creatures and the king’s own soldiers while several of the king’s knights lay dead on the ground.
The steward’s heart ached and his nostrils stung with grief as he realized his king and queen were about to die. He quickly turned back to the children and pushed them forward. “Let us go quickly children, we shall find refuge in la des ange’s.”
The king fought hard against the soldiers and the creatures, and he managed to kill them quickly.
As he finished off another enemy, the king felt the sting of a fang sink into his neck as sharp claws impaled his shoulders. He groaned as he fell to his knees, and dropped his sword.
“Do not kill him!” a voice came from behind the king. “Bring him to me.”
As the beasts saw the ones in the cloaks appearing, they all fell to their knees in reverence, chanting, “Hail, Master Zorlis.”
The beast pulled his fangs from the king’s neck and withdrew the claws from his shoulders. He then pulled the king to his feet and led him to where the queen stood with their son before two men, the first man, cloaked in grey, and the second in black, with hoods covering their faces. Master Zorlis smiled as he listened to the beasts honoring him with adoration. He turned to the black cloaked man, and whispered, “See, Lord Wyslin, I told you that we would win the battle this day.” He then laughed as he motioned for Lord Wyslin to join him at his side.
Master Zorlis pointed toward he king and laughed hideously. “Look my brothers! We have received favor from the god of Helkodor this day against the mightiest of kings!”
“ARRGH!” all the beasts cried.
“Victory!” hissed the creatures in one accord.
The soldiers among them shrieked back and grasped their swords tightly, in fear that the creatures might turn on them at any moment.
Lord Wyslin whispered into the ear of Master Zorlis, who chuckled and nodded his approval.
“Let us now finish with a final blow to the great kingdom of Aspella by taking their king from them!”
“Ses! Ses, tear them to pieces!” cried the creatures.
Several creatures sniffed the soldiers standing near them and one called out, “Let us eat all the human kind this day in celebration!”
The cloaked men shared stares and nodded their heads in agreement.
“So be it!” Master Zorlis cried out with a loud voice. “Kill and eat them all! However, leave the king and his kin to me!”
With that, the creatures turned and attacked the horrified soldiers, who then realized that their leader had betrayed them.
The beasts tore the soldiers to pieces with their sharp claws, and fangs, snapping bones in two, as if they were matchsticks, until every soldier now lay in a bloody heap.
A strong wind appeared from across the creek, followed by strange mist. As the mist made its way through the woods, it easily bent the trees forward, snapping some of them in half.
Immediately Master Zorlis shouted, “Gather your spoils and fly home!” He then transformed into a hideous beast, pulled back his sharp fangs, preparing to slice the throat of the king.
Lord Wyslin called to him. “No, throw him in the mist!”
Master Zorlis, but then laughed, “Very well!” He pulled the king to his feet, while another beast took a hold of the queen. They all stood on the side of the bank, and watched as the wind and mist danced across the waters, slowly approaching them.
“NG! NG! My children! My children will be lost to me forever!” The queen wept bitterly.
The king broke free of his captor and pulled his wife into his arms. He held her tight and looked down at their infant son.
“Ng! Malchiack will take care of them, he will watch over them. Once they enter the elves borders, they shall be protected. Please, Loren, do not despair,” the king whispered in her ear as he tried to comfort her.
“Oh, Stefanos, I pray to the gods that they indeed find safety with the elves.”
“I attempted to send the elf king, Brookshirsh a telepathy message. I just hope he received it.” The king then coughed, and blood poured from his mouth.
“Thank you, Stefanos, and I know you are right,” Loren whispered as the cloaked men approached them. She then reached up and tenderly touched his face, “Please, don’t die on me. We need you.”
“I’m not going to die, my love.”
Stefanos did not know where the mysterious mist would take them, but he knew it lead somewhere because others had fallen within its grasps and had returned, so there was still hope. He leaned down and whispered in his wife’s ear again, “Stay close to me, and hold onto our son with all your might. We will come through this.”
Lord Wyslin laughed as he stepped closer to the king, still hiding his face under the hood. He then shouted to Master Zorlin, “Throw them in!”
The creatures looked to Master Zorlin for the final command. Master Zorlin nodded his head and called out, “So be it, throw them in!”
The beasts pushed the king, his wife, and their infant child into the mist.
The king clung to his wife, but kept his eyes locked on Lord Wyslin. He knew him. Though he did not see his face, he knew what coward hid behind the hood, giving the orders.
After releasing the king and his wife into the mist, the cloaked men slowly backed away as the mysterious mist approached them, watching it swallow up the king as if it were a hungry beast devouring its prey.
Once the king had completely disappeared into the mist, Master Zorlin grasped Lord Wyslin gently with claws, as massive wings unfolded from his shoulder blades. The beast took flight in the air just as the mist reached the ground.
Pre-order you copy today at Amazon for $1.00 until September 30.
Here is the first review for Mystic Mist:
Mystic Mist is an exciting opening to the New Breed Series, and from the very beginning, you will find yourself drawn into the story as it unfolds. As each character is introduced, Lisa Vandiver brings them to life by making them real in the mind of the reader. Her talent for creating the mystical world of Carasylia, as well as the Realm of the Enchantments, allows the reader to see it in their mind and makes this story a pure joy to read. This book will keep you turning the pages as Erich and Iseabail battle the Hellavey, the deadly creatures brought to earth in the Mystic Mist along with Iseabail from the planet of Carasylia. As the story progresses, you will be thrust into an exciting adventure of which you will not want to escape. I highly recommend this first installment to the New Breed Series, and I cannot wait until Book Two is released!
You can find out more about me and my other works at Deadly Reads.