Snippet from “Blessing of the Elements”

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Ziltra had learned to wield her blade quite well and the lessons were indeed paying off. Silwan and Conor taught her the importance of technique. However, it was the hours beside the sea that replenished her strength.

Her endurance also developed. For her entire life, she’d been shielded from battles and war and physical training. It was only because Jyson approved of her use of a bow that she was taught to hunt. Ziltra suspected it was because he enjoyed hunting. Otherwise, he would have kept that skill to himself, too.
Ziltra stood, sword in hand. Conor was positioned across from her.

“Are you ready, Queen?” Conor asked.

She nodded, an aggressive look in her eyes.

As they sparred, Ziltra felt energy surround her. Her blade struck against Conor’s loudly. She showed no mercy as they maneuvered around the training arena.

“Remember,” Silwan shouted, “channel the anger through your technique. Always anticipate what he will do next.”

The lesson continued. Suddenly, a blue light surrounded Ziltra’s body and the jolt caused her to shut her eyes. Beams shot from the ends of her hair and also wrapped around her sword.

Conor paused and looked at Silwan whose mouth was open, astonishment covering his face. Although Conor wasn’t sure what was happening, Silwan obviously had no doubt as his shock turned into a smile.

“The Dark Mistress has possessed her,” he said to himself.

Ziltra wasn’t sure what was happening. The only thing she knew is that she felt powerful, invincible even. She quickly opened her eyes and when she did, the intense blue light nearly blinded Conor and he squinted and shielded his eyes with his arm.

Still filled with the concentrated blue light, Ziltra raised her sword again. Unexpectedly, she let out a war cry, sending chills through Conor and Silwan.

Ziltra and Conor continued sparring. Conor fought hard, but she was too ferocious; too powerful. Finally, he fell to the ground, his sword out of his reach and the tip of Ziltra’s sword touching his throat.
Silwan carefully approached and called, “Remember who you are, Ziltra.”

As quickly as it happened, the glow dissipated and Ziltra came to herself. She realized she was standing over Conor, ready to kill him. Panic set in and she backed away, tossing her weapon aside.


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