Hey, everyone! I’m back with another Work-In-Progress Wednesday. I hope everyone is doing well today and that the writing process is going well for you no matter what stage you’re in.
I’ve been busy since graduating a little over a week ago, but I’ve managed to fit in some time for writing. Between searching for jobs and freelance writing work, I’ve also been working on the two novels I have going on. Last week, I shared with you what I’d written last for On Anarchy’s Wings. This week’s post gives you a little glimpse at the other project I’ve been working on. Pathway of the Moon is a high-fantasy novel set in the world of Alcardia, and much like On Anarchy’s Wings, the novel also uses the concept of inter-dimensional Gateways or Pathways to other universes or worlds. The first in a series, Pathway of the Moon follows a vigilante assassin, a former maid, and the King’s High Imperial Knight as they take on an organization threatening to destroy the world as they know it. In today’s WIP post, the King’s High Imperial Knight is trying to convince the reticent assassin that going on her suicide mission is a good idea.
Now, with that introduction to the novel, here’s the snippet!
Leo tugged his fingers through his hair with a growl, prowling up and down the length of his tower cell while Alrian watched him from the corner with crossed arms and bemused smile on her lips. He rounded on her, his fingers flying to the offending collar keeping his power from hitting full force. The sense of being caged rose inside him more and more with every passing moment. “You won’t deny me her presence.” He’d meant to phrase it as a request, but it came out sharp and demanding instead.
Alrian ducked her head with a laugh. “Calm down, Ryalin. I’m not going to keep the two of you apart. She’s gone through enough.”
“And she’ll go through more because of you.” Leo slammed his palms down on the window sill. “Rith take it! You’re going on a suicide mission, and you’re going to drag me along.”
She pushed away from the wall and came to stand beside him at the window. “I know. But we have to try. Someone needs to stop them.”
Leo sucked in a deep breath and glowered at the figures milling about the courtyard below. “Not me.”
“Yes, you. You’re the one who has a way in and a reason to want them gone. You know the way that group works like no one else on the outside would.” She leaned against the window frame. “We need you. And if we don’t stop them, Ryalin, think about what will happen to this country, to Deira.”
His breath caught in his throat, and his jaw clenched. Closing his eyes, he fought for control as images of all the things he’d seen done to his mother swept through his mind. Bruises and cuts everywhere. Beatings. Forced submission. Rape. He shook his head with a growl. “I won’t let anyone touch her.”
“Well then, you’d better do something about this group.” Alrian straightened. “They’re infiltrating in kingdoms all over Alcardia. If we become another casualty, what’s to stop them from ruling the entire world?”
Leo’s fingers dug into the cracks of the stone sill. “You know what that will require of us, don’t you?” He turned his head to look at her.
She bit her lip. “I was hoping you’d know how to get us in.”
He turned his back to the window, sitting on the sill and resting his back against the bars. “Women are only allowed into the fringes of the cult, and even then, they’re only allowed if they’re attached to one of the men.”
She pinched the bridge of her nose. “Attached how?”
“As family or as a slave. Only two ways.” Leo stared at his worn boots. “The second isn’t an option because slaves are fair game for the other men in the camp.”
“Can’t I go as a man?”
Leo shook his head with a grimace. “No. I wouldn’t be able to get you in. The men allowed to join the ranks in enemy kingdoms are carefully vetted, and I’m not in good standing, so I can’t vouch for you.”
“Then how are we going to play this?” She eyed his hair and face. “We could say we’re siblings.”
Leo shook his head again with a sigh. “Not an option either. Kiarhsu has kept tabs on me. He knows I don’t have a sibling.”
She rubbed the back of her neck. “Then I’ll go as—what? I can’t think of another—”
His lips pressed in a thin line, and his gut churned. She’s right. There’s only one option that will be one-hundred-percent foolproof. I’ll have to say she’s my wife. His stomach clenched, and he refused to look at her. “You’ll be introduced as my wife. It’s the safest way. Kiarhsu doesn’t keep close enough watch on me to know if I’ve taken a wife.”
She gaped at him, her hazel eyes glinting with irritation. “Absolutely not! Not even as a disguise. I’d never—”
He glared at her. “Do you want to go or not? If so, do what I say because otherwise, you’re going to get us both killed.”
There you have it. Do you think she’ll agree to it? Or will they find another way?
Well, that’s what I’ve been working on. What about all of you? What have you been working on lately? I’d love to hear about it in the comments! As usual, feel free to offer feedback for any of the posts. Just keep them constructive and polite! We’re here to help each other out, not make someone’s day worse.