Hey, everyone! I’m back this week with another Work-In-Progress Wednesday. For this week’s, I’ve got an excerpt from On Anarchy’s Wings. In this excerpt, Sibhor—Gabriel’s Fourth General—finds a strange temple while leading his men through the tunnels of an abandoned city. Here, they begin looking for the answers they came to Riladia for, but in the process, an accident happens.
With Aeanor’s revelation, the men fanned out through the Dark Temple and began searching for the entrance. Aeanor and Sibhor had paired together since Sibhor wanted to ask him some questions. They probed at sections of the floor near the base of the stairs leading up to the altar. Again, that had been Aeanor’s suggestion. Sibhor’s brow furrowed, and he tapped at another section, searching for some sort of button or locking mechanism. “So. You know a lot about Riladian history.”
“How did you learn about Dark Temples and the vaults?” Sibhor rapped the hilt of his dagger against the base of the stairs.
Aeanor lifted his smoky grey gaze to meet Sibhor’s. “My grandmother was born and raised on Riladia. She came to Eclesia back when the Pathways were open. They called the Gates Pathways here.” He ducked his head and kept working on his section of the floor. “I learned much from her. And what I couldn’t learn from her, I learned from the elderly men in our community who came over before she did.”
“There are Riladians living with us and we didn’t know it?”
Aeanor chuckled, jamming his dagger between two stones and prying at it a bit. “There are many things your people do not know. It is through no fault of your own.”
“Is that why you keep to yourself and don’t talk much? Because you aren’t Eclesian?”
The smile faded from Aeanor’s lips. “No. It is not. I—” He stopped, his lips pressing in a thin line. “Some other time, perhaps, I will tell my story. Until then, I must ask that you do not question any further.”
Sibhor nodded. Many of the soldiers had difficult or less than wonderful pasts. Though none of them came from serious criminal backgrounds, many had been street urchins or orphans who were trained until they were old enough to decide: civilian life or military duty for life. Since he’d been a bastard son in his father’s house, he’d been in that situation himself. His father had sent him packing when he turned three. Not that he blamed his father for that. No one’s wife would want a constant reminder of her husband’s infidelity running about the house. It had been for the best, and his father had still kept in touch. Later, he’d become fast friends with his half-brother, and now, here they were. Ifan had followed him into the military and now on this suicide mission.
His story wasn’t the worst. In fact, it was one of the best ones among those with a rocky past. If Aeanor didn’t want to share, Sibhor wouldn’t press. He struck the hilt of his dagger against another stone.
A sharp grating noise filled the cavern, and a sharp shout rang over it. Sibhor flew to his feet, turning to see what had happened. His gaze fell on the place where Til had been standing moments before. Now, only a gaping hole and steps were visible. Til had been standing on the stone that had swung down to open the entrance to the vault.
Sibhor rushed to the steps. “Til?” He sent his light flooding down the steps into the darkness below, but he still couldn’t see Til. “Til!”
A faint cry came from somewhere far below, and Sibhor sagged back on his heels. “He’s alive. Til, how badly are you hurt?”
“B-bad. Leg is…” His voice cracked and drifted off. “Broke at least that. Maybe twisted—” Again, his voice became too faint to hear.
Sibhor guessed that Til had broken a leg and twisted an ankle or perhaps his arm. “He’s broken his leg, I think. And twisted something else.”
Ifan peered down the steps into the dark hole. “That’s not good.”
Shooting him a glare, Sibhor crossed his arms. “I’m well aware.”
Ifan’s hand settled on his shoulder. “Hey. No one’s accusing you of anything.”
Sibhor’s gut twisted. They should. “I hit the trigger.”
“You found the entrance. You couldn’t know that Til was standing on it. Look, we’ll go down there and tend to Til then look for what we need. After that, we’ll find another place to bunk.” He shivered. “This place is bad news.”
Well, that’s it for this week’s Work-In-Progress Wednesday. As always, feel free to share excerpts from your own WIP in the comments. If you choose to give feedback on any of the excerpts shared, please make sure that it’s both productive and polite.
One more announcement before we’re done for today. Tomorrow, I’ll be posting a special post with a review of Joanna White’s debut novel Hunter. So, keep an eye out for that if you enjoy YA fantasy!