Sample Excerpt: Tyale: Tales Of Velosia – Chapter 1
Hoisting herself onto the saddle, Tyale Poshpot adjusted the reins and dug her heels into her horse’s flanks. Thunder shot off, foam forming against his bit as his teeth clamped down tightly upon it. She crouched closer to her beloved steed, her eyes closing as she felt the cold wind press against her skin. Urging the horse forward, it manipulated the hard terrain as she led it to where they needed to go.
A second rider soon appeared. She gazed back at him and smirked as he fell into a leisurely gait beside them. The man smiled, his dark-brown eyes shining with amusement. Reaching out, their fingertips touched briefly before their connection was severed as the horse’s separated and their speed increased. Clicking her tongue against the back of her teeth, she pushed her horse further and left her adversary behind.
Red’s, brown’s, and green’s sped past her as the horse’s gallop intensified. She’d never felt anything quite like it. Catching sight of the path they needed to take, she drew back slightly on the reins. Thunder slowed his pace and whinnied loudly as he turned left and carefully descended the trail. The sound of hoof beats alerted her to someone’s approach.
“Ya could have waited,” Kimbar Doblemine replied as he maneuvered his horse along the rocky track.
She looked over her shoulder, grinning broadly. “There’s no fun in that,” she said.
He feigned anger and snorted. “It’s not safe to be out here alone, Ty. Ya know that.”
She shrugged and turned her attention forward once more. “You’re here with me, Kim. No one would dream of touching me with you around.”
“Yoo’d be surprised.”
“Some would try?”
“I am but a man, Princess. Ya know that as well as I do.”
“You’re not just any man, Love. You’re much more than that and you know it.”
“That’s beside the point.”
She sighed with exasperation and pulled the horse to a halt. She turned it around slightly and gazed at him as his horse came to stand beside hers. “Alone, I’m sure things would be a tad difficult. Together, we’re a force to be reckoned with.”
He shook his head, disheveling his black curls. “Have ya forgotten about the fact that there are warring factions out there intent on claiming ya?”
“No, but I’m not letting that deter me from having a little fun, Kim. This,” she stated softly, waving her hands about, “is my world now. I’m not going to hide just because a few seem to think I’m the next best thing they can get their hands on.”
He pinched the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger. “Ya don’t understand. To them, yar more than just another person. The powers ya possess are a testament to the prophecy spoken years ago. Yar the one who’s supposed to bring Velosia to prosperity and right all of the wrongs committed against us.”
Taking a deep breath, her smile disappeared as she recalled the very prophecy he spoke of. Somers de Fontaine, her father’s personal advisor, reminded her of it every chance he got. In his mind, she needed to remember the reason behind their having sent her to Earth hours after she’d been born.
If only they wouldn’t remind me so much, she thought. I’m so tired of trying to be what they want me to be.
“You know,” she said softly, “everyone places such high hopes in me, yet I sorely doubt I’ll live up to all of your expectations. Despite the fact that I am now an avid part of this world, none of what I’ve seen or have been told defines me.”
“Ya hold all the cards, Princess. Every single one of them. Why do ya think the Scholl and the Denmarden have teamed up together? Because they’re very much aware of what ya are and what ya can do. There’s never been someone like ya before. In their eyes, yar the one who can fix everything that’s gone wrong in the world they live in.”
“I refuse to believe that.”
Unwilling to answer, she swung her leg around and dismounted. Leading Thunder to a nearby stream, she dropped the reins and patted him lightly across the rump. She sat down upon a boulder sticking out of the ground nearby and gazed out at the horizon, her brow furrowed as she mulled upon Kimbar’s words. Part of her refused to allow them to sink in completely.
Tyale had always known she was different. At an early age, she’d discovered the fact that she could wield magic and use it to her advantage in any way she chose. She recalled accidentally setting the curtains of her room on fire and her mother running in screaming with fright as she searched for a way to put out the flames. Unfortunately, the inferno had been too great and the house had burned to ashes that very night.
Reaching for a thin gold chain hanging around her neck, she drew it forth and stared down at the gold heart that now sat in the middle of her palm. Three small diamonds had been molded into the precious metal in the shape of a triumvirate. Within its center, her name had been engraved. There was nothing about the accessory that signaled it to be more than what it was. Yet she knew better.
It’s such any ordinary thing, she thought. One would never know that it’s actually a means in which to create a portal to Velosia.
“A penny for yar thoughts?” Kimbar inquired as he sat down beside her.
She smiled softly, taking a moment to assess him from head to toe. His long, wavy locks were tousled gently by the slight breeze; his jaw clenched tightly as he casually scanned their surroundings. He never let down his guard and was always on alert should any unforeseen circumstances arise.
It never ceased to amaze her that they’d had been friends ever since she was three-years-old. Granted, he was older than her by four years, but his age did not detract from their friendship. In fact, she rather liked the fact that he was older. He protected her at all costs and had even taken the need further by assigning himself as her personal bodyguard. Not that she’d ever need one, as she was quite capable of taking care of herself.
She reached out and intertwined the fingers of her right hand with his left one and drew his hand across her lap. “I’m just thinking,” she said softly.
He pulled his hand free and wrapped an arm about her shoulders. “Talk to me, Ty. That’s what I’m here for.”
She stared out the horizon, watching the waters of the lake below ripple slightly as the wind blew across its surface. “How can I accept everything I’ve been told, Kim? Do you know how ridiculous it all sounds? Hell, after all these years, I still have trouble believing this place exists.”
He pulled her to him, his chin resting lightly upon the top of her head. “I’m well aware of that, Princess. I can pick up on yar moods just as ya can easily pick up on mine. The fact that we share a bit of each others blood also allows that very bond to strengthen. I’m truly sorry yar having a hard time accepting all of this. I know ya detest being reminded of yar purpose each and every day. If I could, I’d fix things so that ya could live yar life as normal as possible.”
She wrapped her arms about his waist, burying her face against the curve of his shoulder. “I know you would and I’m honored you’d do such a thing. It’s not up to you to protect me from the inevitable, though. The Gods have decided that I’m some sort of a messiah and have made sure I follow through on their plans. As much as I want to fight it, I know I have no choice but to do as I’m required when the time comes.”
His hold on her tightened as he pressed a kiss across her brow. “Did ya know that the day ya were born I was at the palace with my father?”
He nodded, several raven curls falling across his forehead. “Aye. “‘Twas a monumental occasion as it was also my first time there. Mind ya, I was but four-years-old, at the time. I’d been holding onto my father’s hand when the Queen appeared out of nowhere. I remember thinking she looked like an angel as she floated across the floor of the Central Hall with a small bundle held tight within her arms.”
Tyale smiled softly and snuggled closer into his arms. “It’s odd how you describe her in such a way. I, too, think she looks like an angel, sometimes. I think it’s because of the fact that her blue eyes are always shining and the way her meticulously kept golden hair frames her oval face so beautifully.”
“Exactly!” he agreed. “There’s such an ethereal quality about her that seems to mesmerize those around her.”
She chuckled softly. “I can certainly understand why Father married her.”
He pulled back slightly, looking down into her light brown eyes. The playfulness within his eyes was now replaced by a thoughtful concentration. “Ya possess that quality, too.”
“Whenever ya walk into a room, all eyes are drawn to ya. Yar very skin seems to glow so vibrantly. It’s as if there’s a profound energy within ya aching to get out. Sometimes, I think it’s a part of the magic harboring within ya.”
“You think so?”
“Of course. Why would I not?”
She shrugged and carefully extricated herself out of his embrace. Holding out her hand, she flipped her hand around so that her palm faced upwards. A small ball of light began to form within its center. “This magic is something I’ll never truly understand.”
“I grew up thinking I was a freak of nature back on Earth, Kim. Magic doesn’t exactly exist there. Not like this.”
“If ya look closely, there are many sources of magic to be found there, Ty. I can assure ya of that. One just needs to know where to find them, is all.”
“I don’t doubt that. It’s just —”
The sound of twig snapping drew their attention. The ball of light dissipated as she saw Kim rise and pull his sword out of its scabbard. Clutching it tightly between his fingers, he held a finger up to his lips and signaled her to remain silent. He scouted the perimeter for a sign of the intruder, startled slightly as a white rabbit jumped out of the grass nearby and snickered at him as it scampered away.
“Something’s not right,” he said as he sheathed the blade and ran an unsteady hand through his hair.
“I doubt we were followed,” she replied, smoothing down the skirts of her emerald gown. “No one was aware of the fact that we’d left the palace.”
His eyes narrowed as he carefully scanned the area. “There are always eyes and ears around, Princess. I’m pretty sure someone noticed.”
A slight movement across the lake caught his attention. Sensing his apprehension, she turned in the direction he was facing in hopes of catching sight of whatever had drawn his eye. Near the lake’s eastern bank, a man sat huddled against the base of a tree, obscured slightly by its shadow. The look upon his face was one of hatred as he gazed back and forth between the pair.
Kim reached out and grabbed her arm, pulling her behind him in hopes of protecting her from the intruders view. Wrapping the fingers of his free hand about the hilt of his sword, he said, “Yar not safe here.”
“Neither are you.”
He shrugged, never taking his eyes off of his target. The man left his perch, searching for a way across the lake. Kim reluctantly turned to face her, his dark eyes turbulent. “Ya have to get out of here.”
She shook her head, refusing to leave him alone. “No.”
He reached down and curled a hand about her cheek. “I find yar worry endearing, but now is not the time. I need ya to get out of here. Teleport, if ya have to. Thunder can make his way back to the palace, if need be.”
“What if something happens to you?”
“I’ll be fine, Ty. I’m not afraid. Besides, I’ve fought many a man countless times.”
“That still doesn’t reassure me.”
“Time is of the essence, yar Royal Highness. If I’m to catch up to that man, yoo’ll need to leave now.”
“I can’t . . . I can’t leave you here alone,” she replied, worrying her lower lip.
“Please. Do as I ask. I fear this man is not alone and we need to alert the cavalry in case an attack is pending.”
“But . . .”
“Don’t argue with me. We’ll continue this conversation later, I promise. But right now, I need ya to turn tail and run.”
“Kim . . .”
A loud splash alerted them to the fact that the man was getting closer. Grabbing her arm, Kim spun her around and shoved her toward the lounging horses. He reached down and clutched Thunder’s reins as he helped her into the saddle. He nodded and stepped back to allow her enough room to bring the horse about.
“I refuse to let anything happen to ya. Follow the path in which we came. When ya think it safe, stop and teleport home.”
Her lips thinned to a tight line as tears shimmered within her eyes. “Don’t you dare get hurt!”
“I’ll try not to. Now go!”
She nodded and urged the horse forward. As Thunder picked up speed, she gazed over her shoulder to look at Kim one last time. He waved at her before turning around to run towards the man now trudging through the shallow waters of the lake’s leftmost bank. The sun’s gleam across Kim’s sword was the last thing she saw as the horse rounded a corner and promptly cut off her view.