Excerpt from Dangerous Realms

 

Book Three of Halsin Chronicles

 

Excerpt One

 I couldn't help but giggle even though I had fought valiantly to suppress it.

“What?” Frey asked as he lifted his eye brow at me.

“I can't believe you are dressing up in battle armour right now, I mean sure, we're eventually going to have to go to battle but tonight we're just going to speak with the Valkyries then Vanir. Surely you don't need to be this paranoid?”

“This isn't paranoia älskling, this is necessity,” Frey responded nonplussed as he tightened the strings on one of his leg plates.

“Necessity?” I asked rubbing my face.

“Someone will try to stab me, I know it. Look I realize you probably think that I'm blowing this out of proportion but I'm not. We are Vikings Lydia, when we get angry we draw swords. It's like a law of nature.”

“Vikings were also one of the forefathers of modern democracy with the advent of 'Things'. From what I read they were mostly peaceful,” I reasoned.

This time Frey snorted as he responded, “Ha! Myth! If you don't believe me I'll present exhibit A, which would be the last Thing we attended.”

“Okay granted that ended in a brawl but the Aesir started that.”

“I'll give you that,they did, but I could also list a number of other Things that ended in bloodshed that they weren't apart of.”

“Really Frey...” I started.

“Thing of 986, a proposal to enter a new variety of mead to drink at the beginning of the Vanir Thing was entered in discussion. It went over like a lead balloon, swords were drawn, people were stabbed, and we ultimately decided to keep the mead horn that we had.”

“Well...”

“...Thing of 1152, a proposal to create a bigger fleet of Flag ships was entered into discussion. Tempers flared, more people stabbed, proposal was accepted.”

“Why not ban swords at Things?” I asked.

“Funny you should ask for that was the topic of the Thing of 1237...”

“...Let me guess, insults flew, even more people were stabbed and you all decided to keep the swords? Aw... is it really to much too ask for people to reach some sort of decorum without resulting to violence?”

“For the normal every day world? No. For Vikings? Yes. Hey Lydia, where are you going?” Frey asked as I got up from the chair I was sitting in.

“I'm going to go make a cup of coffee to go.”

“Why?” Frey asked.

“Because it's going to be a really long and trying night,” I sighed.

“Um... Lydia...” Frey started.

“What do you take in your coffee sweetie?” I asked knowing what we was about to ask.

“One cream, two sugar,” Frey responded with a grin.

I nodded before I slipped out of the room unable to contain my laughter anymore.

 

Excerpt Two

 The cloaked figure raised its arms and I felt the distinct feeling of magic attack gathering. In that brief moment before anything happened I felt my anger growat the cowardly act.

“How dare you!” I snapped just as the dark volley was launched towards me.

I lifted my hand in response and just as I did, a bright cold blue light burst from me. I watched my burst of power shoved the dark orb back against the creature. The windows behind it shattered as my own magic blast grew suddenly to form an ice barrier to protect the people inside.

The creature staggered back into the ice, and I went on the offensive. I grabbed it around the neck and dragged it down on the ground were I proceeded to wail on it.

Thinking about it now, I don't think that the blows should have landed because the creature was an astral projection but I could feel that but I could feel the strange sensation of my blows landings on the person behind the projection and it made me lash out harder.

“Just who the hell do you think you are?” I demanded angrily as I continued, “I am not someone who you can mess with so easily. You thought that I was a fool and like a lamb to a slaughter you can kill me by using a ridiculous lure. Well guess what? It won't work because I'm wise to you now and I'm going to pull out all the stops to find you. You can count on that.”

I think one of my blows must have knocked the person behind the projection unconscious, for I felt the energy in the cloak dramatically ebb. Still angry, I shook the cloak in frustration before I ripped a piece of it off just as the rest of it was sucked into a dark void.

I hit the ground a few times in frustration before I rubbed my face with my swollen bloodied hands. Then my angry haze disappeared as reality set in; I looked up and spotted Frey on the other side of the ice, looking stunned.

“Lydia,” I saw him mouth to me, and realized that the ice was too thick for me to actually hear him.

Thank goodness I had learn to lip read at a while ago; one of the few friends I had in high school had been deaf and I had learn to sign and lip read.

I nodded at him as if I understood completely.

“Are you alright?” He mouthed again.

I nodded twice.

“Can you take down the ice?” Frey asked me.

I lifted up my hands and shoulders at the same to as if to say 'I don't know'. I had no real clue how I did it in the first place. It had been a spur of the moment thing.

“Try.”

I shrugged again to say 'Okay, I guess', before I closed my eyes. From what my brother Aidan had told me once, was when it came to using magic, all you had to do was think of what you wanted focus on it and let your magic take over. I took a deep breath and did that. Surprisingly it was easier than I had thought because just as soon as I thought about melting the ice I heard it crack. I opened my eyes and watched the ice wall create an outline of a door way that burst towards me in a small snow storm. Immediately after it cleared I felt Frey's arms wrap around me and draw me into bear hug.

“Are you really alright, Lydia?” Frey asked as he pulled back and cupped my face with his hands.

“My hands hurt really bad, though the pain was worth it. Otherwise I feel just fine,” I responded before I felt my laughter bubble up and burst out of me.

Frey looked at me with concern as he carefully checked out my hands. I couldn't speak right away because of my laughter but I shook my head as if to say that I wasn't in that bad of shape.

When I was finally able to speak I said, “Hey Frey did you see me beat up a stupid jerk in a cloak? That's right, I, Lydia Gertrude Halsin, who has never raised a hand to anyone nor has any idea on how to fight, KO'd someone who was trying to kill me. I swear I'm so going to take up boxing soon to fix my technique because it was horrible I'm sure. Don't give me that look, it's true, though I swear mid way through my epic fight, I heard the coach from Rocky egging me on!”

Frey shook his head as he responded, “If you really feel the need to learn to fight then I can teach you though it'll be at least a half a day before your way up victory mountain. Don't get upset nor think yourself weak, because your actions are actually ridiculously epic in my book. Especially since not many fully realized immortals can wail on someone through an astral projection, nor can they deflect a death blow and form an ice barrier to protect people at the same time. You're definitely something else Lydia Gertrude Halsin. Now come on let's go somewhere, where I can take care of those hands for you.”

I nodded and tried to get up but a wave of exhaustion hit me hard and I stumbled back to the ground.

“Can't go anywhere, too tired,” I mumbled almost drunkenly.

I couldn't believe that my brain's apparent reaction to depleting up my magic was to act drunk. It felt silly because I had been drunk before in my life.

Frey bend down towards me up as he seemed ready to carry me in his arms.

“No princess hold,” I complained at random and continued, “ I'm not a pretty princess, I'm a warrior princess. Wanna piggyback, pretty please with a cherry on top.”

“You want a piggyback?” Frey asked confused by my slur.

“Uh huh,” I said with a smile.

Frey shrugged his shoulders as he turned around I wrapped my arms around neck. He grasped my legs and hoisted me up in a piggyback. I rested my head on his shoulder and dozed off almost immediately.

I woke up just as Frey gently put me down into the car. He got into the other side and I rested my head on his shoulder.

“ Hey Frey...” I said as a thought struck me.

“Yeah, älskling,”

“Can we have please have pancakes tomorrow? Ones that have strawberries and cream on top of them?” I asked wanting to my favourite comfort food.

I didn't hear his answer because my mind slid into the dream world, where I dreamed of being young again and waking up to Auntie Valentine's pancakes and feeling safe in my surroundings.

Cover of Dangerous Realms