Well, here we are. The first book of The Apostate Saint is now fully released on this site. I delivered a chapter once per week in a similar way to that of my first book - the novelization of The Oro Goro, that some of you may remember. I am happy with how the story is unfolding, and I am also pleased with the way that my writing structure has adapted to the weekly installments.
Fridok stoked the fire, adjusting the freshly placed log so as to give the flames enough air flow to burn properly. The campsite had become a waiting place for those who remained - not all of whom were doing so with grace and patience. Fridok had practiced waiting patiently his whole life, so it was easy for him to remain calm while they waited for the Son and the others' return. Even Ervig was showing signs of nervousness, which didn't help the situation. Things had gotten so tense between those who remained that Bulgar had taken Xanthus out to practice archery a good distance away from the camp. That left Fridok stuck between the ever-agitated Ervig and Geilamir, whom Fridok had still not grown fully comfortable in his presence.
The road back to the City was littered with the occasional demon husk, which was in stark contrast to the way the road had been on their way away from the City. There had been at least three skirmishes - if you could call them that - that the Son must have fended off on his way to attempt to save Gailavira. Along with those poorly organized skirmishes, there were several lone demons that must have simply been looking for a quick meal before they met their ultimate end. Nothing would stand in the way of the Son and his mission, but Alaric was hopeful that they might have at least slowed his commander down enough for the four of them to catch up with him. Judging by the inhuman screams echoing through the canyon ahead, Alaric knew that his suspicions were correct.
"I don't have to explain to you that none of this leaves this house," Valoricus said plainly to his colleagues gathered in his home. "Not to your wives, your compatriots or your sons. We work in darkness, as it must be done. As it has been done so often in times of great need for the sanctity of this ruling body. For the City." The men gathered before him nodded, eying one another as if to gauge their loyalty to the conspiracy. Barius Fiducoulus seemed more nervous than the four others, something which Valoricus took to mean that the man was to be a liability. Valoricus couldn't ignore the obvious, so he sought to address his suspicions without hesitation.
Ever since he had regained his legs, Art had walked himself straight from one disaster into another. He was beginning to think that his new legs were, in fact, cursed, and that it would have been better if he had never regrown them in the first place. When he considered the mysterious nature of the Gifts that the Son had used to regenerate his legs, he began to consider that something more foul was in the air. The fact that he had inexplicably been incapacitated right around the time that Alaric's mother died really sold him on the fact that, perhaps, he shouldn't have looked that gift horse in the mouth.