A princess kidnapped by an evil wizard with an undead army, an emperor determined to get her back, a young hero sent to save her, along with a fairy guide…
But this princess is far from helpless, this emperor doesn’t wait on his throne for others to act, and this fairy may be even deadlier than the young man she’s guiding.
Sora, a young fairy from another land, discovers an army of undead about to be unleashed on the newly-united Krisvetan Empire. After failing to kill the wizard responsible, Sora agrees to help the Emperor’s wizards open a portal for her and Victor, a lone human hero, to try again. But magic is complex, and the portal will require Victor and Sora to pass through many alien worlds on their journey through time and space, with only each other for support.
Meanwhile, the Princess Mira finds herself the target of kidnappers led by a ruthless, nearly superhuman warrior. Mira doesn’t know who has kidnapped her or why, but she will make her captors regret messing with the daughter of Emperor Drago, the great warlord who united the Krisvetan Empire.
Drago isn’t one to sit idly and let others do the dirty work, either. With crucial information delivered by a lowly, but heroic, trooper named Stanis, the Emperor sets out with his army to defeat the wizard the way he knows best–through strategy and force of arms.
Follow Victor and Sora as they adventure across strange and dangerous worlds. Follow Mira as she battles her captors, one woman against a small army. Follow Stanis as he rides alongside the greatest warlord in Krisvet to fight an unstoppable army. This fairy tale is no bedtime story!
Krisvet: A Fierce Fairy Tale is an ongoing serial fantasy story, with new chapters released bi-weekly.
Targeted Age Group:: 15+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I love well-written fantasy adventures, and felt it was time to share one of mine.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The main characters, Victor and Sora, came to me in a dream, and the rest just flowed from there.
Sora perched on a low branch to rest her wings, pinning her sapphire-bladed spear against the wood so she could crouch on her hands as well as her feet. A minute later, Kasai landed to her right, breathing heavily. His coppery hair was dark with sweat. Kasai blew out his breath, the speed of his breathing slowing to nearly normal, though his chest still heaved deeply as his body tried to catch up on the air it needed.
“Could you just slow down for a bit, Sora?” Kasai complained. “Not all of us are skinny little girls, you know.”
Sora spiked Kasai with a quelling look from her blue eyes. “In fact, I’ve stopped completely, as you may have noticed.” She brushed her chin-length silver hair out of the way as she turned to look toward their goal. “We’re close.”
Kasai sighed and sat down on the branch, straddling a twig sprouting from the side of it, letting his legs dangle over the edge. He settled his spear across his thighs, the ruby blade pointed away from Sora. “That’s what we’ve thought every day for the last six days. For all we know, this power vortex has already covered all of Krisvet. There’s no way to tell how far it is unless we know how powerful it is.”
“Not true,” Sora corrected tersely. “I’ve been moving at an angle all day, instead of straight toward it. When we started, the sun would have been setting to the left of the vortex. Now it’s directly behind it. We’re very close.”
The pair of fae had been traveling for half a month, but for the last several days they had been flying nonstop except to eat and sleep. Sora’s water bottle was nearly empty, and she doubted she could refill it before morning when the dew settled out of the air to be collected. She took a sip anyway.
Kasai shook his head and chuckled. “I still don’t understand how you can know that. It’s not a single point.”
Sora sat down as Kasai had, freeing her hands so she could tie her hair back with a silk ribbon. “It has a center. I use that.”
Sora was glad for Kasai’s company, and had been elated when he had insisted on coming with her when she had decided to leave her home and explore the world. For weeks, they had traveled the Fae Lands, the temperate rainforest between the coast to the east and the mountains to the west, but none of it was appreciably different than the area where the pair had grown up. Bored, Sora had eventually left the forest and set out for the pass over the Midori mountains, dragging a reluctant Kasai along. They’d expected to turn back once they’d seen the Krisveti River Valley, where humans lived. It was said to be a dry, desolate place where the giants eked out a living by siphoning the rivers into vast fields of withered plants to eat. They would be far from the first fae to view this terrible land, or even to visit it, but doing so was rare enough that neither of them knew another fae who had made the journey.
When they’d reached their goal, however, they’d been shocked to see, in addition to the valley, a vortex of magical energy greater than any they’d ever heard of. Such a concentration of power could not be good, so they had continued down the mountain pass to scout it out. Now it was just ahead, and they needed to be rested when they approached it.
Sora wore a sleeveless, blue silk tunic that covered her to her knees. Kasai’s tunic was nearly identical except for size and color, his being a fiery red. It was also noticeably damp, Sora noticed. “Were you flying dustless? You could have rested without me.”
The other fae shrugged. “I wanted to make sure you didn’t get too far ahead. If you hadn’t stopped when you did, I’d have said something.”
The translucent wings sprouting from the back of every fae in two pairs could–barely–support them simply by flapping very fast, like an insect or hummingbird, but the only way to cover any distance was by generating fairy dust. By pulling power out of the aether and crystallizing it on the surface of their wings, fae could push against the weight of the dust instead of air alone, giving many times more thrust with each wingflap. Physical strength and magical strength were different things, and while Kasai had much of the former, Sora greatly outmatched him in the latter. Kasai had run out of magic and kept flying on his wings alone to keep up with her.
Kasai was strong and confident. Sora liked that about him, but she liked still more the fact that he respected her. She was as good a flyer as any fae, and a better fighter than most, which was partially why she didn’t want to marry Kasai despite how much she liked him. Female fae–fairies–invariably became fat after pregnancy, which made them necessarily sedentary. Sora still wanted to have an adventure or two.
“We’re inside the edge of the vortex, I think,” Sora said. “Flying should be easier from here on, with power so concentrated.”
Kasai stood up, stretching, his thick muscles rippling under his skin in a way that made Sora catch her breath for a moment. He was well over six inches tall, while she barely reached five if she stood on her toes. He flashed her a grin. “Well, I’m ready when you are, blue eyes.”
Sora stood up as an excuse to ignore the diminutive. Hugging her spear to her chest to minimize drag, she hopped off the branch and resumed flying toward the concentration of power. Kasai flew directly behind her, passing through the same gaps in foliage she did. It was the only way for two fae to stay close while flying at speed. That meant Kasai had a view directly up Sora’s tunic, but it also meant he was flying through Sora’s dust trail, so he couldn’t do much staring without getting dust in his eyes. Sora preferred to lead, and anyway, she always kept her legs together when flying.
The trees here were nearly as dense as back home, on the seaward side of the Midori Mountains, where it rained on average once a day. These trees were stunted, though, only a fraction of the size they would have been by the same age on the other side of the mountains. She marveled at how humans could live in such a harsh place, as big as they were said to be.
Sora broke out of the trees and pulled up, turning her body vertical so that her wings braked her quickly. She hovered, a stream of dust drifting down from her before being scattered on the wind. Kasai did the same, hovering next to her. They had already been flying downhill, but here the ground sloped down sharply, nearly a cliff, the trees on it all young and small. In the distance was a castle, a massive building of grey stone with walls as tall as sixty fae. If not for its regularity, Sora would have mistaken it for some sort of outcrop, it was so huge. She had heard stories of these titanic structures, but few fae had ever seen one, since that required a trip over the mountains. It was amazing on its own, but now it stood in the center of a maelstrom of power that would have made a hole in the ground look breathtaking.
“Are those humans?” Kasai wondered aloud. Sora focused on the ground inside the castle walls instead of the walls themselves. From here, she could see nearly half of the courtyard. It was teeming with moving figures. Beyond the walls, a great many more of the figures milled about. Sora caught glints of metal among the figures, but fae eyes could not see clearly at such a distance.
“Come on,” Sora prompted, and flew toward the castle. Kasai perforce followed.
The fortress seemed to be oriented away from the mountains. It sat atop a hill at the base of the mountains, where the rolling foothills stopped and the sharper, craggier mountains began. The majority of the moving figures were on the far side of the castle from the two fae, some spilling out to either side, but there were none here in the back. Sora reflexively angled toward the part of the castle closest to them, a tall tower built into the rear wall of the castle.
As she got closer, Sora began to make out the figures a little better. Kasai must have had better distance vision than she did, though, because he called out “Whoa! Those can’t be humans!” before Sora noticed what was wrong with the milling creatures.
They wore a huge variety of tattered clothing, much of it metal, and all of them carried weapons, suggesting that this was an army, but the figures beneath the clothing were the wrong color. Humans were supposed to look much like fae, only wingless and much, much larger. Like fae, they supposedly came in many skin tones and hair colors. These creatures were the right shape and size, but every one of them was pink where their flesh was visible–not the pink of a light-skinned fae, but pink like the cherry blossoms which were blooming back home. It looked thoroughly unnatural on an animal. This was an army, but as Kasai had said, they couldn’t be human.
The two fae were so focused on the strange, armored figures around the castle that neither noticed the pair standing atop the tower until they were only forty feet away. Both were huge, but one was much bigger than the other, and clad head-to-toe in metal. The other was clearly a wizard, because now that she was so close, Sora could tell that the maelstrom was swirling around him, not the castle
Sora gasped and stopped quickly. Kasai, heavier, flew several feet closer before stopping. The metal-clad figure–was it a golem?–had turned as if looking around, and seemed to have seen her and Kasai. It said something Sora couldn’t understand in a booming voice, and the wizard turned as well. He looked bestial, with dull grey hair covering his face and neck, leaving only a little skin visible around his piercing eyes. As she’d thought, the skin was the same shade as that of many fae, though darker than hers or Kasai’s. The wizard was a human, but the things below were magical constructs, or perhaps some kind of undead.
Sora didn’t know who this wizard was or whom he planned to attack with his army, but there were thousands of armed constructs below, which meant they would probably kill thousands. If the wizard marched them over the mountains to attack the fae, he would lose, but many fae would die stopping him. Even if he attacked other humans, so much bloodshed seemed…evil. Sora knew what she should do.
Diving down from her hover, Sora gained speed quickly, then leveled out and shot toward the wizard, angled slightly left so his metal companion would block the wizard’s view of her. Kasai said something, but the wind in Sora’s ears and the buzzing of her wings made it unintelligible. She was moving as fast as she ever had, so when she tilted to the right, using the thrust of her wings to push her sideways as well as up and forward, the force of the turn tried to pull her spear out of her hands. Sora clutched her weapon tightly, aiming her body toward the wizard’s head. He had turned to keep his eyes on her, and his eyes went wide as she shot toward him. He started to raise his right arm, perhaps to fend Sora off, but she shot past it, holding her spear with her right hand nearest the blade, the blade angled out to her right and backwards, so it stuck out an arm’s length from her right side and the tip was even with her feet. The keen sapphire blade, painstakingly sharpened with precise blows from a diamond, whisked through the skin of the wizard’s neck nearly as easily as it did the air.
Even so, the slight extra drag as Sora sliced the man’s neck nearly pulled the spear from her hands, and dragged her around to the right as if she were flying with a string tied from her body to a tree trunk. She whipped past the wizard and the metal helmet of his companion, and tumbled, barely clearing the stone parapet as she lost control. Sora tumbled twenty feet down and as far out from the tower before she righted herself and stopped falling. Once she did, she flew straight up to see the result of her attack.
The wizard stood facing her, his right hand clamped to the side of his neck, blood seeping through his fingers. His teeth were gritted with pain, but his eyes blazed with rage. He pointed at Sora, mouthing words, casting a spell. Sora could see the energy swirling around them gather onto the point of the wizard’s finger and dived down and forward, toward the tower, to get out of the wizard’s sight. A bolt of lightning cracked above her, its heat fierce on her back.
Sora nearly didn’t stop in time. As she shot toward the wall of the tower, she pivoted as if sitting, using her wings’ thrust to brake. Her bare feet hit the wall jarringly, but her legs absorbed the shock so that her face did not. She planted a foot atop a tiny ledge where the cement had weathered away faster than the stone, taking much of the load off her wings, and looked around for Kasai. She hadn’t had a moment to think about him since she’d d started her attack.
Kasai came around the corner of the tower, staying close to it as Sora was doing. Until he got close, Sora couldn’t tell if his ruby blade was bloody or not. As he slowed to a hover near her, she saw it was not. “Are you insane!?” Kasai blazed at her, his face a only a shade less red than his spearblade. “They could have killed us both!”
“I had to try,” Sora said defiantly. “That army is dangerous.”
“So is that wizard,” Kasai shot back. “And his bodyguard is faster than he looks. I nearly got splattered trying to distract them from you.”
Sora glanced up to see the helmet of the wizard’s companion peeking over the edge of the tower. “Quick!” she hissed, grabbing Kasai by the wrist and diving downward. A few feet below was a strangely-shaped window, many times taller than it was wide. Sora flew into it, but found that it was boarded on the inside, leaving barely enough room for her and Kasai to squeeze into it. She stood with her back to the board, her wings pressed outward against it, her spear upright in her right hand to keep the blade safely out of the way. Its blade showed only faint traces of blood. Kasai took up a similar position facing her, but slid his left arm around her waist, pulling himself against her. The tips of his wings stuck out an inch or more beyond the window, but they would be virtually invisible to anyone trying to look down from the top.
“This isn’t our fight, Sora,” Kasai said, sounding both angry and tired. “We need to get away from here before we get killed.”
Sora nodded, her face pressed to Kasai’s chest. “It was worth a try, but yes. There’s no way we can kill him now that he’s prepared for us.”
Kasai took a sharp breath, about to say something, but instead just sighed in exasperation. After a pause, in a calmer voice, he said, “Okay. It’s nearly dark. If we stay close to the wall, then fly along the ground, they probably won’t see us. We just need to wait here until the sun is down.”
Sora nodded again, wrapping her own left arm around Kasai. She was trembling with the aftereffects of the fight, her muscles suddenly tired as the stress of combat subsided. Staying here sounded very good. She closed her eyes, feeling Kasai’s breath in her hair.
A terrible crackling sound, almost like the sound of the wizard’s lighting bolt, came from close behind Sora. She shouted in surprise and shoved against Kasai, pushing them both out of the little window. As they tumbled, Sora saw a metal hand thrusting out of the window.
Of course. The bodyguard had gone down inside the tower. Sora wasn’t used to thinking of stone as having an inside. Stone was part of the ground, not buildings. Fae buildings were woven from strips of bark shaved from trees. Sora righted herself and looked for Kasai. He was a few feet further from the tower than she was and a few feet lower, but he, too, was upright and flying. Sora looked up and to her horror, saw the wizard’s head and left arm leaning out over the battlements. “Kasai, look out!” she shouted, diving and swooping as she had before to gain speed quickly. Another bolt of lightning crackled through the air. It missed her by more than the last one–she didn’t even feel the heat. She dove toward the corner of the tower. So long as she stayed airborne and wary, she could duck around the corner whenever the wizard tried to attack her. Given the amount of power focused on him, this wizard was a master on par with those of legends, but even so, two powerful lightning spells in such a short time would be exhausting for any wizard. He’d soon tire and she and Kasai would be able to escape.
When she reached the corner, Sora grabbed a pit in the stone to stop herself and looked back. At first, she couldn’t find Kasai, but a shimmer at the edge of her vision caught her attention. Kasai was nearly a hundred feet away from the tower, diving and flying directly away as fast as he could.
“Nooooooo…” Sora moaned. “Turn, Kasai! He’ll–” a crack above her cut her off. A bolt of lightning shot from the tower, and Kasai vanished in its dazzling fire. Sora screamed and launched herself upward. As she rose above the battlements, she saw the wizard slumped against them, the effort of three spells in a row having tired him out. Sora was too enraged to even scream, so only a hiss escaped her lips as she aimed herself and her spear at the wizard’s eye and drove forward.
A huge axe barely missed Sora as she was about to strike. The air pressure of its blade shoved her sideways, however, and her spear stabbed through the wizard’s ear instead of his eye and brain. Sora had been prepared to slam her weapon all the way into her target, even if it meant that her body struck his face. Instead, her spear sliced neatly through the cartilage on the outer edge of his ear and she flew past his head. Sora banked and turned left as hard as she could, trying to come around for an attack from beyond the edge of the tower. She saw the wizard’s bodyguard holding the axe that had nearly killed her. That man was as fast as Kasai had said, but Sora was beyond caring. Before she’d made it halfway around, her wings felt suddenly heavy. She began to fall.
Sora had exhausted herself, physically and magically, and could no longer fly. The ground rushed toward her, tall grass waving gently as her wings fluttered noisily in the wind created by her fall. She closed her eyes, too tired even to be afraid of dying.
“Sora!” Sora’s eyes shot open as she heard Kasai call her name. The ground was very close. With a last effort, Sora flapped her wings, a tiny sparkle of dust glittering in the fading light, then leaves slapped her, making her tumble before she hit the ground, and everything went dark.
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