Embers of the Past
Elements of Chaos, #1
by Lucille J. Knight
Genre: Sword & Sorcery, Dark Fantasy
Legend tells that the dragons of Ryuutachi gifted humans with the power of elemental magic long ago. Those born attuned to one of the seven elements were revered, but their arrogance led to ruin and suffering, unbalancing the natural order. Now they are feared and despised, forced to hide their gifts or be persecuted for the sins of their forebears.
Taoru is a single father who will stop at nothing to protect Lian, his only daughter, but what can he do when the greatest threat she faces is herself? Can he keep their magic secret and Lian safe from impending war? Or will he lose everything he holds dear?
Wujun is consumed by the many secrets kept from him. He knows only that his parents died when he was an infant, leaving him a vast fortune and cryptic allies. They care for him, protect him, but in doing so isolate him from the rest of society. Then he meets Kentai, a haunted, mysterious swordsman and at last he has a friend. Can he hold on to this blossoming connection or will the ghosts of the past shatter his hope for a better future?
Fate’s tangled web is about to entrap them all. Are the mages destined to return balance and stability to Ryuutachi? Or will their magic plunge the land into eternal chaos?
Bright scorching flames blazed around Lian’s body, licking her exposed skin, coiling around her limbs and torso. She could feel their powerful heat as they writhed and lashed, but she remained impervious to their wrath. She gazed upward, high above the raging fire to its source, and was filled with a feeling of awe and fear. A beautiful, serpentine creature towered in the sky, its great crimson mane shining with fiery hues as it reared back, taking another deep breath.
Lian braced herself, her stance wide, arms bent with her fists clenched parallel to her ribs. The second blast bathed the slender woman in molten fury, and once again, she endured. She had taken the dragon off guard; she could see it hesitating, sizing her up, trying to figure out how she, an ordinary mortal woman, still stood defiantly before it. This was the perfect opportunity to strike back!
Still maintaining her pose, Lian reached into the depths of her soul to where her own wild inferno always burned. She drew that power upward with little coaxing, just as her father had taught her when she was a child. Her mouth opened wide, and a second later, flames, every bit as hot as those of the dragon’s, erupted from her. The gout of fire slammed into the unsuspecting dragon, inciting a roar of surprised outrage. Her blast had done no more harm to the dragon than its had to Lian; she made her point all the same.
As the flames tapered out, a broad grin spread over Lian’s face. Few had the gall to breathe fire back at a dragon, and the rush of adrenaline-fueled courage made her feel downright giddy. The dragon was regarding her more closely now, watching as her smirk turned into a laugh. It really should have seen its own face, she thought.
Much to her disappointment, the fight was over. The dragon lowered itself down, yellow eyes penetrating to her very spirit. Its lips parted, and she braced, thinking it was about to attack again after all, but instead, it spoke.
It’s, no his, voice was like nothing she had ever heard before. The deep rumble reminded her of standing in a circle of roaring bonfires. Yet, in contrast, his tone was gentle and imploring. Lian’s body relaxed, her demeanor turning somber.
“Byetzu, Tiyomi. Rise to the Heavens and rain purging flame upon the broken, wicked world.” The words echoed, reverberating through Lian’s heart, bones, and mind. “Byetzu!”
About the Author:
Raised in a small town in South Central Alaska, Lucille J. Knight discovered her passion for writing at a young age and cobbled together a tremendously awful Star Wars fan novel by the time she finished middle school. As an adult, she began her career as a freelance ghostwriter before launching into indie publishing for herself with her debut novel Hexen Blood: Damnation. Lucille presently writes and publishes from Missouri.