For those of you new to my blog, I've been adding pieces of the first chapter of Out of the Shadows: Book II of the Elysian Chronicles. Cleck out the link if you want to read the beginning of the Prologue. Also, if you want to receive notification of Out of the Shadows' release, sign up here.
Chapter OneDavian raced through the Palace of Ezzer’s quartz gates and into the palace courtyard. Down the main path he flew until he reached the fifty-foot, quartz Statue of Ezzer. Davian knelt and crossed his fist over his chest in salute. He kissed his hand and touched the base of the statue. “I wish you were the one we were electing,” he whispered. He glanced at the inscription on the statue’s base. In times of darkness, let faith be your guide. Let your hope never fail. Immediately, Davian’s worry increased. The statue’s inscription matched Cassadern’s message, and the last time Cassadern told him not to give up hope, the Third Battle began. Davian stood up and flew through the palace’s crystal doors and down its ornately-carved quartz halls. He passed through the sapphire encrusted Command Chamber doors, barely noticing the two guards who saluted him.
Davian paused a moment as he stared at the hall. Two rows of quartz pillars supported the vaulted ceiling and led from the doors, past the quartz statues of Elysia’s ancient rulers, and all the way to the empty crystal throne that sat upon the a dais. It won’t be empty for long, Davian thought. He turned to the immense forty-person conference table in the center of the room where High Seraph Salla and the other seraphs perched. Children, thought Davian. After Eric and his conspirators had assassinated most of Elysia’s high ranking officers, Salla promoted the remaining lieutenants and captains to positions far beyond their experience. Most of the seraphs sitting around the table had taken orders from majors only three months ago, and they held onto Salla’s words the way boys hold onto candy.
Davian landed in front of Salla and knelt.
Salla frowned. “You’re late. I expected my senior arch-seraph to set a better example.”
“Something came up, sir. I need to talk to you alone as soon as possible.”
Salla lifted an eyebrow. “If you wanted to talk to me, you should have come to the policy meeting on time—not continued research on a project you know I’m going to order you to stop tomorrow.” He turned to the rest of the seraphs at the table, who stared at Davian with disdain. “That concludes this meeting,” Salla said. He hopped off his perch, turned away from Davian, and headed for the door. The rest of the seraphs exited as well.
Davian looked around the room for something he could punch instead of Salla, but he dared not touch anything in what he still considered the hallowed hall of Ezzer. He flew after Salla. “Sir, I really need to talk with you.”
“I’m a busy cherubian, Davian. I only ask that you respect my time, which you can’t even seem to do.”
Don’t give me that, thought Davian. You’ll be spending most of your time frolicking about in the Treetop two hours from now. Davian flew in front of Salla. “I was late, sir, because I just discovered a possible threat on your life. Now, I could have arrived at your meeting on time and allowed you to be assassinated, or I could have traced the threat to make sure it was valid. Which would you prefer me do next time?”
“I’d prefer you’d adjust your tone and show me proper respect.”
Any other seraph would have cowered and immediately apologized. Davian crossed his arms. “Fine. When you have time to realize that you don’t want to die tonight, find me.”
Davian turned to fly out of the Command Chamber, but Salla blocked his path. “You have five minutes.”
“Thank you. Remember how you and I originally assumed that Eric led the Third Battle Conspiracy? Well, sir, we were wrong. Eric was a blind—the face of the leader, but not the leader.” Davian reached in his pocket and pulled out a charred note Harley had given him. He passed Salla the note, which said:
Eric, proceed with your plan to keep Davian on Earth—but do not harm Gabriella more than necessary. Either recruit her, or make it look like an accident. I want Davian out of our wings, not on rampage. And be patient. You will have the pleasure of killing him once everything settles down. Give the senator my command crystal and tell him to take those who have joined us out the northern canaf before the sun sets on Friday. Once you finish with Gabriella, return and await my orders. The letter had no signature.