Its coming soon. Opsona Journey Series Book Two, so have a little treat.
Excerpt From Fated Betrayal
Below this whole valley was a massive network of chambers and tunnels all part of an ancient system carved out of the valley by a long lost Opsona Clan, the Fisargo. This portion, where the temple sat was the crypt, it was a place of peace for the dead and had been used over the many generations. These stone chambers held the remains of nobility, a few royals, the honored warrior who fell in battle, and anyone else whom earned a special place in these sacred chambers.
The air grew thicker and chilled the farther we traveled down the darken staircase, twisting around the worn brick walls until they turned into compacted dirt. Imprinted strokes from carving tools were still weathered into the dirt walls, a little piece of the past shining through to the present as we came to the bottom level. The stairs ended into a long tunnel which traveled to the left and right, narrowing into a faint glow at the end of each. It didn't matter which way you went the harsh reality of mortality would be there to greet you.
That was not where Rhea was, Opsona were never buried in the ground nor held in some type of tomb. Our traditions called for ceremony and a fiery release from the physical form from which our souls would raise again to live on, but that would have to wait. I couldn't release Rhea until I avenged her untimely death, a thought that burned into my thoughts as I watched a soft pulsing glow from a chamber just in front of us. She would be in there, the Dressing Chamber. It was where bodies were readied for their long sleep in the catacombs, adorned in the riches they couldn't take with them.
I felt Magunis's hand on my shoulder as he spoke breaking the deafening silence of the corpses. "I'll let you go first." I nodded without looking at him and headed for the small arch that led into the room only to halt at the threshold.
I needed to see for myself that she was gone, but I couldn't bring myself to cross into the room. I didn't want to know. If I didn't see her body, if I didn't touch her and know that Rhea was truly gone then it was like she was still out there. Rhea, the Great Elder gathering her scrolls and secrets, passing her knowledge on to those who would honor it. I could imagine her off to the far west, deep in the serene mounds of rolling sand that filled the wastelands. Searching for her next big secret, the proof to her wild theories and ideas… The eternal scholar.
Finally prepared I stepped into the room and the site strangled every bit of life I had left me in. There she was, lifeless laying out on a stone slab. Candles placed all around her body in a shield of light, their wax running down onto the slab and pooling off onto the floor. I had never seen anything so startlingly beautiful with all its grim truths. Rhea was dead. My teacher…My master…My guide through the worlds cruelty. Gone from this existence so swift I couldn't even catch my breath at the thought.
I approached with uncertainty. They had clothed her in white, she would have hated that, and bowls of sweet rose water were placed near the candles to mask the scent of decay. This had to be some twisted nightmare I was being punished with. I reached out to touch her hand and I knew as a whisper of cold greeted my warm touch. It was confirmed now more definitively then before, she was gone. The mother I wished for was gone.
"How did this happen?" I asked choking back the tears that burned in the back of my throat. "How did all of this happen?!"
I needed to know. Standing there in the city center and looking at the bonfire of corpses I didn't care about the details of the situation. I didn't care what was happening or what had gripped onto Rhea's beloved city. My only thought was getting to her. I knew once Rhea explained it, once I was in her council the world would be fine. We would face this danger together like we always had in the past, but now she was gone and I was alone with demons of this world.
"She doesn't need your sorrow or rage Cret," Magunis consoled me from the entrance. "She needs an angel to help her home."
"No," I growled clenching Rhea's dead hand. "She needs this righted, and I will see it done."
Even if I need my whole-self to do it… My soul be damned!