It’s time for another excerpt, but before I do, I want to tell you that I hit 60,000 words! I’m excited about that! Now, back to the excerpt, if you didn’t get the chance to read the other two and want to check them out, the first one is here, and the second one is here.
This scene is from the interlude I mentioned the other day. Please enjoy, and remember that this is the roughest of rough drafts. I ask that you ignore any errors you see.
Habbo set down a saucer of warm milk and the Paw Paw walked over and started lapping it up eagerly.
“Good, kitty,” he said, standing up. He wasn’t the kind of man to own a cat, but the stray needed a home, and he needed something to occupy his time as he sat with his books.
The sounds of the tenth bell could be heard. He would be closing up shop soon. He sat back down in his chair and picked up his book and started to read. The store was filled with the scents of paper, ink, and old books. It was a comforting smell for the old Vaster man.
He never thought he would miss Vastervale, but after living in Fyld for over ten years, he had finally begun to think of this country as home. He preferred the quieter lifestyle. His life in Vastervale had been all work all the time, one bloody and dirty job right after the other. No, owning a bookstore in Fyld was a lot more conducive to his age and lifestyle.
The bell over the door rang, and Habbo looked up. It was only Slyine sauntering in. He was a tiny Fyldish man with a ruddy face, despite the dark skin. He walked up to the desk and plopped a book down. “This was hard to find, Sarawrro?”
He glanced down at the book. “That’s not it.”
Slyine grimaced. “What are you talking about, Habbo. This is what you told me to find.”
“I asked you get me the book about the noble house of Ragark, Slyine, not bring me a frozen by damnation fake!”
“This isn’t fake!” His tone sounded insulted.
“I’ve been dealing with information and books my whole life, friend. I know when a book is made to look older than it really is. Now, find me the real book or you and I are going to have some problems.”
With a grunt of annoyance, Slyine snatched the book and put it into his satchel. “Have you heard?”
Habbo tried to go back to his reading and Slyine was now bothering him beyond the reason why he had come into the shop. “Heard what?”
“He’s here again.”
Habbo glanced at the small Flydish man. “Are you sure?”
“Positive. Maggo saw him this morning.”
“What could he want?”
The door opened and the bell rang. A cloaked man walked in.
Habbo nodded to him. “Be right with you, friend,” he said in Fyldish. He turned back to Slyine. “Keep a sharp look out. Get out of here. I have real work to do.”
Slyine nodded and stepped back from the counter, bumping into the cloaked man, which caused him to trip and try to catch himself. All he could grasp was the cloak, which caused the man’s hood to fall off. Slyine steadied himself, and looked into the face he unconvinced.
With one smooth motion, the sword was in the man’s hand and stabbing Slyine through the heart. Slyine didn’t even get the chance to gasp. He was already dead.
Habbo stood up in shock at the sudden murder.
The man lowered the body to the ground, sniffing the tears away. “I’m sorry. Forgive me,” he said. His voice was a rich baritone, but he whispered most of what he said, making him sound more menacing.
The Priest of Tears was huge man, powerfully built. His armor made him look even thicker. The left side of his face was covered in the grey mask with tears etched into it. The right side of his face was wet from real tears. His thick brown hair was showing beginning signs of aging. He cleaned the Mercy Blade on his victim’s clothing then held it loosely to his side.
Habbo got over the shock quickly. “Did you really have to kill him, Arnyth? He was one of my better informers.”
“He saw my face,” the Priest of Tears said in his slow, creepy whispered voice. “I don’t want anyone knowing I’m here, Habbo. You know that.”
“But now I have to do something about the body. You’re making my life a living frozen tundra of damnation!”
“The information you gave me about the Divine Blade was incorrect. It’s not in the Sazwa Temple.”
“My information is never incorrect, Arnyth. You didn’t look hard enough.”
“I killed thirty monks, searched every inch of the place, and burnt it to the ground. This time tomorrow most of the people in Fyld will morn their deaths, and I will not have the Divine Blade. This is a problem, Habbo. You have no idea how much I need the Mythic Blades. I will do anything to obtain them.”
He murdered the entire temple of monks? Habbo seriously underestimated this man. “Why does it matter? You have the Mercy Blade.”
The Priest of Tears slammed his gauntleted fist onto his desk, cracking the wood. “I need all of them, Habbo! Not one, not two, all five!” His voice was like thunder when he didn’t whisper.
He lifted the blood red Mercy Blade and pointed it at Habbo. “You have been useful to me, Habbo.” His voice was back to a whisper. “Your information on the location of the Mercy Blade was correct, it was in one of the small villages along the Crown’s Road. I was at the Crown Masquerade last week, and I learned some useful things there, though no one knew they were giving it to me, information about possible locations of the Banish Blade and the Wind Blade. Since leaving Kalvin’s Crossing, there are whispers of the return of the Mythic Clerics, but I don’t believe those rumors. I don’t want to kill you Habbo, but I know you’re more informed than you’re telling me. I need the location of another Mythic Blade.”
Habbo swallowed hard. It took a lot to frighten him, but the Priest of Tears did so without any effort. The man was terrifying with his mask of tears, crying as he killed, and whispered voice. He killed without mercy, not caring who his blade cut down. Habbo had heard rumors of him killing Vaster priests, Flydish monks, men, women, and even children. He didn’t seem to care when he murdered. But at the same time, he grieved for them even as he ended their lives.
He didn’t want to die, but he also didn’t want to give this man more places to go to kill some more. But his desire to live was too strong. He nodded quickly, eyeing the sharp point of the Mercy Blade. How is a man like him worthy of the Mythic Blades in the first place?
“It would seem that my information about the Divine Blade was wrong, Arnyth. Forgive me. I do have something else.”
He slowly crouched down and fiddled with the safe box he kept under the counter. He opened it, and ignored the dagger he had in there. Attempting to stab the Priest of Tears would be a mistake, and he knew it. He searched through the papers until he found the one he was looking for. He stood up and handed it to the Priest of Tears.
“This is where I’ve heard the location of the Honor Blade is, Arnyth. I received this information four months ago, but I doubt its changed hands in that amount of time.”
The war priest looked at the paper. “Fallowway?”
“Yes, a merc there has the Honor Blade.”
The Priest of Tears stood there looking at the paper for a long time. Habbo started to get worried that the Arnyth would lose his temper and kill him. But the Priest of Tears simply folded the paper up and put it in his satchel.
“Thank you, Habbo. You have been a good help to me. But I’m afraid I won’t be coming back to you. Fyld is too far away for an informant. I guess you wouldn’t consider moving to Vastervale?”
“Not even if you offered me the crown,” Habbo said with a smirk. He was relieved that he would never have to see the Priest of Tears again. Dealing with him was dangerous business.
The Arnyth nodded. “I’m sorry to hear that.”
Before he knew it, Habbo felt cold steel through his ribs. He didn’t even see the Priest of Tears move. It happened so fast that he couldn’t feel the pain. Blackness was closing in, his life was fading fast. All he heard before death took him was crying and a whispered plea for forgiveness.
-Excerpt from The Priest of Tears; Interlude, by Andrew Ronzino
This was spawned from me not knowing what to write and I just started to tell Habbo’s story and that is what came of it. Please let me know what you think!
Current word count for The Priest of Tears: 61,068,795/50,000!
Until tomorrow comes,
Andrew Ronzino, That Guy