Saturday, January 9, 2016

Sassy Saturday: Running on Adrenaline and Spirit


Welcome to another week of the Sassy Saturday Blog Hop.  Except, it's technically no longer a blog hop. Jasmine Walts, the founder, decided to discontinue it last month (December 2015) due to lack of participation and her own lack of time to promote it. However, I like the idea of it so I'm going to continue with my own excerpts.

The purpose of the blog hop used to be showcasing excerpts from our novels about kick-butt heroines. Every Saturday is a new post. If you want read more about it, the link is here.


This week's post is the third of a three part scene. It's the conclusion of Tiza and Eric's fight with the rogue mage Dark Staff (part 2), whose organization was humiliated by Princess Kasile in their attempt to kidnap her (part 1)
1. Kasile vs the Black Cloaks
2. The Danger of Dark Staff
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Tiza fired. Dark Staff didn't budge. She didn't need to; her barrier stopped them for her. Tiza lunged for her sword and fired again. With a spin of her staff, Dark Staff reflected them all back at her. One, two, three and Tiza was knocked to the ground. Dark Staff chuckled as Tiza struggled to her hands and knees before falling again.

“It’s been fun, Wannabe, but—”

“Take. That. Back.” It was soft, but also a growl, and so cold that Eric felt a chill. Even though she was on his side, and even though she was face down in the dirt, he was afraid of her.
 
“All right, here's something better; damsel. You're the kind of helpless that doesn't believe they're helpless. A damsel in distress that thinks a sword and a tough attitude makes her a warrior.”

“Now you're gonna get it!”
 
Suddenly, a brilliant blue aura sprang forth and lashed angrily in all directions. She jumped to her feet and resumed a ready stance. A beam of blue light appeared at Dark Staff's weapon. With a yell of rage, Tiza charged. Dark Staff sneered under her hood. Eric knew this aura. He knew it was useless in a head-on collision. She's gonna get herself killed! I have to do SOMETHING!

He took a deep, painful, breath and pointed his staff. Tiza slashed. Dark Staff struck. A feminine scream of pain followed and Tiza stood behind Dark Staff, unharmed. Her teammate's barrier absorbed the blow; it broke instead of her. Dark Staff, on the other hand, bled from her side.

She fell to her knees and glared at Tiza with a burning hatred. “How!?” How did you--” Eric nailed her blind spot and she fell face first. Tiza leaped forward and brought her sword down hard on Dark Staff's head. She shook for a moment, then went still.

Tiza's aura faded. She leaned against the wall and slumped to the ground. She poured sweat and breathed deeply, but remained conscious. Dark Staff started to get up. Tiza's aura rekindled and the latter impaled the former with enough prejudice to bury the blade to the hilt in the ground.

“Well . . . they say . . .” Tiza's skin was now deathly pale and her eyes glazed. “Any plan . . . you live through . . . is a good one.”

Eric couldn't believe his ears. He was happy that they lived, of course, but the rest of the kidnappers got away with the princess. They failed. Tiza was counting on me for cover fire! If my magic was stronger, I could have broken Dark Staff's barrier. It's all my–!

“Cheer . . . up,” Tiza said. Eric couldn't believe his eyes either; Tiza was smiling.

Adrenaline Junkie . . .!

“Cheer up!?” Eric demanded. “We lost the princess, got banged up, almost killed, and you want me to cheer up!?” He said all that in one breath and immediately regretted it, because now he had to inhale and that made his chest pain flare.

“We might have . . . missed the princess . . .” Tiza flopped helplessly as Dark Staff's body wriggled. “. . . but we still . . . got one . . . of the kidnappers  . . . she can tell us . . . where she is.”

“You killed her,” Eric pointed out. Then he thought of shamans and of calling out to the dead. It was absolutely ridiculous in his own world, but in this one, it seemed like anything was possible so long as you had enough power, knowledge, and determination.

“No, I didn't   . . .  get over here . . .”

Eric got to his feet, his chest screaming at the effort, and walked over to Dark Staff's body. The wound in her side was rapidly healing. Their kidnapper's head had a nasty bruise, but no puncture and even that was rapidly fading. The wound in her stomach was more an inconvenience.

I will kill you both as soon as this Fog lifts.”

Eric looked at Tiza in amazement, but she looked back with annoyance.

 “Until then . . . we're alive . . . uninjured . . .” She rubbed her jaw. “. . . mostly uninjured . . . We have a lead . . .” Dark Staff attempted shapeshifting away from the sword, but an eye on the pommel glowed with non-light and she failed. “I'm not . . . an idiot . . . you know.”

“No, you're not.”

Eric layback against the ground as his limbs jellified. Adrenaline left his system and it was replaced by fatigue. His chest ache was getting worse. On the bright side, they were alive and the Dark Fog was clearing up.

“Over there! I see something!”

Footsteps; heavy footsteps, like someone in armor. Soon they were close enough for Eric to see who was making them: knights in full armor and mages in long robes.

A knight stood at the head of the group and demanded, “Who are you? Identify yourselvesssss!”

“We . . .” said Tiza, still gasping for breath. “. . . are mercenaries . . .of the Dragon's Lair.” She tapped Dark Staff's head with her scabbard. “And we . . . caught a kidnapper.”
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To learn more about Tiza and A Mage's Power, visit Tvtropes at http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/AMagesPower.

A Mage's Power, and the rest of the Journey to Chaos series, are available for purchase at
http://amzn.to/10NsG2i

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