The Girl With The Bow
Book One in the Nyla Series
(C) 2013, 2016 Adam Cole
Published by Nuncici Press, an imprint of Adam Cole Works LLC
But Vival was not to be found when the mace came down, for vitality had returned to him in a sudden rush of consciousness. Two sounds were evident: One was the terrible rush of air from the downward swing of the mace which he had narrowly avoided. The other was an unearthly cry of anguish that sounded like a thousand voices all calling out in betrayal.
The Overreacher, his swing coming hard upon the floor, recovered far quicker than Vival would have expected and looked over his shoulder towards the drum and the girl. Nyla held the dagger in her hand, its tip buried deep within the ruined skin of the drum. That instrument would never play again. Beside her, the mallet that had beat upon the skin rocked uselessly back and forth upon the floor, now robbed of its own volition.
The absence of the beat was electrifying for Vival. It was as if he had been fed vital energy. Raising his own sword high, he swung quickly against the Overreacher.
But the Overreacher caught the blade against the side of his indestructible mace where it clattered so hard that Vival’s teeth shook. The Overreacher, though large and ungainly, was impossibly fast and his counterstrike threatened to rip Vival’s sword from his hand. Perhaps unwisely, Vival chose to hold onto his sword and found himself hurtled across the room to the feet of the two guards who were only now realizing they could think clearly again.
The Overreacher gaped at the drum for a moment as if he could not believe what had happened. Then he looked and saw the girl holding the dagger. “You!” he cried. “Faithless, abominable child! You have betrayed me!”
Nyla’s eyes opened wide in fright. While this was not the first time she had seen the Overreacher angry, it was the first time he had directed that wrath at her. The Overreacher turned slowly towards the fallen figure of Vival. The hero lay there, holding his sword up from the floor, as if trying to prevent the Overreacher from leaping upon him. Behind him the two guards began to recognize the wisdom of running, and did so, making a loud sound as they clattered and hollered their way out of the room.
Baring his teeth in what looked like a smile, the Overreacher said, “Foolish man, did you think all of my power lay in the drum? You have cost me a great enchantment, but I have more than enough resources to finish you.” The Overreacher turned back towards Nyla who still remained crouching by the drum, petrified. “But first, I will dispatch of this nuisance.”
Screaming what he hoped was his most bloodthirsty cry, Vival leapt to his feet and raced to the drum. He stood between the girl and the Overreacher now, sword still extended towards his foe, his gaze determined and bright.
The Overreacher was not impressed. “Very well,” he snarled. “If you wish me to finish both of you at once, it is my pleasure to do so!” And he cocked his mace back for another tremendous strike that was certain to swipe away Vival, Nyla and the ruined drum, all in one gesture.
“Reypanpil!” shouted Vival.
The Overreacher balked mid-swipe, lost his balance and teetered, the heavy mace threatening to pull him over. Snarling, he shook off the passing cloud of fear that had obscured his face for a second and flexed his mighty biceps for a return to his original intent.
“Reypanpil!” cried Vival again, and something was in his voice now which caused it to echo further down the corridor than before.
“Why do you say that?” demanded the Overreacher, again prevented by some unseen dread from swinging his club to full effect. Vival answered him plainly.
“Who calls?” whispered a voice from the doorway, but the whisper resonanted like a bellow off the walls and the Overreacher recoiled from the sound.
“Vival of the Fittest!” replied Vival.
“Why have you summoned me?” said the Lich as it emerged into the light. It was a blackened skeleton clothed in royal tatters, bearing a rod encrusted with dirt.
“Pitiful undead king!” The words came from the round mouth of the Overreacher who appeared to be trying to make himself look even larger than he was. “Do you dare emerge from your smelly pit?”
“The spell is broken,” the Lich said in that awful whisper. “You no longer have Tooth Skin to keep me at bay. My people once again long to recall their true master.”
“I told the hero,” snarled the Overreacher, “And I will tell you, long dead king. I need no drum to rule these halls. Return to the stench that sustains you or I will rend you for the rest of eternity.”
“That’s good advice,” muttered Vival to Nyla. “Let’s go!” He grabbed the girl’s hand.
“Go?” she cried, looking confused. She still held the dagger in her other hand. “Go where?”
“Out!” screamed Vival, as the Lich gave a low bellow and advanced towards the Overreacher.More about The Girl With The Bow
When Vival, Knight of the Fittest, risked his life to rescue the princess from Veer Isle, he never thought he’d be the one who needed to be rescued. And to make matters worse, the girl he was helping didn’t want to leave! The first book in the Nyla series introduces Vival, Knight of the Fittest, Tom the Incredibly Helpful Sword, two mysterious island dwellers named Cher and Sherluck, and Nyla, the mysterious girl with the bow.
Adam Cole is an author and music educator in Atlanta, GA. He has written numerous books and stories for children, as well as a number of adult and non-fiction titles including The Speed of Darkness and Seven Ways the World Can End.
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