Happy Hump day, everyone!
I hope your week is going well! Today I'm sharing another snippet from my current WIP, book 3 in the Alpha Protectors series.
Last week, I shared the beginning of the story, right before our hero and his brothers in arms entered Lust's realm. I've skipped a few paragraphs and now they're all within that terrible place...
“Hey,” Ethan greeted them.
‘What took you so long?” Killian asked.
“Some newbie didn’t move out of the way fast enough.” Noah chuckled. “Ethan practically ran him over. You know how much he likes travelling through dimensions.”
“He should have known better,” Ethan grumbled. “So what are we waiting for?” he asked, thumbing the ax hanging from his girdle. “I’m ready to cut some limbs.”
Killian grinned. With a quick flick of his wrist, he motioned for them to gather round.
“You know the mission. West tower number one. We have two and a half hours before the horn blasts. We don’t separate and we move as one. Time to do our job and kill some Inferum.”
‘Aye,” they all chorused, slapping themselves on the back.
They set off at a run, their boots crunching against the dirt and their weapons clanging at their side. Branches seemed to claw out at them in a futile attempt to stop them. After a few minutes, the landscape transformed, the trees thinning out into another clearing.
“Up in two,” Killian’s voice commanded.
They picked up speed and unfolded their wings. The movement sent a shot of energy pumping through him, viciously clamoring for more.
“Now,” Killian ordered.
Max leaped, propelling himself skywards with a strong down-stroke of his wings. Aided by air pressure he quickly went forward and upward. Flapping, he gained lift and positioned himself into flight formation, which consisted of an inverted V.
He glanced below. The terrain had transformed again, becoming a lush forest of blazing, red trees. Among the copses, he caught glimpses of the River of Endless Pain, roaring with strength. He frowned. Legend said the water came from the tears of Lust’s victim. If that were the case, it was truly a bountiful season for the Sin.
“GH in 5,” Killian called.
Max’s heart pounded. In a few minutes, he’d see what was commonly known as the Garden of Hellish Delights. A sight which always made him slightly nauseous and sent anger careening into his veins. At the dawn of battle, he’d learned to welcome the latter.
Max held his breath. The trees had scattered, giving way to jagged rocks.
His stomach churned. The land dropped hundreds of feet into a valley of endless despair. Men and women alike, the souls of those who had permanently succumbed to Lust, were forced to indulge in activities which were far from pleasurable. Torture implements, giants, inexplicable monsters, beasts, and humans pushed and shoved. Max averted his gaze and sped up, hoping to diffuse the sound which would eventually catch up with him. During his first mission, he mistook it for the whistling wind, but the impression lasted mere seconds.
He braced himself. The wail of thousands of souls begging for mercy surrounded him. Bile rose to the back of his throat. Anger clawed at him from within. His fingertips tingled and he recognized the oncoming surge of adrenaline which would drive him into combat. No one deserved to suffer forever. All those bellow had once loved, honored, been generous or kind. He couldn’t help them anymore, but he’d ensure the ones within the castle got a second chance.