Title: The Prophecy Chronicles: Prophecy Fulfilled
Author: Ron Hartman
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1
Naphthali is free…but can it last? The Emperor plots revenge while Daniel and his friends seek answers to end the Empire once and for all.
Naphthali is free, the Empire reeling. Given time the Emperor will retaliate, destroying the successful uprising in Naphthali, and ending the hope of everyone on the continent of Enialé. Following the only lead they have, Daniel Marten and his friends voyage across the Azure Ocean, seeking a way to defeat the Emperor once and for all. New civilizations, and different interpretations of the Prophecy, meet Daniel as he fights for the answers he needs, all the while racing against Imperial forces.
In this thrilling conclusion to The Prophecy Chronicles trilogy, Daniel must unite allies, striking into the heart of the Empire before it’s too late. Will he bring the Light to set the people free? Only time will tell in The Prophecy Chronicles: Prophecy Fulfilled.
Salty spray washed over the deck as The Dauntless cut through crashing waves. Daniel released his white-knuckle grip on the railing long enough to wipe his face before regaining a panicky hold. The wood was slippery. His fingers slid around the molding, but his left hand had gotten quite strong since the right was maimed. Just when it seemed he was going to lose his grip entirely, he clamped down with all his strength, pinching the railing like a vice.
His heart hammered in his chest, but it wasn't only the rough ride that made him nervous. He squinted behind the ship before returning his gaze off to the starboard side. He couldn't see the ship chasing from behind, but in the distance he could just make out the billowing sails of their shadow. It had closed by several hundred yards just in the last few hours. His weak eyes couldn't make out the mailed fist on the sails, but he knew it was there.
They'd spotted the fleet of five Imperial cruisers two days ago. It closed on them before splitting up, attempting to flank The Dauntless from both sides, while one ship continued the chase from behind. Only Captain Ani Yar's peerless skill kept them at bay thus far, but they still weren't to the Three Kingdoms. Their luck was running out.
Ani stood at the wheel on the quarterdeck, a position he'd not relinquished since the chase started. He glared to the ship on their starboard and roared, "Water the sails!"
Several crewmen dropped buckets tied to lines into the Great Blue and hauled in seawater, which was promptly run up the masts. Men waiting on the yardarms poured the water over the sails. The canvas, which had already been straining in the wind, pulled even tighter, the ship lurching forward as it gained more precious speed.
The closing ship fell back slightly, but even with the added speed they weren't able to leave it behind entirely. "It's not enough," Key growled. He stood alongside Daniel, hands resting on the pommels of his enchanted daggers. Daniel glanced at him, and for a moment, despite their danger, couldn't help but be amazed. The warrior rolled effortlessly with the ship, barely moving as they crested another wave.
Meadow Song rested one hand on the railing as she glared out over the churning water. In her other hand was her bow, an arrow knocked and ready. Her dark hair was plastered to her forehead, eyes flashing like fire as she waited for the ship to close. "Don't give up hope yet," she murmured. "Ani will see us through."
No sooner had she spoken than a man in the crow's nest bellowed, "Land!"
Ani's eyes darted up to him for a second. The crewman's arm was stretched out, pointing slightly port of their current trajectory. With a moment's glance at their shadow, he hauled on the wheel and pulled the ship around. No sooner had he corrected course than the two Imperial ships flanking their port side came into view. One was ahead of The Dauntless, but the other was on a parallel course.
"Too damn close," the captain growled as he turned his gaze forward. He watched for the slight variation in color of the Great Blue. It warned the wary when they approached underwater reefs. The lighter blue would be nearly impossible to see with the frothing waves, but it was their only clue of the danger as they closed on the Three Kingdoms.
~ * ~
Bastion stood in the crow's nest alongside the man that sighted land. He offered a calm grin and clapped the man on the back before returning to his side of the platform. The two bisected the seas surrounding The Dauntless, each covering one side of the ship. The Imperialists on the starboard side were tacking into the wind, trying to pinch their ship between it and the one that closed on the port. While there was danger there, it wasn't immediate, so after he took in the ship, Bastion forced his gaze to wander, covering each quadrant of the seas in an orderly fashion.
Bastion continued without pause until he reached a section nearly directly aft of the ship. A momentary thrill of relief rolled through him, but just as the teacher was about to call down to Ani, he saw what lay ahead more clearly. "No," he groaned. He threw his arm out and roared, "Another fleet!"
Daniel looked up at the crow's nest, his mouth falling open. "What?" His eyes darted in the direction Bastion pointed, just in time to see eight ships sail out from hiding. They came about and cut them off from Albera's protected bay. Wind billowed out their sails. Daniel's heart dropped when he saw a golden money pouch and chest of goods.