The Kaianan Trilogy Deluxe Package includes all five paperbacks made out to "recipient name," signed by Cara Violet.
Offer running in 2021.
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They’d landed somewhere. Somewhere completely unknown, and not even five clicks of the tongue and ‘portation could get Xandou out of the mess he was in. With Ryar and Jahzara hobbling along at his rear, he was stuck weeding his way through an overgrown, over-infested, stinky forest.
“Come on Saffie!” Ryar called out.
“Enough of that!” Xandou said, letting his frustrations boil over.
“Let her go, Ryar.” Jahzara’s voice was clear and Xandou frowned at the heartlessness of the words.
“But she can’t survive on her own.” Ryar panicked. “We’ve no idea where we are.”
Jahzara spread her palm out forward, black aura vying, bending branches aside and exposing a flock of birds. Not the Felrin Dovelet but smaller, deeper indigo, more petite and squeakier in their calls. “She’s found a friend.” One singular male bird, fluttered to a branch nearer to Saffie.
Ryar made a noise. “But she needs protection? She’s a domesticated animal—”
Jahzara laughed, her orange curls falling about her face. “The key word is animal, Ryar. Her instinct is still there,” the Conductor of Rivalex stared after Saffie who sat intently on a perched branch staring at the family she so craved to meet. “Sometimes stability is in the family we long to create; that represents the real us; and no matter the loss of protection, the love and happiness is worth the risk.”
Xandou observed Jahzara shift her palm right, merging the two branches and allowing Saffie a chance to hop over to the proud bird.
“Hmm,” the Giliou Shielder began, “I don’t know if Dersji Brikin would take so kindly to you unleashing the pet he owns.”
Jahzara snarled at him. “Nothing—no-one is owned, Xandou.” Her words were curt, “Everyone has the right to consistent love. And not everything needs to be wrapped up and hidden from the world.” Her eyes admired the birds who’d begun squawking at each other. “Saffie knows the risk, she’s willing to let go of her human dependency because of it. Question is,” Jahzara dropped her hold of the branches and gave the birds their own space while focusing on Xandou, “are you capable of the same?”
“After what you’ve done?”
“How you clutch to others?”
“I clutch to no-one.” Xandou’s voice was raising uncontrollably.
“To Kaianan, you do.”
“I’ve given up that—”
“You only say you have,” Jahzara bit back, “your mind is clouded with guilt!”
“I’ve heard enough,” Ryar interjected, “All these things are happening, and my family is home on Forsda where war could be brewing. Things aren’t okay, but you two need to stop attacking each other while we work it out.”
Xandou breathed out, uncertain.
“I am asking you both,” Ryar said, “because I’m angry too, and I will not stop being angry until I get home.”
“Home is not where you think it will be, young Ryar,” Jahzara said. “Don’t let our anger make yours any worse.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means nothing,” Xandou said. “It means we all think differently and Jahzara has her own way of dealing with things. Right now, we move forward.”
No-one spoke. The silence was comforting. Xandou weaved through opaque foliage and aimed for a small clearing. The others followed, until the small clearing became a wide, gravel pathway.
“Where does it lead?”
Xandou shook his head at Ryar. “Possibly to a civilization.”
“Are we stuck here—”
“Let’s work it out as we go, shall we?” Xandou was trying not to sound condescending. He wished the silence would return.
Thankfully it did. They continued walking without exchanging words; the path getting wider and wider as they scaled the forest: eyes peeled, looking for a way out.
His senses told him nothing. It had been hours since the sun began escaping them. Daylight was running out. Xandou had no idea how much longer it would take to locate a species let alone a Homo captiosus civilisation.
One more step on, high-pitched noise startled him. He felt shivers up his spine. Creatures were screeching. The path was as big as it had ever been.
“What’s that?” Ryar said apprehensively.
The sapphire sky was riddled with darkness and stars. Shadows crossed above them; flickers of light sweeping by in succession.
“Salators,” Jahzara said, narrowing her sight.
“A Sala what?”
“Screaming Salators,” she repeated. “The hunting fish of the sky.”
“Who they hunting?”
Xandou didn’t wait for Jahzara to answer Ryar’s question, he already knew. Firing up in aura and flicking his blade up and out, he ushered them toward the forest.
“This way,” he said rapidly, his aura burning through him in anxiousness.
Immediately, Xandou stopped in his tracks.
“What are you waiting for?” Jahzara panted.
“Retreat!” He screamed.
A huge Salator emerged from the overfilled trees. Shrubs and branches snapping apart as a narrow flat head, as big as Xandou’s chest squawked at them in desperation; spit flying in its wake. The tip of its ginormous pointy beak was dipped in colour; bright spots of yellow and crimson matching its rising scaly body and featherless wings: four claws sprawled either side, spotted and webbed for flying. It was the Salator’s large talons on its hind legs it was now standing on that had Xandou unnerved.
“Watch from above—”
“Help!” The shout came amongst the barking Salators.
Rotating, Xandou witnessed Ryar in the clutches of a Salator that had pierced one of its talons into the young boy’s collarbone region and was elevating them both into the sky. Sending an aura beam to the Salator behind him and a revolving blade to the Salator in the sky pulling on Ryar, Xandou ‘ported to the flying bird grasping Ryar, landing atop it.
The beast struggled in response; tackling his grip with an airborne snapping beak.
A sudden vibration milled below them.
Time stood still.
Xandou felt Jahzara as he had in the watchtower on Rivalex. Below, the sea of tentacle hair and black pinafore strips spread, flapping about as the wraith summoned the Siliou into her control. The Salator’s rough skin under his palms the only thing he could comprehend—Xandou was frozen. They all were.
Billowing black aura cascaded upward. Blindness upon him; the mist took over. The Salator fell unconscious; falling from the sky.
“Not again,” Xandou chastised, eyeing the short fall and bracing himself for impact—repositioning the beast away from Ryar with whatever movement the fall provided him. They picked up pace—
Bones crunched. Xandou had managed to work the Salator’s body under Ryar to protect him. In doing so, his own body took a hit—abandoning the free time movement for the in-training Shielder. Laying awkwardly in discomfort and catching his breath, Xandou rolled away from the injured Salator and over to the evading darkness; it took a while for the smoke to finally clear.
“I’m sorry.” The masculine voice said, becoming visible.
“What for?” Xandou wheezed out, standing, getting a clear image of the white eyes and pale skin of the wraith that stood well above him. “You haven’t stopped them yet.”
In no time, the screaming Salators wailed out in fury.
“I’d say they are angrier now.”
“Sir,” Ryar breathed out in thanks as Xandou painfully heaved him from the gravel. “Thank-you. Are you okay?”
Blood dripping from his mouth, Xandou held in his broken ribs. “We have to keep moving—”
Reek! Reek! Reek!
Several Salators multiplied into over twenty. Every which way Xandou pivoted he was met with those spotted pointy beaks and drooling cries on land and in the air.
“We’re trapped,” Jahzara’s deep voice said.
“If you didn’t decide to send out a flair,” Xandou said calmly, “we wouldn’t have alerted the entire flock to our arrival.”
“I—” she began to defend herself but a small cry broke through the others. From behind them.
The Salators flapped their mighty wings toward the ground to stand on their hind legs and stopped wailing. They were relatively silent. The small cry from their rear grew. Xandou almost dropped to his knees when he observed the pint sized Dovelet come into focus.
Squawking, Saffie, flapped hard and fast toward them, stopping as she met them to face the Salators. A mere purple speck in the gravel as she closed in her wings and pushed out her chest. Her neck elongated upward and she addressed the animals fifty times her size in ravenous squawks. What she continued to rant and rave about, Xandou did not know. But she went on, and intermittently the Salators listened.
It was by a stroke of sheer triumph, that when the Salators screeched and made hefty holes in the gravel as they launched and disappeared into the night sky, Xandou knew, allowing that bird its freedom was what saved them.
Saffie, swivelling around to them, bowed and also soared into the sky.
“Thank-you,” Xandou said, interested in staring after the Dovelet, who he swore winked back at him.
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Offer running in 2021.
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