Today on The Tattooed Book Geek I am pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for Adventus by Andrew Mowere with an exclusive excerpt from the book.
“What can you do when so many people arrive at your doorstep, bleeding and begging for their lives?”
“You pretend that they’re not people and that you can’t help.”
The elf portal in Yotaku has opened in earnest. Moreover, another portal has opened in each of Jerr and Veld, respectively spewing orcs and dwarves into the realm. With millions of refugees simultaneously fleeing the destruction of their worlds, humanity’s leaders decide to hide the truth and send a joint mission with agents of all major nations.
Yuuto Aimaru, the observer, is chosen to represent Yotaku. This is the purpose for which he has been cruelly bred, a game of intrigue and trickery. Each country cares only to further its designs, and Yuuto is a spy well versed in deceit.
Would Yuuto do anything for his emperor and country?
Now that you have read the blurb and got caught up on what the book is about it is time for the excerpt.
Excerpt from Adventus.
Year 1100 Post Kerdallus, 1 Adventus
Yuuto stood his ground and tried not to glare at the guard.
This was not particularly difficult, as Yuuto knew that conflict had a way of getting people into trouble. The hardened guard, outfitted in weep-rock blades, was only doing his job. It did not matter to him that Yuuto had been sent for personally by their emperor. He was not to be allowed entry into the royal throne chamber unless word came from within.
Thus Yuuto Aimaru waited amiably for the call to come.
Aimaru. Yuuto, somewhere deep inside, he did not think the “Ai” stood for love. It was but the sound that people made when they were hurt. He frowned, dismissing the thought with expert self-control. One never knew when an empirical spy was around. Worse, mind-listeners may be lurking in the garb of servants even here, outside the emperor’s throne room. Considering the assignment that the thirty-years-old held, any disobedient thoughts towards house Aimaru could be seen as direct treachery against the throne of Yotaku itself.
Yuuto slowly roamed along the corridor, with the royal guard keeping an alert eye. Much of the inner royal palace was built of blood-stone. It did not exactly glow, but the rare form of Granite did something to the light around it. Due to Yuuto’s… particular training, he knew of a city in Regalia where wealthy men wore shaded spectacles which distorted the colors they saw. Bloodstone did the same on a wider scale, and so when Yuuto looked out through the wide opening out onto the city, he saw a sky bathed in a provoking red, above a bleeding bustle one could easily mistake for a smaller city. In fact, what he saw was only the outer palace. A part of Yotaku he was sworn to defend with his life and his heart.
“The emperor will see you, observer,” remarked a voice directly behind him. It was thick and knotted like the seams of black bamboo and it belonged to the guard.
No need to whirl, Yuuto told himself calmly, he only wants to see fear; show him exactly why you’ve earned your position at thirty years old.
Yuuto turned with a confident smile and bowed slightly, one hand clasping his fist. His pinky and thumb knuckles were extended in a traditional but insulting gesture: It meant indulgence from a better.
“Thank you, countryman,” he said with a deliberately long blink. It would be easy for the royal guard to cut him down in such an instant. Then again, that was the point of the blink.
The observer need not do battle.
He returned to the jade doors, which had swung open silently when his back was turned. Their forest green shone vivid enough to cause the eyes to water and the heart to sing.
As he passed through, a soft hiss passed through Yuuto’s lips and he glanced left. He was a practitioner of a unique form of magic and bidden by his will, the power within his body coiled through the gates behind his eyes, changing his sight. Within his new gaze, the towering green doors were beset by snakes. Hundreds of them ran through the doors. Moreover, Yuuto would have been willing to swear that those astral snakes made the doors more resilient. Yuuto’s skin crawled as he made his way past into the throne room.
Surprisingly, the throne room was empty of council. In any given day, the emperor’s throne room would be lined with officials versed in all manner of issues and belonging to one of the five current factions of Yotaku. As he stepped, Yuuto’s oshare jingled due to the bells outfitted at the heels of the blue, velvety boots. He wondered if he was due for a promotion, then almost chuckled at the ridiculous notion. He lived only to serve.
At the end of the empty, wood-paneled hall rested a throne. Its ornate, golden depictions of both yokai and men could have probably paid for a smaller palace all on their own. Upon the throne sat a man even younger than Yuuto, dressed simply in loose cloth. Next to him towered a behemoth clad in blue armor. The behemoth had red skin, which marked him out as a very particular type of magician, and his every breath sent steam through his mouth, even in the warm room.
Yuuto did not shiver. He did not allow himself even the merest hint of fear. This was the man they called Dust, he knew. The head of military affairs.
The observer turned his attention to the second man. A second before he reached the customary spot, he fell onto his hands and knees. His forehead touched on the polished wood lightly, carefully.
“My emperor,” he said by way of greeting.
“Yuuto,” replied the humbly dressed man. “Rise, if you will.”
Yuuto rose immediately. It was…relatively inconceivable for a servant to stand so before the emperor. Maybe a few hundred years ago, but certainly not since emperor Sho. However, the observer knew that disobeying the emperor carried a greater penalty still.
Emperor An Tokugawa was a practical man above all else, and everyone in court knew that he viewed the traditional pandering and constant prostrations to be a waste of time. This was a man Yuuto could serve. It was worth the effort.
“It is time,” the emperor announced with a thin smile. “Uncle Asu, blessed be he, has touched the stars and seen the thread. It’s time for you.”
Yuuto’s mouth hung open like a seashore cave, open to Mist and thought. He shut it promptly. “Then the forest’s…”
“Open. The elves are there in earnest. I’ve had word, although it has yet to be sent through to the other continents. This is the moment three generations of your family have been waiting for.”
It certainly was. Yuuto had resented the matter since he could talk. He’d resented it since the first time that monster of a father began ‘opening’ his eyes, but now that the moment lay before him…
“I look forward to serving, lord.” He held his fist once more but this time, he extended both thumbs to his chest in a traditional heart oath. May the strings of his life be cut should he break it.
“Careful, observer,” remarked the behemoth next to the emperor. Dust’s voice roiled. It reminded Yuuto of the time he stood upon the lips of a volcano in Jerr and watched the red eat the falling snowflakes.
“Indeed, Military Chief. I will be most careful.”
“Enough of this banter,” intruded the emperor with a slight frown, “you are to be at the Yesgor, within Inn Drake, in exactly three months and weeks two. You will be the eyes that I need to decide what is to be done with this mess. The rest will arrive by crow.”
“Yes, my emperor.” Yuuto bowed once more.
“Dismissed. Oh, and, observer?”
“Be careful. You may have more of a part to play in this than you think. Elves, dwarves, orcs, not to mention the other kingdoms. A man with eyes may be of more value than any of us believe. Dismissed.”
Without another word, Yuuto turned and left. As he did, he thought about the young man’s words. Emperor An was not only the youngest to gain his position, he’d struggled more than almost anyone else. This youngest sibling bested his brothers and sisters for the seat of emperor only due to his calm analysis and his ability to always be the best informed.
In due time, Yuuto reached his clan’s house, high and painted orange to denote the rising sun. He waved away the servantsservents and walked his jingling boots towards his personal chambers. Somewhere nearby, his disgraced father prowled the corridors, passing judgment on china sets and harassing servants, plotting the fall of his fellow spymasters.
Yuuto ignored him.
Elsewhere in the house, he knew that his wife waited for tidings. Her, he couldn’t truly ignore. Hime would need to know of his departure. Even he didn’t have the heart to lie to the people who loved him most.
Elves, dwarves, orcs. Three new races to share the four continents with.
So much ink.
Pre-order Adventus (released September 1st, 2018).
Or, sign-up to the Association of Merry Makers mailing list and receive an 85% discount with a pre-order link 10 days before it’s announced.
About Andrew Mowere.
Bio: After attempting to write two novels without editing them, Andrew Mowere has decided to completely reboot his writing and considers Adventus to be his true debut. His favorite author is Patrick Rothfuss.
Find Andrew on twitter.
Follow the Adventus Blog Tour.
Follow The Tattooed Book Geek on: