“There is always hope to find in creating something magical.”
I don’t usually add a lot of self-promo into my blogs, but I figured that today was a fine time given then I have a lot of news to work with!
For the first time, I’ve taken the plunge to make a campaign towards releasing my first audiobook! I’m going to be working alongside my friend and fellow voice actress Nicole Templeton, and we’ll be creating the first volume of “The Final Lesson” in clear-cut audio!
Thing is, running a campaign costs money, and so does building a primed audiobook. That’s why I started an Indiegogo funding project, and all proceeds will go towards not only paying Nicole for her services, but also to promote the audiobook and maybe even plan for book two’s release in audio!
There’s a lot of information that I’ve yet to really work through, but I hope that you’ll stick around for it, and be guided through the world of Adrylis in a brand new format.
I would greatly appreciate any donations towards the project, even if it’s just a single dollar. But if you can’t donate, sharing is caring as well!
Help me bring this project to life. I’m sure that you’ll love it!
I figured that sharing an excerpt from “The Final Lesson” would be appropriate for a time like this. If you like reading it, then you’re gonna love hearing it too!
Prep for the audiobook by buying the books here: The Final Lesson Series
The tavern entrance opened, and in stepped Solus with Rem in tow, the young prince appearing both irritable and apologetic; to Leilana, it was an awkward combination, but she supposed that Rem was unpredictable, to begin with.
“My friend would like to offer his apologies for causing trouble in your tavern, Sien,” Solus stated. When no words were offered up in confirmation, Solus shoved Rem’s arm with his elbow, glaring at the boy in the corner of his eye. Rem let out a small grunt of discomfort before stepping to the counter, laying a hand on his chest and bowing to the waitress.
“Please forgive me.”
“What happened back there, Rem?” Leilana asked, which allowed Sien to put two and two together in her mind that these were the friends she spoke of. Seemed like a solid crowd.
Rem scoffed. “Some idiot thought I was hitting on Sien and tried to pick a fight with me. And he dumped his booze on my hair like some prickly preteen, so I punched him.”
“My hero,” Sien mumbled sarcastically, and Rem merely stared at her. She cleared her throat, taking hold of the keys around her neck, approaching the entrance. “Well, I accept your apology. But if you’ll excuse me, I need to close for the night, and you’ll need to leave.”
“Wait, there’s something I wanted to ask,” Solus exclaimed. “Do you know of any inns around the area? We needed a place to rest for the night before we’re able to continue our journey.”
“A journey, you say?” Sien pursed her lips for a few seconds. “Where are you headed?”
“Classified,” Rem said quickly.
“An Arcana, a stalwart man, and a rowdy boy. It seems like a common cluster of personalities. But, you’re no ordinary travelers,” Sien concluded, keeping her back turned.
The lock snapping into place from the inside was audible, which made Leilana hesitant. Sien stepped past them to seal the entrance to the back rooms, another distinct lock rushing through their ears. Rem’s eyebrows began furrowing at the swift change of pace, and Solus was already resting his hand on the sheath of his blade, the anxiety shared between his two companions too much for him to witness without putting an end to the conflict himself.
“I heard around the grapevine of a group coming north from Kalonia,” Sien continued. “They say that the group eradicated the Dirionus guarding the town and left without being too inconspicuous. And it’s no coincidence that three strange faces have shown up in my tavern. Tell me, was it you three?”
“We don’t know what you’re talking about,” Rem began, resting a hand on the counter in front of her, bearing into her eyes. “So, stop with the lackluster accusations, because you don’t even know if they’re plausible without reason.”
Sien reached out a hand to lay on Rem’s arm, and pain shot up his right shoulder, causing him to flinch. His injury still hadn’t properly healed from their endeavors in Kalonia, and now that a proper healer had seen to it, he was bound to be exposed. She grabbed him by his shirt collar and pulled him to her level, resting her forehead against his, her eyes fluttering closed. Solus was about to step into action when Rem held up a hand to sway him.
“Seems you’re running a fever,” she mumbled. “I thought that you looked pale when I first saw you. Your breathing is a little irregular. Your clothes are beginning to tatter. You’re obviously injured and trying to hide it. You were in a fight long before arriving.”
She opened her eyes to meet his gaze, her expression both calm and stern. Rem stepped back from her, baffled by the diagnosis before laying a hand on his own forehead. She was right; he was warmer, and not even he noticed the fact.
“Am I right then, Rem? Or perhaps I should say, Prince Remiel,” Sien hissed. Rem and Solus looked to one another, feigning confusion before returning their attention to their captor.
“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Rem began.
“Am I accusing without reason?” Sien scoffed. “Why have you come here?”
“Who’s Remiel?” Leilana chimed in. “Our friend is Rem, remember?”
“Don’t think I’m stupid,” Sien replied. “His mannerisms in the tavern were more than enough to tell me that he was dignified, spoiled, and reckless.” She pointed a finger at Solus, her eyes questioning. “He’s the wayward Prince of Adrylis, isn’t he?”
Solus kept a straight face. “No. Just a stupid boy.” Rem’s head snapped over to Solus, scowling.
Sien’s eyes were bearing on Solus’s being, and he still didn’t crack. “If you’re worried I’ll open a can of worms on his identity, there wouldn’t be anything in it for me. Let’s face it, you’ll need me.”
“And what makes you think we’ll need you?” Solus retorted.
“Rem is feverish, an early onset of a virus. I can whip up medicine to lessen his symptoms before they’ve surfaced. I can be his caretaker until he recovers, but I won’t have secrets, or you will all be on the streets. And I don’t think you would want that. There are many cold fronts at this point, and without early treatment, I doubt he would last the night without becoming too ill to move forward.”
Leilana looked perplexed. “Medicine? I thought that you ran the tavern.”
“It all brews,” Sien responded. “I’m a trained herbalist, a tavern owner to pay the mortgage, and I lease. Or, you know, I could sell you the medicines that you desire on Remiel’s tab and send you on your way, but it’s not going to be cheap.” Solus’s muscles hardened.
“You can’t-” Leilana tried to reason.
“Oh, believe me, I can. I am designated leader of this village, and I have a say-so of who gets to step on my grounds. I don’t have secrets. I would like to be treated the same.”
“You’re just full of surprises,” Solus admitted. “Tavern mistress, apothecary, and chief to a budding village. There are no limitations to your skill.”
“The truth,” Sien pressed. Solus stepped to Rem, laying a hand on his shoulder, a telling look on his face. Rem sighed, nodding in approval. Maybe it would help to have proper allies in better places, and Sien didn’t seem the type to go running her mouth too often.
“I am Prince Remiel Ankove Vesarus. Heir to the throne of Linmus. This is my attendant, Solus Brenner. And the girl is Leilana Erovina, an Arcana training to become a Warlord.” Rem laced his front bangs between his fingertips. Sien raised an eyebrow, becoming intrigued by the direction that the conversation was going in. “Solus and I are searching for a way to restore Linmus. Leilana might have a way to help us, so she chose to tag along.”
“I figured it would be beneficial to my mission as well, as I’m supposed to gathering totems for my pilgrimage,” Leilana cut in. Sien nodded to herself. That did explain a lot; someone like Leilana didn’t seem the type to mesh with royalty despite the formalities.
“I can’t say much else aside from that, because there isn’t much to mention. I just want to help my people, but no one even knows that I’m alive, and that’s for the best until I come closer to my goals,” Rem finished. “Now can you unlock the door and answer Solus’s question about where we can stay for the night? I’m starting to feel tired and want to lie down. We’ll be out of here tomorrow.”
Sien sighed, opening the door to the back rooms. “This is the inn,” she responded, resting her hands on her hips after untying her ponytail, her crimson locks flowing down her back. “We allow people to rest here if they’re too drunk or just in need of a place to stay. If you can afford to, you’re welcome to our beds. And only with my seal of approval will you be leaving tomorrow.”
“What?” Rem croaked out merely from astonishment, clearing his throat quickly. “Why is that?”
“From what I’ve heard, a lot happened at Linmus. The kingdom fell, and many are unable to return to the land without permission. Those that do enter never seem to return. You’ve got a lot of work cut out for you in the long run. Besides, even if you could return to the kingdom, you won’t get far if you aren’t properly treated. You’d likely die before you got to the northernmost point of the continent. And what kind of apothecary would I be if I were to turn away the ill-ridden crown prince? It’s sheer idiocy to let you try anything that reckless.”
Rem’s cheeks flushed. This was the first time that he had seen genuine generosity with an edge that didn’t tie into his title. She was being hard on him rather than reluctant. “Thank you, Sien. I really do appreciate it.”
She playfully rolled her eyes. “Yeah, yeah, whatever. Hurry it up, we don’t have all night. You can work around the room arrangements however you’d like. There’s only one room that’s been taken, and the guy using it when to bed way before the chaos started.”
Solus watched Sien guide Leilana and Rem passage into the back rooms, the lengthy hallway dimly lit by some candles. He kept his arms folded, pondering over the sudden gesture that Rem offered up. He was so cautious about his desire to keep his identity hidden, and no amount of alcohol intake could have ripped that morality away. Why would he in good conscience allow his guard to drop around Sien, someone that he only met a few hours ago? He supposed there was no choice but to trust Rem’s judgment and wait for him to recover before asking him directly.