Now an excerpt from Legends ll : The Novel

Mark McQuillen & Mara Reitsma
#Valkyries #EpicFantasy
#PNR #Adultfantasy

The latest from Valkyrie ll: “Dilemma’s and Plots..”

Mist and Sif clutched Gil tight as if they would never let him go. It was chilling to have listened to Gil run down the plotting and sinister scheming of the enemy. The more he told them, the more it made sense, and Mist for one wasn’t too keen on the idea of Malice’s forces pulling a fast one on them. Using Loki to spy on them was one thing, but to plan his capture, the gaining of their trust only to turn around and betray them, that was quite another.
Then, there was Gil’s plan. He wanted to use Loki against Malice. He knew the fool was using him and would offer only the wrong information in his presence. Mist again was not sure of this. Not only was it dangerous, but it would also confuse the troops; many of which wanted to see the bastard hang.
“I’m glad we’re friends because you would make a hard enemy to kill.” She shook her head in the end, nuzzling in close to him as they lay in the bed.
All Gil could do was a laugh.
“What so funny?” Sif asked, raising her head from his chest.
“That’s what Rob and I said about you when you and the rest were readying to butcher the traitor in the courtyard.” He shuddered, remembering the mob itself.
“Well, since we can’t hang him, what do we do with him?” Mist inquired, laying back against the pillow with her wrist over her eyes to block out the light.
“He serves Malice, right?” Gil blurted out, a new thought forming in his mind.
“As far as we know,” Sif replied.
“And she’s sent him on some mission to spy on us, right?”
“Yes, but, where are you going with this?” Mist raised herself up on her elbows and narrowed her eyes at him.
“What if we make him think he’s succeeded?” Gil went on, sitting up between his two females. “Find Ashe, tell her I have a special mission for her.”
“Can we get some sleep first, please? You too, tired minds don’t think well.” Sif complained as she yawned.
Mist was more intrigued by Gil’s plan, and knowing how unpredictable he could be, she was well aware of how dangerous and devious the plan actually was. He wanted Ashe to impersonate Malice. She was sure of it.
“I guess so, it has been a long night,” Gil replied as he kissed Sif’s brow.
He too, let his eyes close, only to find Mist in his mind. ‘You’re going to have Ashe impersonate Malice, aren’t you?’
‘Am I that transparent?’
‘Only to me, but you’re taking a great risk, my love. If Loki sees through your plan, he will kill you; and worse.’
‘What could be worse than death?’
‘When he kills, there is no coming back. You’ll be beyond my abilities to heal, he’ll make sure of it.’
He wanted to argue with her, but she knew way more than he did when it came to the art of life. ‘You could always turn me?’
‘He knows about the Einherjar and would never risk you becoming one them. A new commander in the plague trying to suffocate him.’
‘I know, Mist, but that’s a risk that I have to take.’ Had to, being the keywords there.
‘One cannot trick, the trickster, Gil.’
‘That sounds like a challenge, my love?’ He grinned, only to feel her pinch him, hard. ‘Look, I’ve worked with professional assassins before, which is why I’ve asked for Ashe to help. She knows the layout of Ghost Mountain, and, she’s an assassin of the dark arts; they know more ways to kill than anyone imaginable.’
‘Both are good reasons, but they still do not convince me to allow this madness.’
‘How about one more?’ He inquired, sitting up in the bed carefully so as not to waken Sif, the last thing he needed was another Valkyrie reaming him out.
Mist glared at him as she too began to rise. ‘It better be good!’
‘She is female, and poison is said to be a female’s weapon of choice.’
‘You wish to poison him?’
‘I know of certain poisons that will make me appear dead. We’ll let Loki think he’s succeeded in murdering me…’
‘Absolutely not!’ Mist had never felt fear before, but she felt it now as she listened to Gil.
Loki was capable of anything, yet here Gil was, gambling his life away. ‘If we can convince him he’s won, he’ll take me back to her. She’ll see I’m dead and leave me in some spare room. I could then sneak out and catch them both of guard.’ He was trying hard, but she just kept shaking her head. ‘We could eliminate the two greatest threats to the realm, at the same time.’
‘No, I won’t let you do this! Sif won’t either.’ Mist rose from the bed. ‘There has to be another way.’
“There isn’t!” His voice was loud and he knew he’d wake Sif if he wasn’t quiet, he just, couldn’t keep quiet any longer.
“You are our only hope for victory. Let Loki campout in his cell for a week. He’ll change his tune.” Mist shot back, her eyes changing colors like a rainbow in the sun.
“And in that week, Malice will have laid a hundred traps and we’ll be right back where we started.” His voice rose and he could hear the startled gasp from the bed.
“I will not allow you to risk your life, on an if! Damn you, do you hear me?” Mist was growling, her hands on his shoulders as she shook him. “It’s madness!”
He couldn’t bear to look at her, he knew she was right but he had to do something, and he turned away from her; only to catch a glimpse of Sif, whose eyes blazed like blue coals.
“I forbid you to do anything of the sort, and if you try, I’ll put you in a cell next to Loki, until you both come to your senses.” Those glowing blue eyes narrowed at him. “We didn’t bring you here to die, so you can give us that week.”
Gil looked at both of them, their eyes bearing down on him in a commanding and eerie way. He knew they couldn’t wait a week, but he didn’t seem to have much of a choice. A week in a cell would have given him ample time to muscle some info out of the bastard, but then he’d miss the touch of his females and he really didn’t like to see them like this. Fear did not become them.
“Ok, a week.” He agreed rather quickly. “And no sneaking around either.”
His females nodded as they began to calm down, those glowing eyes carrying no more than a few sparks. He could deal with their anger, but the fear we too much. It would take time for him to plan his little operation anyway. The poisons would need to be researched and obtained, the traitor needed a good interrogating and an escape plan would have to be laid out if he had any hope in convincing his Valkyries to follow him. He couldn’t do this without them, and clearly, he needed to approach this in a different manner or keep it a secret altogether.
“Come back to bed, let us rest before morning meal is served.” Sif yawned, her hand held out for him to take.
“Alright!” He smiled at her, letting Mist guide him back to her, though sleep was far from his mind.

About the author: Mark McQuillen
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