Merry Wanderer of the Night  + [guest]

FTF excerpt from author Laura Lond!

This Fairy Tale Fortnight post is from author Laura Lond. Laura's books take an interesting twist, offering a main character who, according to the Goodread's summary, is a villain, but still quite capable of being the hero of his own story. I think it sounds delightful! Misty will have more stuff from Laura about her books (Sunday, I believe) but for her, here is an excerpt from book 2.

Excerpt from My Royal Pain Quest, book 2 of The Lakeland Knight Series
by Laura Lond
The Tenebrous Valley greeted us with a chilly breeze. The place deserved its dreary name. It was misty and damp, fog rose from the wide river in the middle and spilled out onto the bank. The hills on both sides quickly grew into mountains, blocking the sun more and more as we went deeper in.

The prince was clearly nervous, constantly glancing over his shoulder. I knew exactly how he felt.

Some time later I noticed him look at Cassandra again. And again.

“Your face seems familiar,” he said. “Have you been to Dalvanna?”

“No, I haven’t.”

“What’s your name? Archibald?”

“Yes.”

“Yes, Your Highness! I will not have a villain’s servant disregard my title!”

“He will skip Your Highnesses if he so desires,” I interfered, “and I wouldn’t recommend retaliation. He is excellent with the sword.”

Kellemar sneered at that. “He won’t dare raise it against me.”

“He will if he has my permission. And as of this moment, he does.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. For whatever reason, you need me alive. You won’t let your servant kill me.”

I smiled. “Of course not. But chopping off an ear or a hand is a different story.”

That shut him up for a long time.

We kept walking, the unpleasantness between us seemingly fading as long as neither one of us said a word. I hoped Cassandra was reassured about the prince possibly recognizing her. Yes, he thought Archie looked a little familiar, but it was clear he had no clue of her identity. Her disguise was too good.

A couple of hours passed. I was beginning to think about a snack when we heard the growl.

I wish I could say ‘the forgotten growl,’ but it wouldn’t be true. I’d never forget that sound.

Kellemar’s face turned white. He stopped in his tracks, frantically searching the reeds where the menacing rumble had come from. I knew he wanted to run—which would be the end of him.

I grabbed his arm; he nearly jumped out of his boots, eyes wild.

“Stay here,” I urged. “Don’t leave my side.”

The reeds moved and parted. The lizard-like monster slithered out, fangs bare, glowing red eyes locked on us. Slowly, he lifted one paw and dragged it over the ground, long claws leaving deep marks.

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