VEDRAN’S HAND, by Harper Kingsley

"book cover: Vedran's Hand"Title: Vedran’s Hand
Author: Harper Kingsley
Genre: fantasy
Rating: Adult
Contains: assassinations, duels, non-descriptive m/f and m/m.

Summary: A duel to the death is to take place between two unbeaten champions. The Emperor’s Hand, the man known only as Dragon Knight, has been tasked with giving out eighteen gold seals to men and women of his choice, allowing them to witness the legendary battle between Hezzero and Nasbeth. Everyone wants an invite, and they are willing to do whatever they have to in order to get one.
Meanwhile, machinations are going on behind the scenes and someone is planning for a new Emperor to be crowned. All they need is the death of Emperor Vedran Malvorta.

This novel will be posted online.

Vedran's Hand


Vedran's Hand, by Harper Kingsley

Webserial fantasy novel. Contains: violence, non-descriptive mm romance.

A duel to the death is to take place between two unbeaten champions. The Emperor’s Hand, the man known only as Dragon Knight, has been tasked with giving out eighteen gold seals to men and women of his choice, allowing them to witness the legendary battle between Hezzero and Nasbeth. Everyone wants an invite, and they are willing to do whatever they have to in order to get one.

Meanwhile, machinations are going on behind the scenes and someone is planning for a new Emperor to be crowned. All they need is the death of Emperor Vedran Malvorta.
Chapter One -- 4439 words (18 ms pages)Chapter Two -- 4842 words (20 ms pages)Chapter Three -- 2600 words (11 ms pages)Chapter Four -- 3149 words (13 ms pages)
Chapter FiveChapter SixChapter SevenChapter Eight
Chapter NineChapter TenChapter ElevenChapter Twelve

 

.


.

Dragon Knight – the Emperor’s Hand. At 12 years old he binds himself in service to the then 16 year old Crown Prince Vedran Malvorta. An orphan of good birth, he gives up his family name and becomes the Empire’s sharpest blade. His love for Vedran is the driving force of his life and there is no one he won’t kill and nothing he won’t do for Vedran.
Through great daring and risk to his soul, he wields the demon sword Silva Morta. It must taste lifeblood each time it is drawn or he will lose control of it and he will be the one wielded.

Emperor Vedran Malvorta – son of an aging tyrannical madman, as a child he watched as war broke out around him as loyalists executed his father and put him on the throne. Bearing the mental stain left behind by the things he’s witnessed, he has vowed that his rule will be just and fair and that he will win the love of his people. To that end, he has angered his Imperial Advisors by using funds from the Imperial Treasury to pay for public works, but he is firm in his desire to ensure his country’s prosperity.

Kameris Teloran – childhood friend of Vedran and Dragon Knight. He is loyal to the core.

Princess Emera Malvorta – the Emperor’s younger sister, she is a sweet and trusting girl. She has no memories of her parents and Vedran is the only family she has ever known. He has been more father than brother to her, and she is certain he won’t mind the feelings she’s developed for Dragon Knight. What brother wouldn’t want his sister and his best friend to fall in love with each other?

Empress Selesta Demarran Malvorta – mother to the Crown Prince, she was raised above the other Imperial wives. Born of the politically powerful Demarran family, she will do anything to ensure her son’s ascension to the throne.

Crown Prince Lulius Demarran Malvorta – Emperor Vedran’s oldest child and heir to the throne. He is a rather quiet boy that would do anything to make his father proud.


Excerpt:

He was meeting with his ministers when a messenger hurried into the sitting room and delivered a scroll. The red ribbon denoted that it was fairly important.

“Please excuse me,” he said, pulling off the ribbon and tossing it on his desk in front of him. He drew in a silent breath before breaking the seal. “Enjoy the tea service.”

He ignored the curious looks the ministers gave him and they turned their attentions to the rather lavish bounty of pastries and sliced fresh fruit.

Vedran unrolled the scroll and began to read. He could feel his eyebrows trying to climb toward his hairline and his mouth went dry.

Dragon Knight had killed Lord Herold Pendai in the baths in a brutal display of strength.

There was no doubt in Vedran’s mind that he was going to be hearing from his lords. They would be baying for Dragon’s blood. Not that he would ever allow them to have a single drop.

He rolled the parchment back up and leaned forward to place it in the black lacquer box he kept for just that purpose. It would stay with the other important scrolls and remind him of the day Herold Pendai had been silenced forever.

He smiled at his ministers. “Now, where were we?”

First Minister of Agriculture Lord Daesun Retta cleared his throat and placed the cucumber sandwich he’d been eating on the edge of his small plate. He fastidiously wiped his hands clean on a napkin when he spoke, “We were discussing the famine in the South Province.”

“Ah, yes,” Vedran said, forcing his mind away from thoughts of Dragon Knight. “Authorize them grain and rice from the Imperial Storehouse. Also ensure they receive some dried pearapples to prevent sickness. They will need the fruit.”

“As you wish, Sire.” Retta bowed his head, then made a note in his journal.

“Deploy some troops to ensure order is maintained as well,” Vedran said. “We do not need any kind of situation.”

He remembered the food riots that had taken place a decade before. Numerous people had been hurt and nine people had lost their lives. He never wanted to see a repeat of a situation like that, not if he could stop it.

“On to other things,” he said, looking each minister in the face as he spoke. “Please make all of the preparations for the upcoming duel. We will be having some foreign delegates in attendance and it would be best if we made a good impression.”

“Of course, Sire,” Mattimeo Arreck, the Second Minister of Domestic Affairs, hastily agreed, nodding his head. “It will be as you wish.”

Vedran gave him a close look, taking in the drop of sweat on his wide brow and the nervous tremble to his upper lip. Once he was sure he’d made himself very clear, he lifted his stylus and began writing on the pad of paper on the desk in front of him. He had so very many things on his schedule that he had to make notes throughout the day.

He glanced up. “Is everything prepared for the arrival of the foreign delegates?”

“Yes, Sire,” Second Minister Arreck said. “Quarters have been arranged for them and guides have been assigned for each group. Preparations for tomorrow’s ball have already begun.”

“Good.” Vedran nodded. “If that’s all, you may see yourselves out.”

They rose in a flurry of formal work robes and bowed their way out, none daring to turn their back. He watched them go, his lips a hard line as he controlled himself until the door clicked shut behind them and he was finally alone.

Vedran rose to his feet with a sigh and walked from around his desk to go over to the large window that faced the inner courtyard garden. There were so many beautiful flowers and trees that he could stand here for hours on days when he simply needed to get away from the stress.

This garden view was the closest he ever came to the freedom he’d enjoyed in his youth.

He looked down at the large blossoms he’d had the gardeners populate the flowerbed outside his window with. Flashy orange flowers that instinctively drew the eye and had been extremely rare before he’d shown an interest in them.

Such an odd looking flower, yet so striking as well. Six vivid orange petals folding back like a star with black fuzzy stems rising from the centers. They were beautiful, but that wasn’t why they had become his favorite.

No, they were his favorite flowers because each blossom embodied the memories of his past. Each flower reminded him of the sweetest of summers and the halcyon days he refused to lose forever.