Princiaptus, Chapter XVII

The world had ended.

Or so Link thought. His mind was in a free-fall; his consciousness ebbed in and out of control...

That was, at least, until he saw the glowing eye penetrate through the settling dust.

Link spat out a mouthful of blood. His legs wobbled as he stood and shrugged chunks of rubble off his shield. Black dust filled his lungs as civilian's cries rang out into the night. Link took a step toward the czar's dark silhouette. He could just make out a gleam of satisfaction shining in Aran's real eye.

Link notched an arrow and loosed it at the czar. The arrow struck its target in the arm. Czar-Aran's prideful smile turned into one of mild amusement. He stared at the shaft buried in the flesh beneath his right shoulder. Link held his bow steady. The czar scanned the battlefield for his attacker. Link whipped another arrow onto the string, and sent it whistling through the air. This time, the czar lazily raised his hand, and Link's arrow fell harmlessly to the ground.

A cruel, bone-chilling laugh escaped Czar-Aran's lips. He glided off the pile of rubble like a Poe floating over the field. As he moved closer to Link, the young Hylian got a clear view of how distorted the Ten'al-tarian king's face had become. His sleek, black hair had fallen out in patches. His pasty skin looked thin as paper stretched over his sunken cheekbones. The glass eye was so large, it embedded into his cheekbone and displaced the left-side of his nose. Bulging black veins coursed from it and spread out along the left side of his face and forehead. The red, cat-like pupil in the center seemed to follow Link's every move, and he knew he'd seen that eye before.

"Brave fool," Czar-Aran tutted. He nonchalantly pointed his pale fingers at Link and sent a blast of black magic barreling toward him. The young Hylian didn't flinch and blocked the czar's attack easily with Nayru's Love. When the burst collided with the force field, it exploded with a noise like shattering glass. A look of surprise shone in Czar-Aran's human eye as Link drew his sword.

"Come at me!" Link shouted over the screams of men both alive and dead. "I'm not afraid of you!"

Czar-Aran laughed in reply. With his arms stretched out to the sides, he snapped his fingers and conjured a sleek black axe— the longest Link had ever seen— with a deadly curved blade, three-fingers thick. Czar-Aran held the axe in two hands and struck the air with a furious side swipe, left and right, showing off his range.

Impressive, Link chuckled, but not invincible.

They circled each other like wolves ready to tear each other apart. Link couldn't help but smile. This was what he was made for. What his heart beat for. Those who called him common, mocked him, and thought him unworthy were wrong. He was the Hero of Time. His place was here, in battle, sword in hand.

The czar attacked first with a diagonal cut. Link dodged it gracefully, and caught the czar with a riposte in the shoulder. Aran cursed as the blow dented his pauldron. Out of the corner of his eye, Link noticed a few shadowy figures circling the edge of the fight. Whether they were Hylian or Ten'al-tarian, Link didn't know. He only hoped no one would try to intervene. This was his fight.

Link and the czar continued to circle each other. Link traversed right, shield raised, and feigned a downward slice. Aran reacted with a horizontal cut to Link's sword arm. The young Hylian spun quickly to his left, hooked the axe with his shield and jerked it toward him. The czar stumbled forward. Grunting, Link kicked at the Ten'al-tarian's knees, and Aran fell to the dirt. Before the young Hylian could pull away, however, the czar grasped Link's boot in his iron grip. Aran yanked the young Hylian to the ground, and Link's sword slipped through his fingers as he hit the dirt with a hard thud.

Link gasped. Pain flared in his bruised shoulder. The czar reeled the young Hylian toward him through the mud. Link twisted and tried to pull his leg free, but he wasn't powerful enough to win in a wrestling match with the czar—

Then it clicked. Power! Instinctively, warmth coursed through Link's finger tips and shot out of his palm with a quick burst. The flare hit Aran square in the face and he recoiled with a furious growl. Gasping for air, Link rolled to his side and wriggled free. He reclaimed his sword as the czar scrambled to his feet.

The Ten'al-tarian king's expression morphed from one of mild amusement to irritated anger. Aran quickly thrust at Link with the flat-top of his axe. It made contact with Link's bruised shoulder and sent a shockwave down his right side. Link felt dizzy with pain. Spinning on the balls of his feet, he countered Aran with a side cut that did nothing but scrape the czar's armor.

The czar laughed mockingly. He stepped back and tried another high attack, this time with the axe blade. The heavy, black weapon sliced with a force Link knew he couldn't parry. The young Hylian slid gracefully away as the blow barreled down.

"Come on!" Link sneered. "Have another go!"

Rage burned in the czar's human eye while the expressionless glass one followed Link, never blinking. They circled each other again— once, twice, three times, always on alert. Link stayed on his toes. His fingers twitched, eager to strike. Thinking fast, Link feigned a thrust, and Aran took the bait. He swiped at the young Hylian with a heavy, diagonal cut. Link waited until the last possible second, dove forward into a roll, and sprang to his feet behind the czar. With all his strength he plunged his sword through Aran's throat. Link heard the sound of mail, flesh, and bone crunch beneath the force of his blow, and he knew his hit was true. To add insult to injury he gave the Gilded Sword a furious twist, and Aran sank to his knees.

For a long second, Link stared at the body lying face-down in the rubble with disbelief. "Too easy..." he spat. Link placed a muddy boot on Aran's back, and wretched his sword free. As he did, a terrible groan echoed through the valley like the cry of a dying beast. Dozens of Re-Deads clamored up the chunks of black rubble toward the city's interior.

"Keep them out of the city!" Link heard Sir Dryden scream. The blast had thrown him and Aelgar from their horses. They fought side-by-side at the peak of the ruins. "Hold them while the civilians retreat!"

Link wondered why the Re-Deads kept advancing even though the czar had fallen. He looked from his sword, black blood dripping off the blade, to Aran's body. A red light pulsed against the rock beneath it like a heartbeat. Link scrambled over the rubble and kicked the corpse over. More black blood leaked from the gaping hole in Aran's neck. His pale, human eye had lifelessly glossed over, but the red, glass one, as large as the palm of Link's hand, continued to follow him.

Without thinking, Link raised the Gilded Sword over his head and plunged it downward toward the lens. For a split second, he heard the sound of scratching glass. Then a red forcefield exploded from the eye and propelled Link ten feet backward. His head collided with a brick, reopening the wound he sustained from Caedmon's bow.

"What in Farore's—" Link pressed his fingers to the cut on his head to stem the bleeding. He tried to stand, but felt so dizzy, he couldn't tell in which direction lay the wall and which the shore. Clumsily, Link dropped to his knees. The rain fell more slowly, just a drop here and there. Smoke, arrows, and screams filled the night air. Through the din of battle, he heard someone call his name in a deep voice.

"Link!" Aelgar grabbed a Ten'al-tarian soldier's arm and hacked its owner's head off with his curved blade. The Exile's black eyes grew wide as full moons when they connected with the young Hylian. "Link!" He shouted. Fright laced his tone.

He's scared? Link's brow furrowed— but before he had a chance to respond, a pain shot through his leg so severe he actually screamed!

"Din be damned!" Link choked on his curse. Hot blood welled in his mouth. His head felt light, and everything he saw blurred together in a flurry of colors. Dizzily, Link turned around...

And saw the eye. It flashed red, and then blue, never blinking. Link felt like it was laughing at him. The shadow of Czar-Aran loomed over him. A scar was beginning to form on his throat where Link had skewered him with the Gilded Sword. He tried to speak, but his throat clogged. Where had his strength gone?

Through the black spots dancing across Link's vision, his gaze fell onto the shaft of a thick polearm protruding from his right calf. Its sharp tip was buried deep through his bone and flesh. A bright patch of fresh blood bloomed through the fabric of his pants. "Gods!" Link bit his lip and grunted. His hand shook as he reached down, clutched the metal, and slid it from his calf.

Immediately, the young Hylian's vision began to cloud. He felt sick. The bloodied polearm slipped through his fingers and hit the rubble with a loud clatter. With every breath Link took, his leg seared in pain, and he fought the urge to curse and cry out again and again.

Everything felt wrong. His breath came in short, uneven bursts. With weak, clumsy fingers he grasped the pin Zelda gave him, still attached to his ragged cloak. He closed his eyes and thought of her— her rare laugh, her hair in the sunlight, her strength, wisdom, and courage...

The Triforce symbol started to glow on the back of his hand. Instinctively, he let go of the pin and covered his glove. What little warmth he felt in that moment evaporated, and an icy chill struck him numb. The world began to spin.

Through moans and screams, Link heard Malon's melodic voice. "You can't fight the dead, commander." Atop her dun stallion, she snatched an armored figure from the rubble, and slung him across her steed's back.

It was Sir Dryden. "I won't leave my men," he cursed and kicked. "The battle's not over!"

"It is over, you great fool!" The ranch girl spurred her destrier away from the wall's opening. "They'll all be over if you don't live to fight another one!"

Link wanted to call out to her, but when he opened his mouth, he choked on the blood and bile rising in his throat. He coughed. The ooze slid down his chin in fat, sticky drops, and Sir Dryden's screams receded into the distance. A pulsing sound resonated in Link's ears. Nausea settled into his stomach, and he shuddered. The sounds of men fleeing the battle began to fade, replaced by the dull moans of the Re-Deads and pained cries of the injured. Guays circled overhead, landing to feed on what little flesh remained on the corpses.

"This one's the queen's lover, Your Majesty," a scratchy voice insisted. A second man stood beside the czar. Link didn't recognize his face, but it wasn't Ten'al-tarian. The young Hylian's lips curled into an angry sneer as the czar stepped closer.

"Leave him alive," Czar Aran commanded in his laughing tone. He casually massaged his throat. "I wish to make an example of him when I'm seated on my throne."

"As you wish, Your Majesty..."

"But give him to the Garo Master. This one knows magic."

The last thing Link remembered before the darkness swallowed him was the sound of drums. BaBAAA baBAAA BaBUUUMMM!

The glass eye shining red, blue, and red again. Never blinking. Seeing everything.

Zelda felt like someone had punched their fingers through her chest and twisted her heart. A rush of adrenaline washed over her, followed by remorse, and a wave of hatred that clawed viciously at the pit of her stomach. Visions of blood and death flashed before her eyes. She heard a bone-chilling laugh, frantic cries of "Blood! Blood!", a cacophony of moans, and then— pain.

A blaze of pain like fire searing through her veins. She screamed loud enough to wake her father from his grave. Darkness ensnared her. The bones in her legs gave way, and she fell.

"Your Grace..." Zelda heard Impa gasp.

Before the young queen hit the floor, she felt a pair of sturdy arms catch her by the shoulders and slowly lower her to the ground. The stone greeted her with a cold kiss. Her eyes fluttered open and met a pair of sharp blue ones; the crow's feet in the corners of Caedmon's eyes crinkled with worry. Impa knelt over the young queen and grasped her hand. The Sheikah muttered a healing spell, and Zelda felt warmth spread to her extremities. She gave her caretaker's fingers a gentle squeeze to let her know everything was all right.

"My thanks, Impa," Zelda muttered with a nod of encouragement. "And to you as well, Caedmon." The old knight placed a firm hand on the young queen's back and eased her into a seated position.

"Your Grace," her caretaker's red gaze lingered on the young queen. "I shouldn't leave the castle—"

Zelda waved the Sheikah off. "Perhaps you shouldn't, but you must." She forced a weak smile and added, "I'll be fine."

"Your Grace..." Worry clouded Impa's eyes.

"It was only the Triforce," Zelda whispered, "nothing more. You must complete your mission."

The Sheikah unyieldingly held the young queen's gaze as if searching her soul. "I trust your wisdom, my queen," she replied in a deep, trance-like voice.

Zelda gave her caretaker's hand a final squeeze. "If Czar-Aran has dabbled in dark magic, then surely the Shadow Temple will hold the answers we desperately desire."

Impa nodded in agreement, but the expression on her face remained as cold and still as stone. Without another word of protest, the Sheikah rose from the young queen's side and took three strides backwards.

Zelda fixed her caretaker with a gentle smile. "Go with all my blessings, and may Nayru guide you with her wisdom."

Impa wordlessly bowed in reply. Then, with a blinding flash, she disappeared, leaving Zelda on the floor with a stunned old knight crouched beside her.

"W-where did she—" Caedmon stuttered.

"Sheikah magic." Amusement crept into Zelda's tone. "The oldest and most dangerous strain still practiced in our realm." She turned to Caedmon and smiled. "A hand, if you would please, good knight."

When Caedmon grasped Zelda's glove, she noticed how his eyes flicked to the place where the Triforce symbol had glowed. The young queen studied his face. Caedmon's pupils darted back and forth. She could tell the wheels in his head were busy turning. Questions quivered on his lips, but he withheld them.

Zelda rested her hand on the old knight's cheek and tilted his chin up to face her. "Something troubles you." It was not a question.

"Your Majesty..." He tried to look away. "I mean, Zelda, I, umm—"

"Speak, Caedmon." She swiftly cut him off. "Whatever is on your mind."

"I was only wondering," his brows furrowed as he contemplated his response. "The Triforce symbol on your hand— it doesn't have anything to do with Link, does it?"

Zelda fixed him with a quizzical look. "Why do you ask, Caedmon?"

"I-I saw it on the back of his hand too."

"When?" Her eyes snapped directly onto his.

"In the forest." Caedmon swallowed. "Right around the time the king died, I think. He said something bad happened at the castle, or he felt it at least."

Zelda considered the old knight's words. During the Imprisoning War, she'd often used the connection they shared through the Triforce to keep an eye on Link. Though, to her knowledge, he'd never consciously returned the favor. "You have a sharp eye, good knight," Zelda said quietly. "The mark symbolizes a connection between Link and I— one I do not believe he fully understands yet."

The old knight tilted his head to the side. "How so?"

"Just now, he reached out to me though it." The young queen trembled, remembering what agony overcome her when their spirits connected moments ago. In a distant voice she added, "I could feel him, Caedmon, his pain and his anger, but he did not know I was there."

The old knight eyed her incredulously. "In his mind?"

Zelda nodded. She closed her eyes and recalled her vision. "The battle fares poorly, I'm afraid. I saw a scene of pain and death." She couldn't muster the courage to tell the old knight what she'd really seen. Zelda subconsciously massaged the back of her hand and fought the temptation to reach out to Link again. She knew only darkness lingered in his thoughts. "There is nothing we can do about the battle from here."

Caedmon's jaw tightened. "But we can't do nothing," he said with a huff.

Zelda's lips pursed as she considered their options. "No..." She inhaled sharply before a thought came to her. "We will pay a visit to a guest."

Caedmon's brow furrowed at Zelda's suggestion, but he followed her down the hall without question. The old knight rested his left hand on the pommel of the longsword at his waist as they swept along the castle's corridors and down a half dozen stairwells.

The walk to the dungeons was not a comfortable one. Zelda grew more and more worried with each step. She sensed the eyes of Czar Aran's spies watching her every move. To whom they belonged, however, the young queen could not tell.

Before descending into the bowels of the castle, Zelda lifted a torch from its sconce on the wall. The Hyrule Castle dungeons only housed criminals who committed one of the three most heinous crimes against the crown— treason, murder, and practicing banned sorcery. Thus, the cramped, dank cells rarely held more than a single occupant or two. Two guards stood watch outside the barred, iron entryway. They clanked their heels together and bowed as Zelda approached.

"Gentlemen." The young queen acknowledged their pleasantries with a wave of her hand. "I seek an audience with Zel-Taren."

The guards exchanged wary glances, but succinctly replied, "Of course, Your Majesty." Dutifully, they bowed and lifted the bars. Smells of mold, rats, and burning herbs rushed over Zelda in waves as the door slowly creaked open. A prisoner moaned. His shackles rattled against the bars of his cell. His gaunt skin was stretched paper thin over his bones, and he shielded his eyes as the torchlight fell across his face.

"Would you have one of us come in with you, Your Majesty?" a guard inquired as Zelda and Caedmon stepped inside.

"No," the young queen replied. "Thank you. Please remain at your post." As she passed, she ran her fingers over the door and muttered a silencing spell under her breath.

A frail, hunchbacked man with a bulbous nose coughed and shuffled out of the last cell on the right. A thin trail of smoke and a great black dog followed him. The man's name was Fabian Thornwood— the Master of the Dungeons. Greasy strings of white hair hung from his skull in patches, and purple bags drooped beneath his bloodshot eyes, giving him a consistently dazed look.

"Y'Majesty," Fabian toothlessly wheezed. He bowed so low it looked as if the tip of his nose would scrape the ground. "How might I be of service?"

"Master Thornwood," Zelda looked down at the little dungeon master. "I wish to speak with Zel-Taren."

"Oh yes, Y'Majesty. The little princeling's here across from me." Fabian hobbled down the row of empty cells with his black dog at his heels. The beast's matted tail swished back and forth, swatting the bars on either side of the narrow aisle. The further back Zelda followed the dungeon master, the more smoke burned her eyes. The scent of his herbs tweaked her nose, making Zelda feel dizzy.

"Gods!" Caedmon coughed beside her and swatted the thick fumes. "How can anyone live like this?"

"Tee hee..." A sound between a hack and a cackle escaped the little wizard. "To each his own, knight."

Caedmon fixed Fabian with a narrowed gaze. His knuckles whitened as his grip tightened on the pommel of his sword. Zelda rested her free hand on the old knight's shoulder. She flashed him a look that said, 'don't bother,' as the little dungeon master came to a halt at the end of the vault.

"The prince is there." Fabian pointed to the cell across from the one he called home. "I'll jus' be minding my own, Y'Majesty." He looked amused. The wizard whistled for his dog, gently eased his barred door shut behind it, and picked up a long, hooked pipe. Fabian gave it a deep puff as he sank onto his pallet; the black beast coiled up at his feet. Zelda ran her fingers along the bars and muttered the same silencing spell she applied to the front door before turning to face the locked cell across from the dungeon master's.

Light only penetrated into the underground vaults for one hour in twenty-four. While the darkness slowly drove Hylian prisoners insane, the lack of exposure hadn't seemed to affect the Ten'al-tarian prince in the slightest. Zelda held her torch up to the bars and eyed Zel-Taren up and down. His skin had always been a sickly pale color from having grown up amidst the darkness of the northern mountains. His lips pursed into a complacent smirk, and his gray eyes locked onto hers. An expression of satisfaction shone through.

"Zel-Taren." Zelda announced herself. She stood with her shoulders back and chin held high.

The prince inclined his head without taking his eyes off her. "My Lady..."

"Your Majesty," Zelda corrected him, "or Your Grace, if it please you."

"Majesty..." His gaze flitted to Caedmon as he rose from the hay-covered floor. "I see you have a new body guard. What happened to your Sheikah?"

"Impa's whereabouts are no concern of yours, Taren." Acidity laced Zelda's tone.

"Very well then." The prince shrugged and took a step closer to the bars. "To what do I owe this delightfully unannounced visit?"

"You told me once that your people descended from a powerful Sheikah lord." Zelda spoke with an iron control in her voice. "Tell me, has this sorcerer's name been forgotten?"

Zelda expected Taren to scowl, frown, or show some visible sign of anger, but instead he merely shrugged. "By Hylians, yes."

"Be frank with me, my lord," Zelda warned. "Else I can assure you that Master Thornwood will make your stay here far less comfortable."

"It is not a matter of frankness, Your Majesty," Taren smoothly replied. "I only fail to see why my lord's name is of any consequence to you."

"You are not in the position to ask questions, Taren!" Zelda directed the torch's glow onto the prince's face. "Now I will have the name."

Taren flashed Zelda a cool look. His chained wrists sagged casually behind him. "My lord's name was Sachdev," he replied, "King of the Sheikah."

King... Zelda eyed him wearily. "The Sheikah have no king."

"Not now," the prince pointedly retorted. "His sister, Vidya, betrayed him. The Hylian king drove his followers into the mountains, and had Sachdev executed."

As Zelda recalled the details of the story Taren told her at the banquet— the story Impa later corroborated— a new question formed on her lips. "But how did the sister stop him if this lord became so powerful?"

"Your Majesty." A smile tugged at the corner of Taren's lips. "Surely you must know that true power can only be overcome by equal or greater power. The brother and sister represent two sides of the same coin: light and dark, heaven and earth, ice and fire— the forces always in war with one another. The sister did not defeat her brother; she only delayed the inevitable."

"You're wrong!" Zelda spat. Her voice rose. "Wisdom and Courage can overcome Power. There's always a way to stop it!"

"Is there?" Taren's eyebrows raised. "You are wise, Zelda. Has your wisdom ever overcome a force of true power?"

No! A voice in her head screamed the awful truth. You only delayed him. Locked him away. He cannot die, so long as he holds the Triforce of Power— true power!

"So that's what this is all about?" Zelda shook her head in disbelief. "Power?"

"Freedom, Zelda," Taren cut her off. A strain of acridity poisoned his cool tongue. "Liberation for the people of Ten'al-taria who've so long dwelt in the shadow of Hyrule— so long suffered from starvation and exposure to the frostbitten mountains."

Zelda gaped at the prince. He believes his father is on a quest of righteousness... "You need not have attacked Hyrule and murdered our king if aid was all you required," the young queen said calmly. "Hyrule can be most generous to those in need."

"Tah!" The prince scoffed. "Spare me this nonsense, Your Majesty. You Hylians are so poisoned by greed, you wouldn't notice a blessing if it fell from the sky and knocked you over. I know what power beats in the heart of this land— the power the gods created that grants anyone who possesses it the ability to shape reality and fulfill desire."

Color drained from Zelda's face and fear iced over her heart. Taren knew of the Triforce— and he wanted it. The young queen inhaled deeply and fought to mask her emotions. "I know what power you speak of, Taren, but it is not what you think." She carefully considered each word of her explanation. "Where light shines, darkness dwells as well. Such a tremendous power cannot exist without terrible consequences for its misuse. Whatever blessings have come to this land by way of the god's power have all been unintentional. We, the royal family and the Sheikah, seek only to protect that power— never to use it for personal gain."

"Then tell me this, Your Majesty," Taren hissed. "Use your wisdom. Why, when the gods ascended into the heavens, would they have left behind a gift of such absolute power if no one was meant to wield it?"

"Oh, Taren..." a sense of pity coated the young queen's tone. "It is used every day by the people of this land, just not in the way that you think. It is a symbol of hope the gods created, yet specifically designed so that their own kind could never use its power. Only someone with an unbreakable spirit can wield it— not a god, not a powerful lord, but a hero with a balanced and righteous heart. The old power symbolizes the hope that such a being exists, and sets forth a code of ethics by which we all strive to live!"

"A balanced heart you say— an unbreakable spirit?" Taren turned his back on her and began to pace his cell. "My lord Sachdev had that. He sought the gods' power to make his people stronger. His people— just like my father does now!" Taren's pale eyes snapped onto Zelda's. The weight of his gaze bore into her, unblinking and cold. "While you Hylians till your blessed earth and drink from your divine springs, my father has toiled for decades to set forth a plan to liberate his people from the shackles your ancestors imprisoned us with!"

Zelda could only stare, baffled by the absurdity of Taren's proclamation. "My lord of Ten'al-taria, you are so blind. So blind," she whispered. The young queen suddenly felt very sad for the Ten'al-tarian prince. Regardless of his father's motives, his people really had suffered. The fragility behind his icy glare betrayed that. Zelda couldn't help but wonder what she would have done had the tables been turned. What if her people had suffered centuries of neglect and Ten'al-taria housed a sacred relic she believed could solve all their problems?

She would not result to murder. The young queen was sure of that. Diplomacy, discussion, compromise, wisdom— those were the rules she lived by, but they did not apply to the game Taren wished to play.

The sound of iron grating against stone jostled Zelda from her thoughts. The guards were opening the door, but why? Zelda and Caedmon exchanged curious glances.

Wordlessly, the old knight rounded on the door to investigate. "Guards," Caedmon barked. "The queen is not finished here." His fingers wrapped tightly around his sword's hilt.

"It's a rider, Master Knight," one of the guards grunted, and gave the heavy door a final heave. A loud clank echoed through the dungeons as it slid into place. Behind the guards stood a taller man in full plate. He carried a battered helm in one hand and a rolled up piece of parchment in the other.

Zelda heard a voice whisper beside her, "This is a day of reckoning..." A genuine smile stretched across Zel-Taren's face from ear to ear. He sunk back against the far wall of his cell and added, "Soon enough, you will beg for mercy."

Zelda hoped her pale complexion did not betray the desolation she felt inside. She drew up beside Caedmon as the man entered and bowed. "Y-Your Majesty," he choked as he handed the young queen the parchment clutched in his quavering fist. The scroll had been stamped shut by the unmistakable gold seal of the Grand Master. "Grave news from the battlefield..."

AN: Believe it. This is my second update in a one-month span. I don't think that's happened since the summer I started writing.

Anyhow, hope you enjoyed some real action (Shout out to Kamil the Awesome, who likes blood).

Please, if you could take the time to leave a review, I would really like some feedback on how the action flowed in the last two chapters. I've never written a battle scene before, and it was definitely a challenge. Any tips, suggestions, examples of what did/ did not work would be greatly appreciated, especially since I'll be writing a lot more action from here on out.

And, as always, thank you for the continued support,