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Ascension: Nyx 15 (The Myriad book 1)

by Feltrix


My eyes were crossed to focus on a swordpoint inches from my face. This was starting to happen with disturbing frequency.

“Okay, if I’m going to find Corso, I’ll need some instructions,” I said. “And a description. I can’t search the entire Myriad with nothing but a name.”

“Corso is on Archora,” the Harbinger said. “In a forest. Elves live in this particular forest. Corso’s a human, so he shouldn’t be too hard to identify among the elves. Find them and you’ll find Corso.”

That was interesting. The Harbinger knew where my quarry was, and he was stronger than me, so why didn’t he just kill Corso himself? Maybe the Harbinger wanted to sacrifice me to Ghostfire, or something of the sort, but if that was the case, there were plenty of people who would be easier to sacrifice. Why me?

“All right. Fine.” I gathered my magic, and pushed off of the world. Flickering was the only magic I was good at. It would take a few minutes to get off the world. I felt a sense of detachment as I was thrust into the Shadow Realm, the gap between worlds. Shadow Realm was a horrible name, really. The entire thing was invisible, so it was impossible to see anything, including shadows. It was an impossible sensation, rushing through nothingness. It was cool, but not cold, it couldn’t be seen, but it wasn’t dark. In spite, or maybe because of the impossibility, the Shadow Realm encompassed all the worlds in the Myriad.

I directed myself towards Archora, and moved towards a forest dominating most of the north. I took my first breath of air on that world. It was a bit more humid than I was used to, but the forest air added leafy scents and aromas. There was an ever-present background noise of frogs chirping in trees, insects flying through the air, birds calling, and rodents foraging in the underbrush.

After a few hours of wandering through the forest, the woodsy charm had started to wear off. Several trees had attempted to eat me, along with a wurm, a spider the size of a house, and a trio of lynxes, each the size of me.

I had been following a trail for quite some time when I heard something big moving through the forest. I froze, listening to the approaching sound. Several somethings, I amended.

Seven savage-looking humans burst out of the trees. What were the odds that I’d be waylaid by bandits hundreds of miles from civilization? At a wild guess, not high. This new turn of events had put me in a foul mood.

Seven bandits had encircled me. They were armed with crossbows in need of bolts and a new string, swords showing a bit of rust, axes that looked like they’d seen more tree chopping than people chopping, and expressions that were probably supposed to be intimidating. It was hard to say.

“Look, I’ll give you one chance to surrender,” I growled. “Don’t embarrass yourselves.”

Several of the bandits broke into laughter, and then quickly stopped laughing. “Look, girlie, this doesn’t have to be messy,” a bandit with an eyepatch offered.

“Not unless you make it,” I said under my breath. “Catch.” A small, greyish ball arched through the air, landing in Eyepatch’s hand.

He stared at it, confused. “What’s thi-” Whatever Eyepatch might have said was cut off by a mid-sized explosion, engulfing him in a ball of fire.

“Well, as last words go, those were pretty uninspiring,” I said. “Anyone else?”

For a moment, no one moved. The bandits glanced at each other. They were trying to organize an attack where they all attacked at once without saying anything. I rolled my eyes. One bandit with a pike held up one finger, trying to keep his hand hidden from my view, but reveal it to his compatriots. Then he held up two fingers.

Before Pike could hold up a third finger, I extended my arm and he was encased in layers of ice. Pike was petrified, his pointer and middle finger still extended.

“I think that’s your queue to run,” I advised the five remaining bandits.

“Attack!” roared a bandit missing his pinky and ring finger. There was a moment of hesitation where all of the bandits waited to see if the rest were joining them in the charge.

How dumb can you be? I wondered as the bandits tentatively attacked. I caught the first attacker’s blade with my right hand, and placed a swift kick in his stomach. The second charged attempted to stab me with a repurposed pitchfork, but I sidestepped and used his momentum to throw him into bandit number three.

The fourth was Threefingers. He aimed a crossbow at me, but I rolled and the bolt sailed above my head and embedded itself in the leg of one of Threefingers’ stricken compatriots. In a panic, Threefingers struggled to load a new bolt, providing ample time for me to walk up to him and rip the crossbow from his grasp. I tossed it over my shoulder, inspiring a look of terror on Threefingers’ face. He threw a sloppy punch at my face, but I caught his fist and twisted his arm. Something snapped and he cried out, falling to the ground.

I was surprised the one remaining bandit hadn’t attacked me yet, until I saw a figure fleeing through the forest. That wasn’t surprising. I launched a fireball at him from the palm of my hand, and watched him fall to the ground.

I continued into the woods, not looking back at the groaning would-be attackers. I hadn’t spent much time on Alaran, but I was pretty sure the standard for raiders had fallen. I seemed to remember fleeing a small army of about four hundred berserkers last time I was on this world. With any luck, Corso would be just as pitiful as Eyepatch’s gang.

I made my way through the forest, avoiding anything that moved. Chances were it wanted to eat me. Almost everything in the forest did.

Corso isn’t my real enemy, though, I reminded myself. I’m still going to have to kill him, but I need to focus on the Harbinger. He’s the one I have to worry about. And after I learn more about him, I’ll avenge Corso Ghostfire.


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Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:17 pm
Rydia wrote a review...



Still in Paris! There are some cool arcade machines in this airport so I think you’re going to lose my attention after this review but I thought I’d get at least one more in before I go explore.

Specifics

1.

“All right. Fine.” I gathered my magic, and pushed off of the world. Flickering was the only magic I was good at. It would take a few minutes to get off the world.
This is a bit jerky because of the short sentences and the repetition of ‘off of the world’. Maybe try to tidy it up, like: “All right. Fine.” I gathered my magic and pushed, but it would take a few minutes to get off of the world. That was faster than most though; flickering was the only magic I was good at.

2.
After a few hours of wandering through the forest, the woodsy charm had started to wear off. Several trees had attempted to eat me, along with a wurm, a spider the size of a house, and a trio of lynxes, each the size of me.
It’s not clear at first that she has finished Flickering. I think you need to describe how she feels as she arrives and then describe her choosing a direction and setting off on foot.

3. Once again, Nyx is showing a lot of skill in magic for someone who is supposedly not very good at it so I really think we need a clarification there. Also, does she use another potion to turn the second bandit to ice or does she do that with a spell? I think it would be cool to understand how the magic is done each time and until we better know the capabilities/ limits of each character’s powers, you should assume that you need to describe how they’re doing what they do.

4.
The second charged and attempted to stab me with a repurposed pitchfork, but I sidestepped and used his momentum to throw him into bandit number three.
When you say she catches the badnit’s sword with her hand, does it cut her? Or does she use magic to prevent it? If she’s catching it with a single hand then there’s no way to do that without being cut unless she has a gauntlet or uses magic.

Overall

Not a huge amount happens in this chapter but the battle was fun enough and helps to remind us that Nyx is crazy powerful and seems to be the most in touch with who she is of all the characters. Once you’ve cleared up a little more about her magic then I don’t think you’ll need to do anything else with this part. The whole Nyx heading to kill Corso plot line adds a nice bit of tension to the story and it will be fun to see what happens when she finally catches up with him.

That’s all for now – time for me to check out those arcade machines!

~Heather




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Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:10 pm
Kays wrote a review...



This is Nikayla here jumping in for a review!

I noticed the same as Ink with this having pacing that's too quick for my liking. The reader doesn't get time to comprehend what's going on in the chapter, and while you might be able to, we aren't since we don't know everything that you do. You have to assume that the reader only knows as much as you write down onto the page--and as the reader, I don't know all that much.

I had this same problem with pacing when I was younger and still writing prose where I rushed through everything to the battle scenes since I found them to be the most interesting and fun without bothering to flesh out the other aspects and elements of the novel or chapter, which you seem to do here. I'd like to see more of a focus on the other elements other than battle and dialogue such as the description and atmosphere. It helps with worldbuilding in the aspect of the setting even if you might believe that it's boring.

Though, if you are going to make one of the main aspects of your novel to be action and battle, then you'll need to learn how to actually write it. Don't make your character the strongest person there is, otherwise it'll get boring. If you do decide to keep your character this way, perhaps tackle the issue of being overpowered? Why they wouldn't want to be because there's no one to challenge them anymore?

Sure it sounds silly, 'How can you be too powerful?', but it's an issue that isn't tackled often in literature, and I can see it maybe working out here. As Ink says, your main character(s) seem safe from death in that you don't even muse with the chance of them dying. I can see how this balances it out, but we don't get the sigh of relief or reward from reading this battle like we could if Nyx had a bit of a tougher time fighting here.

If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask! I hope I helped, and have a great day.

Image




Feltrix says...


Oh, I definitely understand the 'too powerful' thing, and the reason that this fight happened is because Nyx has been getting beat up for the past three or four chapters, and I wanted to remind everyone that she's powerful.



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Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:13 pm
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PrincessInk wrote a review...



Hello, for the last review you asked me to do :)

I was immediately confused. Because in the previous chapters, Nyx didn't Flicker or think of the Myriad. It was only after I learned of it in chapter 14 that I was familiar. If you want to do this and not shock the reader, I think it would be a good idea to already include those too. Because of this, I'm not a huge fan of this chapter.

I think this chapter moved too quickly and didn't give me a chance to catch up and understand what was going on. The action scene doesn't have such a problem like this, but I kept wondering what happened to Nyx's glove. So...she's stronger than I thought in the previous chapters? If there's something different that happened, I believe that if you first let her walk a little while in the forest and sneak in the information, it would be easier for me to understand.

She is super strong and the bandits are admittedly stupid, but I'm hoping this doesn't happen to every single battle here. If it is, this is going to be boring. Why? She wins easily almost all the time. One element of an action scene that keeps readers on the edges on their seats is: the possibility that the main character could die or be wounded. There's no need to harden things for Nyx in this battle, but this is just food for thought ;)

I liked the way Nyx gave the names to the bandits. It's like a placeholder--but it's her first impression of them. The names make them sound more stupid. But despite their different features, they are ALL the same stupid type. Even if this is only for a short time, in the fighting style, you can give them differing personalities. Just a snatch here and there, and the battle will not be like fighting faceless monsters.

The chapter end was quite strong in my opinion. It gave me a deeper look into Nyx's personality: that she would kill Corso; her real enemy is the Harbinger. I see her as persevering--and like a clever warrior, knows when to step back (not like the bandits).Right now, I'm wondering if Corso's world and Thorn and Alsari's world are wholly different universes. I'm excited to read on your story. I hope my review helped and have a great day!

~Princess Ink~




Feltrix says...


The reason I made the bandits in the first place is because (spoilers) both Nyx and Alsari have been Flickers for roughly a century. The problem was that Nyx is powerful, but in all previous chapters she got pretty easily defeated by the Harbinger. I wanted to remind everyone how powerful Nyx is. I did actually have a few mentions of Flickering, but I didn't want to drop too many hints before the big reveal so as not to confuse the reader, or let the reader figure out about the Myriad.



PrincessInk says...


I see. Sometimes you want your MC to win!!!! I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but just food for thought ;)




I am always saying "Glad to've met you" to somebody I'm not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though.
— Holden Caulfield