Authors: Brock Deskins
The Sorcerer’s Destiny
Brock E. Deskins
Books by Brock E. Deskins
The Sorcerer’s Saga
OTHER BOOKS BY BROCK E. DESKINS
Cover Illustration Copyright © 2013
Copyright ©2013 Brock E. Deskins
Dingo Dog Publishing
Copyright, Legal Notice and Disclaimer:
This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.
To my sister Kellie,
As long as one person is reading this book, you will live forever.
Daebian rode the deep swells of the open ocean tucked securely in the bowsprit netting. Sea spray peppered his face with frigid droplets, salty like tears shed by the widows of sailors lost to the merciless dark depths. He lay at ease, comforted by the rolling and rocking of the waves, lightly kissed by the briny droplets while the wind whispered gentle promises in his ears.
He was an island of tranquility while chaos reigned all around him. The pirate ship had been running them down like dogs for the past half a day and was drawing nearer. The sailors of the merchant ship put as much cloth as they could up in the rigging in a desperate hope of catching more wind and outrunning the pirates, but their efforts were destined to fail.
The Captain was brave and sought to make a name for himself just as Lord Giles had by bringing rare goods from far lands. Daebian was surprised he was able to find a crew foolish enough to make the treacherous journey. Few sailed far from the shores of Valeria and Sumara, and none did so alone. Captain Bradley Reid thought he could outsmart the pirates lurking just outside the shipping lanes and looking for stray merchant ships to pick off by avoiding the established sailing routes. He thought wrong.
As the pirate ship drew near, Daebian rolled out of his makeshift hammock and danced on the bow, ducking and dodging flung chain, shot, and crossbow quarrels. Any of the crew looking up from where they hunkered behind crates and whatever shelter they could find surely thought he was insane. Those near enough to hear him singing all the while were certain of it.
What are you doing?
Klaraxis asked, his thoughts tinged with annoyance as Daebian stood watching the pirates hurl lines attached to grapnels and began boarding the ship.
“I am watching.”
This is obvious. Why are you watching? You could slaughter this rabble with the power I give you. I hunger, and you wave my meal before me but do not let me eat.
“Firstly, I took your power; you did not give it. Secondly, you, like almost everyone else I have ever had the displeasure of meeting, lack vision. You know, for a demon prince who has existed for more than two millennia, your lack of foresight is pathetic.”
What is pathetic is being subservient to not one, but two mortals.
“Yet that is your role. That should give you enough to think about to quell your incessant whining,” Daebian replied flippantly.
The clashing of steel, shouts of anger, and cries of death filled his ears as the merchant crew fought valiantly but futilely against the raiders. A handful of pirates spotted Daebian leaning against the foremast and broke away from the main horde to engage him. Daebian shook his head and wagged a finger at the four men scrambling up the steps to the foredeck. Seeing only a well-dressed young man standing alone, the pirates were blinded by their greed and lust and ignored Daebian’s obvious warning.
The pirates rushed in, weapons held high to hack the boy down where he stood. Daebian kicked off the foremast and drew his sword in a single, fluid motion. He ducked low beneath the raised weapons of his attackers, brought his soulblade across in an arc, opening the guts of two of the pirates with a single swipe. With a flick of his free hand, he sent a gob of impenetrable shadow into the eyes of the man to his left, deflected the swing of the attacker to his right, spun behind the pirate, and stabbed him through the back. The blinded man howled in terror as he clawed at his face until Daebian silenced him with an easy, form-perfect thrust through his heart. The entire fight lasted less than the span of a deep breath.
He wiped his blade clean on the dirty jerkin of one of the pirates, leaned back against the foremast, and resumed observing the spectacle below him, grateful for Klarxis’ satisfied silence. The pirates had the majority of the merchant crew pressed back onto the stern and now had them greatly outnumbered. Unable to reach their targets, several raiders broke off and began searching the ship for booty.
Spotting the lone figure on the foredeck, a few sought to relieve him of his wealth and life. Daebian once again wagged a digit at the approaching pirates while thrumming his fingers on the black jewel set in the pommel of his sword. The men looked at the bodies lying dead at the young man’s feet and, after a brief pause to consider their options, wisely chose to go in search of valuables elsewhere.
Captain Reid, bleeding from numerous wounds and seeing he had less than half his crew still standing, called out for quarter. The raiders held back and waited for their Captain to push through the throng of men. Daebian could not hear what was said, but Captain Reid and his men laid down arms and were corralled at the farthest end of the stern.
The pirate captain and a host of his crew broke away while the rest guarded their prisoners and began plundering the merchant ship. He was a big man with a thick, brown beard and wore a vast assortment of weapons hanging from loops affixed to belts buckled around his waist and crisscrossing his wide chest. He and two other men ascended the short flight of stairs to gain the bow.
“You killed four of my men easily enough. Why didn’t you help your crew? Seems a man of your skill could ‘a made things a bit more difficult for me.”
Daebian stood straight and addressed the Captain. “Difficult? No, I would have completely changed the outcome of this fight.”
The pirate smiled, revealing several gold teeth. “Then why didn’t ya if you’re so good?”
“I want to be a pirate,” Daebian replied and returned the smile.
“You look to be a boy of means. It seems it would be more profitable to ransom you.”
“Seeing as how I stabbed my father with this very sword just before embarking on this fateful voyage, I would say it is highly unlikely you would see any profit from me in that regard.”
The Captain glanced at the dead men at Daebian’s feet. The boy was too smart and too skilled with the blade. As Captain, he needed to be the best amongst the crew, the undisputed leader. He had a bad feeling this man could upset that delicate balance. He wanted to kill the boy on the spot, but just one look into Daebian’s black, soulless eyes made him reluctant to try. Perhaps the lad could be a strong tool if handled properly and with great care. He would have to ensure there was a quick blade at the ready should the boy prove the least bit threatening to his command.
“You certainly appear to have the skill for it.”
“Captain, I have more skills than you can imagine.”
“You can kill, that’s for certain, but can you take orders?”
Daebian pursed his lips and looked up at the sky in thought. “No.”
Daebian’s hand moved so fast, the Captain was dead before he realized he had a foot of black steel through his heart. The crew moved at once. The two men flanking the now dead Captain swung their cutlasses at the killer but met only empty air as Daebian fell back into the shadow of the foremast and vanished. He instantly emerged hanging out above the deck in the netting below the crow’s nest with one arm.
“Hey diddle diddle,
I pose you a riddle,
And you can tell me true.
Pirates are but seamen,
But when led by a demon,
What shall the fat merchants do?”
The assembled pirates looked up, slack-jawed and unsure what they faced or what to do. One of the men who had taken a swing at Daebian took a step forward.
“Give us their gold?” he answered nervously.
Daebian pulled himself back into the shadow of the crow’s nest, reappeared just behind the man, and whispered in his ear. “Exactly.”
The two men on the foredeck, as well as those crowding the steps, hastened away, desperate to put distance between themselves and what they all thought to be a demon sent to take them to the abyss for their wicked ways.
Daebian turned and addressed the pirates huddled below and hiding behind their drawn steel. “So what say you? Will you allow me to be your Captain?”
“You killed Captain Dahl!” one of the men shouted.
“I did and made you richer for it.”
“I claim no stake in your haul this day. What was Captain Dahl’s cut, twenty-five percent?”
“Thirty plus restocking and refitting,” the man replied.
“The man was a pirate even to his own crew!” Daebian exclaimed. “I’ll take twenty, including restocking and refitting, and guarantee you riches beyond your wildest imagination. Now what say you?”
The men exchanged looks for several moments before the man with the courage to address Daebian spoke once more. “We say aye, aye, Captain.”
“Fantastic!” Daebian beamed. “What is your name?”
“Tobias, I need a brave man I can trust to help me lead this crew. Can you be that man?”
“Aye, Captain, it can!”
“What would you like to do with the prisoners, sir?”
“Put them in long boats with food and water. I have need of their ship.”
Tobias looked down at his fellow pirates. “You louts heard the Captain! Rustle up those prisoners and put em in the water.”
Captain Reid glared hatefully up at Daebian as his crew helped him into the longboat. “We’re a week out to sea! You’ll kill us setting us out in longboats!”
“Are you saying you wish to forego the use of the boat?” Daebian responded.
Captain Reid gritted his teeth and ordered his men to row for all they were worth, eager to put distance between him and that hateful boy.
Daebian turned to his new crew. “Let’s get to work on the rigging and sails. I want this ship repaired and the crew split evenly between the two boats. No longer will wild jackals rule the seas. It’s time for the wolf pack to take over.”