A charge of allies, p.1
A Charge of Allies,
Part #57 of A Shade of Vampire series by Bella Forrest
Table of Contents
Also by Bella Forrest
New Generation List
Read more by Bella Forrest
A Shade of Vampire 57: A Charge of Allies
Also by Bella Forrest
New Generation List
Read more by Bella Forrest
Also by Bella Forrest
(New supernatural romance series!)
Hotbloods (Book 1)
Coldbloods (Book 2)
Renegades (Book 3)
Venturers (Book 4)
Traitors (Book 5)
THE GIRL WHO DARED TO THINK
The Girl Who Dared to Think (Book 1)
The Girl Who Dared to Stand (Book 2)
The Girl Who Dared to Descend (Book 3)
The Girl Who Dared to Rise (Book 4)
The Girl Who Dared to Lead (Book 5)
The Girl Who Dared to Endure (Book 6)
THE GENDER GAME
The Gender Game (Book 1)
The Gender Secret (Book 2)
The Gender Lie (Book 3)
The Gender War (Book 4)
The Gender Fall (Book 5)
The Gender Plan (Book 6)
The Gender End (Book 7)
A SHADE OF VAMPIRE SERIES
Series 1: Derek & Sofia’s story
A Shade of Vampire (Book 1)
A Shade of Blood (Book 2)
A Castle of Sand (Book 3)
A Shadow of Light (Book 4)
A Blaze of Sun (Book 5)
A Gate of Night (Book 6)
A Break of Day (Book 7)
Series 2: Rose & Caleb’s story
A Shade of Novak (Book 8)
A Bond of Blood (Book 9)
A Spell of Time (Book 10)
A Chase of Prey (Book 11)
A Shade of Doubt (Book 12)
A Turn of Tides (Book 13)
A Dawn of Strength (Book 14)
A Fall of Secrets (Book 15)
An End of Night (Book 16)
Series 3: The Shade continues with a new hero…
A Wind of Change (Book 17)
A Trail of Echoes (Book 18)
A Soldier of Shadows (Book 19)
A Hero of Realms (Book 20)
A Vial of Life (Book 21)
A Fork of Paths (Book 22)
A Flight of Souls (Book 23)
A Bridge of Stars (Book 24)
Series 4: A Clan of Novaks
A Clan of Novaks (Book 25)
A World of New (Book 26)
A Web of Lies (Book 27)
A Touch of Truth (Book 28)
An Hour of Need (Book 29)
A Game of Risk (Book 30)
A Twist of Fates (Book 31)
A Day of Glory (Book 32)
Series 5: A Dawn of Guardians
A Dawn of Guardians (Book 33)
A Sword of Chance (Book 34)
A Race of Trials (Book 35)
A King of Shadow (Book 36)
An Empire of Stones (Book 37)
A Power of Old (Book 38)
A Rip of Realms (Book 39)
A Throne of Fire (Book 40)
A Tide of War (Book 41)
Series 6: A Gift of Three
A Gift of Three (Book 42)
A House of Mysteries (Book 43)
A Tangle of Hearts (Book 44)
A Meet of Tribes (Book 45)
A Ride of Peril (Book 46)
A Passage of Threats (Book 47)
A Tip of Balance (Book 48)
A Shield of Glass (Book 49)
A Clash of Storms (Book 50)
Series 7: A Call of Vampires
A Call of Vampires (Book 51)
A Valley of Darkness (Book 52)
A Hunt of Fiends (Book 53)
A Den of Tricks (Book 54)
A City of Lies (Book 55)
A League of Exiles (Book 56)
A Charge of Allies (Book 57)
A SHADE OF DRAGON TRILOGY
A Shade of Dragon 1
A Shade of Dragon 2
A Shade of Dragon 3
A SHADE OF KIEV TRILOGY
A Shade of Kiev 1
A Shade of Kiev 2
A Shade of Kiev 3
THE SECRET OF SPELLSHADOW MANOR
The Secret of Spellshadow Manor (Book 1)
The Breaker (Book 2)
The Chain (Book 3)
The Keep (Book 4)
The Test (Book 5)
The Spell (Book 6)
BEAUTIFUL MONSTER DUOLOGY
Beautiful Monster 1
Beautiful Monster 2
DETECTIVE ERIN BOND (Adult thriller/mystery)
Lights, Camera, GONE
Write, Edit, KILL
For an updated list of Bella’s books, please visit her website: www.bellaforrest.net
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Copyright © 2018 by Bella Forrest
Cover design inspired by Sarah Hansen, Okay Creations LLC
All rights reserved.
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New Generation List
Avril (vampire): adopted daughter of Lucas and biological daughter of Marion.
Blaze (fire dragon): son of fire dragons Heath and Athena.
Caia (part fae/human): daughter of Grace and Lawrence.
Fiona (vampire): daughter of Benedict (son of Rose and Caleb) and Yelena.
Harper (sentry/vampire): daughter of Hazel and Tejus.
Scarlett (vampire): daughter of Jeramiah (son of Lucas Novak) and Pippa (daughter of Cameron Hendry).
If you’d like to check out the Novaks’ family tree, visit: www.forrestbooks.com/tree
Despite our overwhelmingly dire circumstances, we were surprisingly safe beneath the cloaking spell that Vesta had helped set up. After our first incursion into Draconis, and despite Cayn’s unexpected but unsuccessful ploy to capture us, we’d made it back to Kerentrith, the abandoned Imen city above, in one piece.
In fact, we’d returned to that secluded corner of the library with tremendous amounts of new information, which included plenty of insights into what had happened with the Druid delegation. On top of that, we’d inadvertently reunited Vesta with her fae parents, who were being held prisoner below. To me, the mission, despite its shaky conclusion, had been a success—not just because of the info we’d gathered, but also because I’d seen Zane alive and well, albeit also imprisoned. It could be worse.
We’d managed to bring Laughlan, one of the surviving Druids of the delegation, back to the surface with us. Despite his physical weakness, he’d been a great asset in helping us escape. Based on what I’d seen in the Azure Heights prison, where soul-eating was concerned, it felt like a miracle that Laughlan was still standing after thousands of years. The passage of time had not been kind to him, especially since upper-echelon daemons had systematically fed on his soul, but I had a feeling that with some proper rest and nourishment, the Druid would eventually recover—though how much of a recovery was still a mystery at that point.
Perhaps our greatest achievement during our first incursion to Draconis was learning about the swamp witch’s location. Lumi was once more confirmed to be alive, although her imprisonment conditions sounded stark and harsh. To stop her from uttering any spell, they gagged her. To keep her under their full control, the Exiled Maras and daemons kept her locked in Azure Heights, in what could be considered “shared custody”.
We’d yet to hear or see anything from beyond Neraka at this point, but it no longer came as a surprise, and we didn’t have the time or the energy to spend worrying about it. All we could do was keep pushing forward and get Lumi out of Azure Heights before this wretched alliance of daemons and Exiled Maras got to us first. Lumi was the only one who could bring down the shield they’d put up in order to stop all communication and travel to or from the outside world.
“We’re in what I would normally refer to as a ‘hot mess’,” Laughlan chuckled, leaning his back against the wall. He looked at each member of our team.
A couple of hours had passed since we’d put the cloaking spell—a much-needed bonus from our Draconis sting—together. It had been set up in a way that made it impossible for anyone to think of looking twice, as it perfectly mimicked the library walls, and it kept the secret tunnel door hidden, too. Our little safe spot was at the far end of the library, and from what I could hear beyond the walls of Kerentrith, the daemons were still combing the streets and heading outward, rather than back into the palace.
“Maybe, but at least we’re safe here for the time being,” Harper replied. Caspian rested his head on her shoulder, half asleep. Pheng-Pheng leaned against Harper on the other side, stroking the Ekar’s head. Its fiery red plumage shuddered with delight in her hands. That bird was, by far, one of the most intelligent animals I had ever seen. Throughout our entire trip through Draconis, it stayed hidden inside Harper’s backpack, perfectly quiet.
Hansa and Jax were huddled close to Blaze and Caia, while Vesta stayed close to Laughlan. We were all tired, but the rush of everything that had just happened was going to take a while to subside.
I shifted my focus back to the fire burning between us, which Caia was kind enough to maintain whenever its flames dimmed. The wood we used was slow to burn, and, in the absence of an accelerator, it took a while to crackle.
“As it stands, we pretty much got what we came here for,” Jax said. “We have a location for the swamp witch.”
Vesta shot him a cold glance. “I thought we were going in there again, to get my parents and the others.”
“We are,” Jax confirmed, and she relaxed, her shoulders dropping. “We’ve got two fae, another Druid, and two Maras to pick up from Draconis.”
“At least. There’s also Zane, and we should break others out, too,” I replied.
“We need to be careful about how we go in the second time around. With Velnias missing, we have restricted access to the prison already. The boxes and the locks are charmed,” Jax explained.
Laughlan smiled, staring at the flames. “Don’t worry about that,” he said slowly. “Give me a couple of hours to sleep, and I’ll scratch that little inconvenience off the list. I promise. I just need to rest my eyes, and my wretched old bones…”
He trailed off, his eyes finally shut, as he slumped to the side against the wall. It was quiet for a while. We could hear the daemons’ grunts in the distance, their boots stomping, their armor clanking between short bouts of barked orders and aggressive yelling.
“Okay, with or without a solution from our new friend here,” Jax replied, briefly nodding at the sleeping Druid, “we can’t overdo it. We’ll have to be quiet and discreet. Our main goal is to get out of here in one piece, rally our forces back at Ragnar Peak, and launch a smart offensive on Azure Heights so one of us can infiltrate the city and get Lumi out. That’s a very rough outline, of course.”
“Ragnar Peak is a good place to go,” I said, remembering the maps. “The fortress up there is in a good, strategic position, and it overlooks over two hundred square miles of Nerakian land. It’ll be an excellent holdout while we make plans to infiltrate Azure Heights.”
“That being said, we also need to make sure we’re not followed back to Ragnar Peak,” Hansa chimed in.
Harper and Caspian had fallen asleep, with Blaze and Caia looking like the next to doze off. Pheng-Pheng was naturally hyperactive. I had my doubts about whether she’d get any shut-eye before we got back to Draconis.
“Yeah, the last thing we need is to test the fortress’s ability to withstand a full-on assault,” I muttered. “When was the last time it survived a real siege?”
“Three hundred years, at least,” Vesta said. “There was a relatively large faction of rebel Imen coming in from the east. They managed to hold on to Ragnar Peak for three nights, before the daemons brought out the Death Claws and let the pit wolves loose. They were dead in less than a couple of hours after that.”
I worried that our troubles with Cayn were far from over. He certainly was persistent, though I couldn’t blame him. Based on what we’d learned about the hierarchy and societal rules of the daemons, he, too, was subject to the “survival of the fittest” system. He had to fight hard to keep his title, and, most importantly, his life.
The entire concept made my stomach churn, though. My mind kept wandering back to Zane. I couldn’t help but fear for his safety in Draconis. His brothers were clearly capable of murdering one another in order to please their father and retain their seats on the Council. King Shaytan had ordered Zane to be imprisoned. He wanted his son alive, and it was the only thought that stopped me from going back to Draconis right then and there to rescue him.
Sure, we’d gotten off to a rough start, but the rebellious daemon prince had quickly gotten under my skin. The intensity of how he made me feel was downright scary, but, at the same time, it was liberating. Zane had this way about him—unapologetic, persistent, and eerily charming. He seemed to enjoy pushing my buttons, but he also took great risks to help me. He had saved my life, and the lives of my team, more than once, and earned his father’s wrath for it. Rescuing him from Draconis was literally the least I could do for him in return.
Besides, having a daemon with such in-depth inside knowledge of Shaytan’s operations was a gift from the heavens, given our limited numbers and resources. My mind was hazy, finally overrun with exhaustion. It wasn’t that I needed sleep. As a vampire, I had more stamina than most, but I needed to just put my head down, clear my mind, and sink into a state of separation from my physical surroundings.
I lay back on the stone, using my backpack as a pillow, and s
“We’ll get as many people out as we can without drawing too much attention to ourselves,” Jax concluded. “Then we’ll head back to Ragnar Peak. It seems pretty straightforward.”
It sounded simple, yes. But considering Cayn’s devious persistence and the city riddled with angry daemons below, we all knew that it was going to be anything but that. Even with Laughlan fixing our charmed lock problem, we still had hostiles to deal with. Not just daemon grunts, but also their truck-sized generals, their Death Claws, and their pit wolves.
We couldn’t leave those people behind, either. Each of those creatures was worth the risk of capture. They’d been in there for too long. Thousands of years of incessant torture from creatures that thrived on their misery. My heart hurt, thinking not only of what they must’ve already been through, but also of what Zane was going to experience if we left him there.
Try not to get yourself killed, daemon prince. I’ll be there in a jiff.
Several hours later, the sun was slowly rising. I could see a sliver of the pinkish light through one of the stained glass windows on the other side of the library. It felt warm and safe in Caspian’s arms. We’d nestled against one another during the night. One by one, we all woke up and listened carefully to our surroundings.
It was quiet, and that wasn’t a bad thing. It meant the daemon search party was either out in the field, still looking for us, or back in Draconis, getting scolded for failing to capture us.
A Charge of Allies by Bella Forrest / Young Adult / Mystery & Detective have rating 4.6 out of 5 / Based on41 votes