Chapter One

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Knight of Light By Deirdra Eden 

Book 1 of The Watchers Series 

Copyright © 1997-2013 Deirdra Eden 

Published by Deirdra Eden in association with Eden Literary, LLC

 Printed in the U.S.A.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author except in the case of brief quotations as credited to the author. ISBN: 978-0-9960158-0-6 ISBN: Ebook Version

  

Chapter One

Predator

England - 1270 A.D.

Flames spewed in waves of red heat from the windows. Hot ash floated into the sky like smoldering snow. Screams from the children inside the burning cottage pierced the darkness.

“We’ve got to help them!” I shouted and covered my ears to muffle the agonizing pleas of the trapped children. Surfacing memories haunted me of the fire that killed my parents three years earlier.

“Let the men handle this, Auriella. Death isn’t something a young lass should see.” The village elder leaned heavily against his walking stick. His statement was false comfort. I had already seen death and never wanted to again.

The fire ravaged the straw rooftop. Able-bodied adults raced to and from the brook with buckets of water.

The elder shook his head in frustration. “If it weren’t for me bad leg I’d be able to help.”

I had two perfectly good legs. I was only thirteen, but I was fast and could easily carry a bucket of water from the brook. I started forward, but the elder held me back again.

“These fires aren’t normal. They start too fast,” the elder grumbled. “If you ask me, with how frequent and spread out these attacks have been, it’s got to be many arsonists working together.”

Staring at the bright flames, the illusion of security I had created for myself evaporated. A horrifying thought suddenly struck me.

“What if it’s the Shadow Legion causing these fires?” I asked.

“Nonsense!” the village elder almost shouted. “The Shadow Legion only kills important people like kings and nobles. They’d never come to our tiny village when London is less than a league away. It’s definitely arson. The men at the tavern say several peasant homes with young girls have been targeted.” He looked down at me with wary eyes. “Girls with flaming red hair like yours.” He swallowed hard, making his Adam’s apple bob. I swallowed too and looked back to the fire.

The elder cleared his throat. “No, it has to be arsonist. The Dark Legion is not that selective. Besides, if we are ever invaded by the Shadow Legion, the Lady of Neviah and the Immortal Watchers will save us.”

I could not argue. All the stories I had heard coincided with what he was saying. No one knew where the Shadow Legion came from, but they were unrelenting lords of chaos. The inhuman legionnaires were unstoppable ravagers of death. Their nightmarish ranks consisted of ghostly wraiths whose whispers could poison the minds of even the purest of men.

No mortal stood against the Shadow Legion and lived. That was why the Lady of Neviah and the immortal protectors, the Watchers, were sent to live among us.

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