The Valiant Series Book 3
by Joanna White
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Akari and Sakamoto Megumi just may be two women in over their
Okada Akari is a samurai, the daughter of the Chief Advisor to the Emperor of the Sakamoto clan. One day on a mission, she is captured by a mysterious warrior and taken to an enemy camp—an enemy filled with strange, foreign powers the likes of which her world has never seen. What’s worse, a foreign stranger is supplying her enemy with weapons her people cannot hope to fight against. Yet that is only the beginning of her journey, one filled with war and love, sacrifice, and darkness.
Sakamoto Megumi has wanted to be a samurai her entire life. However, as the daughter of the Emperor, training is impossible. When the Emperor is assassinated, she is thrust onto a throne she never wanted. As Empress, she must find a way to become a leader her people will look up to, instead of a weak woman unfit for the throne. Her generals are waiting for her to make a grave mistake. Falling in love with her high general might very well be the mistake they were waiting for.
Corruption has touched worlds before, but this time, it will take more than a few Chosen to stop it before it fills the hearts of everyone around them - even the hearts of their closest friends and allies.
The land had never been more alive. Crystal rivers snaked through verdant forests and across lush prairies and peaceful hills, flowing with beauty and life. The grass constantly moved and shifted due to the wind, with no concern for time or space. The many different colored trees danced as the wind caressed their leaves. So many colors—purple vines hugged tall tree trunks, spidering down them like webs. A few trees held leaves as yellow as the dawn itself. Fruits—oh, the delicious fruits—grew in vast quantities; the sour and sweet ones, the ones with brown dots that were as dark as bruises, others bigger than a human head. Some were thick enough that only a sword could penetrate them. Several had seeds and others were seedless… All were unique in their own way.
Out of all the trees, the most elegant was the cherry blossom. It was the time of its blooming, which only came for a couple months every two years in our world. Pink and white petals cascaded off the branches. Their balletic movements were like falling snowflakes; so alluring, yet so fragile. Like a life that was blessed, but would too soon meet its end.
I, Okada Akari, stood below their shattering beauty, gazing at the rare and precious moments of their lives.
“Well, well. What is a girl from the Sakamoto Clan doing all the way out here?” The voice which had spoken was low, the voice of a man. His accent was vaguely familiar—that of the Iwashita clan to the East.
I turned, allowing my hand to rest within reach of the katana at my left hip.
The man wore a dark blue kimono which was made of light silk; fit for the season. I assumed he was of some importance; the quality of the silk suggested so. He wore his katana on his left hip, with a matching wakizashi just under it. There was no doubt that this man was a samurai. Though his lips upturned into a smirk, his eyes narrowed on mine, alert and fierce. His face was quite handsome, and he appeared no older than I. His colors—dark blue and white—were that of the Iwashita clan, as was the insignia on the end of the handle of his katana.
The colors on my kimono, as well as the insignia on my own weapon, had revealed to him what clan I was from. I would have to proceed cautiously if I was to avoid a fight. “I could say the same of you, Iwashita samurai.” I narrowed my eyes, but slightly shifted my right foot back in case I would be forced to draw my katana.
Half his mouth lifted into what was something in-between a grin and a smirk. “And here I thought today was going to be boring.” Though his eyes never left mine, his hand drifted toward his sword.
I rested my right hand on my own. “Do you realize you are outside your clan’s borders?”
He raised an eyebrow and looked around, feigning surprise. “Oh? I truly hadn’t noticed.”
I frowned at him. “What is your purpose here?”
He shrugged—his expression indifferent.
Whatever his intentions were, I could not allow him to remain in our borders. He did not seem to be the sort of man who would listen, nor honor any request I would make, but I knew I had to try.
“It would be wise if you would return to the Iwashita Clan’s borders.” I kept my voice calm, but firm.
“And if I don’t? I suppose you plan to make me?” His eyes slid over me lazily.
“Only if I am forced to.”
He used his thumb to unsheathe his katana just a bit. Before he could draw his weapon, I darted toward him. As I moved, I pulled out my katana to hit his ribs with the hilt as I ran passed him. Only when I did so, he was not there. The blow would have been strong enough to knock his breath out, especially at the speed I had been going.
Yet he had been faster.
I glanced over my right shoulder, moving my right arm in the same direction as I turned around. The movement was just in time to block a strike from him toward the right side of my neck.
He raised his eyebrows and clicked his tongue. “Not bad. Too slow, but not bad.” He grinned as his blade pressed against mine.
The force shoved me backwards.
I recovered quickly enough to block another attack at my left ribs. He attacked up higher and to the right, which I blocked, and then I lunged forward as he back stepped. Sidestepping, I parried another jab toward my chest.
His attacks continued and though I was able to block them in time, he was not using his full strength.
He was only toying with me.
I ducked underneath his next attack and slid passed him. With a quick turn, I swung toward him, and then continued the movement by slicing it all the way across, where his back should have been.
Once again, he was not there.
Though he dodged, I continued the flowing movement, turning around to face him. Tightening my grip on my weapon, I slid my feet to form a defensive stance.
He stepped toward me, in an aggressive stance.
I swung toward his stomach.
He blocked and lunged at me faster than my eyes could fully follow. I just barely managed to block him with the back of my katana, but he had the offensive once again. He twisted to the left and before I saw anything, he was behind me.
The cold steel of his blade bit at the right side of my throat.
He laughed. “Now what?”
I shifted my feet to try to get a better position so that I could kick him, but he shoved me forward. Grabbing my right wrist, he twisted, making me groan and drop my katana.
I moved my right leg to try to kick his knee, but he twisted me to the left and slammed my chest against a tree.
His legs pressed roughly against mine, keeping me from moving. Letting go of my wrist, which was no doubt sprained, he grabbed my hair. He roughly jerked my head back so that it was beside his.
I grunted and struggled, but to no avail; his grip was like iron.
He chuckled at my struggling. “What’s the matter? Can’t get away from me, woman?”
I clawed at him, digging my nails into his arm. Fighting back only seemed to entice him, however.
“This might hurt a little.” With those words he slammed my head against the tree. My vision darkened, and I fell unconscious.
When I finally awoke, my hands were tied to a tree behind me. My katana and wakizashi were both gone. I pulled, but whatever was holding me was too strong for me to break out of.
“Welcome back, woman,” the samurai said from where he sat against a tree. “Why don’t you tell me your name? Unless you’d rather I just keep calling you ‘woman.’”
“Okada Akari, but you may call me by my family name.”
“Hmm…. Okada... Where have I heard that name before?”
Instead of answering him, I focused on my surroundings.
We were in a small area surrounded by trees. He leaned against a tree to my right, and there was a fire directly in front of me. My katana and wakizashi lay just beside him on the ground. His katana was laid atop his knees, which were drawn up to his chest, and his hands rested atop his blade.
Because it was night, and our moon was far away and dim, I had only the light from the fire to see with. With that light, I could just barely make out his features.
His eyes were dark and his features were sharp. Despite the smirk that seemed permanently etched on his face, there was an air of seriousness around him. His eyes appeared lazy, but missed nothing. Yet there was something about him that showed that he was neither inexperienced or naive.
His dark hair was about shoulder-length, with part of it pinned back, leaving a few loose strands hanging down by his face. Cherry blossoms fell around him like a gentle rain. It was a picture of fierce serenity, like the calm before a storm destroyed everything you held dear… It was agonizingly beautiful and viciously peaceful.
“What are you staring at?” Though his expression was a mixture of boredom and irritation, his tone sounded merely curious.
“What should I call you?” I asked instead of answering.
“Shinji.” He closed his eyes.
“Just Shinji? Is that a family name?”
“No.” He answered without opening his eyes.
I sighed, and saw no reason for further conversation.
I had no idea what fate awaited me.
The Valiant Series Book 2
is a shapeshifter, part of the dragon clan. His clan’s Alpha,
Sirath, wants to watch the world burn.
For ten long years Sirath has attacked villages, killing thousands of humans and burning towns to the ground. Beroan has had enough, but his resistance will only end in suffering.
Nsi is a human living in a small village with her grandmother and cousin. Her ignorance about the existence of shifters won’t protect her for long. Her family was killed in a dragon attack when she was younger, and now dragons have come again. Now she will stop at nothing until the dragon shifters are stopped, to save humans from suffering the same fate as her family.
Together, Nsi and Beroan will risk everything to save humanity from Sirath.
Darkness is spreading through the galaxy, Corrupting one world after another, and now it has come for theirs. Sirath already belongs to the Corruption of darkness.
He will not stop until he burns down the world and leaves it covered in fire and ash.
The Valiant Series Book 1
reckless young woman named Averella does what no woman has ever
She disguises herself as a man and purposefully gets herself arrested and thrown into Zagerah. Her brother Gabriel was taken, and with his disease, he will not survive on his own. She has no idea what to expect inside the prison; all she knows is that once men get taken, they never come back.
The Hunters will find her.
Genetically altered to be faster and stronger than humans, the Hunters use their powers to find and kill every prisoner who enters Zagerah. The only ones who can defeat them, are in fact, themselves.
Jared is a Hunter. It’s all he’s known, all he remembers. He kills ruthlessly and without regret, one prisoner after another. When a new prisoner Dalex shows up, everything begins to change. Jared goes undercover to make Dalex and the other prisoners believe he is one of them, a prisoner himself.
No one knows the truth.
He will trick them.
Toy with them.
Then, he will kill them.
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