Sunday, December 22, 2013

Interview - Andre Alan

Hi Friends,

Everyone hopes to get recognized and appreciated for their efforts and the same is applicable to all the very promising and very talented debut authors out there who have given us great books but are sometimes not appreciated to their full extent mostly due to lack of publicity. So I bring to you every week one very talented new author and get you acquainted with him so that we never miss out on any of their great works!

This week I have with me Andre Alan who is the author of the YA, Sci-fi, fantasy novel Heaven's Fate which is part of a trilogy and his next book in the series is coming out in January 2014.

Andre Alan is from Hartford, CT and attended college in New Haven, CT. After graduating with a degree in international business and a brief career as an IT data analyst, Andre Alan decided to follow his lifelong passion of creating fiction entertainment. With a small amount of artistic talent and after a brief stint at poetry and comics, the timing was ripe to pursue fantasy novel writing. Andre Alan is avid video gamer (when there is time) and an addict for ramen noodles. Andre is a sports fanatic and a lifelong student of business and entertainment.

Welcome to Njkinny's World of Books, Andre! 

Lets grab a cup of coffee and start the interview.

Q1. Tell us something about yourself. 

I was born in Manchester, CT but grew up and went to school in Hartford, CT. After that I went to college in New Haven, CT and majored in International
Business. I have been drawing and creating characters since childhood, so it seemed obvious to start a business doing something that you love.

Q2. In one sentence, what is your book Heaven's Fate about?

Heaven's Fate is a tale of choices between free will and fate; revenge, love and relationships between family, friends and foes.

Q3. What inspired you to write this book? 

I was inspired by a few different sources; the idea for the book came from  my time in college when I watched a lot of Dragon Ball Z anime. What inspired me to actually sit down and develop these characters into something worth reading was when I picked up the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.

Q4. Do you have a specific writing style? 

Not really.

Q5. How did you come up with the title? 

This series revolves around Heaven and all of the different aspects associated with it. From the deceased father to the spiritual realm that Thame enters in order to communicate with Masaya. This book also has to do with the fate of the characters and how they handle it and whether they accept it or not.

Q6. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

                If I had to choose something that the readers could grasp from my book is the fact that anything is possible. As long as you believe in yourself then you can find a strength that is unmatched through dedication and hard work. Do things your own way because at the end of the day, you are only responsible for yourself; only you will be able to answer for the things that you have done in your life.

Q7. What was your technique when planning your plot and characters? 

I like to free flow and develop the plot and characters as I write the story. I feel like if I don’t plot everything out before hand it gives my mind the free range to roam and explore and put the characters into dynamic and interesting circumstances.

Q8. What do you love most about writing? 

I love when I get into a flow and words are just pouring from my mind so fast that I cant write them down fast enough. Sometimes there are just instances as a writer when you are clicking on all cylinders and new ideas are flowing seamlessly.

Q9. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 

                If I could, I would probably spend a little bit more time on the relationships between different characters like the budding romance between Thame and Charlotte. The off kilter “father-son” relationship between Miles and Merle and also the family dynamic for Thame and Autumn.

Q10. What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life? 

                All of the above and plenty more. The world creation took extensive research when I had to create an earth-like world yet larger than the earth and has two moons. After that it was developing the characters and then trying to constantly put them into situations where they will face adversity so that way the readers can connect with them. I don’t have a degree in writing or English or anything like that so I am very dependent upon outside help such as editors who help to polish the novel into a gem that is readable and with that comes all type of concerns like how good are the people that you are working with and more importantly, how trust worthy are they. When you couple all that with the writer himself trying to battle of the psychological demons that pop up in ones mind from writing fatigue, to questioning whether or not this material is even good enough and will people like it. From dealing with owning your own publishing company and building the website to working with the distribution company in order to release the book.

Q11. Do you see writing as a career? 

                To me, writing is one of the ultimate careers, similar to golf. Golfers can play for 60 years if they choose to and that cannot be said for many professions. Writing is one of those professions where you can start writing when you are young and continue to do it as long as your fingers can still move and your brain can still form cohesive sentences and interesting characters.

Q12.Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 

                The editing process is probably the most challenging for me during the writing process. I get caught up in trying to make every sentence too perfect.

Q13. What was the hardest part of writing your book? 

                It’s always tough for me to first start writing and to get the flow going. The hardest part had to be getting all of the ideas written down into something that makes sense. It’s easy to have a story in your head that you think will entertain people, it is an out-of-this-world experience to go about the process of making those ideas into something that you can hold in your hand.

Q14. Do you have any advice for other writers? 

                Continue to work on your craft and read a lot – you can read books within the genre that you write in but be sure to read other genre’s as well. By reading successful authors you can see, first hand, what has worked for them and what elements they used to create a popular, mainstream novel. Then incorporate some of those characteristics into your own writing style.

Q15. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 

                To each and every one of you out there, you are greatly appreciated and I hope that my stories are entertaining. I hope that my stories help in some way, even if only to cause laughter.

Q16. What are your current projects? 

                I am currently working on book 3 titled Arcana’s Sayge, the last novel in the Heaven Trilogy, which will tell the complete tale of Thame and his journey. I am also working on a short story series that I release monthly on my blog: Ryukage Brainwork.

Q19. Where can people find you on the Internet?

                For more information about the author Andre Alan please check the official EVapor Entertainment company website: and also social media:

Q20. What’s next up for you, writing-wise?

                Next I am probably going to release another novel but this one will not be a three part series and it will also appease to one specific audience. The next book I plan to release is a hard core science fiction novel about artificial intelligence, advanced technology, and robots but also how these concepts relate to laws, work, and “human” rights.

Q21. Before you go how about an excerpt from your book to intrigue and tantalize us.

You Can Run

          Miles watched the sun rise over tall buildings in the distant downtown of Consonance. He had no trouble finding the coordinates for the weapon shop, which was located in a rural area on the outskirts of Eioda’s major east coast city. This city was renowned for its magicians. Elves traveled here from the eastern continent and went to the Southern Consonance Sorcerer University in order to exchange knowledge and materials with human wizards. Miles looked down at the tiled roof of the blacksmith shop, and the massive chimney letting out a continuous stream of smoke. He had observed the foot traffic for the store; business was doing well. He looked down upon his quarry like a hawk, watching the ebb and flow of people visiting the building. As noon approached, Miles finally allowed himself to move from his vantage point from the top floor of the fifty-story hotel. His prey had just arrived.
          Exiting the weapon-smith shop within thirty minutes, Thame and Charlotte were empty handed. Miles noticed the man was no longer carrying that strange, color-shifting box he had entered with. He realized the material for the weapon must have been inside. Miles sat down on a sofa in the den of his hotel room, legs crossed and hands placed behind his head. He practically sank into the soft cushions. Miles let a rare smile spread across his face and enjoyed the moment; later that night, his work would begin.


          “Who are you? What do you want?” asked Declan, clutching his chest, trying to stem the rivulets of dark red gushing from a deep slash in his chest. Blood dripped to the floor from the open wound. He slowly crawled backward, leaving every surface smeared with streaks of crimson.
          Miles Xavier did not respond. He saw no need to rush the kill. Savoring the moment of death is where he found out a person’s true nature. He stepped forward agonizingly slow, tormenting his victim.
          “The money is in the safe. Just please take it and leave,” said Declan.
          “Where is the sword?” asked Miles.
          “I don’t know. Just pick whichever one you want. You can have them all.”
          “The one you made today. You know of which I speak, elf.”
          “Please don’t kill me.”
          Miles sent his blade whirling in a low arch and stopped the weapon’s momentum suddenly. This skilled move caused the blood dripping from the metal to splash onto the ash darkened stone floor. His straight-blade jian sword was now free of blood. The shining silver metal seemed to take on a life of its own as forge fire was reflected down the blade. Miles slowly stalked toward his helpless victim.


          Charlotte Landry quickened her pace toward the weapons shop. After hours waiting for Thame to return she decided to leave the hotel. He left without letting her know where he was going besides saying, running down a lead, therefore she naturally got bored sitting around a hotel. Outside the weapons-smith shop, she sensed something amiss. The constant drum of Declan’s hammer usually kept passerby’s unconsciously walking to the same beat. She silently leapt the three short stairs leading to the wooden porch and pressed her ear against the front door, which was suspiciously closed. It was too quiet. Charlotte expected to at least hear Declan and Elvira arguing. She decided to send Thame an alert signal on their handhelds. She had no time to wait for him. She would have to sneak in and observe until back-up arrived.
          Creeping around the edge of the building, Charlotte went towards the sound of voices that seeped through an open window. She slowly pushed the unlocked window higher. Spiriting through the upraised window like a gymnast, Charlotte cautiously picked her way through the dimly lit back room of the workshop. She was careful not to disturb anything. She arrived to see a man with black, waist-length hair standing with his back to her. His left hand was tattooed with an ancient secret symbol that covered the tips of his fingers. The man’s sword was held high in the air above the quivering shopkeeper, who lay on the floor surrounded by his own blood. She was too far away to block the downward swing. Her throwing knives flew towards the mysterious man with lightning quickness. He must have sensed them coming, and turned around at the last minute to block the two airborne daggers with his blade.
          “We’ve got company, elf,” said Miles. “Pardon me.”
          “Who are you?” asked Charlotte, brandishing her twin batons. “What are you doing here?”
          “Typical,” replied Miles turning around. “ENS military right?”
          Leaking scarlet onto the uneven stone floor, Declan lay on the verge of death, trying to fight the feeling forcing him to lower his eyelids and go to sleep. He still had enough common sense to use what little strength he had left to inch away from the two killers.
          In the dimly lit room, Charlotte tried to sidestep in the direction of the hurt elf. The forges in the nearby room still blasted away with metal melting heat. Her assailant stood motionless, staring. “What are you after,” she asks.
          “You know the answer to that,” replied Miles dashing forward, blade twirling.
          Charlotte’s spun her batons, deflecting slashes from the straight blade. The shiny black metal of the batons soaked up the light of the nearby flames. Charlotte found herself on the defensive only seconds later as Miles rushed forward. Her twin baton sticks became a blur in her hand, parrying rapid attacks. Even after years of training, Charlotte found herself on the retreat from the deadly assassin. Instinct and reflexes stored in muscle memory saved her from receiving any life-threatening wounds. But at the rate he was going, her assailant would not need to deliver a death blow. She would die from a thousand gashes. To make the situation worse, she had yet to land a strike.
“You should have trained harder, my dear,” said Miles. “Do not worry though. I will be sending you some company in the afterlife.”
          Miles dashed toward Charlotte, and the rapid clash of metal on metal sounded over again and again as she deflected his sword. Reverberations shook Charlotte’s hands and forearms with each parry. She clenched her teeth; vibrations wracked her thin, muscular arms. She was sweating from the exertion, and with a lightning-quick move, Miles managed to slice Charlotte’s hand and send one of her weapons flying out of her grasp and sliding across the floor. The remaining baton could not deflect the blow she knew was coming next. Her mind worked frantically to come up with a way to avoid the death blow. Charlotte blinked her eyes for a second, which would have been the end of her if not for the ultra-quick and magically enhanced movements of her savior.
A gust of powerful wind and a cloud of smoke made her open her eyes. Thame stood in front of her with sword in one hand and las-gun pistol in the other. With a downward swing of his own blade, he deflected the sword thrust of Miles only centimeters away from Charlotte’s heart. He stood in front of her protectively. “Are you hurt?” asked Thame. His shoulders heaved up and down, whether from anger or exertion, she could not tell.
“Nothing too serious,” replied Charlotte, back resting against the wall. Her eyes searched for her other weapon.
Thame took in the appearance of the man dressed in all black standing only meters in front of him: long dark hair, pitch black pools of tar for eyes and a dark carving on his cheek. “You again,” said Thame, words dripping with scorn.
“Good to see you again too, Winter’s Legacy,” replied Miles. “We will have to sit down and talk, you and me… in private. I will be in touch.” A heartless smile crept across his face. Miles sheathed his sword and clasped his hands together, fingers intertwined in intricate symbols. Dark smoke rose from the ground around his feet.
Thame leapt towards his nemesis, las-gun firing blue laser all the way. He was rewarded with a grunt of pain as a laser bolt struck Miles. Running into a fog of thick smoke, Thame swung his sword, but his arm did not feel the resistance expected.
Miles had vanished thanks to that smoke bomb technique.
“Coward,” shouted Thame into the darkness. He spit on the floor in frustration.
“He was outmatched at two against one,” said Charlotte, placing a reassuring hand on Thame’s shoulder. “People like him always run when the odds are not in their favor.”
“You’re right,” replied Thame, gnashing his teeth together. He debated whether or not to follow, but then he looked at the sight of the carnage around him, eyes growing wide with compassion and shock. The frown typically plastered on his face returned with renewed vigor. “How are you injuries, Captain?” he asked Charlotte.
“Worse than they look, honestly,” said Charlotte. She let her face be tilted and turned by Thame’s large and calloused hand. He surveyed the bruises. “I know everyone says that, but seriously, I’m fine.” She forced a smile on her face, despite the blood leaking from her bottom lip.
“Uh, hello,” said Declan. “I am the one losing truckloads of plasma over here.”
“I apologize,” said Thame. “I will be sure that you are compensated for your troubles tonight. Miles Xavier’s head will be the next on my trophy stand.”

Thanks for sparing time to talk to me, Andre!
Njkinny's World of Books wishes you the very best for your future and hopes to read lots more from you. 

Originally posted here:

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Book Review - Heaven's Fate

Thame Elliot's one objective in life is to avenge his father's death and he is consumed in his quest for the truth. But his life is not that simple. His aunt is the new Empress of Eoida and is always meddling in his life. Being connected with her also brings him enough fame to make his quest problematic and as if this is not enough, soon he will know that sometimes things are not always as they seem.

Can he find his father's killer?

Heaven's Fate is the classic fantasy story of a boy whose father was killed and claimed a traitor. Now he is determined to clear his name and also avenge his death. The first thing that struck me about the book was the whole planning and conception of Thame's world. The author has meticulously planned each detail of his fantasy world and it shows.

The story changes pace as per the demand of the story which is a good thing. Fantasy book lovers will love this book. I am not that a big fan of fantasy books but was still pulled into the action. I did though feel a bit crammed which so many new things in the book.

All in all, a very promising book and very admirably executed by Andre Alan. I give Heaven's Fate a 4 out of 5 and recommend that you read it. A book with loads of action which will thrill you and excite you. I look forward to reading more of Andre's work.  :)

I was provided the book by the author for my review of it and I am very thankful to him. The above review is my honest and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.

Post originally appeared on NjKinny's World of Books -

Monday, December 16, 2013

Part V – The Peach and The Void

The Power Array Saga

Tales of the Sword and the Peach

The Void took Momotaru’s mind to an unfamiliar place. The feeling frightened him yet he reveled in the new sensation. Blackness overtook his senses. Maybe it was such a dark blue and rich purple that it seemed black. Either way, whatever it was, it was beautiful, thought Momotaru. The Void took him to a place deep within himself yet outside as well like an out-of-body experience. He perceived every physical sensation as if it were through the body of a new born. Not even after hours of meditation did Momotaru ever feel so connected with the world, Threa. He was in a place that was sightless yet his senses were attuned to levels that no human could understand. He smiled as a warm, euphoric sensation surged through his veins.
Slash after slash, parry and thrust, action and reaction at blinding speeds. The bodies of the two swordsman reacted of their own accord, relying on years of muscle memory. The two master martial artists and sword experts were no longer fighting on the material plane of existence. They ascended. They did not fight with their muscles alone. Fighting using the power of their mind, thoughts interacted like the swords that clashed, projecting how the fight would go in their favor, only to be countered by another reality introduced by the opponent.
Arif Zahur’s mouth hung open. He gazed with eyes wide in awe of the flashing colors.
Colliding at inhuman speed, clashing blades coalesced into a collage of immense beauty to which any painter would die to achieve. Bright blue whirled in every direction so fast it seemed continuous. Silver mixed with black as the two swords talked to each other in the language of metal on metal. When the blades kissed, white and yellow sparks flew through the air. Grey clouds in a darkening sky posed as a background that could be seen through the collapsed wall of the Alchemist Guild building.
The rune carved, magic infused broadsword wielded by Iris Longwing dipped, dove, and splashed the dark blue sky with streaks of silver lightening. She was quick and agile, flipping through the air while probing with her sword to find an opening in Momotaru’s defense.
Momotaru blocked an overhanded strike. He deflected Iris’ blade to the side. She struck back in quick succession while doing an aerial cartwheel, hands never leaving the hilt of her blade.  By quickly forming a circle with his free hand, touching thumb to ring finger, Momotaru teleported behind his opponent. He used a high level technique of the Rietsu Martial Arts known as the Flash Step. Reappearing, he was greeted with a swift thrust from Iris’ broadsword while her back was still turned. Momotaru was forced to parry instead of attack as was his wont.
Iris spun around with a flip kick targeting Momotaru’s head and forced him to lean back like a tree swaying in the wind. Her sword followed in a sweeping arc that threatened to shear Momotaru in half at the waist.
With The Void in control, Momotaru was able to anticipate Iris’ movements. He teleported behind Iris’ using the Flash Step and greeted his adversary with a swing of his blade once he appeared. Iris to dropped to one knee, spinning on the way down to the floor while bringing her sword up to block.
They matched each other stroke for stroke. This was a warrior’s canvas with blades instead of paint brushes. Artwork flowed smoothly from their weapons and made a masterpiece of death.
Iris, the Butterfly Samurai broke off suddenly, Flash Stepping away from the heated battle. Seconds later, she appeared several meters away from Momotaru. Standing on the edge of the opening that was the collapsed wall of the third floor building, she held her broadsword – The Alter Blade – in front of her defensively.
“This was much more fun than anticipated,” said Iris Longwing, bosom heaving. “The Void serves you well. Sensei would be proud of you. But we must part ways here, to your divine sorrow, I’m sure. However, I assure you that we can play again a little later. I have other errands to attend to.”
She leapt through the opening with a wicked grin etched across her face.
“Like I would let you get away now,” said Momotaru through clenched teeth.
Momotaru leapt through the whole in the building where the roof had collapsed. All rational thought left his mind. Falling through the air after Iris, he channeled a spell. The Void was the highest level of martial arts achievement in the ancient and secret Riestu fighting style. It was a feat accomplished by no other person but him and his sensei. All of the hair on his body tried to stand on end.
Zahur ran over to the opening, peering over the edge. He saw Momotaru subconsciously channel his mana. He watched as his warrior friend used advanced, high level magical techniques. The splicing of wind and water in front of Momotaru’s blade created a massive magic spell that leapt from the dark adamantite of the weapon.
“Do my eyes deceive me?” said Zahur shying away from the burning white glare created by the blade.
A flock of birds scattered from a nearby tree.
Momotaru’s splicing of the newly created spell was interlaced perfectly and a sheet of ice, expanded, grew, and multiplied outward exponentially towards the butterfly samurai.
The Acro eyes told Iris the truth. She snarled at the avalanche in defiance.
“I will not be stopped!” Iris shouted.
Zahur watched Iris Longwing disappear within a massive avalanche of snow and ice that enveloped her completely. He could not say whether or not the female warrior was alive but that was not his concern. He needed to react quickly if he wanted to save Momotaru. To Zahur’s surprise, he watched his companion nimbly land on top of the cascading sheets of ice and snow and ride the top wave of the avalanche as if he were a surfer on a wave in the ocean.
Momotaru looked around, his eyes still pitch black. Then he looked up at Zahur and waved. A small smile returned to his face as the black eye sockets of the Void faded away to be replaced with Momotaru’s normal eyes.
Relief flooded though Arif Zahur. He waved back to his friend. Alarm sprung back up within him, body rigid as his eyes widened in shock. He raced down the steps and outside to his friend.
Momotaru had collapsed in a heap of exhaustion.

-        -    -


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Heaven's Fate - Book Review

Rating:  3 stars

I received a copy of Heaven's Fate from the author for an honest review.  The first thing that grabbed me, on the Kindle copy, was the formatting issue.  I know, being an author myself, that there can be some difficulties in converting a paper copy to kindle format.  That being said, though, the format made it a little difficult to read.  I tend not to give descriptions of my books on an amazon review; you know the description, which is why you're reading it, right?  The writing style itself was a little disjointed and strange, and I felt the story was rushed.  Instead of trying to do so much in the first book, I think the author could have done much more justice by putting more into the backstory and focusing more on the conflict between his father's killer and himself.  As it was, I felt I knew the characters less at the end of the novel than I did at the beginning.

As the story unfolded, I became intrigued with the story created with Thame, his "aunt", and the other characters that began to make their appearance.  They were well-rounded, all with their own flaws and circumstantial strengths and weaknesses.  For that, I commend the author.  It made for a much more enjoyable read.  The storyline was an interesting one, and the blending of two genres that are related, but traditionally separate from each other, made this book a unique one to read.

The fusion between fantasy and sci-fi for me, though, began to pull away from the story.  In my own mind, and as a fantasy writer and avid reader, to blend the two genres is a taboo, and a risky thing to try unless it's done right.  I thought that the fusion took away from the story; the las-pistols mixed with the magical incantations, the technology vs the prophecy and magical swords, all twisted into a confusing blend.  I think the story would have been much more fantastic if the author had stuck to one genre, either placing the novel entirely into the realm of fantasy or entirely into the realm of science fiction.

Overall, I think that Andre did very well on this novel.  It is a read I would probably pick up again, and I am looking forward to seeing his next book, to see what mischief Thame can get up to, and to hopefully get to know more about the characters and the drama that is unfolding within.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Part IV – The Peach and the Butterfly

The Power Array Saga

Tales of the Sword and the Peach

            Escaping the floating elven city had been easy but trying to flee the main land of the United Elven Kingdom was another issue entirely since all ports were under heavy guard. The best bet to escape U.E.K would be to travel from the main city of Aver and go to the second largest city in the region, Duke which sat to the North West. From Duke they could hop on a ship and travel along the Amis River which fed into the North Mizuki Ocean.
Arif Zahur needed to find a branch of the Alchemist Guild and the closest one was located in Duke. They were chased out of the last small town they stopped in to refill water bottles. After almost missing the Electro-Mag-Lift High Speed Train, Arif assured Momotaru the tracking spell long ago placed on one of the Alchemist Guild’s members was getting stronger as they sped towards Duke.
These were reassurances Momotaru long ago stopped relying on.
Traveling for another few hours, they exited the EML train. The pair gradually made their way up a steadily inclining hill forming a plateau. Once they reached the top and the terrain flattened out, Zahur practically jumped with joy. A three story dome shaped building with dark, hollow windows was set against the horizon surrounded by a barren landscape as if it were the last egg in the carton. This was a typical Alchemist Guild building. They were currently on the outskirts of Duke, only a few kilometers from the main city center.
“Once inside let me do all the talking,” said Zahur, picking up his pace. “They should remember me despite…,”
Momotaru swiftly clapped his hand over Zahur’s mouth to silence his chatty little friend. He rested his right hand on the hilt of his sword, ready to draw the weapon at a moment’s notice. With his warrior senses attuned to the energy vibrations of his surroundings and despite these alchemists having the reputation of hermits, he knew something was out of place; it was quiet, too quiet. Momotaru led the way through the abandoned complex.
The first floor had several rooms with discarded items dropped haphazardly; Bunsen burners smashed to bits, glass beakers broken, chairs overturned. After briefly searching the first and second floor in silence, they ascended the spiral stairwell located in the center of the complex. On the top floor of the building, the ceiling was caved in. At the back of the room they saw the person responsible for the deserted complex. The culprit sat with her back to the staircase, staring out the collapsed hole in the building at the light blue sky and white clouds in the distance. Momotaru gritted his teeth in recognition of the long crimson hair tied into a pony tail, falling past her shoulder blades. The left side of her kimono hung loose down her back showing her signature tattoo of a large butterfly.
Iris Longwing stood slowly, using her sword to support her weight. Standing amongst the rubble that she had caused which lay at her feet along with dead alchemist. Iris turned around slow and deliberate, face an unreadable mask with eyes hidden behind dark shades.
“It is so very good to see you again Momo,” said Iris in her slow and seductive southern drawl. “Judging by the half-finished enchant on your lovely sword you probably figured these here alchemist could give you the missing ingredients to finish it, hmmm.” She wore a small, devious smile.
Momotaru instinctively tightened the grip on his sword handle and ground his teeth in aggravation.
“How can you see my enchantment?” asked Arif Zahur in shocked tones. “The only way to see that is with the Arco Eyes? How did you obtain those?”
Iris laughed to herself and removed her sunglasses. Revealing her new Arco Eyes where the pupil continuously changed between every color in the rainbow at random intervals.
Arif Zahur also knew the disadvantages of having those eyes. Tiny dark lines continuously exited her pupils and spread across the yellowish-white of her iris before disappearing into her body. The Arco Eyes provided the user with great advantages but would cause the white of her iris to slowly turn a dark yellow until becoming completely black and render its owner blind.
The consistently changing colorful liquid pools that stared into Momotaru’s soul seemed to read the messages contained in his heart. He gradually pulled his blade from its scabbard, exposing a meter of razor sharp, black adamantite.
Iris Longwing replaced her glasses and threw back her head laughing. “Oh, come on now Momo, sweety,” said Iris seductively licking her plump lips. “Is that any way to treat an old friend that you have not seen in ages?”
“Now that I know what is underneath those glasses I will surely finish the job and cut you down this time,” said Momotaru. “What are you doing here?”
“There is no need to bring up our last encounter,” said Iris. “I was hired to track you down but we can talk business later. I prefer to think of the good old days when we longed for each other at every waking moment and snuck away from sensei’s dojo to steal kisses.” Iris gave him a wink and a giggle. “Rumor has it you obtained The Void. I always knew you had it in you sweety.” She clapped, slow and sarcastic.
“Call me that again and I will cut those pretty new eyes from your skull,” said Momotaru.
“Oh, come now, you could never harm little ol’ me,” said Iris securing her weapon across her back.
“The Arco Eyes will kill you eventually. You must know that,” said Arif Zahur. “I can save you from them. I can help you if you help us with something.”
“Who says I need to be saved,” said Iris, words filled with scorn. “I am getting sick of your little friend Momo. You better shut him up before I cut out his tongue.” A deep scowl creased her lightly tanned face. She pulled her broadsword that was strapped across the small of her back and walked forward menacingly. The unique blade had a curved sharpened edge with ancient, mystic runes carved into the blunt edge of the metal.
Zahur found himself giving ground under the intense stare of Iris Longwing. He could recognize some of the runes on the blade and understand that the weapon was infused with magic properties.
Momotaru reacted quickly and sprang into action. He rushed forward to meet his adversary before she could perform any tricks and put her blade through the annoying little mage’s belly. Momotaru could not afford to let his personal enchanter be skewered. For the countless time, he and Iris let their blades do the talking. His weapon became a blur of light blue and silver as it spun in his hand, glowing and pulsating while reacting to the vibes of its handler. He hacked and slashed at his old nemesis. Yet every slash and cut was blocked or parried. The two dualist speed and style meshed into a deadly waltz of action and reaction, their blades provided the chorus. Momotaru, to his utter surprise, began to give ground. He could tell that the new Arco Eyes were beginning to guide Iris’ wild and unpredictable movements, keeping Momotaru off balance.
The Arco Eyes directed Iris’ blade in combinations almost inhuman.
Momotaru was backed into a corner, blocking at a furious pace. He had no choice; it was either: lose to his oldest adversary or to lose himself in The Void. He chose The Void. His eyes rolled to the back of his head; the all-white of his iris turned pitch black. He let The Void take him and guide his movements. Momotaru was now on auto-pilot, letting his instincts guide his hand. He let himself lose control, let The Void take over and where his mind went, scared even him.  

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