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Warriors of Poseidon 01 - Atlantis Rising

Warriors of Poseidon 01 - Atlantis Rising

Titel: Warriors of Poseidon 01 - Atlantis Rising
Autoren: authors_sort
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Chapter 1
Hell is empty
    And all the Devils are here.
    —William Shakespeare, The Tempest
     
    Capital City of Atlantis, Present Day
     
    Conlan waved a hand in front of the portal and briefly wondered whether its magic would even recognize a warrior who hadn't passed through its gateway for more than seven years.
     
    Seven years, three weeks, and eleven days, to be precise.
     
    As he waited, up to his chest in the healing water, death taunted him—flickering at the edges of his vision, shimmering in the deep blue ocean currents surrounding him, pulsing in the scarlet blood that dripped steadily from his side and leg. He laughed without humor, propping himself up with a hand on his knee.
     
    "If that bitch-vamp Anubisa couldn't break me, I'm sure as hell not giving up now," he snarled to the empty darkness surrounding him.
     
    Iridescent aqua lights flashed as if in response to his defiance, and the portal widened for him. Two men—two warriors—stood at guard, widened eyes and parted lips mirroring identical expressions of shock as they stared through the transparent membrane of the portal. He shouldered his way through the portal's opening, which enlarged to fit whatever or whoever it deemed worthy of passage.
     
    "Prince Conlan! You're alive," one said.
     
    Atlantis Rising – Warriors of Poseidon 01
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    "Mostly," he replied, then stepped into Atlantis. He drank in the first sight in more than seven years of his beloved homeland, lungs expanding to taste the freshness of sea-filtered air. In the middle distance, the gold-veined white marble pillars fronting Poseidon's Temple glowed with the reflected hues of artificial sunset. Conlan's breath caught in his throat at the sight of it.
     
    A sight he'd been sure he'd never experience again.
     
    Especially when she'd laughingly proposed taking his eyes.
     
    "A high prince with no vision. What a delicious metaphor for the loss of your philosopher-king father, young princeling. Why don't you beg?"
     
    She'd strolled around him, flicking the silver-barb-tipped whip almost leisurely at him, as he stood, helpless, in chains made for creatures borne of deeper hells. Extending one delicate finger, she'd touched the droplets of blood that sprang up so eagerly in the wake of her whip.
     
    Then she'd brought her finger to her mouth, smiling.
     
    "But you will beg. Just like your father begged when I sliced the flesh off of your mother as she yet lived," she'd purred, evil mixed with a hideous lust in her eyes.
     
    He'd roared his hatred and defiance for hours.
     
    Days.
     
    He'd even wept, driven to madness from the pain, on seven separate occasions.
     
    Once during each year of his imprisonment.
     
    Atlantis Rising – Warriors of Poseidon 01
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    But he'd never begged.
     
    "But she will," he said, voice hoarse with the effort of remaining upright. "She will beg, before I'm done with her."
     
    "Highness?" The guards rushed forward to assist him, yelling out for aid. He whipped his head up, teeth bared, growling like the animal he'd become. They both stopped, midstep. Frozen in place.
     
    Unsure how to react to royalty gone feral.
     
    Conlan staggered forward, determined to take the first steps onto his native soil without aid.
     
    "We must inform Alaric immediately," said the older, more experienced warrior of the two. Marcus. Marius, maybe? Conlan focused, certain he must know the man.
     
    It was important that he remember things. Yes, Marcus.
     
    "You're bleeding, Highness."
     
    "Mostly," he repeated, stumbling forward another step. Then the world spiraled down to black.
     
    Ven stood in the observation chamber, looking down on the hall of healing below, where Poseidon's high priest, clearly exhausted, labored over Ven's brother. It took one hell of a lot to drain the energy out of Alaric. He was rumored to be the most powerful high priest who had ever served the sea god.
    Not that warriors knew much about the difference between one priest and another. Or, usually, gave much of a shit. Except, right now, he cared about that distinction.
     
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    A lot.
     
    Ven clenched the railing, fingers digging into the soft wood, as he thought about what exactly Anubisa must have done to Conlan. He knew what she'd done to Alexios. One of Conlan's most trusted guards, the Seven, Alexios had spent two years under Anubisa's tender ministrations. Hers and those of her evil apostates

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