(Side Stories of the Iron Flower)
by Billy Wong
After Eternity is a heroic fantasy tale featuring the indestructible female warrior known as the Iron Flower.
Legendary warrior Rose thought she could get at least some rest playing bodyguard for her merchant friend Alex. But when they inadvertently revive an ancient hero and learn of an apocalyptic prophecy, Rose must travel to a haunted kingdom to battle a nation-killing demon and stop the event known as the Disaster.
This is a novelette featuring characters from the Iron Flower series.
The sun rose slowly from behind the white hills called the Gods' Knees, but its rays brought little warmth to the frigid northern air. As the two fur-clad travelers continued down the road, the young man said, "My pocket's getting hot."
Rose looked at Alex, confused by his statement, and watched him pull a wedge-shaped chunk of stone out of his breeches. "Do you know what this is?"
Snatching it out of the apprentice merchant's slender hand, Rose felt an inexplicable warmth and realized it was magic. Though it was reddish-brown all over, different shades of the color gave it a pattern resembling a flickering flame. "Where the hell did you get this thing?"
For a few moments the silence was broken only by snow crunching beneath their feet. "I think I got it off Lord Terror, after you killed him," Alex eventually said.
Terror had been the name used by the former knight Sir Terrence Milford in his stint as a bandit leader. He'd kidnapped Alex during an attack on a merchant camp, and Rose had killed him rescuing her charge. But that had been weeks ago.
"Why didn't you tell me about this?" she demanded. "Magic can be a dangerous thing, you know. I'm your bodyguard, but how am I supposed to protect you if you don't even tell me what you're doing?"
"Sorry, Rose. I didn't even know it was magic at the time. You're mad, aren't you?"
She didn't bother to take the scowl off her face. "Of course I am. You've got to be more careful." It didn't really matter if she was scaring him. She cared more about making him beware the dangers of the world, than being nice all the time. She'd lost far too many friends not to do her best to keep all the ones she had left safe. Still, she felt a bit guilty watching his unnerved eyes.
"It doesn't look magical at first sight," Alex said. "Besides, you were... busy when I found it."
Narrative flows fast without lagging of plot. Intriguing beginning to Rose and Alex's adventures for new readers of the Iron Flower series, definitely recommended!
About the Author
Billy Wong is an avid fan of heroic fantasy, with a special love for strong female warriors. He draws inspiration from the epic legends of old, and is on a quest to bring over the top deeds and larger than life heroes back to prominence in today's literary world.
Billy lives in Coney Island, Brooklyn. He has written numerous fantasy books, including the Iron Flower series and the Gothic Warrior series.