Rise of Legends (The Kin of Kings Book 2)









































Copyright 2015 by B.T. Narro

Cover Art by Beatriz Garrido:

Maps by Annette Tremblay


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is coincidental.

All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the copyright holder.







For Beti.

I'm a better person because of you.






Basen watched from the southern wall of the Academy as the morning sun painted the lush treetops of Raywhite Forest. It would be a calming view if a psychic of legendary strength wasn’t waiting for her chance to kill Basen. The thought turned his head to check behind him every time he remembered he was alone. He already had more than enough to dread with the burgeoning war. He just wanted the upcoming battle to be over so he could concentrate his efforts on figuring out who wanted to kill him.

The guards patrolling along the wall eased his mind enough for him to focus his worries on his father. If Basen could see past the southern forest laid out ten miles before him, he could find out how Trentyre fared.

Besides the confrontation with the murderous psychic, there were two other battles coming. Trentyre and the Academy both had held off Tauwin’s forces for now, but there was no doubt in Basen’s mind that the stronger army would strike again. The only question was whether Tauwin wanted the city or the school more.

Basen’s mind seemed to drift away from his body. An hour had passed before he realized it, the sun now well above the snaking tail of the Fjallejon Mountains to the west. He needed sleep but hadn’t found a way to feel safe enough to close his eyes while he was in his bed.

I have to find the psychic before she finds me.

It angered him that he might die without even understanding the murderer’s motive. How was Basen’s ability to make portals a threat worth killing for?

At least everything was clear with Tauwin Takary.
The greedy bastard thinks he deserves the crown because of his surname. His ancestors ruled until uprisings led to their downfall, and now he believes justice is seizing the throne from a king loved by his people. Fool.

It reminded Basen too much of his uncle, the late king of Tenred,
who the people here in Kyrro still might hate more than Tauwin.
That was one positive thing, at least: The longer this war went on, the easier it would be for people to forget what Basen’s uncle had done.

He chuckled joylessly.

“Hello, Basen.”

He recognized Annah’s voice before he turned to face her. Unlike him, she looked as if she’d slept, her blue eyes clear and without any dark circles around them. Perhaps it meant she didn’t know the terrible news.

“Have you heard about Alex yet?” Basen asked, looking out across the forest and wanting to be as far from this conversation as possible.

“Yes. I’m so sorry. Are you all right?” The petite psychic’s voice was as soft as a mother’s kiss. It made Basen feel fragile.

“I’m fine.”

He wondered why he would lie to a psychic. Habit, he supposed.
People tell each other they’re fine and everyone pretends it’s true because it’s a better answer than, “I need help, but there’s nothing you can do about it.”

She came to his side, her eyes squinted in a pained look as if she knew she was just as useless as he was hopeless. “I’m trying not to use psyche, as I promised, so will you just tell me if it’s fear that brought you here from your bed?”

“Use psyche if you want. I don’t care anymore.”

She put her warm fingers against his arm and closed her eyes. “It’s not fear,” she answered immediately. “I sense no fear at all!” Her eyes showed surprise as the lids slid open. “I’m amazed. You must be brave.”

“I’m not. A man must face his fears to be brave, and I have nothing to face.”

“Most people are afraid of the anticipation.” Her grip on his arm tightened to show him she was talking about herself.

“As a psychic, can’t you just get rid of your fear whenever you want?”

“I do, but it always comes back. Psyche is only a quick solution. I haven’t figured out a permanent one yet.”

“Fear is just another feeling. You can’t run from it, so you must accept it. If you ever find yourself in a battle against your own emotions, just let them win. The worst they can do is make you uncomfortable.”

She glanced out to the south as he did, her closed mouth shifting back and forth in what he figured was her pondering his words.

“That’s very apt,” she finally said in surprise. “Any other advice?”

“Yes. Relax. Accepting your fears and worries gets easier with practice.”
Which I had too much of while in the workhouse. And that’s actually a good thing now,
he realized
. I have enough to deal with without worrying about my own emotions.

He glanced down at her to confirm what he already knew. Yes, she was too short to be the cloaked psychic who’d attacked him. He could trust her fully.

“Have you dueled with any other psychics?” he asked.


“How did you fare?”

“I haven’t lost yet, but I’ve only faced other first-years.”

The two of us might be enough against the murderer. The other two attacks were at night. It’s most likely she’ll come for me then. How can I make sure Annah will be ready to defend me without keeping her up all night?

He could see by the crinkle along Annah’s forehead that she was wondering why he’d asked. But she wasn’t ready to hear that the murderer might come into their home that night. He would give her time to accept her current concerns first before piling on more.

He asked something he’d wondered since the first moment he’d seen her that morning. “How did you know I was here?”

“I guessed you were at one of the walls, then I figured it would be this one because it provides the best view to the south, toward your father.”

He nodded. “I wish I had a spyglass so I could at least attempt to see Trentyre through the forest.”

Annah took her hand off his arm and used it to take the bag from her back. “I thought you might.” She reached in and fetched a spyglass, then handed it to him.

It was bronze but coated in silver, clearly expensive. It looked as if it had never been used, not a scratch or a smudge on it.

“My father bought it for me as a gift when I was accepted to the Academy.” She spoke as if embarrassed by its exquisite quality. “I would’ve chosen one more practical.”

The spyglass was abnormally heavy, but Basen thanked her and put it up to his eye. If Tauwin’s men were still attacking Trentyre from the capital, Basen should at least see a man or two in uniform somewhere in the forest, but as excellent as the magnification of Annah’s spyglass was, the trees were too dense. The only way to catch a glimpse of Trentyre was to go there. Basen gave up and shifted the spyglass east for a glimpse of Oakshen. On this clear day, he could see straight into the city. There were no details he could decipher besides some of the taller buildings, but he saw enough to realize there was no battle there.

The same could be said of the capital toward the west. The castle at its center stood just as tall and formidable as it had when King Kerr had ruled just a few days ago. There were no signs of the recent takeover, of the greedy bastard who sat on the throne within.

“Tauwin hasn’t begun fortifying Oakshen or Kyrro City with walls,” Basen noted for Annah.

“I wonder if he even needs to.”

“It depends on how many men fight under my father’s command, and I don’t think anyone knows that yet.”

“Except those in Trentyre.”

“Actually, no. I believe many of them don’t even know their own loyalty yet. Henry’s battalion will change each day as men and women join or leave their ranks.”

Basen turned to glimpse the four square miles of the Academy. Lecture halls and training centers for the four classes were the first buildings in front of him. The mage classrooms were black, the natural color of the ironbark wood they were made from so as not to catch fire if a fireball went awry.

The massive stadium of Redfield was at the direct center, its red walls as high as those of Tenred’s castle, from which Basen hailed. A tower spiked out, a four-faced clock at its peak telling Basen that breakfast hours were just beginning.

He aimed the spyglass farther north and came to the long stretch of grass that was Warrior’s Field. He caught sight of a few men there already, though all seemed to be chatting instead of training, no doubt spreading the news of Alex’s death.

The dining hall was the last building directly in front of Basen and where he would be right now if he thought he could eat. To its left were the faculty houses, taking only about as much total space as the dining hall. Student housing stretched along the rest of the Academy’s western edge, while the eastern side was home to the school’s farms, crops, storage, and housing for the remaining staff who weren’t instructors.

Somewhere out there was the murderer, a psychic with unheard of abilities such as making the truth seem like a lie to other psychics and altering the bastial energy in the air so mages couldn’t cast. Basen couldn't stand the thought of waiting for her to attack. Maybe at that moment she was even close enough to hear him.

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