Did you know there's a deleted scene from Elven Duty?
It was Chapter 26 and it skipped ahead a little bit, teasing what's to come in book 2.
I removed it from the final version because I wanted the focus to be on the book as part of the Magic Emporium series rather than the first book of a new series, but I will be adding it on the book later in the year when Elven Duty gets redressed as part of the Monster Hunters series.
Until then, here's the deleted scene.
3 months later
The cerberus snarled, showing all three sets of his teeth to us while Royal crept up behind it. It was a big ask. That thing was three times the size of Royal, but if we had any chance of stopping it, we had to start somewhere.
“It looks familiar,” Jude shouted beside me while he kept firing shots at the huge, three-headed hound, aiming for its mouth but constantly missing.
So was I. That thing wouldn’t stop moving.
“I told you. It’s in Greek mythology. Supposedly guarding the Gates of Tartarus,” I said.
The beast took another step, one of its heads jutting ahead, aiming for us. We rolled back and both got on our feet to shoot again. One of Jude’s bullets went right down the cerberus’s throat, and it let out a yelp.
“No, it’s not just that. It’s the look of him. His color. His attacks,” he said beside me.
“I don’t know what you mean. You probably saw a sketch in your mom’s book or any of the other dozens of books in her bookcase,” I said.
I wasn’t sure what he was saying, and I wasn’t that concerned about it at the moment.
What I was concerned about was the increased traffic of monsters in the last few months. We were fighting bigger, stronger, more ruthless monsters almost on the daily. And it was highly unusual.
Royal grabbed one of the hound’s tails and used it to propel himself over the beast’s back.
The beast writhed, trying to kick him off. It stood on its hind legs, but Royal had grown stronger, too, since he was created. So he held on, and when the cerberus put his front paws back on the ground, Royal grabbed one head with both hands and held it steady so I could shoot it down.
When the third head was shot at too, Jude gave me his arm and we ran closer to it.
“But every subject’s soul is his own,” I shouted, and Jude jumped into the Aether and straight into Crafting.
Moments later, he shouted for Royal to get off the hound, and Royal used the middle head as a footing to lunge forward, landing behind us with a thud.
Jude released the Crafting at the beast, a polygon that shone as it swallowed the thing hole and left nothing behind it.
“There’s something about this one,” he said when I let go of him. “I can’t put my—”
He didn’t get to finish his sentence. A loud crack sounded ahead at the lighthouse, and all three of us turned to look at it just as the glass at the top of the building exploded. Then the top of the structure erupted, blowing chunks of stone and bricks everywhere around us.
And then, all hell broke loose. Literally.
From the neck of the lighthouse, a horde of monsters flew out, filling the sky with scales, wings, and inhumane screeches.
“What the fuck?” I yelled.
“Shit!” Jude said.
We weren’t ready for them. We weren’t equipped to face dozens of monsters. And my ammo would run out eventually.
“I know why that monster looked familiar,” Jude said, taking my shoulder in his hand. “They do, too.”
“What? What do you mean they look familiar?” I asked.
The monsters flew away, and even though I had been bracing to die fighting them off, it looked like I got to live another day.
Jude’s jaw dropped open, his whole body shaking.
“What is it, Jude?” I asked.
“Those monsters? I… uhm… I designed them,” he said.
“You designed them?”
What the hell did he mean? What was he talking about? What had gotten into him?
“Well… I didn’t. My colleague Veronica did. I coded them. Those monsters? I’ve been working on the game they belong in for two years now. Beasts of Hellfyre? Those were them!” he said and pointed to the sky, the direction where they’d all disappeared into.
“Come on, Jude. A game? That’s not possible,” I said.
Jude patted his body until he retrieved his phone and typed furiously on it.
“I’m… I’m so confused. I don’t know how it’s possible,” he said.
I had to grab him and shake him to get him to look at me and make sense.
“The game, Roman. It was released today. Some-somehow, the game I coded is real, and so are the monsters inside it.”
To be continued...
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