Book ‘Seventh Realm’ by Michael Chatfield

Read excerpt PDF Seventh Realm Part 1: A LitRPG Fantasy series (The Ten Realms Book 8)  by Michael Chatfield
Part 1: A LitRPG Fantasy series (The Ten Realms Book 8)
War has come to the Willful Institute. It has come to the first realm. For years Alva has trained, developed weapons and tactics never seen in the ten realms. Now Alva moves in the background, supporting the Adventurer’s Guild. No band of fighters, no sect looking to gain individual honors. The armies of Alva were forged together in Alva dungeon. Tempered in body, in mind, in mana. Supported by Alvan traders, crafters, they reclaimed the lost floors of their home. They captured Vuzgal and defended it in the vicious battlefield realm. Now Alva is going to war. Their abilities, their skills tested head on. One individual is strong...
ASIN: ‎B097YVG3GQ  Publisher: ‎MC Publications Inc. (June 29, 2021)  Publication date: ‎June 29, 2021  Print length: ‎865 pages

Click on the image to read the book

Book excerpt

Prologue

Commander Stassov of the Frigate Eternus sat at her desk reading through reports. Her cabin was sectioned off into a large office with equally large windows, private quarters, and a seating area, all richly appointed with Expert-grade furniture from across the seventh realm. Red, green, and white lines danced across her features, emphasizing her beauty rather than overwhelming it. Her eyes glowed with power, but they weren’t washed out, showing reds, greens, blacks, and blues. To complete the ensemble, she wore a black cloak with red thread that made powerful, yet beautiful formations.

She looked up at the knock on her cabin door. “Come in.”

Gregor, her second in command and leader of her personal dungeon hunters, stepped into the room. He was a brawny man with wild hair and beard, and rarely looked anything but serious in his red-and-black armor. A green ink tattoo trailed out of his hairline to under his left eye and down his cheek, tracing down his neck, drawn in formation.

He ushered in a young man with tanned skin, chestnut brown hair, and low cultivation for the seventh realm. A simple-looking man, but there was intelligence in his eyes.

The guards closed the doors behind them as they bowed.

“Rise.”

“Commander Stassov, this is Petros, one of our eyes and ears. He has some rather interesting but troubling information.” He indicated for the man to step forward.

Stassov activated her sound canceling formation, cutting them off from the rest of the world. “Continue.”

Petros’s eyes studied the flooring, keeping his head half-bowed. “I was tasked with following one of the marshal’s attend-ants, his niece Esther. While she doesn’t have much pull in the military, she is effectively his ambassador. W-we lost track of her for some time.”

“Where did she go?”

“The Fourth Realm.”

Stassov frowned. The battlefield realm had little to interest forces from the Seventh Realm. “The Sha clans extend all the way down into the lower realms, but they are little threat to us.”

“She didn’t go to the Sha. I checked. I think she met with someone else.”

The ambassador for the Sha wasn’t going to go on a trip for her own interest at a time of war. She must have gone to the Fourth Realm for a reason. “Very well, Petros, head to the Fourth Realm and find out where she went and what she was doing.”

“Yes, Commander.” Petros bowed, hiding his grimace, and left the room.

Gregor shut the door behind him. “Do you want me to in-form the rest of the clan?”

“Not at this time; it could just be a rumor. Petros will find out more for us. No one likes going to the lower realms with all that sparse mana.”

“Yes, commander.” Gregor bowed and left the room.

Stassov turned her chair and stood, moving to the windows and looking out upon the sky above and the land far below.

Read excerpt PDF 'Seventh Realm Part 1' by Michael Chatfield

1
Queens and Sect Heads

Lord Salyn marched across the polished floors. Ar-mored knights opened the grand door of the Shikoshi Kingdom’s throne room ahead of him. He lowered his gaze to the red carpet fringed with silver. His pace didn’t slow as he felt her knights’ sharp eyes on his body.

He stopped himself from gritting his teeth, conscious of his muddied riding leathers and boots. He hadn’t dared to delay her summons.

“Queen Ikku.” He dropped to one knee and bowed before her throne. Her fine silk gown of blacks, reds, and golds with detailed needlework depicting dragons and tigers fighting one another spread out before her.

“I am told the group you returned with is much smaller than you promised it would be, Lord Salyn.” Queen Ikku sounded regal, far older than her thirty-year-old appearance, but she had been born and trained in her position and all its subtleties.

The hairs on the back of his neck rose; his life teetering on the edge as sweat trickled down his back. “Your Majesty, the con-spirators fled into the Beast Mountain Range to a place called King’s Hill. They recruited the help of a group called the Alva Healing House to make good on their escape.”

Queen Ikku was silent. Salyn kept his head bowed, despite wishing he could see her expression. If he could deflect her ire, he could destroy the Alva Healing House in one move and remain clear of any blame.

“This Alva Healing House, are they independent?” Queen Ikku asked.

“They have close ties to the leadership of King’s Hill. I do not know if they are connected to others. I request your permission to return to investigate the Alva Healing House and track down the conspirators.” Salyn’s nerves drained into his words. He half-raised his head before ducking back down and swallowing hard.

Silence dragged on as Queen Ikku tapped her finger on the armrest of her throne. “King’s Hill is the new outpost in the middle of the Beast Mountain Range? The heart of the outpost leader’s alliance?”

Advisor Vesair cleared his throat. “Yes, my queen. The out-post leaders created two alliances. One wanted to control the Beast Mountain Range as a kingdom and harvest the beasts within to increase their power. The other group wanted to stabilize the area and increase trade with one another and the outside world.

The trading alliance won.”

“Do you think they were behind this?”

“I dare not make any conclusions,” Vesair stated.

“If I was to ask you to guess?” There was a cold playfulness in Ikku’s voice.

“As the queen commands.” He cleared his throat to collect his thoughts. “The trading alliance, while focused on creating connections with the surrounding nations, are not simple traders. They make use of spies and use tactics to strike at their enemy without employing their complete military. They are newly formed; a small disturbance and it could all come apart. They are just outpost leaders, after all. They have not run a nation. Their military is divided, though they do live in an area of powerful beasts. While they might not have many soldiers, they have to be strong to deal with the number of mercenaries in the area.”

“A healing house is not a small power to be annoyed. Are they linked to the major healing houses?”

Salyn felt Queen Ikku’s gaze on him. “They are only located in Vermire and King’s Hill. The leader of the alliance, Aditya, was the leader of Vermire first.”

His leg cramped as the tension in his neck built in the si-lence that answered him. His upbringing as a lord didn’t allow his expression to change. Does she know?

“Raise your head, Lord Salyn,” Queen Ikku’s voice settled his nerves as he hid his micro-stretches. She had a graceful beauty and a stillness about her that came with a lifetime of practice. Her lips gave out death sentences just as easily as they gave praise. Her eyes were unreadable as she snapped her fan together, tapping it against her chin. “Vesair, you will craft a letter, in my name, demanding that this Aditya hand over the members of the healing house, or he will force us to act. Lord Salyn, you will find these conspirators and bring them to me or bring me their bodies. I will not accept anything less.”

“Yes, my queen.” Salyn bowed his head deeply again.

“This alliance of outpost leaders grows too bold if they think they can step over my head and steal from me. They should re-member who the true leaders of the land are.” There was heat in her words as she tilted her head to the side. “Tell this Aditya to submit to me and I will think about not pursuing the connection between him and this healing house. Suggest that if the conspir-ators were to reappear, it would make things easier. Also, send word to people in the alliance. Tell them that if they are willing to remove Aditya from power, then we would be interested in trad-ing with them.”

“Yes, Majesty.” Vesair bowed his head.

Such actions would destabilize the alliance, pull them into chaos, and could take down everything they had worked for. Even if he couldn’t find the conspirators, bringing her a reason to take over a new territory should be enough.

“Lord Salyn, you will leave tomorrow. I will send a group of Red Falcons with you.”

Her knights had the best training and gear, and were completely loyal to Queen Ikku. She often sent them to remote locations across her kingdom to assert her rule. They acted in her name and there was no power greater than them. But, if they figured out who the Alvan people were, they would find out about the village he had created in secret.

The chill on his neck returned before it had truly faded. “Y-yes, my queen, I will make preparations right away.”

Read excerpt PDF 'Seventh Realm Part 1' by Michael Chatfield

High Elder Cai Bo’s tace was emotionless as she marched into the Willful Institute’s headquarters, her head raised high as her guards flanked her. She had returned directly from Vuzgal, reeling from the knowledge that war was coming, and yet the people within the institute were still attacking one another for position. They were Idiots! All of them. Their enemy would take that as a sign of weakness, leaving them open to even more attacks.

People moved out of their path, whispering to one another in her wake.

She let out a long breath through her nose. Her group dispersed as they got closer to a pair of doors protected by guards wearing the Institute’s Head’s personal seal. The room inside was filled with low murmurs, promises of security, confirmation of support, and furtive glances to opposition they had never seen eye to eye with. It was more like a dark swamp with concealed dangers than the sect’s high table.

She stopped herself from showing her derision at their little games and took her seat at the table as representative of the Cai Family. It was one of the weakest groups, and rumors of how she had gained the position were whispered in dark corners. She sat straight, but back in her chair, not wanting to draw attention to herself as she glanced at several powerful figures who lowered their eyes. If they only knew.

Foster sat at the top of the table, a telltale vein on his neck pulsing. When he shifted in his seat, the High Elders quietened. He opened his mouth as his sound transmission device buzzed. He answered the call, his words whisked away by the formations. His expression turned from annoyance into calm.

Cai Bo’s hairs rose. Dealing with someone who freely showed their emotions was much easier than someone who covered up everything.

He finished the call. “Meokar City has fallen.”

Shocked silence created a vacuum in the room.

“They were attacking a Grey Peak Sect City who, somehow, gained support from the higher realms.”

For years she had maneuvered and schemed, getting stronger groups under her banner. Many didn’t even know they were allied through her. Now, it seemed that something or someone was trying to destabilize her Institute. Foster thought he had power, but she commanded the hearts and minds of the leadership through contract and blood.

She didn’t have to fake her anger.

The Head snorted and lowered himself back into his seat. His every action was a warning. “Our forces in the Third and Fourth Realms are mobilizing. Those in the Fourth who have bases in the Third are the first. Our enemies are drawing together a lot quicker than I was expecting. There are three armies moving on three of our cities in the Third Realm. They all have the backing of level fifty members. Their numbers are swelling as they hire on the Adventurer’s Guild members. High Elder Cai Bo, were you able to get more information on this guild?”

Cai Bo bowed her head before she looked around the table. “I ran into the Adventurer’s Guild in Vuzgal. They are one of the largest guilds in the city, if not the largest. They seem closely connected to the leadership. Through my sources, I found that they have early level forty fighters, though their cultivation appears higher than most people in the Fifth Realm. They purchased a massive number of weapons, armor, concoctions, training aids, and more from Vuzgal, and transported them into the lower realms. Their people are loyal and they have solid connections with the Fighter’s Association and loose ones to the other associations.”

“They have a lot of powerful experts too. They fielded an army of thousands at Meokar. Now they are sending out groups of five to fifty thousand to support the different battlefields against us,” the Head concluded. “Cai Bo, do you think that if we asked for peace, paid them off, that they would take it?”

Cai Bo shook her head. “I don’t think so. They’re a new group, but they are determined and vicious. If we ask them to back off, they will double their attacks. I think their end goal is to wipe us out.”

A high elder scoffed. “Some upstart guild thinks that they can eliminate us!”

“An upstart guild with members numbering in the hundreds of thousands. They are merely working as a support to these other groups, bolstering their numbers. Though it is enough to make other armies join in.” The Head flicked his eyes to the high elder, silencing him before he studied the table in front of him. “Consolidate our locations in the Third Realm. Call all of our people back.”

“Other groups will see us as weak and attack,” Petrunas said.

“The enemy is coming at us from every direction. It we overextend, we will lose much more. We must hold on to the cities with the greatest value so that once this ends, we can recover quickly. Communicate with our allies, see what their stances are. Find where we can get more support.”

“Our supplies and resources are low; it will hold back our development,” another Elder argued.

“The factions will work together to share their resources,” Foster insisted.

There was a shift in the room as the high elders looked displeased and nervous.

“Are you refusing to carry out my orders, again?

“It is not that, Head Foster. My faction’s resources are lower than ever. We have been dealing with a number of price fluctuations, and there are issues with our contracts,” Tolentino said.

“You as well? Bandit attacks weakened our trade routes and allowed new groups to take over protection.” Petrunas glared at Ramus.

“I didn’t order anything of the kind,” Ramus growled. “I’ll have the heads delivered to you from those that dared to create their own orders!”

“How convenient, seeing as how the dead can’t say anything.” Petrunas sneered.

They grunted, planting their feet, straining under an unseen weight. Their eyes washed over the room, turning pale at the Head’s gaze.

“The factions will work together! Anyone found attacking or working against their fellow Institute members will have their cultivations, and their family’s cultivation destroyed!”

Read excerpt PDF 'Seventh Realm Part 1' by Michael Chatfield

2
Trouble in the First Realm

What the hell was that!” Aditya rose from his seat and looked in the direction of where a wave of mana had come from.

Old Quan stood as well. “Is that—”

Pan Kun barged in through the door, his sword out and ready.

“Where’s Evernight?” Aditya asked.

“Right here. I was coming to see you.” Evernight walked into the room and kicked the door closed. She pulled out her sound transmission device, working it.

Pan Kun moved to the windows. “Doesn’t seem to be any damage.” “What the hell was that? It felt like a massive pulse of mana,” Aditya asked Evernight as she finished with her sound transmission device. Did someone find us? Are we under attack?

“Something happened in Alva. All the floors connected, and the power that was being stored is now being directed below. Don’t know why or what is going on, yet. Orders are to mobilize, make sure that no one takes the opportunity to attack. Cover it up, say it was an anomaly,” Evernight’s answer stopped Aditya’s spiraling thoughts.

“How did that much power get out? That will change things in the Beast Mountain Range. People will ask questions. They could find Alva, or if not, attack us thinking we have some great power or tool,” Old Quan said.

“What kind of anomaly should we say?” Aditya asked.

“We’re investigating,” Evernight said.

“Tell the council to come up with a good explanation for why this happened. We need to distract the people.” Aditya used his sound trans-mission device to send a message out to the other outpost leaders.

“I’ll ready the army,” Pan Kun said.

“I hope it didn’t go beyond the Beast Mountain Range. Check the readiness of everyone. There are plenty of people with connections to the different powers surrounding King’s Hill. Evernight, pass on any information you get on the surrounding forces moving.”