Wrath of The Dragon Czar (Paperback)
Wrath of The Dragon Czar (Paperback)
Book 6 in The Aegis of Merlin Series
Sentinel city is quickly recovering from near destruction.
Conryu Koda, the world’s only male wizard, and, many would say, savior of the city, is enjoying the last few days of his summer vacation. His enjoyment comes to a screeching halt when he gets a call from Orin Kane, the chief of the city's Department of Magic.
Conryu arrives at the Department and is introduced to the stunning Anya Kazakov. She has information the Department wants and he's the price. Conryu agrees to protect her, not realizing what he’s getting into.
Wrath of the Dragon Czar is a world spanning adventure that’ll take Conryu from the relative safety of the academy to the middle of a war between monsters on the other side of the planet.
Conryu roared down the highway on his bike, wind in his face and bugs in his teeth, and the roar of the motor in his ears. The summer sun blazed overhead and the floating island had drifted far off the coast, nothing but an unpleasant memory.
He couldn’t think of a better way to spend his second to last day of vacation. Jonny had fully recovered from his encounter with Lady Raven and was back at the military academy. Shame they couldn’t have hung out a little longer, but it wasn’t to be.
Maria and Kelsie were shopping for new shoes at the East Shore Mall. Conryu would have just as soon gone another round with one of the undead biker things. A shudder ran through him. A month had passed since the near destruction of the city at the hands of the Le Fay Society. The damage had been remarkably limited and the deaths under a hundred.
Most people considered it a miracle and a fair number of those people gave the bulk of the credit to Conryu. Better for him if they just forgot he had any part in the event, but articles kept popping up in magazines and newspapers. Since he refused to do any interviews after the debacle with Kat Gable, some of the reports simply made up details to fit their story. His mother had started a scrapbook and it was already half full.
When he spotted his exit Conryu signaled and slewed across to the off ramp. At the top he eased to a stop and checked the traffic, but found little. He’d waited until well after rush hour to take his ride. Conryu pulled onto the city street and motored downtown. He had a hankering for Giovanni’s pizza and only today and tomorrow to indulge it.
Five minutes later he parked outside the pizzeria, lowered his kickstand, and climbed off. He gave his bike an affectionate pat. “Keep an eye on the bike, Prime. I shouldn’t be long.”
Bad-natured grumbling in Infernal came from his right-side saddlebag. Prime hated being left behind, but he’d been banned from the restaurant for creeping out the customers. Conryu preferred to take him along everywhere, but he wanted pizza and some things were worth the sacrifice.
Ignoring Prime’s stream of muffled complaints, Conryu walked over to the door. The smell of pepperoni, cheese, and basil washed over him and set his mouth to watering. The other customers all looked up from their pies when he entered, but soon returned to their food. At Giovanni’s he’d never be the center of attention and that’s one reason he loved it so much.
“Conryu!” Carmine Giovanni stood behind the counter and waved at him, sending flour billowing into the air. The legendary owner of the restaurant had to be approaching eighty by now, but he showed no sign of slowing down.
“Hey, Mr. Giovanni. Can I get two slices with pepperoni and meatballs and an orange soda?”
“Coming right up. Where are the ladies?”
“Shoe shopping. I begged off.”
“Ha-ha! You think such beauties will be okay on their own?” Carmine ducked back into the kitchen and slid Conryu’s slices into the oven to heat up. “I wouldn’t dare let them out of my sight.”
Conryu pitied anyone that tried something with Maria or Kelsie, especially if he found out about it. “I think they’ll be okay. Speaking of beauties, how’s Mrs. Giovanni?”
Carmine set his slices in front of him and cracked his soda. “The knee still bothers her, but otherwise she’s fine.”
Another customer entered, distracting Carmine and letting Conryu enjoy his first bite in peace. He liked the old man, but ever since Conryu became somewhat famous Carmine felt it necessary to pay extra attention to him. It was getting tiresome.
He turned on his stool and found two middle-aged women in beige dresses standing behind him. One of them clutched a book to her chest.
Conryu maintained a scrupulously neutral expression. “Can I help you ladies?”
The one with the book thrust it at him. “Can we have your autograph?”
Conryu gave the book’s cover a look of distaste. Merlin Reborn by Professor Angus McDoogle. His unofficial biography. If he ever got a hold of Angus, he would beat him over the head with that stupid book.
“Sure, do you have a pen?”
Of course they did. He scrawled his name across the first page and handed it back.
“Thank you so much.” They retreated to their table giggling like schoolgirls.
Conryu returned to his lunch and was halfway through the second slice when his cell rang. He dug his phone out and frowned when he saw the Department’s number on the screen. What did they want now?
“Conryu,” Mr. Kane said. “I was hoping we could have a chat. Are you free this afternoon?”
“Yeah, until four, then I’ve got to help Dad with the late class.”
“That’s fine. Where are you now?”
“Giovanni’s, huh? That’s only half a mile from the Department. Why don’t you swing by when you finish? I’ll tell my secretary to expect you.”
Conryu frowned, but couldn’t think of a good reason to refuse. “All right. What’s going on?”
“I’d prefer to discuss it in person. See you in a bit.” Mr. Kane disconnected and Conryu pocketed his phone.
Wanting to discuss it in person generally meant secret and dangerous. At least they’d let him have a month of peace before finding him another job. Conryu took a bite, but the joy was gone. He devoured the rest of his food, wiped his hands and face, and stood up.
“What do I owe you, Mr. Giovanni?”
Carmine waved his hand. “Your money’s no good here. I told you that a dozen times.”
“Okay, thanks. See you tomorrow.”
Conryu took his leave and turned toward the city center where his gut told him an unpleasant job waited.