Darren made a deal. A deal for a new soul.
In Agartha, you belong to people with the same your soul’s aura color, and Darren doesn’t belong, he can’t be a red.
But is he ready to pay the nefarious spirit he made the deal with, the price of a soul?
Darren has to travel through Agartha, seeking a way to end the deal he made. And even though he has the support of his friend Mara, fighting minotaurs, trolls and harpies pauses a horrible threat to their journey.
Would they survive enough for Darren to get free, or will they face a pre-mandated fate worse than death?
While Darren and Mara face the terrible challenges of Agartha, Ethan, the Green Boy, traveled to the surface world searching for a cure to his fatal condition.
Only one person can help him, Merlin the eternal wizard, a man believed to be a myth.
Darren, Mara, and Ethan are all hurtling through the world under the illusion of free will, but an ancient prophecy that foretold the destruction of two worlds might have them in its grasp, leading them to their doom.
The fates are watching, calculating, and judging…
No one has ever escaped their judgment — but could this change?
The follow up to the award-winning “The Green Boy”
Targeted Age Group:: 13+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
My co-author Isaac Michaan contacted me with his idea about a world under our own. The discussion went on for a month, b but by the end of it, we had a developed world for a fantasy series, and this is what gave birth to The Green boy, the first book. Then we waited almost a year before we started to work on Red's Soul, which we wanted to be bigger, better, and a lot more action-oriented.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Ethan was our first character, we wanted a flawed hero, someone you can relate to. He suffers from severe anxiety, he is awkward around girls, and he doesn't know why he exists.
Then came Mara, who we wanted to be an example of a resourceful young woman who can face a completely alien and scary place like Agarth alone.
Finally, we created Darren, who is the one you think is a thug because of his body and looks, but he actually has the soul of a poet and he is a fiercely strong friend.
The roar of an enormous beast penetrated the silence of the night, causing the few remaining dogs in the city to howl in despair. The clatter of wooden slippers followed the howling of the terrified dogs as the owner panted while she ran on the cobbled streets. Eliza carried a small satchel she held close to her heart, to keep the precious contents from spilling. The smell of rotten flesh was overpowering, and that was the reason she wore a scarf covering her nose and mouth to block the odors of the dead left to rot in the streets.
She weaved through the empty streets from one twisting end to the next. Keeping a mad pace as she raced to her destination. The clouds parted to shed some of the hidden moon’s light on her face, and if anything could be seen, it was her determination to arrive at her target.
Eliza slowed as she entered a cul-de-sac. Eventually, she dropped her run to a walk and stopped in front of a big blue door. She knocked twice and waited, trying to regulate her breathing and speeding heartbeats.
The door opened to a man with a long beard. “What took you so long?” he whispered as he dragged her inside.
The house remained unchanged since she left it that morning, and that was surprising. Her host, the man she was most familiar with in this entire world, her adopted father, was in the habit of turning the internal decor of the house on its head frequently, with his “Experimental spells,” that he insisted were the only way to ensure she was never detected by the roaming dragons.
That was what made her run as if demons chased her; the mind-wiped dragons could be demonic at any time of the day. Those dragons were the reason people feared to bury their dead and the reason there were so many of them dead to start with.
Her father used to tell her about a time dragon were friendly, nurturing, and caring even, but she found it very hard to believe. All she knew was dragons ruled the world and that the man who controlled them, known as the Grey Man. He was a ruthless tyrant who was on another of his campaigns to conquer yet another country or continent.
The Grey Man supposedly came from under the earth, a place her father called Agartha, and since then, he ruled with the aid of a huge army of man monsters and the infernal dragons; this was all she knew of the world in all of her fifteen years of life. Dragons, gangs of half-man, half-monsters were always a risk any living soul had to take to heart. Eliza never knew what real peace meant, although her father talked about it a lot.
But the horrors of the night didn’t end by the coming of the light of day. It always seemed to her the smell of sulfur and burning houses was all there was around her hometown, Dusseldorf. Plus, the dead left in the wake of the attacks of the dragons.
“Eliza, are you even listening?” the older man suddenly shouted at her, pulling her from her thoughts.
“Yes, Merlin, I am.” She pushed past him.
“So, do you have it?” He looked at her hands, her waist, then at her face. “Where is it?”
“Here.” She pulled the satchel from the top of her purple dress. “He took all the coin I had on me and said that you would understand.”
“That weasel.” Merlin grabbed the pouch and pulled out the small vial with its green fluorescent liquid. He raised it to the candle sitting beside the entrance door and peered deep inside it. “I have to say, it is the purest we ever got from him. I think it is, in fact, worth the extra coin.”
Eliza sighed. “Well, are you going to teach me the new spell or not?”
“What spell?” Merlin held the vial tightly as he marched deeper into the house.
“The one that you needed this vial for.” Eliza followed him.
“Oh, this is not for a spell.” Merlin waved the vial in the air. “This is to fix the time Arcanos I have been collecting over the last thousand years.”
“Time, Arcanos?” Eliza pushed herself after Merlin as he went through the hidden door at the east end of the house.
“Yes, one day, you will have one of your own.” Merlin put the vial on a table crowded with beakers, vials, and test tubes. “And you will use it to go back to a time in Agartha where you belong.”
He turned and headed to the storeroom at the back of his lab and rummaged around.
Merlin picked small objects which looked like tiny hourglasses and gave them to Eliza. “Hold tight to them.”
He pulled a rug that convulsed in his hands, trying to escape his grip, but he whispered something to it and threw it in the corner, and it went completely limp. Then he went deeper into his cache.
Eliza stood as Merlin pilled the hourglasses in her arms. “I can’t hold any more of them.” She complained. “I don’t have a bottomless arm hold, you know.”
Merlin ignored her and piled more of the hourglasses on the floor at her feet.
Finally, he stopped. “Now, we have to fill them with the sweat of Chronos, and they are set to go.” Merlin clapped loudly.
“Chronos?” Eliza peered over his shoulder as he pulled each hourglass and touched one corner, causing the hourglass to split into two.
“Yes, the old man you bought this vial from is crafty, very crafty, and some say he is immortal. He might be the only person alive to know the place Chronos slumbers in to collect his sweat.” Merlin stood, grabbed the vial, and went back to the hourglasses, and poured a single drop from the vial into each.
“Old Olie?” Eliza watched as the Merlin sealed each hourglass, and the liquid shone inside.
“His real name is Ulysses, and he is quite ancient.” Merlin moved through his routine of filling the hourglasses from the vial fast. “One day, I will tell you all about him. When you are ready to go back to Agartha, I will tell you all you need to know.”
“Tell me more about Agartha.” Eliza jumped around as Merlin collected the filled hourglasses and headed to the exit.
“Not now. I have to meet with some templars about a kidnapping.” Merlin grabbed a satchel, dropped the hourglasses into it, and left the house.
Eliza stood for some moments contemplating what she should do, then she grabbed her coat and followed after the wizard.
The old wizard walked fast, too fast even for a young man, and as Eliza was told, Merlin was almost one thousand years old. She struggled to keep up with his speeding feet, even though she prided herself in her athletic aptitude, another aspect of her life that Merlin insisted on developing, sometimes to extremes.
He weaved through the alleys and the streets of the city until he reached the outskirts, then he entered the woods.
Eliza stopped. She was certain he would hear her if she followed him. Nevertheless, she had to do it.
She sighed and yanked on her hairs, wincing as a clump came out in her hand. She whispered softly at the hairs, and tied some her boots. This would make her steps no louder than a whisper.
Eliza entered the woods and tried to get a sense of where the old wizard went. She couldn’t.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, letting her intuition take hold of her conscious mind and guide her to Merlin’s whereabouts, and started moving at random.
Merlin told her that was utter nonsense and her intuitions were nothing but hidden magical abilities. Something about being able to call on the elements without knowing it. She didn’t argue with his logic. Her hidden abilities worked most of the time, anyway.
Still, this time it clearly worked. Within a few minutes, Eliza saw the wizard; he headed to an old abandoned castle in the woods. The castle had five towers at some point. Now all of them were broken, and in their place was a pile of charred rock.
She doubted the Grey man and his cronies even knew of this castle and its existence. They usually never visited a site they devastated.
Eliza followed silently.
Merlin went inside, stayed for about ten minutes, then left.
She noticed immediately the old wizard didn’t have the satchel with him.
She crept to the old castle; she needed to know. Who took the Arcanos?
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Award-winning author of The Chronicles of Agartha – The Green Boy, is a fantasy fan and a history enthusiast as well. Originally a medical doctor who fell in love with the art of the word, and has since gone on to write several books in the various genres of fantasy. Some of his works include The Chronicles of Agartha Series, The Door, and The Eye of The Storm from the Esfah Saga series.
If he is not writing, he is most probably reading a fantasy novel, playing an RPG, or immersing himself in anything that seems to come from out of this world.
He is the proud father of two gorgeous girls whom he adores.