Title: Dark Core
Genre: YA Fantasy
Reincarnation can be a bitch, especially when a mad goddess keeps killing you.
Seventeen year-old Saekina hides in the massive city of Dennin, alone against demonic assassins and their mysterious master. Not even her patron goddess has bothered to help her. She relies on her daggers, and strange, uncontrollable power that sends the demons fleeing.
Her solitude is broken when she meets three others also hunted by the assassins—and wielding the same power. For the first time in years she has friends, and she isn’t about to let anyone hurt them. They set out to discover the reason they are hunted, scouring the city for answers.
Their search drags them into the middle of a secret battle between the gods. Even worse, her patron goddess—someone who should be protecting her—is the one sending the demons after them, afraid they’ll access the memories from their past lives and with it, the knowledge to defeat her.
Saekina’s blades and power are ready, but they can’t kill a god. To defeat her, Saekina must delve into her past life and uncover the secret the goddess is so desperate to protect. If she fails, she and her friends will be hunted throughout endless lives and forced into the same battle. If she succeeds, it might kill her for good.
Light orbs lined the streets; their weak glow cast long, crawling shadows out from barren buildings. Saekina took the next corner fast, and tucked against the building, waiting. No one coming. Good.
She ducked into the alley toward the hotel’s rusted door, and passed dumpsters overflowing with rotted food and half-used magical charms. She ignored the rotting scent—she’d smelled worse.
She brushed a strand of dark hair behind her ear. Even at this time of night the heat clung to her skin, creating a layer of sweat. Then again, the hot seasons in Dennin were never anything less than sweltering. She’d have to pay someone, and no way would she waste her money on that.
Her stomach grumbled. After tonight, she’d be able to eat for days. Information on slavers never fails to earn at least a gold coin. The bounty hunters are gonna rip each other apart for this info.
She cast a few furtive glances towards the end of the alley before pulling the door open. She shuffled past the hotel’s owner. He looked up from his coin purse with a bored expression. “Ah, it’s you again.”
Saekina slipped him the usual payment for not ratting her out. He’d invested a lot in making his hotel safe for less-than-legal operations. Plenty of back entrances and large vents hidden by glamours. I’ll have to drop this place before he gets figured out. Don’t want to be there when people realize he’s playing both sides. “We good?”