Ver'Dak wants Verillium more than any other world...
Verillium, a small, Class-M planet, wasn't part of any alliance, had little in the way of technology, nothing in the way of riches and had been at war with itself for centuries.
Why, then, had it drawn the interest of the cleverest, wickedest demi-god ever?
The only thing standing in Ver'Dak's way is the daughter of a dead king…
and the Black Zone
* * *
Verlin grabbed my hair before I could pull the woman to safety; that's how I ended up being dragged up endless palace steps and thrown onto the floor of Father's study, which Nessil had taken for his own.
"Well, Balver won't take her now—not since she's been in the kitchens for three weeks and available to anybody walking in," Nessil's boots came into view as Verlin held me down, my cheek pressed hard against the new rug on the study floor. My eyes watered from the scent of fresh dyes—Nessil had been quite busy removing evidence of Father's rule.
Wait—he'd said Balver. Lord Balver. Old, bandy-legged and smelly Balver. Nessil had gone looking for the worst possible place for me to serve as a breeder and broodraiser.
"She hid well enough in the kitchens—I say send her back there," Verlin suggested.
"No—she liked it there or she wouldn't have stayed," Nessil pretended to be wise. "Let's give her to the army, instead. As a punishment."
"Sound decision," Verlin grunted, removing his knee from my back. "Stay down, drone; the tappers are on the way."