Home > Reaper (Cradle #10)

Reaper (Cradle #10)
Author: Will Wight

Copyright © 2021 by Hidden Gnome Publishing

Book and Cover design by Patrick Foster Design

Cover illustration by Kevin Mazutinec and Patrick Foster



All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.








Chapter 1


Chapter 2


Chapter 3


Chapter 4


Chapter 5


Chapter 6


Chapter 7


Chapter 8


Chapter 9


Chapter 10


Chapter 11


Chapter 12


Chapter 13


Chapter 14


Chapter 15


Chapter 16


Chapter 17


Chapter 18


Chapter 19


Chapter 20


Chapter 21


Chapter 22


Chapter 23


Chapter 24


Chapter 25


Chapter 26





About the Author


Also by Will Wight






Information restricted: Personal Record 8154.

Authorization required to access.

Authorization confirmed: 008 Ozriel.



Beginning record…



Ozmanthus Arelius looked up into the ash falling from the sky and knew he’d failed.

His descendants had died in droves, trusting in him. Techniques flashed through the air from miles away, and the earth trembled beneath his feet. He had done what he could to protect the innocents, but there was no bringing them back now. He could only break things.

And once again, he hadn’t broken the right things quickly enough.

He almost left the world immediately, abandoning what remained of his family to clean up after his failure. But he had not yet finished his work in Cradle. He needed to leave something behind.

He looked down in his hand, where a small barrier in the shape of an orb contained a fragment of his power. To the mortal eye, it resembled a black hole contained in a glass bead a little bigger than his thumbnail.

This marble carried his parting message to his family. So far, no one had listened to him.

But he could try again.

One last time.


Record complete.






With his Remnant arm in a scripted sling, Lindon stood motionless on a Thousand-Mile Cloud. This one was rust-red, similar to the one he’d used when leaving Sacred Valley for the first time.

This time, he tried not to dwell on all the devastation below him.

“This is not very dignified, young one,” Elder Whisper protested.

Lindon had the giant five-tailed snowfox bound up in wind aura and floating behind him. Now it looked as though the sacred beast was being carried in a giant invisible fist.

“Apologies, Elder. I’m not certain I could transfer us directly with any precision, so please bear with the indignity for a short time.”

“I don’t see why I could not have ridden my own Cloud.”

Lindon had another Thousand-Mile Cloud, and could make one easily enough, but he didn’t trust Elder Whisper to stay in place. Lindon could see through illusions now, but he was still exhausted. He didn’t want to spend his every second staring to prevent the elder from sneaking away.

“We’re almost there.”

Gripped by air though he was, the white fox still had enough control to stretch his head further and whisper into Lindon’s ear. “I offered you the secrets of Monarchs, young Lindon. They are not for just anyone to hear.”

“I’m not bringing you to just anyone.”

Lindon’s red cloud drifted upwards toward a much larger island of blue cloud madra with a blocky castle-like slab of stone on it. Ziel’s unnamed cloud fortress.

As soon as he set down on the edge of the cloud base, another cloud zipped up to him. This one was no bigger than his fist, and it was driven by an ocean-blue woman about a foot tall. She glared at him, and her voice was like the clatter of dropped pans.

Lindon dipped his head to Little Blue. “Forgiveness. I didn’t want to disturb you.”

She would have known that he was fine and generally where he’d gone, but that didn’t mean she enjoyed being left behind. She leaped off the cloud onto his shoulder, chattering at him not to forget her again.

“Your Sylvan Riverseed has power similar to your own,” Elder Whisper noted. “So that’s how you expanded your pure madra to catch up to your peers.”

Little Blue shot Whisper an indifferent glance, then ignored him.

Lindon released the elder so they could walk up to Ziel’s home together. There were scripts all over the territory to protect them from being spied on by the spiritual senses of others, but Lindon carried a ward key. Mercy and Ziel were still recovering, and the biggest surprise was that he didn’t feel Eithan at all.

When he entered the plain gray house, Yerin was already standing in the entry, looking down at him. Her red eyes were filled with worry.

“Thought you’d be gone for longer than two and a half seconds.”

Her concern brought up the reality he’d been trying to avoid. A purple mass of spiritual power rested at the base of his skull, weak and unclear.

Dross. Or what was left of him.

Those thoughts were razor-sharp, and Lindon stopped handling them before they cut him too badly. “Whisper is one of the elders of my clan,” Lindon said, gesturing to the fox behind him. “He had information about the labyrinth that he wanted to share. And after that…I have something to show you as well.”

She looked confused, but nodded to Elder Whisper. “Whisper, huh? You that quiet?”

Another Elder Whisper appeared behind her, resting his jaws on her shoulder and whispering into her ear. “I can be when I wish.”

The original Elder had made himself invisible to complete the illusion, but she kept her eyes on him. “Not much to it when you look hard enough, is it?”

Elder Whisper sighed and dropped the illusions. “I am nowhere near advanced enough to deceive eyes of your caliber.”

“And yet…” Lindon began, but he cut the sentence off before he said, “And yet you held the Sword Sage’s private void space open for years.”

“Some things are not included in what we traditionally call advancement,” the fox said. He followed Lindon through a door and up a nearby set of stairs, and together the three of them walked into an open room at the top.

This was the control room of Ziel’s cloud fortress, and it was smaller and dimmer than Lindon’s. The one on Windfall resembled the common room of a house more than a cloudship control room, complete with a couch and chairs, but this one was just a wide panel of scripts and precisely one window on each wall.

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