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I’m back!

Hey everyone! I’ve been out of commission for a couple months due to my wife’s pregnancy complications, but I’m happy to share that mommy and baby are safe and healthy! 


In other news, I will be running some special promotions during the month of August leading up to the anticipated release of the Audiobook version of Conquest! I’ve approved the first 15 minutes by the amazing Andrea Emmes, and I’m really excited for you to hear it soon!

To start off my month of special promotions, starting today and for the whole month of August, the Kindle version of Conquest is only 99 cents! Go grab your copy of you don’t have one already! myBook.to/Conquest-SciFan

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Chapter Two: Ten Hours Earlier (from Conquest: A #LitRPG Story)

As promised, here’s the second chapter of Conquest: A LitRPG Story! The Pre-Order is available now on Amazon for only 99 cents. Pre-Order your copy today at myBook.to/Conquest-LitRPG

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the deep and fought back the darkness of the Leviathan. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness…

– Methuselah 3:2 –

Allan Young had been carefully planning this moment for months. He picked up the customized ring from the jeweler hours ago. The restaurant wasn’t too crowded. The table was donned with a setting of tulips, Lily’s favorite flower. Everything was perfect. That is, aside from the fact that the restaurant had run out of her favorite wine. He already gave the apologetic waiter an earful.

When he first explained his intentions to his sister, she was absolutely giddy that he had asked her to help plan the big event. Having described her dream proposal, the incessant chat bubbles popping up in his augmented vision was starting to get annoying.

Allan glanced up from his virtual keyboard and nearly jumped out of his skin when he saw that Lily was almost to the table. He swiped his hand to the right to remove the keyboard, and stood in awe. Her sleek green dress stood out in contrast to her curly locks of red hair.

“You look gorgeous!”

“Thanks sweetie.” she blushed, “This place is beautiful!”

“I know.” he placed a careful kiss so as not to smudge her lipstick or rouge, “It was nearly impossible to get a reservation.”

“I love it.” she sat as he held her chair out, “How long ago did you book it?”

“A few weeks.”

“Wow.” she commented as he sat across from her, “What’s the special occasion?”

“Well, I…” he stammered, “I just… I thought you deserved a nice dinner.”

Her eyes narrowed slightly, but then she got distracted.

“Tulips!” she crooned, “My favorite!”

Allan smiled, “I know.”

A frantic waiter arrived with a bottle of Zinfandel and bowed, “Our finest wine by Ménage à Trois, on the house. Complements of the host.”

Allan nodded knowingly, “Thank you.”

Lily flashed a confused look at Allan as he accepted the expensive bottle of wine.

“Are you ready to order, sir?”

“Yes.” he feigned a shrug at Lily, “I’ll have the Trofie al Pesto.”

“And for you, miss?”

“I’ll have the uhh…” she scanned the menu, “I’ll go with the Tagliatelle al Ragù. And go light on the bolognese sauce.”

The waiter nodded, and then winked at Allan before he turned to leave.

“What was that all about?” Lily queried, pointing at the bottle.

“Oh, it’s nothing.”

Allan swatted absently at the air as several message bubbles from his sister populated in successive order.

“So sorry.” he closed his eyes and quickly pressed on the side of his right temple, “I should mute my communications channel.”

“Who’s that?”

“Oh, it’s just Jen.” he waived it off.

“It’s good to see that you two are on good terms again.” Lily smiled, “I swear. Lately you talk with her more than you do with me!”

“Jealous, much?” he smirked.

“Maybe a little.”

Allan couldn’t help but gawk at her alluring beauty. Her lips were plump from the red lipstick, and the rosie in her cheeks made her skin glow. Her hair glowed a brilliant ginger. He felt like the luckiest man alive. It wouldn’t be long now before this gorgeous woman would be his fiancée.

Lily caught his eye and her face blushed again, “Why are you staring at me like that?”

“Like what?”

“Like you’re starstruck.”

He looked away, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

She studied him for a long minute until the waiter returned with their entrees.

“Excellent timing.” Allan stammered in the awkward silence, “I’m starving.”

They ate in silence for a few minutes. Allan could see a blinking green light inside his augmented field of vision and a popup alert with each of Jen’s incessant messages, and it only made him more nervous.

Here’s your chance. Go for it.

His pulse picked up in pace as beads of sweat accumulated on his forehead. The lump in his jacket pocket appeared to be growing ominously as the minutes ticked by. Lily was distracted with her food, so she didn’t notice the several attempts he made to speak but no words came to his mouth.

“Lily…” he finally croaked as he wiped his forehead, “You mean the world to me. You know that?”

“Yes, of course sweetie.” her eyes lit up.

His throat felt constricted. He took a long drink of water.

“Is everything okay?” her eyes locked with his, “I thought you said you were starving, but you’ve barely touched your food.”

Allan forced himself to stand.

“Lily, sweetie.” he reached into his jacket pocket and knelt down on one knee, “You are my whole world. I can’t imagine my life without you.”

Allan felt confused by the disturbed look that crossed Lily’s face.

“Please…” Lily whispered as several other diners stopped to gaze at them, “don’t do this here.”

It was too late to backpedal. He gritted his teeth and pushed onward.

“Lily Thatcher, will you marry me?”

She stared at him for a long minute. His confidence was waning as her hesitation lingered.

“Please get up.” she spoke under her breath as they attracted the attention of more diners, “Let’s talk about this.”

He stumbled awkwardly as he stood, “Does that mean no?”

“I don’t know what it means yet.” she winced, “I’ll have to think about it.”

“But…” Allan stammered as he returned to his seat, “I don’t understand.”

“I think we need to slow down…” she winced and pressed the side of her temple, “Hang on. I need to take this.”

Allan felt his stomach drop as she stood to answer the call. He opened the box and stared at the ring in shock.

Lily turned around and pressed a mute button on a small handheld remote, “I’m so sorry Allan. Let’s have a serious conversation later.”

Allan wanted to say something, but he couldn’t find any words before Lily had already exited the lobby. The waiter then returned with a bucket of ice and a corkscrew.

“Would you like me to wait for your lady friend to return before I pop the cork?”

“No.” he shook his head with a heavy sigh, “Go ahead. And can you bring me the check?”

“Yes, sir.” the waiter nodded, “Would you like some boxes too?”

“No thanks.” Allan hung his head low in defeat, “I’ve lost my appetite.”
© Copyright 2016 Richard M. Mulder, All rights reserved. Registration # TX0008281211
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