A Trent Smith Martial Arts Thriller #2
Abraham Soriah is approaching his ninetieth birthday, but despite a bottomless bank account his latter days are nothing to celebrate. Without the wonder drug his health has waned, and he will do anything to get it back—even if it means making a deal with Karl Manoukian.
Karl Manoukian is responsible for the death of the woman Trent loved, and he hires a secret guild of Eurasian assassins—the Killers Guild—for protection. As payment, he promises the drug to whoever kills Trent Smith. But there’s a problem. Trent Smith is not so easy to kill.
Ming Sang—the mysterious leader of the Killers Guild—has an agenda of her own, and it involves not only Trent Smith but his closest friends at the Tokyo Dojo. Will Trent find his vengeance or will he succumb to the diabolical schemes of Ming Sang and the Killers Guild?
KILLER EYES, Book Two of the Killer Series, is the continuing story of Trent Smith, the world’s greatest martial artist. In this action-packed sequel to KILLER OF KILLERS, Trent must decide who deserves to die, and who—if anyone—is worthy of living forever.
Somewhere in China
The red sun was setting, but within the stone walls of an ancient fortress, one hundred sparring men showed no indication they were ready to rest. Dueling in pairs, white-clad fighters parried thrusts from staffs, fended swings of swords, and traded strikes with empty-hands. When one man fell to the blows of another, a waiting man sprang to replace him. And through it all, Ming Sang watched in solitude from the balcony of the fortress tower.
A man approached behind her, but Ming was not unaware. She recognized the slow and deliberate footsteps despite the repetitions from below. The man’s name was Snake Eyes, and she was expecting him. “My Lady,” he began in the Mandarin tongue. “The Ci Ke stand prepared.”
Ming did not turn to face him. She merely said, “Prepared?”
“They are prepared to strike. They stand one hundred strong, and tomorrow, another one hundred, and the next day, another hundred still.”
“It won’t be enough.”
“The peasants swarm our gates. They yearn for what we offer.”
“The Guild offers nothing. It was true when my father commanded. And it is certainly true now.”
“But my lady… To the peasants who are slaves to intrinsic drudgery, I would suggest we offer something very important. We offer freedom. We offer respect. A chance to be Ci Ke. Instead of living their lives in fear, they learn how to be feared. We offer all of that. And more. You can be assured, my lady, the Ci Ke will not be found wanting.”
Ming pivoted, allowing her long, black hair to fall across her face. She preferred to preserve her full countenance for a more worthy pair of eyes. “Then see to it.” She returned her attention to the training hordes in the courtyard below. “You’ll be coming with me.”
“To Japan? It’s as we agreed. I have not forgotten.”
“And after Japan, America.”
Snake Eyes did not respond, and Ming turned to face him again. His eyes were dulled from age and heavily wrinkled at the corners. He bared his teeth, which he had sharpened into points. They fit top onto bottom in a perfect zigzag. “I see no reason for that.”
“You call yourself Snake Eyes, but you see like a bat. Have you not perceived my greatest concern of late?”
“Bringing down the killers. As it has always been.”
“You’re a fool. It’s the thrill. It mustn’t end.”
“All things end. It’s the way of things, no?”
“No. Thrill does not end. And that is how it should be. I ask you, loyal Snake Eyes… With no thrill, what is the purpose in life?”
“My lady, for you, there is no shortage of thrills.”
“With that, I agree. But sharing...”
Snake Eyes’ expression turned perplexed. “Sharing? Your father is gone. I understand how you feel. Since his passing, there is emptiness inside.”
“Then you understand the reason we go to America.”
“To share a thrill?”
“I didn’t say it was the only reason. Now go. We leave tonight.”
Again Ming riveted her attention to the swarms of sparring men—one hundred strong—and tomorrow, another one hundred. And the next day, another hundred still.