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  • Writer's pictureC. L. Schneider

Indie Book Spotlight: Eidolon's Honor, Book 3 in The Shadow Creed Saga, by Noelle Nichols

Pools of black Skills have spread across Kiriku, killing everything it touches. In its wake, a merciless new foe hunts those with even a shred of the ancient magic. Stumbling upon their plans, Shenrae is thrust unyielding into the fray. Together, with her brother, she must unravel the mystery of what this group wants and summon the courage to persist against those who should provide them protection.

But that’s not all that’s moving across Kiriku. From a parallel reality, a trapped soul delivers Kilo a dire warning: the Skills are at their end. Armed with a new group of Shadows, Kilo returns to Vaieyne to regroup and forge ahead, but when his strength wavers, he’s faced with his biggest challenge yet—mastering himself and his past.

In the third installment of The Shadow’s Creed Saga, friendships and alliances will be tested as a new danger presents itself, both in the hearts of those who protect Kiriku and those who would see it burn.

Pick up a copy and continue the adventure of noble hearts and honor-bound warriors as a new arc of magic and intrigue begins!



Kilo’s POV, Chapter 11 - The Shadows

It was early morning, and the sun was barely peeking over the mountains. The buildings and

trees were shrouded by a light mist, and the scent of morning dew hung in the air. The crisp chill was indicative of the first few weeks of spring.

Inhaling deeply, I stretched out my back before walking away from the meditation gardens and

Phantoms’ house, passing by the new residences Syrane and the other Shadows had built,

admiring their craftsmanship. Although they had been pressed for time, they’d still managed to

intricately carve and attach wooden accents to each house, paying homage to the previous

era’s architecture. Things were different in Vaiyene now, but the natural aesthetic of our village

remained the same. My concerns and worries were eased as the familiarity and peace wrapped

around me.

Taking the trail that led northwest, I meandered through the new orchards and gardens Syrane

had started developing, making my way along the trail behind the waterfall and continuing

deeper into the mountains. The path became steeper underfoot, and I leaned forward, turning

into the sun and shielding my eyes as the first rays of light shone through the trees. Ahead,

nestled into the crook of the mountain, was a small plateau, a sacred site that the people of

Vaiyene visited often. A wooden archway had been built at the entrance, with folded paper

charms placed along a large knotted rope. I bowed before walking inside.

Stone toro lay inside the gate on either side of a dirt path that wound through the cemetery. I

approached one of the toro, picking off a dead leaf before placing my hand on the smooth stone to let those who had been laid to rest here know of my presence.

The dirt paths were laid out in a gridlike pattern around the headstones, and rope was draped

loosely on posts throughout the area, fencing off different sections. I read the family names on

the stone pedestals as I passed, pausing momentarily before each one to offer a short prayer.

Wooden slats were placed in a small fence beside each headstone. Each plank listed the first

name of the individual who had passed on, what they had been sponsored as, and their date of

birth. Colorful bouquets were placed before many of the headstones, indicating how frequently

visitors came to tend to the graves. Like the Reikon tree was for the Shadows, this was a place

of respite and meditation for the villagers. They came here for strength and remembrance. Many holidays were celebrated here with those who had passed on. Visitors often ate food at the gravesites, lit incense, and left ceremonial items.

At the end of the first row, a man knelt before a gravestone. Maijin had lost his wife a few years back. When I was a younger Shadow, I’d visited his family and brought them food while he’d been working on restorations at the Phantoms’ house. I’d had many conversations with him about life. We often discussed what it means to look after others. Though he was not a Shadow, I found his wisdom about life and its meaning humbling.

I was happy he was here.

Quietly I came to stand beside him and touched the gravestone before kneeling on the stone

tiles and pressing my hands together. I remembered one particular visit I’d made to his home,

when his wife’s illness had seemed to be taking a turn for the worse. I’d rushed to get Maijin

from the Phantoms’ house, afraid we would not make it back in time for him to say goodbye, but when we returned, we’d found her sleeping soundly. Her husband had wept by her side. I’d

stayed the entire night, to help care for her. In the morning, her fever had broken. She’d lived for another ten years.

“It’s been a while, Kilo.” Maijin turned his head toward me, a smile spreading across his face.

There were a few more wrinkles around his eyes than the last time I’d seen him, but his

smile—as always—was filled with joy. No matter what he was going through, he had always

been filled with such happiness, even when his wife had been sick and dying.

Holding out my arm, I helped him to stand before escorting him over to the stone bench that sat overlooking the gravesite. I stood next to him, facing the valley and resting my hand on my

katana. “How are you feeling?”

He paused for a moment, studying me, then lines creased around his eyes and he nodded. “My

health has been good this year. I’m grateful, as it’s allowed me to offer my assistance to the

Shadows in their time of need.” His attention wandered across the cemetery. “A lot has changed since you left, hasn’t it? It must be hard seeing the village like this.”

Absently, I nodded, remembering my parents’ house and the fires that had devastated the

village not long ago. “It is different, but you’ve done a good job keeping the essence of

Vaiyene’s buildings the same. The atmosphere feels the same, though the buildings are

different. How’s your daughter?”

“She enjoys her sponsorship as a baker.” He patted his stomach. “And her father enjoys it as

well. “Although, it does tend to stick around more than usual these days.”

I laughed. While my body had not yet slowed down, I knew there would come a time when my

wounds would not heal as quickly, my body would age, and indulging in too much food would be hard on my health. “Can I ask you something, Maijin?”


“Do you feel the False Shadows are a threat?”

He frowned, turning to look at me fully. “Has there been trouble?”

I slid my hands into the sleeves of my kimono, continuing to stare out across the valley. “Some.

What concerns me the most is the resistance to change. I see it as inevitable and something we must embrace, but others don’t see it the same way.”

Maijin rubbed his hands and blew on them. “There was a time when my Phantom was against

my new style of architecture. We never used to use nails in construction. Instead we would

spend hours fine-tuning the way each joint and piece of wood would lie, staying true to the

traditions of old.” He paused, shaking his head. “But back then we had the luxury of time. With

such a need for immediate housing, I was finally able to gain Lunia’s support to use nails in our

designs this time. I also asked to widen the main roads. There is more distance between

houses, which will help us avoid fires spreading as quickly. Change is inevitable. We must adapt

to new circumstances and danger.”

His words resonated with me. That was my belief as well.

Maijin continued. “Times have been hard, which has forced us to grow as a people. What we

need is something that will open our hearts. Reaching out to others and offering them a place of refuge is a good way to instill love and peace back into Vaiyene. There will be some resistance, but it will help the Shadows remember who they are.” He had a faraway look in his eyes as he lapsed into silence. Then he chuckled. “Don’t mind the meanderings of an old man.”

“No, please feel free to speak your mind, I’ve always enjoyed our conversations. It allows me to

see a different perspective and helps ground me.”

“There are whispers of some sort of a power the Shadows have acquired.”

I stiffened. So, rumors were already beginning to spread. Meeting his gaze, I forced myself to

relax. “Yes. It’s one of the things we’re learning about. That and our history as Shadows. There

was once a Shadow village that lived in harmony with ancient magic. I’m not sure what it means for our future, but I have a feeling we will be tested before long.”

“As long as your heart stays true, Vaiyene’s people will stand with you.”

A small smile spread across my face. I bowed slightly. “I’m grateful for your confidence and

trust. I will do what I can to create a way for us all to follow, one that is sincere and true.”


About the Author

Noelle Nichols is an author, artist, and dreamer who channels her passion for writing to find hope in the world. Her worlds embody characters who question life and search for paths that align with their true selves (inspired by her own wandering journey through life). She enjoys exploring the reasons behind character's actions, writing characters who, if given the chance, often choose light over darkness.

Many of her stories are inspired by Japan due to her deep love and appreciation for Japanese culture. Eastern philosophy and bushido are woven into most of her tales, as well as historical elements from the samurai (and shinobi) of Japan.


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