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The Gene of the Ancients

by Roman Prokofiev

Rogue Merchant

Book #2

Magic Dome Books

Rogue Merchant

Book #2: The Gene of the Ancients

Copyright © Roman Prokofiev 2020

Cover Art © Vladimir Manyukhin 2020

English translation copyright © Sofia Shcherbakova 2020

Editor: Irene Woodhead

Published by Magic Dome Books, 2020

All Rights Reserved

ISBN: 978-80-7619-139-6

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to the shop and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

This book is entirely a work of fiction. Any correlation with real people or events is coincidental.

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Table of Contents:


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

Interlude. The Goddess

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

About Roman Prokofiev


GORTH HAGRA AGATOSH sharply sucked in the air through his nose. Here, the smell was quite different: fresh leaves, pine, and damp forest mist. Behind the Portal, in the Serpent Mountains, the air was already permeated with bitter smoke.

Soon, that stench would find its way here. Four huge, blue-skinned orcs raised their chief on their shields. Agatosh bellowed an order, and the gruff sounds of horns answered him in the distance. War drums thundered. The warriors of the Sixteenth Horde were marching by, coming right out of the rainbow portal. Heavy orcish infantry recruited on the Sapphire Isles was the first, their plate armor clanging. Then came the gunners and the archers, carrying their crossbows and ballistae. Threehorns, roaring under the strain, pulled huge siege towers.

The Fifth Horde, the so-called Black Devils, had already deployed their battle formations on this side. Draxes soared in the air, lining up in tiny triangles, while wolf riders scattered in every direction, scouting the area.

A birdie landed nearby. It was a black dracondor. The crossbowmen around Agatosh immediately took aim at its rider, but then lowered their weapons, grumbling. The rider was an ally, even if a player.

Agatosh repeated the sign of the Lady, saluting the newcomer. He loved killing players, but this one was favored by the goddess herself.

“We’ll hold the portal for three more hours,” said the player without turning his head. Agatosh barked in satisfaction. That would be enough time for the Sixteenth and the assisting troops to pass through.

The player adjusted the snow-white hair falling on his face. One of his eyes was closed by a black leather eyepatch. Slowly and in a measured tone, he said, “Gorth Hagra, I hope that your soldiers will be enough to turn the tides. Have you already received the information about the enemy? Do you have the map of their outposts, the reports on their garrisons?”

“Yes,” muttered Agatosh, disgruntled, as he stroked the silver skulls on his cuirass. Was Ananizarte’s pet taking him for a wet-head who’d rush into battle without studying the enemy first? Him, Agatosh, the veteran of the Fiery Battle, who had brought Lliorkh under Lady’s heel, the plunderer of Proteus’ elves on the eastern coast? This Eyre Nation wasn’t any different. Its warriors were pathetic, its leaders were weak, and few players supported it. He would crush Eyre like a rotten nut.

But not straight away. The Goddess of War knew that only fools rushed in.

Chapter 1

AN UNEQUAL BATTLE was raging on a green hilltop adorned by a crown of grey, fang-like menhirs. The defenders, a group of players pressed inside a circle of stones, were clearly outnumbered by a swarm of attackers who were climbing from all sides. No matter their valor, the outcome seemed predetermined: the enemies rushed in, and their blades clashed together in a shower of sparks.

The camera that was soaring above the scene darted down, hungry to show the details of the fight: the enemies grappling with each other, their faces twisted in a grimace of hate and vicious triumph, feathered arrows trembling in the shields, the glint of steel, and bloody tracks on the grass.

The defenders, all three of them who were left, ended up standing back to back, surrounded on all sides. Nothing, it seemed, could save them from their opponent’s wrath, but suddenly, blue fire erupted in the hands of one of them, enveloping his sword in bright light. Soon, the flaming blade flashed in the thick of the fight, incinerating any who dared to stand in his way, turning them into piles of ash and smoke, and leaving only charred armor that dropped down on the blood-soaked ground. After a minute of furious carnage, the hill crest was empty, the survivors having fled down the slope in shame.

The camera zoomed in again, closing in on the young sword wielder’s face, his expression firm, his lips tight, a bloody scar on his forehead.

“I could do it, and so can you!” he said, raising his fiery blade in a salute.

Lines appeared on the screen:

HotCat has been playing Sphere of Worlds for 69 days. He found this sword on his fifth day. Could you?


The huge logo of Sphere gradually filled the screen.



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