A Dragon’s Sight

An Epic Progression Fantasy Series

Title: A Dragon's Sight
Series: Yokai Calling #3
Published by: Dragon's Hoard
Release Date: December 22nd, 2020
Contributors: Erynn Lehtonen
ISBN13: 978-1-7778497-4-0

They can hide from the demons hunting them… but not from the demons inside themselves.


Striking a deal with the White Warlock will be the best or the worst decision Genshu Hidekazu has ever made. The warlock, Naoji, lives in his head, torturing Hidekazu from the inside out. But with his help, Hidekazu can grow strong enough to defeat Lacotl and destroy his immortal spirit.


So long as he survives Naoji long enough to see his new plan through.


And only if Aihi and Masanori don’t turn against Hidekazu—and each other—first.


The Nightmare twists their memories and fears against them, giving the Kuro Hana and Lacotl free reign. Although imprisoned, his disturbing game continues unimpeded, bringing rise to the creatures of myth who want Seiryuu destroyed and the Dragon Goddess dead.


They are already returning. 


One stalks Hidekazu from the depths of the Tsukiko Academy. Another awaits Masanori on the edge of his newfound haven.


And the third waits inside the Nightmare in anticipation of Aihi’s next mistake.


Jump into the world of Yumihari, a land filled with spirits, dragons, monsters, and stunning characters wielding elemental magic to save their homeland. If you love epic fight scenes, mystery and political intrigue, mythology, monsters, and mayhem, all with a touch of progression fantasy, you will love A Dragon’s Sight and the Yokai Calling series.


Chapter 1



If any game in existence was meant to shed blood, that game would be Go.

Aihi scanned the large board, avoiding the gaze of her opponent, Li Fengge, whose bright, curious eyes observed her every movement. With him sat two other Sānlóngguón diplomats, the refined Hou Nianzu, and their counterbalance, Xiong Zixin, who stared at Aihi with unbidden contempt. Genshu Dano remained neutral at Aihi’s side.

Seiryuu grows ever more beautiful as its princess blossoms.”—Fengge nodded with approval when Aihi placed her Go piece and surrounded one of his black stones—“Before long, I believe most will find visiting these shores an irresistible adventure.”

Simple minds oft forget the danger beauty hides, dear Li,” Aihi said. Next to her, Ei, her father’s precious hō-ō, was preening her long amber feathers. The bird was at ease, and so was Aihi, but she could only go so long without directly addressing Sānlóngguó’s destroyed ships and dead diplomats. 

Fengge gave an amused smile. He was feminine in his appearance, moving and speaking with the grace of a puma. Yet he held an unparalleled authoritative confidence, reminding Aihi more of a tiger. He was too skilled for the show of emotion to be anything but intentional. “Please, call me Fengge, Your Exaltation. I do hope we might become friends.”

As you wish, dear Fengge.”

Though Aihi accepted his display of familiarity, she would not extend the gesture until she had a better understanding of the man.

While Zixin and Nianzu had attended regular meetings with Shōgun Mika and presented themselves at significant events in Seiryuu, Aihi had never met Li Fengge before today. He replaced the third member of Zixin and Nianzu’s party, Guo Jing, who had been an unfortunate causality in one of the earliest attacks on Sānlóngguón ships. One of four dead diplomats.

Considering the severe circumstances, Aihi did not yet understand why Fengge—a fledging diplomat with no prior relationship with Seiryuu—would replace an esteemed woman such as Jing.

Shadows do not erase beauty outright, Your Exaltation.” Fengge set his next piece, capturing a vacant square adjacent to one of Aihi’s. “What misfortune, it is, for all this unpleasantness to overshadow your home in the years she should shine brightest. Alas, shadows might always disappear when obstructions are removed.”

Not all shadows are of equal merit,” Aihi said.

The advantage of a simple mind is, I believe, to be blind to the shadows which plague others.”

Aihi parsed the game board, seeking her next move. “My cousin, Aochi Raidon, is such an example of simplicity. For all his travel, it is a marvel he has survived so long in this treacherous world. I hear he is currently in Sānlóngguó, enduring yet another adventure of his own making.” 

Adventure is, of course, defined by the adventurer.”

Fengge’s expression revealed no hint of Raidon’s status. Ever since things went sour between Seiryuu and Sānlóngguó, Aihi had expected Raidon to become a hostage under the title of a much-honoured guest. Without knowing whether the thread to Raidon’s life via the Magician’s guild was implied or explicit, Aihi had to tread with care. The discussion about the destroyed ships might determine whether he remained a captive or went free. Months had passed since her last contact with Raidon, but that was not unusual when he spent most of his time away from civilization.

Shadows, if left too long, choke the life from the flowers they hide,” Nianzu said, either content to refocus the topic or oblivious of Raidon’s significance. “No gardener would stand to let his precious creations wither and die under a watchful eye.”

He drew Aihi’s attention, and not for the first time, she glanced over the ruby and jade hair clasps denoting an esteemed magician. “Every garden must be tended with care,” she said. “Yet shade is not the only—nor is it the worst—force to trouble a budding beauty. Rodents require swift dispatching, lest they leave nothing but waste behind, and little worth recovering from the darkness.”

And? Have your pests met their end?”

Aihi positioned a stone farther from her and Fengge’s main army. She could do better, but her strategy demanded patience. “Some rats require a special poison. Time.”

Fengge focused on the Go board and Aihi on him. He wore no magician’s mark, yet he would not attend a meeting between Seiryan officials and Sānlóngguón magicians were he not favoured by the Magician’s Guild. His hanfu was simple, the robes a mix of subdued greens and reds, while Nianzu and Zixin boasted magnificent scarlet and emerald silk with gold embroidery. Fengge’s adornments were plain silver clasps, too, as though he went through a special effort to appear unintimidating.

Time is perhaps the most valuable resource of all, Your Exaltation. One we are currently quite limited in unless we are eager to wait for another tragedy”—Fengge placed his stone and captured three of Aihi’s—“like your previous move in our game.”

The pieces she left vulnerable to lure Fengge into her trap.

Tragedy is but what we make of it.” She attacked his unprotected flank, capturing five pieces. “I choose not to linger on despair, but the bonds it might create—and reforge.”

Fengge raised his eyebrows and moved to less populated squares.

An easy, and equally empty, claim made by one who has little understanding of national responsibility.” Zixin’s glare travelled to the disastrous state of Fengge’s side of the Go board. “It is time to cut the pleasantries and pretty words and speak plainly, child. Seiryuu has long been prosperous. What pest could justify neglecting your closest ally, allowing the mutilation of Sānlóngguón trade ships and magicians in Seiryan waters?”

Aihi took her time making her next move. For a diplomat, Zixin had no tact. The severe angles of her jaw and frame matched her attitude. It was easy to see why she had been Mika’s favourite diplomat to deal with: Zixin had no patience for the court’s exhausting language, where most peoples’ preferred form of diplomacy involved avoiding a topic while simultaneously delving into intimate details.

Perhaps you forgot, Xiong Zixin, about the state of our Honourable Shōgun’s health,” Dano said, breaking his silence for the first time. “I will caution you only once to refer to the Exalted Dragon Princess with the respect due an Acting Shōgun.”

Yes, the enigmatic ailing constitution of Furahau Mika.” Zixin stood, holding one hand behind her back, the other loose at her side as she circled Fengge, Aihi, and their game of Go. “I heard you butchered her.”

Aihi rolled the Go piece between her fingers. It was plain black, not one of Lacotl’s with a human face painted on one side, yet a memory flickered behind her eyes. A dreamy playing field with Go and Shōgi and hundreds of unrecognizable game pieces.

The true game had begun. Aihi found her place amongst the sea of white, and now it was her turn to play. To win. She placed another piece, prepared to launch another attack.

You will not spea—” Dano started, silenced by Aihi’s raised hand.

You wish for me to continue without pretty words and fanfare, Xiong Zixin?” She brushed a hand over Ei’s molten feathers and gestured for Fengge to continue playing. “Then please, tell me when to stop.

A corrupted aki, made by a malicious kan’thir sworn to Ozeki’s service, attacked our Honourable Shōgun. Indeed, I was in the room when the crystal’s vile energy latched on to our Shōgun’s spirit, and, indeed, I severed her arm to control the contamination. I recall, quite clearly, the gush of her blood across my hands as she lay in my lap, in the seconds before—”

Zixin’s powdered cheeks managed to whiten to complete ivory. “Enough. You make your point. We do not need graphic details, only the information which might further our understanding of the situation.”

Apologies, dear Xiong. I forgot that you have never wielded a sword, that blood might make one queasy.”

When Zixin turned her face away in a show of defeat, Aihi put another stone in place for her finale. “Might you require a reminder of our spiritual practices in Seiryuu? We do not look favourably upon those who follow Ozeki, not when such visits often leave strings of violence in their wake.”

Nianzu twisted his teacup. “So that is what this is. You keep us at a distance, ignoring our predicament, believing us responsible for the monster ravaging your garden. All because we accept the energies of God, Goddess, and the Balance between the two? I thought us generations past this dispute, Your Exaltation. What has our Glorious Teacher done to reverse your opinion?”

Unlike Seiryuu, Sānlóngguó worshipped not only the Dragon Goddess Shirashi but also her brother and rival, the Wyvern God Ozeki. The Balance between them, for Sānlóngguó, was their third deity, a winged serpent of both masculine and feminine energies. The creature was not too dissimilar from the sacred shishajya who were beloved by Seiryans, but Aihi’s instincts were to reject this philosophy. No concrete evidence existed of a third being anywhere near as powerful as Shirashi and Ozeki.

Still, she restrained her thoughts from straying too far from a path of acceptance. The previous Warlock Empress’ failed their duty to Aoryuu—as Seiryuu was named before—in part, due to their strict monotheistic beliefs. They went to war with many civilizations to prove Shirashi’s superiority. They seeded hate and intolerance, and, in the end, that became a weapon that turned against Aoryuu. Shōgun Mika insisted that Aihi would surpass all previous Warlock Empresses. She would rewrite Seiryuu’s history apart from the Warlock Empire’s failings and right their wrongs even if not a warlock herself. Aihi struggled, every day, to prove Mika right.

You mistake our meaning,” Dano said. “We do not suspect Sānlóngguón involvement; our nations have cooperated peacefully for many long years. However, you must understand our priority has been unravelling the mysteries surrounding the sorcerer responsible for our Shōgun’s ill health.

The lost ships and magicians are a true tragedy. We are conducting a thorough investigation with all of the resources at our disposal. While we review the evidence, we cannot jump to conclusions. It is our responsibility to reach a satisfactory outcome for both parties.”

Fengge moved to circle Aihi’s growing formation. “If you believe our bond of nations as strong as ever, then I wish to understand why our offer to assist in the investigation continues to go unanswered.”

In light of our budding friendship, dear Fengge, I will honour you with an explanation.” Aihi sipped her tea, and the warm liquid steadied her nerves. “I forgive your ignorance. You have spent little time in Seiryuu, and less, I am sure, debating the devastation of your ships.”

It is contextual information that I lack, it seems.”

Aihi lifted a stone. “Xiong Zixin, Hou Nianzu, and your predecessor, Guo Jing, were quick to approach our Honourable Shōgun after the first incident early in the month of the dragon.”

We had a strong relationship with Furahau Mika,” Zixin said, “we wished to collaborate, not sit idle while we might bring the culprit to justice. You misunderestimate Li Fengge by assuming his new appointment makes him ignorant.”

No, Xiong, you misunderestimate him by assuming his youth makes him a pawn, as you likewise discount me.” Aihi claimed her final point before Fengge could stop her, surrounding another four of his pieces. “I apologize for putting you in this position, my dear Fengge, but sweet Xiong requested I speak plainly, and I must oblige her request for fear that, otherwise, we might never find a resolution.”

Fengge rubbed his thumb and forefinger against his chin. “If you believe your demonstration increases our likeliness of coming to an understanding, then I am more than happy to receive it at my expense.”

This is unnecessary,” Nianzu said, “when we might have a civil discussion instead.”

Aihi did not miss the warning in his tone, the implication that, by revealing Nianzu and Xiong’s deception, she might make things worse, not better. And though, a month ago, she would not have wavered, a thousand things had changed.

Games and strategy were supposed to be Aihi’s strength, but ever since her first face-off with the kan’thir, Lacotl, she had become less confident in her skills. She would find a way to beat him, as she would beat these diplomats. Mika never lost control of the situation. Neither would Aihi.

She still did not understand Fengge’s role in the Magician’s Guild’s scheme to antagonize Seiryuu, but only a fool would trust him. Though Seiryuu’s philosophical differences with the Magician’s Guild were immense, they had once united over their shared reverence of Shirashi. They could do so again.

Our Honourable Shōgun had every intention of asking Sānlóngguó to support her inquiry into the loss of magicians and valuable trade goods,” Aihi said. “Their first meeting was one of joint horror, formulating swift plans to root out the criminals claiming Sānlóngguón lives. That cooperation should have continued. That is, had Hou and Xiong been more interested in maintaining an alliance than flinging accusations.

You wonder why we do not accept your assistance?” She lifted her chin to the man and woman to Fengge’s sides. “Ask them what they told Furahau Mika in their second meeting, after Guo Jing’s tragic death. I implore you to demand the exact wording, too—perhaps you will find it as amusing as I did.”

Thank you for your counsel, Your Exaltation. Perhaps it is time for us to take our leave and resume our game another day,” Fengge said, ending his turn with a neutral placement to the side. “I will consult my comrades on this matter before our next conference.”

Seiryuu must take responsibility for its crimes.” Nianzu stood to join Zixin several steps closer to Aihi. “Might I remind you of your cousin, stranded so far from home?”

Ki flared in Dano’s palms, solidifying into calm spirals of water. A warning. “You err in assuming Seiryuu will bend to threats of violence or that she will accept your groundless accusations without recourse.”

Unless your plan is to sever ties with Seiryuu,” Aihi said, “I recommend reconsidering your negotiation strategy. Aochi Raidon is, after all, more than capable of taking care of himself. And if not, well…”

Nianzu and Zixin swept out of the room, a flurry of reds and greens, like a pair of exotic birds. Fengge’s expression was still unreadable up until the moment he lowered himself into a bow and backed out of the chamber.

As he left, Aihi noticed the slender jian at his waist. Fengge was the first Sānlóngguón diplomat to favour carrying a sword. There was some significance to this, but she could not summon the reason through the unsteady thrum thrumming in her veins.

When the fusuma slid shut, and the clamour of footsteps in the hall faded, Dano grunted and puffed out his sleeves. “Your Exaltation, I am not sure this meeting could have gone any worse.”

Aihi looked at the dragon patterns adorning the cloth doors, and then at the game board, an indiscriminate battlefield which might yet topple for or against her. “I feel like we won something.”

Her shoulders rolled forward, jerky with the knowledge that she might have very well sentenced her cousin Raidon to death.

Other books in this series:

Yokai Calling Omnibus

Yokai Calling Book 1-4

Spirit of the Dragon

Yokai Calling Book 1

The Dragon's Eye

Yokai Calling Book 2

Blood of Dragons

Yokai Calling Book 4

"I honestly have to say I never put it down once I started. One of those books where you think you have everything figured out only to find the story had taken another twist and turn."

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"Right from the summary cough Avatar cough I knew this would be an amazing story, I just didn't know how great. This book makes you want to stay up all night reading."

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"What a magnificent book. Fantasy at its finest. The characters and the plot were so intriguing. Kept me immersed until the end. Loved it."

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"If you love the Japanese culture you will love this world. The author has taken great care in researching, and building a magical world."

Amazon Reviewer

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