‘It feels hot,’ was the first thought that Choice had when she woke up and it really was very hot. She blinked the sleep out of her eyes and sat up. As she did, a circular thing wrapped in a towel fell down from her forehead. She looked at it for a second and touched it. So that’s why it was hot. She picked it up and set it to the side of her bed. Wait bed. The last thing she remember was green eyes. Choice looked around and recognised her room in the palace.
Choice wasn’t able to be confused for long. An attendant came into the room and look at her for a few seconds before she actually realised that the princess was up and about.
“She’s awake,” the maid shouted to someone behind her. As she said so, the sound of running feet could be heard and in came her mother and her five year old younger brother Cero.
Her mother looked extremely tired and still had many marks from her fight with the assassin. Someday she’d get the full story of how she won her fight but it wouldn’t be that day.
“My darling, are you alright,” Sera said lovingly embracing her. Her younger brother didn’t really understand what was going on but he held her hand.
“Sis, the pain is going away. Shoo.”
“I’m fine Cero.” Even though she said this, her eyes began to well up and tears fell from her eyes. “Mama, I was so scared. I ran and ran but I still got caught.”
“It’s okay my darling. It’s okay. You’re safe now. And I’ll make sure it remains that way.” Sera comforted her daughter as she cried and made a note to herself to confront this issue later on. But for now, she’d be with her daughter on.
Later on, when Choice stopped crying, she asked her mother, “Mama who was that masked woman with green eyes who helped me?”
“What masked woman,” her mother replied smiling a strained smile, “I didn’t see any masked person when I came to you.”
“My dear Choice. I know you’re shocked but you really shouldn’t say things that aren’t true. You definitely shouldn’t speak about them. People don’t like little girls that talk too much.”
Ah there was her mother. She would be very nice and then she would be very off with her and sometimes even annoyed with her for nothing. Choice knew that she remembered correctly. There was no way she would forget green eyes and olive skin. But she knew that her mother wanted her to stop talking about it.
“Sorry Mama, I must have mixed things up.” She bent her head and lifted her eyes to look pleadingly at her mother.
“It’s alright my dear, you are just recovering. I know this won’t happen when you are better.” Saying this she held Choice to her bosom and stroked her hair.
“Take Cero back to his nanny,” the Queen said to one of the attendants behind her. The attendant took Cero away.
“Bye Cero. See you later.”
“Now Choice, are you hungry. I’ve brought breakfast from the kitchen. You need to get your strength up.”
Later on after Choice had gone back to sleep tired from the interaction with her mother, Sera got up from the bed and smoothed the bed covering over Choice.
“Sleep tight my dear. Mummy’s going to take care of everything.”
She had to find her husband and ask him why the hell her only daughter – their only daughter – got attacked in the capital of the kingdom a few metres from the palace and there was no extra support apart from the guards, although they were many, who came with them on their trip to the Kariot.
Finding Frank was tricky, he was never where he needed to be which was his chamber areas. Instead, he was always outside the palace fucking someone sometimes in disguise and sometimes not. She knew being in the palace was a drain and a bore but she beared with it why couldn’t Frank do the same.
However, this time she had an inkling that he would be in the council chambers. He was always there every time a huge event happened. And though he might not favour her daughter as much as many people thought, she was still his only daughter. Apart from that, this had happened in the capital. Even if he hadn’t cared about what happened with Choice, he had to consider an attack on the capital as a serious incident.
When Sera entered the council areas, she saw her conversation with someone else. As she beelined to them, she heard snippets of their conversation. Something about prophecy and catastrophe. Now what could this be about. Sera slowed down her footsteps and approached quietly to hear what they were talking about without alerting them.
However, it seemed that the man conversing with her ‘husband’ was very aware because almost as soon as she tried to approach them, he stopped talking and turned to look at her. He smiled sheepishly and turned back to the king.
“Looks like you have important business. May I come back later?”
“Of course Tomas. We will resume this discussion later today.” Tomas. She made sure to remember that name for future research. Who knows. Maybe he would be important in the future after all, he was able to notice her approach which while not rare was not common either. She noted his facial features. Black hair, brown eyes. Square face. Not very handsome. Not Frank’s type then. Though to be frank (hilarious), she wasn’t very certain about Frank’s type (very very hilarious joke) after she find out about his affair with a woman two decades older.
Sera watched Tomas as he walked past her and turned back to look at Frank. She didn’t feel guilty about trying to eavesdrop on his conversation and did not pretend to be. She did not apologise. She just stood there watching for his reaction. Marriage to Frank was fucking exhausting sometimes. Everything seemed to be part of a game they were playing of who could make the other more miserable. She would never say it to him even though they both knew but she was losing. Not because of him or feelings for him. Whatever was there burnt out years ago. But because of the fact that her freedom was constrained. That she had to watch what she did because of her reputation and image as the ‘Queen’. She missed being the Undying liked a spear to the heart.
Frank looked at her standing silently and then chuckled. Sera breathed in in relief. Things seemed to be going well. How rare. He walked to the side of his assigned seat. Sera wrinkled her nose. Tobacco. This was what marriage to Frank provided both countries. An exchange of tobacco with vegetation.
“You know that’s bad for your health,” Sera said calmly.
“My darling Sera. In times of crisis we all have our preferences.” Leaning against a wall, he expertly inserted some tobacco into a pipe and effortlessly blew out a smoke ring. Sera was slightly envious. She couldn’t do that. “Are you too afraid to have a taste, my darling.”
Sera took the offered pipe from him. By the heavens, this was still as good as she remembered. She stopped smoking though after becoming queen. Apparently, it was ‘unbecoming’ for the Queen to have such a dirty habit but it seemed to not be unbecoming for Kings. After a few puffs, she returned the pipe at Frank who smirked at her knowingly.
Sera took in a deep breath. Then…
“I want to talk.”
“Did you know?”
“About what,” replied the King blowing out another smoke ring. This annoyed Sera. She was certain that he was aware of what she spoke and was irritated that he would pretend to be unaware of what she was talking about.
“If you mean about the ambush of you Kariot,” he continued looking amusedly at her, “Then yes, I knew.”
“Beforehand?” She wanted him to say no. That he hadn’t sent her and her daughter out knowing that they would be attacked but he didn’t respond. They both knew that was the case. Not for the first time, Sera nee Seychelles was reminded of how much she despised Frank Legume.
“I must say that I underestimated how bold they would be to attack you a few metres from the palace as well as they amount of firepower they would bring.” He refilled the tobacco in his pipe.
“Hah,” the Queen replied exasperated, her calmness rapidly evaporating. “You underestimated! My, one would think you were a regular modern day seer. Did you see them attack me, attack my daughter in an abandoned desert with limited weapons?”
A pause. Frank raised an eyebrow and deliberately tapped his finger against the pipe.
“You should have told me.” Sera breathed in. Forcing herself to calm down. Angry gets shit done. But not all the time. Frank was always dismissive of angry people. Did he think that just because his anger and rage was better hidden that he was better than her. Ugh, she hated this game. She missed the forwardness of her life before her marriage. “I would have been better prepared.”
“It’s because you would have been better prepared that I didn’t tell you. Wanted to know exactly who dared to plot against me.”
“Yes,” he breathed. He straightened up from the wall and walked up to her. Looking into her eyes and cupping her cheek, he continued, “Against me. Everyone knows that you and my daughter belong to me.” But by the stars, Frank was gorgeous and he knew it. Those lips, the shorn red hair and smooth skin. The quiet confidence cloaking him made him more enticing. Made you want to see what lay underneath that. To want to be in his confidence and know his vulnerabilities. That had been what had attracted her. But then you got to know him and then you realised that underneath all of that was nothing. There was a gaping void where a human should be.
It didn’t used to be like that. He used to be vibrant and funny but for most of their sixteen years of marriage, he had been the person she saw before her. To the extent that she felt that the person she thought she used to be was a mirage. But this situation was okay. She too had changed.
Sera stepped back. “I’m not yours.”
“Maybe. Not yet.” He chuckled, “But she is. And everyone thinks you two are. Don’t be too angry everything is fine now. Besides didn’t you take care of everything. The Undying is still living. And I got my prisoners. I bet that’s the work of Tosin.”
“The people you have now are foot soldiers, nothing more. The others who would have more information escaped. Also, I have no idea what you are talking about. I haven’t seen Tosin in over sixteen years.” She smiled at him. He wasn’t the only one allowed to have secrets.
“Okay, if you say so. Also, wasn’t it you that told me that all information is important. Foot soldiers or not let me worry about that. You should go back to Choice. She might wake up in the middle of the night scared and looking for her mummy.”
“Aren’t you coming to see her? She’s your daughter. If you want to claim her as yours, you should put in the requisite amount of effort.”
The King put down his pipe. “Choice, huh. She looks very much like you and very much…like me.” Sera looked at him calmly, waiting for him to get to the point. “I’ll see her later tomorrow. By that time, she’d have stopped crying. You know I hate seeing crying women. So chop chop. Get to it and comfort our daughter.”
“Frank,” Sera said very clearly and calmly. She wanted him to remember what she was going to say next. “If you ever use me or my children as bait again, I will make sure that the Legume Kingdom becomes known on an international level. As a cautionary tale.” She smiled devilishly. “Isn’t that what you’ve always wanted, Frank. For Legume to be known. ” Frank’s face slightly paled. He knew Sera was very serious about what she had just said. He held the upper hand in this relationship but he knew not to push Sera too much.
“Enjoy your son’s coronation ceremony. He sure is getting older and you…are doing the same. I’m sure you are looking forward to the day your child sits on the throne.”
Certain now that he had gotten the message, Sera turned around to leave. She knew she wouldn’t get anything else from Frank today. She’d have to do her individual research but that was okay. She was already used to getting information people didn’t want her to know.
“By the way Sera,” Frank called, “I’ve decided to send Choice to the countryside to live with my sister. For her protection, you know. Also, she’s old enough to stop playing childish games and start learning how to be a woman. You know I love you my darling but there is something to be said for a woman growing up the traditional way.”
Sera whirled around in indignation. “Your sister! Your sister is…”
“A very respectable, well bred and proper woman. My daughter would definitely benefit from learning from someone who was brought up in such a genteel and cultured manner. Moon knows, I don’t want her to have difficulty making friends with other women due to a boorish behaviour.” Your sister is a monster and I don’t want her anywhere near my daughter. Sera could however feel the futility of trying to argue with Frank on this. Still she would try.
“But she can get all of that. Here. At the royal court.”
“True. But as you reminded me, my oldest son is having a coronation. I wouldn’t want my daughter to feel isolated here as everyone would be focusing on her coronated brothers.”
“Bullshit, you’re just going to send Cedric to a boarding school anyway and then to the military. Also, Choice wants to have a coronation as well so if she gets one she won’t feel isolated.”
“A coronation! For a woman. Hah. I wonder what you’ve put in her head. There’s never being a woman on the Legume throne. This is why I need to send her to my sister so that she learns the values of her society. I need to separate her from you. To stop her from being spoilt by you. If I leave her here, you’ll raise her the wrong way and she won’t know how to function or be a proper woman.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“You know what I mean. Besides,” saying this, he looked slyly at her, “She’ll be safe there. After all, Legume doesn’t need to be known that quickly. We have time as I get older to get known.” Sera looked at him wide eyed. This was the reason that he was separating her from her daughter? This was it?
“You want to play the game but only when you want to. Whenever you lose, you always remember you are the King and slap me right down to earth don’t you.”
“I have no idea what you are talking about, my lovely wife. But Choice will go to my sister’s. That is final. I’ll leave you now to get used to it and to think about how you will tell her. But know this. In three months, she will be living with my sister, where she will learn courtesy, politeness and how to be a woman at court and in wider society. This is an order and a decree.”
As she trembled, Frank kissed her on the cheek then picked up his pipe. She didn’t move until she heard his footsteps walk past her and then heard the doors to the council chambers slam shut. Only after a few moments, when she was certain that no one else was there with her did she break down in tears. Frank, you bastard. I’ll definitely kill you one day.
It was snowing in the capital of Legume. As the snowflakes trickled down, the sound of children laughing and playing could be heard all around the capital. In this joyous atmosphere, there was a place that was markedly silent.
A courtyard with beautiful ornaments should have beautiful people smiling and laughing. However, this courtyard was not an ordinary one. It was the playground of the children of the current King of Legume. Usually, it would be full of laughing, happy children while their mothers sat sometimes at the side looking at the other women with barely concealed disdain.
This would usually be the case but today was not an ordinary day. On this cold, snowing day was the ninth birthday of Cedric Legume, first son of King Frank Legume. This was the day he would be officially retired from childhood and officially become the primary heir of the Kingdom.
Cedric stood in the center of this yard, extensively decorated for his coronation in front of his father who he had only seen three times before in his life. His father looked at him for a few moments before touching him with the ceremonial sword and naming him heir. Later on he would appear in front of the entire court after which he would be sent to a school which would teach him military and governmental matters. He would be remade the perfect heir.
To the side of this event was a young girl of seven years. Her name was Choice and she was the only female child the King had. She had dark hair and dark skin, the darkest of all four children of the king. She looked enviously at Cedric.
“Mama,” she whispered to the dark skinned woman next to her. “When it’s my turn please use silver decorations. I don’t like gold.”
“Choice,” her mother, Queen Sera, replied hesitantly with a strained smile, “I don’t think that’s going to be possible.”
“Why not? Gold decorations look weird. Silver is better. I don’t know why people think gold is better.”
“Darling, gold is considered to be worth more.” Her mother tried to explain the real reason why she had said it was impossible but looking at her daughter’s face she changed her response. “However, I’ll speak to your father about silver.”
“Okay mum,” Choice said, smiling. She felt there was something wrong with what had just happened but she got distracted thinking about the decorations she would have when it was time to be appointed one of the official heirs.
After the coronation, Choice left the palace with her mother accompanied by her bodyguards and some maids. She was a bit sad that her brother was not going to be in the palace anymore but since he’d turned ten, he had stopped playing with her and Seph, her younger brother. Seph’s mother wasn’t hers. He was the child of the second wife, Abigail. To be frank, Seph had stopped playing with her as much as before and Choice didn’t know why. She had wanted to play with Seph after the coronation but his mother had called him to stay with Cedric. So now, she was going to go to Duke Claremont’s house to play with his children.
On the way there, Choice looked out the Kariot to see the children of the capital playing in the snow and throwing ball at one another. She turned to her mother.
“Mama, can I go play in the snow with the others?”
“No,” came the tired reply, “It’s dangerous for you out there. Also it’s cold out there and warm in here. Don’t you want to be with your mum? Don’t talk about going out again”
“Okay mama but…” Choice was replying when suddenly a voice came from above the Kariot.
“Aww, she’s so cute. Why don’t you let her go outside? She really wants to.” Immediately, Sera was on alert.
“Who is that. Guards! There is an intruder here.”
“Oh come on. Royals, you are all just no fun.” Saying that, a blade cut through the roof and a face popped through. Choice looked up the face stunned at the events happening.
“Ah there you are,” the intruder said after seeing her and then smiled. The smile was not a nice one. Choice immediately knew that this person was dangerous.
“Mama,” she cried, frightened.
“It’s okay sweetheart. It’s going to be fine.”
“Oh no,” the intruder interrupted still grinning without abandon, “For you dear child, it’s not going to be fine.” Then he leaped into the Kariot.
‘What the hell are those guards doing?’, the Queen thought.
“If you are wondering about the guards, dear Queen, you really shouldn’t. Worry about yourself first.”
“Oh I am.”
By this time, the Kariot had already stopped. It seemed someone had managed to tamper with the runes that enabled it to move without assistance. Choice could hear the clashing of steel against steel. Outside it seemed was not any better.
Inside the Kariot, the Queen revealed a long staff that appeared from out of nowhere.
“Ah ha. I had heard about you. Sera, the long lived who gave up a life of fame and independence to become a queen of another kingdom. How pitiable.”
“It’s called caring for my nation. I suspect you have no idea what that means. You guys are too bold, causing trouble in the capital of a nation. You deserve punishment.”
“Punishment? Hahaha. You queen are hilarious. Well then. Come. Show me the punishment I deserve.”
“With pleasure,” Sera replied and used her staff to smack him. The intruder blocked and grinned. ‘Pathetic,’ he mouthed. Did she think that that ordinary strike would be enough to block him. He thrust his sword at her but Sera used her staff to redirect his thrust to the roof. As she tried to use the other side of the staff to strike him, he moved back quickly dragging the sword to the roof.
He removed the sword and smirked at her. That was much better. However, in the end he would win and fulfil his purpose. There really was no other outcome to this. Still that didn’t mean she wasn’t going to put up a fight.
Choice watched in surprise as her mother moved the metal staff as if it was another limb. She blocked the thrust of the intruder and replied with a swipe of her own.
A dodge, a swipe, a smack, a parry. Even though Sera’s weapon gave her the advantage of distance, she wasn’t able to prevent the intruder from coming closer to her.
‘I’ve gotten rusty. Also,’ she half turned to look at Choice at the same time using her staff to block of the slash, ‘I can’t stay here long. This Kariot is too crowded.’
Having made a decision, Sera prepared to use her staff to smash open one of the metal walls of the Kariot.
“Choice, when I tell you to run just run and keep on running. Okay?”
“Just do what I tell you. Okay?!”
“Hm. Are the royals planning something? There are always plans upon plans with you guys.”
Sera ignored him and gathered up her energy. She was never good at doing this and was definitely nothing close to using it like the mages. However, it was enough for a brief explosion.
The intruder immediately noticed the build up of aura but he was too late. Sera didn’t need to move to hit a wall with her weapon so she was faster than the assassin. Bang. There was a flash of light and a deafening sound then the wall crumbled.
“Run,” She shouted. At this, Choice immediately jumped down from the vehicle and started running at full speed. Due to this, the assassin was able to land a hit on Sera. While it wasn’t immediately damaging, it wasn’t negligible. It was a gaping cut on her upper arm which was bleeding copious amounts of blood. Sera knew she didn’t have time to wrap it so she used her aura as a makeshift bandage. ‘I have to finish this quickly.’ The intruder tried to chase after Choice but Sera used her staff to hit him on the stomach and send him flying. ‘That should hurt.’
“I’m your opponent. Where’d you think you are going.”
“Ah. I’m sorry. I’ll pay more attention to you. And then I’ll go after you daughter.”
“Talk after you get past me.”
Choice ran as fast as she could. Just as her mother told her. She ran even when she saw people up ahead fighting. Even when she saw the bodies of her guards falling down. Of Linz who’d given her a sweet the day before. Of Tina, one of her favourite carers who was always ready to tell her a tale before bed. So many people fell beside her. But Choice didn’t stop.
Choice had no idea where she was going except that it was away. Away from her mother. Away from the chaos and the bodies and the dead friends. And the knowledge that somehow this was her fault. Sometime during this fleeing, her sandals and clothes got stained with blood. The capital was a river of blood as if the heavens had decided to send plasma to fertilise their crops instead of water.
There was a reasons while magicians were feared wherever they went. Their mystical abilities could and often did cause chaos but there hadn’t been an incident in many years and people had begun to forget how horrific it could be when magic was unleashed maliciously. After that day, the kingdom of Legume would never forget again.
So Choice ran ignoring all the fallen bodies and dead people littered on the ground. She kept on running because she knew she wasn’t safe. She could hear people running after her. Choice ran as fast as she could but she knew that sooner or later. Still she didn’t know what else to do but what her mother said. Slowly her pursuers closed in on her and one almost grabbed her. It was a matter of time before she got caught and then everything would have been for nothing.
Suddenly, someone jumped in front of her. Choice stumbled and fell down after almost hitting this person. She looked up and saw a masked person dressed in dark blue with a rope circling their shoulder. Choice wanted to back away from this person but remembered that there were people chasing her. Then, she started to cry. She cried for her mother and for Tina and for all the dead people and for herself because she had run fast, real fast and she still was going to get caught.
“Ugh, I hate crying kids,” The masked person muttered. “Kid, stop crying. It’s going to be okay.” Perhaps this person was trying to be kind but it didn’t stop Choice from crying. When Choice cried it was like a faucet that had being plugged up for too long and had finally being allowed to flow. It was not okay. It wasn’t going to be okay because her mother had told her to run and she had run but she was still caught and not her mama was going to die.
“Agh. Okay I’ll deal with the pests approaching first. I better get paid well for this.”
Choice would never forget what happened next for the rest of her life. The figure carried her and put her in a container next to them. “Don’t come out until I finish cleaning up.”
This figure turned to the four people approaching and looked imperiously at them.
“Three people against one child is definitely unfair, don’t you think?”
“We have no quarrel with you. Just give us the child and save yourself a lot of trouble,” a muscular tall man yelled.
“I don’t think so. I don’t like doing what other people tell me to do. In fact not only will I not give you the child. I’ll also defeat you guys and you’ll tell me why you have the courage to make trouble in a capital city. So you should probably just give up before I take action”
“You. You think you can actually prevent our mission. We were just being polite. We aren’t asking you. We are telling.” Saying this the four people began to approach Choice and this mysterious fellow that had decided to protect her.
“Hah,” the fellow sighed, “Some people just don’t know how to respond to other people good natured request.” After saying this, the stranger uncrossed both hands and whispered something.
Choice shivered after this and felt cold. It seemed that something had happened that she couldn’t explain.
The attackers laughed at this action. “You want to bluff being a mage,” a woman said, “There are no mages in this rural kingdom.”
And then everyone felt it. Wind. A very heavy wind that had definitely not being there before. The stranger inclined their head and smirked then thrust their hand out.
“Shit,” screamed the aforementioned woman, “That’s magic. Scatter.” All the members of the group moved out of the path of the wind that the figure had just thrown at them and immediately switched their weapons. From this it was obvious that they knew how to fight magic users.
“So you have magic,” the woman continued conversationally. “But you’re not the first one one of those we’ve fought.” Immediately after she’d finished speaking dozens of arrows came from another one of her teammates. It seemed his weapon allowed him to shoot many arrows at the same time.
Choice flinched but the image of the figure being skewered by the arrows did not happen as expected. Instead, they’d caught all the arrows in the air with a smile and then returned the arrows back to sender. The attackers watched stunned at this event apart from one of them who jumped in front of the arrows with a sizeable shield. She was able to block most of the arrows but got hit with some of them and hissed in pain.
The woman who had been speaking earlier looked at her teammate and knew she wouldn’t be of help anymore. She looked at the person who had caused the injury and shook. That was a mage only mages could control elements that easily. They needed to leave immediately. None of them was a match for a mage. She looked at the burly man who nodded and threw a herb on the ground.
Instantly smoke filled the air and Choice heard the sound of feet moving quickly. It seemed that they were running away. Choice felt relieved that it was over although her protector didn’t feel the same way.
“Oh hell no. I didn’t come all the way and waste mana all for nothing.” Saying this, they waved their hands and cleared the smoke. Choice could see the four attackers running as fast as they could. When they noticed that the smoke has been cleared, they started throwing projectiles backwards to prevent the figure from catching up with them. It was all for naught though as the figure deflected all the projectiles to the side.
One of them however, ended up piercing Choice’s cheek and she screamed in agony. Choice had never really being hurt at all as she was the King’s only daughter and thus presumed to be his favourite so everyone in her life had being very careful and gentle with her. The figure turned and held her arms looking at her with worry. T
“Shit. Okay no time for games.” They said and gesturing with one hand, used the wind to bring back the people who had tried to escape. However, they were distracted with dealing with the knife in her face and so couldn’t deal with all of them. The burly man and the talking woman were able to escape. The figure clearly wanted to rise up and catch them but had to settle for getting two of them as they were dealing with her.
“Hang on Choice, help is on the way,” the figure said and removed her mask. Green eyes. Dark hair. Clearly a woman by the shape of the face. “Look at me,” she said, “ It’s going to be fine okay. It’s going to be fine.”
“I’m feeling sleepy,” Choice said and her eyes began to close. As her eyes began to droop, she saw her mother running to her. She had a lot of injuries but she was alive. Ah mama is okay. She’s okay. As she drifted off she saw green eyes and heard a voice telling her to stay awake. She felt really sleepy though and dropped off.
“That man is suspicious,” Karma Ianshee said to her companion. She had invited Aru Lell to come to the festival in an attempt to understand her fellow bride better and improve their relationship. She had been regretting it as Aru was the type of person to become easily distracted.
Seems to be an issue of her race, Karma thought as the dog beast race was known to be quite excitable. Thought she’d be less like them as she’s a half-breed. She had been ready to throw in the towel at her companion’s constant enthusiasm at every event going on in this festival. Aru had dragged her around the entire market and had persuaded her to try some unusual food. One of which tasted like old socks and made her feel like throwing up.
She had been preparing herself to knock Aru unconscious and drag her home when she had heard the someone saying a story. Her story. Or at least a heavily edited version of it. Still, regardless of the imaginations of the storyteller (the man had waxed poetic about the ‘encounters’ Jakci had with his brides, even getting their meeting wrong in the process), he had got the key details correct.
There was a time when the ArchDemon, Abaddon, was summoned to the human realm. The summoner thought that Abaddon was an ordinary demon and intended to use him to take control. However Abaddon was very cunning and pretended he was an ordinary demon so that his summoner would not destroy their contract. If he knew he was an ArchDemon, he would never let him remain upon our world as an ArchDemon’s power will grow until naturally they will overtake the power of the contract used to summon them and overcome their summoner.
Abaddon knew that if his summoner knew he was a demon lord, he would return him back to the realm he came from and only call him when he was needed. So he pretended to be an ordinary demon, he obeyed all instructions asked of him until the when the time was right. Then he struck and overcame his summoner.
The places where the summoner had been trying to take control over became hell. His summoner was a person who kept the people there in subjugation but at least it was still possible for people to survive. When Abaddon took over, he decimated the population of people there. Dismissive of humans, he killed a countless number of them. Men, women and children turned to ash. Those who did not turn to ash were used as sacrifices to connect the demon realm to this world for Abaddon was planning on bringing his demons over here. Those that were not sacrificed would become food and nourishment to demons who enjoyed the taste of human flesh. Then there were others, usually the most powerful humans around, who took the offer that Abaddon had given them and became demons. Rusé, the man who defeated a 1000 monsters; Caril, the maiden who saved a country of 15000 of a terrifying disease with her magic; even Chidleld one of the candidates for the position of ‘Son of Light’ who had prevented Caleb, the aforementioned summoner, from taking over his country. These people amongst others gave up their human nature and became demons joining in the eating of flesh and other abominations that the demons did.
Luckily for humanity who were not aware that this tragedy had happened, some people were able to survive this slaughter. They knew that they were not able to defeat this fiend and so they ran to other nations to inform them of the calamity that had befallen the human race. Then they died.
The miasma that was present in the demon lands was dangerous and even fatal to humans. These people, the last members of a class A adventurer group, had managed to endure the pain and torture they were going through before managing to pass on the message. Their bodies dried up of all moisture and they crumbled into dust screaming as they did so.
The remaining human nation gathered as many warriors, magicians, mercenaries and adventurers as well as ordinary soldiers hoping to defeat the demon army before it became too strong and wiped out all of humanity. Unfortunately they were either too weak or the demons were too strong and they were not able to defeat them. The fighting called ” The War of the SHarpe Valleys” would continue for 3 years and is one of the most famous war in the world where humanity put aside all their issues to defeat the enemy that was trying to exterminated them. So many heroes were born and killed in this war and the blood of humans and demons overflowed in The SHarpe Valleys where the border between both armies were and where most of the war was fought.
The human army was unable to completely wipe out the demon army and vice-versa, so this war is often marked by the lack of progress achieved. We were not able to push them back but they were not able to move forward.
However, all was not well. Abaddon was still summoning demons and the overall level of strength of the demon army was rising. On the other hand, while we had our heroes, we did not have an endless supply of them and any one that knew anything about the war knew that we would eventually lose if we could not kill Abaddon and close the portals.
It would have been so much easier to accomplish this task if the various races and inhabitants of this land all came together to fight. But make no mistake, regardless of what anyone tells you, this was a largely human war. We fought, bled and died in this war without the helped by any other race. They ignored all pleas for help and went into hiding, their magicians trying to find a way to create an alternate dimension with their preferred surroundings, environment and atmosphere. After all, it was a human that was the reason for this war and we humans had been a pain in the neck for them. They would not have even joined the war if not for the fact that Karma Ianshee, one of the brides of the hero, had not performed a ritual that prevented all dimensional magic from being done for 3 minutes on that day.
Anyway, we tried all sorts of way to increase the strength of our army but regardless of what we did, they were getting stronger, faster. It all came to an end on the 10th day of the 9th month of the 1032nd year of heroes. For the first time, the demon army was able to push us back considerably and after that we continuously kept losing the war. Following that, so many heroes and people turned traitor, hoping to become demons and at least survive. Of course, it was impossible for them to be anything but meat. Abaddon would never tolerate weaklings and found them disgusting. The unity of the human race was disintegrating and we knew we were going to die. It was during this month that we got some of the best works of art describing human nature: its weaknesses, strengths, feebleness amongst others. We were losing hope and falling to despair.
And then hope was revived. A man appeared. Well a boy, a 19 year old called Jakci the Wolfhowler to be specific. And it sounds incredible but he saved us. Him and his brides- his female romantic partners who were companions in the same party with him. They were able to convince the other races to fight and for two weeks they searched for Abaddon’s weakness. They sneaked to his lair and when they came out the war was over. It took 6 young ones a month to do what the rest of humanity was not able to do for 3 years.
No one is actually aware of what happened in Abaddon’s lair and none of our young heroes are willing to speak with anyone else about it. Coupled with the fact that they are clearly powerful and unfortunately (or fortunately depending on who is speaking) independent from any nation, no one is willing to risk their ire to inquire about the truth. All we know is that we were saved but tired and we had to rebuild our homes as well as defend ourselves from the occasional remnant demon.
They are our heroes and we will remain eternally grateful to them for bringing support to help and for saving us.
‘Argh, who turned on the lights’ was the first thing I thought when I woke up. Maybe someone else would find this thought amusing since only the curtains were open but I was a person that hated leaving the lights on or opening the curtains in my room. It was only after severe scolding from my mum that I stopped closing the curtains in other rooms in the house, now I only limited it to my room. Still, everyone in the house knew this so why would someone open my curtains.
“Hey, are you finally awake,” someone said.
I couldn’t see clearly so I sat up, rubbed my eyes and then picked up my glasses by my bedside. I blinked twice and focused on my sister, Natalie, whose hand was on the wall switch.
“What do you think you are doing?” I asked angrily.
“I wanted to wake you up,” she replied.
I glared at her and stood up muttering, “You could have just called my name if you wanted to wake me up, you sadist.”
“Huh, did you say something,”
“No, I didn’t,” I replied quickly. Regardless of my feelings for my sister, Natalie really is a witch. I don’t want to see sand in my food so I try hard not to annoy Natalie.
Chapter 107 – Wrath of the Heroes Again
This chapter was sponsored by William Wang, Melbourne Anderson, Nutthasij Klewpatinontha and Joakim Dreier! Thanks!
TL: Quite a bit of work today so gonna try to post 2 ZL chaps only today…
With a slash, I slice apart the body of the Vine Monster, removing the last sliver of his health. Along with 10 silver coins, it drops an Illustration of the Vine Monster that had 4.5 stars in endurance and 3.5 in attack, quite normal stats. Let’s just leave it there; there’s probably no Level 1 Vine Monsters here and also, that kind of stat growth doesn’t interest me at all.
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