|Road to Albion
Author: BigD1987 PM
Two swordsman, one serious and one not, try to team up as mercenaries, the keyword here being 'try'. It's not going to be easy.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Humor - Chapters: 2 - Words: 7,152 - Reviews: 2 - Updated: 10-11-12 - Published: 07-13-11 - id: 2932516
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
All ye gather 'round and listen to the Bard tell his tale. I tell tales of sorcery, swordsmen, wizards and elves; of Faeries, dwarves, trolls and fomorians. I tell of circles and rings, dragons and kings, weaving a charm and a spell. I tell of fantastic settings, a Dark Lord, a battle for freedom, and an unexpected romance. I shall tell you the story of two swordsmen from different lands that become great allies and friends and their adventures in this magical world; a world just like what I described. It is a world of fantasy and magic. It is a world that is like ours but at the same time so much different. This is a parallel world, filled with this amazing wonder. A world called—
Wait a minute, I've heard of this before! You're just ripping of J.R.R. Tolkien, aren't you?
Will you just shut up? Yes, I like him too, but this has nothing to do with it. All right then, if that's the case, fine. The first swordsman is a wisecracker while the other one is not. The world is called Gaea. The area is the Western land of the Great Continent known as Eura. In days long, most of the continent was ruled by a mighty Empire. The empire fell 1,500 years before the story. Now just sit back, relax, and shut up, I'm telling the story. It all begins with a fateful sword battle…
It was hard to tell where exactly he was, what with all the trees in this forest. He couldn't tell whether he was in Albion, Alaman or Gallic land, but one thing was for sure; this was once dense forest. He had to keep an eye out for any trolls that might be in this forest. Of course, he had heard that trolls in this part of the world lived in caves in the Grand Mountains, so he wasn't sure.
And from what he heard, dragons lived no where near this area. He did, however, suspect that Elves or Fair Folk lived in these areas, so they might be of help; the elves, that is. Fair Folk were notorious for their trickery, so he had to keep an eye out for them. Luckily he had his swords with him just in case.
Not only did he have to worry about creatures, he had to worry about human assailants. Bandits could easily hide in this forest and attack any unsuspecting traveler like him. Since he was carrying little, he felt he could find his way through without trouble. But since his armor might be an attraction, he still had to be on his guard.
His eyes shifted from side to side and he kept his hands ready to move if there was any sign of danger. There was the occasional rustling of leaves, but they were simply birds or some other creature. He stepped over a fallen tree, one which seemed to have fallen from natural means.
For this young man, it was a mission to get to his destination. But the destination was only known to him. He scanned the sky, as if he was searching for something. Well, looking out for any large bird or creature would be understandable. He had heard of some large creatures in this part of the world so he didn't want to be carried off to some gods-forsaken land to be eaten.
But he had to keep his focus on the road ahead. It was a slight dirt path that trekked its way through the forest. How this path had been made intrigued him and he thought that the peoples who lived here before must have done a good job on it. There was not a cloud in sky, which seemed to be indicative of this area during the summer. He felt it, too. He was sweating underneath his armor but he knew he could withstand the heat. He still had some water and he was in a forest where it was pretty cool and moist.
He continued walking as he took a sip of his canteen. It was full, as he had filled it some time earlier in a spring cleansed by Elfin magic. Knowing where those are can be the difference between life and death. Plus he also had some materials to purify the water if he suspected it to be dirty. He carried the rest of his supplies on his back.
He wiped his brow, brushing some of his orange hair out of his red eyes. But this young man was neither Albion, Alemanic or Gallic. He was Yamadae , as evidenced by his samurai armor and facial features. The Yamadae are a people on the eastern end of the Great Continent, in the area known as Orientia. What he was doing on the Western edge of the Great Continent was his business and his alone. His armor, made of bamboo did not glint in the sun like the chain mail of the Vikes.
He sat down on a rock so he could get some rest. It was mid-day, as he could tell just by looking up at the sky and seeing the sun. He took another sip of his canteen and took out his map. "Where am I?" He asked as he checked over his map. He knew he had to be in the region of Eura. This kind of forest is no where near the Yamadae kingdoms. But he had been in this forest for what had felt like an eternity after he entered 2 days ago.
His name was Kazuma, and he was the son of the powerful Musashi clan in the Yamadae Western kingdom of Edo. He was on a mission from the Edo kingdom to find new allies for Edo. There was no threat of war with the Eastern kingdom, Nara.
But right now Kazuma had other problems on his hands. He was low on gold pieces and he was lost in this forest. He had to find a way out or he could possibly die here. Of course, he thought he might as well remove his armor, since it was stifling him. It left him in his hakama and light blue kimono top. His white hakama had its leggings and armor still on it and kept his hand guards on. He picked up his katana and waishiki and set off with his armor on his back. Of course, this might have been a bad idea as well, since it was pretty heavy.
He trudged along, hoping to find the road he located on the map that seemed to lead out of this forest and into Cymru, an Albion kingdom. He figured he could start there. But then again, he should not have left the caravan in Siegfried territory. In hindsight, it was a bad idea.
The road soon came to a fork and Kazuma saw that he needed to take a right on the road, which would lead to the North and to Cymru. His trip felt over. All he needed to do was to stay on this path and to stay alive for however long it would take. He should have gotten a horse or something like that.
He continued on for another hour as the sun began to set into the Western sky. The sun was to his left, so he could tell he was headed north on this trail. The map must have been right. As he moved along, he came across a clearing not too far from him. It was a perfect place to check his bearings and take a rest, possibly even for the night. He could hunt with his sword, but he could also make a spear with a stick to hunt some game.
Kazuma laid his equipment down in the clearing. It felt good, and he did a few exercises to revitalize his back, which felt terrible. In Edo, he would not have to deal with things this badly. But he was not in Edo, so that didn't matter right now. All he needed to think about was resting.
Suddenly, he heard a rustling sound. With his quick reflexes, he reached for his katana. His senses were alert as he scanned the area and listened for anything. The rustling got louder and he prepared himself. His right hand waited at the left side of his waist, waiting for his opponent.
Soon, the rustling got closer and he readied himself for his attacker. That's when he stepped forward. Kazuma perked up in surprise, as he was not expecting what was standing in front of him.
Before him stood a young man about his age, close to 20 years old. His brown hair, which was longer than Kazuma's but not by much was the defining feature on his head. But it was what he was wearing that surprised him. Instead of the dress of the Cymri, he wore a sash and skirt. His tunic was yellow, and it looked dirty. At his waist was a small sword belt but he could also see another sword strapped to him. From the look on his fair-skinned face, he was just as surprised as Kazuma.
"Are you of the Kaltoi ?" Kazuma asked, just to be sure. His visitor seemed to be surprised that he spoke the same tongue as him.
"Yes," he replied. "I am of the Eriu." Kazuma was unsure of what that meant. He though for a minute, trying to think of the Eriu, but he couldn't tell. "I'm of the Hiberni!" The visitor said. Kazuma was fully surprised now.
"You're Hibernian?" He asked. "What are you doing here? I thought you lived to the north?"
"I was just about to ask you the same question," the Eriu man said. "You're clearly not from around here, are you?"
"I am a Yamadae swordsman on a diplomatic mission," Kazuma replied. "Where am I?"
"If you're looking for Cymru, you're nowhere near it," The Eriu swordsman replied. "You're in the Union Republic ."
Kazuma's jaw dropped. "Union?" He asked with shock on his voice. "How did I get here?"
"That's what I was going to ask you!" The Eriu swordsman replied. "How did you get here?"
"I must have gotten lost," Kazuma replied. "This forest is incredibly thick."
"I have heard there may be portals in this forest," the Eriu swordsman replied. "If that's true, then you may have stumbled into one. But that's not the point! Since I see you have a sword, why don't you test your skills against mine?" Reached behind his back and grabbed the hilt of the sword. Kazuma groaned.
"Can we not?" Kazuma asked. "I just want to get out of here!"
"Look, I won't kill you, I'll just find out how good you are," the Eriu swordsman replied as he removed the sword from his back. Kazuma's eyes widened as he got a look at the massive sword he was carrying. It wasn't gigantic, but it did seem about close to be about the height of Kazuma's neck. But then again, he started snickering.
"Are you compensating for something with that massive sword?" He asked. His opponent glared at him.
"Hey, shut up!" He snapped back. Kazuma stifled a laugh. "It's a claidheamh mor, just claymore. Anyway, let me introduce myself. My name is Seamus mac Carthaigh."
"I am Kazuma of the Musashi clan," Kazuma replied. Seamus readied himself, as did Kazuma.
"Here I come!" Seamus shouted. Suddenly, he charged at Kazuma, screaming at the tops of his lungs. Kazuma readied his right hand, ready to strike. Seamus got close, swinging his sword down at Kazuma. Kazuma jumped out of the way just as Seamus's claymore missed him and hit the dirt. Kazuma's eyebrow rose in fascination; the blade had made a dent in the dirt of the clearing. Seamus struggled to lift the sword up. Although it wasn't massive, it was clearly heavy and it pretty much went all the way up to his neck.
"Is carrying a large sword like that a good idea?" Kazuma asked. Seamus wasn't too happy about his question and brought his sword back up.
"You should see what kind of damage it does!" He replied as he prepared to swing. He swung the claymore at Kazuma, but Kazuma ducked underneath the sword's blade. Then Seamus brought his sword up and swung it down at Kazuma. But Kazuma, in a quick move, drew his katana and parried Seamus's strike.
"I can't wait," Kazuma said, smirking. Seamus again took a big cut at Kazuma, but the samurai blocked the attack. Then Kazuma went on the offensive, taking some simple cuts at Seamus but they were enough to put him on the defensive, trying to block Kazuma's attacks with his heavy sword. Eventually, Kazuma knocked Seamus back, forcing him to regroup. "You see, that's the problem with a blade like that," Kazuma said, putting his sword on his shoulder. "You can't control it that easily."
At that point, Seamus took a mighty cut, which Kazuma expertly dodged. But the sword kept going and ended up hitting a tree. But then Kazuma had to laugh when he saw what had happened next: Seamus's sword had lodged itself into the bark of the tree. Kazuma stifled his laughter as Seamus struggled to free the blade. "You see what happens when you have a heavy blade?" Kazuma said, mocking him. Seamus glared at the samurai before letting go of the sword and reaching for his belt.
Suddenly, the swordsman had grabbed something from his belt and took a big backhanded cut at Kazuma, forcing the samurai to dodge quickly. It turned out the Eiru swordsman had drawn a short sword from his belt. The sword was just over 3 ½ feet long, counting the hilt, which was the Kaltoi style human-shaped. The blade itself was 2 feet. Kazuma meanwhile, brought his 4 foot long katana and prepared to strike. "I should have expected that," he said.
"Obviously," Seamus replied. Suddenly, Seamus stabbed at Kazuma, forcing the samurai to dodge him. Seamus continued his aggressive assault, until Kazuma parried an attack. Then he went on the offensive, taking a big cut at Seamus, and unleashing his skill on Seamus. The Eriu swordsman was forced to back up before blocking a downward swing from Kazuma's katana. Kazuma continued to press down on Seamus's sword and he got in a power stance to try and stop the blade. Then, with a great chance, he swung the sword off and went back on the attack, swiping at Kazuma several times.
The fight turned into a full-fledged swordfight. The sounds of clanging metal filled the forest, which was probably the only non-creature sound in the area. A pair of elves heard the fight, but preferred to stay out of it. It must have been a pair of humans who were getting into a fight.
Meanwhile, the two continued their fight. Their blades locked for a moment. Kazuma suspected that his use of a two-handed blade gave him the advantage, but mac Kells' use of his short sword was impressive. Mac Carthaigh thrust the blade at Kazuma, but the Eiru swordsman missed. And then he fell to the ground. Kazuma laughed at his opponent. "You don't seem to have very good combat skills, even though the Kaltoi are renowned warriors. Now if you will allow, I have to find my way to Cymru."
"Why?" Mac Carthaigh asked.
"It's a diplomatic mission," he said. "Princess Sakura of the Nadeshiko clan sent me to help us gain vital allies."
"Princess?" Seamus asked. "Why do you need a Princess?" Kazuma stepped on his back and kept him down.
"That's not the point," he said. "And why are you wearing a skirt?"
"It's a kilt!" Seamus shouted.
"Look, I need to get to Cymru," said Kazuma. "But since that's an ocean away from here, I suppose I need some help. If you stop trying to kill me and agree to help, I will spare your life."
"I'm not going to agree to that!" said Seamus. "You gotta understand, no one's going to take up an offer if they're being threatened!"
"Very well then," said Kazuma. "If you decide to help me, then you will be rewarded… handsomely." That got Seamus's attention.
"Yes," said Kazuma. "Princess Sakura comes from a very powerful and very rich clan." He could see Seamus becoming eager.
"Alright, I'll do it," he said. Kazuma smiled and took his foot off Seamus's back. "I'll see if I can get ya to the nearest port. They should have ships to Eura and Albion."
"Thank you," said Kazuma. He extended his hand and shook hands with Seamus.
Seamus could not get his claymore free from the tree trunk. It had been embedded in the bark so deep that freeing it was impossible. Kazuma stifled a laugh while Seamus glared at him. After that little incident, the two set off for the nearest port.
Kazuma marveled at the Union forest. He had seen forest like this in the Yamadae territory, but they were nothing like this. The pristine wilderness was nothing like the forests in Yamadae territory. The creatures were also very unfamiliar. He was amazed at the beasts that appeared. Seamus, however, was unimpressed. "What is that?" Kazuma asked, pointing at a strange-looking bird.
"It's a turkey," said Seamus.
"They're dumb birds that you eat," said Seamus. "If you want, I could kill it and we could eat it!"
"No thank you," Kazuma replied. He looked kind of sick.
It took them most of the day to traverse the forest. And it made Kazuma wonder if Seamus even knew where he was going. But Seamus kept insisting he knew where he was going and Kazuma had to shut the frak up.
That night, Kazuma was a little more nervous than he was in the day. Union's forests were kind of creepy at night. Not even Yamadae forests were this scary. Seamus just stoked the fire they had made and didn't really say much. Kazuma flinched when he heard a strange noise. "It's just an owl," said Seamus. "Aren't you going to eat your turkey?"
"I'm not hungry," said Kazuma.
"Oh well," Seamus said, taking a bite out of turkey leg. "So how did you get into Union anyway?"
"Don't you think I would have figured it out by now?" Kazuma shot back.
"Good point," said Seamus. "Shouldn't you have taken a ship to…"
"Cymru," Kazuma replied. "Now that you mentioned it, I should have. These warp zones—"
"Warp zone? Wait, you said you didn't know how you got here, now you're telling me you know how?"
"I still don't know!" Kazuma shot back. "I must have taken the wrong warp."
"YOU'RE NOT MAKING ANY SENSE!" Kazuma put his palm on his face.
"Very well then," he said. "A warp zone is an area where a person can be transported to a distant location instantly. I was instructed to take a warp zone to Cymru. I must have taken the wrong one."
"I'd say so!" said Seamus. "Besides, you said you were in a caravan in Siegfried territory. Now you're changing your story!"
"I initially lied."
"You…" Seamus could barely speak he was so angry. "GAAAH, FRAK!" Kazuma watched the swordsman thrash about, disturbing some of the wildlife. "Why didn't you frakkin' tell me?"
"Can't trust everyone I meet," said Kazuma.
"You… suck!" said Seamus.
"Don't say that," said Kazuma. "This is a fantasy, not a Gangsta movie."
"Whatever," said Seamus.
"However, since I don't have much of a choice, I will trust you. And remember, if you do try and kill me, I have fast blade moves. You'll be dead before you hit the ground."
"That's re-assuring," said Seamus. "Alright, let's get to bed, I'm tired."
"Alright," said Kazuma as he went to his sleeping bag. Seamus put out the fire and returned to his sleeping bag. The two went to sleep easily.
:-:-:-:Road To Albion:-:-:-:
 The Yamadae are the counterpart culture of the Japanese in this world. The Albions are British, Alemans are German and Gauls are French. The Vikes are well, Vikings.
 The Kaltoi are Celts. The Hiberni are Irish. The Albions are also Kaltic.
 Union Republic is the counterpart of the United States. Only in this world, they're pretty small and not very powerful.
Yes, I know the names seem unoriginal and kind of pathetic, they're all really meant to resemble their real-world counterparts. Of course, I recognize this could lead to some inconsistencies, so I'll make it so that they're using variations of their Greek/Roman/Latin names. Since I can't really make up my own languages, I'm sticking with these names. Besides, the names are not the focus. And no, this is not Eurocentric. The Eura are nowhere near the technological advancement of the Xing. Besides, this is meant as a parody of high fantasy in general and homage to the Road To series starring Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.