Hey there! Thanks for stopping by to read this! I wanted to create something original and since I've always been a fantasy fan, I came up with this. With this story I've tried to combain action/adventure with a lot of other genre, like drama, humor, some romance later on. You'll also be able to sense some manga influence in this, I guess.
I hope you'll give this story a chance and give me your opinion once you're done reading... it'd mean a lot.
Before I start, I just want to say 'sorry' for all the grammar mistakes... I make them quite a lot, but you still shouldn't have problems in understanding what's going on...
Now, without further to do:
Chapter #1: The Story Begins
This is the story that happened a long time ago in the world of Azelot, very similar to ours. This was the world in which magic and nature were the ultimate powers and humans were just one of many races that lived in it.
This is a story about dragons, magic and peoples dreams. The story that I thought as a one that must be told, because to some of you it might be a valuable lesson.
Ours story begins in a small town of Cedros, small village located on the west coast of Brandewon, in a local tavern called 'The Sleeping Bull'. The tavern itself isn't anything special: inside there were just few wooden tables and chairs. By the smell you could easily tell that most of the guests came here to drink. Under the ceiling you could see a lot of smoke. It was a little bit darker then outside and more crowded.
"This is just great" thought Kara and came into the tavern.
As soon as she entered it, all the people started to stare at her. Well, I guess you could expect that since she was the youngest person inside (and probably the cleanest one). Her long, dark hair waved when she was walking through the room and her brown eyes were looking from right to left. Kara had a really bad feeling about this place. But whether she liked it or not, she had to buy some food and water for the next part of her journey.
Kara approached to the bartender and asked for some warm meal and a glass of water. After that she settled down next to the table as close to the exit as it was possible. Most of the people have already stopped looking at her, but few kept staring and it really started to work on Kara's nerves. Besides, even though the staring stopped a little, the place gotten noisy and that was even worse! Finally her order arrived at her table.
Kara started eating and didn't even notice that the noise disappeared. It gotten quiet as in the grave. Only after a few moments she realized that all the noise has vanished. When she raised her head up, she saw a group of five, armed man that walked into the tavern. The guy that seemed as a leader of the group was quite big. He had a short, black hair and a huge scar on his left cheek. But what really draw Kara's attention was his sword as long as his owner.
The guy looked around for a while before he noticed Kara. Right after that he came closer to her. Kara tried not to pay attention to him, but it's pretty hard to do that when someone stares at you. Without asking, the group leader sat next to her and tried to encircle her but Kara moved aside just in time to avoid that.
"Don't be so cold-hearted" said the giant. "The best warrior in this region deserves a little better treatment, don't you think?" and then he smiled, reviling his yellow teeth.
"Just because you say that you're the best warrior in these parts doesn't make you one" Kara responded. "From my own experience I know that warriors that are truly great, don't talk big about themselves..."
"Everyone here will admit, that there's no better warrior then me around here!" yelled the band leader. Kara's doubts had to put him out of his patience. "No-one would even dare to face me, since I killed a dragon all by myself!"
Everyone looked at Kara's direction. She could easily see fear in their eyes. They were afraid of that guy. So afraid that no-one even dared to make a sound. No-one, except a young boy with blonde, a little messy hair and red eyes. He wore a black dress, metal protectors on his hands and had a strange sword located on his back.
That boy was actually laughing.
"What's so funny, kid?" asked the group leader. "Did I said something funny?"
"Actually yes" the boy responded. "I didn't meant to insult you, but that part about you killing the dragon on your own cracked me up."
"Oh really? You don't believe me?"
"No offence, but I doubt that you could defeat me on your own and dragons are much more powerful then I..."
"You're pretty confident in your abilities, brat" said the giant. "Maybe I should test your skills? What'll say to that?"
"I see no point in fighting you" the boy answered. "But if you insist, I'll face you."
"Of course I insist!" yelled the band leader. "I won't let anyone doubt Marco's greatness!"
The boy just sighed, stood up and walked outside right after scar-face did. It didn't took long for everybody to follow them. Few moments after, almost the whole village was observing the two warrior standing in front of each other.
"Draw your sword and lets do this!" yelled Marco, while grabbing his gigantic blade.
You could easily tell that a typical human wouldn't even be able to lift such a sword, while the scar-face guy was holding it with just one hand. That gave Kara the shivers. Then she turned her eye to the blonde boy, but he wasn't even going for his blade.
"What now, boy?" asked Marco. "You're too scared to move?"
"No" the boy responded. "I just don't see the need to draw my sword to defeat someone as weak as you."
That really pissed Marco off. Without a moment of hesitation he set off and aimed his blade into the boys heart. His opponent dodged the attack in the last moment. But it seemed that he underestimated his rival. Without stopping, scar-face turned around and attack again, this time with the intend to cut the boy head. There was no time to dodge, so the boy blocked that attack with his hand. Just barely, but the hand protector hold.
Marco instantly sprang back and attacked again. This time he was aiming at the boys head. Blonde hair bend back just in time but scar-face decided to change his tactic and attacked the boy with his fist this time. But blonde hair spotted it soon enough to grab his opponents hand and toss him to the side.
Marco was slowly getting up on his feet again. He didn't thought that a brat like that could give him so much trouble. He turned around. The blonde kid just stood there, waiting for him to attack.
"That cursed brat" thought Marco. "He's making me look bad in front of the whole village!"
He exchange glances with his men. They knew what he wanted.
Marco tighten the grip on his sword and attacked the boy again, but no matter how many time he swing his blade, the blonde kid was always able to dodge his attacks. After another attack, his opponent decided to strike back and hit him directly in the stomach.
Marco's sword slipped from his hands. He made a few steps back, felt on his knees and grabbed his stomach.
At the very same moment, Marco's men decided to join the fight. All five of them picked up their swords and charged on the boy. Blonde kid just raised his hand and suddenly flames appeared in his palm. In the fraction of a second a powerful, fire pillar wipeout all of Marco's men.
"What?" Kara was shocked. "A fire blow without any incantations? Who is that guy?"
The boy approached to Marco and put him back on him feet.
"That's why I don't believe you killed a dragon all by yourself" said the boy. "I could just kill you, but I'll let you live with the shame you brought on yourself. Now everybody knows that you're nothing more then just a braggart. No-one will fear you anymore. Now, get out of my sight before I'll change my mind..."
Scar-face looked at the boys face and ran off. He didn't even turned around. He was finished.
The blonde kid returned to the tavern, paid for his drink and rented a room for the night.
Kara approached to the wooden doors. Doors that lead to the blonde boy's room.
She was still thinking about what she saw few hours ago. A mysterious kid, who controlled fire. Kara was positive that he wasn't a sorcerer, because she knew magic can only be released with the use of the right incantations and that boy didn't use any. So how did he do it?
Kara knocked on the door a few times, but there was no answer. She decided to try again, but before her hand even touched the door, they opened, as it seemed, all by themselves.
"Hello?" Kara walked slowly into the room, looking around, when all of a sudden she felt a blade on her throat.
"Who the hell are you?" she heard a voice.
"I just came here to talk" she responded. "I saw what you did today to that scar-face guy."
The blade started slowly to withdraw from her neck. It was safe now, but she got a little too scared to look back. The blonde kid, which she came here to talk to, passed her from behind and looked into her eyes. After a moment of hesitation, he decided to put away his sword.
"So what is it, that you wanted to talk to me about?" he asked.
"As I said" Kara slowly started to get her confidence back. "I saw what you did today. You got great fighting skills and I could use your help in my mission."
"Mission? What kind of mission? And why do you think that you could use my help?"
"I don't know too much about my mission actually" Kara responded. "Right now, I just know that I need to get to Cromwell. The city has some troubles, which I may be able to resolve..."
"A mission you don't know anything about? That sounds a little…"
"I know how that sounds" Kara interrupted him. "But I didn't have that much of a choice. So will you help?"
"I just meet you and already you wish me to go with you on some sort of a mission, that even you don't know what it's about? I don't even know your name. You're asking me for a really, really big favor..."
"It's Kara. And I know, but you look like an adventure hunter. Someone like you should be happy to hear such an offer."
"I'm not an adventure hunter" the boy respond. "I'm a mercenary..."
"That's even better" announced Kara. "In that case, I want to hire you!"
"Hire me?" the blonde kid seemed a little surprised. "Okay, five hundred gold pieces and my skills are yours..."
"Five hundred!? Are you insane?! Who would be able to pay you that much?! Can't you at least split it on half now, half after the job is done?"
"I've already split it. My normal prize is thousand gold pieces so as it is now, its half now and another half after the job is done."
"How greedy can you get?" thought Kara. "I don't have that much money" she said, this time out loud.
"That's not my problem. You're the one that wants my services."
"Can't you lower the prize for cute and pretty?" Kara made big, bagging eyes to the boy.
"Even if I would, what makes you so sure you'd qualified?"
In anime, normally this would be the time when camera centers of Kara and the whole screen goes to pieces :D .
"Okay, let's try differently" said Kara. "How does this sound: you'll go with me to Cromwell and I'll give you half of the reward money we'll get for solving the city's problem?"
"Half of the reward money, eh?" it seemed that the blonde kid was thinking about it. "That's an interesting offer… "
"It's decided then!" said Kara.
"Wait a minute, I didn't said that I'll do it!"
"You say you'll do it? Wonderful!"
"I think we're suffering the trouble with communication here. I only said, that the offer itself is tempting, but still not enough to convince..."
"Oh come on! It'll be fun."
"And just what fun has to do with it?"
"Okay, don't go. Leave poor, defenseless, beautiful girl on her own! I'll face all the dangers on this road all by myself."
"You're not trying to catch me on that old, guilt thing, are you?"
"What the hell will it take to make you go with me!?"
"Five hundred gold pieces..."
"I told you I'm broke!... Okay, I have an alternative" Kara reached out for her belt and grabbed a small dagger. The weapon itself was very unique: its blade was made out of a metal unknown to the blonde kid (all he could say about it was that the metal looked very much alike silver, but wasn't made of it for sure). On in there were written inscriptions, but in the language the mercenary didn't know. The handle looked amazing as well: it looked like it was made from small bones, wrapped in a brown material. "This dagger is pretty old. It belonged to a very powerful necromancer. I don't know its true value, but I believe you should get your five hundred gold piece for it" Kara hesitated for a moment and gave the dagger to the blonde kid.
The mercenary looked at it for a while. It was hard to tell the origin of the blade, but he could easily tell that such a weapon was a rare object, certainly worth a lot of gold.
"If I won't be able to pay you, you can keep that dagger" said Kara with fellable sadness in her voice.
"Alright then" the blonde kid responded. "I accept your offer. You've just hired me."
"Great. Then get to sleep. We're checking out first thing in the morning and head to Cromwell. Oh, and by the way, you never told me your name..."
The next morning Ren notice that Kara wasn't kidding about checking out first thing in the morning. As soon as the first rooster crowed, they both go up (well, actually Ren needed a little help with that), packed their stuff and left the town.
"What's the rush?" asked Ren. "It's not like Cromwell is going to run away from us. Even roosters are still sleeping... maybe except that one, which woke you up..."
They were walking through the agriculture fields. At this time of year (middle of summer), the fields were full of corns, carrots, turnips, cauliflowers etc., so they were surrounded will lots of colors. There weren't many trees around and the whole scenery looked a little monotony.
"It's five-day marsh to Cromwell from here" answered Kara. "By the time we get there, somebody can solve the town's problem and then you won't get any money. Do you really want that to happen?"
"Five days?! What kind of road have you picked?! Through Ranford?!"
"But if we go through Howling Forest, the whole trip shouldn't take longer then two to three days..."
"I'm not to sure about that route" said Kara. "I heard that people saw orcs near the woods. That trail could be dangerous. Very dangerous..."
"I would say that going through Ranford could give us much more trouble, then you think..."
"Lets just say that I'm quite well-known in that town..."
"What was it that you did?"
"Well, I… kinda bet up the leader of the local thieves' guild and the other members of the guild weren't too happy about that" in that moment Kara looked at him with compassion in her eyes. "What?! I didn't started it!"
"In that case, we can't go through Ranford" Kara sighed. "We have to go through Howling Forest."
And so, on the next crossroads, they turned to the west.
The longer they were going to the west, the more trees started to appear. They were getting closer to the Howling Forest. Fields changed into glades, which were reaching as far as Ren's and Kara's sight .The grass was so high here, that it could easily reach typical humans knees. Many types of flowers that grown on the glade were giving it remarkable colors.
The grass sea was decorated with trees that seemed as rocks which tear the water. The green sea was a home for many kinds of animals. A good eye could notice bird nest on the trees crowns and walking through the grass you would hear lizards and snakes running away from you. Bugs have also chosen it to be their home. It was testified by many kinds of butterflies which were flying around. The patterns on their wings form all kinds of shapes: from stars to flowers.
The road they were walking was built by merchants who were looking for a shorter route to Cromwell (which was the capitol of Brandewon). It was rater primitive, but the merchant wagons didn't need anything more. But there weren't any wagons on the road today. Either Cromwell wasn't that promising as it used to (which was a very likely possibility, especially it was the middle of the summer) or the road wasn't safe anymore. Kara feared that rumors about orcs were true.
Suddenly armed men started to jump from the grass. They were all dressed in the brown overcoat and their faces were covered in shadows, cast by the hoods on their heads. Everyone of them was carrying a dagger, inflected back.
"Finally" said one of the bandits, probably the leader. "We've been waiting forever for someone to show up. This route isn't as popular as it used to be. Oh well, that's not important now. Please, give us all of your money and you'll stay alive. Don't and we'll kill..."
"You guys sure have short memory" said Ren. "Don't you remember me?"
"Garret, wait!" said one of the thieves that stood behind the one who've spoken. "I know him. He's the one that bet up Bunt. He's Ren, the Dragonchild!"
"Dragonchild?!" thought Kara. "So that's how he's able to control fire!"
"That blonde brat's the one that bet up Bunt? In that case, we can't let you live!"
"Don't you understand anything?!" said the bandit. "He's a Dragonchild! You don't stand any chances against him!"
"Dragonchild or not…" answered Garret. "He's dead!"
And in that moment, the bandit jumped to Ren, aiming his dagger's blade into his throat.
Ren instantly grabbed Garrets right hand (the one that was holding the dagger) and curved it back. You could hear the bones crack in bandits arm. After that, the dagger slipped from his hand.
"How would I look…" said Ren. "If I would lose to the likes of you? What's the matter? You guys are only good in attacking defenseless people and when you actual stand before someone, who can hit you back, you're too scared to act?"
The thieves looked at each other. Suddenly, they all heard an ominous voice:
"What the hell are you guys doing?" said a large man, dressed just like all the other thieves, but he was much bigger then any of them. "If he's really the one that bet up Bunt it's our duty, to kill him and retrieve the honor of our guild!" while saying that, he picked out a strange type of crossbow.
It was larger then any other crossbow, which Kara has seen. It already had loaded three arrows, ready to fire. And it was even stranger, since the crossbow had the whole belt of arrows attached to it.
Ren let go of Garrets arm and prepared himself to dodge another attack.
The big guy aimed and fired. All three arrows flu out of the crossbow at the same time. What was even scarier, the crossbow reloaded itself with the arrows on the belt attached to it.
Seeing three arrows flying out from the crossbow at the same time surprised Ren. It's hard to say whether it was instinct or intended action, but Kara's companion instantly used fire blow, to burn all the arrows. Fire would probably fry also the crossbowman, but the large guy moved aside, dodging the fire blast at the same time. But he didn't expect that Ren will charge at him right after the fire blow. Before he could notice the attack, Ren's fist already meet his face.
The big guy lost his balance and fell on the ground. The rest of the thieves band hesitated. You could easily tell that they didn't expect any resistance. Now, not only two of them got defeated, but also their opponent appeared to be able to control fire.
"You know…" said Ren. "For the greatest thieves guild in these parts, you guys are pretty weak..."
"Okay, that's about enough!" Ren heard a voice coming from behind. It was Garret, standing right behind Kara. "The situation's like this: either you surrender or I'll stab this girl's heart!"
"You know…" said Kara. "Just because I've hired him as my bodyguard, it doesn't mean that I can't defend myself..."
Then, in the fraction of a second, Kara turned around, grabbing Garrets wrist and attacked his elbow with her other hand from bellow. It was a direct hit. Once again the sound of cracking bones appeared. Garrets second hand was broken.
It was then, when all the bandits totally lost their confidence and started running away. Even the large guy.
"You're full of surprises, aren't ya?" said Ren.
"What do you mean? You've never asked me can I fight and I've never said I can't..."
"True. But what was it with that whole 'I need your help' thing? As far as I see it, you're pretty good on your own!"
"Well, to be honest, I was just curious how did you made fire come out of your hand without any incantations. Now I know. You're a Dragonchild!"
They looked at each other for a while and then continue their journey to Cromwell. They were walking in silence. Suddenly Kara decided to break the silence:
"Ren, may I ask you something?"
"I would like to know…" Kara hesitated for a moment. "I would like to know, how did you get yours dragonblood?"
The first step is always the hardest
And that's it for this chapter. Hope you enjoyed it and that you'll leave a review with your opinion once you finished. It'd mean a lot. Until next time, hopefully.