The Asylum of the Devitory presents….

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Spring had finally come back to the landscape after a harsh winter. Although chilly winds blew south from Ranadiam on occasion, East Namerik was finally beginning to enjoy warmer weather once more.

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An asylumBLACK production…

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Satus was a small village only a few miles south of the Ranadiam-East Namerik border. Even twenty-five years after the fall of the Ranadiam Empire, it remained as quiet and as boring at it had ever been.

Until one day…

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BLOODIER SWORD: 3075 A.D.

LINEAGE

EPISODE I - Bloodlines

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Serah Gize had just celebrated her twenty-fifth birthday a few weeks ago, and it had only been half an hour since she left the café where she worked as a waitress, looking forward to embarking on her family vacation to South Namerik the next day. Stuffing her hands into her jeans pockets as she walked along the gravel road back home, Serah sighed as she looked up into the sky, watching the beginning stages of twilight slowly blanket the heavens.

Suddenly, Serah heard a faint rumbling in the distance behind her. Turning around, she saw a convoy of sleek black vans quickly approaching, kicking up a cloud of dust and dirt from the gravel road as they barreled towards her. All three of them came to a rough stop at her side, bringing the cloud with them. As Serah shielded her eyes, a figure in a pressed gray suit leaned out of the passenger's side window of the van nearest to her. "Excuse me," he called over the humming of the engines, "Are you Serah Gize?"

Serah was taken back a bit. "Yeah," she said carefully, "Who are you guys?"

"We're from the kingdom of Kanadiam's diplomatic team. We'd like to escort you home."

-

Serah tapped the edge of the coffee table nervously, keeping her eyes on the entrance to her parents' kitchen. She could hear the two agents' muffled voices discussing something with her parents, and judging from their tones, whatever it was they were talking about sounded very important. After what seemed like forever, the four of them finally re-entered the living room. Serah was glued to her seat on the couch, her racing heart just about ready to burst out of her chest. "With the granted permission of your parents," said one agent, "Serah, would you like to know why we're here?"

Serah was at a complete loss for words.

Clearing his throat, the agent continued. "We understand that you've been looking for a new home for yourself."

"What?" Serah asked, confused. "How is that any of your business?"

"As you know, his Highness, Lord Mallar the first, is our nation's second king, who acquired the throne after the death of all the descendants of the first king, Lord Orriss. But last year, from our most reliable sources, we have learned that not all of Lord Orriss' descendants have been lost, and our meeting with your mother has just proven our conviction. Serah Gize, you are the last known descendant of Troid Orriss the second."

"No," Serah muttered, shaking her head and standing up, "that's ridiculous."

"Is it?"

"Yeah, my parents are right there," she said, looking at her mother and father. When they did not return her gaze, Serah murmured, "Right?"

"Serah," Her mother said quietly as her father stared at the floor, "We just didn't know when to tell you."

Serah's throat began to tighten. "Should we leave you alone for a while?" The other agent quietly asked her mother.

"Please."

-

"And that's the last time you saw him?" Serah asked, sitting by herself, staring at her parents from across the coffee table.

"Yes," said her mother. "Twenty-five years ago. He promised to return soon, but he never did. I married your… other father just after I learned that Troid had been killed."

Serah's father draped his arm around her mother. "That's why you kept calling me 'princess,' when I was a kid, isn't it?" Serah asked.

Her father nodded. "Well? Are you going to Kanadiam with them?"

Serah paused. It was a tough question. Finally, she shrugged and said, "I guess."

-

Tike Mallar slouched on his throne, skimming over the newspaper. Not a day went by that he did not glance at least once at the empty throne beside him. His wife had passed away many years ago, leaving him as the only ruler of Kanadiam, and his son as his only successor. Ever since Trav died twenty-five years ago, the crown had been his to wear, but he did so with a heavy head. To find and pass on the throne to its rightful heir was the only remaining thing that Tike could ever hope to accomplish. Although he had kept the operation a secret from his son, once Troid's illegitimate daughter was found and revealed, Tike was sure Nagen would understand.

Suddenly, the throne room chamber doors flew open, and a procession of his royal knights flooded in. "My lord," said the tallest one in the front, "Troid's daughter has been found."

Tike slowly pushed himself onto his feet, ruffling his robes. "Is she here, general Vidhar?" The crowd suddenly split down the middle, leaving Serah by herself on the threshold of the chamber doors. By the time Serah had finally taken in the gigantic throne room around her, she saw Tike kneeling before her. "Your Highness," Tike said as the rest of the knights dropped to one knee around her.

"Oh please, get up," Serah giggled, covering her face in a vain attempt to hide her deep blushing.

Suddenly, a slender figure stormed into the chamber. "Dad! What's going on here?"

Tike rose, with his knights quickly following suit. "Nagen, you're just in time to meet the new Queen of Kanadiam."

Nagen craned his neck around to stare face-to-face with Serah. "The… new…?"

Serah sighed and rubbed her eyes. "I'm Troid the second's daughter, apparently. I'm Serah Gize. And you must be prince Nagen Mallar?" She asked with a smile.

Nagen's lips curled into a light frown. "Yes," he said after a hesitant pause, "prince Nagen Mallar." Serah did not know why, but just looking into Nagen's eyes sent a shiver up her spine.

"So, your Highness," said Tike, stroking his greyed goatee, "I'd imagine you're pretty tired after the long trip from East Namerik."

"Yeah," said Serah, stretching her arms a little bit, "what time is it anyway?"

"Twenty-two hundred, your Highness," a knight chimed up from the crowd.

Serah struggled to hold back a yawn. "Nagen, would you show our lady to the spare chamber?"

Nagen bit his lip, and briefly glanced around at the crowd of knights. "You two, in front. Escort our… queen, to the spare room. The rest of you are dismissed."

Serah stared awkwardly at Nagen before she left with the crowd of knights. As soon as they had all left, Nagen quickly swung the gigantic throne room doors closed, leaving just Tike and himself inside. "What was that all about?" Tike asked disapprovingly.

Nagen sighed bitterly under his breath. "I thought it was established a long time ago that I was to be the only heir to the throne." He said after a lengthy pause.

"Nagen," Tike sighed, putting his hand on his son's shoulder, "I only took the throne because I thought- everyone thought, the Orriss bloodline had ended. Nothing would bring me greater joy than to see the rightful heir on her throne."

"But what about me?" Nagen asked anxiously. "Am I still next in line? Do I still have the right to the throne?"

Tike shrugged. "Well," he said jokingly as he prodded Nagen in the ribs, "you could marry her. Who knows, we might have a coronation and a wedding at the same time tomorrow."

Nagen's heart nearly stopped. "Tomorrow?" he asked.

"Yes," said Tike. "Tonight is our last night as royalty."

"So it's back to nobility, is it?"

"That's right."

Nagen held his hands behind his back to conceal his tightly clenched fists. "Well," he said, struggling to control his anger from seeping into his voice, "I'll just have to ask her tomorrow then, won't I?

Tike chuckled and headed for the doors, opening one just enough for him to pass through. "Don't stay up too late working on your proposal," he said as he left, "we've got a long day ahead of us tomorrow."

The door creaked shut again, booming all over the vast throne room. "Yes," Nagen muttered spitefully, "A long day indeed."