Summary: Arkin always dreamed of becoming a famous adventure hunter. He always thought it was all about glory and treasure. But when he finally leaves his village to seek adventures, what challenges await him? Before he'll manage to realize his dream, he'll have to fight a lot of obstacles. Yet, in his travels, he won't be alone. His party will attract all sort of people, even those that seems to be the least suitable for adventure hunters.
What can I say? This is basically my first story, but I had the idea and figured it won't hurt to submit it. I'll gladly accept any tips. Also, please be aware that the first, two chapters are mostly planned as an intro to the story and the main hero.
Also, although the main genre are action/adventure and fantasy, there's also gonna be drama and some romance and humor elements.
Now all that's left to do is to wish you fun reading this:
Chapter #1: A Boy and His Dream
"Arkin, please hurry up with that grog!" a woman in her early twenties called as she finished cleaning another glass. She had long, black hair, blue eyes and had a yellow shawl tied on top of her head. "New guests have come and I'm sure they'll want some!"
"Coming!" replied a young boy, around seven years old, with short, spiky, blonde hair and hazel eyes as he carried several bottles in his hands. The boy was wearing a black shirt with short sleeves and blue pants.
However the moment the boy entered the main hall of the tavern, where all the guests sat at their tables, his heart began pounding like crazy as he almost instantly noticed a familiar group sitting in the corner. He knew all seven of them very well as every time they came to stop by in the village, they visit this place, owned by Missa.
Arkin's eyes traveled towards the seven wonderers and stopped at the first one, a man with black skin and long, black hair, maid into a tress. After a little further inspection you could see that his face was full of scars. He wore a sleeveless, brown top and a little baggy, white pants. His name was Sasho.
The boy's eyes went a little to the black man's left and stopped at a dwarf with short, grey hair and fuzzy beard. He wore a mostly green outfit with brown gloves and boots. You could also see a large axe laying against his chair. This one was named Maleck, but all his friends called him Shorty.
Next was a man in brown cloak, which hood threw a slight shadow on his face, yet Arkin knew that beneath it was a young man with messy, brown hair and green eyes. The cloak also covered a green and brown outfit the man was always wearing, along with a pair of silver daggers that were attached to his belt. He was the only one who seemed to noticed the boy and smiled towards him, before returning to chat with his companions. The blonde boy only sighed; Zook was always the one he liked the most of the seven, but he could be really annoying at times.
Next to him sat a man whose face, along with the rest of his body, was almost completely covered by black robe. From bellow it you could only see his eyes were grey and that he was carrying two sabers on his back. Achmed, coz that was his name, rarely said anything and prefered to keep his secrets to himself.
Then Arkin's eyes traveled to the person who sat besides the quiet man. He had long, brown hair, green eyes and spiky ears, an undeniable sign that he was an elf. He wore a green cloak, yet unlike Zook he didn't put his hood on. He was wearing mostly green and had a bow on his back. And even though he looked young, the boy knew all too well that Fangrin was now way over two hundred years old.
The only female in the group was a young woman with medium-length, black hair and violet eyes. She wore a tight, purple outfit and just like always attracted the stares of most men in the tavern. Even Arkin admitted, although unwillingly, that Annysa was very attractive.
The last one was the man only a year older then Annysa. A twenty-one-year-old boy with spiky, black hair, red eyes and a big scar on his left cheek, wearing a black and red outfit with a red cape on that and high, black boots, carrying a sword almost as big as himself. He was Bowen, the leader of White Wolves, one of the most famous groups of adventure hunters in the entire world.
"Wow, you guys are here again?" Arkin immediately ran towards them with a wide smile appearing on his face. "Cool! I figured you won't come back for over a month! How did that tomb searching go?" and with that he looked at them with his eyes shining slightly.
"As energetic as always, ain't you champ?" asked Zook with a smile as he rubbed the boy's hair. "The hunt itself was pretty good though… we've managed to find some treasure and I must admit that those stories about the place being haunted wasn't even nearly as scary as the realit…" and with that his smile widen even more, revealing his white teeth.
"Oh stop that, Zook…" Annysa cut it a little annoyed. "Besides traps and a little gold the tomb proved to be completely empty. Even the bodies turned into dust a long time ago." Maleck only chuckled as he put his tobacco pipe into his mouth again, releasing some smoke into the air.
"True, but where's the excitement in your story?" Zook replied, winking to the woman, which only made her narrowed her eyes in the death glare. Achmed merely shook his head at his companions behavior. "Besides, we can't disappoint our number one fan, right Bowen?" and with that the hooded man glanced at his younger companion.
"Since it wasn't dangerous, why didn't you took me with you?" demanded Arkin with a note o disappointment in his voice. "You never let me come and I wanna be an adventure hunter just like you guys! I've trained my sword-fighting skills lately and I'm pretty good at it! Seriously! I can show you!"
"Arkin, we discuss that already" Sasho reminded him in a little monotone voice, yet calmly. "You're too young for an adventure hunter. Even though this time nothing happened, it's not always like this. The world is a dangerous place, boy and you can't underestimate it…"
"You gotta start someday!" announced the boy enthusiastically. "If I won't even take a single step out of this village, how do you expect me to get any experience? I wanna fight all the beast, monsters and bandits like you guys! I even know a good place to go for another adventure!"
"We're not taking you with us, Arkin and that's final" announced Bowen calmly with no emotions showing on his face, as he stood up and walked out of the tavern. The boy glanced at him angry and then turned his back towards the other adventure hunter before walking out of the hall. Fangrin only looked at the young boy's back from a moment as a sad expression crossed his face.
---Later that day---
Arkin threw another, small rock into the pond, thus making it sink to the bottom. He didn't even realized it when a mysterious figure walked over and settled down on the same, huge stone he was sitting on: "You have a minute?" asked Fangrin without even looking at the boy.
The elf glanced at the pond, which reflected the beautiful sunset. The sky was slowly turning red as the sun began disappearing behind the mountains on the horizon. Soft breeze blew in their face as the two sat quiet for few moments, until the adventure hunter finally decided to speak up:
"Don't be mad at Bowen for what he said earlier" he asked warmly with a little worry sounding in his voice. "It's not like he doesn't approve you becoming an adventure hunter… he just wants you to be well prepared once you'll decide to seek your own legend."
"Yeah, right" the boy shoot back, lowering his head. "No matter what I do, he always says that I'm too young or not experienced enough… how can I gain any experience by working on a farm? No matter what you do, there's always the first step!"
Fangrin looked at him with a gentle smiling appearing on his face, before he asked: "Do you know how Bowen got that scar on his left cheek?"
Arkin got completely surprised by that question. He sometimes wondered himself how someone of Bowen's reputation could've been wounded that badly. Even though he is so young, he's already considered one of the best warriors in the country.
With his eyes widened, Arkin only shook his head in disagreement, thus allowing Fangrin to continued: "When he was only a little older then you, he decided he wanted to become an adventure hunter. He lived in a village not that different from yours, where no-one really had any knowledge of how to use a sword or magic, so he had to learn everything on his own. Because of that training, he became very confident in his abilities and so when a group of bandits appeared in the town, he thought he could take them… naturally it didn't end exactly how he pictured it…"
The elf paused for a moment, taking a deep breath with his eyes closed. Arkin didn't say anything, he patiently waited for the adventure hunter to continue and after a short silence, he did: "He got pretty lucky that those bandits found him funny and decided to play with him for awhile, otherwise he'd have died on that very day. They cut his cheek in the process of disarming him and then began to humiliate him in front of the entire village. Only because the royal soldiers came, making the bandits run for the hills, did he survived. After that he trained even harder, hoping to become strong enough, so that no-one will be able to do something like that to him ever again."
"What I'm trying to say" he began, noticing that Arkin was staring at him with his eyes widen. "Is that Bowen simply wants to save you from repeating his own mistakes. You must understand that adventure hunter's life isn't exactly a fairytale, which you may think from all the stories that are told about such people… our lives can end at any time. That's why we like visiting this town: it helps us relax before moving further."
At this point he got up and placed his hand on the boy's shoulder: "Don't be so quick to hate Bowen, just because he refuses to take you in as his apprentice" and with that the elf slowly walked away, leaving Arkin to his own thoughts.
---The next day---
"You're leaving already?" asked Missa a little disappointed, as she stood at the large, wooden gate that led outside the village, along with all the White Wolves. "You only just came…"
"They say that there's a high tower somewhere in the nearby mountains, that belonged to a powerful wizard" replied Maleck calmly while he let out some smoke from his mouth again. "There bound to be some riches there, but we should hurry, coz I heard Black Spears were seen around these parts. If we won't make haste, they'll swipe the treasure right from under our noses!"
"Say, Missa…" began Zook as he looked around. "Where's Arkin? He always came to goodbye us before. Did something happened to him?" he asked, slightly worried, but the young woman only shook her head in disagreement:
"He's fine" he announced with a warm smile. "Though he's been sitting locked in his room since last night. He won't tell me what he's up to" and with that she just shrugged. Bowen narrowed his eyes slightly at that, but said nothing.
In stead he turned around and lifting up his hand as a goodbye sign, he began walking away with the rest of his companions soon following him after parting with Missa. The woman watched them disappear behind the horizon with a smile on her face before she also turned around and headed to her tavern. It was already pass the opening time.
---That time, elsewhere---
Arkin put the last sandwich into his backpack and attached his small sword to his belt. After placing his bag on his back he got out of his room through the window and looked around to make sure Missa was nowhere in sight. In a flash he ran down the road, that led towards the mountains.
"I'll prove that I'm not like Bowen" he announced quietly. "I'm ready! Just you guys wait, I'll show you what I'm capable of!" and with that he picked up the paste on the way to meet his first adventure.
To be continued…
So that's it for now. I hope you enjoyed it and hope that you'll tell me what you think. If there will be some interest in the story, I'll update sooner or later (considering I'll have my exams this month, it may take a little while, but I promise to write more if the popularity will be high).
Bard is out.