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The Solus Seven: Plague

Chapter 1

Solus smiled, and tugged his sword out of the tree he had buried it in with a solid strike. Practicing was something he had enough of, but he kept going, feeling better now that he had something to take his anger out on. He sheathed his sword once more with a dull shink and sat up against the tree he had just taken his annoyance out on. He sat there for a long time, nearly drifting off to sleep, when the lightest touch on his hand brought him reeling back to reality. Standing on his hand was a little woodland fairy, dragonfly-like wings folded gracefully behind her back. "You're in danger young one…" She said in a tiny, sad voice so small Solus could hardly hear her. Before Solus could ask what she meant, and why she came to tell him this, she flew of in a flash, leaving only a bit a glimmering pixie dust behind.

Solus sighed, standing up to brush of his clothes, and started the long trek out of the woods and back into town.

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A tavern often was the only friend that Solus had. Not to say that no one liked him. Oh no, quite the opposite, especially since he often saved them from perilous enemies, such as bandits, madmen, evil gypsies. He chose to be on his own, knowing that anyone he considered more than a random citizen would be targeted in order to get to him. So, he drank alone, drowning in mead as well as his thoughts. Solus was alone in the world. He was only nine and ten years old, yet he was on his own, his family long gone. In fact, he had never known his father, and his mother had died sometime before his memory could hold a thought. He could remember her face if he tried though… She had been a lovely woman from what he had seen. She was dead now, buried in some graveyard beyond his reach.

Solus was the only person who might come close to the description of law enforcement in the tiny town known as Laimanus. No other place was better protected than Laimanus, and no other protector was more lonesome.

After drinking more mead than could possibly be healthy, he staggered home to his tiny dilapidated houses near the edge of the woods, and fell asleep.

"Solus…" Someone whispered in his dreams. "Solus… why do the angels ignore you?"

"I do not know." He answered back to the voice. He had no clue it was. He could tell it was female, a little girl for sure.

"Why do they refuse your wish?"

"I have asked of them nothing."

"Solus…" The same voice crooned.

The scene changed abruptly, morphing into a chase. Solus ran as fast as he could through the thick woods, randomly shooting flaming arrows behind him and catching the forest on fire.

A black demon chased after him, running faster than humanly possible.

"You cannot hide from destiny, Solus," It said in a mocking tone. Solus sped up, not ready to fight his demon, but his foot stuck in something black and sticky. He struggled, trying desparatly to get free, but it was to no avail… the monster took it;'s time in walking the last few feet, then reached out a blackened hand as if to grab him…

"Solus!" Someone cried outside, banging loudly on the front door. "Solus, please help!"

Solus threw of his bed sheets, quickly strapping his sword back onto his belt and running out to meet the person yelling for him.

It was one of the Steinmiller girls, if he wasn't mistaken it was Maria.

"Thank the gods! Solus, my brother fell through the ground! I haven't a clue where he is! Please you must help me find him!" Maria pleaded.

Solus nodded. He wasn't much for talking, at least, not to people. He conversed with beasts of the forest, and magical creatures, not to say they ever talked back.

Maria lead him to a half hidden hole in the ground.

"Call to him." Solus said quietly.

Maria nodded and said loudly, "Jules!"

"Maria!" The boy answered, his voice weak and scared. "Help me… I'm scared…"

Without another word, Solus jumped down into the opening, landing with a solid thud into what seemed like… a palace.

A palace? That couldn't be right. Yet here he was, in a large roomy space with a throne of stone mantled with terrifying pictures of death and disease.

"Jules. Come here." Solus said slightly louder without taking his eyes of the carvings engraved all along the walls.

A frightened little boy came running from the shadows, a medallion clenched in his dusty hands.

"Solus, I saw something--!" The boy started with wide eyes rimmed with tears.

"Not now, Jules. Let's just get you out of here okay?" Solus turned his eyes toward the opening where light siphoned down. "Maria? See if you can find a long vine or something. I don't think we can climb back up."

"All right." She agreed, running off to go find what he had asked for.

"What is this place?" Jules asked quietly, sticking to Solus like glue. He clenched a small fist around the medallion, seeming afraid of something.

"I don't know… It must be right underneath the town hall though." Solus said simply. "It seems like a temple of some kind… these must be the catacombs underneath the village." Solus eyed the thing in Jules hands.

"Where did you get that?"

"Oh. I found this on the grass when we were playing. When I picked it up the ground fell out from under me."

"Can I see it?" Solus asked politely, holding out one hand.

The boy handed it over unwillingly.

On one side of the medallion, was a face like that on the coinage currently used, but on the other side were a skull and a snake curled around it. It certainly didn't seem like anything else Solus had seen before. He handed it baack to the eager boy, but Jules shook his head. "You saved me; you should keep it."

"Solus? Jules?" Maria called. A rope fell through the hole.

Solus let Jules climb up first, giving him an encouraging push, then followed up after him, stopping a moment to take one last glance at the disturbing glyphs, then ascended into the light above ground.

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*(*)* okay, new story! this is a collaboration between me and cometdragon96 over on fanfiction. almost all of these awesome ideas are hers, I'm just writing them down for ya'll to read. please comment. PLEASE COMMENT!!!