THE BEAT OF A COLD HEART (REWRITTEN SCRIPT)
Genres: Supernatural, Fantasy, Action, Drama
Author's Note: So as you can see, this is a rewritten script (probably my fifth draft since the first time I conceptualized the story?) and instead of updating previous versions of this story, I've simply changed it over and over and over again until I was finally satisfied with where this story was headed. It is however, not in the least, perfect or complete, and is still very much in the works, so hopefully, you readers will still enjoy it. I'll initially release a Three-part Prologue including this chapter below in order to jump-start the story, and then I'll be posting each chapter individually.
The purpose of this post is to receive feedback on the story, so if you can spare some time, please give me your thoughts and comments in the 'Review' box at the bottom of the page. All in all, I want to improve this story until it's a project in full-flight, so I'd appreciate all your help! Thanks!
SUMMARY: In this World, the one thing that triumphs over the Laws of Nature is a power called the Force of Will. Everyone is born with the power to control the Force of Will, and with rigorous training, they can hone their skill to accomplish nearly any feat with this power. Some display a particular affinity to a certain path in the Force of Will,and in time, they may evolve their Path into their Gift. But beyond even this, are the coveted Three Treasures of Royalty, said to grant one who has gathered all three, the power of "Might".
In this World, a great nation exists, the Noblesse Gardenia, and its "Ruling Families" wish to obtain "Might" in order to restore peace to their secretly deteriorating society, but within their ranks, not everyone is as noble as they seem …
PART 1: SLEEPLESS NIGHT
The rain wasn't heavy. It wasn't light either. But it was tormenting. It was impossible to see where the puddles gathered at night. One had to listen to the rain. Hitting the ground in slow motion. Hitting the skin of those standing underneath it. Even then, it was difficult. The rain roared in their ears, and they might as well have been deaf.
There were two men. One of them was wearing all black — black trench-coat, black top-hat, black gloves, black dress-shirt, black boots — everything. All but one thing. He held a white handkerchief in his hand, as if a desperate, futile attempt at driving the forces of natural evil raging from within his heart.
The second man stood approximately ten metres away from him, facing him, relaxed but prepared for action. This man was taller, and much larger. He was a giant of a man, towering over the first man by at least three feet. And the first man wasn't short. His muscles bulged out from beneath what appeared to be a military uniform, and using both hands, he held some kind of portable cannon. Maybe it was simply a big gun — even for a big man.
The first man opened his mouth to speak. "So — I see you're still wearing the uniform."
The second man grunted and shrugged. "It wasmy pride and joy. It still is, to some extent. This badge … I dedicated my life to it. Or at least I once did."
"What are you doing all the way out here? In the rain?" asked the first man.
"Hmph, I should be asking you the same question, Lieutenant General Ollivar Medallin. Aren't you supposed to be back in your cozy little room, sleeping like the rest of your little Saplings?" the second man retorted.
"Only the Saplings ever sleep, Mr. Quesalliad," the man named Ollivar Medallin said. "Or should I call you, Goliath?"
"Oh?" Brant Quesalliad raised an eyebrow mockingly. "Nobody calls me that anymore, Lieutenant General. A lot has changed since I left the Army.
Then, he smirked.
"For instance, I've being hearing a bit of gossip about your Saplings. Something about how the past two generations of have remained inferior to that Generation from two years ago. Too bad most of them … how should I put it? Perhaps I should say … resigned after that incident during their last year at the Academy."
Ollivar smiled but it was clear that he was annoyed. "Ah yes. The Generation of Prodigies. Well — that's not what we call themnow. Recently, our people have been calling them the Lost Generation. They were a promising bunch, without a doubt. Especially the girl they called the Absolute Zero and her rival. The one they called Heaven's Judgement."
Brant tapped his chin. "Hmm, is that all though? I also heard whispers that the military also lost Pnoicoi Florren that same year. Is that true?"
"It seems you've been listening to a lot of whispers," Ollivar grinned dangerously. "Do you really think you can trust them?"
"Of course," Brant said firmly. "No doubt about it."
"Are they the same sources that got you kicked out of the Army?" Ollivar surmised.
"As much as I understand that you are making attempts at mocking my discharge from the Military, it's even more difficult for me to stop myself from cringing at your vanity," said Brant. "Your provocations are cheap. Perhaps you're holding back your tongue? Because you're afraid?"
"Who knows? Maybe I actually respect you." Ollivar shrugged.
Brant's face twitched. "Oh is that so? Who was it that suggested my discharge to the First Keeper and the Supreme Commander?"
"You can't blame me, Mr. Quesalliad. I am, after all, the one who's in charge of getting rid of nuisances."
"Oh is that what I am now? A nuisance?" Brant clenched his fists. "Then let me show you much of a nuisance I can be as a White-class threat."
Ollivar sighed and took off his top hat. His hair became soaked within seconds of exposure to the rain. He looked up, letting rain hit his face, aware of each and every single drop of water that landed on his cheeks.
He put his hat back on. "Actually, your Pigmentation's changed. You're a Purple-class threat. I was told so by the Supreme Commander himself."
Brant chuckled without a trace of humor in his dark eyes. "Huh. Is that all they consider me to be now? A mere Purple?"
"You should be honored. There aren't many Purple-class threats out there," Ollivar replied.
"I hunted for White-class threats myself when I was one of the Twelve. Do you know what they called me?" sneered Brant.
"Goliath the Executioner," Ollivar rolled his eyes but Brant didn't seem to notice.
"Exactly," Brant breathed out. "Tell me, Lieutenant General, if I kill you, what will I be then? Will I still be Purple? If so, that means the Supreme Commander is now personally sending out Generals to do the jobs that Captains used to do and that also means the Army is significantly weaker than when I left. But if I kill you and I become a higher threat Class—"
"No," Ollivar brushed his hands together. "I don't think you understand. It just means there are now threats that are that much stronger than you. You may have been a White-class threat two, three years ago, but that was two, three years ago. Get your head out of the past and swallow your pride."
Brant felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise in furious contempt. "Now I really want to kill you."
"You're not going to kill me, Mr. Quesalliad," Ollivar laughed and pulled out a deck of playing cards. "You won't even touch me."
"Oh yeah? We won't know until we start."
"I already have."
Brant widened his eyes as the ground beneath him seemed to crumble away into an empty black crevice. Stumbling back, he felt a mix of intense vertigo and claustrophobia but closed his eyes and regained his balance. He laughed manically.
"So that's what you are. Quite the illusionist we have here, don't we?" he said.
"The illusions are only there to distract you," Ollivar's voice suddenly came from behind the larger man. Brant heard something zip through the air before feeling a burning pain in his legs. Green flames had enveloped them and seared away at his flesh. Showing no hesitation or panic, he whipped out a flask he had tied to his belt and emptied its contents onto the green flames. They were put out immediately and the burns on his legs disappeared.
"Don't underestimate me, boy. I always carry around enough Purifying Water to sustain me for a duel involving pathetic magic tricks such as yours."
"I see. You're not helpless after all," Ollivar commended him.
"Of course I'm not," scoffed Brant. "I've had at least a decade more of field experience than you and I've had my fair share of duels against telepaths. You think I don't know that illusory-flames are dangerous? Any damage dealt to the mind is just as deadly as any damage done to the body."
Ollivar's eyes betrayed a glint of sadistic amusement for a brief moment. So brief that had Brant not been the Tenth Keeper in his prime, he wouldn't have caught it.
"Hmm," Ollivar's lips curved into a menacing grin. "The Supreme Commander was right, this actually might be interesting after all."
"What do you mean?" Brant asked as he flipped a switch on his cannon, which whirred to life. He had felt a dangerous aura emanating from his opponent from the start, but this was different. "What did the Supreme Commander say?"
"A tut-tut-tut-tut." Ollivar raised a finger to his lips and tipped his hat slightly forward with his other hand. "Let us play, shall we?"
Ollivar's hands twitched.
Brant flinched, instinctively taking a step back.
"You may know my name, but you don't actually know me, do you? Ollivar raised an eyebrow. "Let me re-introduce myself. My name is Ollivar Graenil Medallin. Twelfth Keeper of the Blossoming Spring. Knighted under the State of Noblesse Gardenia. Did you know, by the way? The name of our continental nation means The Garden of Nobility. It's no place for dirty, naughty miscreants like you, Mr. Quesalliad."
"Do not patronize me." Brant growled threateningly.
"Oh Brant, you big buffoon. Why are you so tense?" asked Ollivar mockingly.
"You can't fool me with your clown act, Lieutenant General. I've heard what they call you back at the Army." Brant clenched his teeth. "The Necessary Evil."
"Oh—?" Ollivar dropped his façade, his expression twisting into a snarl. "So you do know who I am."
"Ironic isn't it?" Brant clicked his tongue in disapproval. "Our nation — no — your nation prizes its continued fight against the evil and injustice from your enemies, yet they have someone like you. Necessary or not, you're still a vessel for evil. And you still condemn me for treachery against Noblesse Gardenia?"
Ollivar ignored him and drew forth the white handkerchief he had stuffed in his breast-pocket and stretched it out as if were gum. The handkerchief soon became a large white blanket.
"The game today is—! Listen up folks!" Ollivar announced to a nonexistent audience. "If I catch him underneath this blanket of mine—"
"Enough with your stupid games," Brant hissed. "Do not mock me any further. Fight me with honor."
"But you see, my friend — it doesn't matter."
The thin man suddenly vanished from Brant's view. Alarmed Brant scanned the skies for his enemy. Then, a shadow towered over him as he felt a hand on his shoulder. A voice whispered in his ear.
"You're already dead."