CHAPTER II — The Last Days of Peace
Ivan, Ivan, Ivan!
the vibrant voice kept on repeating albeit intermittently. "Where am I? Am I dead?"
— By this time Ivan had already open his eyes. The sudden luminous light rays which had engulfed his pupils made his sight blurring for a brief moment. Still contemplating where he was, Ivan heard the same vibrant voice once more — "Ivan You're finally awake!"
Lugging his pupils sideways, Ivan saw his beloved sister Ara standing beside him with her hands both intertwine. "Is this heaven?"
— He muttered faintly. The sight of his sister vibrant face had brought a bit of happiness to him, yet he wondered how she could stand beside him so energetically. Was it possible, they were in the after-life after all? "No silly, we aren't dead yet"
— replied the determine Ara with a cheerful grin. Her response made Ivan bewildered. Not only wasn't he dead, Ara seem to be completely cured from her dreadful illness almost as if nothing had happened. "I guess I must have been dreaming all this while"
— Ivan again said in a rather conclusively manner with his tone now less faintly than before. As if Ara knew what he was going to say, she immediately refuted replying — "No you're not big brother. This isn't a dream, neither is this heaven. You were found by some of the villagers at the bottom of the mountain with a bag of tulips which healed me."
These words brought a soothing relief to Ivan. However as soon as she finish her sentence, an eloquent thought which he had perhaps almost forgotten hit him. Reacting to this thought, he immediately place his right hand just below his abdomen hoping to find something concerning what he had faced earlier. Howbeit not only didn't he discover anything significant, there wasn't even a sign of a single scratch. This made him reminisce about the moment he was impaled on his cogitation, The pain, the loss of breath, the regret, they all seem too real. "Surely it wasn't a dream, it cannot be!"
Ivan by now was dumbfounded. He needed answers as quickly as possible to quench this sudden inquisitiveness. Looking at his sister once more he asked without trying to give way his befuddlement on the matter — "When I was found, was there a man with my body?"
Ara couldn't understand why Ivan was asking all these spasmodic questions but nonetheless replied while holding his arms — "No there wasn't anyone at least not to my knowledge, you were found isolated."
Tightening her grip on Ivan's arm, she followed up with a puzzled look up and then asked a question forthwith — "Is there anything wrong Brother?"
By now Ivan could tell Ara already knew something wasn't right. Why wouldn't she? Ara could always tell if something wasn't right through mere glances. It was her own unique gift perhaps granted by the gods themselves. "No not all. I felt I wasn't alone while up on the mountain. Maybe I was being delusional."
Ivan muttered with both his eyes now fixated on hers. The reaction on her face after he answered her question was somewhat subtle to read. Even though she tried to hide it, Ivan knew she was trying not to be persistent because of his condition. "You know what Ivan, I'll leave you to rest for now. I'll revisit you later in the day"
— She said mildly, while loosening her grip from Ivan's hands. Then she stood up and straighten her linen garment before leaving the inn. Alas, Ivan was once again alone with his thoughts. The man he had seen earlier in the cave was a baffling mystery he needed to solve or could it be there wasn't even a cave to begin with, and all that he saw was only a figment of his imagination? Placing the back of his head gently on the fluffy pillow underneath his body, Ivan stare at the ceiling above him which was covered with truss straws. The mesmerizing nature of the straws subjugated Ivan to his thoughts.
Meanwhile about a thousand miles away from Ivan's village, something peculiar was about to occur. It was on an obscene place called "Ascarvath.
" Ascarvath was a region known for its calamitous occurrences just below the southern hemisphere. The dead still stuck on the realm of the living, was said to roam around the very lands of Ascarvath looking for souls with pure essence to devour. In every land, there is always a ruler and Ascarvath wasn't an exception. It was ruled by a powerful sorcerer named Novalon
who had enigmatically escape Urion's compelling curse through an unknown means. As a result of escaping the world inevitable fate, Novalon became extremely knowledgeable in art of dark elements. He could manipulate all the elements to do his biddings. An ability even the gods probably envied. Yet he wasn't an all powerful being . .
"Come on men, stick together"
— Shouted vigorously by the commander of the Midnight barricade. A special task force of the Kingdom of Fiergard
subjected to a reconnaissance mission on the outskirts of Ascarvath. Turbulent stories had emerges from the lips of several travelers swearing to had witness the killing of their comrades, siblings, acquaintances from something unexplainable. The stories circulated like a wild fire rampaging through desert bushes even going as far as the gracious hall of King castle. Apart from Ascarvath, King Dollie
ruled the kingdom of Fiergard. A vast cold wilderness on the continent of Nerum
just below the equator. He was a fierce yet prudence ruler known for his firm grip through out all the lands. The people of Fiergard in turn respected his efforts and decisions wholeheartedly. Distinguish guests who were graced by his presence, admitted how intimidated they were by just standing next to him. Indeed King Dollie was a giant standing at seven cubic-meters. His dark hair was plump and curly, his eyes dazzling blue with a pointed nose shaped like a spear. The brobdingnagian king had an attire consisting of a — woolen jacket and linen pleatings fitted for a King which he wore on casual occasions. Notwithstanding, when he wasn't dressed in that, he was mostly seen wearing a raiment of a typical Knight consisting of a linen undergarment, woolen stockings, greeves plates which protected the calf and ankle, Poleyns plates which protected the knee cap, Sabatons for the feets, metallic breast plate for the chest, back plate for the back and golden faulds attached to the breast plate which protected the hips, abdomen and the lower back. He also carried a red-cape bearing the insignia of Fiergard (An eagle)
"Hail members of the King of cabinet, you shall now be received by King"
said the announcer in an exuberant tone. In moments, King Dollie walked graciously into the great hall with his helmet clinging to the side of his body and supported by his left arm. The great hall was a rectangular room between one and a half and three times as long as it was wide, and also higher than it was wide. It was entered through a screens passage at one end, and had windows on one of the long sides, often including a large bay window. There was often a minstrel's gallery above the screens passage. At the other end of the hall was the dais where the top table was situated. The King's family's more private rooms lay beyond the dais end of the hall, and the kitchen, buttery and pantry were on the opposite side of the screens passage. King Dollie sat on the center sit, facing his cabinet members. There were five members registered to the King cabinets from distinctive houses. The King cabinets members are as follows; John Lionel
from the House of Lionel, William ferral
from the House of Ferral, James Alderson
from the House of Alderson, Witmer Stark
from the House of Stark and Glenn Potifier
from the House of Potifier. The King's guard John Lionel, who was amongst the cabinets commenced the meeting by introducing the pressing matters on the table. He talked about the recent reports of people getting missing along the outskirts of Ascarvath and argued there is possibly an element of truth in their requisition. "Nonsense! Those are nothing but vague subterfuge. Ascarvath has been insolated for centries"
— Implied James Aldenson. An old man known for his cunning ways. Although he refuted this claim countless times. Nevertheless, Just as a leopard can never hide its spots, Aldenson couldn't help but sneak into gambling houses and brothels as well. "Aldenson, Don't you know there is always an element of truth in rumors?"
— John Lionel replied with an irritated look almost conspicuous on his unwrinkled face. He followed up almost instantaneously by asking a rhetorical question — "Or are you saying we should throw a blind eye on this matter?"
James Alderson and John Lionel where nothing alike. They despise each other and notably had frequent bickering more than anyone amongst the King's cabinet. John being the complete opposite of his counterpart felt Alderson should be excommunicated from the cabinet which a majority of the members agreed on. However by virtue of Alderson cunning ways, King Dollie purposed Alderson shouldn't be excommunicated for the reason that his insidious ways might become the Kingdom greatest assert when confronted with dire dilemmas. "John I ask, why shouldn't we throw a blind eye on something that is practically non-existent?"
— Asked the insidious James Alderson who threw the question right back at John's face. John Lionel sighed and replied with a bit of witticism "It does no good to beat a dead horse so as also responding to your insolent questions."
— "That's enough both of you!"
King Dollie interrupted with a stern tone. "I'm tired of your petty arguments you two engage in. On the point of this matter, I'll see to it some of my finest Knights check out the outskirt of Ascarvath and relay the information back here. This meeting is Adjourned!"
King Dollie stood up from his bronze chair made with finesse and left the hall with his cape leaving the ground granules in its wake.
The next morning, twelve midnights of the King's barricade left for Ascarvath with their armors, weapons and horses. These weren't ordinary Knights! They were called the Stechen Wasp
literally meaning "Stinging Wasp."
Mostly however, they were usually sent on reconnaissance missions to retrieve important informations from their enemies. Pete Newman
the commander of the Knights was a noble fellow. He wasn't just considered a commander but also a fatherly figure amongst the other midnights. He stood up for what is right and rebuked injustice. In the wake of getting on the outskirts of Ascarvath (A cold deserted wasteland filled with trees without leaves), the Midnights decided to rest seeing as darkness began to emanate the forest. They build up a camp, fed the horses, made fire and rested. Little did they know not all look as it seems. The moon was at its peak when the midnights began hearing perplexing sounds and growls from the innermost part of the forest. A sound that wasn't normal. At first, they thought it was nothing but wolves scavenging the lands in search for sustenance. This thought however was quickly overlooked as a loud cry was heard amongst the midnights camp. A cry that perhaps could be heard from the very abode of the King's castle. Immediately, the midnights got up with their swords, shields, arrows and notice one of their own was missing. A sense of panic envelope the camp almost as soon the cry was no more. They collectively decided to scatter themselves around the forest in an attempt to find their missing comrade and — solve this subtlety before it becomes something insolvable. As the Moon with its infinite embrace continue to lite up the forest. The midnights searched the forest with their swords and fire sticks. They were vigorous in their search, wrecking anything in their paths. Even the weeds and feeble branches weren't exempted of this cruelty. In the latter minutes, another cry was heard. The midnights could do nothing but guess the new victim this time. Their minds became plagued with contemplation and uncertainty. "Were the travelers right after all?"
Pete Newman decided to shoot an arrow covered with fire into the vast expanding sky. This act was a type of signal for regrouping. As the midnights hone towards the point of where the arrow was shot, another cry was heard once more. Then again and again and again! Until no cry was heard no more much to Pete's horror. "What's going on"
— he muttered as the cold wind penetrated into the very interstice of his spine. He realized he was probably all alone as the silence hip more misery on him. Gripping unto his sword, Pete pointed it at the inert trees surrounding him. The man felt like he was in a prison without doors or windows. Suddenly, he heard the growls once more emanating from the crannies of the trees. He noticed several silhouette of some sort whisking through the trees in a zig-zag manner. Then he felt something behind him breathing down his neck. This prompted him to turn around, albeit he hesitated as he was weary of what he would find. Turning around inevitably, Pete Newman saw a man. But it wasn't really a normal man. It seemed dead, pupiless and — hideous. Pete couldn't utter a single word as he watched the beast growling at his face. Instinctively, he grip his sword and tried swinging it at the beast only to feel his head hacked off from his body, bouncing unto the cold floor!
I wasn't hell bent on writing an Author's note earlier but I guess I needed to clear some issues. This is the second chapter of the Lord of the elements and from its content you might had already guessed this story is quite similar to some of the prominent fantasy stories out there. I was suppose to draw a map, depicting the continents, kingdoms and cities so as not to make it difficult to understand but haven't have the time to do so yet. There are quite a large number of characters which will be introduced later on. Ivan
however is the protagonist of this story and his role is to bring together all the nations, kindred, kingdoms together and defeat Novalon
from taking over Evion. Basically, he's the choosen one, the savior of the world. Before he can do this however, he's going to pass through numerous trails and even grow up. Anyway, I can only advice you the readers to try and enjoy the mysteries, twists, cliffhanger and everything enigmatic that makes up this story, Thank you!