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Aiden

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  1. Is it that bad? Or is it too long to read?
  2. Chapter 5 Great! Now you will expect me to describe the castle. Since I am walking out of it, I better do it now. Sirohi is to the north of the camp, castle Manas is in most northern part of Sirohi where the mountains start. The castle is on the mountains, with the southern side of castle leading to a river. There is only one bridge to cross this 100 feet wide river which takes you to main gate with thick fortwall, leading to Sirohi. No, path from main gate to the Councilor room is not as small as Luna's chapter make it sound like. No my legs are not tired thanks for asking. Now you are saying I am not behaving like as in morning. Two reasons, first I get moody and I don't know why because I am amnesiac. Second I already told a smell opened my senses and I am feeling way better after Rhinak sparked me. Yeah I know epic backfire. So where were we? Oh yes Luna. I was sitting with her in dining hall. I said something about law which made her uncomfortable but I decided not to pry. Attendant came for order. “Order anything you want. Breakfast is on me. Bacon, chicken, seafood whatever.” “Actually I am vegetarian” I told her. “Expected.” She murmured. “So am I. Lifecrafter can create and talk to animals, it feels wrong to eat them.” She explained. I turned to waiter, “Bring me 4 veg-pizza, different variety. Add as much cheese as your policy allow.” I am never enough amnesiac to forget about pizzas. I hated food at camp and this was my opportunity. “What is pizza?” Waiter asked. I looked up in the sky. God see. This place does not have pizza imagine! Where you got me stuck? “Its a synonym of happiness in Italian.” I explained patiently. “What is Italian?” Luna stared at me like I was from different planet. I gave her an exasperated look making a sad emoticon on my plate with ketchup. “Can you at least get me some potato chips? And a cauldron full of roasted cashew.” He stared like I had just asked to date her daughter. “Okay small cauldron.” I added. Luna ordered for milk and began to indicate different types of salad, attendant carefully taking notes. “I thought you are vegetarian?” I chuckled. “Yeah so?” She gestured at the heading at top. “You look more like herbivore.” I gestured at images at bottom. She glared daggers at me. Priceless feeling. “Did not you make good number of enemies while working as janitor with your sharp tongue and impossible attitude.” I tried to change my expression from sheepish to devil, “I am very careful about choosing my enemies.” Our food came. I was very tempted to pick up grapes from her plate. So I did. She gave her plate a helpless look and began to eat. Then I realized it was not about grape. I thought of what happened in the morning. “This attitude is because of a flooding happiness coming from inside. Also I cannot resist joking in the most serious of situations. Sorry about that.” I waited for her response. “I know, I have felt it too when I get up from meditation. Magic is only concentration. When you can see it enough with concentration and magical centres of your body are refined to give you such energy, you can make it happen. So all magicians meditate. But it does not effect me like this. Just a wave of calmness.” She explained. “How many died today?” I asked the question to implicitly explain what I was trying to talk about. “You were the one living at camp.” “Seven or eight. I guess guards must have got chance to escape, given that Rayal already knew about the situation. Though he did not send anyone for help.” I was not trying to accuse. “He knew I was there. If only I had not been sleeping.” She frowned. “What is your rank?” “General of far East.” She said looking down, trying to make it sound casual. “I am not surprised. So I am guessing you are very famous out there.” Always amusing to interview celebrities. “No. I usually try to keep a low profile. Fame can be a distraction from duty.” The reasoning I found to be very impressive. She continued, “talking of duty, you are going on mission you might get killed. I do not know why Lord would send you for such a mission but I should not doubt his wisdom. What supplies you want?” She asked in official tone. I thought of my salary of 900 dimes/month. My 2 years savings of 2000 dimes that I will probably never retrieve. “I will go alone. But give me some money.” We finished our food and she took me in an office. I had to sign some papers and she handed me 400 dimes and a paper with Rayal's seal. “Avenge your friends. And you look disgusting so shave and bath before you go. Guards and people in general are more conscious about appearances than they would admit.” She took me to a room and handed me its key. “Now I have to go.” She walked toward the nearest balcony. I saw a blue wingbolt, she jumped and they were gone. I went to my room to do daily stuff and now here I am. Say what now? Wingbolt? I am glad you asked. First there are dragons and then there are wingbolt. As the dragon's element is fire, that of wingbolt is magic. So they hit harder with magic bolts, they are also faster than dragons as they can use magic to fly, attaining speed just a bit less than sound. But here is the catch, they fly fast as they are more birdlike than reptilian dragons, aerodynamics more suited to fly (I hope you know what is aerodynamics, once I used the word at camp and they looked at me as if I am alien) so they are also weaker in physical battle. Also, they can only grow up to a maximum size, weighing around ten tons while dragon can keep growing. Further, ancient dragons can manipulate magic while wingbolts never grow up to manipulate fire. But both are blessed with practically immortal life, and so does their rider. A dragon and a wingbolt can chose you to be her rider but you can pair with only one of two, and only once in your life. Does not matter if it is a wingbolt or a dragon you paired with, your magical abilities get enhanced and your lifeline increases manyfold. Both come in color of gems, which also effects their nature their color also becomes the color of eyes of rider. No wonder Luna's eyes are blue sapphire. Obviously the brown and black help you hide your identity. But black are rare, because black gem manikya is too strong and also precious. Last black dragon died fifty years ago, and there is only one black wingbolt alive. I walked out of gates and called for a cab asking him to take me to the eastern gates of Sirohi. I noticed that creations were agitated, even the serviles, I recalled that Mekesh was not agitated at all. But none were going rogue as in camp. So source must be somewhere in southeast near camp. I have no idea what I will do, I am mostly relying on my healing abilities. And you must be thinking Rayal is so great he offered me his service. Like I had any other options. I have no 700% placement offers waiting for me. Yes forest are dark and full of spoilers but hunting gathering is not my cup of tea. You have to do something for living. I am feeling like scape-aiden, incidentally I am also well fed at the moment. Driver asked for 50 dimes, I handed him 5 silver coins. Yes it is costly. No. No public transportation I could see. I am prudent about money, don't worry. Story say that two millennium ago there was a war between dragons and wingbolts when they came to this continent inhabited by humans. Humans were caught in between the fight, they tried fighting, diplomacy, taking sides, nothing worked much. Thanks to lifecrafters, after tons of casualties, they began to make finer and finer creations. Eventually they manage to copy dragons itself, which they called drakon, the third of Big Three, and wingbolts which they called simply bolt, the second. But that was not enough because they were merely, much weaker copies of something natural. Then they made Eyer, the delusionist, the first among the Big Three. It is only 4 feet high, some slimy legs and only a big head for body, with mouth on forehead. They alone are horror, but with their aid, lifecrafter can weave delusion so strong that can make one slaughter his family. They can make you see a world which does not exist. It ended Dragon vs Wingbolt war with truce among three and first riders came. But these three new creations were intelligent. Together they rebelled against lifecrafters, with opportunist humans joining them. The fight started nine centuries ago but the Rebellion is still going, it is now a political concept. Creating Eyers had to be banned seven centuries ago, punishment to make one was sentence to death, WHEN they manage to catch you, however if you had made Eyer before the ban, you were allowed to keep it. On the other hand, banning of Eyers was not enough for some, and that is how Savage became another political concept around same time. Cab dropped me to the eastern gate. I began my stride to southeast, hoping the trouble will eventually find me. The smell had increased in intensity so did my perception. It was one reason to come here, I wanted to know what is this smell. There was hardly any sunlight in dense forest but I kept going in one direction, marking the trees with the sword with count. Then there was this smell to guide me. I walked for hours, losing the track of time. I made a mental note of buying a wrist watch of around 40 dimes from my mission funds if I return alive. Eventually I managed to reach most creepy looking place, it was a cave across a rocky lake, partially submerged in water. Some natural animals were lying dead here and there adding to red alert effect. I walked in. I was disappointed to have such a lazy villain. I searched for a while in cave, the water level was up to my knees and I saw bats sleeping above me. Pro tip, when in cave, don't look up. I followed the smell, finally ending my pursuit with a turn which took me to a space that would easily qualify as a hall. The floor was muddy. Yes I am coming to that, in a corner was sitting a four feet tall Eyer. It is Eyer I am sure, I have seen plenty in animal books at camp. What do I say? Remind it that you were banned 700 years ago? Sounds like a good opening line. I moved forward, “hey you were banned 700 years ago.” I said extremely satisfied with myself. It must have been pretty surprised because it stumbled. I thought it was because of opening line. “You do not seem to be affected” I heard a frustrated voice in my mind. “Yeah sorry, are you trying to harm me?” It is an Eyer for God sake, I would not want to offend it. It did not reply probably trying to increase the intensity of its attack. “Hey hey look. You are causing quite a havoc, many creations and animals are dead. Councilor Rayal sent me to find what is happening. I don't suppose you will leave if I say 'please'?” I tried taunting it. Which is a good strategy given that they only attack your mind which was not happening with me until now. Most probably because it was definitely alone, without its master lifecrafter. So I was trying to confuse it with politeness. Suddenly it spoke. “You? YOOUUUUUUU?” I felt something piercing in my mind. I saw myself roaming in mountains, then barren land. I saw a river which felt painfully nostalgic. Then I saw myself looking right at me, I was on floor with a sword in my chest, I am sure my heart was damaged, I was skinned except for face but what was most disturbing was that I was laughing. Not like fanatic but a very serene type of laugh, I gestured like I was blessing someone, probably my attacker. Then the vision vanished. “NO! It will not happen with us, we will not go mad like you!” It began to run away. “Next time you meet us...” the voice faded, then it was gone. “Mission accomplished?” I shouted in darkness. I mean I was curious about the vision but the present danger was the first priority. No one replied. I searched around but found nothing. The smell was gone too. So I ruled in my favor that mission was a success and I can go to my room.
  3. Chapter 4 “Sergeant... SERGEANT.” Captain was shaking him vigorously. Sergeant opened his eyes, his captain helped him stand. “You are the only one alive. Tell us what happened.” Captain said in a professional tone. What did Jason recall? He looked out, it was evening time, he was not sure if it is the same day. Last he could recall, spy had her fingers in his mouth. “She...” his tongue felt paralysed. Then the feeling subsided. “We were chasing her, she was trying to...” Jason fell on his chin, blood splattered out of his mouth. When captain turned him to help, his eyes were still open. Hundred miles away, Nicole sighed and fell on her knees under the weight of regret. Her face was under hood but she covered her face with her hands. “Why?” Fury spoke from somewhere beyond the walls. “You ask why I regret? Because I believed it was possible. That a mortal can have precious thing called love that I myself will never have. That is why I placed a creation in his throat, merely to keep track of his words but sparing his life. I tried to warn him when he revealed my gender. But he did not stop there. I had no choice but to kill him” She was kneeling on forest floor breathing deeply. “Why not you can have love Nicole?” “Beside my political involvement? Because I cannot compromise Fury, the fault is mine I know, but I cannot. And there is no thing as perfect relation. We meet imperfect people in this imperfect world and that one day you will meet someone is a lie which sustains because it protects the institution of marriage.” “Stop it! The ruthlessness with which you pull out the harsh reality, it scares me.” Nicole laid on forest floor. “I just hope his girl will find someone. Humans always manage to move on, eventually. Life goes on.” Fury tried to change the topic. “What you will do now?” She did not replied immediately. Fury waited. Finally Nicole stood up. “I will run to rebel hideout. The adrenaline of running, if only I could escape myself. I am a murderer Fury.” “It was not a murder, he broke his word.” Nicole was silent. “We were born into a never ending war.” Fury continued, convincing more to herself than Nicole and retreated from her mind, soaring high in sky somewhere beyond the wall. Nicole resumed running. If only a mortal could see her running, but they cannot. She ran through the forest without voice, the trees around her passing in a blur. She ran through the night and entire day, never stopping to rest, relying on her essence and magical energy. By sunset she reached Bhitarkanika, western frontier of Eastern province. It was an ideal city for hideout. It was well crowded, and hills in southwest made it impossible to continue the Wall, allowing for a diffused frontier. She entered the city unnoticed and went toward the Hideout. It was bit too luxurious to be named Hideout. The front part was a casino that allowed for sinful pleasure of every kind. Most of the employees in casino, the prostitutes, waiters etc. were from councilor lands. Only those sitting at the top were rebels. There was a backdoor leading to mountains but to avoid attention they only used it in emergency, mostly to go into mountains. She entered the casino. She was too remorseful to notice the surroundings. She walked the known path, stopped at a door and opened it. Guard inside gave her a hostile looks “mam this area is only for employess.” She said in something his ear, he gave way. She walked past the room opening into another. A muscular man was sitting on sofa in middle of room doing something. He noticed her, “Hey, what are you doing here.” She pulled her hood. The man stood up. “Hi Yousuf.” She said in irritated tone. He was a native of Eastern province, Pakhiralaya, but had joined rebel side. His loyalty had earned him second rank in Hideout and lots of diverted richness from casino business. Everyone knows about corruption, few can do anything about it. His eyes went down to check her perfect figure prominent through her cloak, her height same as his. He looked at her vulnerable face, perfectly complementing her soft voice. Her strawberry sweet lips. He stared into her green eyes, sparkling like emerald, the color of her wingbolt. He wished he could drown himself into them, if only she would allow. “How are you?” His eyes full of concern. “Running for a week. Open the door.” She gestured evading his wolflike look. “You must be tired. Anyway I can help?” He came closer. “Yes. Leave me alone.” Disappointed, Yousuf opened the door and went back on his sofa. He checked her out from behind as she left. She has no sense of beauty he thought to himself. Why would she tie her long blonde hair in ponytail. And she thinks she can treat me like this and get away with it. Patience, patience he told himself. Nicole went to Saeed's office. He was happy to see her but she told politely that she will give reports later as she is going to stay here for three days to get rest. She excused herself and went to her room. There was one room, always reserved for her in Rebel Hideout. Despite the fact that she is not Rebel, she never was. She is a Savage, to the last drop of her blood. But to oppose Councilors, the Rebels and Savages needed each other and there has been an alliance since last few decades. Well at least between the Northern Rebels, the more predictable, and the three Savage factions, excluding the fourth in far southeast who were Savage not just in name but nature as well. She told Fury to fly to send message to Patrick now that she is safe but Fury obviously declined arguing that Patrick might still not be in castle and that she is being too concerned as Councilor Corrium attack is not going to happen before next month. She was too tired to argue. She sat on her bed. Her eyes went to the map on the wall. As infiltrator, this map was her life, and her nightmare too. And she probably knew this map more than any other person. She began to study it again out of habit. In south, lies the sea. In north, whole continent is surrounded by lofty mountains running in a semicircle coming down to make the boundaries of far east and far west of the continent where they meet sea. The mountain ranges too wide to be passed by the mightiest dragons and wingbolts the only way to go past them is to go via sea. In the western side of mountains there is desert called Rubh-Al-Kahli, beyond which in north they say live the wild wingbolts making it impossible to go farther. In east beyond the mountains is an island called Namdapha in north, still the home of wild dragons. And a belt of islands in south with gold mines. The rest in east is yet-unexplored-sea called Vaitarni. The six sides of councilors live in north. The seat of council is in Far North, slightly to the west, but it is called Northwestern province anyway, ruled by Lady Anugya, the First among six. Below it and going farther to west is Western province, ruled by Sanjaya. The area north of Western province and west of Northwestern province is sealed by the Great Wall beyond which lurk creations most devil, remnant of battle between Monarch and Monarchslayer. The North is ruled by Minos, Northeastern isolated by mountains by Rayal, East by Rasheed and Central by Corrium. The southern side of continent, toward west is occupied by four factions of Savages – Black, White, Red and Green– but they all are ruled by one king, Theodric of the Red Savages. The two sides of rebels, led by Sneha and Nero occupy the east of southern part of continent. It is only fortunate that the tyrannical rebels of Nero and Savages of Hasan are separated by sea, living on eastern and western island respectively. All she cared about was the victory of Savages, White Savages in particular, who probably derived their name for inhabiting the only cold place in south, the hills of Karnal. She said a prayer for the boy she killed today and went to sleep.
  4. Chapter 3 Luna was looking at the sleeping Rhinak, her favorite creations. Brown color, a bulky body and patched skin through which magic flow, being directed at enemies through a horn above stout. They said Rhinaks are scary, that they can kill a man with one spark. For her, they had always been cute. She realized she has lost some precious moment when she heard a spark behind. She knew the sound, she lifted her hand, magical spells had became a part of her. A sleeping wave gave second Rhinak sweet dreams as Luna saw the janitor falling. She felt sorry for him. When Servile went to her in morning telling of the situation, or when it told about a janitor who can help she thought they both deserve to live. She did not need any help but she had decided to walk for their sake, and now one of them was dead because she paused to admire a Rhinak. She inspected janitor's body. He was still breathing, his eyes shut, as a man waiting for death. Then he opened his eyes. He looked around, confused. “I am not dead yet?” He asked Luna with a puzzled face. Realization dawned on Luna. He was a thief! She had doubted this when he said he was immune to cold or when she saw his perfect grip on sword. And even a strong magician cannot survive a Rhinak's attack without his ward while janitor is still alive. She sat down putting her forefinger on his head. “Explain! How you survived attack of a Rhinak? You are stealing the secrets of lifecrafters!” If he was scared, it did not show, “I don't know. In fact I don't know anything. I am amnesiac since 2 years. All I vaguely remember is being brought here by warden and working here ever since then.” He explained. Luna considered this. She had heard most imaginative lies from mortals who got caught. But this was different. Further, his abilities proved he was not a regular book-thief she was used to. It is a sin to kill an innocent. This is the first law of magicians order. That one day what goes around will come back around if you abuse your powers. And when you possibly have a life spam of centuries, life teaches you to remember the first rule first. “I will take you to the councilor, he will decide your fate.” She left leaving them no choice but to follow. They walked out of the camp in silence encountering few creations that Luna easily neutralized. Saying goes that when you rule in far eastern province, Intangka as it is called, your enemies can only wait your death. Walking through the small forest that was on way between camp and city of Sirohi, Luna felt how true it was. It was not just the mountains that surrounded Intangka from three sides, or the sea to the south that provided a natural frontier. But also the sea winds blocked by mountains and provided ample rainfall, with the fertile soil of this undisturbed land since eons, it was no wonder that the vegetation was so thick. The trees were over hundred meters high and sunlight barely reached the ground. And it was no wonder that dragons had chosen vegetation rich Intagka as their first home when they came to this continent from Namdapha, a land beyond the sea in far east. After an hour, city gate came in sight. Aiden called from behind, “is it safe to wield two sword in middle of city?” Luna grinned, “you are with me.” She replied with satisfaction. He dared to tell her she is wasting her energy against Nermian. Now he will see. And why does saving energy matters while killing weak creations? Except for councilors themselves, how many people are there in who could beat her? Prince Richard? Uh-oh why he is always the first name she would think of. Henry, though when a philanderer got time to practice, she never understood. Xi of course with his luck, and Lindsey. That's it. She thought with a smile. She told herself that she will be best making Rayal proud someday. Guards saluted as she walked in through city gates. Menkesh asked for her permission to leave for Servile Regulation Building. After it left she hailed for a cab. Aiden was so silent all the while that she had to turn back to check that he was still there. “To Manas. Castle of the Councilor.” She added just to be sure driver understood. Every Councilor castle, North, East, West, Central, Northwest and Northeast had a name. She sometimes wondered if the Rebels and Savages in the south might have castles of such grandeur? “30 dimes mam.” Driver replied. “Here you go.” Then she instantly regretted swiping her traveling card. Nine thousand something amount displayed, 10,000 being maximum. She thought of janitor standing behind. She turned to see him, he was staring at the screen then he realized she was looking and became interested in his feet. She was going to take the front seat but thought it would be rude. Also, she was enjoying the idleness off the busy schedule. She decided it would not hurt to be polite and took the backseat with Aiden. They remained silent for most part of journey. Only once she asked him, “so do you have any other such abilities which might be termed as magical?” “I heal pretty fast” he grinned. “Do you know how it works?” “No. Its a sort of passive ability if I call it that way.” He chuckled looking pleased with himself. Yeah, why not! Of all the abilities, you get self-healing. Do you have any idea how grave danger you are in? Can I, can I just strangle him. Councilor would execute him instantly anyway. I can make it less painful for him. She joked to herself. Then she reckoned she was a serious kind of person and that this was a cruel type of joke. Also, he would not probably die by being strangled if his healing is what she think it is. “You do realize it is possible that the Councilor will order your execution.” She reminded. “I am hanging on the word 'possible' to hope you will not be hanging me tonight.” So much for the pun. This janitor has nerves Luna had to admit. "Useless". He shrugged, "Well it does not work every time." He began to look out of window. She got really curious with his jolly attitude, “Why are you so happy?” “It's a good day. I got off from the work. So why not.” “Your job is not difficult anyway.” She replied intentionally. Not really trying to hurt but shut his happiness down to a serious atmosphere she was used to. Aiden turned to meet her eyes. His expression changed, probably realizing the reference about the nature of his work she was referring to. “The life of every individual has its duties. And duty of one is not the duty of another, making everyone's role important. Thus no duty is ugly, no duty is inferior. Circumstances placed me in the environment I work, when I do it, I try to do it well. Each is great in his own place and when a man accomplish success in society, he must not think that those who stand on the lower strata are not making a difference.” He turned to look out of the window again. Luna stared at him, stunned. Not a janitor, definitely not a mortal. They reached the gates. They opened for her when guards saw her face. There are ranks when you do not need your insignia, your name becomes the rank. Luna was one of that kind Aiden could clearly see in the eyes of the guards. No one bothered her as she walked into the throne room of the Councilor. They were standing in front of Rayal, the Fifth among Six, Watcher of the East, Heir to First Dragonriders. He had taken a simple seat, merely one step higher than the rest. The room was empty, which was understandable because Rayal never spent time in idle talks with his ministers preferring his meditative solitude over distracting companions. “My child”. He smiled at Luna kindly. “I heard that something went wrong at my camp.” She bowed. “My Lord, I felt a presence at the camp. It is the force I believe that made the animals rogue. I could not save anyone but for a servile and a janitor.” She looked down waiting for master's word. “A janitor you say.” He asked looking toward Aiden, who bowed immediately. “Yes. And I found something very unusual.” She gestured to Aiden, “he survived spark of a Rhinak and he says that he heals instantly.” She lowered her voice going closer to Rayal. “When I tried to question him, he said he is amnesiac.” “And amnesiac he is.” Rayal replied. “Come here Aiden. You are an Outsider I believe, one who does not derives his lineage among us Lifecrafters but had been accepted in our Order for his loyal duties.” His expression turned grim, “I found you roaming in the mountains three years ago. I could sense your energy but allow me to say that your expression was that of a fanatic. I had to arrange for your healing which took a year. And then I had to sent you to my camp, to work in isolation lest your powers turn unstable. Forgive me to put you in such position son.” “Do you know anything about my past, like why I became amnesiac?” It scared Luna how directly he had addressed Rayal. “I am afraid that I do not. But I see great potential in your power if put to good use. I will be glad to take you in my service if you so chose.” Luna had not expected such conversation. But if Aiden had been an accepted Outsider his powers were not against laws. 'Laws' – a word that mattered most to Luna. She turned to see Aiden. His face or body gave no evidence of his power. He looked like a man who is tired after a day work, with slumped shoulders, messy beard and mustache, and black eyes. Eyes, they were the only thing that gave hint of power. Still she was surprised how easily Rayal had offered to take Aiden in his service. But then, she had a similar past with Rayal. “It would be an honour my lord.” Aiden bowed again graciously. “Then your first task is to find the source of this presence Luna says she felt. I suggest you to look in east of Sirohi. Do that and return to me. I believe you are strong enough to take on whatever danger awaits in wood. Luna will make sure my servant provide you with everything you need.” Rayal turned to Luna. “And you my child, I need you to carry an important message to Corrium and come back by tonight. You are the only one who can fly two thousand miles in a day and one I can trust.” “Yes my Lord.” “Dismissed.” The Councilor waved. Luna was relieved that Rayal had not questioned her for failing to save the camp. When they walked out, the first thing Aiden said was “I am hungry.” Luna thought it is not a bad idea. She too should eat before going for her long flight. Central province is a thousand miles away, maximum of what wingbolts can fly at a stretch, and coming back would exhaust Mikag. She searched for Mikag in her mind. “What?” Her wingbolt's voice came almost instantly. She felt the happiness she felt whenever their mind touched, “Rayal wants us to go to Lord Corrium. Come quick.” “For what?” “Come, I'll tell.” Which was not the best answer. But if she tells her now Mikag will begin to complain how she had just rested and now will have to exhaust herself with long journey. As if complaining about Rayal's order would make a difference. She realized Aiden was waiting for reply, “Yes. Come this way.” She usually ordered food to be brought to her room but she decided to accompany Aiden. Apparently Rayal did asked her to do so. She sat on a table near counter while Aiden sat on ground. “You can sit here.” She gestured. “Now that you are accepted Outsider, you should really get over your inferiority complex. Also, I am no more trying to get you killed.” She smiled. He took seat in front of her. “It is not inferiority complex. It does not hurt to abide by rules.” Yes! She felt the pain in her heart, so intense that she had to hold her breathe. “Yes. It never hurt to abide by rules.” She managed to say.
  5. Chapter 2 “I know what you are going to say... Hmph... Run faster... I am [censored]ing trying." She cursed. "Sourheart I was merely saying...” "You can't help so don't speak through your ass. Go [censored] yourself." "I have tried my best my lady, my wings do not reach there." "No jokes! I am trying to survive here." "Fine! Good luck dying. I am going to get some sleep." "You are true friend honey". Fury’s voice retreated from Nicole’s mind. Nicole knew she had offended her wingbolt, but she was seriously fussing like mother-hen-bolt. And her pride, we wingbolts are second among the Big Three, the breathers of magic, it irritated Nicole sometimes. Running from a dozen military pursuers while hiding your identity as infiltrator on a straight road surrounded on both side by buildings in middle of Corrium’s territory was challenge enough. She did not need her wingbolt to give a running commentary when Fury cannot come here to get her. She lazily dodged another arrow but it collided with her ward this time. She turned to look at arrow, to figure out if someone else fired this one. Wait what pink arrow?! They were firing normal iron arrows till now. Now pink, seriously? What they were trying to do, loveshot her? It was embarrassing to fire with arrows colored pink. Jason was painting a gift for his beloved girl in morning when he accidently spilled it on his arrows. And then they called him for duty that they have to find a suspicious individual reported to be hiding in Pench. Pench, the city on the southern frontier of Central Province. Central Province was ruled by Corrium, the Third among Six Councilor, Bane of Rebels, Guardian of Council, Slayer of Monarchslayer, The Mighty Cripple. Leutinent Walker had made them walk through the city for an hour following the trail of this spy. Things had went wrong when they reached a construction site. It was surrounded by a boundary wall, few tents scattered here and there in front area of incomplete building. Bamboos tied together making stairways to reach the top of two story building. A bunch piled up in the left corner. A man was readying the mortar mixing machine at the centre. Workers were queuing up for their daily work. A convenient place for anyone to hide. We were looking around as Walker went to the watchman. “Saw anything suspicious?” “No sir.” He replied, eyeing our small unit of a dozen soldiers nervously. Walker watched all the laborers, “keep an eye if anyone tries to slip among workers. We have news that a spy is trying to escape to south to rebel lands.” “Yes sir. We will.” Jason saw a private going behind tent on the left side of building. He heard private calling, “hey who are you…?” Private groaned and slumped to ground. A pointed stone had pierced through his throat. He died on spot. Jason had ran toward tent trying to catch the murderer as a figure ran out, probably female. She jumped on bamboo instantly jumping for another, battlemage Carl sent a firebolt flying, she dodged jumping to another bamboo and taking a final jump to other side of boundary. Walker had led them from the front door giving her a head start of around hundred metres. They reached the place she had jumped. It was a road turn, a straight road leading away from Pench, in the wilderness, another from which they came. They saw her running on straight road with no turns. Some passerby tried to catch her when they saw army behind but she had managed to knock them and keep running. Walker laughed. “Is she a fool?” They chased her. Jason was running next to Carl. Everyone wants to win friendship of a mage in army but he had been successful with that. Jason was a sincere person, one who would give his last dessert to others. Carl appreciated that and they had become friends quickly. Carl fired a shot of blue bolts but it fell of harmlessly on spy’s ward. “Okay [censored], take this” he smirked, slowing his pace, his hands went up and a bolt of lightning fired from sky. Spy kept running. Carl was panting heavily. Walker ordered them to shoot. She harmlessly dodged of arrows. Jason saw this as a crucial moment, an opportunity to show his archery skills he has been holding on to till now, not to come too strong in eyes of his senior. He took aim, arrow was right on target, on her neck. But it fell off harmlessly. But she turned to see the arrow, trying to increase her pace. Jason grinned firing another one. It fell again. “How long you can keep your ward up baby.” He decided to save his arrow, he did not want to hurt the civilians, she cannot run anywhere but straight, and she was clearly no magician, she had tried nothing magician like and her wards clearly a blessing from her master. They continued the chase. Jason felt like one among eleven hunter, cornering their beautiful prey slowly while she hopes to escape. Nicole kept running which felt like forever, practically, she was not wrong. She had been on run for three days, resting only in public transport, coming all the way from Panna, the capital of Central Province. She was near her destination now. What mattered more than anything was warning Patrick, to tell him to run to his castle as fast as he can before Corrium attacks. Finally the road ended, she turned left. The place was deserted, good for her. She jumped to the top of a two story house hoping nobody saw her. She was now at the borders of town, she saw eastern road running to heavily guarded gate of Pench. She knew she cannot cross into rebel lands. Her best shot was to take the western road running parallel to the wall and slip into the forests of Eastern Province. She jumped on houses making no noise. Her mortal parents had always told her she was like a cat. It did not matter at that time. She wanted to be a wingbolt rider. She had trained hard for 10 years in savage lands. The day Fury had chosen her, when they had become a pair, when she had heard fury’s voice in her mind, and flew high in sky with supersonic speed, that was the best day of her thirty nine years. She loved Fury more than anything and would do anything for her. She waited at the last house. Listening their footsteps, hiding behind the railing, keeping an eye on stairs in case any mortal came up. Someone came on the roof of next house, she put him to sleep. They all took turn when she looked down. The last guy was being too cocky, walking away from others. “Mistake”. She smiled. Jason had grown up in jungle as a hunter until army spotted him. He had survived twenty years where one wrong move can end your life in an instant and had learnt to trust his instincts. His instincts fired up. He turned to see, he was sure not one but three people were following behind him. “Rick”, he called. The new recruit turned to see that two people were missing. He went back to check. He reached the corner calling, “Rick…” Jason saw from ten meter away as Rick’s dagger pierced through recruit’s left eye coming out from other side. He ran toward Jason, his eyes throwing a fountain of blood with every heartbeat. He fell, never to stand again. Jason could feel the others getting nervous. It was precisely the time to take a stand. If you let her rule your fear, you have lost already. He saw Walker and Carl, they were confident. “She cannot run away from there, we block her only escape route. Get away from buildings. They went farther away from buildings to other side of road, into the canopy of trees – Jason's territory – that were remains of a forest before the wall was made. The birds and crickets had sensed danger, there was an eerie silence. Jason tried to get a glimpse of her from distance but he saw nothing. His sharp ears heard a sound of something piercing the air. He turned in time to see a hammer reaching Walker’s head. He fired. Arrow collided to hammer, throwing it off its trajectory. Walker saw up to realize his life has just been saved by his Sergeant. Jason saw the figure hiding under railing. “[censored].” “Her wards are protecting her” Jason told Walker. Walker's voice was calm. “These buildings are mostly outpost, I have been into one of them while serving here. We can lure her there and ambush her.” Walking the road, Jason began to think of a plan B. What if she manage to overpower others and close the distance with him. His archery skills will not be much use in such situation. His beloved had proven this to him before. She would walk stealthily through trees, surprising him with a quick blow. That is how he had met her for the first time when he was nine. She sparred him to the ground in matter of minutes. Great way to start a friendship. Tomorrow, he will make sure that it changes into something more than friendship. He wanted to live for her. If the spy can overpower them, there was only one way to survive. After walking few hundred meters Walker stopped, “this is the place.” Then he spoke loudly. “We can send a signal to Wall defenders from here. Get in.” Jason surveyed the area. Across the road among tress, his eyes did not miss her. She was sitting at tree top looking in his direction, his bow ready. He had a clear shot of the branch she was sitting on. Her wards would not be enough when she will fall. He looked at her hood, she moved, he did not fire. Nicole saw as pink-archer turned away giving her a last look. She wanted to run away. Let them wait for her inside the building, even if they can alert defenders of the wall, she can outrun them. But their pets will find her trail, the hideout that they have made inside enemy territory will no more be a secret. It was necessary therefore, to buy more time, to kill the enemy soldiers. She unsheathed her dagger, Lastview she called it, and walked to the door. Her hand moved, the door's inside-lock followed her command. She opened the door slightly and paused, waiting for attack. Nothing happened. She came in and closed the door behind her, locking it with magical bonds. She saw a long deserted passage leading inside, the walls on both side had numerous sniperholes, which were also, the only source of light. She looked up. Ceiling was high and had beams for support. She jumped up and hugged the beam. She smiled thinking of the mortals who can only jump few feet at best. Magic can come handy in smallest of things. She wished she could fly without Fury. Jumping from one beam to another took all her focus. One wrong timing would expose her. Stopping heavy arrows from piercing took lot of energy, and they might have guns they'd be saving for such moments. Now there were no pedestrians to shield her, she could not take the risk. She reached the end of passage and heard for any voice. She heard footsteps going away from her, some people talking in another direction, from the light she judged it was upstairs. They were probably setting trap on stairs. She grinned, she still had element of surprise. She left the passage and turned to right quickly covering few steps. Sure enough, she found the door she expected. Jason had insisted to man the hole but Walker insisted that he was needed with him. A lonely archer was standing, looking through the sniperhole, his eyes fixed on the dark passageway in front of him. Something cut his throat, opening his windpipe, when he screamed, no voice came. He turned to see his assassin, there was no one standing behind. “[censored] should not have given her location by attacking Leutinent from roof.” Man with rope said to his friend. “Yes, and I wish to see her face before she dies to the boulder on stairs.”. His friend replied. “Too bad, her corpse would be too deformed to f***.” “Bloody necrophile.” A man cursed from back. Man with rope laughed, “Woah man, are you gay...”. He screamed, no sound came. He looked down, his blood wetting his army dress, a dagger coming out of his ***k. That was the last thing he saw. His friend looked at his right, his eyes widened in horror, “NO”, spy kept her hand on his mouth, he groaned. Then became silent. “What?” Same voice called from back, he stood up to see a girl prowling at him. Her dagger pierced his windpipe, he laid there still, taking a shower in the fountain of blood gushing from his throat. A fourth man was there, who had been silent all the while. He saw as the spy prowled and killed his friend and paused to admire her work. He moved slowly, stabbing her on back, in heart with all his might. His short-sword collided with something solid. She turned and beheaded him. Carl was standing at a burning pit. He smiled as he fired the signal, the defenders of wall will know. She would be fool to come after them now. He turned down to jump on ground and laugh with Jason. “CARL WATCH”, Jason screamed. Someone punched Carl on his back, his breathes stopped in pain, she had punched him through his wards. How can this be. She pushed him in the burning signal, the fire burnt brightly. Jason and Walker ran for door. She jumped after them, appearing between them and the door. Jason slashed his sword. She blocked it with her dagger. Her left hand punched Walker on head, there was no blood but Jason knew his Leutinent is gone. Jason threw the bow. “Knock me unconscious but let me live.” He backed away. “I want to live for the girl I love. I will not tell them about you. I will leave the army and never cross as your enemy. Please.” He begged. Spy hesitated. “If you loved your life so much, you should not have joined the army.” Her voice was so soft that you would want to hide her and protect her from the cruel world. Jason closed his eyes, a tear rolled down his eyes. “We were poor. I was strong. She wanted to live a comfortable life, this was the only way I could give her that life.” His back hit the wall, he fell on his knees, praying to God for one chance, and he will never leave her again. “How lovely. So she loves you too?” She asked in a mocking tone, removing her gloves. “I know that she do. I plan to propose her tomorrow, the date we first met.” She sheathed her dagger and sat on her knees next to him. Her left hand cupped his right cheek, turning him toward herself. “Well then, let me make your love life more interesting.” She pressed his cheeks together, Jason mouth opened, Nicole slid two fingers of her right hand in his mouth, deepthroating him.
  6. I am only writing this for my pleasure at the moment (5 chapters done), though my friends say that it is going good and I might get it published someday. I wanted to share it with the community of spiderweb as its beginning and some important concepts have been borrowed from Geneforge 5. Also, I hope it would not amount to copyright violation as I am only taking inspiration and story is my own (I mailed Jeff a week back but got no reply). Please let me know what you think about it. Hope you like it. Note: I am censoring some language in chapter 2 but in real book such language will be there. If you encounter any linguistic error, feel free to point it out. Chapter 1. There were noises in important part of building. Important people must be having their important arguments over something. I pulled blanket over myself and hid my face under pillow trying to sleep again. Whatever is happening, surely a janitor, a poop cleaner would not be welcome into the affair. Yeah poop cleaner, animal poop to be precise. Animals of all types. Nice job profile no? It suited my personality though. Everyone ignored me. Sometimes seniors would bring out their frustration but rest of time, people were completely oblivious of my existence, remembering only to boss around for some work. Which was fine too. I was immune to insults. They did not matter to me. And the physical exertion did not tire me at all somehow. So it left a lot of time for me to stay alone in my small room and brood over everything in solitude. Noises increased alarmingly with no sign of human voice. “Great, some magical creature must have I gone rogue. Early start for today’s work.” I was no match to the powers of these creatures still they did not scare me. Problem was I was not scared of anyone, the officers at camp, the magicians, and even The Lifecrafters occasionally visiting the camp for inspection. In 2 years since I was brought here, the only years of my present memory, I have come to think myself of an arrogant fool who certainly has some inflated self-esteem problem. I was just getting out of my blanket when a female voice surprised me. “Here you are.” I quickly covered myself with blanket like a robe. Lame I know but the problem was not that I was only wearing trousers, but that it was usually chilly in this part and we had snowfall last night. She noticed anyway. “Cold does not bother you?” “No. I guess I am immune.” I said now facing her. Immunity to extreme temperatures was usually a magician’s trait that they develop with their magical skills. Not funny to summon a fireball when you are the first one to be burnt by it. But I was no magician, just a stupid janitor. She was wearing a night gown reaching her knees. Clearly a magician, surprised out of bed. “I am Luna, Servile says you can help.” I noticed Menkesh accompanying her. Menkesh had seen me soothing a hellhound once. It had bit on my shoulder, blood gushed out but wound instantly began to heal, which is the only weird power I have. Menkesh had clearly seen that and still pretended seeing nothing. Surely it was more intelligent which was not supposed to be right, maybe it even deserved to be called "she" but it is safe to call "it" in this part of world if you don't want to make powerful enemies. I bowed. “Aiden at your service, Ma’m.” “I cannot believe you slept through everything. Animals have gone rogue maddened by some magical influence, we three are the only people alive in camp and you are here relaxing?! Anyway follow me to armory see if you can use anything and then we get going out of this place.” Her tone was angry but flat. That took a moment to process, everyone dead. But she did not wait for response and moved out while I put up my shirt and followed her, Menkesh walking behind me with a dagger in its hand. We walked downstairs passing staff quarter through the narrow passage I have walked and cleaned every day since 2 years. Turning to left we reached the most luxurious area of the building. I was not allowed here, these rooms were cleaned by personal serviles of magician. I stole a glance at the comfortable beds inside while following my guide. We stopped toward the end of passage at a locked room. She blasted the wood around lock and entered without looking at me. I followed into armory. I never got to wield anything except a broom but entering the armory made me feel very comfortable. There were some guns but they did not fascinate me. I looked at the swords corner with a smile and I was already thinking. Since I am left handed it would naturally leave my heart unguarded thus I should take two sword to compensate for that. A slightly heavier than normal in left hand and a small one that can be used for little stealth as well, in right. My hand instinctively moved to a straight double edged sword. I pulled it out from the rows of sword and as I my fingers firmed around its hilt I instantly dropped it like my left hand had a mind of its own and it had felt betrayed. I looked at the grand magician accompanying me, nothing like a first impression than dropping a sword in front of magician who thought you were worthy of asking for some ‘help’. She looked at me while inspecting a short-sword she had picked as if I was a vermin. “Next time she will blast me that much I am sure of.” I picked it again, telling my hand that this is all that I got at the moment, hand did not reply. It still felt uncomfortable guess I was so used to holding broom. I picked up another sword for my right hand, more careful this time. There was same unease but it felt a different consciousness from left one. Magician looked at me inspecting my both swords. “45 inches double edged tipped edge longsword in left hand and 24 inches slightly curved blunt tip in right hand. Not bad choice for 5 feet 10 inches. Are you left handed?” “Yes.” She looked at my grip opened her mouth to say something but decided not to address me anymore. “Let’s go.” I obliged behind her relieved for not being blasted at the choice of weapons. We went to ground floor and I began to have an idea of how grave the situation was. There were dead bodies on floor and hellhounds moving in common hall. Doors were open and chilling air was rushing in but there was a strong smell that instantly made me feel better. I felt livelier because of it than I have been in two years. I searched for possible source of smell but found nothing. We walked through dead bodies attracting full attention of hellhounds. They all leaped toward us but magician did not even look at them. I shouted in horror. “Fire-hellhounds to the right”. Her fingers danced in air, there was a deafening blast knocking back all of them. Her second hand moved pointing toward the centre of room swirling a bluish tinge through her hand. A big skinned buffalo appeared in room from nowhere. Hellhounds decided to ignore the enemy-who-knocks-them-back and ran toward meat. She looked at them for the first time, made a fist like grabbing something and then instantly released it. There was a zap sound and flash of light next moment I was staring at seven smoking, electrocuted hellhounds. What is this girl?! An average hellhound is around seven feet, 400 pounds, I had seen a camp mage zapping two crazed hellhounds like this. His attack had only pacified them and he was breathing heavily. And she did not give a second look at what she had done, walking out of the hall in the open. We walked into silence toward the exit of the camp, or at least I thought that was the idea. The whole camp was in roughly rectangular shape, with buildings at the perimeter and animals kept at the centre area and a fenced path surrounding the animal area. The exit was to east, we were to the west and southern way to gate was blocked so we had option to choose between walking straight through the animal holdings or traverse all the way around it. Thankfully, maybe out of consideration she took the longer path. There were all sort of machinery to keep the animals and creations in check in the middle area and I don’t know about her but I would have been dead for sure. Well, first there are animals and then there are creations. Though generally both are called animals, there are some basic differences. For one, animals are natural while creations are made magically by the lifecrafters to do their bidding who have went a level beyond the heights of magery, those who can command the five elements to bring a shape together and infuse life into it through their own life essence. Secondly, creations cannot reproduce and their life is like, well anything man made; they do not age but wither, get harmed, and at some point, die (obviously). They get a longer age than usual animal life, especially the Big Three. Finally, if you make them too intelligent… well, that’s how the rebellion started. Except the Big Three we had all sort of creatures at the camp of Rayal, Fifth among the Six Councilor Lifecrafters. Yeah, Rhinak too and now it must be somewhere out in camp. I decided not to think about it. We reached one of magical pylons where they were tamed with music, magic and use of ‘force’ if needed. The ground was covered with the dead bodies of weaker animals who had died to live wires of broken pylon or attack by the stronger ones. She paused to inspect it as Menkesh said from behind, “I can fix this”. The serviles are made by lifecrafters to do physical labor usually specialized in some particular skill. They are humanoid but since getting facial details of a human are much complicated, they can be easily identified by the distorted face. I have also heard that making them with general biological functions of humans such as immunity and hormone regulation, they are devoid of some vital organs. I went forward if I could be of some assistance but Menkesh was really expert with its work. It cut the current supply in no time while I only managed to move around clumsily if that was any help. It nodded toward the magician and she took the lead again. Another set of building passed and we turned to find a Nermian. Nermians are inspired from lion but with much thicker skin. They are not magical but their physical strength is extreme and their skin can resist such elemental effect that it is considered a waste of magical energy to attack them with fire or magic directly. Magician saw the thing running toward her as her hand raised and she blasted Nermian with magical bolt it stumbled back as took a bath in electricity. Words escaped my mouth, “That was a waste of energy”. She looked behind at me, I knew I was dead. Fortunately the Nermian quickly regained its balance and prowled at her. She turned and as it opened mouth she fed it another blast of energy. Thrown ten feet away and skewered, our Nermian friend was dead. I stood frozen ready to fall on feet or beg for mercy or both, whatever it takes to avoid being the next target for my insult. But she walked ahead as if we did not exist. I realized I was holding my breath. We only went a few step further when a Rhinak came out from the centre area, her hand reflexed putting Rhinak to sleep. Now that’s what we call conserving your energy. She frowned at the sleeping Rhinak. The easy move she had used to put down a strong foe, I respected that. I looked at her for the first time. She had told her name is Luna. With that frowning face she looked cute but her eyes. Her eyes were blue but not like that of a beautiful girl but with a fierce look, blue like sapphire and shone like same. Her night gown matching with the color of her eye though now she was wearing a breastplate above it, maybe only to cover herself up and not for protection. Her hair were raven color and skin was of a person who spent considerable time outdoors but it was smooth. I was sure she must be yearned by many male magicians in her circle. I was staring at her when I sensed something toward my right, as Menkesh screamed behind me, I turned to see another Rhinak coming out of a living room. It saw me and attacked with a spark of electric current. Janitor Aiden Nosurname, died to a Rhinak before getting a second to fart his pants in horror... I fell and closed my eyes to meet death.
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