Friday, November 6, 2009

Interlude 1 - The snowy fields

Alright. Here's a special chapter. Thanks to Kay for modifying it for me.

Interlude 1 – The snowy fields

A biting chill blew all around, singing its deathly lament. Standing in the middle of the wintry wasteland, Rein watched the snow fall. Around him, there was only the same, cold rain as far as the eye could see. An odd feeling of dread stirred up within him, and for a moment, he couldn’t think of why it was there.

He took a step in the white wilderness, then another. With each step, that dread grew, as well as fear. He could feel his heart racing, but his mind was void of answers. Clouds of vapor formed with every breath he took, crossing his arms over his chest to warm himself up. Where has he seen this place…? Why did it stab at him so…?

Rein stopped after walking for what seemed to be an eternity, staring up ahead at a young man several years younger than himself. The young man had his back to him, his fair, almost silver-colored hair blending rather well in the snowy plains. The color of Rein’s own hair. His crimson-colored eyes flickered to the armor that the young man donned; knightly armor that he felt had been once his.

“I’ve… lost everything...” he heard the man murmur. Even with that small voice, Rein couldn’t help but feel his pain at how his voice cracked. The young man dropped his weapon into the snow, promptly falling to his knees with his head hung down in shame.

“My life…my dreams…my honor…my love…all gone…” his shoulders shook as he gripped the snow in his hands tightly, not minding the sharp sting as they bit through his gloves.

Rein stared at the miserable young man in front of him. He understood how the young man felt…after all; he too, lost everything…back then.

“…I promised…her…that I would protect her…but I failed even that…!” the young man said as he finally looked at Rein – the same red eyes as Rein found himself staring at his younger self. Along with the realization, blood was seen smearing his armor, his gauntlets, staining the pure white ground an ugly crimson.

I see, Rein thought, You are… the me of three years ago…the day I lost…her.

His younger self lowered his gaze, almost as if he heard Rein’s train of thoughts and gritted his teeth. From the looks of him, he’d been crying as he growled through clenched teeth,

“I… killed her…”

Yes, he promised her that he would protect her no matter what, yet in the end he couldn’t. His effort were simply not enough…Rein looked down at his hands, unfolding them and looking at his battle-beaten hands. The very same hands that held her dying body in the middle of this snowy field…It was his fault. If he was strong enough, he could have—

“It is alright…” whispered a soft familiar voice, a sweet chime in the middle of a dead wasteland, “It is not your fault…”

Rein’s head snapped up. He knew that voice anywhere. That voice that he thought wasn’t possible to be heard anymore spoke. No more was the bloodstained snow, no more was the miserable knight. In their place was a beautiful young woman, looking up at him with a gentle smile.

“I am happy that you kept your promise until the very end, Reinhardt…” the woman said with a gentle smile as she touched Rein’s cheek. He shuddered from the warmth of her hand. She felt so real...It felt as if... She had never left him in the first place. It took every bit of effort from him to not just lunge at her and hold her close, never to let her go. Above all, it took him every ounce of energy in his body to not break down and apologize for causing her demise.


The woman, Meyna, pressed her finger against his lips, shushing him and shaking her head. A cold breeze picked up, blowing around them so violently, Rein had to shield himself before any snow stabbed his eyes, “Meyna…!” Rein called, looking at her from under his arm.

Meyna stood where she was, unaffected by the cold. Her lips moved, speaking to him, but the words couldn’t reach his ears,

“Wait... Meyna! I can’t...” to his dismay and utter horror, Meyna had turned around and walked away from him, smiling at him over his shoulder as if saying that she was going home to cook supper and that she would be waiting for him. Rein tried to move, but the snow was quickly growing thicker and he only managed to fall to his knees with the single step he tried to take,

“Meyna, don’t go…!”

The sound of a fruit falling from the nearby tree made Rein bolt upright and the bounty hunter found himself breaking into a cold sweat, panting slightly as he willed himself to calm down. Looking around, he saw no snowy field, no such places of his memories, but the same damned forest he had been stuck in for the whole of the night.

By his side, the young Prince Jedge was fast asleep, curled up into a little ball and snoring quietly. Rein sighed and ran a hand through his hair, “A dream...” he murmured, closing his eyes.

He got up, taking a small flask of water from the rations he was given by the Regent and washed his face with some of the water, thinking back upon his dream. Looking up at the dimly-lit sky, he watched as the sun slowly brought with it the day, rousing the birds from their slumber.

“...I wonder... Will I ever be forgiven...?” Rein mused, putting the cork back onto the goatskin flask and going about the morning chores. Hopefully the prince doesn’t mind non-gourmet food or he’s going to have a field day being a grumpy camper.

-Interlude end-

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chapter 2 - The Prince and The Deserters

Here's chapter 2. Again, special thanks to Kay for proofreading and nitpicking.

Chapter 2 - The Prince and the Deserters

"...So you want to accompany me to hunt down the deserters?" Rein sighed as he looked at the cloaked figure, "Are you stupid? I don't owe you anything so I see no point in taking you with me...Just go home... Your Highness."

"Look, it's important, okay?!" Prince Jedge shouted at Rein, glaring up at the bounty hunter, "I'll pay you twice the amount that Grell offered!"

"Once I accept a job, I do not intend to stop mid way....boy," He didn't let it show, but this conversation was gnawing on his patience much like it was wearing down Jedge's.

"I'm not a boy! I'm old enough to take up the throne!" Jedge growled at Rein angrily. The anger on his face dissipated for a moment as he lowered his gaze almost worriedly, "...Please, I have to speak to them!"

He must be really desperate if he's willing to beg to a mere bounty hunter, Rein thought, his hands clenching and unclenching around the horse's reins in his hands. Lowering his gaze to meet the prince's once more, Rein spoke up, "...If you want me take you with me, I require you to tell me the whole story...about the soldiers' desertion..."

"You've heard it all from Grell, what more do you want!?"

"I want to know YOUR reason... It’s not everyday that I have the honor of seeing a prince beg to me," Rein said off-handedly, watching the young prince grit his teeth in anger. If it weren’t for the fact that he soon spoke of the reasons behind his actions, Rein would have thought that the inexperienced mage was just about ready to remove one shoe and fling it at his head in frustration.

With a huff, the prince crossed his arms and looked away as he explained, looking much like a boy who had just been scolded, "As much as I hate my old man, I don’t want them to be killed, even though he has valid reasons to, okay!? They are good people..." the prince lowered his head, "But because of my old man's stupid mistake to try and explore the Shadowlands, they lost many of their comrades! Still, my old man doesn't want to admit that he was at fault...that’s why....that’s why the knights left...That's all there is to it, now take me to their hideout!"

The bounty hunter took in this information, falling silent for a moment, so the king did not want to admit that it was his fault that all those brave knights died in vain? Rein thought, seems like… a change of plans is necessary...

Nodding briefly, he looked down at the prince once more, mentally wondering if he should have squatted down at least. The conversation had made his neck feel rather tired, considering the prince’s build, "...Very well then. You may come with me. But remember, I don't really care what your relationship is with them. I have a job to do and I will complete it, no matter what it takes.”

The prince frowned at that, perhaps fearing for the worse at Rein’s tone of speech. However, he himself knew that at that moment, he did not have time to hesitate, "...I understand..."

"Well then, we should get going before the sky turns dark" Rein said calmly as he got on the saddle of his horse and motioned for the prince to sit behind him, "But make sure the guards do not see your face when we exit the gates."

The prince nodded and got on behind Rein, albeit with a little difficulty and pulled his hood over his head, hiding his face from view. With Rein’s approval of his appearance, the two then proceeded towards the north gates.

Rein passed through the northern gates without any problems. The gate guards have been told about Rein and so they only ask for his name. Once they confirmed his identity, they stepped aside to let the mounted bounty hunter pass. They did not even bother to ask about the child sitting behind Rein, thinking that perhaps the Regent had appointed a guide to point him in the right direction.

When they reached the Forest of the Moon, night had begun its reign of the sky, where Rein decided to set up camp at the entrance and continue when day smiled upon them once more.

"Just sit there while I make a fire," Rein said sternly as he tied his horse’s reins to a low branch.

At first, Jedge considered hitting the taller man for his choice of words, but merely nodded and sat at the corner while watching Rein gather some fallen twigs and small branches from the ground. This was no time to act like a spoiled brat. He looked on as Rein piled them together neatly, promptly producing a pair of makeshift flints which were the stones near his feet. With a few easy flicks of his wrists, sparks flew from the striking of the stones and soon, flames were eating away at the tinder, burning brightly and crackling merrily.

Having solved the problem of poor lighting and lack of warmth, Rein sat by the fire, the metal of the long weapon he carried with him gleaming with the campfire’s glare. Rein seemed to be rather fond of his weapon, given how he was polishing it. It resembled a standard spear mounted knights use but with a small blade resting just below the spear-head. Despite its size, it appeared menacing enough should it be wielded by capable hands.

After a moment of silence, Jedge grew uneasy with the stillness, "Interesting spear you have there," he mused, watching Rein wipe at any grime or dirt from the weapon in his hands.

"It's called a halberd," Rein replied, not once looking up at the young man, " It's effective both as a stabbing weapon as well as a slashing weapon. It's most effective against mounted units like cavaliers."

"I see...” Jedge nodded slowly, getting up from where he sat to sit closer to the fire. Night had fallen and he simply wasn’t dressed thickly enough to welcome the evening chill, “This is the first time I've seen something like that," the prince took in every detail as he pulled his knees up to his chest, holding his hands out to the fire to warm them.

Rein shrugged, "It is not usually used by knights these days so to find people who use them is quite an accomplishment.”

“Aren’t you going to praise me for finding you, then?” the prince said with a cheeky grin, looking at Rein expectantly. The bounty hunter made no move to do so and simply rolled his eyes.

Just as Rein was wiping his halberd, something caught his attention, compelling him to monitor his surroundings. Rein frowned.

"Seems like we have an uninvited guest..." Rein remarked, loud enough for Jedge and their ‘guest’ to hear them.

Just then, a figure jumped out of the darkness of the nearby bushes. The figure wielded a pair of well-crafted scimitars, both of which were rather long and curved, a fine choice for an assassin. The mere movement of their ‘guest’ was enough to tell him that it was most certainly female and this piqued his curiosity. If it were a man, he wouldn’t be too impressed by the weapons, but he was, given how heavy they looked.

Rein got up and pointed his halberd at the mysterious attacker. He studied her, estimating her age from her build, perhaps her armor to anticipate the speed in which she would move and soon, his gaze fell upon the eye-patch over her left eye. Despite the ‘deformity’, he was surprised at her beauty. The odd mix of the nature of his assailant and her appearance amused Rein.

Without hesitation, the woman lunged at Rein, slashing at him with the heavy-looking scimitars with such force and grace that he hadn’t expected from her slender arms. Rein parried the attack easily, the clash of metal ringing through the air and pushed the attacker back, as his weapon required a little space to ‘breathe’.

Rein raised an eyebrow when the woman growled. She had barely lost her balance, but it sounded much like she hadn’t expected to meet someone of Rein’s caliber in a place such as that they were in. Quickly analyzing his opponent from the simple moves she had performed, Rein knew this was a fight he could win. Perhaps he could even question her...


Rein’s gaze flicked to where the prince stood, flabbergasted at the sight of the woman. In return, the woman stood rigid for a moment before slowly backing away and disappearing into the darkness of the forest like a shadow.

"Laria, wait!!" the prince was about to follow her, but her rapidly vanishing footsteps and the eerie darkness of the forest forced Jedge to stop in his tracks.

"...A friend of yours, kid?" seeing that the threat was gone, Rein lowered his weapon, keeping on his toes in case she brought ‘friends’ with her.

The boy sighed, looking rather disappointed when she left, “.She... was my bodyguard... and personal maid..." Jedge murmured, shivering a little and rubbing his arms, "I heard she's the second in command of the deserters," compared to the fiery prince who demanded control over his kingdom earlier in the morning, Jedge looked like a lost puppy with nowhere to go as he sat back down by the campfire, staring at the dancing flames.

"Hmm...Interesting." Rein grinned, his eyes tracing the route the woman took. Perhaps this job isn’t as drab as he thought it would be.

"...I'd like to make a deal with you, bounty hunter."

"Oh? And what sort of deal is it?" the bounty hunter in question propped his weapon into the ground, balancing his weight so he would be partly leaning against his halberd as he waited for Jedge to speak.

"I want to talk with the deserters at their hideout...If it fails...then you can do what you want." Jedge said with a determined face, the fire returning to his eyes.

Rein sighed. The prince is extremely stubborn, if not a little difficult to deal with...but this might work in Rein's favor. He knew he couldn't take on an entire brigade of deserters head on, so this might be a good way to ambush them.

"...Sounds reasonable," Rein lied as he extended his hand, "You have a deal, prince."

The prince nodded, standing up and shaking Rein's hand – the deal has been sealed.

"We will begin tomorrow," Rein announced, pulling his hand out of the prince’s and moving away so he could make a make-shift bed with a sheet of leather for the prince. "Get some rest. I'll be on look-out."

Jedge simply nodded to that, getting ready for bed and perhaps grumbling for a moment or two on the quality of his bed, but fell asleep quickly as the warmth of the fire comforted him. As the prince slept, the bounty hunter standing guard was scheming... Planning ahead of time various cards he would play when the hideout was discovered.

He sighed and looked up at the night sky. He could barely contain his excitement as the grin he had spread. Kings, Regents, princes and deserters... Along with the situation he had landed himself in, this was going to be one heck of a job to finish.

-To be continued-

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Chapter 1 - Rein the Bounty Hunter

Alright here's the first chapter of this fantasy novel. It's kinda long but hope you like it. Special thanks to Kay for proofreading.

Chapter 1 - Rein the bounty hunter

Rein sat at a local tavern in the kingdom of Corcente. He was recruited as a bounty hunter by the current King to hunt down some bandits who had been ravaging the countryside for months. Rein didn't do it because he wanted to....he needed the money to continue his travels.

As he sat at the corner, he overheard a group of mercenaries discussing about the recent request from the king to stop the bandits.

"Corcente sure is getting chaotic this year. Heard that them bandits only appeared just recently and already, they've been causin' trouble", said one of the mercenary with a large sword as he gulped down an entire jug of beer.

"That's because they aren't just any ordinary bandits. From what I heard, they are well organized and were deserters..." replied one of his female acquaintances.

"Deserters eh? Then that make sense why the King is worried about them."remarked a veteran warrior as he gave out a hearty
laugh "From what I heard, soldiers of Corcente are skilled with the sword. Good thing the King is payin' use huge sums to quell them. Else I wouldn't have dreamed of fighting 'em."

The group started to laugh together. Rein watched each and every one of them...and sighed. They may be experienced mercenaries but they seemed to be too confident for their own good.

A loud slam, which sounded very much like someone slamming one's fist on the table caught Rein's attention. As he looked around, he noticed a woman wearing a light armor sitting in the far corner of the tavern. Sure enough, she had slammed her beer jug on the table. She then quickly paid the bill and left the tavern as though in a rush. Rein too decided to leave the tavern for the castle. Time is of the essence.

He paid his bill and left the tavern for the Corcente palace to gather more information about the bandits.The palace is located in the center of the kingdom and is the symbol of the kingdom's power. Corcente is known for their skilled mounted knights. It is also rumored that the mysterious assassin's guild is located here.

As Rein appraoched the palace gates, he noticed two knights, both donning heavy armor, guarding the entrance.

"Halt, stranger." said one of the guards, "What business do you have here?"

"I would like to request an audience with the King." Rein said calmly.

"Do you have an appointment with His Majesty?"

"I believe I do."

"What is your authorization to ask of such from His Majesty?" asked the second guard.

"......The bandits" replied Rein.

Both guards fell silent listening to his explanation, exchanging serious looks. One of the two promptly left, most probably to speak with the King. Before long, he reappeared.

"Very well, you may pass," the guard said as he gave way. "Please wait in the Audience Hall, the Regent will see you

Regent? Rein thought, So Corcente is currently ruled by a Regent huh?

Rein proceeded towards the Audience Hall. There, the regent was waiting for him.

"Oh? You must be the one who wishes an audience with the King." the Regent said as he stroked his beard.

"Indeed I am."

"You don't seem to be a local..." the Regent said as he examined Rein's clothing. " Let me welcome you to Corcente then. You are here for the bounty on the bandits are you not, traveller?"

"Yes I am...I am in need of money to further my travels and with the reward, it should be able to sustain my journey for months."

"Ah, so you are a bounty hunter..."

"In trade, yes." Rein replied. "I wish to know more of these bandits and their whereabouts before I begin."

"....Not exactly an ordinary man, are you...?" the Regent smiled. "Well then, I suppose..."

"That's enough, Regent!" shouted a young man as he storms into the hall.

"...Prince Jedge...the doctor has requested you to stay in your chambers, have they not?" the Regent said non-chalantly.

So this is Prince Jedge of Corcente eh?, Rein thought, from the looks of things he doesn't seem to be in good health.

"Leave my health out of this, I'm fit as a fiddle." the Prince exclaims boldly as he walks up to the throne and gave Rein a pointed look, "Just like all the rest that have come... Money-starved vagabonds..."

Rein didn't reply. He knew it was partly true. These are the sacrifices one must make if they are to be bounty hunters.Bounty hunters rely on bounty rewards as their source of income, without it they are as good as starved wolves.

"This is His Highness Prince Jegde of Corcente" the Regent said apologetically "As he is not of age, I hold the throne for him--"

"I'm old enough to take the throne for myself, and I've heard quite enough from you! I told you, I will deal with those bandits myself!"

"It's not that simple, Your Highness..." the Regent sighs.

"Let me talk to them, Grell! I know I can--"

The Regent turned to the nearest maids and orders them to lead the prince back to his chambers. Of course, he struggled quite a bit as he was dragged away.


Then, there was silence in the hall.

"I see the household disarray..." Rein said.

"The prince is very determined to resolve the bandit issue by himself... but as you and I both know very well, it isn't as simple as gathering them all up and speaking to them."

"I heard that they were former soldiers?"

"Indeed. That is one reason why the prince refuses to give any information about those soldiers." the Regent said as he sighs again. "You see, he's quite fond of them, and they in turn are fond of him."

"Hmmm...Then why the desertion? Surely they have their reasons..."

"...While it is true that the soldiers are fond of the Prince, not much so His Majesty.... or myself for that matter." he said as he lowered his head "And the fact that we've lost people when we attempted to explore the Shadowlands made matters worse."

"...You...what?" Rein couldn't believe what he was hearing." How could you do such a reckless thing?!"

The Shadowlands. A large piece of continent where no life exist. Legends say that the land was struck by a meteor centuries ago. Ever since then, the once lush land turned onto a wasteland. Anyone crazy enough to journey into Shadowlands would either be killed or injured heavily. It is also said to be the birth place of monsters.

"I know it was reckless..." the Regent raised a hand in defense "But do bear in mind that I was not in power when that happened."

"Hmph....and that was the reason for the desertions?"

"I'm afraid so..." then he said in a hushed voice "You didn't hear this from me... but His Majesty the King apparently did not want people spreading the news... this is why he wants those deserters silenced..."

"And that's where we mercenaries and bounty hunters come"

"Unfortunately, yes."

"I see.....well, it can't be helped then. I'll be able to do long as I get the gold."

"The rewards...are always ready..."

"Good...All I require now is the location of their hideout.."

The Regent then reveals the location of the deserter's hideout. They were situated deep inside a forest called the Forest of the Moon. Getting to the forest isn't all that hard but trying to maneuver through the forest is another thing.

"Heh...seems like the deserters aren't foes to be underestimated..."

To be able to find such a strategic location as their hideout...they must have a good leader with them.

"Well, one of the King's most trusted general is amongst the deserters..."

"Hmm....interesting....guess this won't be just a walk in the park then." Rein grinned. He hasn't taken up a challenging job for quite some time now...He was looking forward to this a little more than he had initially thought he would. In fact, it was making his blood boil even before the 'hunt' began.

"Anyway, I have prepared for you a horse and some supplies for your journey." the Regent said "Go with the Goddess's blessings, traveller."

Rein then left the Hall for the Royal stables where he is to get the horse and supplies. As he reached the entrance, he met the guard stationed there.

"You are the bounty hunter Rein, right?" the guard asked but before Rein could reply, he continued, "Please wait here while I get the requested horse."

The guard disappeared into the stables and within a few minutes, emerged along with a brown horse with a black patch on its left chest. He handed the reins to Rein and also a small pouch containing 5000 gold and a day's supply of army rations.

With that, Rein took the horse and left the palace. His next destination is the castle gates to the north where the Forest of the Moon is located.

Just as he left the palace, he heard someone shouting to him.


Rein turned around and saw a hooded figure approaching him. As the figure got closer, Rein realized that it was Prince Jedge.

"...You are..."

"You're taking me to the bandits." the prince said bluntly, eyes burning with determination.

For a moment, Rein inwardly sighed and could almost tell that he was about to engage in a conversation that he simply can't win.

-To be continued-

Friday, October 23, 2009

About this blog

Greetings and welcome to the Land of Lore, where reality is fantasy. My name's Andy and my co-blogger is my good friend Kay.

Now, into the purpose of this blog. I wanted to create a blog whereby I could write a fantasy novel that I have always wanted to write to show the world. The basic story outline is as follows :

The mystical world of Maglevia is engulf with war begun by the Military Kingdom of Beldenna. The Republic of Carcain has already fallen into Beldanna's control and only the two remaining kingdoms are left -the Sacred Kingdom of Velnos and the Musical Kingdom of Corcente . Rumors abound that the King of Beldanna may also try and invade the Mystical kingdom of Lydlos Sang, the Accursed kingdom of Ritovsk and the Cursed kingdom of Geldion as well. Also, reports has it that monster sightings are beginning to rise at an alarming rate...

Well, that's about the basics. Basically, this story will involve and immense amount of characters and supporting characters. I will start posting the story's progress and other stuff soon. Also my co-blogger Kay will post from time to time, so look forward to it! I know I am!