[Excerpt Begin] ”
Princess arrived at our meeting place exactly at dawn, she looked at me and the Captain and sighed. She looked to the side, and I’m presuming that meant she was bored. We waited another three minutes and then the guy who was gonna help us from the Priest guild, Olacion Order, showed up. “Hyuh-Hyallo everyone!” he said. We all greeted him in unison, and the Captain began his job.
“Now that we’ve all arrived, I can explain what we are going to be doing. We will be escorting a dwarf wagon carrying supplies to the castle, and since we’re going to be near orc lands we must be on a close watch for Orc raiders.” He paused and looked me in the eyes, “I have explicit orders that we are to run if we are attacked by Orcs. I would prefer that you keep to those orders.” He finished, eyeing me more. I shrugged and Princess mumbled something. “Well then, since we’re all on the same page…Lets head out!” He said turning and walking right into a fatass who had snuck up behind him. The Captain gasped and bowed while he apologized. “Terribly sorry sir I wasn’t aware you were there!”
“You bumbling foo—I mean…Do not worry Captain Jolee. I was in your path.” He said. The Captain bowed more and sucked up to the guy even more. I looked over to Princess, who was glaring at the man who had appeared and I giggled a little. She was really cute when she glared at things.
The Captain heard me giggling and looked at me. I wasn’t showing any sign of respect, honor, or…well anything towards the fatass. The Captain promptly smacked me and said “Bow to his lordship!”
“Why.” I said, looking at the fatass who was in some rather nice looking duds… well for a rich fatass I guess they really aren’t nice. The Captain probably would have flipped a table over if we were near one. He ranted at me for a while.
“This is his lordship Sir Ordo! He is the chamberlain of the castle and the man who has made the knights a little more successful than they were before!” He puffed out his chest while the praise seemed to make his fat become a little stiffer.
“Really. Never heard of him.” His entire body deflated and I almost broke down laughing.
“Yes really you fool!” I was smacked and in the process saw that Princess wasn’t showing any respect for him either.
“What about Tiega?” I asked, forgetting the ‘Lady’ part on purpose.
“Fool!” I was smacked again. “Lady Tiega” He said emphasizing the ‘Lady’ part. “Is his lordships daughter, she doesn’t need to bow to him!”
“WHAT!?” I looked between the two multiple times. “Did she mutate or something?” I got hit again. “Oh sorry sir!” I said, directing my words toward Fatass. “I was just…unaware! But now I know who pulls the cart in your family….yup…and where the donkey leads, the ass has to follow.”
“Reiliegh.” Captain said, “You sure do have an eye for expertise!” He said, not understanding the insult. “I knew you were smarter than what you showed!” He said playfully elbowing me.
“Naw Capt’n you’re just blowing me out of the wat—“
“Are you implying I’m an ass!?” Fatass finally understood.
The Captain promptly headbutted me and then began apologizing. “Sorry sir! He’s totally new, doesn’t understand a single thing. Heck he can’t even find his own bed at ni—“
“Whatever.” Fatass said, I heard a lot of Princess’s snide-ness in him. “I was on a walk and figured that I should see you guys off!” He said happily. Then muttered under his breath to the Captain. “IF anything should happen to my daughter I—“
Tiega immediately glared at him and would not stop. Instead of the cute glare I had seen before—If a glare could be cute—I saw mostly anger. Well I was annoyed too, it’s kind of lame to have a father worry for you so much that he comes to our departure just to ask for extra protection… It’s not like I’m inept Fatass. “Right well…As long as you understand.” Fatass finished. Captain looked like he didn’t understand at all, but waved as Fatass left in a rush.
“Can we go?” Princess asked. I started walking, and so did Princess, Captain jumped in front of us and we all departed. It felt amazing leaving the bustling city for some fresh air while we walked to the southern districts. Though nothing in particular happened along the way, we did spark up a lot of different conversations.
“I hope we run into some orcs!” I really wanted to give them hell now that I had a bladed weapon to fight with.
“You’d get squashed flat before you could even get your sword out.”
“Are orcs really that strong?” I’ve really only fought against brother.
“Are you kidding?”
“Orc’s a’ ‘bout tha strongest critters out thar.” I forgot his name but his accent really intrigued me… I’ve never met someone who speaks like that.
“Aye…Ah heard they can even take down a mammoth in one blow.” He finished.
“Wow…” I said, feeling my arms tremble in excitement. “That is…”
“Scared?” Princess asked, looking at me concerned.
“I mean come on! If nothing happens during the mission it’d be boring!”
“Captain…Are you sure we can’t just leave this idiot behind?”
“Now, now Reiliegh, don’t go off and do something that’d get us killed.” Captain said seriously.
“I won’t, I just want something to happen.”
“Typical country boy syndrome.” Princess snapped at me.
“You lead such a boring life that you desire things to happen so you think your life will be interesting. It’ll never happen fool.”
“Pfft, coming from the girl whose father had to escort her to the gate! How Lame!” She blushed and glared at me.
“You only got into the knights because your father was famous. If he weren’t you wouldn’t even be here!” I looked away, trying to avoid the truth. “Isn’t it dishonorable to not be capable of making a name for yourself as a man? Why don’t you just—just go do a seppuku! I heard you country bums still do that.”
“Easy for someone who probably hasn’t ever left the castle!” I paused, trying to cool off before I said anything I’d regret later. “You’re so spoiled you can’t even leave somewhere without someone seeing you off!”
“Oh, then where did you come from that’s better than the city!?” She was red faced and almost shouting in my face.
I looked away again. Memories flooded back to me. “I’m from a small village… Trea village.” I said quietly, I looked up into her eyes and saw that her anger faded.
She breathed quickly and then muttered, “wasn’t that place attacked by Or—“
Luckily before I had to answer what was coming from her, we were attacked by a giant sloth… It really wasn’t much of an opponent, but it took forever to finish off. After the fight, I presumed that she was done talking, because she kept quiet.
The rest of the trip was uneventful. We arrived at the cliff right that led to the Dwarven town, Earth Drop. We had an amazing view of the mountains and of Earth Drop’s complexity. “Woah! Far OUT!” I said, unable to hide my excitement. “Dwarves live in such a freakin’ amazing place?”
“Your father is Sven Silvestri, and you’ve never heard about Earth Drop before?” Princess asked, looked at me earnestly.
“Whenever he was home, he was either boxing with me or flirting with mother.” I said smiling a little.
“’Whenever he was home’? Wasn’t it…lonely?”
“Sometimes…yeah.” I looked her in the eyes and her eyes showed caring and compassion I had never seen from anyone before. She blushed and looked away quickly. I looked out over Earth Drop thinking about Princess. I don’t really know what I—I ‘feel’ about her, but I think I like her. I mean, I’ve never really associated with someone in town, so maybe the way we act around each other is normal for friends. It just seems to be closer than friends… I guess I’ll have to figure out ways to push her away. It’s not like I intend to—
“If you don’t hurry, we’ll leave you behind!” Princess called out to me, as the group began heading down the cliff. I stood and looked over the cliff one last time before dashing off after them. By the time I caught up to them they were about a quarter of the way down the cliff. We walked quietly down the path that led us to the entrance way to Earth Drop.
The gate was closed and the guard sitting on top of the gate stared us down as we walked up to it. I looked up to him and said “Let us in!”
“No” He replied quickly.
“Reiliegh you have to show a certain level of formality when entering another nation’s cities!” Captain scolded me. “Sir, we are the Rose Cochon Brigade from the Knights, we have come to obtain the goods promised and escort them to the castle.”
“Oh, yer here for ze vagon.” His accent was strong, you could almost hear the dwarven sliding into his words. “I’ll open ze gate.” The gate opened and we walked into Earth Drop.
It was even cooler on the inside. The smiths were blazing and you could see the smoke from the furnaces. The bridges leading to the mines were like spider webs weaving throughout the entirety of the city. The city itself seemed to be made of levels. Each level was devoted to a single smithee, all the things he required and their works. It was an amazing city, sitting on the edge of the crevasse leading to whatever is below the sea of clouds… The mountains spiked up behind, pockmarked by the holes created through mining for rare metals. “We’re supposed to meet the chief at the chieftain’s house… but I wasn’t told what it looked like…only that I’d know when I saw it.” Captain said, interrupting my admiration of the city.
We wandered around the city for a bit, and finally found the chieftain’s house. Boy did it stand out. Gold, silver, sapphires, emeralds, and very beautiful rubies coated his place in extravagance and excessive shine. We walked in and met with the Chief, I zoned out and tried to blot out the brightness that was bleeding my eyes. I felt the Princess next to me, and she touched my shirt once the conversation was over. I felt my focus come back to reality and we made our way to the inn that we’d have to stay at. I needed to get out and do something a little more strenuous I was bored, and felt like I was stuffed into a tight space. So I decided to go into the mines, there are bound to be some stronger monsters in there, or at least some amazing sights to see. I looked at Princess and noticed she looked a little shocked. “Oi, what’s wrong?” I asked her.
“I didn’t know…that Earth Drop was so advanced. All the books I had read suggested that it was underdeveloped and people were starving.”
“Pfft, is the Princess’s head too big for her helmet? All logic, no experience!” She glared at me.
“I at least knew something about Earth Drop.” She muttered, pouting a little.
“Whatever. Princess, do you want to come and explore the mines a little?” She glared at me again, but I saw her blush a little.
“The mines?” she asked, looking at me weird. “I would love to explore them, but not on a mission.”
“What? Comon, Princess… You know you want too!” She blushed again, and then turned away, facing the wall instead of me.
“No. I will do nothing that will endanger the success of the mission.” She turned her head and looked at me out of the corner of her eye.
I sighed loudly. “You’re too perfect, huh?” She blushed and glared at me some more.
“Reiliegh.” The Captain said, walking into the room. “Stop bothering Lady Fenlake, and go help out at the pub if you’re bored. They’re looking for someone to do something for them.” He paused and looked out the window. “We…have time.”
“What about the wagon?”
“We leave tomorrow at dawn. You have time to screw around. Just don’t die.”
“I’ll head to the pub first.” I said, putting my sword in its hilt and attaching it to my hip. I exited the Inn, turned left and walked forward five steps. I was at the pub. I entered and the dwarf at the bar yelled at me, telling me that I was underage by human standards so he couldn’t sell me anything. I told him why I came, and he laughed, then told me that there was a thief raiding his stocks of alcohol at night when he was sleeping. He told me to stand around and look mean until night, then keep watch and catch whoever is stealing the booze. I really wasn’t looking forward to standing around glaring at people, but when I actually sat there and did it, I found it fun. I laughed inside, hiding all my emotions to myself. It felt fake, disgusting to not express myself, but it was necessary for what I was asked of…I guess Princess isn’t the only one who has to be perfect.
After the pub closed, I sat around and hid under the bar waiting for the sneak-thief. Well thieves, since there were three of them. Goblins snuck in and grabbed a barrel, argued with each other for a bit and then came to a conclusion after hitting one of them a lot.
I jumped out, flipped on the lights and faced them down. They dropped the barrel, screamed, ran in circles, and then pulled out their weapons and faced me. I wasn’t expecting much, so I stepped forward, and two of them jumped at me and lunged. I avoided their strikes and looked for the third, but I didn’t see him.
Until his hammer hit me in the side of the head and made my eyes jump. I stumbled, and my vision doubled, but I didn’t fall over. The goblins had already ran far away, so I stepped outside and slunk against the wall. I put my hand to my head and looked up to the night sky. “Damn it.” I said aloud.
“Pfft.” I jumped. “Strong enough to challenge the General, but too weak to beat goblins.”
“Holy! Freaking….goblins…” I said looking at Princess standing on the other side of the pub. “I didn’t see you… scared me.” I stood straight and walked over to her, “are you sure you don’t want to come with me to the mines?”
“No I don—wait you’re still going to go? What about your injury?” She stepped towards me and lifted my chin a little so she could look at the cut.
“Of course I’m going, it’s just cut weird it won’t do anything to me other than bleed for a while. You don’t need to worry about me Princess.”
She glared at me. “If you die it won’t be on me.”
“I can’t die. I’m immortal.” I said sneering at her. She glared at me, turned and then walked away. “Bye, Princess.” I said after her. She paused, looked down a little and then continued.
I ran off to an entrance to the mines, entered and almost tripped over a rock when I entered. I walked for a while, but didn’t cross anything. After a while, the lighting system the dwarves had set up began to fail. The caves slowly got darker and darker the further I went. I upped my guard and expected a strong monster to be lurking in the darkness in front of me. I stepped into the inky cloak, only to fall down in surprise from a frog croaking at me. I laughed and stood up slowly. I guess putting up my full guard was a little too much.
I walked probably another 200 meters or so into the cave, using the wall to feel my way and relying on my hearing to defend myself from the monsters-that-weren’t-attacking-me in the darkness. I could hear something behind me, but it was keeping its distance. I looked up, and noticed a faint glow and some growls and other sounds after a bend up a little ways in front of me. I slowly made my way and…
Saw an opening in the cave. The rocks on the walls were covered in…a moss like plant that glowed in different blues and greens. In the middle of the opening was an elf, fighting a smilodon and a small group of monkeys. Her fighting style was… beautiful, fluid and she looked capable of killing all in the room with little trouble. She had a few scratches on her, but another smilodon lay dead at her feet.
….And much more here if you’re interested ❤