I've been writing this story now for the past year or so. I've written about 15 chapters so far, but I still haven't come up with a decent name for it.
It came to me after I was arsing about on the Character Creation Mode on SoulCalibur 3. I created this random character, and came up with this back story for them, only to think "Christ, this story is actually pretty good. I'll write it on Wordpad." Since then, the story has grown into this project I've been working on over the last year.
Another thing about this story is that I mentioned back on Real AC that it would work if it was made into an anime film, but I'll let you lot be the judge of that.
I wrote the first chapter last summer, but I've been adding to it since then. Making it longer and adding new stuff etc. I'm still trying to add more to it, but I'll let you see what it looks like now.
If you have any feedback or critique you'd like to give, don't hesitate to say. I'm happy to hear any comments, good or bad. (Don't bother telling me about grammar or spelling mistakes you've noticed, as I'll eventually notice them anyway.)
This is Chapter One. It's quite long. Nearly 6 sides of A4 to be exact.
Maystiya was a continent in a world without any type of technology; where journeys across this large continent would take many days, just to venture through the stretching plains that have shifted into many forms, through nature and time.
It was a continent that was split into a small number of separate Kingdoms; from the enormous and powerful, to the small and humble. It was a continent known for its huge mountains that dominated the landscape. Wherever you looked, you'd be sure to spot one of the many mountains standing tall above the rest of the land.
But from the high and steep mountainous areas, there was also clear fields that stretched far and wide. The plain lands raised up as hills and mounts were scattered across, either on their own on the landscape, or clumped together; each rising higher than another.
Civilisation had settled itself into large cities, growing market towns, peaceful villages and small farming hamlets. The people spent their days doing many different, and also similar, activities and jobs different to those in a technological world. From the humble breadmakers and smiths, who would graft for long hours in their shops in order to meet the never-ending workload, to the noble higher-ups of society, who live their life of lazy luxury simply because they are related to royalty.
The people lived their lives how they wanted. Yet, there were many who had taken a life because of circumstances beyond their grasp, and were forced to spend their life in a way that they never thought they ever would, especially if life had turned out differently for them.
The towns these people lived in were all scattered across the Kingdoms. Some sat inland, while others had been established on the seafronts and on the shores of rivers, which cut through the land. Their waters flowing incessantly towards huge, inland lakes and into the seas. And the forests that decorated the land ranged from the small, and clear, to the enormous and dense.
Inside one of these many forests dotted over the land, a small clearing sat not far from the edge of the forest. Inside this clearing; a young woman was lying in the shade of a large oak tree, sleeping peacefully next to a sparkling, flowing stream.
She began to stir from her sleep. Opening her eyes, then closing them again tightly, as the midday light was far too bright for her waking eyes. She groaned as she awoke from her slumber, rubbing her eyes and stretching before clambering onto her feet. She then walked over to the stream and washed her face with the flowing water, then washed her hair in it, carefully soaking every lock of hair on her head.
She threw her sopping wet hair back, and then stared into the stream at her reflection:
She was a very beautiful young woman, who possessed pretty green eyes that sparkled like the stream she was staring into. Her hair was brown and very long, and it flowed down from her head like a brilliant waterfall.
Her clothes seemed strange upon first glance, but they were nothing too out of the ordinary: She wore a simple body suit made of red leather, which hugged her slim, petite frame, and wore a small jacket that was as equally red as the suit. A brown leather belt, with a large pouch attached to it, was wrapped around her waist. And she wore brown boots that were worn and dirty. As well as a piece of jewellery: a brown leather neck choker, with a shining red ruby cut onto the middle.
She then stared at the tattoo around her right eye: three red vertical lines were drawn across her face, one went up towards her forehead, a second going down onto her cheek, and a third was the smallest one, simply on the edge of her eye. With the area around her eye also coloured red. She preferred to keep the tattoo hidden underneath her hair, as the tattoo was a representation of her living:
She was what they called a "Trodai"; a sword-for-hire who travelled from Kingdom to Kingdom looking for a job that would pay decent money for the trouble that came with it. This young woman became a Trodai at the age of sixteen, the minimum age for somebody to join. Now, at the age of twenty, she was as experienced and wise when it came to a battle as an old army veteran, there was little she did not know.
She got back onto her feet, and walked back to where she had slept.
A sword lay concealed in a red scabbard with a red strap, resting against the tree's trunk. She picked up the sword, unsheathed it and then stared at it:
The handle was of a deep blue, a contrast to the young woman's primary colour, but the handle included a scratched ruby at the edge of the handle. As well as three smaller rubies in the hilt, all of which no longer shone, unlike the ruby on the choker.
The young woman was given this sword when she became a Trodai. Back then it was dirty and blunt, but she had spent hours cleaning and sharpening the blade, and always made sure to look after it. Now; it could be used as a makeshift mirror, and it looked as though it had been given to her just minutes before by a professional bladesmith.
She stared into the sword, and saw her own eyes staring back at her. Scanning the sword, she found an engraving on the blade, which simply read "A.C.", which had been engraved on the sword long before she had owned it. She did not know what "A.C." stood for, nor did she care.
Holding the sword in one hand, she sliced the air as if it was an imaginary foe. The sword was light and easy to handle, as the hilt had a very good grip. Many swordsmen are known to give their weapons a name, and she was among them; she had named her weapon simply "Sword". But Sword was not the only weapon she had; she also had a small dagger named "Dagger", which she kept sheathed in her belt.
She sheathed Sword back into its scabbard. Then she headed out of the clearing into the forest.
Having no trouble leaving the dense forest. She emerged, and stared at the scenic view before her:
She was standing at the top of a hill, that looked down onto a town, which she recognised to be the Market Town of Litria. Litria was a bustling market town in the humble and peaceful kingdom of Lerian. Litria was her next destination, in the hope to find a job with good reward money.
As she made her way down to Litria, she thought about what it meant to be a Trodai:
It wasn't just the tattoo around her eye that showed that she was a member of this group; on the back of her jacket, was the Trodai emblem: Two swords crossed to make the letter 'T', beneath the "T" was a green snake, with the word "Trodai" coloured in black on its body.
Trodai were not hated by the public; it was more likely that they would be appreciated. However, there were people who had dealt with many a bad Trodai, and grew to dislike them and anybody associated with the group. This young woman was not a "bad" Trodai; one who would lie about completing the job then ask for double the original reward. She was an honest person. If she accepted a job, she would do it, and when she did it, no matter how dangerous it was, she wouldn't haggle for more money. Still, those who had been tricked by the "bad" Trodai resented all Trodai. She had been yelled at and abused by some people, and she had lost count of how many times she had retaliated. Normally, she would grab them, slam them against a wall, and hold Dagger by their throat, and watch them apologise, via whimpering.
She smirked as she remembered the last person she attacked: "They almost started crying", she thought to herself, "Well, they shouldn't have called me a dirty little bitch then, should they!" Another voice in her head replied.
The young woman set foot into Litria, and was greeted by a friendly Lerian Soldier:
"Welcome to Litria Market Town, Miss Trodai." said the smiling soldier. He looked to be about seventeen years of age.
"Thanks." was the reply, a tone lower than the cheery greeting she was given.
Litria was a small town, it had only been founded twenty-five years ago, but its location meant that it was a good place for tired travellers to rest before continuing on their journies. Many merchants saw the town as an opportunity to set up shop and make money. Since then, Litria turned from a small village into almost a thriving city.
The market street was crowded and busy; what looked like hundreds of people were crammed into a few streets, buying items from merchants. People were bunched up talking to each other about prices, one person was heard yelling "Three shillings for a bloody loaf of bread! What a rip-off!" and "I tried to haggle, but the bugger wouldn't listen, there is no way rope costs a hundred and fifty shillings!" A middle-aged man emerged out of a shop, and said to his friend "I found meself a nice bargain. 'Ere, look at this vase, Wilf! It cost just fifty coins, but I bet the wife will like it." He was showing a friend a pretty-looking vase, looking pleased with himself, until his friend pointed out that there was a crack at the base. Which made the man yell out in frustration.
Grinning at the man's misfortune, the young woman continued to look for a building with the Trodai emblem on a sign hanging in the wind. Eventually, she saw the sign that she was looking for, swaying idly on a building she recognised to be an inn, and so she entered.
The Inn was not very busy. The place looked old, but well maintained. Behind the bar, The innkeeper was busy cleaning a drinking glass with a clean white cloth, absent-mindedly whistling to himself. There was a group of four men drinking and being a bit rowdy at one end of the inn. They were the only customers, but they looked as though they were getting a bit drunk and giving the Innkeeper a nice profit. A strong smell of brewed ale hung in the air, so strong that a blind man would know that he had just walked into an inn.
On the other side of the inn, next to the bar, was a notice board covered in pieces of paper, above it was the Trodai emblem.
She walked up to the notice board and searched for any particular jobs that she was interested in, there was the usual dangerous jobs but with rubbish pay. Or ones too easy with too much pay. She fancied a challenging job, and couldn't find one until a small piece of paper at the bottom of the board caught her eye.
The writing was neatly written in blue ink, and it read:
Precious antique family heirloom robbed by group of bandits.
A difficult task, not for the inexperienced
If interested, contact Lord Holdan at Holdan Manor, Litria
Payment: 1000 Shilling coins
She grabbed the piece of paper and read it again; this was the sort of job she had been looking for. She looked for any other jobs that could be more interesting, but found none. A sign next to the notice board read: "All Trodai jobseekers must notify barman if they wish to accept job."
She turned to the bar and saw that the innkeeper had been observing her while he was cleaning glasses. He appeared to be a stern-looking man, but there was an air around him that suggested otherwise.
The innkeeper noticed the paper in her hand, and asked:
"You going to take that job?"
"Yeah." she replied
"Okay. Let me have a look see which job it is." said the innkeeper "Please." He quickly added.
She gave him the paper, the innkeeper read it, then handed it back to her.
"Could you show us your tattoo?" He asked.
"Yeah, I can."
She pushed her fringe out of the way to show the barman her tattoo. It was compulsory for this question to be asked. The Trodai tattoo was the clearest sign that the person taking the job was a Trodai. Anybody could wear the clothes, but they could not get the tattoo as easily.
"Okay, good enough for me." said the innkeeper.
She put her fringe back in place.
"One more thing, although there's no sign saying so. It's required you stay for a drink before leaving." said the innkeeper.
"Fine then. Give us anything strong, please. I could do with a good wake up."
He went off to fix the drink. The young woman opened up the pouch on her belt and began to take out some coins. One of the men drinking yelled some indecipherable words, probably singing.
"Lairy gits!" she muttered to herself, as the innkeeper poured the drink into a glass and placed it on the bar.
"That'll be three shillings." said the innkeeper.
She placed three coins into his hand. Then he said:
"You watch out for them." He glanced at the other drinkers. "Those drunk buggers must be close to causing trouble."
She merely nodded, then picked up her drink and took a sip, it wasn't as strong as she wanted it to be, but decided to drink it anyway. She took her drink to a table on the other side of the inn from the drinkers. She placed her drink onto the table, sat down, and took off her cloak. As she did so, one of the drinkers wolf-whistled at her. She groaned and gritted her teeth. "Why don't they just leave?" she thought. Taking another sip of her drink.
She replaced the drink back onto the table. And then also put her elbow on the table, and, resting her head on her palm, stared out of the inn window at the passers-by.
People were with friends and family, talking about their purchases. They could be heard clearly inside the inn, despite the drunken yells of the others echoing around the small room. As she watched, she caught bits of conversation; such as a man, who was holding an attractive-looking brooch, saying to his teenage son "I reckon your mother will like this." And his son agreeing. A middle-aged woman could be clearly heard walking not too far behind the man and his son, saying "I wanted that damn brooch. And that fat git's gone and bought it!" Not trying to keep her voice down. And the middle-aged man who had the cracked vase earlier walked past the window, saying to his friend "I smashed the vase over that sod's head!" He was trying not to laugh so hard as he said it, but then his friend said "Did you get your money back?", and the man's laugh was replaced with a gasp and a yell of "Oh, I forgot!", while his friend laughed.
The young woman stared at all those passers-by, at all those people. Out with family and friends, talking about life and buying things, carrying on as if nothing was wrong with the world.
She stared at the people with jealousy. These people had friends to talk to, and family to look after and buy gifts for. But she did not.
Staring absent-mindedly through the window, her mind became filled with questions:
"All those people can laugh, and joke. Why can't I do that as well? Why does it have to be me who sits here and suffers? Why can't I join in with the laughing and joking? It isn't fair!" Anger and sadness began to brew up inside her, as well as envy, but also grief. But she was merely in a daydream. Shaking her head as she fell back into real life.
She turned back to stare through the window. The drunken men were no longer yelling and singing, but were now whispering and chuckling, as if they were planning something. She wagered all the coins in her pouch that it was something involving her, as they seemed to have their eyes fixed on her. She wasn't looking at them, but she could feel their glares like it was a draught coming in through an open window.
After a few more whispers and laughs, one of the men stood up and walked towards the young woman, a snide grin on his face.
He waited until she was looking at him, which took a while. And when she finally turned and looked up at him, his grin changed into a sneaky-looking smile. As if he was planning something.
This man was not in the slightest bit good-looking; he was short and balding despite not being very old. He had spilt drink all down the front of his already blotchy top and he looked rather unfocused. He was obviously quite drunk.
"What do you want?" she said, evidently not impressed with this man's appearance in front of a lady.
"Ahhh, don't be like that, luv." the man replied. "Come 'ome wiv me and I'll make you 'appy! 'Ow about it, darlin'?"
"Sod off!" She said, now annoyed.
But the man didn't go away.
"Come on, luv. Don't be like that! Come back to my place and let me entertain you."
"But you look so sad."
"That's because you're talking to me, and you're boring me to death! Just get lost!"
The man was not too happy about being turned down.
"You know what. Sod you, I don't fancy you anyway! You're ugly!" The man was definitely annoyed, he looked as though he meant business, but the young woman was not bothered.
"Why are you talking about yourself? Everyone knows you're a hideous arse-faced prat! They just have to look at you, and smell you, to know that!"
The man took another step towards her. She was not blinking or anything, just staring up at this man. Rage was visible in him, his yellow, wonky teeth were grit and his fat fists were clenched. But the young woman did not care, she looked at the bar and saw that the innkeeper was not there. Turning back to the drunk, she spoke again.
"I don't know what you're still doing here, arse-face. Go back to your friends and spill some more beer down your front, you messy git." She said calmly, and looked away from him.
The man was furious. And as soon as she broke eye contact, he punched her hard on the side of the head. She was knocked sideways by the blow, almost falling off her chair.
"That felt good!" smirked the man, turning back towards his friends. Who were now cheering and laughing at the young woman.
Now it was her turn to be angry: In a flash, she jumped out of her chair, turned the man around and hit him in the face with a punch much harder than his. The man hit the floor, yelling in pain, and cursing at her.
"You bitch! You absolute BITCH!"
She kicked him in the stomach for that retort.
"Gentlemen don't hit girls! You bloody idiot!" she yelled down at him.
At this point his friends had now stood up and attempted to attack her. But due to their drunkenness, they weren't too hard to beat. Within ten seconds all four of them were lying on the floor in agony. The young woman looking down at them, a mark on the side of her head showed where she had been punched.
"Right, that is enough!"
The innkeeper walked back out behind the bar. He was livid. He looked down at the four men lying on the floor, and began to yell at them:
"Every week you come in here, and harass other customers, being rowdy and a bloody downright nuisance. Today, you went so far as start a fight! And that's it! You get out of my inn right now and never come back!"
The four men had now got up to their feet. The young woman, however, had gone back to her seat, she was expecting to be thrown out as well. But it looked as if she wasn't going to be.
The men were now leaving the inn. The man who punched the young woman turned to her and said "I'll get you!" His nose was bleeding. She took no notice of him. The man turned round and left the inn.
"Good riddance." muttered the innkeeper. He turned and looked at the woman, who did not seem to be bothered about the mark on the side of her head.
"Are you alright?" he asked her.
"Yes. I'm fine." she answered.
He was staring at her with a look of curiosity.
"You're from Beorma, aren't you?"
The woman looked up, stared at him, then nodded.
"Y-yeah. Yeah I am." she looked away from him. She heard him mutter to himself "Of course, Beorman Trodai have red tattoos...". He then said to her, "I'm from Beorma as well."
"Oh, right." she replied "Yeah, I thought you were. I could sense that..." she cut off, guessing that he already understood and that there was no point in talking much more. Then he continued.
"I should've been able to sense that you were also Beorman, but I must be getting old...". He said, then resumed cleaning drink glasses. She watched him for a little while. Then he spoke again:
"It's terrible what happened to our country, isn't it?"
"Y-yeah. It's awful." She answered
The innkeeper continued working, whilst the woman thought about what it was to be from Beorma:
Each person born in one of the Maystiyan Kingdoms are born with a couple of natural abilities. People from Beorma have the ability to sense when anybody friendly, neutral, or hostile is nearby. They can also sprint very quickly, and for long distances, without becoming exhausted. It would be very hard to sneak up on a Beorman; they'd sense your hostile presence and then run off, too quick for even a knight on horseback to catch.
Every person born in each Kingdom wields different abilities; none of the Kingdoms share an ability. However, it would also be possible for a person to wield more than two natural abilities. Yet, their abilities would be weaker than if they only had two.
The young woman finished off her drink, and went to leave.
"Be careful out there, Miss. Those men are probably waiting for you." said the innkeeper. "Hmph. What harm could they do?" she replied. And left the inn.
She walked a few paces down the street when, sure enough, the men jumped out in front of her, holding knives and daggers. Trying to look threatening while staggering. Then one of them slurred:
"Give us yer money, otherwise we'll...urp...we'll cut your throat!"
It was obvious they were trying to look intimidating, but failing as they could not even stand straight.
"You trying to be scary? Rubbish!" The woman yelled. She unsheathed Sword, ready for them. Now it was her who looked intimidating. The men backed away, most of them realised they can't do much when they're drunk. But the one who had punched her earlier seemed intent on revenge: He charged at her, staggering a little, and took a swipe at the young woman with his dagger. But she easily moved out of the way, tripping him up as he flew past, and he hit the floor with a satisfying thud. The dagger flew from the man's grip and landed yards away from him, leaving him unarmed.
The fall had knocked the wind out of him, but he still had some words to say. Getting back onto his feet, he muttered something incoherent. But the woman had a feeling it was aimed at her. And spoke again as she re-sheathed Sword.
"What did you say?!"
"You are an absolute bitch!"
"Oh, really? Am I really an absolute bitch?"
"Yes. You are, and you're a slag! You and your mother! You and your mother are both slags of the worst kind!"
He had done it, he had now well and truly angered her. Those words had only just left his mouth when she grabbed him and pinned him against the wall. Pointing Dagger at his throat. His friends were about to help him. They rushed up towards him and the woman. But she yelled: "Come any closer and I'll slit his throat!" and so they backed away.
With a fire burning in her eyes; she turned back towards the now whimpering man.
"Do you want to say that again?" she said through gritted teeth. Anger was clearly etched on her face. The dagger was almost cutting the man's skin.
"N-n-n-no!" He whimpered.
"Then apologise for saying that!" She ordered.
"S-s-sorry!" He only whispered it, but it wasn't enough.
"LOUDER!" She bellowed. Making the man, and his friends, jump in terror.
"I-I-I'm sorry I said that. I'm so sorry!" He said, speaking louder and trembling with every syllable.
The woman was now satisfied; she let go of him and let him drop to the floor. The man still whimpering like a wounded animal.
She re-sheathed Dagger, while still staring at him, and then spoke again with a calm voice:
"My mother is dead, and so are the rest of my family. Did you ever learn to respect the deceased?"
The man did not make any kind of response to this, but the woman was not waiting to hear one. She took one last glance at the whimpering man, and then walked off down the street. Unfazed by the handful of people who had stood gawping at what she had done.
* * *
The sun had begun to set on Maystiya; the sky was now decorated with an awe-inspiring mix of orange and red. The same colours apparent on everything that was not in shade, including a lone figure that was sitting on a high hill not far from the market town.
The young woman was quiet and still as she was seated. She was watching the sun sink beneath the horizon, leaving the world in darkness as it did for every passing day.
And as the young woman watched the sunset, she reminisced. She thought about her life, and how, and when, it had all gone wrong. She thought about her family, and how she unbearably wished to see them once again. She thought about the words that she had always wanted to say to them, and how she knew that she would never be able to say such words. As well as the painful thought of how long it had been since those final moments she had spent with them, when she last set eyes on them, and talked to them. The moments that she would have to savour forever, as they were almost all she had of their memory.
It had been shortly over ten years since she had lost her family; a long time that she had somehow endured. But for how long she could continue living with this pain, she did not know.
Her eyes drifted from looking at the dying glow of the sun, to the landscape below as she remembered her beloved family. Then she closed her eyes and whispered "I miss you all.", as a single teardrop ran down her cheek.