“To the world, we are brave. To our loved ones, we are fools. But what are we to ourselves?”
These are the parting words the famed adventurer Schnell Douglas left us with in his book, “The Handy Handbook for a Handful of Adventurers”. The person behind the book was said to have been a man who operated on complete impulse. He would travel to a certain place, learn and document basically everything that he could get his hands on, and when the well ran dry, he’d depart as swiftly as he came.
He was like the wind: fast, unpredictable and most importantly, his presence would make people feel as if they we’re standing atop mountains. Said to have traveled from his birthplace of Meridia, a country located on the South of Cardina, the Western Continent, he had grown tired of what was widely referred to as the ‘World’s safest place’. As such, he had one day decided to pack his luggage, and leave without so much as a single word to anyone he had ever known up until that point.
What followed this event was nothing short of the journey of a lifetime. He was said to have travelled the entire world, buying out territory that he deemed interesting with the wealth he’d accumulated during his travels. It is nothing more than speculation, but due to some recent findings it is believed that even the International Traveler’s Association was founded by this very man.
Some very important people in the world’s history have personally funded and helped him document their country, and he was said to be the man around whom the world truly revolved. If the world was a book, he would most definitely be the main character, that is just how amazing this adventurer was.
After reaching the age of 37, he had decided to settle down with a woman he met during his final years of travel and they took to one of their estates, now known as “Schnell’s Archipelago” so that they may live out their lives in complete peace. His descendants are said to still inhabit the land, but it is unknown as to whether or not this is 100% true, as the only people who are allowed to step foot on Schnell’s Archipelago are close friends of The Schnells. It is still regarded as the absolute truth, though, as the mere fact that said friends can step on the land suggests a Schnell is definitely inviting them in. All this had occurred in the far off year of 150AD.
AD (After Division), is a measurement of time that originates from a monumental event known as the Ever-Division. It is widely known that the world wasn’t always divided by the Great Ocean, and that it was, in fact, simply a single giant landmass. This of course changed after a worldwide earthquake of disastrous proportions split the singular landmass into the world we know today. Everything that occurred before the Ever-Division is counted as BD (Before Division).
In any case, some believe that Schnell’s actions had a greater purpose behind them exactly due to this event, as the divide caused a rift in the people. One could say he managed to unify a divided world singlehandedly, and many steadfast adventurers took on the world’s challenge in hopes of achieving similar results. Some will have succeeded in gaining great fame or even wealth during their great undertaking, whilst many others failed and suffered greatly as penalty.
Now, in the sticks of a country named Secundis, in a small village located to the west of it known only as Whitehood, in the present year of 1016AD, another legend begins his journey…
“Lune! Come down and help your mother set the table!”
A sudden voice calls out to me from the other room. I’ve yet to finish the riveting tale of old, so I chose to refuse answering. I’d consider stopping midway through reading Schnell’s Handbook a sin, in all honesty, so she’ll have to wait a bit.
“Lune! If you don’t come down here, you’ll make your mother sad!”
Ugh, no matter how great the importance of the sacred book is, I mustn’t make mother cry. I’ll get up and go downstairs to help… just after I finish this chapter.
“There you are! I swear, it’s as if you enter a completely different dimension when you read that book! Could I bother the Great Bookworm to help me set up dinner? Your father will be back soon and I have my hands full with the food.” My mother said whilst taking dinner out of the oven.
“Sure, mom, but you gotta understand, this book is the torch to my dungeon, it really scratches my adventurous itch. And how could I not get indulged in the story when the main character is so cool?!?” I shot back with a prideful expression.
To be honest, I didn’t wanna rile her up any more than I probably already did, but she offended the sacred texts, so I had to take some measures. I’m sure Schnell would understand…
“Don’t make it sound so…weird.” My mom made an awkward face, ”Gosh, if I had known you’d be like this, I would have never given you that book!”
This is how it always is in Secundis, the country where I was born and raised in. Please don’t misunderstand, I love my mother to bits. I’d slay a dragon for her, I really would (I never met a dragon, though). These little back and forth arguments we’d hold regularly are nothing if not a show of love, so don’t worry.
“Ella, I’m back!” A voice rang out from the front door.
There he was, the man, the legend: father.
“Welcome back, dear. Dinner is on the table, come in!” My mother went to greet him with a hug as she took off his coat.
He was a tall, muscular man with arms the size of over half my body. He’s sporting a jet black hair with a sort of slicked back look to it, which you’d think looks out of fashion, but it seems to suit him. If there was any way to define him in one word, it’d be old-fashioned. Not old, per say, but many of the things he does is… dated, to say the least. I’d always hear the same old jokes from him, and he would always have all these old sayings and traditions that no one but him followed. He’s a man who’s definitely gotten up there in age though, you can easily tell from a glance that he’s not in his heyday, but he can still work somehow (He’s 40, by the way). It’s nice to have a working spirit at this age, but I know if I was 40 I’d probably already have retired. Makes me wonder…
“Hey dad, when are you gonna retire?” I asked, chewing my food.
“Wuh-“ he choked on the pie mother made for us in surprise, “D-Do I really look that old?”
Aww, now I feel bad! I indirectly hurt his feelings. I didn’t even mean it like that, honest!
“Well then, Lune,” my mom chimed in, ”if such a thing were to happen, you’d have to get a job to provide for us, wouldn’t you?”
She hit me in my weak spot, she knows I’d rather spend my time playing around and reading books so she really went for the throat there. Worst part of all this? I’m losing a battle that I accidentally started!
“Nice one, honey! I knew you’d have my back! So Lune, if you want, I can teach you all the things you need to know to take on the Grimheart family business of butchering! How’s that sound?” He said with a proud tone, as if I already agreed to it.
“…No, thank you. I’d rather do something that I wanna do.” I decided to speak my mind.
They looked at me with a tinge of regret at that moment, but the shift in their facial expressions was barely (if at all) noticeable. I’d wager they just want their son to be like the other kids and take on his parents’ family business after graduating from a good school and nothing more. In all honesty, this way of living makes me sick to my stomach, as I’d get bored of cutting up animals for their meat in days-no, hours!
“Well, Lune, sooner or later you’re just gonna have to accept that you won’t be able to play around forever.” My mother said with a quiet voice, “You don’t want to end up like some bum on the side of the road now, do you?”
“It’s always either ‘Take up the family business’ or ‘Die on the side of the road’ with you guys! Can’t you see there’s more to the world than just these two options?” I raised my voice as I refuted their claims.
“And where’d you hear that?” my father frowned at me as he said the words.
“It’s that Book I gave him, surely.” My mother tried blaming my behavior on the Handbook, “My Lune would never say such irresponsible things before, you would always be eager to help out whenever possible!” She said as she turned towards me.
“Then it’s settled!” My father finished his plate, “I’ll be confiscating that book until you get serious, young man! And don’t you dare think about whining or trying to take it back, otherwise I’ll burn it in the fireplace!”
“Nooo!” I screamed out, “You won’t take it away from me, you can take anything else, but not this!” I said as I ran to my room to hide it.
Quickly running up the stairs and locking the door, I had only then realized I had very little hiding spaces to hide the book in, so I had to improvise a bit. I took out the clothes from my drawer and quickly hid it in the back, masking it’s visibility by putting the clothes back in. It was seamless! He surely won’t ever find it!
Just then, a slow disappointed knock could be heard on the door of my room. I could tell from the pattern that it was my father on the other side of the door. I didn’t wanna see his face at all right now, so I just shouted What do you want?! and hoped he wasn’t mad enough to break open the door.
“Sigh, listen Lune, I won’t be taking your book away…” He said with a quiet tone, “Your mother talked me out of it, so be sure to thank her. But I don’t want to hear you spout such nonsense in front of us ever again, got that?”
“…… Okay, I’ll be sure to thank her.” I answered back through the keyhole.
And with that, the hero emerged triumphantly against his brainwashed parents! They’re certainly products of their time, unwilling to change as they simply embrace the idea of living lives they don’t enjoy as a matter of course. But even still, a mother’s love is something that prevails over anything, so I was given a pass for now, score!
As such, I decided to celebrate by taking out the book from the closet and reading a few more chapters. From here on, I said, I’ll proudly put this book on the top shelf for everyone who enters the room to see! It’ll be a fond way to immortalize this kind act that my mother has done for me.
Before I realized it, night had already set after I read chapter after chapter, page after page. I just couldn’t stop, no matter how tired I got, but I knew where my limits lied currently, so I had to call it quits after the night made it difficult to read anything. As such, I promptly got dressed into my pajamas and went to bed. What a day…