Chapter 14:

Chapter 14. Rough Start

Legacy of the Forgotten

I woke up naked, laying within a snowy field that reminded me of home, with a raging blizzard making in impossible to see where I am. I raise my right hand to try and cover my eyes as I get myself onto my feet. 

"Come on my boy don't hide from me."

Said a booming deep voice that came from within the storm.

"Who are you?"

I said aloud as I trudged through the deep snow that was up to my thigh. I aimlessly looked around in a vain attempt to find a place to shelter me from this harsh storm, though I barely feel it. Its still a pain to move through as it feels like my legs have weights holding them back. I continued through the snowy land, step by step, with each one seemingly a bit more draining then last. I nearly gave up hope but then the blizzard stopped, making me frantically look around again in hopes to at least pinpoint where civilization is. However what I found was a figured hunched over wearing light white armor, with long jet black hair hanging over the being's head.  

The being started huffing as if it was filled with a excitement, but it was this very action that made a chill run down my spine as it uttered.

"I found you."

I tried to turn and run but my body refused to obey me as figure began running towards my direction, before lunging at me. I raised my arm to brace, but to no avail as the impact forced me onto my back. I frantically used my hands to grab its shoulders in a attempt to keep it at bay. It leaned over me to where our heads were aligned and to my shock it was not a stranger attacking me, but a twisted version of myself. My twisted counterpart smirks, revealing his sharp teeth before grabbing my face with hands with it's hands that had claw like nails on them. Finally the nightmare reached it's climax as the wind blew his hair to reveal his pair rainbow irises. He started to speak to me in a sorrowful tone, as if disappointed.

"It's a shame really, I couldn't find you fast enough. Worry not though, for I'll always be with you. Even if you don't want me, no matter how hard you cry and beg, we'll be together forever."

His words confused me, but like usual. I was cut off from speaking before even given the chance to, as he slammed our heads together and shouted.


The sudden scream from my counterpart make me jump out of bed, as eyes shot open. I started panting frantically at first, but I started to slow myself down to help calm myself from that accursed dream. 

"I-I can see my breath?"

I said to myself as i was unable to believe my eyes, making me exhale once more in a slow manner, to confirm to myself that I'm not just seeing this. I took a deep breath and breathed out slowly, resulting with the breath that came from my mouth being as visible as smoke. 

"This doesn't make sense."

I said a loud before looking around the room to find that it was frozen over, with pieces of ice being made visible as they hung from the ceiling. Having my question answer itself, I started to scanned the room to see if anything else was amiss. Everything was fine until I looked at the gem inside the pouch as it faintly shined through the fabric before it's light faded and reassuming its dark coloring. 

"What th-"

My sentence was cut off by Avorion who was knocking on my room's.

"Come on, we have clean ourselves off before we go to meet King Surt in the throne for our assignments. He'll be giving us assignments to help build a friendship with the natives."

I sign deeply before kneeling down to grab my dark colored loincloth, with the thought of my dream coming back to mind. I shook my head in a attempt to clear my thoughts as I needed to focus on the here and now, not a strange dream the probably meant nothing of importance. I exit my icy room with nothing but my loincloth on as the older man Haco waiting in the hall way with the others.

I looked at the tall man with a towel around his waist. In retrospect,  I shouldn't have been as surprised as I was back then. However the man caught my interest, since didn't recognize him for a moment. The man's abs were quite impressive, with scars all around his body and his biceps were as big as my head.  His hazel eyes were also unfamiliar since I've barely ever seen anyone with those kind eyes back in Fortis Gelu, however once he turned to the side to show off his crimson hair, I immediately face palmed myself. Of course it's Alcides, none else could've been at that level of physical perfection, and none else I knew could even be his size. I then looked around for Navis to notice that she wasn't with the group.

"Where's Navis?"

I asked, not expecting our group to be split up this early.

"Your female companion is already done with her bath, and is awaiting you four to finish."

King Haco said as he looked away with a faint smile on his face.

Alcides lets out a loud laugh, with his hands on his waist as he said to me.

"Now now Axelon, I know your going to through those phases of puberty and I'm sure Navis has a wonderful figure. How-"

I cut him off abruptly before he could continue, with my face becoming all flustered.

"I-I didn't mean that! She's a valuable member of our group so I just thought she'd be here with us that all!"

Jeremy just laughs adds to Alcides's bold claim.

"Sure thing Axelon, I've seen how you've looked at her over the last her. So yeah, I'd say she's valuable, if not damn near priceless."

My face quickly became more flustered as Avorion cut them off.

"Alright, alright that's enough. You two."

He looks to King Haco.

"Please continue."

He led the way for us to his family's bath were upon opening the door, a thick warm wall of air hit us. Jeremy and Alcides pushed past Avorion and myself to enter the bath, only to be met with another pleasant surprise as they looked to the floor with awh. 

"Avorion, you and Axelon have got to get in here! It feels like the floor is a warm fire, but I'm not burning my feet!"

Alcides said before letting out a mighty roar of laughter, with Jeremy looking behind the curtains that covered half the room to reveal three big , metallic tubs of semi-bubbling water. Each one having a hook above them on the right side with towels at the ready.

"Now this I can get used to."

Said Jeremy as he doesn't waste a moment to get into one on the right. Upon entry his face was extremely relaxed and he slowly lets himself sink into the tub with Alcides following suit with a similar result but when he sunk into the tub, the water overflowed and spilt onto the floor.

"You guys have to try this, it's as if my skin is being cleaned and turned to a million bubbles."

Alcides said before putting his arms behind his head and relaxing in the bubbling waters. 

I looked at them and walked inside the room, being surprised when I felt a faint heat radiating from the floor. Jeremy and Alcides were not completely wrong about how warm the floor is, I looked back to see that Avorion being a bit surprised by the warmed floor as well.

After we cleaned ourselves off, we went to our respective rooms to find clean fresh clothes. Once dressed I looked at myself and was a bit surprised by how nice they felt on me. I then proceeded to look at myself in the mirror to admire the new attire. The shirt was a long orange color with the pants being made with a thick brown leather material. I recall reading about this material from a book  I read before the fall of Fortis Gelu, but I never expected it to feel like this. I was even given a pair of gloves to cover my hands, they're the same color has my pants but, I couldn't care less. I was just happy to have something on my hands again, after I was dressed I parted my hair to the right to cover my blemish and walked out of my room to see that everyone else was wearing similar attire to myself, except the gloves. 

"All ready to go?"

King Haco said with Navis beside him, with her arms crossed.

"You boys certainly took your time."

She added in a teasing tone. 

Everyone but Avorion all shrugged as we didn't have a reason to hurry, with Avorion crossing his arms and simply replied with.

"You comment on our time bathing, but I highly doubt you were just in and out of like that.  I'm sure you took your sweet time as well Ms. Navis, since was the first actual bath we had since our home fell."

"That's enough of that now, its still early and too early to be nipping at each other."

King Haco said as he pulled out a few golden necklaces that had rubies attached to slightly thicker piece of gold that attached to the necklace. He then proceeded to hand each of us one of these necklaces before signaling us to put them on.  After doing so, he explained that he had his artisans craft these fine pieces of jewelry in order for us to understand their native tongue. After which he told us to go explore the kingdom for fun, and to bring a story worth telling over dinner. King Haco was also generous enough to give us each a two hundred, silver pieces and one hundred gold pieces so that we'd be able to buy what we wanted and be able to enjoy some of the foods around here, if the desire ever arose.

Avorion looked a bit confused and asked.

"Weren't we supposed to complete some tasks for your son?"

King Haco patted Avorion's right shoulder and replied to his question.

"Don't worry. I talked with Surt about it before he begrudgingly agreed that sending you work right away after such a long travel would be unbefitting as hosts."

 Everyone after that went about their separate way to go explore the city. While on my stroll, I was too distracted by the lack of blacksmith shops they had, but my curiosity was disrupted when shoved out of the by one of the lesser guards of this kingdom.  

"Get out of the way!"

I looked at them as they carelessly marched on, doing the same to other civilians as if it was nothing at all. However before I would give them a proper lesson in respect, someone poked tugged on my arm and said. 

"It's not worth it."

A female voice said to me, making me look back at them to find that it was the girl with the eye patch that caught my eye yesterday. 

"Oh, its you. I was curious about who you were but your brother escorted us to meet with your father so I wasn't able to grab your name."

She seemed shocked that I knew they were related and began to deny such a obvious fact. 

"Don't be ridiculous I'm not related to that jerk! Besides how would you know?"

I sighed in annoyance shrugged as I replied to her obvious lie in an aloof tone.

"I don't know, lucky guess maybe? I just figured that your red eyes would mean your related, since from I noticed that only the royals have the same colored eyes as you do. Unless it's just a coincidence, however from what I've read about this place; I think it's highly unlikely to be the ladder.

" Alright fine, I'm related to the three men you visited. So what?"

She said in response, with her tone coming off as very annoyed.

"I was curious about you.

"Well don't be. I'm not loyalty, I'm just a blacksmith that's struggling to keep her shop open. Be here long enough and you'll hear similar tales from all around here."

I was genuinely shocked as I took my arm away from her hand in a non aggressive manner. 

"Wait how is this kingdom struggling? My book told me this was once of the most wealthiest kingdoms out of the four."

I said, being a bit confused by her words.

"I don't know anything about a forth kingdom, but this kingdom was successful up till about four years ago. That's when the dar- I mean Fetchers started to get sick in the mines."  

I was a bit shocked when I heard that, because four years ago is when Fortis Gelu collapsed, and the fact that she said there was only three kingdoms of her knowledge. There's no way father was forgotten, surely the other three Kings wouldn't write him out of history...right? I pondered on this for a moment before shaking my head.

"What are Fetchers? Sounds more like a animal then a worker."

I asked, seeing how that wasn't in the books from what I recall in my readings.

"Every blacksmith has about one to five Fetchers to work in the mines and collect veins of precious ores that we use to forge weapons and other things."

These Fetchers sounded interesting, I wonder if they knew where the finest ores. I opened my mouth to comment further on these Fetchers, my stomach let out a loud rumble. 

"Hungry much?"

She asked me before chuckling.

"Yeah, your family didn't offer any food to me or my group before giving us some cash and told us to find stories to tell at dinner. Before we continue though, I never caught your name."

"It's Alice Kelm, and yours?"

My eyes widened as I face palmed myself and took a deep breath.

"Right of course. Please pardon my poor manners. My name Axelon, but I don't have a last name."

She smiled a bit and my reply, before putting giving me a thumbs up.

"Last names are overrated anyway, you're better off making a name for yourself instead of inheriting one. In some cases, such a name will bind you to certain expectations."

I admit that her statement made me curious, but before I could question Alice about what she said. She turned around and started to walk away with her arms stretcher behind her. 

"I have to leave to tend to other projects, but it was nice talking with you Axelon. Don't be afraid to spot by my shop if you need anything forged."

I nodded

"I'll stop by your shop first, don't worry."

I said to her before walking away to go explore the kingdom, looking around at the many shops of this land had to offer me.  Each one of the many tents were a vibrant warm color that was so inviting to strangers of this place like myself. I walked through the market section hearing the people call out prices for their goods, as the aroma of the many dishes within that area filled the air around me. The scent lit my nostrils ablaze due to the hot spices of this nation, still required some getting used to. Despite this burning sensation within both of my nostrils, I could immediately tell that all these dishes were mouth watering. I tried to resist the ever growing hunger, but after hearing that my stomach's growl was much louder then before. I finally gave in, and decided to go get myself food, the problem was, that everything looked delicious.  Luckily though, after a brief few minutes of debating with myself on which of the many dishes I should try first. I finally settle on one called " Sliver of the Serpent". I went to go order it from the shop keeper, which was actually a nice older later with tanned leathery skin, white puffy hair and hazel eyes.

"H-Hello Ms...Could I by chance get two orders of your Sliver of the Serpent please?"

My voice was a bit shaky during this, because I never spoke with a older women of her age before that moment.  I didn't want to frighten her or anything of that sort of course. 

"Sure you can, that'll be twenty silver pieces muchacho."

I give the older women a extra five silver pieces out of kindness as she went over to get the food paid for. However I was quite surprised when she came back with two thick cuts of this greyish colored meat on sticks. I question her about the coloration of the meat since I'm used to eating meat with a brown coloring and a slight pink inside. The elderly women explains that raw serpent meat is extremely poisonous to most folks, unless your a "Filth" as she put it. I automatically knew she was referring to the Dark Hearts. It was indeed surprising to hear such a thing from a older women, but the situation got worse from there. My heart started to race as I heard "him" again, he was like a whisper in my ear with his tone being much more seductive then in my dreams.

"Go on Axelon, show her who's really filth. She's just a weak fragile women, no one will care nor even notice. It's Perfect!"

I turn around and walk away with the food I ordered, I closed my eyes tightly once I was alone in the middle of an alley way that was covered by sheets on the roof top. I tried to tune him out to the best of my abilities, until finally I couldn't hear him anymore.  I took a few deep breathes and sat down on the warm stone ground, upon which after catching my breath; I started to slowly eat my two chick cuts of meat on sticks.

They were a bit dry, however the spices that were picked had more of a lighter kind of heat to them. I was honestly just glad that there was something edible in this kingdom that didn't make me want to throw up fire. By the time I finished my meal, I thought that most of the morning was gone. I look to see if there was anything else worth doing at this time. I walked around the kingdom for a bit longer until a man flew past me, and onto the streets. I looked to my right to see where the man was sent flying from, and it was was a place called "Enchilado Bar".  I raised my eye brow in curiosity, wondering what could've knocked that man so far away, at least I was curious until I heard a familiar boisterous laughter come from the establishment. 

"Alcides, of course!"