Beyond the Borders Volume 1
In the City of Luporus Layla, Yukki, Neki, and Reki were busy sitting
around a small wooden table in the back at the Liquescent Inn — thinking
about their plan to murder the Emperor. The inn was filled with chatter
about the fire that had burned half of the Town of Arsen.
Layla’s team blended in well with the rest of common folks of Sylveria,
however, Layla was forced to hide her hair by drawing up the hood on her
black leather jacket. Dealing with her bangs would have been troublesome
had she not tried a new type of experiment Doctor Rikou had managed to
create. The doctor had managed to create a liquid that could change the
color of one’s hair but the results of what could happen when applied
were untested. Layla had decided to paint her bangs red. While her bangs
made her look like a fire magic‑user the rest of her hair remained
“You know Major, you actually look like a real fire magic‑user,” Yukki
said as she sipped on her tea.
“Is that so? Maybe I should get the good Doctor to make more progress on
that new substance then.”
“It could be useful for infiltration missions and such,” Neki said.
Layla took a bite of her chocolate bar as she looked to her team.
“Right, now we need to carry out phase two.”
As the four of them continued to eat and drink they overheard two men
talking about the fire in Arsen.
“Did you hear about that fire? It is all over the news.”
“Yes, quite the horror but such is life.”
“It says here the Hartfell family died in the fire among many other
As Yukki finished her tea Layla held her hand.
“I know what you thinking but now is not the time for that.”
Yukki grabbed Layla’s hand and held it tightly. She was overcome with
guilt for the loss of Ryliah’s parents. Part of her knew the risks going
into the mission, yet, part of her wanted to condemn her actions. While
she continued to contemplate her moral choices Layla stood up from her
Without another word she headed for the exit as only sound from her were
the tapping of her high‑heeled boots against the hardwood floor. The
rest of the team followed behind as they left a small bit of change on
the table as a tip.
\* \* \*
Almost a week had passed as the four of them walked the trade road to
the Capital of Priserra. Large sand‑stone walls towered about thirty
meters to the sky with cylinder watchtowers at each of the four corners.
Around the whole walled city was a large valley stretching as far down
as seventy six meters and spanned as wide as nine‑hundred fourteen
As Layla and her team crossed the wooden drawbridge two guards stopped
“State your business here,” said one guard.
“We are merely travelers from Luporus,” Neki said stepping in front of
Yukki placed her hand on Neki’s shoulder. Neki quickly turned around and
stepped to the side.
“My cousins and I are traveling to the Town of Arsen for a while,” Yukki
said with a cheerful smile.
“Oh, Arsen was burned to the ground if you didn’t know.”
“I was unaware.”
“Well, if you need a place to stay there is an inn in the West part of
the city known as the Grand Dragon Inn.”
“Thank you sir,” Yukki said as the guard moved to the side.
Yukki and the others walked passed the guards and into the city. People
went about their lives buying and selling goods, foods and wares. As
they continued to walk along the stone paved roads Layla looked to her
“Today, we shall go down in history.”
Everyone nodded as they split off in different directions, leaving Layla
alone. Ahead of her Layla could see the inner wall that held the castle
where the Emperor stayed. As she made her way forward she noticed that
she had bumped into someone. When she looked down Layla realized that
she had bumped into a small girl who appeared to be no more then
The petite girl looked up to Layla with her crimson colored eyes and
“I’m sawwey. I should have looked where I was going.”
Her voice was innocent and pure. Layla bent down on one knee to meet the
girl at eye level. She was barely pushing one hundred twenty‑seven
centimeters while her body had to be no more then thirty‑four kilograms.
“It is all right,” Layla said with a smile.
“Okay, well I need to go now. I has to try and buy me an ice‑cream
“Are your parents not with you?”
“A person in a robe told me that my parents are in a better place with
the goddesses. I don’t really understand it but I hope they will be back
Layla looked away in disgust. *How can those religious zealots do this
to a poor young girl like her*, Layla thought as she placed her hand on
the girl’s head.
“I hate to break it to you sweetie but that man in a robe lied to you.
There are no goddesses.”
“Then where are my parents?”
“I am sorry but they are dead…”
“What does that mean?”
“That they are not coming back.”
The little girl didn’t say a word while Layla was at loss for what she
could say to comfort the girl.
“Here, how about you take all of these Yukaris and buy yourself an
Layla smiled as she handed the girl one hundred‑thousand six‑hundred
“Can I really have this?”
“Sure,” Layla smiled.
The little girl smiled a cheerful smile and skipped merrily off to one
of the city stores. Layla’s eyes darted back to the inner wall. She
headed forward, ready to put the plan into practice. As Layla walked up
to the castle entrance she found herself stopped by two guards.
“Who are you?” one guard asked.
Layla didn’t speak. Both guards looked to each other and quickly readied
their weapons. Slowly, Layla removed her hood revealing her long white
hair. Garey lowered his weapon.
“Oh Major Veltress its only you—”
“That’s not the Major lad its—”
Before either of the guards could finish their sentences Layla
incapacitated the younger looking guard within the blink of an eye. She
quickly threw down the older guard, taking his spear from him and forced
the spear into his leg — pinning his leg to the ground.
Layla headed inside the castle — taking out more guards — and opened the
large wooden door leading into the throne room. Sitting at his throne
was the Emperor along with Princess Amalthea. The guards readied their
weapons after taking note of the guards laying on the floor.
The Emperor stood up from his throne in anger as the guards rushed
forward with their weapons drawn. With fast reflexes Layla pulled out a
throwing dagger strapped to her thigh and hidden under her skirt. She
threw the dagger quickly as it headed for a collision course with the
The sound of metal scraping was the only thing heard.
\* \* \*
Lylianna stood there between Layla and her target. After a few seconds
dozens of guards with weapons drawn surrounded Layla. The other Black
Knights entered the throne room and stood with Lylianna ready for
anything that Layla would try.
“Give up Layla. You’re out numbered.”
Layla smiled as she raised her hands into the air.
“You’re right little sister.”
Without saying anything Layla dropped to her knees as the guards moved
“Your grace, I would like permission to imprison my sister in our
holding cell,” Lylianna said as she turned to the Emperor.
“You may do as you wish, however, she is to remain alive. Her execution
tomorrow will serve as testament to any would be assassin.”
“As you wish,” Lylianna said as she motions for the Knights to arrest
Melissa placed a blindfold over Layla’s eyes as Deadeye tied Layla’s
hands behind her back. As they walked her out of the castle Ryliah held
her blade close to Layla’s throat.
“What do you plan to do to her Lydia?”
“Nothing my lady, torturing her will result in nothing but wasted time,”
Lylianna replied as she made her way for the exit.
At the Black Knight’s Headquarters Layla was thrown into the same
holding cell Aryia was once in for her training. Deadeye removed the
bindings from Layla’s wrist as Melissa removed the blindfold. After
closing the cell door Lylianna turned to her team.
The others nodded and made their way for the door, leaving Lylianna and
her sister alone. She turned to Layla who stood there with a smirk on
“So, tell me sis, just what are you planning?”
Layla simply giggled.
“You know, just planning to kill the Emperor is all.”
Lylianna was unamused by her sister’s lack of empathy as she began to
“I won’t let my guard down with you.”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way, dear little sister.”
After closing the door to the dungeon Lylianna gathered the Knights in
the planning room. Something was bothering her and she knew Layla had
something planned. Once everyone had gathered in the room Lylianna
looked to her team as they wondered why she had called all of them
“Is something wrong Major?” Melissa asked.
“Layla let herself get captured. I don’t know why but we cannot let our
guard down for a second.”
“Then what is the plan Major?” Melissa asked.
Lylianna was silent for a moment. *With Aryia out of action we will be
short on resources*, Lylianna thought.
“We do what we can. Two of us will need to always be with the Emperor
and two others with Princess Amalthea.”
“All right, who is guarding whom?” Ryliah asked.
“Deadeye and Ryliah, you two guard the Emperor. Melissa and I shall
guard the Princess.”
“One more thing, we have a gift from our good friend Doctor Ruzyuki.”
Lylianna opened a large box sitting in the back of the room revealing
the Black Knight’s old weapons but they were different. Instead of being
coated in zixkium the weapons had a light blue substance that was
believed to be stronger and more durable then zixkium. Each of the
Knight’s looked over their new weapon.
“What are these weapons made out of Major?” Ryliah asked.
“Apparently, they are made out of an experimental element that has yet
to be named. Consider these weapons as prototypes.”
“These are quite nice,” Deadeye said as he looked through the scope of
“I agree,” Ryliah said as she studied the sharpness of her gunblade.
“Be ready tomorrow to guard the royal family. Dismissed.”
Lylianna left with Aryia’s weapon in her hand. As she entered the
bedroom she was shocked to see Aryia reading a book entitled *The Slayer
of Goblins*. Aryia appeared to be deeply invested with the book that she
failed to notice Lylianna standing in the doorway.
“Is this the end of the world?”
Aryia look surprised as she looked up from her book.
“Major… I mean, Lylianna I didn’t hear you come in. What did you mean by
“It was a joke, seeing as how I have never seen you read before.”
Lylianna made her way over to Aryia and placed the weapon in her lap.
“What is this?”
“Doctor Rina Ruzyuki created new special weapons for us made out of an
element that has yet to be named and is still unknown at this point.”
Aryia looked over the gun and checked the sights to make sure they were
lined up perfectly. She opened the action to make sure there wasn’t a
bullet in the chamber. Once she saw that it was safe she held the rifle
butt against her shoulder, aiming down the sights at a blank space at
the wall. As she held her breath to steady her aim, her finger slowly
squeezed the trigger.
“I should also tell you Layla tried to assassinate the Emperor a few
Aryia was silent as the only sound heard was the click of her weapon.
“I should have been there…”
“It is fine Aryia. You need to get better so you take part in missions.
Focus on that.”
With a kiss on the cheek Aryia felt her heart skip a beat.
“And that is an order soldier.”
Aryia smiled as she wrapped her arms around Lylianna.
Lylianna brushed Aryia’s bangs back and stared into her eyes.
“How are you sleeping?”
Aryia looked a bit sad as she laid her head down on her pillow.
“Not the best… if I am being honest.”
“I am always here if you need me.”
“I know. Thanks, Lylianna.”
Lylianna blushed slightly as she turned away.
“Anyways, Melissa and I will be guarding the Princess for a while.
Deadeye and Ryliah will be with the Emperor.”
“Will it be enough to stop whatever your older sister is planning?”
“I don’t know…”
The two of them remained quiet for a few seconds.
“Anyways, get some rest. I need to get ready,” Lylianna said as she
stood up from the bed.
Lylianna grabbed her gun and slung it on her shoulder.
“Don’t work to hard Lylianna.”
With a wave of her hand Lylianna headed down stairs to the weapon
storage room and packed what gear she believed that she would need for
her duties. As she continued to pack up medical supplies Melissa entered
the room with a backpack strapped over her left shoulder and her scythe
“I am ready if you are Major.”
Melissa looked to Lylianna as they headed for the castle.
“Are you sure you don’t want me to try and get information out of your
“It would be a waste of time for you Mel. She will not talk. You could
torture her any way you wish and she would just laugh at you for
“She has to have some kind of weakness.”
“With her, there is no weakness.”
The two of them entered the castle and made there way up to Princess
Amalthea’s room. After knocking on her door Lylianna turned to Melissa.
“Watch the outside here. If you feel there is a threat on the princess’s
life you are free to terminate them.”
Lylianna turned on her radio to check the communications.
“The radio appears to be working Major, over,” Deadeye said.
“Likewise, over,” Ryliah added.
“You are free to kill on‑site if you feel there is a threat to the
“Comms will be minimal. Only radio in if it is important. Over and out.”
As Lylianna turned off her radio the princess opened the door. She wore
a white strapless dress with a frilly layered skirt that stopped fifteen
centimeters above her knees. Her white knee‑high socks complimented her
“Lydia? Melissa? What are you two doing here?”
“Pardon me my lady,” Lylianna said as she made her way past the doorway.
Lylianna closed the door behind her and looked out the window. After
closing the curtains on the window she turned to Princess Amalthea who
had a confused look on her face.
“Lydia, what’s going on?”
“We are just taking precautions, my lady. As you saw my sister will not
stop until both you and your father are dead.”
Amalthea sat down on her bed with a scared look upon her face. It was
scary for her to think there was someone that wanted her dead.
“Don’t worry my lady. We will keep you safe.”
“I am more worried about my father. As you know he is old, and doesn’t
have any magic to speak of.”
“Your father will be fine. I sent Ryliah and Deadeye to watch over him.”
\* \* \*
The Emperor sat at his desk staring at the papers in front of him.
Ryliah and Deadeye stood at the sides while the large office room
remained as silent as the night sky. After a few minutes had passed the
Emperor put down the papers and sighed heavily.
“These people always complain about the taxes on their property but I
see no problem with them. What do you think of this… Ryliah, was it?”
Ryliah turned to the Emperor and placed her hand over her heart.
“Yes your grace. As to what I think, I am afraid I cannot give you my
opinion on the matter.”
“Ah, taking the safe road and staying out of it then?”
“Yes, your grace.”
As the Emperor neatly stacked the mess of the papers — separating them
by priority — he looked to Ryliah and Deadeye.
“Would either of you two care for some wine?”
“No thank you, your grace,” Deadeye said.
After a few minutes had passed a servant entered with a bottle of wine
and a wine glass.
“Oh, Jeverious, we were just talking about having some wine. Perfect
“You know me sir, I like to be ready to serve,” Jeverious said as he
poured the wine in the glass.
Once Jeverious had finished pouring the wine Deadeye felt something was
“Jeverious, you should drink it first.”
“I am sorry but I can’t as this is the Emperor’s—”
Before he could finish his sentence Ryliah held her gunblade to his
The Emperor found it suspicious that his own servant was making a big
deal out of drinking some wine.
“Drink it,” the Emperor demanded.
Jeverious seemed rather frightened as all eyes were on him. Without
another second to spare Ryliah slit the man’s throat as blood poured
down from his neck. After only a few second the servant laid there in a
pool of his own blood. The blood began to soak into the crimson red
carpet, making it look more red then it did before. As Ryliah sheathed
her gunblade the Emperor looked up to her.
“Was that necessary?”
“I apologize your grace but we cannot take a chance with your life. The
Major ordered us to kill on‑site.”
“Remind me to take out the amount needed from her paycheck to clean this
The Emperor made his way to the throne room as Deadeye and Ryliah
followed closely behind. Once he was seated in his throne the large
wooden door slowly creaked open. What Ryliah and Deadeye saw beyond the
door surprised them.
Layla stood there with a single‑shot rifle and armed to the teeth with
“Good evening, your grace.”
Before Deadeye could draw his gun Layla fired off one bullet from the
rifle that she stole. With blinding speed Ryliah drew her gunblade as
the sound of the bullet flew past the Emperor — missing him by mere
centimeters. Deadeye aimed his sniper at Layla as Ryliah took up a
battle stance with her blade.
“Now now you two, I don’t have time to play,” Layla said as she pulled
out a dagger sheathed on her left leg.
Deadeye turned to the Emperor.
“Your grace, please leave at once.”
With haste the Emperor headed for a wooden doorway off to the side of
the throne room. Once the Emperor had left the room Ryliah looked over
“Go with the Emperor. I can handle her.”
As Ryliah rushed forward at Layla, a shot rang out hitting the ground
near her feet. She stopped dead in her tracks as she tried to figure out
where the shot came from. Dropping down from the ceiling was Reki who
smiled as she cocked back the lever on her sniper rifle.
Suddenly, a large human size hole appeared next to Layla. Coming up from
the hole was Neki holding two pistols in each hand. One was black while
another was silver.
“Play time!” Neki said in a playful tone.
“I believe the two of you remember my friends Reki and Neki,” Layla said
with a smile.
Ryliah continued to hold her battle stance as Deadeye had his weapon
trained on Layla. He knew this would be a tough battle. Before the two
of them could make a move the wooden door behind Layla opened. Ryliah
was surprised by the girl that appeared before her.
“Long time no see Ryliah.”
Yukki pulled out her silver rapier and pointed her blade at Ryliah.
Layla looked over to Deadeye and Ryliah.
“If you two don’t mind, I have an Emperor to kill.”
Layla rushed forward, heading for the door the Emperor had went through.
Ryliah tried to intercept her but a shot whizzed by her ear forcing her
to stop. Deadeye was unable to assist due to Neki having her sights
trained on him. Layla was soon out of sight as Deadeye and Ryliah tried
to figure out what they could do.
Ryliah looked over to Yukki.
“I can’t believe you would betray your own kingdom.”
Yukki didn’t speak as she squared off with Ryliah, her blade at the
“Lets end this quickly then,” Ryliah said as she readied her blade to
\* \* \*
Melissa rushed into the room, scaring the princess half to death.
Lylianna stood up, fearing that something was wrong.
“I think something is wrong. I thought I heard gunshots coming from the
Fear started to show on Princess Amalthea’s face. Lylianna placed her
hands on Amalthea’s shoulders.
“Don’t worry my lady I will make sure your father is safe.”
Lylianna turned to Melissa.
“Mel, take her to Area 666 and wait in an easily defend‑able room.”
Melissa nodded as she held out her hand for the princess. With the
princess out of harms way, Lylianna rushed out into the hallway as she
ran through mind what could possibly be happening. *If the Emperor ran
through the wooden door he would have taken the hallway down to the
first intersection and turned left*, Lylianna thought as she rounded a
corner running as fast as she could.
Lylianna continued running until she could hear the sound of footsteps
down one of the hallways. As she turned the corner she was shocked for a
brief second by what she saw. A throwing dagger pierced the heart of the
Emperor killing him instantly. Before Lylianna could do anything her
sister rushed forward with her dagger.
As Layla tried to plunge her dagger into her sister’s gut Lylianna
sidestepped and grabbed her wrist, trying to disarm her. The two of them
quickly found themselves trading blows back and forth as each tried to
land an attack on each other.
“What were you thinking Layla?!”
“I was thinking *would you kindly please die today*, if you must know.”
Lylianna took a step back as she and Layla encircled each other. Both of
them studied each other’s movements, like two loins in a den.
“As I have said before, your Emperor was nothing more then a tyrant. He
had to be put to death for the sake of freedom.”
“Do you not see the hypocrisy here? You want people to be free from a
tyrant yet you yourself are being a tyrant,” Lylianna said.
Layla could only laugh at the statement that came from her sister’s
“Me? No dear sister if there is anyone what is a hypocrite it is you.”
Like a speeding bullet Layla rushed forward as Lylianna tried to defend
“I am going to kill you Layla.”
“You may kill me, however, my name will echo throughout the world for
Layla managed to unsheathe a hidden blade from her her wrist like an
assassin. Lylianna dodged the blade as it missed jamming into her eye by
mere centimeters, however, it threw her off balance allowing Layla to
quickly throw her to the ground with tremendous force. Before Lylianna
could get up her sister was already running for the exit.
*Damn her*, Lylianna thought as she rushed over to the Emperor. The
dagger was buried deep into the Emperor’s heart. After checking his
pulse it was clear to Lylianna that the Emperor was dead as could be.
Lylianna rushed out to the throne room only to hear Layla’s voice shout
out, *It is done!* Before Ryliah and Deadeye could chase after the rest
of them Lylianna quickly told them the news.
“The Emperor is dead…”
Both of them appeared frozen in time as they heard the news.
“W‑What do you mean Major?” Ryliah asked as she turned to Lylianna.
Lylianna turned away. Part of her could not bare to repeat the words she
had said aloud. The throne room was silent as everyone thought about
what they could have done to protect the Emperor.
“Sylveria has no ruler until the Princess is officially crowned as
Queen. At this moment, we need to do everything we can to keep Princess
Amalthea safe. She is the last of the royal family,” Lylianna said as
she left the throne room.
As Lylianna walked around the exterior of the castle she found bodies of
guards dead. *That would explain why there were no reinforcements*,
Lylianna thought as she continued to explore. Once Lylianna had finished
looking around the castle she — along with Deadeye and Ryliah — headed
for Area 666.
Princess Amalthea was busy watching Rina work on complex equations as
Melissa stood ready with her weapon. As Lylianna opened the door Melissa
quickly aimed her weapon until she realized it was Lylianna.
The princess ran over to Lylianna, hugging her tightly.
“I am so happy all of you are alive. Is my dad okay too?”
No one dared to speak a word. Melissa was able to tell by the look on
the other’s faces that the answer was not one of good news. Princess
Amalthea looked up to Lylianna with an innocent stare. Lylianna could
not help but look away. *How am I going to explain this to her*,
“He’s dead… isn’t he…”
Silence filled the room.
Without saying a word Lylianna signaled with her hand for everyone to
move out. The Knights readied their weapons as they made their way for
their headquarters. Everyone of the Knights were more alert then they
had ever been as Princess Amalthea wondered where they were going.
As all of them entered the Black Knight Headquarters Lylianna signaled
for the others to check the whole building. Lylianna stayed at the
entrance with the princess as she wondered what was happening.
“Don’t worry my lady, I told the others to clear all the rooms to make
sure they are safe.”
Within a few seconds the others returned signaling with their hands that
the floors and rooms were clear. Lylianna and the princess made their
way up to the bedroom. Upon entering the bedroom Princess Amalthea was
surprised to see Aryia laying on her bed with a white bandage around her
knee. Without thinking Amalthea ran up to Aryia and wrapped her arms
around her neck.
“Aryia did you get hurt?!”
Aryia placed her hand on Amalthea’s head.
“I am fine Princess. It will heal in a few weeks and I will be back on
my feet soon.”
“That is good to hear,” she said with a smile.
“My lady you should get back to your room at the castle. The others will
escort you there,” Lylianna said as she signaled for Melissa to stay
Ryliah and Deadeye escorted the princess out of the headquarters as
Melissa stayed behind. Lylianna turned to her, it was clear to Melissa
that Lylianna was under emotional distress over the loss of the Emperor
but was hiding it behind the will of a soldier.
“All of you are to watch the princess non‑stop. I don’t care if you have
to rotate out but I want two people always watching her day and night.
Follow her everywhere, even if she has to piss. Is that clear?”
“Yes Major,” Melissa said as she left the room.
After Melissa left Lylianna turned to Aryia who could tell something was
wrong but wasn’t completely sure. Lylianna removed her gun and shirt,
along with her combat boot, socks and pants. Without saying a word she
laid down on Aryia’s bed as she placed her arm over her eyes to block
out the light in the room. A deep sigh escaped her mouth.
“The Emperor is dead…”
Repeating that phrase again stabbed Lylianna in the chest. This would go
down in history as her greatest failure.
“I should have been there with you guys…”
“No! Don’t start blaming yourself for this,” Lylianna yelled.
“You’re right, we should blame the person who started all this… your
Aryia wrapped her arms around her, holding her tight.
“Lets try not to think about it for now,” she whispered into her ear.
The two of them closed their eyes as they laid there. It was clear that
Lylianna was tired.
“You know, you will have to start addressing the Princess as Queen once
she officially takes the throne.”
“Maybe she will be nice enough to let me keep calling her Princess.”
“And if she doesn’t?”
“I will do it anyways.”
“Don’t be surprised then if I have to kill you.”
“If that was meant to be a joke I am not laughing Lylianna.”
“Technically, it isn’t a joke.”
Aryia gently kissed Lylianna’s cheek as she whispered into her ear.
“You better kiss me while you do it then.”
“Of course. Now shut up and let me sleep.”