Chapter 1:

Chapter 1


I couldn't believe my eyes.

Engulfed in flames, a shock witnessing Agova burning pales in comparison to what I spotted amidst the chaos -- a wounded woman with familiar pointed ears that belonged to my mother.

"Mother!" I shouted while rushing over without hesitation. My hand stretched to reach her despite the long distance. Then the unthinkable happened: I watched in disbelief as she collapsed to the ground.

No, no, no... not like this, just when I had finally found her! My heart sank at the thought of losing her after a long, tireless search.

I rushed to her and found her still breathing. Relieved, I looked around and only then noticed many lifeless bodies laying around.

Shocked, I looked up and saw a huge panicky crowd of different races rushing to escape. Their piercing screams echoed as they passed by. Behind them came a tide of demonic creatures mercilessly attacking anyone in their way, wreaking havoc as they pleased.

I dazed at the scene, and it was like hell. The heat, together with the burning scent and nauseating sight and sound, assaulted my senses, causing my body to perspire profusely. I was fortunate enough not to be targeted yet.

It was not safe, we had to move.

I lifted my mother as gently as possible, but she still coughed up blood. She looked bad, her attire covered in blood stains.

Awakened, she gazed on me and her blue eyes flickered with joy upon recognition.

"Mother, we need to get out of here and get you healed," I exclaimed, preparing to carry her while scanning the surroundings for an exit, wary of any potential demon attacks.

"No, my child," my mother uttered, her gaze fixed upon the starless night sky. Her breathing was labored, like she was nearing her last moments.

I halted, looking down at her, my frown deepening and eyes twitching involuntarily. "No... no, please don't tell me..."

"Yes, Derek. My time has come," my mother reassured, her voice fading away.

Tears welled up in my eyes, I sniffled and struggled to comprehend the reality of her words. "No, Mother. Don't say that. You have to survive! You're all I have left. I can't lose you."

My mother was the only family I'd ever known. My father, a human, was slain by a demon shortly after my birth. She abandoned her adventurous life to raise me in a cottage deep within the forest. We made a living by selling herbs in the kingdom, until this dreadful turn of events.

"No, my son... (cough, cough)... I truly mean it. I'm too feeble to continue and... (cough, cough)... I'll only hinder your escape if I accompany you." My mother gently placed her hand on my cheek, her eyes welling up with tears. "It's time for you to flee instead. I love you."

A surge of emotions overwhelmed me, causing tears to stream down my face like a cascading waterfall. I sniffled and took a deep breath, struggling to comprehend her words. "No, Mother! Please stay with me! I can't lose you! Don't go."

As my mother turned to the heavens, her hand slipped from my cheek, motionless. I prayed for her soul had not yet ascended to the skies.

"Mother?" I questioned, raising an eyebrow in confusion. "No, no, no..."

I nodded, shaking her gently to determine if she had passed away. I sniffled even harder, my tears falling upon her, realizing that she had indeed departed this world and joined my father in the realm above. I shouted at the sky, breath ragged, teeth clenched.

My hands trembled slightly as I held onto her lifeless form. I turned my attention back to my mother, closing her eyes gently. I knew I had to mourn her, but my own life was at stake, and she had urged me to escape from this place.

"Rest peacefully, Mother." I tenderly laid her body back on the ground and stood up, scanning for an exit.

Though relief washed over me as the demons had not yet attacked, I was resolute to flee this kingdom. When my eyes caught sight of a large crack in the wall, which several people had already escaped, I knew this was my chance. And so, I sprinted towards it.

As I ran, I remained vigilant, ensuring that no demon would assassinate me. So far, I was grateful that I evaded their clutches. My heart pounded in my chest, and perspiration trickled down my forehead, intensifying the effort.

I hoped I'd reached my destination before the demon could block my escape. It was imperative for me to do so, as I couldn't afford to remain trapped in this kingdom any longer. There were no excuses, no exceptions.

Upon my arrival, the menacing demon with its wings and dark aura sealed off the exit, preventing anyone from leaving. It let out a deafening roar and viciously attacked a couple, slashing at them with its sharp claws. I froze in my tracks, gasping for breath, my eyes wide with fear. I witnessed the couple collapse to the ground, their screams echoing in my ears. Blood splattered everywhere, staining the demon and the wall, although I couldn't see it on the monstrous creature.

As I turned my gaze back to the demon, I desperately searched for another way out, hoping to find an alternative escape route. However, my feet seemed rooted to the ground, as if the monster willingly moved away from the exit, my only means of salvation.

Instead, the demon turned its glowing red, cat-like eyes towards me and let out a thunderous roar. I trembled and swallowed hard, unable to tear my gaze away from its terrifying presence. It prepared to attack me, a defenseless civilian, with its claws and wings.

I scanned my surroundings, desperately seeking another path out of the kingdom or any sign of help from a knight or adventurer. Yet, I found neither. By the time I faced the monster again, it was already lunging towards me with its claws poised for an attack. This was my signal to flee for my life.

Without hesitation, I decided to veer left. As I sprinted away, I glanced back and forth, weaving through the crowd of terrified civilians and courageous knights and adventurers. I had intended to seek assistance from the knights and local adventurers, but the monster was too swift, forcing me to dodge its relentless assaults at every turn. Moreover, the knights and adventurers in the vicinity were preoccupied with saving themselves and the people within their immediate vicinity.

I persisted in my frantic search for the exit, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't find it. My heart raced in my chest, and the sweat poured down my face, making it difficult to see. I continued evading the monster until I stumbled upon a rock that filled me with horror. "Whoa!"

As I landed upon the uneven ground, a sharp pain shot through one of my legs, sending waves of discomfort through my body. Gritting my teeth, I faced the rock, only to be met with the growl and looming shadow of the monster. I faced it again, frowning, as I watched the monster thrust its claw towards my chest, my breath becoming even more labored.

In that brief, heart-pounding moment, I scanned my surroundings and waited for a miracle to come and rescue me, silently praying to the gods above. However, there was no response, prompting me to search for anything that could stun the beast and scan for the exit one final time.

A sigh of relief escaped my lips when I finally spotted the grand entrance gates of the kingdom, along with a bucket of water placed near the empty, yet illuminated carriage. I glanced back at the monster one last time, studying it for a moment longer, until it was dangerously close, its roar echoing in my ears. I knew it was time to stun this creature and make my escape from the kingdom.

Dodging its attack once again, I sprinted towards the bucket to grab it. The monster roared at me, determined to try once more. I braced myself for its assault, glaring at it while tightening my grip on the bucket.

Alright, Derek. This is it.

I splashed the water, causing the monster to be thrown backwards, screaming in agony. Steam rose from its face, smirking and providing me with ample time to make my exit.

As I reached the outskirts of the kingdom, where the grand entrance gates stood tall, I dashed for the exit. Pausing for a moment, I casted one last glance at the realm. My mother's tragic demise still haunted my thoughts. Determined to seek justice, I pledged to acquire a weapon and journey to the ominous fortress, the birthplace of the malevolent demons. Revenge consumed my every thought, and I was prepared to make sacrifices in my pursuit of avenging her passing. I firmly believed the outcome would justify the risks involved.