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zenithian

A Dragon Warrior IV Prequel: Prologue and part of Chapter 1

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Note: Updated story sections are in blue.

 

Prologue

 

Only a few gray clouds moved slowly across the sky. A gentle, warm breeze blew in from the west, carrying the sweet smell of springs first bloomed flowers. Some snow still covered the nearby hills, but the land around the castle was green and beautiful. The warmer days and the beauty of the land added to the peoples joy on this day of celebration.

It had been two years since the coronation of the new monarch, King Keeleon I. This honor, it was decided, should be given to the peoples hero. Now, a celebration of sorts was taking place at the location of the new castle, which would serve as a home for the new king, and as the capital of the new country.

How Keeleon became the peoples hero was somewhat shrouded in mystery. It all began when traveling merchants reported seeing huge slimes, larger than the common variety, which threatened to stop commerce between the principal cities of the region: the port of Haville, the mining community of Aktemto, and the smaller, but no less important farming village, Kievs. Just as rapidly as these King Slimes appeared, they vanished with the sudden appearance of Keeleon. The people assumed, therefore, that Keeleon was responsible for ridding them of this menace.

Construction on the castle began shortly after the coronation, with skilled workers coming from as far away as Endor, the largest city in the known world. The work progressed rapidly, so that at this time, the castles more important sections were near completion, namely the throne room and much of the first floor. Until now, king and court had lived in a tent city at the construction site.

Thank you all for coming to the castle this day, began Keeleon. People of Haville, Aktemto, and Kievs your castle is nearly complete, and I pledge once again on this day to do all in my power as your monarch to protect these lands from evil. We do not have to live in fear, for we can defend ourselves against any enemy. The assembled crowd cheered, as Keeleon waved and concluded his prepared speech. Now, let us feast!

 

Chapter 1

 

Edgar leaned on the rail, looking out upon the sea as the sun dipped lower and approached the horizon. It had been nearly a week since the ship had left his home, Endor, and he was eager to get back as soon as this job in the new kingdom was finished. Edgar thought about all he had left behind his family, his friends, and his job working for Endors king all to go for a time to this wild land. He had heard stories from traveling merchants of the untamed continents to the south, warning him against going to such a dangerous place. But the pay Keeleon was offering was too great for anyone to turn down. Edgar would earn from Keeleon in two years what it would take twenty years to accomplish working for the King of Endor and his former employer was no gold hoarder.

 

Land ho! shouted a sailor from the crows nest. Haville just ahead, trim the sails, prepare the anchor!

 

Edgar got up and moved to the front of the ship, to get a glimpse of this unknown place. There wasnt much to see at first; all Edgar could make out was the coastline. Then, a few tall buildings and other ships came into view, and Edgar could see that the port of Haville was nearly as busy as the docks near Endor.

 

Its all because of that new king, stated a scruffy looking sailor as he joined Edgar at the bow. Hes spendin money like I never seen beforebuildin an payin to have all sorts of esperts at court.

 

How can he afford it? asked Edgar.

 

"No one knows, an' no one cares," replied the sailor as he emptied a drinking cup overboard. All I know is that the people love 'im."

 

The sailor stepped away, and Edgar turned again to watch the people at the port. The flurry of activity in the waning hours of the day amazed Edgar. Vessels were being loaded and unloaded while merchants were still making last minute sales to customers as they made preparations to pack up and close their makeshift shops for the day. To Edgar, nothing seemed remarkable about Haville, until he saw her. Most of the people looked just like those he might find back in Endor, except this young woman. Her flowing golden dress, long dark hair, and caramel skin set her apart from the other people at the docks. After completing a fruit transaction with a merchant, she turned and Edgar caught a glimpse of her face. The ship he was on suddenly lurched to a stop, and Edgar had to catch himself to keep from falling off the ship. When he looked back up to find the woman again, he could no longer see her in the crowd.

 

As the sun began to set, the sailors finished the preparations for the ship’s passengers to debark. Edgar returned to his cabin, grabbed his satchel, and after getting off the ship, quickly rushed to find the fruit merchant. The old man had nearly finished closing up for the day when Edgar reached him.

 

“I’m closed,” began the merchant.

 

“I’m not here for fruit,” replied Edgar. “The woman who was here earlier, in the yellow dress, do you know where I might find her?”

 

“Oh, you must mean Lara,” stated the merchant. “You’re not the first young man to get off a boat and ask about that beauty,” he said with a chuckle. Motioning beyond the village, he added, “She doesn’t live here in Haville, but out there with her mother. Be warned though, old Kara doesn’t much like anyone who’s not part o’ their clan, especially young men who go chasing after her daughter.” Taking note of Edgar’s change in disposition he added, “But, Lara comes here twice a week to buy fresh produce, and she’s open to meeting new people.”

 

“Thank you, kind sir,” said Edgar. “Could you point me in the direction of an inn?”

 

“Sure,” began the merchant. “Past the end o’ the docks, you’ll find the inn o’ the sleepy slime. It’s the second buildin’ on the left; though I’d hurry if I were you. On a day such as this, Haville’s lone in will fill up fast.”

 

Edgar nodded, waved goodbye and quickly hurried off the docks. It didn’t take him long to find the inn; there was a line of people already waiting to get inside. Edgar made his way to the back of the line, right behind another young man, whom he recognized as a passenger from the ship he had been on.

 

“I don’t think this inn’s big enough,” stated the youth in front of Edgar.

 

“You might be right,” said Edgar, worried he had waited too long to seek accommodations by stopping to inquire about Lara. Edgar asked, “Have you heard if there are any all-night taverns here?”

 

“Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was one,” replied the youth. “But I think I’d rather have a good bed to sleep in tonight.”

 

“Me too,” stated Edgar.

 

The line moved forward, and a plump woman emerged from the entrance to the inn. After making some calculations on her fingers, she bellowed, “We’ve room fer all of you, ‘cept for you two at the back of the line.”

 

“Well,” began Edgar, “looks like we’re on our own.”

 

The young man looked up at the sky, then turned around and asked, “I don’t suppose you’d be willing to travel with me to Aktemto – you know, safety in numbers, right? I’m starting a job there tomorrow in the mines.”

 

“I couldn’t go with you all the way; I’m on my way to Keeleon’s Castle,” added Edgar. “But I agree that it makes sense for us to stick together, at least until morning.” After a brief pause, Edgar added, “Are you hungry?”

 

“I’m famished,” replied the young man.

 

Both looked around to see if they could find a place to eat. Edgar saw a bunch of sailors at a nearby building; it didn’t take him long to realize it was the local watering hole. “There’s a place next door,” said Edgar as he nudged his conversation partner with his elbow.

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It's a nice story and is Endor really the biggest city in the world?

I thought it'd be that one city with the king who likes to laugh or whatever.

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Ugh this is horrible. Just enough to get me interested and then it stops. So when can we expect the next chapter Zenithian?

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Good. I'm glad to see someone wants more. I'll be finishing up chapter 1 and then I'll post an update.

 

Working on this, I will need to leave behind some other projects for a time (like my website), but then again, I've wanted to finish this idea for years and it will take less to complete a fanfic than to significantly update Zenithia.

 

Expect an update next Saturday (that way I'll give myself enough time to finish chapter 1).

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I've had some computer issues, so the first chapter still isn't done, but I've added what I have written so far to the first post. All future updates (until I'm finished) will be there.

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Fun story! Keep it up. I'm reading it :) BTW, watch out for little inconsistencies. You said that Edgar was "amazed" at the activity of the port, and then in a sentence or two later you say that "nothing seemed remarkable to Edgar". Not a big deal but it made me do a double take. I'm looking forward to the next update.

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Ooh, I like this very much. Please keep going with this if you can, I'd like to read more. Nara and Mara's story was one of my favorites... That and Alena's. Anyway, good luck with this. : )

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