August 11, 2022, 07:23:32 PM


If you have Login Problems Use the Login in Top Menu Bar

If you have a problem registering here, Leave a msg at our FB Page >> Here.

Plz Don't use Hotmail to Register. You might not receive Activation mail. Use Other free mail provider like Gmail or Yahoo.

Author Topic: Immortal  (Read 2499 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Pavo

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 163
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Immortal
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2021, 07:48:11 AM »
Here's a new chapter. This time a new character from whose POV the story is told is introduced. I would love to hear what everyone's thoughts on him are.

As the line in front of him was getting shorter, Rhenos’s heart was pounding. He wondered if others could hear it over the chattering of the crowd. Several days earlier, he heard that every slave in Zehar was to go through a draft to join King’s new army.
That was the first time that he was happy to be a slave.
He looked around to compare himself with other slaves that were there for a draft. Being a head taller than most of the present ohrols allowed Rhenos to have a good view. Despite the streets being crowded with slaves, only a few could compare with Rhenos in size.
Slaving away in the quarry let him build muscles that many soldiers would be jealous of. He was sure that he would be drafted.
“What are you smiling at,” an older ohrol next to him grunted. “They are just picking us for a death sentence.”
Rhenos ignored him. He heard several other ohrols speaking about how they were just chosen to be slaughtered in the upcoming war and he knew that there was truth in those words. He knew that Surem might be awaiting at the end of it all.
He never understood why ohrols were afraid of death while at the same time praying to a god of death. They always claimed how Surem brought salvation from immortals, but they were never ready to die themselves.
Rhenos learned early to not care about any of that. Immortals were so rare and Surem’s priests ensured that they were weak. And he hasn’t heard about an immortal harming an ohrol besides Seria, the first immortal.
While many slaves around him whispered that they would die, or prayed they wouldn’t get drafted, Rhenos had different plans for himself. The draft added a chance of dying, but it also gave him a chance of having a life he dreamed of and he would gladly risk everything for it.
There were a couple of ohrols left in front of him. After three hours of waiting in the crowded streets under the scorching sun, he would finally stand in front of the drafter and show them his enormous body, sculpted by the years of heavy work. He was the ideal candidate for the army. Brave and strong.
Many added stupid to that as well. “Cowards don’t know the difference between bravery and stupidity,” he claimed. Others frowned at him. Then he realized he said that out loud and laughed which caused many grunts from those close to him.
Rhenos breathed in deeply, he already got a whiff of freedom awaiting him, although it was hard to discern it among the crowd of sweaty ohrols since they had to have a draft on the hottest day of the dry season.
Many thought about how death was waiting for them in this war, instead of thinking about the kind of life they could get of it. Rhenos had it all planned out. He would get drafted, defeat strong enemies to gain glory. And then he would return as a hero, not a slave.
“You are no good for the army, you can go back to your master,” Rhenos heard the drafter say to the ohrol in front of him. The ohrol sighed in relief and left the line.
“Fool,” Rhenos said looking at the ohrol who just left, “you should not be happy to go back there.”
“And why would that be?” the drafter asked.
“Because—” Rhenos turned and was left speechless as he noticed the green hair on the drafter. There was only one non-slave ohrol with green hair in Zehar.
The drafter was none other than the Hero of the Separation War. Commander Adonia herself. She ended the final battle of the war within minutes. Many ohrol lives were spared thanks to her genius.
She was the source of inspiration for Rhenos to push himself as much as he could. To become strong.
The moment 10 years ago when the army marched back into Zehar was firmly etched into his memory. Commander Adonia, the Hero, was in the front, gloriously marching with the rest of the army.
When he had been sneaking out as a kid to see her, he would always get beaten by his master. But those were the times he didn’t mind it.
“Because... What?” the Hero repeated. Even as she was sitting at the small wooden table that was set up for the draft, he couldn’t stop admiring her. She always had an aura of magnificence around her and having two soldiers keeping everyone distanced from her boosted her image further.
Rhenos shook his head and answered, “Because, going back means we don’t get our free will. The chance of us dying back there might not exist. But the same could be said about the chance of getting our freedom. There are only orders and punishment waiting back there.
“Isn’t it worse to die?” the Hero asked.
“No,” Rhenos laughed. “Death can’t be worse than not living at all.”
The Hero raised her eyebrow. Rhenos couldn't stop admiring her, as she was as gallant as he remembered her to be 10 years ago. “And?” was all she added.
“And while fighting in this war we might die, there’s no denying that,” Rhenos raised his voice so everyone could hear him. “But fighting in this war gives us a chance to become someone. That’s right. Someone! Not something.”
He turned around looking at all the ohrols gathered. Most of their faces were beaten down, their will to live barely visible on them. Their depressed faces blended in with the dull brownness of Zehar. Rhenos understood that they were afraid, but he couldn’t let them blow such a great chance. If no one else would tell them why they should join the army. If no one else wouldn’t tell them that this was their moment, he would be the one and he had a reason to do it.
He dreamt for ages about this moment. The moment he set out to become a hero, and he knew that every hero needed his trusty partner. Even Adonia had Prince Mael as her partner. Together they were the sword and shield of the Separation War. Although it was sad that Mael would be their enemy this time.
Rhenos planned for a long time how he would find his partner. Once he is given a chance to become a hero, he would make an inspiring speech to draw out a potential partner. Someone who could be moved by his words would surely be trustworthy and they could start on their path to glory.
“Listen up you guys,” Rhenos shouted at the top of his lungs so that his voice could reach everyone. He didn’t know how far his future partner would be and he needed to be sure he was heard. “This is our chance to become great, to become heroes of Zehar. So don’t look down. Look up and take your chance. Don’t back down! Step forward! Step into your new life!” Rhenos had no breath left, but he said what he had in him.
He looked around to see if his words had any effect. He was unsure what kind of reaction he expected from the crowd, but it wasn’t complete silence. No matter where he looked, everyone looked down or turned their faces away. Rhenos convinced himself the reaction from the crowd would be different once he returns as the hero of this war. And he was sure that his partner was somewhere in the crowd, smiling.
Perhaps they were around the corner waiting in line on the next street. Zehar’s streets were wide, but not enough to hold all the slaves that were called for the military draft so the one he was looking for could still be close, just not visible to him yet since there weren’t many slaves that were looking up with a smile on their face, and Rhenos was convinced that his future partner was doing that hearing his speech.
Then, someone started clapping. Unsure if the clap was meant for him, Rhenos turned around.
“Well said,” another soldier walked up to him from the crowd. “You understand life, …” the soldier paused for a moment as if looking for what to say. “Soldier! That’s right, the way you think and hold yourself is exactly how a soldier should do, so I think there is no problem to call you one even before you’re officially drafted. Isn’t that right, Master Adonia? This one here is a natural-born soldier,” the soldier smiled.
“You are right, Lieutenant,” the Hero answered.
“Right?” the soldier said. She put her arm around Rhenos touching his muscles. Rhenos was caught off guard by her action. He didn’t expect an ohrol who was not a slave to be so friendly, but he didn’t mind it. “I’m Tertia. What’s your name, my friend?”
A friend? He thought Tertia was an unusual one, but he liked such ohrols.
“Rhenos, my name is Rhenos,” he answered his chin held high.
“Well Rhenos, I would love it if you could be part of my group. Please allow me to have this fine soldier train under me, Master,” Tertia turned to the Hero.
Hearing that made Rhenos happy. Tertia seemed like a great soldier, and he would love to be trained by someone like her. Every hero needed a great teacher, and Tertia could fill that role for him.
“Unfortunately, I cannot allow that, Lieutenant." The Hero’s words pierced through Rhenos. Why can’t he be under such great ohrol? Why would the Hero reject him after everything he showed.
“Rhenos displayed that he is not only of a strong body but of a strong mind as well,” the Hero continued. “Because of that, he will be training under me. He will be a pivotal asset to our army. No offense Lieutenant, but you are not capable of drawing out the full potential of a soldier from Rhenos. He-”
His heart was beating so hard Rhenos couldn’t hear anything else the Hero said. He knew that he was grinning like an idiot, but he didn’t care. He would train under the Hero.
He would be the Hero’s disciple. This day could not get any better.
“Welcome to the army, soldier!” the Hero said, writing something on the paper on her table.
“Thank you,” Rhenos answered. “I will not disappoint you, Master!”

Offline Pavo

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 163
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Immortal
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2022, 08:47:52 PM »
Here's chapter 9

After a week of inspecting all the slaves, the drafts finished. Adonia was pleased with the result. They have managed to gather more than four thousand ohrols for their army. According to her contacts in Kalligan, that was more than Mael managed to gather which was a surprise since he was soon to be the king.
She had all the newly drafted soldiers gathered in the old barracks which weren’t in use since the Separation war. The old barracks were more spacious than the new ones, but they were in bad condition due to years of not being used. Even before the war, they were only used by less fortunate warriors.
Adonia would have preferred if they could get some funds to renovate the building. She knew that was an impossible request considering the amount of gold she wrangled out from the King for the military draft.
During drafting, the look of despair was present on most of the draftees, with some exceptions. Adonia decided they would need a word of encouragement before they start with training.
Her stomach felt weak as she looked at the group in front of her. With mud ingrained in their skin and weak bearing, Adonia stepped back in case some disease came her way. They needed a bath more than anything else.
At least they weren’t walking corpses like Solus was, she comforted herself. After she managed to transform him, these slaves would be easy.
Unfortunately, they were still slaves, not soldiers. And if she wanted them to clean themselves properly, she needed to get the idea of them being slaves out of their heads first.
Somehow, slaves didn’t find the reason to clean themselves which made it way harder for Adonia to get any. Amana and Ellea were the only ones she managed to get to bathe properly and regularly.
She had to convince everyone gathered they were not slaves any longer, and that they are not picked for a death sentence.
“Alright, listen up!” a nearby voice reached Adonia’s ears. It was Tertia, who had started her introduction. Like all the instructors, she stood on an elevated stone platform that surrounded the barracks grounds. That way they could easily be heard by everyone present.
Adonia felt that Tertia was too eager to join the army. The rest of the regular soldiers only wanted to train the new army, but she was insistent on fighting in the war as well. It was surely a push from her father. Since he was the head of Surem’s priest, he must’ve wanted to know what Adonia was doing.
It wasn’t a problem if Tertia was spying on her, as Adonia had the use of capable soldiers like her. Only if she becomes a problem, Adonia would deal with her.
“You’re all afraid that death is the only thing that you will get from this war,” Tertia continued. “But that is not true. Glory and greater life are what awaits you. Rhenos already understands that.”
She pointed at Rhenos, and every head in Tertia’s and Adonia’s group turned towards him. Adonia expected him to shy away from the attention, but he was beaming with pride.
“Only if we survive the slaughter,” someone shouted.
Tertia shook her head. “Yes, yes. You might die in this war. There is no denying that. But we’ll get to the dying part later. Now, I want you to listen.”
She raised her finger. “Without interrupting!”
Everyone turned silent. Even Adonia decided not to speak, and let her group listen. Tertia was passionate about being a soldier, and she might be better suited for the job of inspiring the slaves.
While she was training under Adonia, her words had a massive effect on her fellow trainees. Tertia’s group was possibly the best group Adonia trained, and she suspected it was thanks to Tertia spreading her passion to the rest of the group.
“From this day forward, you will walk the path of greatness,” Tertia continued. “You will become the greatest kind of ohrol there could ever be.”
“We’ll become nobles?” some slave shouted.
“You idiot, nobles aren’t great,” Tertia paced across the platform as she explained. Even with the old barrack being spacious, several times she got too close to Adonia. “Nobles let others do everything for them. They are not capable of doing anything by themselves. They are the worst kind there is. Only immortals are below them, but they are monsters, not ohrols. Which means that nobles are the lowest type of ohrols.”
She stopped moving and turned to the group in front of her. “Throw away such foolish ideas that nobles are better than you. Every single one of you is already a better ohrol than they ever will be.”
Adonia could see a smile on some of the ohrols gathered. Tertia effortlessly encouraged them, and she didn’t get to her point yet either. If she wasn’t spying for her father, Adonia would have made the woman her right hand.
“From today on, you will start to walk the path of the warrior.” Tertia lowered her voice while saying the last word.
The murmuring of the crowd made it impossible for Tertia to continue her speech. Using the word warrior, Tertia made a huge difference. Soldiers were fighting in the war, but warriors had tales told about them.
Tertia clapped her hands, silencing everyone to continue her speech.
“I’m sure you all know how great warriors are, you heard the tales about them,” she said. “But let me tell you the whole truth about their greatness.”
The crowd no longer had that aura of depression. They were all riled up by Tertia’s speech.
“Does any of you know why you’re alive, why you are here today?” Some ohrols tilted their heads, but Tertia didn’t wait for an answer. “You are not here today because you were owned by some noble, and most certainly it is not them you should be thanking that you are alive. The ones you should be thanking are the warriors. Those who decided that they should fight for your lives, so others wouldn’t take them away.”
Tertia drew her sword.
“With this weapon, a warrior is granted the power to decide who lives. And from today on, you will learn to use such a weapon to decide the fate of others. You will no longer be used. No longer will others decide what you should do. Instead, it will be you deciding whose lives are worth saving. You will be above others.”
“You will be warriors,” Tertia shouted, but her shout was drowned by the voices of the crowd.
Adonia was impressed by Tertia’s words. It was a bit extreme, but it fulfilled its purpose. She doubted anyone in the crowd was thinking about death anymore. If it wasn’t for her father, Tertia would be an invaluable soldier to Adonia.
As the crowd silenced, Tertia continued. “As for the dying part, that’s why I’m here. I’m here to teach you how not to die in the whole process of becoming warriors.”
Adonia saw the unrest on the faces of the gathered ohrols. Why would Tertia mention that now, when she got them not to think about it. Adonia shrugged as no speech could be perfect, and kept listening to see how Tertia would salvage this blunder.
“Trust me, it’s possible to fight in a war without getting hurt,” Tertia immediately followed trying to remove any doubt from his group. “Our General Hon can defeat most opponents just by standing still. A long time has passed since someone dared challenge him.”
“There is no way that we can become like General Hon. He is enormous,” someone shouted.
“If you doubt you can become like our General, there are other examples of great warriors,” Adonia added. “You must have heard about the Sword and Shield of the Separation war.”
Many nodded as the war happened recently and was fresh in their memory.
“The shield, Prince Mael of Kaligan defeated over a hundred of his opponents in the war. He was so skilled with his shield that his armor didn't have a single scratch on it at the end.”
“But aren’t we about to fight him in this war?” some ohrol asked. The complaints from the crowd ensued and the noise spread throughout the barracks. Even other groups looked their way to see what was the commotion.
Tertia raised her hand to stop the commotion. “I know that. I was mentioning him, only to point out that we have gotten the better of the two. In war, shield pales before the sword, and we have the Sword of the Separation war on our side.”
Tertia pointed at Adonia, drawing the eyes of every ohrol present onto her. It was sickening to have so many dirty ohrols look at her. Adonia wondered how she survived the victory march after the Separation war.
“Master Adonia is the greatest warrior alive. She managed to win us the final battle of the Separation war within seconds. She didn’t even break a sweat,” Tertia said. Every ohrol gaped at the words she said.
“And she is on our side. You can become like her if you use your head during the fight. That’s my job here. To teach you how to use your head in a fight. I will teach you how to survive and become a warrior.”
The faces of the crowd were filled with hope. Adonia decided that it was enough of Tertia’s words.
“What Lieutenant said is very true,” Adonia said to her group. “Every one of you can become as skilled as I am. That applies to everyone in this group the most, as you will be trained by me directly.”
The smiles on everyone’s faces reminded her to thank Tertia later for doing her job.
“But!” Adonia interrupted, “before we start, I need every one of you to do one thing. And this you will do before every training session we have from today on.”
The ohrols started looking at each other. Finally, someone asked. “And what would that be?”
“You have to wash yourselves,” Adonia answered.
Everyone was puzzled, not a sound coming from them.
“What are you waiting for?” she shouted. “Go wash, before I catch something.”

Offline Pavo

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 163
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Immortal
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2022, 02:21:12 AM »
Chapter 10.

The bathhouse was humid and noisy. The carvings on its walls became unrecognizable due to years of decay, but that gave the whole building a sense of long history.
Many of the ohrols were complaining throughout the whole washing process. Egill was not one of them for he finally got the way out of his miserable life.
It was a comforting change to use warm water. As he massaged his scalp, he realized that the only complaint he would have would be if they forced him to cut his hair. But that was a small price he was more than willing to pay for his safety.
On top of everything, he was lucky enough to be trained by the Hero herself. Even though the rumors about her turned out to be true.
“What idiot would want us to wash before physical work,” some ohrol complained. “We will be even dirtier at the end of the training. This makes no sense.”
Egill looked at the ohrol and smiled. “I don’t see a reason for complaining. When was the last time we got the chance to clean ourselves so thoroughly?” The ohrol gave no response. “We are finally getting to live like decent ohrols. I think we should rather be happy.”
“That’s right! We finally get to live to our fullest,” a tall ohrol called Rhenos exclaimed. The guy drew attention to himself from the moment he was drafted. Many hated him for his overabundance of energy, but Egill liked him. It was always easier to enjoy what you have if you had someone positive by your side.
“We will no longer have to work all day long, and get nothing in return,” Egill said to all. “I think that is a very good reason to be happy, don’t you think so?”
“Yeah,” Rhenos shouted.
Egill sighed. He knew that Rhenos needed help. It would have been a waste if everyone ended up hating him. As he walked up to Rhenos, he was surprised by the size of an ohrol. With his muscled body, he looked like he was a seasoned soldier who grew up in these old barracks.
“Okay Rhenos, I will need you to calm yourself down a bit for now. It is great that you are full of energy, but I think you are drowning others a bit in it,” Egill said.
Rhenos was surprised. “Really?”
“Take a look around,” Egill said.
Rhenos looked around and several ohrols nodded. He looked back at Egill with the saddest face Egill had ever seen. His heart ached for warning Rhenos to calm himself down, but it was for his good. Rhenos sat down and held his arms around his legs.
“Don’t worry, the time will come when you can express your joy to the fullest,” Egill said.
“Really,” Rhenos’s eyes were watery.
“Really! Just let me get the others close to your level. And then…” Egill paused.
“Then what?” Rhenos asked.
“Then you can take them to the skies with your soaring energy,” Egill answered. The tears vanished from Rhenos’s eyes. Egill never thought that he would see a grown ohrol smile like a child. That meant his dreams weren't crushed by reality yet. Egill would make sure it stayed that way, he already let too many be crushed right in front of his eyes.
Egill turned to others. “Listen up, everyone. What you heard so far were the stories of fame and glory. It would be nice to get those, and some of us most definitely will get them. But for most of us, those are just dreams, too far for us to reach. After all, not everyone can be in the spotlight.”
Gloom crowded the room after those words. “Way to cheer them up”, Rhenos said under his breath.
Egill ignored him. “I know that it sounds rough, but all the promises that you have heard until now are in the far-off future. And let me tell you, looking to the future to seek happiness and satisfaction is a stupid thing to do.”
“If we look forward to something, we still have something to live for,” some ohrol said.
Egill shook his head. “As I said, that is a foolish thing to do.”
The ohrol leaped at Egill, “Take that back. Hoping for the better days to come was the only thing that kept me from ending it all. I worked to exhaustion every day, and in return I got nothing. I didn’t have time to rest. The only thing I had was hoping that one day it will be better. If I shouldn’t look forward to the better days, then what should I do to endure all these hardships?”
Egill picked up a bucket of hot water and poured it over the guy.  “Tell me, doesn’t this soothe your sore muscles? Doesn’t it feel refreshing to use hot water instead of the cold and grimy one?”
He watched at ohrols clenched fist as the anger surfaced on his face. The ohrol swung, but as the floor was slippery from the water, he slipped and missed Egill.
Egill caught the ohrol before he fell flat on his face. He expected another punch to be thrown at him, but none came.
“Please, sit down,” Egill said as the ohrol calmed down. “I will show you what to do when you are tired.”
Egill poured more of the hot water over the ohrol and started rubbing his back recalling what his old master was doing to ohrols who needed a recovery. “Doesn’t it feel good when you rub this spot? You can feel the pain go away as you press here. Come on, try it yourself.” Egill grabbed the ohrols arm and put it to the place on the shoulder where he was massaging it a moment ago.
“Now, just press it lightly and rub it in circles,” Egill said. The ohrol was confused but did what Egill told him.
“You are right. It does feel much better now,” the ohrol smiled.
“That’s right. Such a simple thing could make your day better,” Egill said. “And if you only look to the future, hoping that something better will come, you spend your days in misery because you do nothing but dream of the future while ignoring your present.”
The ohrol stopped massaging his back and lowered his hands. Egill knew how his words worked by the ohrol’s downcast gaze.
“Instead, you should do what’s in your capability to make every passing moment of your life as good as it can get. That way, no matter what kind of future comes, you won’t have spent every moment of your life in misery.”
Egill turned around and exclaimed, “And that is why we should not hope for fame and glory. We should instead start enjoying what this new life has given us right now.”
He poured another bucket of hot water over himself. “Let’s enjoy this warm bath that we got. Then, after training, I’m sure we will get another bath just for ourselves.”
“Suppose there is some benefit to be taught by the clean freak.” The whole group laughed.
“Yeah, we get to enjoy a nice bath twice a day,” someone from the group said.
“That’s the spirit! We get to enjoy twice the baths than the other groups do.” Egill smiled.
“I would say that our lives are already much better than they were a few days before, don’t you agree Rhenos?”
“Yeah!” the tall guy shouted.
Everyone stared at him.
“Too soon and too much,” Egill warned him. “But we’ll get there,” he quickly added before Rhenos started sulking again.
Egill picked up the empty bucket he had used and grabbed more water from the stream.
“Let’s enjoy this bath we have right now. And who knows, we might even get a decent meal by the end of this day.”
The ohrols started talking among themselves at the mention of the food.
“What do you think. A warm meal that actually has some taste to it, not that crap we are used to. Doesn’t getting something like that today sound much better than all the fame and glory that you might get some faraway day in the future?”
“Yeah,” everyone shouted.
Egill smiled as he was finally able to teach others what his father taught him. Now that he no longer had to worry about certain death he felt that he could follow those teachings himself as well.
“Well, what do you say guys? Shall we wait for the glory, or should we enjoy the day in front of us?”
No answer came, only the shouts of joy as everyone readied themselves to start training for the war.