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Author Topic: The Path of Legends: Brothers  (Read 388 times)

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Offline ParadoxS7N

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The Path of Legends: Brothers
« on: June 04, 2022, 12:54:22 AM »
 Prologue

       Silence. The world is calm, the sound of wind only to be heard across a desolate land. Years into the future, buildings are destroyed, no longer pointing to the sky that is now blood red. The silence is broken, the sounds of heavy breathing. An angelic but demonic being, Satan, is kneeling on the ground, facing it with his hands holding himself up. With skin as white as a sheet of paper, he dons a purple armor, wearing black metallic pants and armored boots. Sweat drips down from his face, leaking from exhaustion, pushed to the edge. His hands clutches the ground, dirt now in his hand as he has had enough. Satan looks up at the sky, furiosity in his blood red demonic eyes. A human comes crashing down from the sky into Satan, a dust cloud covering up the aftermath. The next second, Satan leaps out of the smoke, staying close to the ground with the human following. He begins throwing punches at Satan, becoming relentless as the punches fly at speeds almost invisible to the naked eye. Satan continues backing up from the assault, blocking and deflecting whatever punches he can before being overwhelmed. One of the human's punches slips through the crack, heading straight to Satan’s gut. Satan gags from the blow, taking the full force of the attack. Unable to respond fast enough, the human follows up the attack with a jumping spin kick, hitting Satan in the jaw. Satan is sent flying off the ground and away from the human from the force of the impact. Upside down in the air, the human tries to not let up as much as possible. This is made obvious as he shoots out four white energy blasts from his hands, heading in the direction of Satan who is now recovering from the attack. Quickly, the blasts catch up to Satan, but not before Satan plants his feet back into the ground, standing tall as with great determination, and uses his arms to deflect the energy blasts behind him.
        Once the last one is sent behind him, Satan looks ahead of him and to his surprise, sees the human now in front of him, ready to attack again. The blasts go off behind Satan, lighting up the human's face of confidence, aiming to end this fight as soon as possible. Satan looks at him, surprise quickly fades as Satan grows tired of this farce.
        This human… besting me? Me?!, Satan thought, refusing to believe it to be possible. With extreme frustration, Satan gives a loud yell, a black and red energy shockwave suddenly shooting out of him, surprising the human and destroying Satan’s surroundings. Dust clouds kick up, a small crater created under Satan as the shockwave ends. Satan catches his breath, unable to relax as he feels… something. He looks up and sees the human in the air. He looks down at Satan, his gaze is empty, telling Satan this battle is already decided for him. The human starts coming crashing down again, this time he is spinning in the air, preparing for a kick. Satan, angered, prepares his own attack. One fueled by hatred for one person, for one human. As the two get close, Satan’s yells out at him, fueled by hate and determination.
        "I… will never lose to a human. Especially to one like you… Dane!"

Chapter 1: Growing Up

A sound first. Ember, signs of a fire present. The inside of a house is on fire, lighting up the room in the dark of night. At the center of it, two kids. One, lying down on the ground, barely conscious as he looks up at the other, who is standing over him. His back turned, the kid standing turned his head back, looking down at the other kid with a faint but saddened smile. “I’ll be waiting.” The last thing that’s heard before everything goes dark, the sound of embers and flames, all gone.
***
Dane wakes up in his room to the sudden dream, one that he cannot tell if it was real or a figment of his imagination. He looks around the room, listening for the sounds of ember through the alarm. Though, he quickly realizes the two houses were different, remembering he had once moved. His last house was said to have a gas leak and blew up when no one was home. Dane sighs and looks down at his alarm, beeping with loudness as it was somehow drowned out by his previous concern. Of course that was a dream. No way that actually happened, Dane thought as he turned off his alarm. Getting up from his bed, he walks past his drawer to the closet, preparing for the ceremony he has to attend. On the drawer, a picture of a happy family with Dane and his parents. Since then, Dane has built himself nicely for an 18 year old. An excellent result for a kid with a happy family, right? However, very oddly space for another can be seen in the picture, as if someone was missing.
“Dane, we have to go! We’re going to be late!” A motherly voice, calling out in a hurry.
“Coming!”
Dane shuts his closet door and walks past the photo once again in a hurry, leaving the room as he slams the door shut on his way out.
***
Zarlot High School, one of the best schools in Korbane. Surrounded by greenery, water fountains in front and behind the school. Inside is just as nice, projects displayed in the hallways from the best students, not to mention the inside is kept clean and organized. However, it is silent, students are nowhere to be seen. Almost as if the school was abandoned, kept in pristine shape for the next generation.
A muffled voice is heard, coming from the auditorium. Inside are students, every one of them are wearing green gowns and sitting in rows organized by last name. These students are here for their graduation ceremony, family gathered at the sides of the auditorium on the first and second level. Up front is a podium, Maxus Hernington stands at the podium, the principal of this school.
“For 20 years, I have overseen this school. This year is no different. The students gathered here today are a great example of what hard work can achieve! Multiple students here are graduating at the top of their class, others have led our sports teams to victory multiple times and got a scholarship that way. Regardless of how you got here, what matters is you all got here on your own!”
Maxus continues with his speech, his voice becoming muffled as a conversation begins, one between two individuals. Dane and Anthony, one of Dane’s close friends, are sitting next to each other 6 rows back. Anthony is paying attention to the speech, his focus steady until he hears Dane snoring next to him. His focus breaks, now concerned with the friend sitting next to him. Afraid he’ll get caught and lectured, he gives Dane a couple nudges with his shoulder, waking Dane up. Dane’s eyes slowly open, snoring coming to an end as he sits up as he rubs his face.
“Ugh, was I asleep?” His voice distorted between rubbing his face and yawning from drowsiness.
“Yeah, you even started snoring a bit. You need to-“
“Oh good. That means it’s possible. See ya in a couple hours then.”
Dane leans to his left, trying to fall back asleep. Irritated by this, Anthony punches Dane in the side this time, causing him to kick the seat in front of him, reacting from the pain. The student in that chair looks behind for a second, a disgusted look comes across his face as he faces the front again. Dane sits up, now fully awake as he reels back from the blow.
“Ah. What did you do that for?” Dane rubs his right side with his hand, looking at Anthony.
“If I have to sit through this, then so do you.”
Dane takes a deep breath, sitting fully back up again.
“Fine.”
A moment passes after this, Dane yawns as he stretches his arms above his head.
“Did you not get any sleep last night?” Anthony says, looking at Dane with concern.
“I got about three hours. Needed to clear the rest of the dungeon before going to sleep.”
Dane slouches a bit in his seat, looking toward the front of the auditorium. His expression lacking any energy, almost as if he was pushing himself to stay aware..
“You could’ve saved it-“
Anthony stops himself, realizing why Dane played the game for so long. He then looks back in front of him, his attention now split between Dane and the principal.
“I work tonight so I couldn’t save it for today. If I had a choice, I would’ve skipped this to game.”
A moment passes. The principal’s speech faded into the background. Dane’s eyes widen, a lightbulb going off in his head. He instantly sits up and looks at Anthony, his eyes burning with hope.
“Hey Anthony.”
Anthony takes a deep breath, a gut feeling of what Dane is about to ask.
“No, I won't switch with you.”
“Oh come on!”
“As much as I would love the money, I’d rather not be closing with Jonathan.”
Dane slouches back in his seat, a breath escapes with a hint of dissatisfaction. His eyes that were burning with a flame, now put out.
The principal’s speech, which used to be faint and blended in with the background, gains voice again. A command, uttered over the microphone with weight in his voice.
“Now may I have one row at a time stand up and form a line to come pick up your diploma!”
Slowly, one by one, a row of students from both sides of the auditorium stand up to get in line. One by one, students pick up their diploma and head down the center aisle, giving family a chance to take pictures before the student returns to their seats.
Among the families, a single family stands out. Not dressed as formally as other families, wearing suits and expensive dresses where as this family, as best as they could, are wearing a nice collared polo shirt and the mother, wearing a nice dress for special occasions. The mother holds a camera, a model from a few years ago, as she looks around the auditorium urgently looking for someone. Where is he? The only thought coming across Diane’s mind as she looks for Dane among the line of students.
“Honey, please calm yourself.”
Derek, a father in late 40s, has a gentle expression for such a stern face. He smiles, looking at his wife. Feeling her excitement as if it’s contagious.
“But Dane’s finally graduating! I need to take a lot of pictures before it’s too late!”
“I know, but...”
Around the happy parents are other families, shown in better clothing and sophisticated positions trying to enjoy the graduation. You’re attracting a lot of attention, Derek thought, stopping himself from saying it out loud. Diane’s frantic movements were distracting the other families, like a bug flying around the room.
On the left side of the bottom level of the auditorium, a line of students is formed to pick up their diploma. Midway through the line is Dane and Anthony, one patiently waiting while the other is impatient, writing something down on a piece of paper.
“What are you doing?”
“Writing down a message.”
“To who? Actually, better question. Where did you even get the paper and pen?”
Dane, finished writing, looks at Anthony, confused as to how he couldn’t figure it out.
“I brought a small notepad and pen to doodle during this.”
“Of course.”
Dane then crumbles up the piece of paper, each corner caving in until what used to be a square piece of paper turns into a ball. He pauses, thinking for a moment, then turning to Anthony as the line moves up.
“Actually, can you do me a favor?”
Anthony sighs, not expecting much of a task from Dane as he notices the line moving up.
“What?” Anthony asks, nodding up to signal Dane. The two move up, Dane crumbles the ball more as he thinks of how to ask, stumbling for words.
“Um, well…”
The line stops moving quickly, allowing Dane to finish his thought. Turning back around, he looks at Anthony with a set idea in mind, believing it would work no matter what.
“Could you throw this at Jonathan?”
Anthony pauses before answering, surprised at his request for obvious reasons.
“What?”
“Can you throw this at Jonathan? I need to get his response as soon as possible.”
Anthony sighs, hoping to get some reason out of Dane one way or another.
“You realize…that’s on the other side of the room, right?!”
“You’re strong enough. I think you can throw it that far.”
Smile running across his face, he puts his hand out to Anthony, motioning for Anthony to grab the ball of paper out of his hand. Anthony looks at Dane, given up on reasoning with him. That’s his reason? Anthony takes a deep breath and grabs the ball out of Dane’s hand. He looks in the direction of Jonathan, feeling the ball out in his hand while crumbling it to his liking. On the other side, Anthony sees Jonathan speaking to a couple girls he is between in line, trying to make whatever moves he can. Irritated, Anthony looks back over at Dane for confirmation. With a thumbs up and a big smile still on Dane’s face, Anthony gets his answer. Now irritated for two good reasons, Anthony gets in a pitching stance, focusing his frustration on the ball. The crumpled up paper is thrown, leaving Anthony’s fingers with an extreme amount of force. The cracks and nifts inside the ball start smoothing out from the wind blasting on it as it flies through the air. The ball lands, hitting Jonathan in the forehead as it forces him to stumble a bit, the ball dropping on the floor.
Jonathan rubs his forehead, confused as he looks down at the ball of paper at his feet. What the… Curious, he picks up the ball of paper and picks at it, trying to find a crack he can use to open it. The line starts moving, however Jonathan doesn’t notice this as he continues picking at the ball of paper. How is it so goddamn smooth?! Almost getting frustrated, he finally gets it open and a smile comes across his face. Finally! The happiness is short-lived, however, as the girl behind him gets frustrated at him.
“Can you move up the line already?!”
“Uh yeah! Sorry…”
Jonathan moves up as he reads the paper, the girl behind him still annoyed by this. How do they even get accepted in this school? After taking a moment to read the paper, he looks over across the auditorium at Dane and Anthony, talking amongst themselves. Dane notices Jonathan, seeing his flailing arms in the air above him, trying to get their attention. Anthony looks over as well, annoyed.
“What the hell is he doing? He looks like an idiot.”
After getting their attention, he gives a thumbs up, Dane understanding his answer and nods. Anthony looks at Dane with confusement, hoping their shenanigans don’t get them in trouble.
“So…what was the point of that?”
“I was making sure he was still down for this weekend.”
Anthony takes a moment, remembering the occasion.
“Ah, the beach trip.”
“Yeah I was unsure if he worked or not.”
“Well let’s focus on graduating before planning for the trip. Anything can happen.”
Like what? Dane thought as he waited in line, eventually getting to the end. Grabbing hold of the Principal’s hand, he feels the heat from the others as he sees the Principal’s expression, proudness in his expression. Dane smiles, looking away to the cameras for pictures as he holds his diploma, evidence of his completion of high school. Happily, he starts walking back down the center to his seat.
“Dane!”
Dane hears his name, looking up towards the seats and seeing his mother holding a camera, trying to take pictures of her son. Derek, on the other hand, has his hand on his face, dying from embarrassment as the other families around them appear annoyed. Dane waves with a smile in embarrassment, wanting to hurry back to his seat to escape this torture. Bump! Due to his lack of attention, Dane bumped into the student in front of him, making the student drop his diploma.
“Hey, watch where you’re going!”
“Ah! Sorry about that.”
Shaking his head, he goes to pick up the diploma, muttering under his breath.
“Why is stupidity like that allowed here?”
Dane’s hands drop, his diploma at his side as his hand clutches it more firmly.
“Excuse me?”
“Huh?”
The student turns around, unable to see Dane’s face as he appears annoyed.
“That was extremely uncalled for.” Dane says, his eyes burning with anger as his expression appears calm. The student smiles, feeling the need to finally say something.
“Oh I’m sorry. I didn’t know your kind had good hearing like that.”
“What?”
“This school used to be home to only the elite! But now, roaches like you have invaded it! Doing whatever you please, ignoring the rules of this establishment. Even your family is as bad.”
Dane grits his teeth, beginning to walk forward. His diploma being bent from Dane’s anger, unable to control it.
“I guess it all makes sense. The apple doesn't fall far from the-”
Before the student can finish, a surprise punch is landed on the student’s jaw, sending him back and on the ground. Dane takes another step forward, preparing for more until two students from the rows next to Dane grab his arms, keeping him back. His expression now invisible, unable to tell if he has more in him or if one punch was enough. Laughter. The thought of having won in the war, the student stands up, wiping away the blood from his mouth.
“That’s the difference between you and me. Powerful people like me have con…”
The student stops talking as he looks back up, his eyes widened from shock as he looks ahead at Dane, standing alone while the two students are on the ground, knocked out cold. Dane looks up at the student, his glare striking fear in his heart, his words cutting him like glass.
“What were you saying was the difference…between us?”
Dane takes a step forward, his face calm with unyielding anger, ready to deal more for the insults made towards him and the people is close with. First step. Second step. Each step he gets closer, the student steps back in response, fear in his eyes.
“Dane Peregum!”
Principle Maxus calls out from behind, his voice ringing out in demand, stopping Dane in his tracks. Taking a deep breath, Dane realizes the situation he’s now in. *censored*!
***
Pacing behind a desk, Principal Maxus keeps his expression calm. His frustration burning under the mask, he looks at Dane who is sitting in a chair across from the desk. Holding his head up with his hand, Dane looks out the window, avoiding eye contact.
“So, let’s hear it. Why did you beat up three of my students?!”
Dane continues avoiding eye contact, muttering under his breath.
“You don’t even know the full story and yet…”
“Huh? Speak up. I can’t hear you.”
“I said you don’t even know the full story and you’re already assuming it’s my fault!”
Now standing, Dane has fire in his eyes, fighting for his life against what seems like an unjust system.
“Then tell me, Dane! What happened?”
“He was insulting me! My friends and parents! Because we’re not like them! Saying we don’t belong here!”
“And beating them up helps prove you do?!”
Dane sits down, wanting to tune out an unbiased opinion as he tries to calm down, avoiding eye contact again.
“It only proves his point with what you did. This school was originally only for people that could afford it, but we opened up more. Trying to look out for students like you. But this fight will only tell the higher ups that we shouldn’t open up.”
Dane stays silent, hoping this all ends soon. Wanting to enjoy the breath of fresh air, the warmth of the sunlight. Even the heat from his job. Anywhere but where he is right now. Maxus takes off his glasses, putting down on his desk as he plops down in his chair, exhausted from the yelling. He takes a deep breath, deciding what to do with Dane.
“Dane. Your parents fought tooth and nail to get you in here, given your record. I allowed it, because I had hope for you too.”
Maxus looks back at Dane, his head now down in reflection. Realizing his mistake, he chooses to stay silent, continuing to listen as he hopes he doesn’t get punished for his mistake.
“You have nowhere else to go. Especially after this, everyone will close their doors on you. Denying you any chance. Dane, you need to realize you're a highschooler about to go to college, not a grade schooler that can get away with something like this.”
“I know, but what was I supposed to do? Just take it? Just let him roll over everyone close to me?”
“Maybe. What you should’ve done is up to you to decide. It’s an adult’s job to know what to do in situations like those and take responsibility for what comes after.”
Reflecting on this, Dane goes back to silence as Maxus decides there’s no more he can say. Maxus grabs the diploma off his desk, half bent almost into the shape of a ‘V’. He opens the filing cabinet in his desk, slipping the diploma into his desk.
“Until you can prove to me you’re ready for the next step, I’m rescinding your graduation.”
“What?”
Surprised, Dane stands up halfway over Maxus’ desk.
“You will be retaking the semester and upon completion, you will receive your diploma.”
Dane sits back down, feeling bad for what he did. His parents outside the room, waiting for Dane as they listen in. Both of them were disappointed, but worried for Dane’s mental wellbeing.
***
Back home, finally. Dane walks into the house, happy to be back home and unable to wait for this horrible day to be over. Derek and Diane follow after Dane, Derek closing the front door as Dane walks up the stairs.
“Are you sure you don’t want to talk about it?”
“No, I’m fine. Really, I am.”
Dane smiles as he continues walking, hiding his inner disappointment in himself. Diane continues to worry, however. Derek thinks of an idea, hoping it would help Dane deal with this at least a little bit.
“Do you want to go out to dinner with us at least? You have time before work, right?”
“Yeah, but I want to get some sleep before work. Maybe tomorrow.”
Dane, now up the stairs, goes to his room. Hurrying to be alone.
“Alright, well call us if you need anything!”
Slam! A door shuts, Dane now in his room as Diane worries about him. Derek tries to comfort her, showing a gentle smile through his roughness.
“He’ll be fine. He just needs some time to take it all in.”
“I hope so…”
Meanwhile, Dane stands next to his door, listening in. He looks up, feeling at home as he looks around. Dane suddenly then sees the picture that’s usually propped on his dresser now on the floor, pieces of broken glass surrounding it. Oh no! Dane rushes to go pick it up, seeing the damage as it has a hole in it, cracks running down towards the frame.
The hole is centered on a spot where a person belongs, but no one is there. Cracks running down Dane and his parents’ faces. Dane looks at the picture, smiling. Remembering when times were more simple, life was more free. Which only makes what happened even more painful. Dane puts the picture down on his dresser, his other hand clenched into a fist.
What am I supposed to do? Dane stands still, thinking, wanting an answer but no one is there to give one.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2022, 12:20:29 PM by ParadoxS7N »

Offline Suuper-san

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Re: The Path of Legends
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2022, 05:30:37 AM »
A nice punchy read, very quick into the action. A good description of the action punch-by-punch, made it easy to follow what was happening.

I'm not much of a writer so I can't offer too much advice, but you used the term "figure" twice to introduce the characters. Typically I see "figure" used for unidentified people, i.e. too far away etc.
I think if Satan yelled out the last line, rather than just thought it, would sound better.

Also, given it's a prologue it's probably not too relevant as it's meant to be quick to the action, but a bit of context would make the characters and location more relatable, I.e. Satan as in actual Satan, or just a guy called Satan? A description of his horns or red skin would make it more clear. I don't even know if Satan is the good guy or the bad guy. Some dialogue from Dane might help, i.e. "I'll never forgive you demons for destroying my world!". Also the setting certainly sounds cool with a red sky and buildings destroyed, but...why is it red, why were the buildings destroyed etc, was it demons, was it an earthquake, why did they not get rebuilt? although you probably plan to answer these things at some point in the story.
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Offline ParadoxS7N

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Re: The Path of Legends
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2022, 05:47:41 PM »
I will take what you said into consideration as I do agree with a few of the things you suggested. It's good it does leave you with questions as it'll make you want to read more to answer those questions. So you'll be pondering those for a bit lol

Offline Suuper-san

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Re: The Path of Legends
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2022, 04:21:18 AM »
hehehehehe well I'm looking forward to finding out the answers :D
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Offline Coryn

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Re: The Path of Legends
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2022, 03:34:13 PM »
I broadly agree with Suuper's points. The action is easy to follow, although it is a little clunky at times. For instance when you describe Satan doning armor mid fight, you could easily rephrase it so he's already in armor. As is it feels like an odd thing to happen.

Also curious about the exact theology here. If we're looking at this from a sort of devilman or paradise lost point of view (and it kinda feels like that's the case), then calling Satan by his name works well since "satan" is more of a job title and not a proper name. But as Suuper said, the actual story should clear a lot of this up. Still you should aim to eliminate these kinds of uncertainties during a prologue. You want a prologue to wet the whistle, not bring up questions. It might be better to omit names all together (at least until the very last second). That way it's more of a cliffhanger.

@Suuper: I do believe the last line is meant to be said out loud. The American formatting default is for spoken dialogue to be between double quotes.

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Offline Suuper-san

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Re: The Path of Legends
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2022, 09:44:23 AM »
Curious, I wonder why I thought it was not dialogue...must have just misread it XD
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Offline ParadoxS7N

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Re: The Path of Legends: Brothers
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2022, 11:25:39 PM »
I'll work on the mistakes. Still in development after all
« Last Edit: July 14, 2022, 12:24:02 PM by ParadoxS7N »

Offline ParadoxS7N

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Re: The Path of Legends: Brothers
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2022, 12:24:37 PM »
Chapter 1 is now finished and up to be read! Happy with how this turned out so let me know what you think!