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Manga Writers => Manga Creations => Topic started by: Pavo on October 10, 2021, 05:43:25 AM


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Title: Immortal
Post by: Pavo on October 10, 2021, 05:43:25 AM
Hey raiders, here's the first chapter of my novel Immortal.

It's a story that a long time ago I posted here as it was intended to be manga. (You can find it here (https://forums.mangaraiders.com/index.php/topic,11692.0.html) although I advise not reading it to avoid spoilers with the worse version of the story.)

Anyway, this time I did finish it in novel format and now I'm at the editing phase. It's going a bit slow since until now I mostly did it with a workshop group who wasn't really the target audience. Hope the raiders would give me a bit more motivation to get it into the state it should be in.

Anyway, I'll be posting the chapters weekly or bi-weekly so please enjoy the story and all feedback is welcome.

Chapter 1: Vile Immortal
Spoiler
The immortal grunted as they dragged him across the town. The pain lingered throughout his body as it ground against the muddy streets of Zehar.
His skin was dark gray, but it hardly showed through the amount of dirt gathered on his body. No one bothered to clean him since he was a vile immortal.
There was no place for immortals in the world of ohrols, despite them being born from those same ohrols and looking no different. At least they would have looked the same if ohrols didn’t take care of that. To keep themselves safe from immortals, ohrols withheld food from them which gave immortals their corpse-like appearance.
The immortal was grateful for the scorching sun that burned his skin from above. If it weren’t for it, the muddy streets of Zehar would have been packed with ohrols, that have nothing but hatred for him. The sun kept regular ohrols in their mud-brick houses, while the slave ohrols were at work elsewhere.
The soldiers were the only ones who were out at noon in Zehar, so the immortal only had to deal with the two soldiers that dragged him. The male soldier was tall and bulky, wearing a helmet to show off an air of importance. The female soldier left her head uncovered, letting her long dark-blue hair guard her dark-gray skin.
The female soldier stopped. “Why should I be dragging you?” she kicked the immortal.
The kick forced the air out of his lungs. A long time ago, that would have provoked a reaction from him, but now he was resigned to his miserable fate and awaited the day they would finally manage to kill him.
“What is with that look!” the soldier shouted as she kicked him once more. “Stand up and walk!”
“Stop it, Tertia! You know that simple kicks won’t make it listen,” the other soldier said, “For these monsters, you need at least something like this.”
The other soldier struck with his halberd, breaking the immortal’s neck. The pain overwhelmed his body. Within seconds, the head snapped back, making it look as if no damage was done to him.
“You know these monsters don’t listen unless you do at least something like this,” the soldier said with a smug face.
“You are right!” Tertia unsheathed her sword and stabbed the immortal in the back. As Tertia pulled out her sword, a small amount of blood spurted out. Seconds later, all the blood returned to the immortal’s body and with it Tertia’s sword.
After a few stabs, Tertia reached into her pocket and took out a vial with a light-blue liquid in it.
The other soldier grabbed her hand. “Don’t be stupid! Why would you waste scaturr’s spit on this filth? It won’t change anything. And you know there’s a decline in scaturrs lately.”
“It’s just for fun. I won’t use a lot,” Tertia said. “Besides, I paid for it.”
The other soldier released Tertia’s hand. “Bah! Do what you want.”
Tertia dripped scaturr’s spit on the tip of the sword and put the vial away. She stabbed the immortal once more, and with the effect of the spit, blood gushed out furiously.
“Why won’t you die, monster?!” Tertia said as she continually wounded the immortal.
The immortal wondered why everyone called him a monster as he never harmed a single ohrol throughout his long life. Soon enough, those thoughts left him as the pain of being killed repeatedly overwhelmed him. Even though his body recovered after every wound that the soldier inflicted, the pain was unbearable.
He wanted the pain to stop. Only listening to the orders made the torture stop. That was one of the few things he learned about the ohrol world. The pain never stopped, unless you obeyed. And for immortals, that worked only sometimes.
The immortal mustered the tiny amount of strength he had in him to rise. He lifted his chest, but another stab slammed him to the ground. The pain was excruciating. He had to stand up. Once more he tried to lift his body, and another stab brought him back to the floor. He cried out in pain.
“What was that?” Tertia muttered.
“I think it is trying to stand up,” said the other soldier.
Tertia looked at the creature and saw the immortal struggling to get up.
“You finally learned!” she said, sheathing her sword. “Get up and walk!”
As the soldier stopped attacking him, the immortal tried to stand up. His hands trembled as he pushed against the ground. He got onto his legs, making his entire body shake. With no muscles to move his bones, everything was a struggle.
He cursed his body for being born the way it was. Other immortals that he met were released from their suffering after some time. The priests always found a way to get rid of the immortals. He saw many of them being killed with his own eyes, but he was the only one who was truly immortal. No method the priests used on him would end his suffering.
“Let’s go!” Tertia said.
He started walking behind the soldiers. The immortal mustered up enough strength for a few slow steps before the soldiers got so far away that the rope pulled him to the ground once more.
Tertia looked at him and sighed before she turned forward. “Guess I have to drag you there in the end.” She started pulling him by the rope once more.
They reached one of the buildings the immortal despised, the barracks. They were filled with young ohrol soldiers listening to their instructor explaining how they should attack their enemy. The immortal shivered as, within moments, those instructions were meant to be tested on him.
“Hold your swords properly when you strike,” the old ohrol instructed. His coarse voice spread throughout the training grounds. The two soldiers with the immortal walked up to them. Tertia pulled up the immortal by the rope and threw him in front of the young soldiers.
“Here you go! Enjoy cutting the monster up,” she said and walked away.
The old instructor looked at the immortal on the ground who refused to get up as that delayed the inevitable pain. “It is of no use like this,” the instructor said to Tertia, who was already at the doors.
“Cutting it up is all this monster is good for,” Tertia laughed.
The instructor frowned and raised his voice, “They sure need to practice cutting up the opponent, but when they will fight in battle, their opponent won’t be lying on the floor like this one here.”
Tertia stood at the entrance. “What else do you want from me? I already brought it here.”
“Get it up!” the instructor said. “Or should I speak with your superiors once more, Tertia?”
“Fine.” Tertia sighed. She walked up to the immortal, crouched down, and grabbed him by his dirty hair. She lifted his head to whisper into his ear.
“Will you get up by yourself? Or—” Tertia grabbed her sword, “— should we repeat our play from moments ago?”
The pain still lingered in his body. He rose as fast as his frail body allowed.
“Smart boy,” Tertia snickered.
“That’s much better!” the instructor said as the immortal stood up.
“Well. That’s it from me. Have fun being cut up, monster!” Tertia said to the immortal and slapped him on the back. The slap was weak, but it knocked the immortal back to the ground.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to do that.” Tertia laughed at his fall. “Here, let me help you.” She grabbed the immortal, squeezing his hands tighter than necessary and propping him up like a sack of dirt.
Tertia hung her arm around the immortal’s neck, talking into his ear. “Now, I want you to cooperate with them, otherwise I will get in trouble. Understood?”
The immortal didn’t care what would happen to her, but listening reduced the pain. And considering how much pain the trainees were about to cause him, he nodded.
“See, no trouble. It’s not that bad if you listen. We could even be friends,” she said.
The soldier’s words amused him. Immortals had no friends. As soon as he learned that no one would help him, the immortal stopped remembering faces. There was no point in trying. He would outlive them all.
“I would love to watch you during the training”— Tertia laughed —”but I have other things to do. I’ll come to pick you up later. Then you can tell me about all the fun you had today.”
The immortal faced the trainees, bracing for all the pain that awaited. He went through the training sessions thousands of times, and he never got used to the pain that accompanied them. He wished for a day when he would be released from the pain to come.
He wished for death to free him.

Chapter 2 (https://forums.mangaraiders.com/index.php/topic,20887.msg308372.html#msg308372)

Chapter 3 (https://forums.mangaraiders.com/index.php/topic,20887.msg308396.html#msg308396)

Chapter 4 (https://forums.mangaraiders.com/index.php/topic,20887.msg308449.html#msg308449)

Chapter 5 (https://forums.mangaraiders.com/index.php/topic,20887.msg308507.html#msg308507)

Chapter 6 (https://forums.mangaraiders.com/index.php/topic,20887.msg308508.html#msg308508)

Chapter 7 (https://forums.mangaraiders.com/index.php/topic,20887.msg308549.html#msg308549)

Chapter 8 (https://forums.mangaraiders.com/index.php/topic,20887.msg308598.html#msg308598)

Chapter 9  (https://forums.mangaraiders.com/index.php/topic,20887.msg308695.html#msg308695)

Chapter 10 (https://forums.mangaraiders.com/index.php/topic,20887.msg308815.html#msg308815)
Title: Re: Immortal
Post by: Pavo on October 19, 2021, 09:44:01 AM
Here's the new chapter for Immortal. Hope everyone enjoys it.

Spoiler
The slums in the Kingdom of Zehar were in such a poor state that it put to question whether Zehar deserved to be considered a kingdom. The upper parts of the Kingdom weren’t a pleasant sight, while rest was a disgrace.
Adonia hated walking through the streets of Zehar, and the slums frightened her. The surrounding dirt sent shivers down her spine. She couldn’t stop imagining what kind of disease she could pick up.
On several occasions, she stopped and wished to turn back, but her task was too important. She couldn’t let her fear get in the way of achieving it. After all, it was for the sake of making Zehar a better place.
Adonia rushed to the slaver, assuring herself that she would be fine as long as no one touched her.
She knew that she would attract attention from the residents of the slum. Her olive-green hair and light-gray skin, heritage from her Remserian grandfather, were rare for an ohrol in the west. Even her clothes brought attention to her. Her black coat was more radiant than any of her surroundings.
But, it wasn’t her appearance that made her stand out the most. It was her demeanor. Her every movement screamed that she was a noble. As her eyes moved from one thing to another, the disgust on her face became more prominent.
While she rushed towards the slaver, one of the young ohrols came up to her, asking for money. The sight of the mud-covered brat approaching her made Adonia jump back in panic.
“Stay away from me!” Adonia ran in the opposite direction in order to avoid any disease. That brought attention to surrounding ohrols and everyone went after her in order to get money.
“No!” Adonia’s eyes teared up as she realized she had gotten further from her goal. And the only way back was through the filth-covered ohrols. As the crowd approached her, she turned once more not caring that she was getting further. As long as she stayed clean, she didn’t care.
In the distance, a soldier was dragging something.
“All right, all right you filth,” the soldier shouted, pulling out her sword as she reached Adonia. “Leave Master Adonia alone.”
Adonia didn’t know the soldier, but considering that the soldier addressed her as Master and not a Lady, meant she was part of the King’s army. Most likely Adonia’s trainee at some point.
Neither the soldier’s command or the brandishing of her sword made the filthy ohrols go away. Adonia was ready to run and leave the soldier as the decoy.
“Monster!” one of the ohrols screamed and the whole crowd scattered in no time.
It was the sight of an immortal that made the ohrols leave. It astonished Adonia how such a frail creature could instill fear in others. It barely looked alive, yet everyone feared and hated it.
“Thank you, soldier!” Adonia said as she calmed herself down. “What’s your name?”
“Tertia,” the soldier answered.
Tertia looked young, barely in her twenties, which meant that she had been among the recent Adonia’s trainees. The name also seemed familiar, but Adonia couldn’t remember why. “I must ensure you get rewarded for your effort,” she said.
“I didn’t do much.” Tertia pointed to the immortal she was dragging. “It was my friend over here who scattered them away.”
It surprised Adonia to hear anyone call an immortal their friend, but she tried not to judge. After all, she was screaming a moment ago from being chased by slaves.
“Unexpected to find you here, Master?” Tertia said. “Aren’t you deathly afraid of the dirt?”
“It’s terrifying!” Adonia whispered.
Tertia scratched her head. “Then, why would you ever come to these parts? You’ll find nothing but that in the slums.”
“I’m going to the slave master,” Adonia replied.
“Ah, yes, that makes sense.” Slavemaster was the only reason anyone would visit slums.
Tertia glanced at the immortal, then back to Adonia. “Actually, I was just taking my friend to him.”
“I didn’t know people befriended immortals,” Adonia said, looking confused.
“If you give them the right motivation, they can be friendly,” Tertia said with a laugh. “Anyway, I can escort you to the slave master,” she added.
“That is very kind of you, soldier,” Adonia sighed in relief knowing that she wouldn’t have to go alone through that foul place anymore.
***
When they arrived at the slave master’s house, Adonia relaxed. As soon as they entered, they were greeted by the sweet smell of flowers and a dirt-free room. Adonia felt as if she woke up from a bad nightmare. They were greeted by the silence, except for the sound of water in the back.
“Master Borus, I brought back the immortal,” Tertia shouted. The sound of water stopped. Soon, a thin man draped in clear white robes appeared, rubbing his mustache. Borus had a habit of doing that, which sent shivers down Adonia’s spine. She couldn’t stop thinking how much filth he gets on his face by doing that.
“Oh! Lady Adonia—” Borus was surprised. “I only expected young Tertia here to bring back the immortal. But having a Lady here is always great,” Borus grinned, still rubbing his mustache.
Adonia turned her face away as she felt her stomach betray her. She had been foolish for believing that she would be safe in the house when the slave master was no cleaner than any of the slaves he owned.
Looking away, Adonia answered. “I met the soldier on the way here. I was in a bit of a pinch with the crowd and she saved me from the filthy fiends outside.” Adonia started looking around the room in hope that it would help avoid facing Borus’s dirt-packed mustache-covered face.
“Oh. I’m glad that didn’t deter you from coming here. If you asked me, I would enslave every single one of those wretches on the streets outside,” Borus said.
It astonished Adonia that he would say it so blatantly, considering that everyone in Zehar knew what he did with ohrols in slums.
“So, are you here for a male or a female?” Borus exclaimed. “Adult, kid? Strong? Weak?” Borus got all excited ignoring Tertia, who had brought the immortal.
“Since Tertia saved my life, I think it would be fair if her business gets attended to first,” Adonia said. Tertia’s sigh of relief confirmed that Adonia’s assumption was right.
“That’s right, that’s right. Just give me the rope and you can go,” Borus said, not even looking at Tertia.
“You don’t want me to carry him to his cell?” Tertia asked.
Borus walked over to the soldier and grabbed the rope from her hand. “It’s fine. We don’t want the Lady to wait,” Borus rushed the soldier out. Even though the army frequently paid to use the immortal for their exercises, they never paid as much as nobles did for slaves.
It disgusted Adonia how Borus rushed the soldier out. The money was all that mattered to him.
As Tertia exited, Borus turned towards Adonia with a big grin on his face. “Now… We can get down to business.”
“Yes,” Adonia said with much less enthusiasm than Borus. Partly because she saw Borus’s face once more.
“I must say you arrived at the perfect time. I just washed a new batch of slaves. They are all clean, just the way you want them to be,” Borus dragged the immortal to the doors leading to the back. “Please come this way.”
“There will be no need for that,” Adonia said.
“How come?” Borus was confused.
Adonia looked at the immortal.
“Oh! Could it be that you are here for this one?” Borus asked.
“That is correct!”
“Splendid!” Borus grinned from excitement.
Adonia knew that Borus was excited about her buying an immortal because he expected to get free money. That was how buying immortals worked in Zehar. Someone would buy an immortal, have their way with it, and then they just hand it back to the slave master once they got bored. Borus didn’t lose anything in those cases. It thrilled Adonia to know that that wouldn’t happen this time.
She needed the immortal permanently for her plan.
“I must say it is quite unusual of you to buy an immortal,” Borus said.
Adonia couldn’t blame the ohrol for such assumptions. She was reluctant to buy regular slaves since they were extremely filthy. And immortals were considered the most hideous monsters by all ohrols. Buying an immortal was the last thing anyone would expect from her.
Just what she wanted them to think.
“Unfortunately, I cannot go into details with you about my reason,” Adonia said, still looking at the immortal. Despite the immortal’s muddy skin giving her the chills, she wouldn’t stop looking at him. The immortal seemed resigned, compared with his old self from a couple of years ago. She would have to reignite the flame of rebellion within him if he were to serve his purpose.
“Suffice it to say, I will be using him in a similar way as the army does,” she added.
Hearing those words, the immortal looked at Adonia, meeting her eyes. Adonia smiled, for she saw the embers of his spirit within those eyes and knew her goal was achievable.
“Use him as the army does?” Borus said, interrupting Adonia’s thoughts. “You mean, use him for training?”
“Yes,” she confirmed.
“Oh!” Borus clapped his hands. “Lady Adonia will return to the battlefield? That’s good news for Zehar’s army. Will we perhaps witness the greatness of the Sword and Shield of the Separation War once more?”
“I am sorry to disappoint you, but the immortal is not for my training. And I’m afraid Prince Mael has other plans, so our duo will not be revived,” Adonia said, finally looking at Borus. She instantly regretted it, seeing Borus once again rub his mustache. “I need him to train my disciple.”
“A disciple?” Borus said with a sigh. “I’m sure he will be of good use for Zehar’s army, even though he will never be as great as you, my Lady.”
“No, no! My disciple will be greater than me,” Adonia faced the immortal. “There’s fierceness hidden deep inside him, and I will turn that fierceness into a blade that will protect Zehar.”
“That sounds like your disciple might become as strong as General Hon,” Borus exclaimed.
Adonia knew that the filthy ohrol had nothing but money on his mind. She could see it in his eyes how he was thinking about the possibility of another war. After all, the Separation War earned him all his slaves and fortune.
“No! Not as strong as General Hon.” she denied.
Borus slumped hearing her words.
“I will make sure he becomes stronger than General Hon,” Adonia said. For the sake of Zehar and its citizens, she needed to achieve that.
“Stronger!” Borus rubbed his hands. “Then what are we waiting for? Just give me the gold and the immortal is yours. Start with the training of your disciple as soon as possible.”
“My thoughts exactly,” Adonia said, pulling out a bag of gold.
As Borus reached out to grab the bag, she pulled it back remembering how Borus was rubbing his mustache with that hand.
“What’s wrong my Lady?” Borus looked at her.
Adonia needed the immortal. She reached out with the bag once more, trying not to touch Borus’s hand. As her hand almost touched Borus's, she yanked it back.
“I’ll just do it like usual,” she said and scurried to put the gold on the table. With that done, the only thing left was to take the immortal. She needed to take the rope from Borus, which was also in his hand. She grabbed the rope by the part in the middle between the immortal’s neck and Borus’s filthy hand. She didn’t want to risk catching anything from either of them.
With the immortal in her possession, Adonia didn’t wait long to leave the house.
“There is more gold here than I charge for immortals,” the Borus said.
“That is because you will not be getting him back.”

Title: Re: Immortal
Post by: Action Animation on October 20, 2021, 02:37:48 AM
Are you looking for a general opinion of the story or a full on review/critique?
-Action
Title: Re: Immortal
Post by: Pavo on October 20, 2021, 08:20:43 AM
I think I would prefer a more general opinion on characters and story as I did get some full-on critique from one workshop.
But either is welcome
Title: Re: Immortal
Post by: NO1SY on October 23, 2021, 09:02:28 AM
Hello Pavo!

I had a little read of your two chapters here and made some comments and editorial notes:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1T-tRJgSv35f35J2wywz4Tcs4pCckyBpS9ejDG1rgH5U/edit?usp=sharing
I hope you find my comments fair and helpful, and maybe they will be applicable to your writing going forward.

Quick question, do you want this to end up as a graphic novel or a light novel?
Title: Re: Immortal
Post by: Pavo on October 24, 2021, 05:21:40 AM
Hi No1sy,

your notes are definitely a lot of help. And will try to address them the best I can.

As for the question, I am still unsure which route I would go.
For the graphic novel route, I will need to find someone to draw, and currently, I'm short on finances to find someone.
As for the light novel (if it can even be called a light novel since it has over 400 pages) route, this is probably the one I'm leaning more towards since I can finish it myself. However, as I'm a
very non-imaginative reader (I don't conjure any of the imagery while reading and it also reflects in my writing) it's hard to get it to a good standard at the moment.
Title: Re: Immortal
Post by: Pavo on October 24, 2021, 05:22:47 AM
Here's is Chapter 3 of the novel. This one is the last part of the setup for the story.

Spoiler
The dimly lit room that the immortal found himself in confused him. He was locked into the underground room which was rather expected for his kind. But the candle left on the table baffled him. No one bothered to leave any light for him before, they didn’t see the reason for it.
He didn’t know how much time had passed since the noble who bought him left there. The passage of time was rather troubling for him. The idle days would pass in a blink of an eye. Days when others had fun with him, on the other hand, lasted for ages. The feeling that the trouble he would be put through would last even longer made him hate his immortality more than ever.
The room he was in sent chills deep down into his bones. The shadows cast by the flickering light danced on the walls as if they were laughing at him. And he couldn’t figure out what was the weird smell that covered the whole room.
It might have been a new poison that the noble was about to test on him. But, the priests always said how the poison without a smell was the best. And if it could be judged by the pain that those poisons caused, the immortal had to agree. So the unusual smell put him at ease for a bit.
The only expected item in the room was a single desk upon which the candle was left. The tables were always there to hold all the tools for the amusement of his owner.
The object right across the table was something he had never seen before. It was slightly longer than the immortal’s height and was at least twice as wide as he was. Its upper side was soft to the touch and on top of it was a big cloth and a bag filled with something even softer. He couldn’t understand the purpose of this object in the room.
The biggest mystery of all was the flower on the table. He rarely saw them on the streets of Zehar and this one wasn’t even growing from the soil. Instead, it was in the water. He didn’t know what the purpose of the flowers was, but his body trembled as he realized that he might find out soon.
The immortal’s thoughts were interrupted as the door creaked open. He turned to see Adonia enter carrying a bowl on a tray. He was struck by the sweet smell as Adonia passed him.
“My name is Adonia,” she said, introducing herself. The immortal made no response.
Adonia waited for a moment, but no answer came.
“I hope you like your room.” She put the tray on the table and turned towards the immortal. “You will be spending some time in here, so I want you to be comfortable.”
The immortal couldn’t figure out the reason behind the ohrols behavior.
“Well… Do you like the room?” she repeated.
The immortal stared without an answer. He was unsure what was there to like about the room. It was filled with things he had never seen, and the weird smell unnerved him. Unfamiliar things scared him the most as he didn’t know what kind of pain he needed to prepare himself.
“Don’t tell me that you are in such a horrible condition that you cannot even speak,” Adonia sighed. “Although, judging by your looks, that wouldn’t be a surprise. Those filthy priests don’t know how to handle a living creature.”
“I can speak,” the immortal said.
“Oh, great!” Adonia smiled. “I was afraid that I would be the only one talking here.”
The question of the purpose the noble had brought him here shrouded the immortal’s mind. There was always a reason for buying him. No one would spend money to let him enjoy himself. The pleasure was the last thing ohrols wanted immortals to have.
“And?” Adonia stepped closer to the immortal. She winced as she glanced at him and stepped back once more.
“And what?” the immortal raised his voice.
“Do you like the room?” Adonia was still smiling.
“I—” the immortal hesitated. “I don’t know. I’ve never been in a room like this. I feel uncomfortable.”
“Oh, well that’s not good. I wanted you to feel comfortable. I even gave you one of the softest beds I could find” she said.
“Bed?” the immortal was confused. “What’s that?”
Now, the noble finally showed what the immortal expected to see. Disgust and anger were no longer hidden on her face. This eased his worries, as it was something he experienced. There was less worry about what she would do to him. It would be similar to his previous experiences.
“That thing over there,” Adonia pointed at the big object across the table. “It is for you to sleep on. Please tell me you have used one before.”
“For sleep?” the immortal looked at the bed. “No matter what you do to me, I don’t intend to sleep on it.”
“You don’t intend to sleep on it?” Adonia was puzzled. “Why? It is comfortable and I thought you would be glad not having to sleep on the ground for once.”
“Why would I want to sleep? I always get those horrible visions. I see! You just want to watch me suffer by the visions?” The immortal lashed out. Adonia’s intentions were now clear to him. She was like other nobles, but instead, she would torture him with unusual methods.
“Horrible visions? You mean nightmares?” Adonia said. “But dreams can be good as well. Do you not dream of a better life?”
“Good dreams?” the immortal asked. “The only thing I see in my sleep is all of the methods the Surem’s priests used trying to kill me. And there is no such thing as a better life for us immortals. The only thing that could make it better is death.”
“Death? That won’t do.” Adonia turned to the table and dragged her finger around the bowl she set there. “I was about to give you quite the opposite.”
The immortal swallowed hard, wondering what the noble was about to do to him. There was no guessing what kind of poison she held in the bowl.
Adonia sighed and turned to face the immortal. “Aren’t you curious what I’m about to offer you?”
“Whatever it is, it couldn’t be good for me,” he answered.
Adonia slammed her fist on the table, startling the immortal.
“Did those wretched Surem’s priests ruin you so far that it’s impossible to speak with you?” she said through her teeth.
The angry outburst frightened the immortal, but it relieved him at the same time. When they were angry, ohrols resorted only to beating him. And the pain from it would vanish soon.
Adonia looked at the immortal and the anger vanished from her face. The immortal trembled as he realized how different she was from other nobles. The unfamiliarity terrified him.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you,” Adonia said. She reached out with her hand but pulled it back. “I have no intention of hurting you.”
He didn’t believe her. The last time an ohrol convinced him that they wouldn’t hurt him was the time he was tortured the most.
“I want to help you.” She smiled, the same way the ohrol which used those tactics smiled.
“Why would you want to help me?” he asked. Perhaps he couldn’t avoid the torture, but he could at least try to ruin her fun of manipulating him.
“Because I want your help back.”
“What could I do? I’m nothing but a pile of bones,” he said, looking at his famished body.
“For now,” she said with a wicked smile. “Allow me to explain.”
The immortal took a deep breath. His first attempt at revealing her lies failed. Adonia seemed smart, but he wouldn’t let her deceive him.
“As you might know, our kingdom of Zehar is very close to the kingdom of Kaligan,” Adonia said.
“I heard about it,” the immortal answered.
“During the war with the Bynor Empire eight years ago, they were our biggest allies. However, that was thanks to our late king and current king of Kaligan being friends. The same cannot be said about the poor excuse of our King Bel, who cares about nothing but himself, and Kaligan’s prince Mael who hungers for power.”
“We are not allies anymore?” the immortal asked.
“No, we are still allies,” she said. “For now, that is. The current king of Kaligan is very sick and it is a matter of time when the illness will claim him. And when Mael becomes king, I doubt things will remain the same.”
“You mean there will be war?” the immortal said looking Adonia in the eyes once more.
“That is correct!” Adonia said.
“And why do you think that?” the immortal asked.
“I knew that Mael was hungry for power the moment I met him. He always tried to be at the top. The only thing he wanted was to be better than anyone else in the army during the Separation war, including me.”
“You fought in the war?” The immortal’s eyes widened hearing that a noble fought in the war. He knew that nobles would fund the war and send troops of their own. But to hear that one of the nobles fought in the war herself astonished him.
“I did fight, but that is beside the point here.” Adonia went back to her explanation. “When our late king passed away I sent a spy to check on Mael since there was no doubt that he would attack us.”
The immortal had no idea what a spy was. Surem’s priests never bothered to teach him about his kind, even less about the rest of the world. He was sure that Adonia used words he didn’t know to confuse him. That way it would be easier to manipulate him.
“Did he attack us?” he asked to move away from things he didn’t understand.
“No, he didn’t. But he’s raising an army and within a couple of years, he will surely attack,” Adonia said. "To counter his plan, I will raise a more unified army and keep Zehar safe from the danger, both internal and external.”
“And you need my help so that the soldiers could practice on me,” the immortal said. Her intentions were obvious to him now.
He sat onto the bed and sighed in relief as he successfully avoided her deception. Now he was ready for what awaited him.
“Don’t put me up with those two incapable instructors who think that the way to raise a soldier is to let him cut up someone,” Adonia said calmly, but the immortal could feel the anger she tried to suppress. “There’s a reason why the soldiers I train are considered the best, and that is not achieved by letting them hack someone up and calling it training.”
Finally, he met the elusive instructor. He knew there were three of them, but only two used him for their instructions so he always wondered what kind of an ohrol was the third one.
“They always justify it by calling you a monster,” Adonia continued her rant. “But to me, it only proves that they are the monsters, not you. How could they even call you a monster, when you’re in such a miserable state.”
Her words surprised the immortal. “You don’t think I’m a monster?”
“Again” — she let out a deep sigh — “don’t lump me in together with the rest of the idiots who take whatever Surem’s priests tell them as absolute truth. Just because one immortal was a monster, doesn’t mean the rest are.”
The immortal felt hatred in Adonia’s words when she mentioned death god’s priests. It was the same as he felt about them.
Before he said anything, she continued her explanation.
“I would be in command of the army, but someone needs to lead the army in battle.” She pointed at the immortal. “I need someone strong. Someone who will be able to defeat Mael in a fight. There is no way that a normal ohrol would be able to defeat him. And I cannot let General Hon take the credit for it. That is why I need your help.”
“And why would I help you?” The immortal got angry. “After all I went through. After all the pain those like you caused me, you think I will help you?”
"Like I said-" Adonia tried to explain but the immortal cut her off.
“Do you realize how many times I was burned, impaled, poisoned, and whatnot, just because those like you decided I was a monster?” The immortal's body started to hurt from his shouting. He didn’t have enough strength for it, but he couldn’t keep his anger in. Ohrols caused him unbearable pain, and his cursed body never let it end. It always recovered to receive more pain.
There was no greater pain than pain of the death itself.
“I never did anything wrong to anyone! And still, ever since I was born, ohrols wanted me to die.” He swung his hand as strongly as his non-existent muscles allowed him to. Tears dripped down his face. They were one of the few things that didn’t return to his body after being separated.
“After all that I went through,” his voice became frail, “You think that I would help you?”
“Of course not,” Adonia answered. “I already told you that I would give you something in return for your help.”
“The only thing that would satisfy me is death," he said. "And I doubt you could give me that."
“What if I gave you the opposite?” Adonia asked unbothered by the immortal’s outburst.
"And what is that?"
Adonia once more touched the bowl that she set on the table. "Life!"
“Life!?” the immortal’s shout echoed through the room.
He started laughing.
“Life? I’m immortal. I have more life in me than you ever will. And you think you can give me life?”
“That may be true,” Adonia answered calmly. “But can you truly say that the way you lived until now can be called life?”
The immortal didn’t answer her, he just stood gritting his teeth.
“I will show you that there is much more to life than just being alive,” she said.
The immortal paused for a moment. He breathed deeply. “And how will you do that?”
“With this,” Adonia picked up the bowl from the table. “Unfortunately, it is nothing special for now since I don’t know if you could take anything more.”
The immortal leaned in to see what it was. As Adonia turned and put forward the bowl, he saw that there was soup inside of it.
“No!” the immortal jumped back. “No!”
Adonia took another step forward, but the immortal moved back, stumbling onto the bed.
“No!” the immortal trembled. He tried to run further but a wall behind him would not let him through. “I’m not going to eat. I knew you wanted to torture me.”
A long time has passed since he tasted the food, but the aftermath of it was etched deep down into his memory.
An old female ohrol gave him an apple, or at least something resembling it. Even though it was half rotten, he had bitten into the apple and regretted his decision for multiple reasons. The taste of it was worse than the sludge Surem’s priests were feeding him with when he was a child.
But even more so, he regretted eating the apple because two soldiers saw everything that happened. The female ohrol fled the scene but stood no chance to outrun a young soldier. The soldier cut off her head with no hesitation. There was no hope for anyone who fed immortals. It was an act seen as allying oneself with immortals, which is the greatest sin an ohrol could commit.
Only Surem’s priests were allowed to feed the immortals. Priests knew how to make immortals grow enough to be useful but still kept them from being a threat.
What the other soldier did to him made the immortal scared of tasting food ever again. The soldier drove the pole of his halberd down the immortal’s throat to make him throw up. It lasted for half a day, and the pain of it echoed in his mind for weeks.
“You think I don’t know what happens when someone feeds an immortal?” Adonia said standing in front of the bed. “Do you think I would do this knowing that I would be executed on the spot?”
The immortal scratched the walls with his bony hands, but the walls wouldn’t let him through.
“Don’t worry,” Adonia reassured him. “Nothing will happen. No one is here to see me feed you. Or to see you eating.”
The immortal looked around the room. No one else was in the room, but he couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched. The flickering candle lit the room, but it could help conceal the parts of it as well. The immortal couldn’t trust ohrols.
“I assure you, no one will come into this room,” Adonia said. “I made myself very clear to the servants. No one is allowed to come to the basement. After all, I have no intentions of dying.”
"I'm not eating it," he cried out. "You're not going to fool me."
"Believe me, it's not what you think."
She tried putting the bowl in immortal's hands, but he used all his might to get away from it.
Adonia sighed. "You're leaving me no choice. If you won't take it, I will have to convince you by force."
As she decided to switch to a forceful approach, the immortal realized what he was doing. He reverted to his old self, trying to resist. But he never gained anything from resistance, only obedience reduced the pain.
He reached out to take the bowl and be done with it. The sooner he eats the damn thing, the sooner will she leave him alone.
“I see that you finally realized that I have no intention of hurting you,” she said and handed the bowl.
He grabbed the bowl from the Lady and pulled it closer. She smiled. They always smiled before making him feel the pain.
As he brought the bowl closer, the sweet smell of the soup overcame his senses. Everything else in the room vanished in the moment. The sweet smell must have been used to cover the presence of poison which would cause him pain.
“Eat up,” Adonia said with a smile.
The divine smell of the soup drew his attention away from the wretched noble. Even the anticipated pain vanished from his thoughts. He wanted to consume the soup. If the smell was so sweet, then the taste must be as delightful as the death that avoided him for ages.
He grabbed the spoon and put it into his mouth. The warmth spread through his bones in an instant. His mouth overflowed with pleasure and he could no longer feel his body. Such poison was never used on him before. If he could no longer feel his muscles from a spoonful of the soup, he wondered would the rest be able to separate him from his cursed body.
The immortal grabbed the bowl and drank the soup directly from it. He felt nothing but a warmth within him.
Once he opened his eyes, he hoped that he would be in the other world. In a world where he was no longer immortal. A world without pain.
Seeing the Lady smile at him shattered the illusion. He was still latched by his curse.
“How do you like it?” she said.
“I—” the immortal paused. He was disappointed and relieved at the same time. The warmth lingered in his body, but he couldn’t shake off the unusual feeling in his stomach. “I don’t know,” he immortal answered.
The smile vanished from the Lady’s face.
“I expected more,” Adonia said. “I suppose a simple soup wouldn’t be enough to get you to cooperate. I should bring something better.”
“Simple soup?” the immortal was puzzled. The soup removed the ever-present pain from his body, and she dares call it simple.
“Wait!” The immortal thoughts finally caught up with the senses from his body. He no longer felt the pain in his body. “There’s no poison, is there?” he asked.
“Why would there be any poison? I told you that I want your help.”
Adonia grabbed the bowl from the immortal and carried it to the table. The mellow fragrance of it continued to fill in the room.
“I was afraid that your body might not be able to take anything besides the simplest of soups,” Adonia said. “But I suppose I will have to bring something better to have you on my side.”
“Better than this?” The immortal refused to believe that there could be anything greater than the absence of pain.
“As I said, I would give you a proper life in exchange for your help. And this soup is the smallest fraction of it. And it will be yours to enjoy if you agree to hel—”
“I’ll do whatever you want me to do,” the immortal interrupted. He didn’t care what the Lady wanted from him, as long as he would feel no pain.
“I’m glad to hear this,” Adonia smiled. “I hope that we will get along well…” Adonia paused.
“I just realized how rude I was,” she said bowing her head slightly. “I never asked for your name.”
“Name?” the immortal asked.
“Yes, your name! I was talking with you all this time without asking for your name. What is your name?”
“My name?” the immortal paused. “I have no name.”
“That is no good. Every ohrol needs a name.” Adonia said. “It would be unnerving to not have a name to call you by. What do others usually call you by.”
The immortal lowered his head looking at the shadows playing on the floor. “Monster,” he whispered.
Adonia raised her voice. “Don’t say that! You’re not a monster. It’s those filthy Surem’s priests who put it into your head. But I will prove them wrong. You’re not a monster.”
The immortal looked up. The anger covered her composed face each time she mentioned the priests. He couldn’t blame her.
“If there’s nothing, I will give you the name,” she said.
“Give me the name?” the immortal asked.
“Yes. And I just know the right one!” Adonia exclaimed. “Solus!”
“Solus?”
“Solus!” she said. “From now on, you will be called Solus. I hope you are happy with your name, Solus.”
“I’m—” he paused, feeling thrilled “—happy with it.”
It wasn’t really the name itself that made him happy. He couldn’t stop smiling because, for the first time in his cursed life, someone didn’t call him a monster.
“And why is this name right for me?” Solus asked Adonia.
“I based it on my father’s name,” she said. “He was a child of a foreigner, despised by everyone around him for his difference. And he changed his destiny through effort. I thought you might do the same. I believe you can show to ohrols that you are not a monster they think you are.”
“I don’t care what they think,” Solus said. “Just give me more of the food you promised and I’ll do whatever you want.”
“Splendid,” Adonia said smiling.

The dimly lit room that the immortal found himself in confused him. He was locked into the underground room which was rather expected for his kind. But the candle left on the table baffled him. No one bothered to leave any light for him before, they didn’t see the reason for it.
He didn’t know how much time had passed since the noble who bought him left there. The passage of time was rather troubling for him. The idle days would pass in a blink of an eye. Days when others had fun with him, on the other hand, lasted for ages. The feeling that the trouble he would be put through would last even longer made him hate his immortality more than ever.
The room he was in sent chills deep down into his bones. The shadows cast by the flickering light danced on the walls as if they were laughing at him. And he couldn’t figure out what was the weird smell that covered the whole room.
It might have been a new poison that the noble was about to test on him. But, the priests always said how the poison without a smell was the best. And if it could be judged by the pain that those poisons caused, the immortal had to agree. So the unusual smell put him at ease for a bit.
The only expected item in the room was a single desk upon which the candle was left. The tables were always there to hold all the tools for the amusement of his owner.
The object right across the table was something he had never seen before. It was slightly longer than the immortal’s height and was at least twice as wide as he was. Its upper side was soft to the touch and on top of it was a big cloth and a bag filled with something even softer. He couldn’t understand the purpose of this object in the room.
The biggest mystery of all was the flower on the table. He rarely saw them on the streets of Zehar and this one wasn’t even growing from the soil. Instead, it was in the water. He didn’t know what the purpose of the flowers was, but his body trembled as he realized that he might find out soon.
The immortal’s thoughts were interrupted as the door creaked open. He turned to see Adonia enter carrying a bowl on a tray. He was struck by the sweet smell as Adonia passed him.
“My name is Adonia,” she said, introducing herself. The immortal made no response.
Adonia waited for a moment, but no answer came.
“I hope you like your room.” She put the tray on the table and turned towards the immortal. “You will be spending some time in here, so I want you to be comfortable.”
The immortal couldn’t figure out the reason behind the ohrols behavior.
“Well… Do you like the room?” she repeated.
The immortal stared without an answer. He was unsure what was there to like about the room. It was filled with things he had never seen, and the weird smell unnerved him. Unfamiliar things scared him the most as he didn’t know what kind of pain he needed to prepare himself.
“Don’t tell me that you are in such a horrible condition that you cannot even speak,” Adonia sighed. “Although, judging by your looks, that wouldn’t be a surprise. Those filthy priests don’t know how to handle a living creature.”
“I can speak,” the immortal said.
“Oh, great!” Adonia smiled. “I was afraid that I would be the only one talking here.”
The question of the purpose the noble had brought him here shrouded the immortal’s mind. There was always a reason for buying him. No one would spend money to let him enjoy himself. The pleasure was the last thing ohrols wanted immortals to have.
“And?” Adonia stepped closer to the immortal. She winced as she glanced at him and stepped back once more.
“And what?” the immortal raised his voice.
“Do you like the room?” Adonia was still smiling.
“I—” the immortal hesitated. “I don’t know. I’ve never been in a room like this. I feel uncomfortable.”
“Oh, well that’s not good. I wanted you to feel comfortable. I even gave you one of the softest beds I could find” she said.
“Bed?” the immortal was confused. “What’s that?”
Now, the noble finally showed what the immortal expected to see. Disgust and anger were no longer hidden on her face. This eased his worries, as it was something he experienced. There was less worry about what she would do to him. It would be similar to his previous experiences.
“That thing over there,” Adonia pointed at the big object across the table. “It is for you to sleep on. Please tell me you have used one before.”
“For sleep?” the immortal looked at the bed. “No matter what you do to me, I don’t intend to sleep on it.”
“You don’t intend to sleep on it?” Adonia was puzzled. “Why? It is comfortable and I thought you would be glad not having to sleep on the ground for once.”
“Why would I want to sleep? I always get those horrible visions. I see! You just want to watch me suffer by the visions?” The immortal lashed out. Adonia’s intentions were now clear to him. She was like other nobles, but instead, she would torture him with unusual methods.
“Horrible visions? You mean nightmares?” Adonia said. “But dreams can be good as well. Do you not dream of a better life?”
“Good dreams?” the immortal asked. “The only thing I see in my sleep is all of the methods the Surem’s priests used trying to kill me. And there is no such thing as a better life for us immortals. The only thing that could make it better is death.”
“Death? That won’t do.” Adonia turned to the table and dragged her finger around the bowl she set there. “I was about to give you quite the opposite.”
The immortal swallowed hard, wondering what the noble was about to do to him. There was no guessing what kind of poison she held in the bowl.
Adonia sighed and turned to face the immortal. “Aren’t you curious what I’m about to offer you?”
“Whatever it is, it couldn’t be good for me,” he answered.
Adonia slammed her fist on the table, startling the immortal.
“Did those wretched Surem’s priests ruin you so far that it’s impossible to speak with you?” she said through her teeth.
The angry outburst frightened the immortal, but it relieved him at the same time. When they were angry, ohrols resorted only to beating him. And the pain from it would vanish soon.
Adonia looked at the immortal and the anger vanished from her face. The immortal trembled as he realized how different she was from other nobles. The unfamiliarity terrified him.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you,” Adonia said. She reached out with her hand but pulled it back. “I have no intention of hurting you.”
He didn’t believe her. The last time an ohrol convinced him that they wouldn’t hurt him was the time he was tortured the most.
“I want to help you.” She smiled, the same way the ohrol which used those tactics smiled.
“Why would you want to help me?” he asked. Perhaps he couldn’t avoid the torture, but he could at least try to ruin her fun of manipulating him.
“Because I want your help back.”
“What could I do? I’m nothing but a pile of bones,” he said, looking at his famished body.
“For now,” she said with a wicked smile. “Allow me to explain.”
The immortal took a deep breath. His first attempt at revealing her lies failed. Adonia seemed smart, but he wouldn’t let her deceive him.
“As you might know, our kingdom of Zehar is very close to the kingdom of Kaligan,” Adonia said.
“I heard about it,” the immortal answered.
“During the war with the Bynor Empire eight years ago, they were our biggest allies. However, that was thanks to our late king and current king of Kaligan being friends. The same cannot be said about the poor excuse of our King Bel, who cares about nothing but himself, and Kaligan’s prince Mael who hungers for power.”
“We are not allies anymore?” the immortal asked.
“No, we are still allies,” she said. “For now, that is. The current king of Kaligan is very sick and it is a matter of time when the illness will claim him. And when Mael becomes king, I doubt things will remain the same.”
“You mean there will be war?” the immortal said looking Adonia in the eyes once more.
“That is correct!” Adonia said.
“And why do you think that?” the immortal asked.
“I knew that Mael was hungry for power the moment I met him. He always tried to be at the top. The only thing he wanted was to be better than anyone else in the army during the Separation war, including me.”
“You fought in the war?” The immortal’s eyes widened hearing that a noble fought in the war. He knew that nobles would fund the war and send troops of their own. But to hear that one of the nobles fought in the war herself astonished him.
“I did fight, but that is beside the point here.” Adonia went back to her explanation. “When our late king passed away I sent a spy to check on Mael since there was no doubt that he would attack us.”
The immortal had no idea what a spy was. Surem’s priests never bothered to teach him about his kind, even less about the rest of the world. He was sure that Adonia used words he didn’t know to confuse him. That way it would be easier to manipulate him.
“Did he attack us?” he asked to move away from things he didn’t understand.
“No, he didn’t. But he’s raising an army and within a couple of years, he will surely attack,” Adonia said. "To counter his plan, I will raise a more unified army and keep Zehar safe from the danger, both internal and external.”
“And you need my help so that the soldiers could practice on me,” the immortal said. Her intentions were obvious to him now.
He sat onto the bed and sighed in relief as he successfully avoided her deception. Now he was ready for what awaited him.
“Don’t put me up with those two incapable instructors who think that the way to raise a soldier is to let him cut up someone,” Adonia said calmly, but the immortal could feel the anger she tried to suppress. “There’s a reason why the soldiers I train are considered the best, and that is not achieved by letting them hack someone up and calling it training.”
Finally, he met the elusive instructor. He knew there were three of them, but only two used him for their instructions so he always wondered what kind of an ohrol was the third one.
“They always justify it by calling you a monster,” Adonia continued her rant. “But to me, it only proves that they are the monsters, not you. How could they even call you a monster, when you’re in such a miserable state.”
Her words surprised the immortal. “You don’t think I’m a monster?”
“Again” — she let out a deep sigh — “don’t lump me in together with the rest of the idiots who take whatever Surem’s priests tell them as absolute truth. Just because one immortal was a monster, doesn’t mean the rest are.”
The immortal felt hatred in Adonia’s words when she mentioned death god’s priests. It was the same as he felt about them.
Before he said anything, she continued her explanation.
“I would be in command of the army, but someone needs to lead the army in battle.” She pointed at the immortal. “I need someone strong. Someone who will be able to defeat Mael in a fight. There is no way that a normal ohrol would be able to defeat him. And I cannot let General Hon take the credit for it. That is why I need your help.”
“And why would I help you?” The immortal got angry. “After all I went through. After all the pain those like you caused me, you think I will help you?”
"Like I said-" Adonia tried to explain but the immortal cut her off.
“Do you realize how many times I was burned, impaled, poisoned, and whatnot, just because those like you decided I was a monster?” The immortal's body started to hurt from his shouting. He didn’t have enough strength for it, but he couldn’t keep his anger in. Ohrols caused him unbearable pain, and his cursed body never let it end. It always recovered to receive more pain.
There was no greater pain than pain of the death itself.
“I never did anything wrong to anyone! And still, ever since I was born, ohrols wanted me to die.” He swung his hand as strongly as his non-existent muscles allowed him to. Tears dripped down his face. They were one of the few things that didn’t return to his body after being separated.
“After all that I went through,” his voice became frail, “You think that I would help you?”
“Of course not,” Adonia answered. “I already told you that I would give you something in return for your help.”
“The only thing that would satisfy me is death," he said. "And I doubt you could give me that."
“What if I gave you the opposite?” Adonia asked unbothered by the immortal’s outburst.
"And what is that?"
Adonia once more touched the bowl that she set on the table. "Life!"
“Life!?” the immortal’s shout echoed through the room.
He started laughing.
“Life? I’m immortal. I have more life in me than you ever will. And you think you can give me life?”
“That may be true,” Adonia answered calmly. “But can you truly say that the way you lived until now can be called life?”
The immortal didn’t answer her, he just stood gritting his teeth.
“I will show you that there is much more to life than just being alive,” she said.
The immortal paused for a moment. He breathed deeply. “And how will you do that?”
“With this,” Adonia picked up the bowl from the table. “Unfortunately, it is nothing special for now since I don’t know if you could take anything more.”
The immortal leaned in to see what it was. As Adonia turned and put forward the bowl, he saw that there was soup inside of it.
“No!” the immortal jumped back. “No!”
Adonia took another step forward, but the immortal moved back, stumbling onto the bed.
“No!” the immortal trembled. He tried to run further but a wall behind him would not let him through. “I’m not going to eat. I knew you wanted to torture me.”
A long time has passed since he tasted the food, but the aftermath of it was etched deep down into his memory.
An old female ohrol gave him an apple, or at least something resembling it. Even though it was half rotten, he had bitten into the apple and regretted his decision for multiple reasons. The taste of it was worse than the sludge Surem’s priests were feeding him with when he was a child.
But even more so, he regretted eating the apple because two soldiers saw everything that happened. The female ohrol fled the scene but stood no chance to outrun a young soldier. The soldier cut off her head with no hesitation. There was no hope for anyone who fed immortals. It was an act seen as allying oneself with immortals, which is the greatest sin an ohrol could commit.
Only Surem’s priests were allowed to feed the immortals. Priests knew how to make immortals grow enough to be useful but still kept them from being a threat.
What the other soldier did to him made the immortal scared of tasting food ever again. The soldier drove the pole of his halberd down the immortal’s throat to make him throw up. It lasted for half a day, and the pain of it echoed in his mind for weeks.
“You think I don’t know what happens when someone feeds an immortal?” Adonia said standing in front of the bed. “Do you think I would do this knowing that I would be executed on the spot?”
The immortal scratched the walls with his bony hands, but the walls wouldn’t let him through.
“Don’t worry,” Adonia reassured him. “Nothing will happen. No one is here to see me feed you. Or to see you eating.”
The immortal looked around the room. No one else was in the room, but he couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched. The flickering candle lit the room, but it could help conceal the parts of it as well. The immortal couldn’t trust ohrols.
“I assure you, no one will come into this room,” Adonia said. “I made myself very clear to the servants. No one is allowed to come to the basement. After all, I have no intentions of dying.”
"I'm not eating it," he cried out. "You're not going to fool me."
"Believe me, it's not what you think."
She tried putting the bowl in immortal's hands, but he used all his might to get away from it.
Adonia sighed. "You're leaving me no choice. If you won't take it, I will have to convince you by force."
As she decided to switch to a forceful approach, the immortal realized what he was doing. He reverted to his old self, trying to resist. But he never gained anything from resistance, only obedience reduced the pain.
He reached out to take the bowl and be done with it. The sooner he eats the damn thing, the sooner will she leave him alone.
“I see that you finally realized that I have no intention of hurting you,” she said and handed the bowl.
He grabbed the bowl from the Lady and pulled it closer. She smiled. They always smiled before making him feel the pain.
As he brought the bowl closer, the sweet smell of the soup overcame his senses. Everything else in the room vanished in the moment. The sweet smell must have been used to cover the presence of poison which would cause him pain.
“Eat up,” Adonia said with a smile.
The divine smell of the soup drew his attention away from the wretched noble. Even the anticipated pain vanished from his thoughts. He wanted to consume the soup. If the smell was so sweet, then the taste must be as delightful as the death that avoided him for ages.
He grabbed the spoon and put it into his mouth. The warmth spread through his bones in an instant. His mouth overflowed with pleasure and he could no longer feel his body. Such poison was never used on him before. If he could no longer feel his muscles from a spoonful of the soup, he wondered would the rest be able to separate him from his cursed body.
The immortal grabbed the bowl and drank the soup directly from it. He felt nothing but a warmth within him.
Once he opened his eyes, he hoped that he would be in the other world. In a world where he was no longer immortal. A world without pain.
Seeing the Lady smile at him shattered the illusion. He was still latched by his curse.
“How do you like it?” she said.
“I—” the immortal paused. He was disappointed and relieved at the same time. The warmth lingered in his body, but he couldn’t shake off the unusual feeling in his stomach. “I don’t know,” he immortal answered.
The smile vanished from the Lady’s face.
“I expected more,” Adonia said. “I suppose a simple soup wouldn’t be enough to get you to cooperate. I should bring something better.”
“Simple soup?” the immortal was puzzled. The soup removed the ever-present pain from his body, and she dares call it simple.
“Wait!” The immortal thoughts finally caught up with the senses from his body. He no longer felt the pain in his body. “There’s no poison, is there?” he asked.
“Why would there be any poison? I told you that I want your help.”
Adonia grabbed the bowl from the immortal and carried it to the table. The mellow fragrance of it continued to fill in the room.
“I was afraid that your body might not be able to take anything besides the simplest of soups,” Adonia said. “But I suppose I will have to bring something better to have you on my side.”
“Better than this?” The immortal refused to believe that there could be anything greater than the absence of pain.
“As I said, I would give you a proper life in exchange for your help. And this soup is the smallest fraction of it. And it will be yours to enjoy if you agree to hel—”
“I’ll do whatever you want me to do,” the immortal interrupted. He didn’t care what the Lady wanted from him, as long as he would feel no pain.
“I’m glad to hear this,” Adonia smiled. “I hope that we will get along well…” Adonia paused.
“I just realized how rude I was,” she said bowing her head slightly. “I never asked for your name.”
“Name?” the immortal asked.
“Yes, your name! I was talking with you all this time without asking for your name. What is your name?”
“My name?” the immortal paused. “I have no name.”
“That is no good. Every ohrol needs a name.” Adonia said. “It would be unnerving to not have a name to call you by. What do others usually call you by.”
The immortal lowered his head looking at the shadows playing on the floor. “Monster,” he whispered.
Adonia raised her voice. “Don’t say that! You’re not a monster. It’s those filthy Surem’s priests who put it into your head. But I will prove them wrong. You’re not a monster.”
The immortal looked up. The anger covered her composed face each time she mentioned the priests. He couldn’t blame her.
“If there’s nothing, I will give you the name,” she said.
“Give me the name?” the immortal asked.
“Yes. And I just know the right one!” Adonia exclaimed. “Solus!”
“Solus?”
“Solus!” she said. “From now on, you will be called Solus. I hope you are happy with your name, Solus.”
“I’m—” he paused, feeling thrilled “—happy with it.”
It wasn’t really the name itself that made him happy. He couldn’t stop smiling because, for the first time in his cursed life, someone didn’t call him a monster.
“And why is this name right for me?” Solus asked Adonia.
“I based it on my father’s name,” she said. “He was a child of a foreigner, despised by everyone around him for his difference. And he changed his destiny through effort. I thought you might do the same. I believe you can show to ohrols that you are not a monster they think you are.”
“I don’t care what they think,” Solus said. “Just give me more of the food you promised and I’ll do whatever you want.”
“Splendid,” Adonia said smiling.


Title: Re: Immortal
Post by: Action Animation on November 08, 2021, 10:46:33 PM
here we are a review of your first 3 chapters, I split my edits within the story with

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Action =
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hope this helps^^

Spoiler
Chapter 1

The immortal grunted as they dragged him across the town. The pain lingered throughout his body as it ground against the muddy streets of Zehar.

His skin was dark gray, but it hardly showed through the amount of dirt gathered on his body. No one bothered to clean him since he was a vile immortal.

There was no place for immortals in the world of ohrols, despite them being born from those same ohrols and looking no different. At least they would have looked the same if ohrols didn’t take care of that. To keep themselves safe from immortals, ohrols withheld food from them which gave immortals their corpse-like appearance.

The immortal was grateful for the scorching sun that burned his skin from above. If it weren’t for it, the muddy streets of Zehar would have been packed with ohrols, that have nothing but hatred for him. The sun kept regular ohrols in their mud-brick houses, while the slave ohrols were at work elsewhere.

The soldiers were the only ones who were out at noon in Zehar, so the immortal only had to deal with the two soldiers that dragged him. The male soldier was tall and bulky, wearing a helmet to show off an air of importance. The female soldier left her head uncovered, letting her long dark-blue hair guard her dark-gray skin.

The female soldier stopped. “Why should I be dragging you?” she kicked the immortal.

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Action = curious that nothing provoked this action, perhaps if something out of his control caused her flimsy patience to snap, like his body/ skin was caught on something for a moment making the female soldier put a little extra effort in for the thing she hates or something else mundane
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The kick forced the air out of his lungs. A long time ago, that would have provoked a reaction from him, but now he was resigned to his miserable fate and awaited the day they would finally manage to kill him.
“What is with that look!” the soldier shouted as she kicked him once more. “Stand up and walk!”
“Stop it, Tertia! You know that simple kicks won’t make it listen,” the other soldier said, “For these monsters, you need at least something like this.”

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Action = if she knew that simple kicks would not make Him listen then why would Msoldier have to remind her? It's seems they have been dragging him for awhile so i'm surprised that they didn't try this method at the start when they met him otherwise why would they resign to dragging him and then only to try to get him to walk later on
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The other soldier struck with his halberd, breaking the immortal’s neck. The pain overwhelmed his body. Within seconds, the head snapped back, making it look as if no damage was done to him.
“You know these monsters don’t listen unless you do at least something like this,” the soldier said with a smug face.
“You are right!” Tertia unsheathed her sword and stabbed the immortal in the back. As Tertia pulled out her sword, a small amount of blood spurted out. Seconds later, all the blood returned to the immortal’s body and with it Tertia’s sword.

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Action = Wait, does this mean the blood pulled her sword back into his wound?
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After a few stabs, Tertia reached into her pocket and took out a vial with a light-blue liquid in it.

The other soldier grabbed her hand. “Don’t be stupid! Why would you waste scaturr’s spit on this filth? It won’t change anything. And you know there’s a decline in scaturrs lately.”
“It’s just for fun. I won’t use a lot,” Tertia said. “Besides, I paid for it.”

The other soldier released Tertia’s hand. “Bah! Do what you want.”

Tertia dripped scaturr’s spit on the tip of the sword and put the vial away. She stabbed the immortal once more, and with the effect of the spit, blood gushed out furiously.
“Why won’t you die, monster?!” Tertia said as she continually wounded the immortal.

The immortal wondered why everyone called him a monster as he never harmed a single ohrol throughout his long life. Soon enough, those thoughts left him as the pain of being killed repeatedly overwhelmed him. Even though his body recovered after every wound that the soldier inflicted, the pain was unbearable.

He wanted the pain to stop. Only listening to the orders made the torture stop. That was one of the few things he learned about the ohrol world. The pain never stopped, unless you obeyed. And for immortals, that worked only sometimes.

The immortal mustered the tiny amount of strength he had in him to rise. He lifted his chest, but another stab slammed him to the ground. The pain was excruciating. He had to stand up. Once more he tried to lift his body, and another stab brought him back to the floor. He cried out in pain.
“What was that?” Tertia muttered.
“I think it is trying to stand up,” said the other soldier.

Tertia looked at the creature and saw the immortal struggling to get up.
“You finally learned!” she said, sheathing her sword. “Get up and walk!”

As the soldier stopped attacking him, the immortal tried to stand up. His hands trembled as he pushed against the ground. He got onto his legs, making his entire body shake. With no muscles to move his bones, everything was a struggle.

He cursed his body for being born the way it was. Other immortals that he met were released from their suffering after some time. The priests always found a way to get rid of the immortals. He saw many of them being killed with his own eyes, but he was the only one who was truly immortal. No method the priests used on him would end his suffering.
“Let’s go!” Tertia said.

He started walking behind the soldiers. The immortal mustered up enough strength for a few slow steps before the soldiers got so far away that the rope pulled him to the ground once more.

Tertia looked at him and sighed before she turned forward. “Guess I have to drag you there in the end.” She started pulling him by the rope once more.

They reached one of the buildings the immortal despised, the barracks. They were filled with young ohrol soldiers listening to their instructor explaining how they should attack their enemy. The immortal shivered as, within moments, those instructions were meant to be tested on him.

“Hold your swords properly when you strike,” the old ohrol instructed. His coarse voice spread throughout the training grounds. The two soldiers with the immortal walked up to them. Tertia pulled up the immortal by the rope and threw him in front of the young soldiers.
“Here you go! Enjoy cutting the monster up,” she said and walked away.

The old instructor looked at the immortal on the ground who refused to get up as that delayed the inevitable pain. “It is of no use like this,” the instructor said to Tertia, who was already at the doors.
“Cutting it up is all this monster is good for,” Tertia laughed.

The instructor frowned and raised his voice, “They sure need to practice cutting up the opponent, but when they will fight in battle, their opponent won’t be lying on the floor like this one here.”
Tertia stood at the entrance. “What else do you want from me? I already brought it here.”
“Get it up!” the instructor said. “Or should I speak with your superiors once more, Tertia?”
“Fine.” Tertia sighed. She walked up to the immortal, crouched down, and grabbed him by his dirty hair. She lifted his head to whisper into his ear.
“Will you get up by yourself? Or—” Tertia grabbed her sword, “— should we repeat our play from moments ago?”

The pain still lingered in his body. He rose as fast as his frail body allowed.
“Smart boy,” Tertia snickered.
“That’s much better!” the instructor said as the immortal stood up.
“Well. That’s it from me. Have fun being cut up, monster!” Tertia said to the immortal and slapped him on the back. The slap was weak, but it knocked the immortal back to the ground.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to do that.” Tertia laughed at his fall. “Here, let me help you.” She grabbed the immortal, squeezing his hands tighter than necessary and propping him up like a sack of dirt.

Tertia hung her arm around the immortal’s neck, talking into his ear. “Now, I want you to cooperate with them, otherwise I will get in trouble. Understood?”

The immortal didn’t care what would happen to her, but listening reduced the pain. And considering how much pain the trainees were about to cause him, he nodded.
“See, no trouble. It’s not that bad if you listen. We could even be friends,” she said.

The soldier’s words amused him. Immortals had no friends. As soon as he learned that no one would help him, the immortal stopped remembering faces. There was no point in trying. He would outlive them all.
“I would love to watch you during the training”— Tertia laughed —”but I have other things to do. I’ll come to pick you up later. Then you can tell me about all the fun you had today.”

The immortal faced the trainees, bracing for all the pain that awaited. He went through the training sessions thousands of times, and he never got used to the pain that accompanied them. He wished for a day when he would be released from the pain to come.
He wished for death to free him.


Chapter 2

The slums in the Kingdom of Zehar were in such a poor state that it put to question whether Zehar deserved to be considered a kingdom. The upper parts of the Kingdom weren’t a pleasant sight, while rest was a disgrace.

Adonia hated walking through the streets of Zehar, and the slums frightened her. The surrounding dirt sent shivers down her spine. She couldn’t stop imagining what kind of disease she could pick up.

On several occasions, she stopped and wished to turn back, but her task was too important. She couldn’t let her fear get in the way of achieving it. After all, it was for the sake of making Zehar a better place.

Adonia rushed to the slaver, assuring herself that she would be fine as long as no one touched her.

She knew that she would attract attention from the residents of the slum. Her olive-green hair and light-gray skin, heritage from her Remserian grandfather, were rare for an ohrol in the west. Even her clothes brought attention to her. Her black coat was more radiant than any of her surroundings.

But, it wasn’t her appearance that made her stand out the most. It was her demeanor. Her every movement screamed that she was a noble. As her eyes moved from one thing to another, the disgust on her face became more prominent.

While she rushed towards the slaver, one of the young ohrols came up to her, asking for money. The sight of the mud-covered brat approaching her made Adonia jump back in panic.
“Stay away from me!” Adonia ran in the opposite direction in order to avoid any disease. That brought attention to surrounding ohrols and everyone went after her in order to get money.
“No!” Adonia’s eyes teared up as she realized she had gotten further from her goal.

And the only way back was through the filth-covered ohrols. As the crowd approached her, she turned once more not caring that she was getting further. As long as she stayed clean, she didn’t care.

+
Action = Interesting character quirk that clashes with her ideals
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In the distance, a soldier was dragging something.
“All right, all right you filth,” the soldier shouted, pulling out her sword as she reached Adonia. “Leave Master Adonia alone.”

Adonia didn’t know the soldier, but considering that the soldier addressed her as Master and not a Lady, meant she was part of the King’s army. Most likely Adonia’s trainee at some point.

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Action = Nice little deduction here
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Neither the soldier’s command or the brandishing of her sword made the filthy ohrols go away. Adonia was ready to run and leave the soldier as the decoy.
“Monster!” one of the ohrols screamed and the whole crowd scattered in no time.

It was the sight of an immortal that made the ohrols leave. It astonished Adonia how such a frail creature could instill fear in others. It barely looked alive, yet everyone feared and hated it.
“Thank you, soldier!” Adonia said as she calmed herself down. “What’s your name?”
“Tertia,” the soldier answered.

Tertia looked young, barely in her twenties, which meant that she had been among the recent Adonia’s trainees. The name also seemed familiar, but Adonia couldn’t remember why. “I must ensure you get rewarded for your effort,” she said.
“I didn’t do much.” Tertia pointed to the immortal she was dragging. “It was my friend over here who scattered them away.”

It surprised Adonia to hear anyone call an immortal their friend, but she tried not to judge. After all, she was screaming a moment ago from being chased by slaves.
“Unexpected to find you here, Master?” Tertia said. “Aren’t you deathly afraid of the dirt?”
“It’s terrifying!” Adonia whispered.

Tertia scratched her head. “Then, why would you ever come to these parts? You’ll find nothing but that in the slums.”
“I’m going to the slave master,” Adonia replied.
“Ah, yes, that makes sense.” Slavemaster was the only reason anyone would visit slums.
Tertia glanced at the immortal, then back to Adonia. “Actually, I was just taking my friend to him.”
“I didn’t know people befriended immortals,” Adonia said, looking confused.
“If you give them the right motivation, they can be friendly,” Tertia said with a laugh. “Anyway, I can escort you to the slave master,” she added.
“That is very kind of you, soldier,” Adonia sighed in relief knowing that she wouldn’t have to go alone through that foul place anymore.

+
Action = This seems rather off, if Adonia is someone in power and has no problem telling someone why she is here and wants her to even accompany her, Then why couldn't she use her status or her soldiers to bring the slave master to a more comfortable meeting place?
+

When they arrived at the slave master’s house, Adonia relaxed. As soon as they entered, they were greeted by the sweet smell of flowers and a dirt-free room. Adonia felt as if she woke up from a bad nightmare. They were greeted by the silence, except for the sound of water in the back.

“Master Borus, I brought back the immortal,” Tertia shouted. The sound of water stopped. Soon, a thin man draped in clear white robes appeared, rubbing his mustache. Borus had a habit of doing that, which sent shivers down Adonia’s spine. She couldn’t stop thinking how much filth he gets on his face by doing that.
“Oh! Lady Adonia—” Borus was surprised. “I only expected young Tertia here to bring back the immortal. But having a Lady here is always great,” Borus grinned, still rubbing his mustache.

Adonia turned her face away as she felt her stomach betray her. She had been foolish for believing that she would be safe in the house when the slave master was no cleaner than any of the slaves he owned.

Looking away, Adonia answered. “I met the soldier on the way here. I was in a bit of a pinch with the crowd and she saved me from the filthy fiends outside.” Adonia started looking around the room in hope that it would help avoid facing Borus’s dirt-packed mustache-covered face.

“Oh. I’m glad that didn’t deter you from coming here. If you asked me, I would enslave every single one of those wretches on the streets outside,” Borus said.

It astonished Adonia that he would say it so blatantly, considering that everyone in Zehar knew what he did with ohrols in slums.
“So, are you here for a male or a female?” Borus exclaimed. “Adult, kid? Strong? Weak?” Borus got all excited ignoring Tertia, who had brought the immortal.

“Since Tertia saved my life, I think it would be fair if her business gets attended to first,” Adonia said. Tertia’s sigh of relief confirmed that Adonia’s assumption was right.
“That’s right, that’s right. Just give me the rope and you can go,” Borus said, not even looking at Tertia.
“You don’t want me to carry him to his cell?” Tertia asked.

+
Action = I understand the immortals are hated beings, but if this guy is running a business then wouldn't he have something that would make transporting the immortals easier for his customers? And is he charging the army [that is protecting the Kingdom] for the immortal?

If not, why would they need to bring him back? Since he cannot die and is not being taken care of, wouldn’t tying him to a heavy rock or a pole at the barracks be more efficient? And if that is not the case this practice seems to have gone on for a long time since the Immortal noted how he hatted going to the Barracks, so why was the old commander so annoyed with how the immortal could not stand? Wouldn't that be normal isn't this what they normally paid for?

And if he wanted an immortal to have the energy to stand but still be unable to fight back, then wouldnt tying him to a pole and letting his soldiers stab him be the same thing?
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Borus walked over to the soldier and grabbed the rope from her hand. “It’s fine. We don’t want the Lady to wait,” Borus rushed the soldier out. Even though the army frequently paid to use the immortal for their exercises, they never paid as much as nobles did for slaves.

It disgusted Adonia how Borus rushed the soldier out. The money was all that mattered to him.

As Tertia exited, Borus turned towards Adonia with a big grin on his face. “Now… We can get down to business.”
“Yes,” Adonia said with much less enthusiasm than Borus. Partly because she saw Borus’s face once more.
“I must say you arrived at the perfect time. I just washed a new batch of slaves. They are all clean, just the way you want them to be,” Borus dragged the immortal to the doors leading to the back. “Please come this way.”
“There will be no need for that,” Adonia said.
“How come?” Borus was confused.
Adonia looked at the immortal.
“Oh! Could it be that you are here for this one?” Borus asked.
“That is correct!”
“Splendid!” Borus grinned from excitement.

Adonia knew that Borus was excited about her buying an immortal because he expected to get free money. That was how buying immortals worked in Zehar.

Someone would buy an immortal, have their way with it, and then they just hand it back to the slave master once they got bored.

+
Action = then why would the armys ever return an immortal since there are always new recruits to train?
+

Borus didn’t lose anything in those cases. It thrilled Adonia to know that that wouldn’t happen this time.

She needed the immortal permanently for her plan.
“I must say it is quite unusual of you to buy an immortal,” Borus said.

Adonia couldn’t blame the ohrol for such assumptions. She was reluctant to buy regular slaves since they were extremely filthy. And immortals were considered the most hideous monsters by all ohrols. Buying an immortal was the last thing anyone would expect from her.

Just what she wanted them to think.
“Unfortunately, I cannot go into details with you about my reason,” Adonia said, still looking at the immortal. Despite the immortal’s muddy skin giving her the chills, she wouldn’t stop looking at him. The immortal seemed resigned, compared with his old self from a couple of years ago. She would have to reignite the flame of rebellion within him if he were to serve his purpose.
“Suffice it to say, I will be using him in a similar way as the army does,” she added.

Hearing those words, the immortal looked at Adonia, meeting her eyes. Adonia smiled, for she saw the embers of his spirit within those eyes and knew her goal was achievable.
“Use him as the army does?” Borus said, interrupting Adonia’s thoughts. “You mean, use him for training?”
“Yes,” she confirmed.
“Oh!” Borus clapped his hands. “Lady Adonia will return to the battlefield? That’s good news for Zehar’s army. Will we perhaps witness the greatness of the Sword and Shield of the Separation War once more?”
“I am sorry to disappoint you, but the immortal is not for my training. And I’m afraid Prince Mael has other plans, so our duo will not be revived,” Adonia said, finally looking at Borus. She instantly regretted it, seeing Borus once again rub his mustache. “I need him to train my disciple.”
“A disciple?” Borus said with a sigh. “I’m sure he will be of good use for Zehar’s army, even though he will never be as great as you, my Lady.”
“No, no! My disciple will be greater than me,” Adonia faced the immortal. “There’s fierceness hidden deep inside him, and I will turn that fierceness into a blade that will protect Zehar.”
“That sounds like your disciple might become as strong as General Hon,” Borus exclaimed.

Adonia knew that the filthy ohrol had nothing but money on his mind. She could see it in his eyes how he was thinking about the possibility of another war. After all, the Separation War earned him all his slaves and fortune.
“No! Not as strong as General Hon.” she denied.
Borus slumped hearing her words.
“I will make sure he becomes stronger than General Hon,” Adonia said. For the sake of Zehar and its citizens, she needed to achieve that.
“Stronger!” Borus rubbed his hands. “Then what are we waiting for? Just give me the gold and the immortal is yours. Start with the training of your disciple as soon as possible.”
“My thoughts exactly,” Adonia said, pulling out a bag of gold.

+
Action = all above was a very smooth exposition, well done
+

As Borus reached out to grab the bag, she pulled it back remembering how Borus was rubbing his mustache with that hand.
“What’s wrong my Lady?” Borus looked at her.

Adonia needed the immortal. She reached out with the bag once more, trying not to touch Borus’s hand. As her hand almost touched Borus's, she yanked it back.

“I’ll just do it like usual,” she said and scurried to put the gold on the table. With that done, the only thing left was to take the immortal. She needed to take the rope from Borus, which was also in his hand. She grabbed the rope by the part in the middle between the immortal’s neck and Borus’s filthy hand. She didn’t want to risk catching anything from either of them.

With the immortal in her possession, Adonia didn’t wait long to leave the house.
“There is more gold here than I charge for immortals,” the Borus said.
“That is because you will not be getting him back.”


Chapter 3

The dimly lit room that the immortal found himself in confused him. He was locked into the underground room which was rather expected for his kind. But the candle left on the table baffled him. No one bothered to leave any light for him before, they didn’t see the reason for it.

He didn’t know how much time had passed since the noble who bought him left there. The passage of time was rather troubling for him. The idle days would pass in a blink of an eye. Days when others had fun with him, on the other hand, lasted for ages.

The feeling that the trouble he would be put through would last even longer made him hate his immortality more than ever.

The room he was in sent chills deep down into his bones. The shadows cast by the flickering light danced on the walls as if they were laughing at him. And he couldn’t figure out what was the weird smell that covered the whole room.

It might have been a new poison that the noble was about to test on him. But, the priests always said how the poison without a smell was the best. And if it could be judged by the pain that those poisons caused, the immortal had to agree. So the unusual smell put him at ease for a bit.

The only expected item in the room was a single desk upon which the candle was left. The tables were always there to hold all the tools for the amusement of his owner.

The object right across the table was something he had never seen before. It was slightly longer than the immortal’s height and was at least twice as wide as he was. Its upper side was soft to the touch and on top of it was a big cloth and a bag filled with something even softer. He couldn’t understand the purpose of this object in the room.

+
Action = interesting as well as sad, but i am surprised he knew what everything else in the room was except the pillow and bed
+

The biggest mystery of all was the flower on the table. He rarely saw them on the streets of Zehar and this one wasn’t even growing from the soil. Instead, it was in the water. He didn’t know what the purpose of the flowers was, but his body trembled as he realized that he might find out soon.

The immortal’s thoughts were interrupted as the door creaked open. He turned to see Adonia enter carrying a bowl on a tray. He was struck by the sweet smell as Adonia passed him.
“My name is Adonia,” she said, introducing herself. The immortal made no response.

Adonia waited for a moment, but no answer came.
“I hope you like your room.” She put the tray on the table and turned towards the immortal. “You will be spending some time in here, so I want you to be comfortable.”

The immortal couldn’t figure out the reason behind the ohrols behavior.
“Well… Do you like the room?” she repeated.

The immortal stared without an answer. He was unsure what was there to like about the room. It was filled with things he had never seen, and the weird smell unnerved him. Unfamiliar things scared him the most as he didn’t know what kind of pain he needed to prepare himself.

“Don’t tell me that you are in such a horrible condition that you cannot even speak,” Adonia sighed. “Although, judging by your looks, that wouldn’t be a surprise. Those filthy priests don’t know how to handle a living creature.”
“I can speak,” the immortal said.

+
Action = surprised he spoke? Is it because Adonia called the priest filthy and thus trusted her enough to speak?
+

“Oh, great!” Adonia smiled. “I was afraid that I would be the only one talking here.”

The question of the purpose the noble had brought him here shrouded the immortal’s mind. There was always a reason for buying him. No one would spend money to let him enjoy himself. The pleasure was the last thing ohrols wanted immortals to have.
“And?” Adonia stepped closer to the immortal. She winced as she glanced at him and stepped back once more.
“And what?” the immortal raised his voice.
“Do you like the room?” Adonia was still smiling.
“I—” the immortal hesitated. “I don’t know. I’ve never been in a room like this. I feel uncomfortable.”
“Oh, well that’s not good. I wanted you to feel comfortable. I even gave you one of the softest beds I could find” she said.
“Bed?” the immortal was confused. “What’s that?”

Now, the noble finally showed what the immortal expected to see. Disgust and anger were no longer hidden on her face. This eased his worries, as it was something he experienced. There was less worry about what she would do to him. It would be similar to his previous experiences.

“That thing over there,” Adonia pointed at the big object across the table. “It is for you to sleep on. Please tell me you have used one before.”
“For sleep?” the immortal looked at the bed. “No matter what you do to me, I don’t intend to sleep on it.”

“You don’t intend to sleep on it?” Adonia was puzzled. “Why? It is comfortable and I thought you would be glad not having to sleep on the ground for once.”
“Why would I want to sleep? I always get those horrible visions. I see! You just want to watch me suffer by the visions?” The immortal lashed out. Adonia’s intentions were now clear to him. She was like other nobles, but instead, she would torture him with unusual methods.

+
Action = despite all the talk from before of him being so submissive to how the world works i'm surprised he can talk to the buyer[who he suspects more torture from] so casually and then agressivly, perhaps if there was build up tension he kept from the training that day, speaking softly like a whipped dog trying his best to be in his slavers best graces to prolonge any upcoming pain but the suppressed emotions begin to build up as he responds to Adona and when it gets close to the Bed dialogue, it was the straw that broke the camels back and Immortal lashes out all his anger and aggression from that day and thus speaks to Adona as he never would to other slavers   
+

“Horrible visions? You mean nightmares?” Adonia said. “But dreams can be good as well. Do you not dream of a better life?”

“Good dreams?” the immortal asked. “The only thing I see in my sleep is all of the methods the Surem’s priests used trying to kill me. And there is no such thing as a better life for us immortals. The only thing that could make it better is death.”

+
Action = then why would he consider these visions? Did he mean just seeing stuff in general? Wouldnt he think that his nightmares are apart of the priests torture? Him relieving experiences they already did to him?
+

“Death? That won’t do.” Adonia turned to the table and dragged her finger around the bowl she set there. “I was about to give you quite the opposite.”

The immortal swallowed hard, wondering what the noble was about to do to him. There was no guessing what kind of poison she held in the bowl.

Adonia sighed and turned to face the immortal. “Aren’t you curious what I’m about to offer you?”
“Whatever it is, it couldn’t be good for me,” he answered.

Adonia slammed her fist on the table, startling the immortal.
“Did those wretched Surem’s priests ruin you so far that it’s impossible to speak with you?” she said through her teeth.

The angry outburst frightened the immortal, but it relieved him at the same time. When they were angry, ohrols resorted only to beating him. And the pain from it would vanish soon.

Adonia looked at the immortal and the anger vanished from her face. The immortal trembled as he realized how different she was from other nobles. The unfamiliarity terrified him.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you,” Adonia said. She reached out with her hand but pulled it back. “I have no intention of hurting you.”

He didn’t believe her. The last time an ohrol convinced him that they wouldn’t hurt him was the time he was tortured the most.
“I want to help you.” She smiled, the same way the ohrol which used those tactics smiled.
“Why would you want to help me?” he asked. Perhaps he couldn’t avoid the torture, but he could at least try to ruin her fun of manipulating him.
“Because I want your help back.”
“What could I do? I’m nothing but a pile of bones,” he said, looking at his famished body.

“For now,” she said with a wicked smile. “Allow me to explain.”

The immortal took a deep breath. His first attempt at revealing her lies failed. Adonia seemed smart, but he wouldn’t let her deceive him.
“As you might know, our kingdom of Zehar is very close to the kingdom of Kaligan,” Adonia said.
“I heard about it,” the immortal answered.

+
Action = feels a little odd he heard of this, but it's also odd that Adonia continues to explain despite his answer but goes on to explain as if he said nothing kinda gives a presentation feel
+

“During the war with the Bynor Empire eight years ago, they were our biggest allies. However, that was thanks to our late king and current king of Kaligan being friends. The same cannot be said about the poor excuse of our King Bel, who cares about nothing but himself, and Kaligan’s prince Mael who hungers for power.”
“We are not allies anymore?” the immortal asked.

“No, we are still allies,” she said. “For now, that is. The current king of Kaligan is very sick and it is a matter of time when the illness will claim him. And when Mael becomes king, I doubt things will remain the same.”
“You mean there will be war?” the immortal said looking Adonia in the eyes once more.
“That is correct!” Adonia said.
“And why do you think that?” the immortal asked.
“I knew that Mael was hungry for power the moment I met him. He always tried to be at the top. The only thing he wanted was to be better than anyone else in the army during the Separation war, including me.”

“You fought in the war?” The immortal’s eyes widened hearing that a noble fought in the war. He knew that nobles would fund the war and send troops of their own. But to hear that one of the nobles fought in the war herself astonished him.

“I did fight, but that is beside the point here.” Adonia went back to her explanation. “When our late king passed away I sent a spy to check on Mael since there was no doubt that he would attack us.”

The immortal had no idea what a spy was. Surem’s priests never bothered to teach him about his kind, even less about the rest of the world. He was sure that Adonia used words he didn’t know to confuse him. That way it would be easier to manipulate him.
“Did he attack us?” he asked to move away from things he didn’t understand.
“No, he didn’t. But he’s raising an army and within a couple of years, he will surely attack,” Adonia said. "To counter his plan, I will raise a more unified army and keep Zehar safe from the danger, both internal and external.”
“And you need my help so that the soldiers could practice on me,” the immortal said.

Her intentions were obvious to him now.

He sat onto the bed and sighed in relief as he successfully avoided her deception. Now he was ready for what awaited him.
“Don’t put me up with those two incapable instructors who think that the way to raise a soldier is to let him cut up someone,” Adonia said calmly, but the immortal could feel the anger she tried to suppress. “There’s a reason why the soldiers I train are considered the best, and that is not achieved by letting them hack someone up and calling it training.”

Finally, he met the elusive instructor. He knew there were three of them, but only two used him for their instructions so he always wondered what kind of an ohrol was the third one.

+
Action = the exposition above felt a little heavy and non organic since it's just Adonia laying down facts and Immortal just being there not really contributing, perhaps if it was more of a exchange of information, after all wouldn’t anything involving war be something Immortal knows about since he goes to the barracks often? I'm sure between the stabs and slashes he would hear why these soldiers are preparing for battle as they gouge him throughout the day

Adonia could ask him what does he know about the Kingdom and Immortal could tell what he knows but as he delivers the surface facts that originally Adonia listed above

she instead could either correct his assumption or dive into deeper detail about what is going on behind the scenes so that way the two can bounce off each other similar to what you did before with Boris and Adonia
+

“They always justify it by calling you a monster,” Adonia continued her rant. “But to me, it only proves that they are the monsters, not you. How could they even call you a monster, when you’re in such a miserable state.”

Her words surprised the immortal. “You don’t think I’m a monster?”

“Again” — she let out a deep sigh — “don’t lump me in together with the rest of the idiots who take whatever Surem’s priests tell them as absolute truth. Just because one immortal was a monster, doesn’t mean the rest are.”

The immortal felt hatred in Adonia’s words when she mentioned death god’s priests. It was the same as he felt about them.

Before he said anything, she continued her explanation.

“I would be in command of the army, but someone needs to lead the army in battle.” She pointed at the immortal. “I need someone strong. Someone who will be able to defeat Mael in a fight. There is no way that a normal ohrol would be able to defeat him. And I cannot let General Hon take the credit for it. That is why I need your help.”
“And why would I help you?” The immortal got angry. “After all I went through. After all the pain those like you caused me, you think I will help you?”

"Like I said-" Adonia tried to explain but the immortal cut her off.

“Do you realize how many times I was burned, impaled, poisoned, and whatnot, just because those like you decided I was a monster?” The immortal's body started to hurt from his shouting. He didn’t have enough strength for it, but he couldn’t keep his anger in. Ohrols caused him unbearable pain, and his cursed body never let it end. It always recovered to receive more pain.

There was no greater pain than pain of the death itself.
“I never did anything wrong to anyone! And still, ever since I was born, ohrols wanted me to die.” He swung his hand as strongly as his non-existent muscles allowed him to. Tears dripped down his face. They were one of the few things that didn’t return to his body after being separated.

“After all that I went through,” his voice became frail, “You think that I would help you?”

“Of course not,” Adonia answered. “I already told you that I would give you something in return for your help.”

“The only thing that would satisfy me is death," he said. "And I doubt you could give me that."

“What if I gave you the opposite?” Adonia asked unbothered by the immortal’s outburst.

"And what is that?"

Adonia once more touched the bowl that she set on the table. "Life!"

“Life!?” the immortal’s shout echoed through the room.

He started laughing.
“Life? I’m immortal. I have more life in me than you ever will. And you think you can give me life?”

“That may be true,” Adonia answered calmly. “But can you truly say that the way you lived until now can be called life?”

The immortal didn’t answer her, he just stood gritting his teeth.
“I will show you that there is much more to life than just being alive,” she said.

The immortal paused for a moment. He breathed deeply. “And how will you do that?”
“With this,” Adonia picked up the bowl from the table. “Unfortunately, it is nothing special for now since I don’t know if you could take anything more.”

The immortal leaned in to see what it was. As Adonia turned and put forward the bowl, he saw that there was soup inside of it.

“No!” the immortal jumped back. “No!”

Adonia took another step forward, but the immortal moved back, stumbling onto the bed.

“No!” the immortal trembled. He tried to run further but a wall behind him would not let him through. “I’m not going to eat. I knew you wanted to torture me.”

+
Action = was it not a struggle to even stand before his endless stabbing at the barracks? How is he able to move so much and so easily all of a sudden?
+

A long time has passed since he tasted the food, but the aftermath of it was etched deep down into his memory.

An old female ohrol gave him an apple, or at least something resembling it. Even though it was half rotten, he had bitten into the apple and regretted his decision for multiple reasons. The taste of it was worse than the sludge Surem’s priests were feeding him with when he was a child.

But even more so, he regretted eating the apple because two soldiers saw everything that happened. The female ohrol fled the scene but stood no chance to outrun a young soldier. The soldier cut off her head with no hesitation. There was no hope for anyone who fed immortals. It was an act seen as allying oneself with immortals, which is the greatest sin an ohrol could commit.

Only Surem’s priests were allowed to feed the immortals. Priests knew how to make immortals grow enough to be useful but still kept them from being a threat.

What the other soldier did to him made the immortal scared of tasting food ever again.

+
Action = i'm curious, if a immortal ate himself say he chomped off his own finger for food, would the finger grow back? or would it just pop out of his mouth and place itself back where it was?
+

The soldier drove the pole of his halberd down the immortal’s throat to make him throw up. It lasted for half a day, and the pain of it echoed in his mind for weeks.

“You think I don’t know what happens when someone feeds an immortal?” Adonia said standing in front of the bed. “Do you think I would do this knowing that I would be executed on the spot?”

The immortal scratched the walls with his bony hands, but the walls wouldn’t let him through.
“Don’t worry,” Adonia reassured him. “Nothing will happen. No one is here to see me feed you. Or to see you eating.”

The immortal looked around the room. No one else was in the room, but he couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched. The flickering candle lit the room, but it could help conceal the parts of it as well. The immortal couldn’t trust ohrols.
“I assure you, no one will come into this room,” Adonia said. “I made myself very clear to the servants. No one is allowed to come to the basement. After all, I have no intentions of dying.”
"I'm not eating it," he cried out. "You're not going to fool me."
"Believe me, it's not what you think."

She tried putting the bowl in immortal's hands, but he used all his might to get away from it.

Adonia sighed. "You're leaving me no choice. If you won't take it, I will have to convince you by force."

As she decided to switch to a forceful approach, the immortal realized what he was doing. He reverted to his old self, trying to resist. But he never gained anything from resistance, only obedience reduced the pain.

He reached out to take the bowl and be done with it. The sooner he eats the damn thing, the sooner will she leave him alone.

“I see that you finally realized that I have no intention of hurting you,” she said and handed the bowl.

He grabbed the bowl from the Lady and pulled it closer. She smiled. They always smiled before making him feel the pain.

As he brought the bowl closer, the sweet smell of the soup overcame his senses. Everything else in the room vanished in the moment. The sweet smell must have been used to cover the presence of poison which would cause him pain.
“Eat up,” Adonia said with a smile.

+
Action = as practical as Adonia is, i'm curious if she has a backup plan for immortal, since he could easily feign allegiance until he is strong enough and equipped to betray her and her cause
+

The divine smell of the soup drew his attention away from the wretched noble. Even the anticipated pain vanished from his thoughts. He wanted to consume the soup. If the smell was so sweet, then the taste must be as delightful as the death that avoided him for ages.

He grabbed the spoon and put it into his mouth. The warmth spread through his bones in an instant. His mouth overflowed with pleasure and he could no longer feel his body. Such poison was never used on him before. If he could no longer feel his muscles from a spoonful of the soup, he wondered would the rest be able to separate him from his cursed body.

The immortal grabbed the bowl and drank the soup directly from it. He felt nothing but a warmth within him.

Once he opened his eyes, he hoped that he would be in the other world. In a world where he was no longer immortal. A world without pain.

Seeing the Lady smile at him shattered the illusion. He was still latched by his curse.
“How do you like it?” she said.
“I—” the immortal paused. He was disappointed and relieved at the same time. The warmth lingered in his body, but he couldn’t shake off the unusual feeling in his stomach. “I don’t know,” he immortal answered.

The smile vanished from the Lady’s face.
“I expected more,” Adonia said. “I suppose a simple soup wouldn’t be enough to get you to cooperate. I should bring something better.”
“Simple soup?” the immortal was puzzled. The soup removed the ever-present pain from his body, and she dares call it simple.

“Wait!” The immortal thoughts finally caught up with the senses from his body. He no longer felt the pain in his body. “There’s no poison, is there?” he asked.

“Why would there be any poison? I told you that I want your help.”

Adonia grabbed the bowl from the immortal and carried it to the table. The mellow fragrance of it continued to fill in the room.
“I was afraid that your body might not be able to take anything besides the simplest of soups,” Adonia said. “But I suppose I will have to bring something better to have you on my side.”
“Better than this?” The immortal refused to believe that there could be anything greater than the absence of pain.

“As I said, I would give you a proper life in exchange for your help. And this soup is the smallest fraction of it. And it will be yours to enjoy if you agree to hel—”
“I’ll do whatever you want me to do,” the immortal interrupted. He didn’t care what the Lady wanted from him, as long as he would feel no pain.

+
Action = felt a little off that he is so eager to join her so he wouldn't feel no pain for a cause that will lead to exactly that, it also feels a little off that Adonia is so accepting of his answer as well, knowing his history of suffering and betrayal was all looked over for a bowl of soup, feels like there needs to be a bit more build up then just a single night and a single conversation
+

“I’m glad to hear this,” Adonia smiled. “I hope that we will get along well…” Adonia paused.
“I just realized how rude I was,” she said, bowing her head slightly. “I never asked for your name.”
“Name?” the immortal asked.
“Yes, your name! I was talking with you all this time without asking for your name. What is your name?”
“My name?” the immortal paused. “I have no name.”
“That is no good. Every ohrol needs a name.” Adonia said. “It would be unnerving to not have a name to call you by. What do others usually call you by.”

The immortal lowered his head looking at the shadows playing on the floor. “Monster,” he whispered.

+
Action = i like the emotions and buildup to that line
+

Adonia raised her voice. “Don’t say that! You’re not a monster. It’s those filthy Surem’s priests who put it into your head. But I will prove them wrong. You’re not a monster.”

The immortal looked up. The anger covered her composed face each time she mentioned the priests. He couldn’t blame her.
“If there’s nothing, I will give you the name,” she said.
“Give me the name?” the immortal asked.
“Yes. And I just know the right one!” Adonia exclaimed. “Solus!”
“Solus?”
“Solus!” she said. “From now on, you will be called Solus. I hope you are happy with your name, Solus.”
“I’m—” he paused, feeling thrilled “—happy with it.”

It wasn’t really the name itself that made him happy. He couldn’t stop smiling because, for the first time in his cursed life, someone didn’t call him a monster.
“And why is this name right for me?” Solus asked Adonia.
“I based it on my father’s name,” she said. “He was a child of a foreigner, despised by everyone around him for his difference. And he changed his destiny through effort. I thought you might do the same. I believe you can show to ohrols that you are not a monster they think you are.”
“I don’t care what they think,” Solus said. “Just give me more of the food you promised and I’ll do whatever you want.”
“Splendid,” Adonia said, smiling.

all and all this was a very fun read, a lot of build up and ominous intrigue with the worlds history and characters, so far Adonia has my personal interest and im curious to see what her plans are in later chapters.

other then the issues i listed about throughout the story. this is a solid entry for the slow burning/ dark storys that i myself am a major fan of ^^

looking forward to your work
-Action     

Title: Re: Immortal
Post by: Pavo on November 09, 2021, 06:21:46 AM
Hey Action your feedback really helps. Hope the story manages to live up to the expectations. If not in this version, than at least in the final one.
Title: Re: Immortal
Post by: Pavo on November 09, 2021, 06:22:35 AM
Here's Chapter 4, enjoy.


Spoiler
Two weeks passed since Solus agreed to help Adonia. All the food he was given allowed him to gain muscles. His body changed at an abnormal speed, and it lost the corpse-like appearance immortals had.
Thanks to the baths that Adonia forced him to take, he got rid of all the mud and revealed the Zeharian dark gray skin. Some bones were still showing, but he had built enough muscle to move painlessly.
A palm-sized scar on his chest confused both him and Adonia. Neither knew the reason why it was there, but Adonia said it would be useful for hiding Solus’s identity as immortals didn’t have scars.
Like every morning, the creak of the doors signaled Adonia’s arrival. She carried a basket with two swords poking out.
What will she do to me, crossed Solus’s mind. He immediately regretted his thoughts since Adonia showed nothing but kindness to him.
He peeked into the basket to see what delicacy he would enjoy today, but there were only vials in the basket. “No food?”
“Did you already forget about our deal?” Adonia asked.
“No,” Solus lied. The food occupied his mind all throughout the day. Even when he ate, he wondered what food would bless his taste buds next.
Adonia set the basket on the table and pulled out a sword. It was long and straight, in the usual Zeharian fashion, but slightly thinner than what Solus saw other soldiers use.
“Since you recovered so quickly, I decided it was time for some training,” she said.
“Training?” Solus tilted his head.
“You’ll need a lot of training to lead the new army. And even more to face Mael, which will happen sooner or later.”
Adonia swung the sword at Solus. He jumped back at the last second, avoiding an injury.
“What was that for,” Solus yelled.
Adonia smiled. “I had to check if your reflexes work, or if your immortality rendered them useless.”
“You do realize that being cut still hurts, despite me being an immortal?”
“I’m sorry,” she said. ”If I told you that I was about to strike you, that dodge would not be on reflex.”
“And why is it so important that I use my reflexes to dodge,” Solus said, still angry at Adonia for striking at him unprovoked.
“It would be harder to train your body to avoid injuries if it doesn’t tend to do it on its own,” Adonia explained.
“Avoid injuries?” Solus asked, “But I’m an immortal, it will just heal.”
“That’s true. But as soon as others see that you are an immortal, the whole army, both friend and foe, would turn on you. Following that, I would most definitely lose my head, which I would like to keep where it is.”
Solus nodded. He doubts anyone would be kind to him once they figure out who he is.
Adonia continued her explanation. “And since your body’s regeneration would show your immortality even with the smallest injury, it is of utmost importance that you avoid even the slightest scratch.”
Solus stared at the floor, thinking over the seemingly impossible task set upon him. “It sounds like a normal ohrol would be more suitable for this task.”
“Some opponents you will have to face are too much for a normal ohrol,” Adonia said. “I’m afraid only an immortal is fit for the task.”
“But I’ll still be at a disadvantage if I have to hide my immortality.”
“Trust me, when the time comes to face those fearsome opponents, everyone will be glad to have an immortal to take care of it. And through defeating them, I hope you will manage to change what everyone thinks of immortals .”
Solus understood that Adonia wanted to use him for her cause. No one would interact with him unless they had something to gain. But the idea of someone wanting to help immortals baffled him.
“Why do you care about what others think of immortals?”
She clenched her fist. “Revenge!”
“Against whom?” Solus asked.
“Death!”
Adonia’s answer didn’t satisfy Solus’s curiosity. However, if he could make those who represent death suffer, Solus would gladly help Adonia.
Adonia raised her sword.
“Enough talking! Let’s see what you have.”
Solus tried dodging the oncoming attacks, but the lack of space, combined with the light coming from behind Adonia didn’t allow Solus to dodge effectively. Adonia pulled her attacks and most of them ended up cutting only Solus’s shirt. But each time Adonia warned him that he would have been cut.
She lectured him on how to move his body and which stance to take, but it took time for Solus to apply the teachings. Almost an hour passed before he got the grip of it. He managed to avoid more and more, but within each series of attacks, one or two would end up with a cut in his shirt.
Finally, as Solus dodged all of the attacks and felt the final one wouldn’t touch him either, he bumped into a wall. He put his arm in front to protect himself. Adonia cut off his forearm and slashed his chest.
She screamed and jumped back as blood was about to touch her. Right before her eyes, the blood stopped and returned to Solus. The cut-off hand remained to lie on the floor.
“That was close,” Adonia breathed out in relief.
“Close?! I suppose my hand lying on the floor doesn’t mean much to you.”
“Why is it not coming back?” she asked.
“It’s too far. For me, it has to be fairly close to reattach itself,” Solus explained.
He stepped forward and reached out with his arm. His hand flew back to his body. The force of the reattachment recoiled his hand into the wall, cracking it.

“Sellem’s breath,” Adonia gasped, “you could kill someone with that.”
“Sellem?” Solus looked around searching for the small lizard. “Why would you have that stinking animal in your house?”
“It’s just an expression,” Adonia said, “it is used when something surprises you. Like sellem surprises those unaware of him with his putrid breath.”
“So, no sellems here?” Solus raised his eyebrows.  He scanned the room once more, just to make sure, but besides his bed and the table, there was nothing there.
“I’d sooner die than have one in my house!” Adonia said.
Solus breathed out in relief. Once in the past, a noble locked him up in a room with a whole herd of sellems. He couldn’t shake off the smell for weeks.
“You said that for you, the arm has to be close to reattach itself?” Adonia said, trying to change the topic. “Is it different for others?”
“Yes. Most of our features differ. At least from what I’ve seen,” Solus answered.
“So the force of the reattachment also differs?” Adonia asked.
“Yes, but it’s hard to tell. I believe that when parts would reattach themselves from a greater distance, the force would be weaker. I’d say resilience is the easiest difference to spot.”
“Resilience?” Adonia said.
“That’s what Surem’s priests call our resistance to death. As you know, we’re not truly immortal. Each immortal could be killed, but seems that my resilience is high. So I watched many immortals die, while no method managed to kill me.”
“That’s interesting,” Adonia said, then stood with her arms crossed occupied by her thoughts. “Do you think Seria had a high resilience as well?” she finally asked.
“Seria? I hear that name often. Who is she?” Solus asked.
“Seria is the first immortal and the founder of the Bynor Empire. Unfortunately, she was a paranoid ruler with effective methods of removing anyone who threatened her rule. She’s the very reason why immortals are treated like monsters today.”
“Why?”
“Because she killed anyone who was a threat.” Adonia sighed. “Listen, let’s talk about this later. There’s a lot of things we have to go over today.”
Solus nodded with disappointment. He wanted to know more about the first immortal, but it seemed that Adonia didn’t intend to share.
“I know how you feel right now, but training is of utmost importance now,” Adonia said as if she read his thoughts. “And the sooner we finish, the sooner you get to eat.”
“Let’s train!” Solus jumped knowing he gets to eat afterward. He wondered what new meal he would taste next.
Adonia smiled, and the two continued their training from before. Solus showed slight improvement but plenty of the attacks cut Solus’s shirt noting where he would have been wounded.
After some time, Adonia paused to catch her breath. She looked at Solus, who despite moving around a lot didn’t even sweat.
“Being immortal must be amazing,” she said. “After so much exercise, your breath is still so calm.”
“It’s amazing only if you like pain,” was the only thing Solus said.
“Sorry.” The two turned silent.
“How about I bring you some food, and then I can teach you how to use the sword after lunch,” Adonia said to break the silence.
The mention of food cleared Solus’s mind of any other thought.
It didn’t take long for him to clean his plate when Adonia brought food. Once finished, he jumped to grab the sword.
Unlike the one Adonia used, this sword was in true Zeharian fashion. Long and straight, and with plenty of weight in it.
Never before did Solus use the sword, but soldiers used it on him so often that he was familiar with its capabilities.
“Easy there. You won’t need it yet.”
“No?” Solus raised an eyebrow.
“Instead, we’ll talk about these.” Adonia grabbed one of the vials that she brought earlier.
Solus slumped his shoulders. “But you said you would teach me to use the sword.”
“I will, but you should let your body digest the food you ate. I don’t want you throwing up in my house,” Adonia said.
Solus hesitated but dropped the sword in the end. He didn’t care about Adonia’s house, but he didn’t want to waste the food either. The drumsticks were so delicious he was considering eating even the bones that were left.
“It’s rather important that you know what these do,” Adonia sorted out the vials on the table. “Knowing their effects is a matter of life and death.”
Solus tried to say he can’t die, but she corrected herself before he said anything. “Well, in your case it could reveal your immortality.”
Solus walked over to the table and picked up a vial with a light-blue liquid in it.
“Please tell me you know what scaturr’s spit does, I beg you.” Solus could see the sweat dripping down Adonia’s forehead.
“That’s the one that makes my blood gush out, right?” Solus asked.
“Thank you,” Adonia said with a heavy sigh of relief.
“Why does so much blood come out when it’s used?” Solus asked.
“That’s how scaturr’s spit works. Scaturrs are reptiles that attack their prey with their tongue coated in a deadly spit, which makes the blood gush out. It’s not known why it does that, but ohrols know well how to use it for their own goals,” Adonia explained.
“I hope you understand why it is dangerous to you,” she added.
Solus nodded. If a weapon coated in the spit wounded him, the whole battlefield would notice his immortality.
“If nothing else, you will be able to use it yourself as well,” Adonia said. “But steer clear of the enemies who are using it. Otherwise, it’s over for both of us. No more food for you, and no more living for me.”
Solus ingrained the warning in his head. He didn’t want to go back. Barely two weeks have passed since Adonia gave him his new life, and he wasn’t planning on giving it up.
So far he only had that small room with nothing but a table and a useless bed, but that was incomparable with rotting cells he spent his years before.
“I’ll keep that in mind,” he said.
“Very well, let’s move on to the next vial.”
Adonia neatly put back the vial with scaturr’s spit into the box and picked up a vial with greenish liquid in it. “This one is also very dangerous for you, although I highly doubt you’ve seen this one. It’s called fawg’s essence, and it's made from the brain of the bird you just ate.”
Solus leaned in to look closer at the vial. Even from the color itself, he couldn’t recall seeing it. “What does it do?”
“It would be best if you just felt its effect for yourself,” she said opening the vial. “Drink it.”
“Drink it?”
“Yes. You need to drink it to feel its effect.”
“What’s the taste like?” Solus brought the vial to his nose trying to see what kind of smell it had, but it had none. Although fawg’s meat was delicious, the idea of drinking its brain juices sickened him.
“It has a slightly bitter taste, but if you gulp it down in one go it will not bother you in the slightest,” she reassured him. “Now drink it.”
Solus looked at the vial, wondering what would happen to him. Since drinking it was the only way to find out he clenched his other fist and gulped the liquid all at once. There was a bitter aftertaste like Adonia said it would, but nothing else happened. “I don’t feel anything. Is it not working?” Solus asked.
“Give it a bit of time,” Adonia said.
Soon, Solus’s face started sweating for the first time in his life. Never before did his body get covered in sweat.
“Should this happen?” Solus got worried.
Adonia hesitated. “No, but let’s see if it worked.”
Solus nodded.
“I want you to look me straight into my eyes,” she said.
Solus focused on Adonia’s eyes. She quickly raised her hands to the side and lowered them immediately.
“How many fingers did I put up on each hand?” she asked.
“I have no idea,” Solus answered, baffled by the sudden movement.
Adonia cursed. “That means the essence didn’t work. You should have been able to see it.”
“Perhaps this one was bad,” Solus suggested.
“You’re right,” Adonia grabbed another vial of fawg’s essence and let Solus drink it.
Once more, his face got covered in sweat. This time he was ready for the sudden movement, but he managed to count fingers of one hand only. “Still nothing.”
With another curse, Adonia took another vial and drank it herself. The skin around her eyes tightened, and there was no sweat.
“It’s not the vial. This is bad. It will make things incredibly harder for you.”
“Why?” Solus asked.
“It lets you see multiple things at the same time. It would feel as if you could look multiple ohrols in their eyes at the same time. The essence would make dodging attacks easier for you,” she said. “But with this, it will only be a disadvantage since the enemies will be able to use it, and you won’t.”
Adonia grabbed something else from the table. This time it wasn’t a vial. “Here, try eating this,” she urged Solus.

Solus took a bite of the sweet bar. Adonia tapped her foot as they waited. The power bar, as she called it, took longer to take effect. Finally, brown dots started coming out of Solus’s skin.
For the third time, Adonia cursed.
“Could it be that none of the boosters will work on you?” Adonia paced across the room.
Solus didn’t know what to say. He looked at the nervous Adonia as she mumbled something to herself.
She stopped and turned to Solus, the panic completely vanished from her. Solus couldn’t figure out what was going on inside her head.
“No point in panicking. I’ll figure something out,” she said. “But, I want you to remember that the users of fawg’s essence are extremely dangerous for you.”
“Why is that?” Solus asked.
“Users of the fawg’s essence will have higher odds of wounding you, and no regeneration of yours will go unnoticed by them. They see everything. And then—”
“It’s all over for us,” Solus finished. “Fawg’s essence and scaturr’s spit are bad. How will I be able to notice them?”
“There’s no easy way to tell, you’ll just have to observe,” Adonia answered. “The only time you could see it from the get-go is with the essence addicts.”
“Addicts?” Solus tilted his head.
“Ohrols who are dependent on it,” Adonia explained. “Without it, they cannot see any longer. But when using it, they see it better than a regular user. Fawg’s essence addicts have red skin around their eyes, so it’s easy to spot them.”
“And when I see them, I avoid them at any cost,” Solus said.
“Glad that you catch on easily,” Adonia said.
“As you said, I don’t want to go back to my previous life.”
Adonia smiled and grabbed a sword. She handed it to Solus and said, “Let’s try to end the day with something positive.”
“Finally!” Solus took the sword.
“Before we start with sparring, you need to learn some basic moves,” Adonia said gripping her sword.
“Right,” Solus nodded.
“Since you will be using a shield alongside the sword, you should be in a stance that like this,” Adonia turned her body sideways with her left arm forward, while her sword-holding arm was put slightly backward.
Solus took the same pose as Adonia.
“Now, one of the basic attacks of fighting with a sword and shield is a direct stab,” Adonia said thrusting the sword forward. “Try doing it.”
Solus thrust his sword forward, turning his body along with it and moving his left hand to the side, making it easier to thrust the sword.
“The thrust was good, but you should not turn your body forward so much,” Adonia said. “And more importantly, don’t move your shield-holding arm away so much. You made yourself open for a counter-attack. The less you move it, the more protected you are. And that is most important.”
“Try again,” she said.
Solus thrust his sword the same way as before.
“No good, again!
Solus tried several times, with Adonia repeating “Again!” each time.
After a while, he started keeping his left arm steady.
“Better,” Adonia said.
By dinner time, they stopped. Adonia brought the food, which Solus slurped up in seconds.
“We will continue with the training in the morning,” Adonia said. “You should rest for now.”
As Adonia left, Solus looked at the sword and decided to do a few more thrusts before resting.
He grabbed the sword and took the stance. Before each thrust, he tried to imagine all the ohrols who hurt him as his targets. As he held the sword, he regretted that he didn’t pay more attention to those who brought him pain, especially the soldier from two weeks ago.
She was the one he wanted to get back at the most. Unfortunately, back then he was hopeless and saw no point in remembering others’ faces.
As he kept attacking his vague imaginary targets, the doors creaked open as Adonia walked in.
“Oh, it’s morning already.” The passage of time surprised Solus.
“Don’t tell me you continued practicing the whole night,” Adonia gasped.
“I guess,” Solus said scratching his head.
“Didn’t you sleep at least a little bit?” she asked.
“No. I already told you that I don’t need to sleep,” Solus answered.
“Is that so,” Adonia grinned. “Then, things might not turn out to be as bad as I feared them to be.”


Title: Re: Immortal
Post by: Action Animation on November 09, 2021, 03:05:17 PM
Chapter 4 Review
Spoiler
Two weeks passed since Solus agreed to help Adonia. All the food he was given allowed him to gain muscles. His body changed at an abnormal speed, and it lost the corpse-like appearance immortals had.
Thanks to the baths that Adonia forced him to take, he got rid of all the mud and revealed the Zeharian dark gray skin. Some bones were still showing, but he had built enough muscle to move painlessly.
A palm-sized scar on his chest confused both him and Adonia. Neither knew the reason why it was there, but Adonia said it would be useful for hiding Solus’s identity as immortals didn’t have scars.
Like every morning, the creak of the doors signaled Adonia’s arrival. She carried a basket with two swords poking out.

+
Action = feels like this intro is a tad bit brief, over the course of two weeks did neither of them have any change of thoughts too one another? Solis or Adonia?

With the dialogue and interactions preceding this, it feels more like the next day
+

What will she do to me, crossed Solus’s mind. He immediately regretted his thoughts since Adonia showed nothing but kindness to him.
He peeked into the basket to see what delicacy he would enjoy today, but there were only vials in the basket. “No food?”
“Did you already forget about our deal?” Adonia asked.
“No,” Solus lied. The food occupied his mind all throughout the day. Even when he ate, he wondered what food would bless his taste buds next.
Adonia set the basket on the table and pulled out a sword. It was long and straight, in the usual Zeharian fashion, but slightly thinner than what Solus saw other soldiers use.
“Since you recovered so quickly, I decided it was time for some training,” she said.
“Training?” Solus tilted his head.
“You’ll need a lot of training to lead the new army. And even more to face Mael, which will happen sooner or later.”
Adonia swung the sword at Solus. He jumped back at the last second, avoiding an injury.
“What was that for,” Solus yelled.
Adonia smiled. “I had to check if your reflexes work, or if your immortality rendered them useless.”
“You do realize that being cut still hurts, despite me being an immortal?”
“I’m sorry,” she said. ”If I told you that I was about to strike you, that dodge would not be on reflex.”
“And why is it so important that I use my reflexes to dodge,” Solus said, still angry at Adonia for striking at him unprovoked.
“It would be harder to train your body to avoid injuries if it doesn’t tend to do it on its own,” Adonia explained.
“Avoid injuries?” Solus asked, “But I’m an immortal, it will just heal.”

+
Action = that's actually a good point, how does Solis know how to dodge when he has spent his entire life taking hits? Especially if he even admits to rely on his healing factor
+

“That’s true. But as soon as others see that you are an immortal, the whole army, both friend and foe, would turn on you. Following that, I would most definitely lose my head, which I would like to keep where it is.”
Solus nodded. He doubts anyone would be kind to him once they figure out who he is.
Adonia continued her explanation. “And since your body’s regeneration would show your immortality even with the smallest injury, it is of utmost importance that you avoid even the slightest scratch.”
Solus stared at the floor, thinking over the seemingly impossible task set upon him. “It sounds like a normal ohrol would be more suitable for this task.”
“Some opponents you will have to face are too much for a normal ohrol,” Adonia said. “I’m afraid only an immortal is fit for the task.”
“But I’ll still be at a disadvantage if I have to hide my immortality.”
“Trust me, when the time comes to face those fearsome opponents, everyone will be glad to have an immortal to take care of it. And through defeating them, I hope you will manage to change what everyone thinks of immortals .”
Solus understood that Adonia wanted to use him for her cause. No one would interact with him unless they had something to gain. But the idea of someone wanting to help immortals baffled him.
“Why do you care about what others think of immortals?”
She clenched her fist. “Revenge!”
“Against whom?” Solus asked.
“Death!”
Adonia’s answer didn’t satisfy Solus’s curiosity. However, if he could make those who represent death suffer, Solus would gladly help Adonia.
Adonia raised her sword.
“Enough talking! Let’s see what you have.”
Solus tried dodging the oncoming attacks, but the lack of space, combined with the light coming from behind Adonia didn’t allow Solus to dodge effectively. Adonia pulled her attacks and most of them ended up cutting only Solus’s shirt. But each time Adonia warned him that he would have been cut.
She lectured him on how to move his body and which stance to take, but it took time for Solus to apply the teachings. Almost an hour passed before he got the grip of it. He managed to avoid more and more, but within each series of attacks, one or two would end up with a cut in his shirt.

+
Action = for someone who was traumatized all his life with violence that he could not escape it even in his dreams, it feels a little strange that he is so calm and collected about anyone wielding a weapon and swinging it at him, especially with Adonia since she was so keen on breaking in Solis knowing his horrible situation
Empty room with a soft bed
A simple soup
It shows she make soft approaches to him but here she skips right to swinging a blade with no regard
+

Finally, as Solus dodged all of the attacks and felt the final one wouldn’t touch him either, he bumped into a wall. He put his arm in front to protect himself. Adonia cut off his forearm and slashed his chest.
She screamed and jumped back as blood was about to touch her. Right before her eyes, the blood stopped and returned to Solus. The cut-off hand remained to lie on the floor.
“That was close,” Adonia breathed out in relief.
“Close?! I suppose my hand lying on the floor doesn’t mean much to you.”
“Why is it not coming back?” she asked.
“It’s too far. For me, it has to be fairly close to reattach itself,” Solus explained.
He stepped forward and reached out with his arm. His hand flew back to his body. The force of the reattachment recoiled his hand into the wall, cracking it.

“Sellem’s breath,” Adonia gasped, “you could kill someone with that.”
“Sellem?” Solus looked around searching for the small lizard. “Why would you have that stinking animal in your house?”
“It’s just an expression,” Adonia said, “it is used when something surprises you. Like sellem surprises those unaware of him with his putrid breath.”

+
Action = it feels rather off with how much and how little Solis knows, at times he feels like a alien who is experiencing things for the first time but other times he seems very familiar with everything around him
I doubt someone schooled this immortal to understand english since Solis described his life as being beaten and bloodied at a young age so i can only assume he learned how to speak just by hearing other people talk

Yet in all his countless years he never heard of this saying?

And if some immortals could reattach limbs with the force that could crack a wall, and other immortals have other unknown abilities wouldn’t there be too much risk to use bladed weapons against an unknown immortal's power?
+


“So, no sellems here?” Solus raised his eyebrows.  He scanned the room once more, just to make sure, but besides his bed and the table, there was nothing there.
“I’d sooner die than have one in my house!” Adonia said.
Solus breathed out in relief. Once in the past, a noble locked him up in a room with a whole herd of sellems. He couldn’t shake off the smell for weeks.
“You said that for you, the arm has to be close to reattach itself?” Adonia said, trying to change the topic. “Is it different for others?”
“Yes. Most of our features differ. At least from what I’ve seen,” Solus answered.
“So the force of the reattachment also differs?” Adonia asked.
“Yes, but it’s hard to tell. I believe that when parts would reattach themselves from a greater distance, the force would be weaker. I’d say resilience is the easiest difference to spot.”
“Resilience?” Adonia said.
“That’s what Surem’s priests call our resistance to death. As you know, we’re not truly immortal. Each immortal could be killed, but seems that my resilience is high. So I watched many immortals die, while no method managed to kill me.”
“That’s interesting,” Adonia said, then stood with her arms crossed occupied by her thoughts. “Do you think Seria had a high resilience as well?” she finally asked.
“Seria? I hear that name often. Who is she?” Solus asked.
“Seria is the first immortal and the founder of the Bynor Empire. Unfortunately, she was a paranoid ruler with effective methods of removing anyone who threatened her rule. She’s the very reason why immortals are treated like monsters today.”

+
Action = if immortals are seen as such a threat that even kingdoms seek their destruction for fear of someone like Seria to reappear then why are they tolerated at all? Immortals have shown only regenerative abilities but other then that they are no stronger than regular people, otherwise this story would have shown them as the dominant species, yet they are hunted down and now are few in number.

So It feels off with this world building because we are told how much the immortals are seen as a threat but then nobody is taking any sort of precaution, they treat them like abused pets

The way this fear and hatred is described it would seem like any immortal that was caught would be buried alive or tied to a rock and tossed into the sea

Both ways would quickly erase the presence of immortals with ease
+


“Why?”
“Because she killed anyone who was a threat.” Adonia sighed. “Listen, let’s talk about this later. There’s a lot of things we have to go over today.”
Solus nodded with disappointment. He wanted to know more about the first immortal, but it seemed that Adonia didn’t intend to share.
“I know how you feel right now, but training is of utmost importance now,” Adonia said as if she read his thoughts. “And the sooner we finish, the sooner you get to eat.”
“Let’s train!” Solus jumped knowing he gets to eat afterward. He wondered what new meal he would taste next.
Adonia smiled, and the two continued their training from before. Solus showed slight improvement but plenty of the attacks cut Solus’s shirt noting where he would have been wounded.
After some time, Adonia paused to catch her breath. She looked at Solus, who despite moving around a lot didn’t even sweat.
“Being immortal must be amazing,” she said. “After so much exercise, your breath is still so calm.”
“It’s amazing only if you like pain,” was the only thing Solus said.

+
Action = is solis over his traumatic past? Seeing him make these churlish remarks really feels like whiplash since a lot of the earlier chapters he was so bleak and untrusting and did anything to avoid pain

But now 2 weeks later he got some food and sworn himself to a cause that leads him to that very issue
but also has keen reflexive instincts despite having relied on his healing factor all his immortal life 
is also able to allow someone to swing a weapon that was used to spill his blood since his childhood While still being able to make light of his past

It's so jarring and makes it hard to get behind solis as a character, it honestly feels like this is someone else that just doesn't have any of Solis issues 
+

“Sorry.” The two turned silent.
“How about I bring you some food, and then I can teach you how to use the sword after lunch,” Adonia said to break the silence.
The mention of food cleared Solus’s mind of any other thought.
It didn’t take long for him to clean his plate when Adonia brought food. Once finished, he jumped to grab the sword.
Unlike the one Adonia used, this sword was in true Zeharian fashion. Long and straight, and with plenty of weight in it.
Never before did Solus use the sword, but soldiers used it on him so often that he was familiar with its capabilities.
“Easy there. You won’t need it yet.”
“No?” Solus raised an eyebrow.
“Instead, we’ll talk about these.” Adonia grabbed one of the vials that she brought earlier.
Solus slumped his shoulders. “But you said you would teach me to use the sword.”
“I will, but you should let your body digest the food you ate. I don’t want you throwing up in my house,” Adonia said.
Solus hesitated but dropped the sword in the end. He didn’t care about Adonia’s house, but he didn’t want to waste the food either. The drumsticks were so delicious he was considering eating even the bones that were left.
“It’s rather important that you know what these do,” Adonia sorted out the vials on the table. “Knowing their effects is a matter of life and death.”
Solus tried to say he can’t die, but she corrected herself before he said anything. “Well, in your case it could reveal your immortality.”
Solus walked over to the table and picked up a vial with a light-blue liquid in it.
“Please tell me you know what scaturr’s spit does, I beg you.” Solus could see the sweat dripping down Adonia’s forehead.
“That’s the one that makes my blood gush out, right?” Solus asked.
“Thank you,” Adonia said with a heavy sigh of relief.
“Why does so much blood come out when it’s used?” Solus asked.
“That’s how scaturr’s spit works. Scaturrs are reptiles that attack their prey with their tongue coated in a deadly spit, which makes the blood gush out. It’s not known why it does that, but ohrols know well how to use it for their own goals,” Adonia explained.
“I hope you understand why it is dangerous to you,” she added.
Solus nodded. If a weapon coated in the spit wounded him, the whole battlefield would notice his immortality.

+
Action = why would army's use it, if immortals are so few in number? Do they expect to fight immortals on the battlefield even though they are hated? I suppose they could use it on a human but we bleed out pretty quickly on our own, but if they have so much of this supply they can pass it out to armies and you have made it clear all immortals must die then wouldn't that be the killing blow for Solis?
So far hes only regenerated from broken/reattached limbs but if say they bleed him out using the abundance of that Scaturr stuff and just separate the blood from him, Solis would not be able to move

Actually that could apply to all immortals, if kingdoms really hated immortals then wouldnt hacking them into tiny pieces then burying those pieces in the far corners of their land solve everything?

+

“If nothing else, you will be able to use it yourself as well,” Adonia said. “But steer clear of the enemies who are using it. Otherwise, it’s over for both of us. No more food for you, and no more living for me.”
Solus ingrained the warning in his head. He didn’t want to go back. Barely two weeks have passed since Adonia gave him his new life, and he wasn’t planning on giving it up.
So far he only had that small room with nothing but a table and a useless bed, but that was incomparable with rotting cells he spent his years before.
“I’ll keep that in mind,” he said.
“Very well, let’s move on to the next vial.”
Adonia neatly put back the vial with scaturr’s spit into the box and picked up a vial with greenish liquid in it. “This one is also very dangerous for you, although I highly doubt you’ve seen this one. It’s called fawg’s essence, and it's made from the brain of the bird you just ate.”
Solus leaned in to look closer at the vial. Even from the color itself, he couldn’t recall seeing it. “What does it do?”
“It would be best if you just felt its effect for yourself,” she said opening the vial. “Drink it.”
“Drink it?”
“Yes. You need to drink it to feel its effect.”
“What’s the taste like?” Solus brought the vial to his nose trying to see what kind of smell it had, but it had none. Although fawg’s meat was delicious, the idea of drinking its brain juices sickened him.
“It has a slightly bitter taste, but if you gulp it down in one go it will not bother you in the slightest,” she reassured him. “Now drink it.”
Solus looked at the vial, wondering what would happen to him. Since drinking it was the only way to find out he clenched his other fist and gulped the liquid all at once. There was a bitter aftertaste like Adonia said it would, but nothing else happened. “I don’t feel anything. Is it not working?” Solus asked.
“Give it a bit of time,” Adonia said.
Soon, Solus’s face started sweating for the first time in his life. Never before did his body get covered in sweat.
“Should this happen?” Solus got worried.
Adonia hesitated. “No, but let’s see if it worked.”
Solus nodded.
“I want you to look me straight into my eyes,” she said.
Solus focused on Adonia’s eyes. She quickly raised her hands to the side and lowered them immediately.
“How many fingers did I put up on each hand?” she asked.
“I have no idea,” Solus answered, baffled by the sudden movement.
Adonia cursed. “That means the essence didn’t work. You should have been able to see it.”
“Perhaps this one was bad,” Solus suggested.

+
Action = is this really not raising any flags for Solis? The mystery liquid not having a expected effect AND Adonia the girl he trusted refusing to answer what the Vial even does? This is also extremely out of character of Adonia who has been up front with her reasons to show Solis they are on equal ground of trust and her intentions but is suddenly coy about this liquid 
+

“You’re right,” Adonia grabbed another vial of fawg’s essence and let Solus drink it.
Once more, his face got covered in sweat. This time he was ready for the sudden movement, but he managed to count fingers of one hand only. “Still nothing.”
With another curse, Adonia took another vial and drank it herself. The skin around her eyes tightened, and there was no sweat.
“It’s not the vial. This is bad. It will make things incredibly harder for you.”
“Why?” Solus asked.
“It lets you see multiple things at the same time. It would feel as if you could look multiple ohrols in their eyes at the same time. The essence would make dodging attacks easier for you,” she said. “But with this, it will only be a disadvantage since the enemies will be able to use it, and you won’t.”
Adonia grabbed something else from the table. This time it wasn’t a vial. “Here, try eating this,” she urged Solus.

Solus took a bite of the sweet bar. Adonia tapped her foot as they waited. The power bar, as she called it, took longer to take effect. Finally, brown dots started coming out of Solus’s skin.
+
Action = i find it strange since none of the boosters work yet the Scaturr spit does, If it's magic i would understand that Immortals just can't absorb it but it's just food that is absorbed then how does the scaturr spit affect him?

the Scaturr spit sounds like chemicals that prevents blood from clotting which is just a 2nd chemical being injected into the wound to allow continues blood flow

That or it somehow induces hemophilia

Either way both ingredients are are secondary elements that are absorbed and spread via our blood stream

If you got a hidden reason then don't mind this ^^
+
For the third time, Adonia cursed.
“Could it be that none of the boosters will work on you?” Adonia paced across the room.
Solus didn’t know what to say. He looked at the nervous Adonia as she mumbled something to herself.
She stopped and turned to Solus, the panic completely vanished from her. Solus couldn’t figure out what was going on inside her head.
“No point in panicking. I’ll figure something out,” she said. “But, I want you to remember that the users of fawg’s essence are extremely dangerous for you.”
“Why is that?” Solus asked.
“Users of the fawg’s essence will have higher odds of wounding you, and no regeneration of yours will go unnoticed by them. They see everything. And then—”
“It’s all over for us,” Solus finished. “Fawg’s essence and scaturr’s spit are bad. How will I be able to notice them?”
“There’s no easy way to tell, you’ll just have to observe,” Adonia answered. “The only time you could see it from the get-go is with the essence addicts.”
“Addicts?” Solus tilted his head.
“Ohrols who are dependent on it,” Adonia explained. “Without it, they cannot see any longer. But when using it, they see it better than a regular user. Fawg’s essence addicts have red skin around their eyes, so it’s easy to spot them.”
“And when I see them, I avoid them at any cost,” Solus said.
“Glad that you catch on easily,” Adonia said.
“As you said, I don’t want to go back to my previous life.”
Adonia smiled and grabbed a sword. She handed it to Solus and said, “Let’s try to end the day with something positive.”
“Finally!” Solus took the sword.
“Before we start with sparring, you need to learn some basic moves,” Adonia said gripping her sword.
“Right,” Solus nodded.
“Since you will be using a shield alongside the sword, you should be in a stance that like this,” Adonia turned her body sideways with her left arm forward, while her sword-holding arm was put slightly backward.
Solus took the same pose as Adonia.
“Now, one of the basic attacks of fighting with a sword and shield is a direct stab,” Adonia said thrusting the sword forward. “Try doing it.”
Solus thrust his sword forward, turning his body along with it and moving his left hand to the side, making it easier to thrust the sword.
“The thrust was good, but you should not turn your body forward so much,” Adonia said. “And more importantly, don’t move your shield-holding arm away so much. You made yourself open for a counter-attack. The less you move it, the more protected you are. And that is most important.”
“Try again,” she said.
Solus thrust his sword the same way as before.
“No good, again!
Solus tried several times, with Adonia repeating “Again!” each time.
After a while, he started keeping his left arm steady.
“Better,” Adonia said.
By dinner time, they stopped. Adonia brought the food, which Solus slurped up in seconds.
“We will continue with the training in the morning,” Adonia said. “You should rest for now.”
As Adonia left, Solus looked at the sword and decided to do a few more thrusts before resting.
He grabbed the sword and took the stance. Before each thrust, he tried to imagine all the ohrols who hurt him as his targets. As he held the sword, he regretted that he didn’t pay more attention to those who brought him pain, especially the soldier from two weeks ago.
She was the one he wanted to get back at the most. Unfortunately, back then he was hopeless and saw no point in remembering others’ faces.
As he kept attacking his vague imaginary targets, the doors creaked open as Adonia walked in.
“Oh, it’s morning already.” The passage of time surprised Solus.
“Don’t tell me you continued practicing the whole night,” Adonia gasped.
“I guess,” Solus said scratching his head.
“Didn’t you sleep at least a little bit?” she asked.
“No. I already told you that I don’t need to sleep,” Solus answered.
“Is that so,” Adonia grinned. “Then, things might not turn out to be as bad as I feared them to be.”

+
This one felt a little off due to the world building and character dialogue especially Solis personality

I mentioned it above but the complete 180 the guy makes feels like the entire first chapters feel hollow [at least to me]
 
There was no build up, no stubtle change from the skittish and mistrusting person Solis was to who he became in chapter 4, all those issues described and built up over centuries of torture just no longer bothered him any more.

If you started from chapter 4 you would never have guessed Immortal and solis were the same person, chapter 4 solis seems just like a normal dude with grim remarks who knows very little about the world

Adonia also took a hit in her personality since she was so soft and was willing to ease Solis to friendship knowing the hell he has been through yet suddenly she starts acting with no regard to how Solis would feel

And Solis never seems to have a problem with that, again nothing of his past troubles ever come up again

The other hit was the world building and the plot within it

Frankly the stakes and issues no longer feel genuine when you tell your audience that a immortal tyrant savage rule has fueled the hatred and fear for the immortals to such a degree that entire kingdoms seek to destroy them because they think another tyrant can rise up

it all falls flat when we are shown nothing to prove that fact
 
You say the world is afraid of immortals due to the fear of a powerful tyrant but we have only seen hatred of people stepping over them and treating them like trash, how could there be fear of them if they are seen as no bigger threat than a ant?

It would be the equivalent of saying we fear this animal race [let's say a bear] but we as humans put that bear in a cage
Hardly fed it
Refuse any of it's needs to the point it can no longer move
Stab it because we are board and angry
And it can do nothing to fight back

Centuries pass with this method going on, ancestors, childrens, childrens, childrens would grow up only seeing this weak bear species unable to do anything

So why would they be afraid? they would feel the same kind of security as we do going to the zoo

There might even be cruel customs born from this 

Like allowing children 1 hour to burn the immortal alive or who could make the immortal bleed the most
ect

imagine you as a kid being told by your parents torturing this Immortal is just fine and is something they did when they were younger because there are no consequences to mistreating Immortals. 

But then in your world building you mention that their fear and hatred is so strong that even helping a immortal is a cause for instant execution

yet you have them in the common place within the kingdom? if their existence is so feared, why would they keep them around? Why would they chance another tyrant?

Especially If immortals serve no purpose other then a punching bag or play thing that is a lot of risk for such a mundane benefit 

Imagine If you were this kingdoms King and you were waging war against an immortal tyrant and knew full well that one or more immortals live on your lands

You have seen first hand how powerful ONE can be

Would you honestly be satisfied by being told the ones in your kingdom are simply malnourished thus are safe?

Would you be able to rest at night knowing the Heirs to your throne might have to deal with an immortal uprising because you decided keeping them weak was enough?

If you hated these beings so much, What would you do to get rid of this threat? If you could not kill them, what is the next best thing to do?

Depending on your answer. That was the world you were trying to sell at the beginning of the story but none of those ideals or world building is being show here

One way around this is extreme compromise between the kingdom and the immortals in it

By that i mean The Immortals really need a place in this society
A job or some kind of task that nobody else can do that requires a healing factor
 
Something that the kingdom desperately needs to either sustain itself and it's rule or win the war against the immortal tyrant

Otherwise why would they take such a large risk when they could eliminate it and suffer no loss in the kingdom's rule?

If you need me to elaborate on anything please let me know, Despite all i said above i do like the ideas of this story but the world building is not reflecting on the characters and vice versa ^^
-Action
Title: Re: Immortal
Post by: Pavo on November 10, 2021, 07:47:08 AM
Wow, that review was fast, Action.

Finally, someone pointed out some of the issues with worldbuilding that I didn't see before. On the workshop, they always kept to the technicalities, instead of giving any feedback about the story itself.
The issue in the change of Solus is the biggest one that I have to overcome, and I'm wondering if I should start the story at an earlier point in the story. But that's something I'll have to figure out once I let you all read the current version of it.

Most of your questions on worldbuilding should be answered throughout the story, I simply didn't want to make the huge info dump at the start of the book. But starting earlier might answer that better.

The only thing I will explain here, as it might be confusing otherwise, is that the boosters don't work as they have to be absorbed into the body, whereas Scaturr's spit works because it reacts on contact, instead of having to be absorbed.
Title: Re: Immortal
Post by: Pavo on December 10, 2021, 06:56:31 AM
I've been a bit absent last month so here's double chapter to make up for it, and I'll post another quite soon.

Chapter 5:

Spoiler
As the weeks went by, Solus’s skill improved, although somewhat slow compared to the changes in his body. Although not even two months have passed since he had first tasted proper food, he looked like a seasoned warrior. Adonia said that many of her fellow warriors would be jealous of his muscles.
Solus was rather proud of his body, even though Adonia dismissed it as another perk of his immortality. Instead, she would always reprimand him to focus more on the skill.
“Skill wins you the war,” she always said and promptly backed it up by defeating Solus as if he were a child.
Solus was reaching a point where he could react to Adonia’s attacks and avoid all of them.
In the morning, he decided that he wouldn’t get a single wound on himself, but Adonia proved him wrong.
How can it be so different from yesterday, Solus thought, dodging Adonia’s blows by a hair’s width. His shirt was so cut up that it could be reused as a net. Each hole showcased a spot where the sword cut him. At first, Adonia kept holding back her attacks to avoid getting blood on herself, but Solus insisted that he would learn more if she attacked him for real. The pain would teach him to dodge. Finally, Adonia compromised and agreed to wound him, but only with minor cuts.
Just as he dodged another slash from Adonia, she changed the trajectory of the attack midway and cut Solus’s cheek. A small amount of blood spurted from there, but soon it returned to his body making his face unharmed.
“If I used scaturr’s spit there, the whole world would see that you are an immortal,” Adonia said.
As she stood in front of Solus, the difference in their physique was obvious. Adonia was bulkier than Solus, and it wasn’t that she built up her muscles overnight. Not even Solus’s immortal body could do it.
Adonia was under the effect of a muscle bar, as she called it. Another one of the boosters that were used by ohrol warriors. Made from another animal, whose complicated name Solus forgot. The bar would temporarily increase the muscle mass of its consumer, and through it increases their strength.
Adonia didn’t wait for Solus’s response to unleash another flurry of attacks.
Solus swayed to dodge, but once again Adonia adjusted her attack to wound him. He stood no chance against her while she was using the boosters.
Even when Solus had a chance to strike back it was of no use. Against fawg’s essence user, only pure speed or strength would work since hardly anything goes unnoticed by them. And here, the strength was not an option either due to the power bar lending strength to Adonia.
“That’s enough for the day,” Adonia said as she dodged several attacks. Just as she said it, her body shrunk to its normal size and she didn’t try to hide the pain the aftereffects of the power bar imposed on her.
Solus couldn’t help but be disappointed in himself. He was set on showing his progress to Adonia today, but he ended up being dominated by her.
“Will we train more after lunch?” Solus asked, hoping to get another chance.
“No!” Adonia said.
Solus slouched his shoulders. “Why not? There’s plenty more time.”
“Look, not everyone is immortal like you. I need rest,” Adonia scolded him. “Besides, you have no idea how much it hurts when the power bar’s effect runs out.”
“I think I do,” Solus said, doubting that it hurt more than death itself.
Adonia turned her head. “Sorry, that was thoughtless of me.”
“It’s not you that has hurt me,” Solus shrugged it off.
“Anyway, I want you to wash up and change your clothes,” Adonia said after standing in awkward silence for longer than either of them wanted.
“What’s wrong with these clothes?” Solus looked at his shirt covered up in cuts. “It’s not like it’s completely cut up.”
“Do you believe that?”
Solus blushed. He knew very well that the net he wore was useless, but each shirt he put on ended up the same way. He wanted to be able to dodge all attacks before he would put on new clothes.
“I want you in fresh clothes,” Adonia continued. “Today, you’re moving out.”
“Moving out?” Solus gasped.
“Yes, you look like a normal ohrol now. There’s no reason for hiding you any longer. At least not from ohrols in my house.”
The idea of leaving the room puzzled him. In here, no one was treating him like a monster.
“What’s wrong? I thought you’d be happy to get outside of this cramped room,” Adonia said.
“This room has been kinder to me than the outside,” Solus answered.
“This time, it will be different. I promise,” Adonia smiled.
Solus made no response, instead, he obeyed Adonia’s orders and readied himself to leave the room. He hoped Adonia’s words would be true.
###
Once Solus cleaned himself up, Adonia returned to lead him out of the room.
“Before we leave, I want to go over a few things,” she said.
“And those would be?” Solus asked.
Adonia walked over to the table and raised Solus’s netted shirt. “Most important one is, no more wounds. Outside of this room, not a soul is to find out that you’re an immortal,” Adonia said. “That includes ohrols who live in this house.”
Solus nodded, “I don’t intend to go back, so I’ll keep my immortality a secret.”
“And what was your background?” Adonia asked as she walked over to the basin to wash her hands.
“My name is Solus, age 21,” Solus said to show Adonia that he remembered, “I grew up in Kingdom of Remser where you bought me a year ago.”
“That’s the gist of it.” Adonia smiled as her hands were cleaned. She insisted on going over the details as well, so she didn’t spare Solus of it. “You were raised to become mercenary in Remser. The Kingdom is well known for turning orphans into mercenaries selling them to Remserian nobles once they finish training.”
“Anything else?” Solus asked, slightly annoyed by Adonia’s repeating of the story. But he couldn’t blame her. Her life depended on the secret being kept. And he owed his life to her, so he would fulfill her wishes.
Adonia turned off the water, finally satisfied with cleaning her hands. It surprised Solus that she even touched his shirt.
“You need to sleep!” Adonia said. “Ohrols have to sleep, and you can’t train all night. Someone will notice it.”
Solus’ eyes widened. “But I get horrible visions when I sleep. It just reminds me of how Surem’s priests treated me.”
Adonia sighed, “I forgot about that, my apologies. You do not have to sleep, it should be enough if you spend the nights in your room and make no noise. Just lay on your bed in the room.”
Solus looked at the bed in his current room. He hasn’t used it for a single moment, despite Adonia getting him the best one she could find. Or at least that was what she claimed.
“I think I could do that,” Solus answered.
Pleased with the answer, Adonia said, “Then we can leave. Please take the swords and the shield. The rest you can leave on the table.”
Solus followed behind Adonia and went into a dark corridor. The only source of light was a torch which Adonia picked up. It didn’t take them long to get to the end of the corridor. And as Adonia opened the door, daylight seeped through.
The beauty of the daylight pushed away any doubts Solus had about leaving the room. He spent a long time without it in the past, but only now did he feel its beauty.
“Are you coming?” Adonia said, already on the other side of the door.
Solus shook his head. “Yes.”
He walked through the door and climbed the stairs with Adonia. At the top of the stairs, a young female ohrol awaited them.
“Here’s your coat, my Lady,” the ohrol raised the coat.
“Thank you, Amana,” Adonia said as she put on her coat. It was never cold enough in Zehar to warrant a coat, but Solus knew that nobles wore them to distinguish themselves from lower ohrols. In this regard, Adonia was the same as others.
But he knew that she was different in all other aspects. After all, she was the first one to treat him like a normal ohrol and not a monster.
As Adonia took the coat, Solus noticed that Amana was missing her left hand. He looked at his left hand holding a shield. It never crossed his mind that someone could be without a limb. Perhaps for the first time in his life, he was grateful for his immortality.
His thoughts were interrupted by Adonia clearing her throat loudly. “You’re being rude!”
Solus blushed. He wanted to apologize but ended up staring with his mouth opened wide.
“When you meet someone for the first time, you should introduce yourself,” Adonia scolded him.
“Huh?” Solus snapped out of his thoughts and closed his mouth. He thought his stare was rude.
Adonia sighed, “I suppose it will take a bit more for you to learn proper manners.” She turned to Amana, “I leave that task to you and Ellea.”
“We’ll try our best, my Lady,” Amana smiled and bowed her head.
“Thank you. Please start by showing him how to introduce himself,” Adonia said.
Amana nodded and turned towards Solus.
“My name is Amana. I’m in charge of keeping the house clean. Pleased to meet you,” she bowed her head slightly.
Seeing Amana introduce herself, Solus attempted to introduce himself.
“My name is Solus. I’m in charge of—” he paused in confusion “Honestly, I have no idea what I’m in charge of.”
“You’re in charge of being a fool, that’s what you are,” Adonia said as she turned to leave. “Amana, make sure he learns it before he embarrasses me in front of the whole world.”
Amana smiled. “Yes, my Lady.”
“She will show you around the house. After you finish your lunch, come visit me in my room,” Adonia said and left.
Both bowed as Adonia left.
“Well,” Amana turned and smiled at Solus, “please come this way. I can help you carry the weapons if you want.”
Solus wondered how she could smile. He was so used to being despised by everyone. Based on Adonia’s words, Amana didn’t know that he was an immortal so it might have been ignored.
But looking at her missing arm, Solus thought that she had no reason to be happy. And everything about her radiated happiness. On top of her smile, the clothes she wore were cheerfully colorful and disturbingly unusual for Zehar. Brown was the color that drowned the Zeharian citizens.
Solus didn’t know the reason for having everything in brown. Not even noble Ladies wore bright colors and Amana was a servant. Amana’s green dress matched the color of her long hair, although it was brighter and it stood out on her gray skin.
Looking around, Solus noticed that everything in Adonia’s house was mixed with colors, and hardly any corner wasn’t adorned with flowers.
He learned that their purpose is purely for decoration, but he felt that seeing and smelling flowers raised his spirits.
As Solus followed Amana through the house, he caught himself several times enjoying the view of the house. Amana would urge him to move as he would have more time later to enjoy the gardens. After she had to urge him for the third time, Solus gave all of his attention to not slowing Amana down.
“This is where we eat,” Amana pointed out as they entered the dining room. “The rattle that you hear in the back is Ellea.”
“Did someone call me,” Ellea came out as if summoned by the mention of her name?
Unlike Adonia and Amana, Ellea had short brown hair, and her skin tone bordered with black, which blended in with the dullness of Zehar even though it hinted that she was from somewhere else. To contrast her body colors, her clothes were white and smudged all over, making it as vibrant as Adonia’s garden.
“Ellea is our cook and has made all the food you ate in this house,” Amana said as she introduced the other girl.
“Thank you,” Solus bowed to Ellea. His response surprised even himself, but he knew the reason behind it. In front of him stood the girl who allowed him to taste the greatness of life. Adonia allowed it, but Ellea was the one who made all the dishes brimming with life.
Amana pulled Solus by his hand and out of the dining room. “Whatever you’re doing right now, please stop. That girl gets so full of herself when someone praises her, we end up listening to her self-praising sermons for a week.”
“I heard you!” echoed back from the dining room.
As they toured the rest of the house, Amana brought Solus to his new room. It looked the same as the one he was in previously, except this one had windows and the daylight made the room that much enjoyable.
Solus realized more and more how much of the life Adonia gave him. He did live for a long time due to his immortality, but he never enjoyed things around him. And in Adonia’s house, he found himself appreciating his surroundings often.
“This concludes our tour,” Amana said. “There’s one thing I want you to remember.”
“Yes?” Solus said.
“I know that you ohrols of Remser worship Surem and that Surem’s priests hold the power in the Kingdom. But it would be better if you refrain from mentioning any of that in this house. None of us had pleasant experiences with the priests, and it would be better not to mention them.”
Looking at Amana’s missing arm, Solus could guess what unpleasant experience she had had with them. Instead, he wondered what was Adonia’s past with the Death God priests.
“Is that clear?” Amana repeated.
“Don’t worry, I had a fair share of unpleasant experiences with them”, Solus said as he recalled the unbearable pain the numerous execution attempts by the priests caused him. “Worshiping that bastard of a god is the last thing I would do,” he added.
“Excellent! Let’s go eat then. You must be starving.”
###
Solus enjoyed his days at Adonia’s house. Most of the day was spent training with Adonia, while the rest he would be learning about the world from Ellea and Amana. Ellea turned out to know more than one would think by simply looking at her. She knew the history of the world better than she knew cooking, and if Solus was to decide, Ellea was the best cook in the world.
On one occasion, Solus had to train on his own as Adonia left for Remser. She said that it was to tie up the cover-up story about Solus’s origin. But after that, not a single day passed without him training with Adonia. He got to a point where some days he would manage to avoid all attacks, even if she used fawg’s essence.
Half a year into their routine, one morning Solus found Adonia in the garden with a set of armor next to her. It was plate armor and it was polished enough to serve as a mirror. Solus was confident that the polish on the armor was due to Adonia’s obsession with cleanliness and she kept a cloth in her hand looking over the armor.
“What’s that for?” Solus pointed at the armor set behind Adonia.
Adonia took the helmet from the set. The helmet seemed to cover only the upper part of the head, while the other part was next to the armor. Unlike the shiny plates of the chest-piece, the helmet was made to resemble the scales of a scaturr and lacked the polish.
“Try putting this on,” Adonia answered. “It will be essential for you to wear armor. It will help with hiding your identity.”
Solus put the helmet on with ease. He shook his head a few times, but the helmet stood in place. “Seems it fits fine.”
“Great! I was afraid that I would have to pay the blacksmith to readjust it. Considering how much time I had to spend cleaning the armor up, the bastard has already robbed me,” Adonia said. “Try putting on the rest.”
As Solus put on the full armor and tried moving in it, his movements were weighted down. “It’s a bit heavy, but it shouldn’t be a problem,” he said, as he knew that he would never get tired due to his immortality. Adonia emphasized the importance of avoiding any wounds, and the amount of body covered by the armor reassured Solus it wouldn’t be a problem.
Once he would get used to the weight, the armor shouldn’t be a hindrance to his movements. The only problem was the neckpiece. It was huge considering its purpose and a bother to move the head in it.
“Most of the armor is fine, but this neckpiece just feels weird. I feel like I could move better without it,” Solus said hoping he could get a different neck guard.
“I understand,” Adonia said, touching her jaw. “When I wore it, I always hit my jaw on it. It was easier to fight without it.”
“Then why make me wear it?” Solus asked as he took the piece off.
Adonia sighed. “This is a traditional Zeharian armor. You must have noticed that the armor resembled a scaturr.”
The helmet did resemble the lizard, and the irritating neckpiece did represent the huge neck the scaturrs had.
“Scaturrs are the symbol of Zehar. Through the usage of scaturrs for war, Zehar formed itself as a kingdom. Since you’re from Remser, I wanted you to wear the traditional armor to strengthen the unity between the army and you as their leader,” Adonia explained.
Why not make me a Zeharian instead, Solus thought annoyed by having to wear the armor.
“I have to wear it?” Solus asked, hoping that Adonia would answer no.
“Yes,” was all Adonia said.
Solus sighed, “I guess I just have to get used to the bumping of my jaw then.”
“Don’t worry, you will only have to wear it during the battle,” Adonia said, “and everyone says that once you start fighting, you don’t notice it at all.”
“Then, do I have to wear it during training?” Solus asked. “I suppose I should get used to the armor.”
“True, but you can leave the helmet off if you want,” Adonia said.
Solus nodded, relieved that he won’t have to wear the helmet all the time.
“Besides training, I want you to wear the armor whenever we leave the house,” Adonia added.
“When we leave the house?” Solus gasped as he remembered the amount of hateful ohrols that lived outside. The life that Adonia gifted him was so pleasant, that he forgot he would have to face the reality once more at some point. And that time seemed to be closer than he hoped it would be.
“Yes, from today onward, you will be leaving the house with me,” Adonia said. “In fact, we’re doing that right now.”
Solus felt his heart beat faster. All the spiteful eyes would peer at him once more.
“Where are we going?” Solus swallowed his nervousness.
“We’re going to pay a visit to the king!”
Title: Re: Immortal
Post by: Pavo on December 10, 2021, 06:57:24 AM
Chapter 6: (I'm posting double chapter this time so be sure to check the one before)

Spoiler
The bleak brownness of Zehar’s buildings suffocated Adonia whenever she went out. It hardly mattered which part of the kingdom she was in. The upper part of Zehar discerned itself from the lower by throwing in a bit of white stone with the mud bricks for buildings. But the style of buildings was equally dull.
Even as Adonia and Solus walked through the royal complex, which was predominantly built out of stone, the brown color surrounded them. The gray armor and skin of the soldiers in front of the throne building broke the blandness of colors.
“Welcome, Lady Adonia,” one of the guards said. “For what reason do you bless us with your glorious presence?”
“You already know,” Adonia said. “And you better drop the snarky comments, unless you wish to spend the rest of your life on patrol.”
The soldier bowed his head, most likely to hide his annoyance with Adonia being his superior.
"Yes, my Lady," the soldier said.
It fascinated Adonia how soldiers always addressed her as a Lady, while the nobility called her commander. They were blatantly discreet at telling her that she was nothing but a foreigner that they would not accept as their own.
The two proceeded into the building. Compared with lavish throne rooms of other kingdoms, Zehar’s throne building was of a more practical nature. The narrow corridor leading inside prevented assailants from crowding the room. The high windows prevented both the intruders and the light from entering. It was the safest spot in the whole kingdom, and the least pleasant to spend time in.
“Lady Adonia, welcome,” a mercenary called Rihn said. Along with General Hon, he was King Bel’s personal guard. Draped in his brown leather armor, Rihn blended in with the rest of the room.
“Always pleasure seeing you Rihn,” Adonia said.
“I thought that you were coming alone,” Rihn said.  Looking at Solus, he added, “didn't you want to discuss the matter with the King in private?”
“This is Solus, my bodyguard. He is related to the matter I wish to discuss.”
Rihn looked at Solus and nodded. Luckily, Solus had plenty of time to learn proper manners from Amana to nod back.
“I understand,” Rihn said.
“Is King Bel alone as I demanded?”
Rihn sighed as he turned to show a group of dancers between them and the throne.
“It’s all right, I expected it,” Adonia said and started walking towards King Bel and the General. The General grinned as he looked at Solus.
“I believe I asked to speak with you in private,” she said to the king once they went around the dancers.
“You just arrived and already you’re complaining,” King said with a squeaky voice. It wasn’t his natural voice. He tried to appear unattractive, so in addition to ruining his body, he changed his voice as well.
Back when he was young, Bel held great promise as the next ruler of Zehar. Unfortunately, when his mother had died, his father spoiled him beyond repair claiming it was for his son’s safety. Now, that is the only thing his son thinks about.
Adonia considered Zehar’s policy of rulers having only one child to be a bad idea.  It was set to avoid conflict between potential heirs. And now, that policy itself got Zehar on the brink of civil war. Bel didn’t care about ruling Zehar properly, and every single noble in the kingdom was looking for a way to become the next ruler.
If she wanted to prevent the war, Adonia had to ensure her plan goes smoothly.
“The future of Zehar is at stake, and I do not plan on risking it simply because you’re bored,” she said looking at the group of dancers. “They cannot be trusted with the information I’m about to share.”
“Well, what about the man behind you?” King Bel asked.
“Solus is related to the matter we’re to discuss,” Adonia said.
The King rolled his eyes. “Very well. Hon, get rid of them.”
General Hon nodded and grabbed his sword. Not a second passed before the throne room was filled with screams from escaping dancers.
“I love it when they scream.” The King laughed along with the General.
“That makes only two of you. I doubt you’ll be seeing those dancers again,” Rihn reprimanded the two of them.
“I don’t care. They were bad, anyway.”
“Yeah, stop preaching all the time. It’s just a little fun,” the General said.
“There’s no hope for you two.” Rihn sighed.
“What do you want?” King Bel asked, annoyance making his voice drop to a normal. He grabbed a piece of meat from a platter next to him and started tearing it with his teeth.
“I have information about Prince Mael’s plans,” Adonia said, her voice trembling from the sight of King’s eating.
“And?” the King asked with his mouth full. When a piece of meat fell out of his mouth, Adonia could swear she saw Surem for a brief moment.
Adonia turned her head to look at Rihn, losing the vision of the death god. Rihn was the only reasonable ohrol in that room, despite being a simple mercenary with little care about the wellbeing of Zehar.
“Mael plans to attack Zehar soon after his father passes away,” Adonia said.
“That’s impossible,” Rhin jumped in before Adonia had the opportunity to continue her explanation.  “After the war with the Bynor empire ten years ago, Kaligan doesn’t have enough forces to attack anyone. They’re the same as us, barely able to defend themselves.”
“That’s what he wants us to think,” Adonia explained. “He is building a new army.”
“And where is he getting the soldiers? The lords have lost too many in the Separation war to be willing to spare their own for a new war,” Rihn said. The King barely paid attention to the conversation, even though his kingdom was in danger.
“Slaves!” Adonia said.
“He is building his army out of slaves?” Rihn asked.
“I see that you have the same information, Master Adonia,” the General said. Despite being her senior, General Hon kept referring to her as Master. It would make more sense if he addressed her by her official position, Commander, but Adonia concluded it was one of his weird ways to provoke her into a fight, which to his unfortunate would never happen
Everyone looked at him, including the king who ignored most of the talk between Adonia and Rihn to pick up the meat from his lap. Adonia wished she was blind at the moment. Maybe if she had become addicted to fawg’s essence, she wouldn’t have to suffer now.
“I must commend your sources for getting the information about Mael building the army of slaves, considering how hard it was for my spies,” the General said. “Several have died before they could exit Kaligan.”
“You knew about it?” Adonia asked.
“Yeah.”
“How come you didn't talk with me about it. I thought that you were the only ohrol in this kingdom who didn’t forget that I am the military strategist of Zehar.”
“I was planning on it,” Hon said.
“My apologies, General,” Adonia said. “I knew it for quite some time and assumed you did so as well. I suppose my sources are vastly superior to yours, General.”
“If you knew about this threat for so long, how come you didn’t come to talk to the General?” Rihn said from the side. “If you are going to complain about something, make sure you're not guilty of it first.”
Hearing the question, Adonia smiled as that was what she had been waiting for.
“Allow me to explain my plan against Mael’s invasion. That should also explain why I haven’t spoken with the General.“
Both Rihn and the General nodded. King Bel was still more invested in his food than the future of his kingdom.
“To answer your first question, the reason why I didn’t say anything about it to General Hon is rather simple, I wanted to keep my countermeasures as secret as possible for the first phase of the plan.”
“As expected of Master Adonia,” Hon said. “What kind of plan do you have?”
“With King Bel’s permission and kingdom’s funds—” upon hearing his name, the King finally turned his attention to the conversation, “—we will create our own army of slaves and I will take charge of training the said army.”
Hearing the plan, Rihn snorted. “That is the plan our great Strategist came up with? Doing the same thing they do? That doesn’t guarantee that we will come out as victorious.”
“You’re awfully impatient today, Rihn. Are you sure you’re not sick?” the General asked. “Even though master Adonia training the army would be sufficient to ensure our victory, I am sure that there is more to this plan. Right?” He turned to Adonia and smiled, letting her continue. The grin on his face showed how eager he was to hear more.
“That is correct,” Adonia answered. She felt that Rihn was being rude, but decided to let it go as most of the times, he was the only one that made her visits to the King bearable. “For half a year I have been doing the preparations for the plan.”
Rihn looked down, saying nothing. He rarely apologized, but would always admit when he was wrong.
“Since it would not be so hard for Mael to get soldiers from Kaligan’s army as it is for King Bel…”
“I could get the soldiers,” the King shouted in his deeper, natural voice. It would always slip when he gets angry. Despite not being interested in leading his Kingdom, Bel would always get furious when someone questioned his abilities as a king.
“We are closer to the Bynor empire than Kaligan is. Because of that, it’s harder for our Lords to spare the soldiers,” General Hon tried explaining to the King. “That is what Master Adonia meant when she said it would be easier for Mael to get soldiers.”
Adonia meant that Bel was incapable to get anything done, but she needed King’s money so she let her words be twisted.
“If you say so.” King Bel just crossed his arms and turned his face away. “But I could still get a bigger army than him,” he mumbled with his squeaky voice.
“It doesn’t matter who could get a bigger army, we need to ensure our army is stronger. And you don’t achieve that with numbers.” Adonia said, trying to get away from the talk about King’s incapability.
“Then how would you do it?” Rihn asked.
“By making our army more united,” she answered. “A unified army will always be stronger. And for the army to be unified, they need a proper leader. Would you not agree, General Hon?”
“That is right. The army needs a strong general as a leader,” Hon said. He struck his breastplate and continued, “Even though both Mael himself and Kaligan’s General Ilarion are formidable warriors, they are nothing compared to me.”
“Undoubtedly,” Adonia said.
“Watch me, my King, I will bring you victory with the army Master Adonia prepares.” Hon flexed his muscles. Even his armor bulged from his sheer size.
King Bel started clapping. “I can always count on you, Hon.”
“I am sorry to disappoint you,” Adonia interrupted. Both General and King Bel stared at her as she snatched their excitement. “If the General lead the new army, it would be no more united than Kaligan army.”
“What do you mean?” Hon asked. “Didn’t you just say that the army needs a proper, strong leader? And last time I checked, there is no one stronger.” He paused for a moment, then gasped. “Don’t tell me, you plan to fight once more, Master? Have you overcome your fear? Are you back to your old self? Can I at least be second in command?”
“It’s unusual of you to praise someone else,” Rihn said to the General.
“Of course I would praise her. Since you’re not from Zehar you wouldn’t know, but the greatest feat I have ever seen in battle was done by Master. In the war with the Bynor empire, she ended the final battle seconds from its start. Just as the armies clashed, she weaved through the enemy soldiers and killed their General.”
“That is impressive,” Rihn said.
“Of course it is,” General said. “Though I would have preferred if she didn’t do it. They surrendered so soon I had no fun at all. Even in war, no one wanted to face me.” The General’s voice turned weaker as he finished his sentence.
“I’m certain that many who lived through that battle wouldn’t agree with you, General. Not everyone enjoys fighting as much as you do,” Adonia said. “And no, I will not lead the army. My fighting days are over.”
Hon lost his smile.
“Besides, I could not make this army more unified for the same reasons as you, Mael, or Ilarion couldn’t,” she said. “We are all of the noble birth.”
“Hmph, you are not a noble,” King Bel said under his breath, “You only have the title since Grandfather was stupid enough to give it to your father.”
“If the slaves are led by someone who is of noble birth, they will feel that they are fighting for the nobles and not for themselves,” Adonia said, ignoring the comment from the king. “On the other hand, if the person leading them is a slave like themselves, they will feel that they are fighting for themselves. And that would make them not only more unified but also more willing to fight.”
“But if the leader is weak, it would mean nothing. Could we presume that you have prepared someone equally strong?” The General looked at Solus with an unusual smile.
“Correct.” Adonia gestured at Solus. “He will lead our army.”
General walked towards Solus. As he got in front of Solus, the size difference became more apparent. Despite both wearing their armors, Hon was a head taller and much bulkier. Seeing them up close to each other, Adonia worried if her plan would go as smoothly as she wanted.
Hon looked towards the king who was staring at the table with an empty platter.
“I think that our King might be bothered by all this talk,” General turned towards Adonia, “I say we should give him some entertainment.”
Hearing the word entertainment coming out of General’s mouth, King Bel snapped out of his delirium.
“Oh, a fight!” King squeaked. Only something that is for his amusement could get his attention.
“You wouldn’t mind me testing him a little, would you Master?” General asked.
Adonia looked at Solus, who simply nodded. “Go ahead.”
 
Title: Re: Immortal
Post by: Pavo on December 12, 2021, 04:03:59 AM
Here's is chapter 7

Spoiler
When he was leaving Adonia’s house, Solus was nervous about going back into the world. He didn’t imagine he would be fighting the strongest ohrol alive on top of that, but that was something he had to do.
Am I ready to fight him, he wondered. Until now, his only opponent was Adonia. He managed to spar with her, but Adonia adjusted her attacks to his experience. She was teaching him to fight.
Judging from the grin on Hon’s face, he had no intention of going easy. Now that Hon was in front of him, his size was astonishing.
Power bar, that’s it! Solus justified Hon’s size to himself and made a plan on how to fight. He would keep his distance and keep dodging until the effect of the bar runs out. Once the pain from the withdrawal overcomes Hon, he would strike back.
“This will be fun!” Hon said as he measured up Solus.
The look on Hon’s face reminded Solus of times when the Zeharian soldiers practiced their killing blows on him. Solus wondered if he met Hon before.
“Shall we begin, my King,” Hon asked.
“Please, I was getting bored since Adonia had to send the dancers away.” the King said. “You better make this a good fight!”
Solus gripped his shield firmly, he will need it to endure until Hon’s power bar runs out.
“Boy!” King Bel shouted in a deep voice.
Solus turned to look at the king, suppressing his laugh at the fact that King’s voice constantly changed.
“Listen to me! You better make this a good fight, you hear me?” The King continued with a higher voice now that he had Solus’s attention. However, Solus still felt the frustration in his words. “If I deem this fight to be boring, I’ll have Hon kill both you and Adonia.”
You can certainly try, Solus thought. He was no longer the helpless immortal he used to be. Now that Adonia gave him strength, he could pay them back for all the pain he endured.
“I know that you’re bored, but you shouldn’t make hasty decisions,” Hon said. “Adonia might not be a warrior she used to be, but her military genius is unparalleled. It would be unwise to get rid of such military strategist.”
The King paused for a moment, then slouched back in his chair. “Very well, if the fight is boring, kill the boy and imprison Adonia.”
I still get killed in the end, Solus thought but immediately dismissed it. He had no intention of losing.
Seeing that the King has calmed, Hon turned towards Solus and Adonia. “Now, let’s see if your fighting is as fierce as your glare,” he said.
Hon’s words confused Solus as he was sure that he stopped glaring at others for a while. Maybe he did it unconsciously as both Hon and the King reminded him of everyone who hurt him in the past. He clenched his sword and shield.
“I’m going to take that grin off of your face,” Solus said.
“You would sooner kill an immortal than take a grin off his face,” Rihn said. “When he is about to fight, not even death would make him stop smiling.”
Solus twitched a little to Rihn’s words. He didn’t expect someone to mention immortals now that he didn’t have a characteristic corpse-like body. At least no one called him a monster anymore.
Solus raised his shield in a challenge. He would defend until Hon’s power bar’s effect runs out. Then he would let Hon know the pain he endured during training. The more Solus looked at Hon, the more he was sure that Hon trained on him as well. There was no remorse in Solus for focusing his grudge on Hon.
Hon raised his greatsword in response to Solus’s challenge. “I like your look, kid. Don’t disappoint me.”
“Calm down a little, you two,” Adonia interrupted as the two were about to start a duel. “It is nice to see you both fired up for a duel, but remember that you are important for the safety of Zehar. Try not to hurt each other.”
“But, how am I to measure his strength if he doesn’t go all out?” Hon asked.
“I believe that you can do it without him trying to kill you,” Adonia answered. “And a good soldier is able to assess someone’s strength even if they do not fight with their utmost potential. Are you telling me you cannot do it, General?”
Hon turned his head, “N-no.”
“No?” Adonia raised her eyebrows. “Is that not the first thing that my father taught you?”
“Yes,” Hon said in a surprisingly meek voice for someone of his stature.
“Did my father not say that this is the crucial skill for a soldier to become good?” she asked.
“Yes, he did,” Hon murmured.
Solus was surprised to see Hon so shameful, after displaying such a wild grin. I guess it’s not so hard to take a smile off his face, he thought.
“And were you not his best student?” Adonia asked. “Could it be that my father was lying?”
“All right! You always have to ruin my fun with your clever words. I can measure him without going all out.” Hon sighed and dropped one of his arms from his sword. “I will go easy on him.”
“Do not worry,” Adonia said, “You don’t have to go easy on him, just aim for the shielded parts. That way no one gets hurt, and you can have your little fun.”
“I could do that,” Hon grabbed his sword with both hands and the annoying smile returned to his face.
“Same goes for you,” Adonia turned to Solus. She put her hand on his shoulder and whispered. “Don’t go easy on him or he might get bored and try to kill you. And you know it is over for both of us if that happens.”
“I’ll do my best,” Solus said and faced Hon.
Adonia walked over to King’s place.
“Start already,” the King said.
Hon was within striking distance before Solus even processed King’s words. He was like a beast leaping at its prey. King’s words were like a snapping of chains that held him back. Calling him a beast was not so far from the truth. No ohrol could have a body that size.
Hon’s sword flew towards Solus’s head.
Solus had no time to think. Luckily, the training with Adonia made his body react on its own. His head swayed to the right and the sword pierced the air next to it.
Solus jumped back to get some thinking time. As Solus landed, Hon’s sword was in front of his face once more.
Solus ducked and sidestepped twice to put some space between them.
Hon followed with an upward slash. Solus felt his steps becoming unsure as the air howled following Hon’s sword.
Only if I jump into Surem’s grasp will I get away from this guy, Solus thought as he dodged another strike from Hon. For every movement he made, Hon’s sword followed with fawg’s precision.
Hon slashed sideways. Solus had no time to dodge so he raised his shield to welcome the attack.
Hon grinned, putting all of his weight on his front leg to swing his sword even harder.
The sword crashed into Solus’s shield pushing him to the side. Solus couldn’t believe that the power bar could give someone that much strength. Adonia’s hits were heavy when she used it, but Solus could stop them with his shield. Not this. It was too heavy.
Hon’s attacks were relentless. Solus barely had time to fix his stance as the last blow pushed him. His legs buckled under the pressure.
If he was his old self, he would be squashed. But he was not a helpless corpse anymore. Adonia taught him how to fight, Ellea’s food gave his body strength, he was no longer powerless. He could finally fight back. And he would.
As his knee was about to touch the floor from the pressure, Solus put all his strength into his legs. He jumped, pushing Hon’s sword back.
Solus hoped he would catch Hon by surprise with his sudden action, but that was not the case. Hon smiled and raised his sword above his head. He was towering over Solus.
Solus managed to block the last attack, but he didn’t have time to block the next one. Hon’s attacks were unblockable, so Solus had to keep dodging until the time was right for him to block. Until the power bar ran out.
Hon’s sword moved as if it was an extension of his arm. Such movements could be achieved only by complete immersion into fighting. Solus wondered if he would ever reach such a level of skill.
As Hon kept attacking, Solus saw the opportunity to strike back. He firmly braced his right leg and welcomed the attack with his shield. It was powerful, but he managed to hold. As the sword crashed into his shield, he transferred the force of the blow to his sword and struck towards Hon.
The sword grazed Hon’s armor, but he kicked Solus in the chest knocking Solus down. Solus’s head was shaking from the fall. Just a moment later his body recovered, and it felt as if nothing happened. Despite that, he worried if another kick would break his bones which could reveal his immortality.
What is that strength, Solus thought, there’s no way an ohrol could be that powerful. It’s that damn power bar.
Solus stood up and corrected his stance. Once it runs out, I’ll be able to fight him back.
Then the realization struck him.
When did he eat the bar? He didn’t do it before the duel, and I haven’t seen him eat it during the conversation. That means he ate it before we came here. Solus panicked, trying to figure out the secret to Hon’s strength. If he ate the bar before we came here, the effect of the bar would have expired. The power bar’s effect lasts only for half an hour and we’ve been here much longer. Which means…
“Impossible,” Solus whispered.
Hon smiled at Solus’s words and leaped forwards. His attacks became even more aggressive as if to prove Solus’s thoughts.
Solus blocked every attack with his shield, but each one made a dent in his shield.
What monstrous strength. Solus grunted as he blocked every attack. And here I thought that I could beat him if I fought as an immortal. I would be helpless against him if we fought seriously.
I have no choice but to prove myself in this fight. Solus swung his sword.
He started seeing patterns in Hon’s attacks. Despite the attacks being overwhelming, Solus found the timing where he could retaliate. Every time Hon’s attack connected with Solus’s shield, Souls would try to strike back. Hon’s attacks always pushed him out of reach. But with each attack, Solus was getting closer.
Just a little more, and I could get him, Solus thought as his sword almost grazed Hon. Just a bit further!
Hon struck with an overhead blow. Solus raised his shield and welcomed the attack. The blow was powerful but this time Solus managed to hold out. He took a deep breath and parried Hon’s sword. It was time that he gets offensive.
Solus swung his sword in quick succession, but Hon dodged every attack. He was incredibly nimble for a man of his size. Solus got frustrated by not being able to hit Hon. Not even once did his sword connect. And his frustration started to reflect in his sloppy attacks.
“Compose yourself!” Adonia commented from the side.
Solus paused.
For some reason, Hon didn’t bother to strike back. He grinned, inviting Solus to attack some more. Come and get me was written all over Hon’s face.
“I’m going to remove that smug smile off your face,” Solus yelled.
He swung left and right with each swing getting closer. And then the opening that he was waiting for appeared. He swung with all of his might. He was so eager to attack that he barely noticed the swinging sword from the side.
Damn, now he decides to strike back, Solus thought in panic. There was not enough time for him to raise his shield. He stopped looking where he was striking and raised his shoulder trying to at least protect his neck.
Hon’s blow connected. It was so powerful that it popped Solus’s shoulder out of its place. Moments later his shoulder was back in as if nothing happened.
Solus’s eyes widened, but not from the pain. Everyone saw that he was an immortal.
He wondered what he should do, run, or fight. The idea of fighting was gone as soon as he realized that he would have to fight Hon, and Rihn would surely join him.
Could he escape? Would the soldiers outside stop him?
Solus froze. Everything was silent. He didn’t dare to look around him. It was the end now that everyone knew what he was. He would go back to being tortured by Surem’s hands.
Nothing was happening. Why is no one doing anything, he thought. Gathering his courage,  he looked up and saw Hon holding his hand in front of his face. It was hiding most of his face, but Hon’s smile was obvious.
“That’s what I like to see,” Hon spoke for the first time since the duel started.
Solus jumped back in fear. He did see it, he thought. Solus’s heart started pumping faster. He could hear the blood flowing inside his head. I don’t want to go back. Solus prepared to run but then…
Hon lowered his hand revealing blood flowing down his cheek.
"See. This is why I said you shouldn't go all out while sparring," Adonia said in response to blood dripping down Hon's face.
Hon laughed. "This is nothing. It will heal overnight."
He turned to Solus. “It was so long since the last time someone tried to attack me like that,” Hon grinned despite the wound on his cheek. “And even longer since someone managed to scratch me.”
“I suppose that proves he is worthy enough General,” Adonia said from the side.
“For now—” Hon peered into Solus’s eyes. “—yes!”
***
Adonia took in a deep breath. She was holding her breath for most of the fight. When Hon overwhelmed Solus, she was worried that the whole plan would be ended before it started. Now that Solus did his part, it was her turn to convince the King to give them the necessary funding.
“As you can see my King, Solus is quite capable of leading your new army,” she said as quickly as she could to use Solus’s success. If King was given any time to think, he might forget about Solus’s capability. “On top of that, when the time for the battle comes, I will ensure he is equal to General Hon.”
“Bold words Master,” Hon bellowed heartily. “Can’t wait to test your claims.”
Adonia sighed. She would have to keep Solus safe from Hon, or his identity might end up revealed. “I’m afraid we cannot allow that. There will be no time for Solus to spar in matches that could easily go awry.”
“Do my ears deceive me, or do you not trust me to keep my cool in a fight?” Hon asked.
“Unfortunately, not. You do have a certain reputation behind you, General,” she said.
“That is true, you know,” Rihn said. He pointed at Solus’s dented shield, if it could be called a shield any longer, to prove his point.
Adonia was grateful for Rihn support and continued. “After this upcoming war ends, you can fight Solus to your heart’s content.”
That seemed to calm General Hon for a while as he stopped sulking.
“Putting the army leader aside, there’s one more thing we need. And that would be, soldiers themselves.” Adonia faced King Bel. “This is where you come in, your Majesty.”
King Bel shuffled nervously in his chair. It always happened when someone had a request for him. Fortunately for Adonia, King Bel only had to give his gold and nothing else. She wouldn’t trust him with anything more.
“Rest easy, your Majesty,” Adonia said. “You only need to provide the funds for raising our army.”
The king calmed himself for a moment, then panicked once more when he realized that he would need to give his money away. Adonia clenched her teeth looking at the spoiled King. She cursed at the assassins who killed King’s mother and made his father spoil him.
“This might sound to you as if you’re throwing your money away.” Adonia realized that due to her frustration, her words started to sound less convincing. She eased her voice and continued. “Trust me, the money that you’re giving now is an investment for later.”
King Bel leaned forward. She finally had him interested.
“Once this is over, you will have an army that no other Lord in this kingdom could face.” “No other Lord’s army can do that now,” the King interrupted.
Adonia shook her head. It was unbelievable how full of himself the King was. She couldn’t fathom why such an incompetent person should be the leader of a kingdom. If only his parents had one more child. Maybe Zehar would be a more beautiful place to live in.
She continued, “Perhaps no Lord alone could defeat your army. But! If any two Lords combine their powers, they could easily defeat you, your Majesty.”
King Bel backed down a little, but there was still doubt in his eyes. Adonia had to push more.
“And from what I have heard, plenty of Lords are unsatisfied with your rule, I should add.”
“Are you one of them?” King Bel’s voice squeaked as he interrupted Adonia.
She was unsatisfied with his rule. But she couldn’t say that to him directly. Not yet at least. Not now when she needed his gold.
“Must I remind you that I am a military strategist of,” Adonia raised her voice slightly, “your army? One could say I am one of your most loyal servants.”
“What Master Adonia says is true,” Hon added in. “You might dislike her, but she has been doing what is best for our Kingdom ever since she became our military strategist.”
King Bel nodded to Hon’s words. He was one of the few ohrols the King would listen to.
Hon continued, “And no Lord could compare to her contribution during the Separation war. It was thanks to her that we kept our casualties to a minimum. Otherwise, our army would be much smaller.”
Adonia was grateful for General’s words. King Bel looked convinced, this was her time for the final push. This was the opportunity that she needed to convince the King to give her the gold.
Adonia walked in closer to get King’s full attention.
“Once this war is over, you will have an army that no Lord could match. And to top it off, since we will be buying those slaves from Zehar’s Lords, they will be busy replenishing their slaves. Therefore, you can rest assured that they won’t be doing anything before your army is ready,” Adonia said.
“That sounds good, but it will take time before this army is of use to me,” the King said. “And I will be losing a lot of money for that.”
“That is true. It might seem that you’re giving so much without getting anything in return for quite some time. But you already gained one valuable soldier. One that is capable of facing General Hon.” Adonia pointed at Solus.
Suddenly being called, Solus stopped rubbing his shoulder and straightened up.
“Where did you find such a fine fighter,” the General asked.
“I got him in Remser,” Adonia answered.
General nodded. “That explains it. Remserian slave soldiers are one of the fiercest warriors. Solus truly lives up to their name.”
“Last time I heard, Remserian slaves weren’t for sale,” the King said. “How did you manage to buy one?”
“I traded our immortal for him.” As she said it, she noticed Solus got uncomfortable next to her.
The King smiled. “So not only did you get us a strong warrior, but you also managed to get rid of that wretched immortal. Now the monster is Remser’s problem. It pains me to admit it, but you do good for our kingdom. Better than nobles do.”
“Do you trust me with building you a new army?” Adonia asked. She felt her heart clench. She did everything she could to convince the King of letting her build an army of slaves.
Now, she could only wait for King’s decision. If he refused, her plan would die before it started.
King was looking around, not saying anything. His head wandered anywhere where Adonia was not standing. He hated looking anyone who demanded answers from him in the eyes.
Adonia felt sweat dripping down her forehead.
Decide already, you cheap bastard, she thought. I know you hate giving your gold away, but there should be no reason for you to not do so now.
King Bel was still not giving an answer. He looked at General Hon, who just gave him a nod.
“Very well,” the King finally said, “I will give you the gold for you to get me an army. But, be sure to make it a really strong one. Not just to be able to defeat Zeharian Lords. I want it to be strong enough to conquer a kingdom. To conquer Kaligan.”
Adonia smiled. “The army won’t disappoint you.”
 


Title: Re: Immortal
Post by: Pavo 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.

Spoiler
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!”
Title: Re: Immortal
Post by: Pavo on January 09, 2022, 08:47:52 PM
Here's chapter 9

Spoiler
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.”
 

Title: Re: Immortal
Post by: Pavo on January 23, 2022, 02:21:12 AM
Chapter 10.

Spoiler
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.