Chapter 5 Title Image

Fear

Chapter 5:
Bandits, Norcelus then Fear

By: Justin

Out of all the lands in Bethumet the Country of Norcelus was the dirtiest and most dishonorable nation by far, which many years ago would have seem asinine to even suggest that was ever the case. At the time, it was ruled by its original creator, Norcelus, a well known thief who stole to help the good, never for evil, and under his guidance Norcelus had a bad rap for very good reasons. 50 years later, after his somewhat untimely death, his son, Norcelus JR, took over. While he didn’t do a particularly bad job filling in his father’s shoes, he made one fatal mistake that made the people of Norcelus begin to doubt him. He stole what was originally thought to be a food carrier box from New Port Island, and delivered it on time to the Kingdom of Kenion, but he failed to understand the contents of the box because instead of food there were decayed human bodies latched onto each other. Kenion, aghast and furious, knocked at Norcelus’s door, and instead of confronting the problem, Norcelus JR decided to hide for a day. When he returned, they went away, but he came back to see his people show him a treaty that they were forced to accept, not just because he ran away, but because his land was not known to be great fighters, and Kenion’s forces would have overwhelmed them. Now that they had to give up most of their rights, the people started to distrust Norcelus JR, and soon talks of overthrowing became the norm.

A few days later during the night, a green haired man, who looked rather gruff, wore a blue cape over his light blue shirt, wore white pants and brown shoes, snuck into Norcelus JR’s house, and somehow froze him solid. He carried the frozen body towards a nearby cliff, and I probably don’t need to tell you what happened to poor Norcelus Jr. Once he was marked dead by the people the next day, the green haired figure who pronounced his name as Amgis seized control of Norcelus and has for almost eight years ruled it with an iron fist, causing numerous hardships and pain, and whenever anybody dared take him on, they immediately died without anyone knowing how. They soon found out that Amgis had something to do with the mysterious deaths, and followed him unwillingly for all these years due to his strange and mysterious powers. Other nations decided to ignore Norcelus, isolating the land forever.

Anyways, on this night, it was business as usual as there were three guards standing watch over the entrance to Norcelus’s, which is strange considering outsiders aren’t allowed there and Norcelus’s reputation should be enough to scare outsiders away, trying to have some sort of a conversation.

“AAHHHH…I’m so bored…” yawned one of the guards. “Nighttime watch duty. We’re bandits, not soldiers! We shouldn’t be guards at all!”

“Yeah, yeah, I knowze what’cha mean!” said a second guard with rather terrible English. “We supposa b thieves, stealin’ and robbin, an shtick, not som suped upta lookouts!”

“Well, there’s not much else we can do in this backwater land,” said the third guard, sitting near the fire they made, “Thanks to that spoiled Amgis, this is our way of getting some gold! I knew Norcelus JR was an utter joke, but this?

“Yeah, yeahza, we earns som coin ok: no more than som prick buyin a cup of cold sup and a sitck! Now, you’ze right, lo, Norcelus JR is way betta than this clon!”

“Ah, forget about that sellout! He left when the going got tough. How can you follow someone like that?”

“So you’re saying," stepped in the first guard, “You’d follow the orders of a petulant child-like man rather than someone who actually accomplished something? Well, other than selling us out.”

“Hell no! In every point that counts as a leader and someone to at least consider respecting, Norcelus JR has him beat in every fashion! And that Amgis would probably run away too when the going would get tough, too: after we die first!”

“Man, I wish weze can un far away,” moaned the second guard.

“Wish? I would have wished we could have run far away in a heartbeat, if only we figured how Amgis can kill us! You guys heard the rumors of how he kills people, especially if we run away?’

“I hear,” said the first guard, “That all he does is freeze people to death. Not very spectacular in my opinion.”

“NAW! I hears that he’s cappable of drownin somebody!” The terrified second guard was shaking while talking.

“Ah, hog wash!”

“No, I heard that too,” stepped in the third guard, “But I also heard that he can call forth a torrential downpour that burns your skin! How can he do that?!?!”

“Ah, forgetze abut it,” cried the second guard. “All iz no is that we hav guard duty!”

“And just to do what?” the first guard bellowed, “To sit down near a fire for eight or so hours watching some freak show with black wings walk past us like he’s some tough guy???” the guards laughed wildly.

“Yeah!” laughed the second guard. The third guard, while in tears, laughed,

“…That was…rather creative!!! Where’d you get that from?”

“…From that mutated...looking fool that walked past—W-WHAT??!!SON OF A--?!?” They looked to see a grey like creature with one red eye, black hair, black trench coat and pants, and four cryptic black wings walk unnoticeably halfway past them and headed in the direction of Norcelus. The guards were stunned and furious as they regained their normalcy.

“HEY YOU PRICK!!!” screamed the first guard, “WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?” The guards ran towards the creature.

“YOU CAN’T JUSTA GO PASSIN US!!!” screamed the second guard. It didn’t take long to catch up the creature as the third guard stepped in front of it and yelled,

“You think you some tough guy?!?! Let’s see how tough you are when I-”And with little effort the creature slashed almost all of the third guard’s head off, leaving his neck halfway severed, like his head was cracked on his right side, and immediately blood poured out into the air, some on the creature, some to the ground. The other two guards stood there transfixed at what they just saw, at least until the creature disappeared out of their sights. When that happened, they looked at each other in sheer terror, and while it took them a while to stop doing extracurricular activities, the first guard, with every part of his body shaking, said,

“S-s-shou-shouldn’t we l-l-light u-u-up the the f-f-flares?” It took them 15 minutes to get off a simple flare into the sky.

*****

Mason was a man who hated Amgis the first time he saw him, and hated him even more once he forcefully took over the leadership of Norcelus JR eight years ago. He knew that it was never a suicide, as Amgis succinctly stated, and widely assumed by many, but he was murdered by Amgis himself, and considering how he took over and displayed mysterious odd deaths over the past few years, it made his beliefs stronger. But with no hard proof, there was no way that he would dare try and accuse him. But for the last two years, he began to organize many secret bandit meetings to find an opportunity to surprise Amgis one day and go back to the way it originally was. So today, in a cave not known to Amgis, Mason, along with four other people, was discussing the final plans of ending Amgis for good.

“Hadan,” said the bald headed Mason, who looked buff in a green shirt and blue pants, while wearing black shoes, “It’s almost time to go. Is everything in place?”

“I’ve made checks of all sorts to see if everyone is position,” said the diminutive Hadan, who, along with the four other people, were not seen as Mason was the only one seeable. “The red unit shall take the north side, the yellow unit shall be on the south side, and the green and blue units shall cover the West and East side, respectively. As soon as the sun is about to rise, we all attack, two minutes after the first.”

“I have made sure that Amgis is asleep until the sun rises fully, and that the guards stationed there usually leave around this time to train,” said an old sounding man who was addressed as Haggin, “So we shouldn’t have a problem getting in his room.”

“So…everything seems like it could work,” said a bold voice whose name was Kotor, “Everything could also fail. What happens if we fail though?”

“Heh, then we fail forever,” said a prissy like voice whose name was Evans.

“Can it, you two!” yelled Evans. “This plan is foolproof! I don’t see how anything can go wrong here!”

“…..Well…we just found out what could go wrong…” sighed Hadan as he said he heard the sound of flares outside the cave, and once they ran out, sure enough there was crackles in the sky.

“SH**!!!!” cursed Mason as he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“How blasted is this?” said Kotor. “I can’t believe we would actually have a threat arrive here.”

“There’s no way there could be a threat!” yelled Evans. “ The only threat is Amgis. He must have caught on somehow!”

“Impossible,” said Haggin, “I’m pretty sure that he’s unaware that there’s a problem right now.”

“Well, we can’t stand here twiddling our thumbs and blabbering,” said Hadan. “What would happen if there is a threat and we’re not there to find out? Then we’d have serious problems with our plan!”

“So Mason, he does bring up a good point. What if there is a threat? What if there is not? What course of action shall we take?” Mason thought for a few seconds before saying,

“…..DAMN. How frustrating. We can’t let Amgis catch on to us yet, or we’ll be dead by the week. If we can take care of the intruder quickly, then we’ll see if we have enough time to continue with the plan, but if not, then we wait for another day. Round up our men. Let’s go!”


*****

It was only a week ago, but young Lute was already out on her daily job, and that is being Kose’s spy. At age 16, she is known inside the Kingdom of Kose as a girl who does her job with guile and skill; outside of Bethumet, or rather Kose, as Kose has chosen to remain neutral, she is more known as the future Queen to Prince Alvis as they believe they will become wed rather soon. Alvis has not officially asked to marry her, but it seems all but likely that it’s going to happen thanks to an event a couple of years ago.

Lute was chosen to work in the good graces of Queen Karratha and Kose’s force as a spy, and while she didn’t seem particularly good at first, she exhibited potential that intrigued some of the scouts. It took her a week to figure out she didn’t really like sword work or sneaking around, even though she was decent at the time at both. She was pretty close to looking around for another job, until she changed those thoughts when she was trained by the equally young Prince Alvis, who was very skilled for his age, and was actually capable of teaching Lute the basics. She enjoyed his informative and fun teachings. After a few weeks of basic training however a sudden hint of infatuation dazed her. She was terrified because she believed commoners such as herself could never love anyone of highborn status. She continually tried to not fall for him, but started to fall for him more and more each day. Despite her affection for him, she hid them, as she wanted to support her parents and at least be close to him each day without making any advances.

After two months of training, Lute was continuing to become better wielding the sword, but with thoughts of Alvis in her mind, she couldn’t have cared less about her skill. One day when she went into her room that Kose offered her to stay in for training, she saw a note on a small brown circular wooden table that said,

Hey Lute, how about we go out for a bit? I look forward to seeing you!

From, Alvis.


And after reading it, her white face was flustered and practically red as a beet. She knew that she had no choice but to accept his offer. While nothing happened when she went out with him, she enjoyed being with him, and for about a month or so they had these dates. Lute soon began to think about the consequences of dating someone of Prince Alvis’s stature and was unsure about what to do.

They happened to be looking out at the night stars fairly deep into Kose’s vast forest one day, and while she acted like she was having fun, Alvis noticed that there was something bothering her.

“Um, Lute?”

“…Ah, yes Prince Alvis?”

“You seem rather distracted today. Have a lot on your mind?” He was looking at the stars while saying this, but despite that, she blushed madly while denying,

“N-no! Don’t trouble yourself with me! I’m fine! I just have all this work to do!”

“…Uh…I’m pretty sure that your only job is to be a dangerous spy.”

“…l-look, I have other stuff-”

“You love me, don’t you?” Alvis looked so serious and dashing when he matched eyes with Lute that the poor girl was red and hot all over the place for a good ten seconds, until Alvis looked back up in the sky and laughed, “You can be so transfixed at times! It was just a joke! You silly head!” This seemed to have calmed down every nerve in Lute’s body as she finally breathed normally.

“Oh…OH!!!HAAHAHA! My Lord, you can be so witty with your jokes! HAHA!!!” After that there was complete silence for a good minute. After it was over, she glanced at the prince looking at the stars, his hands on the grass as he looked heroically and dashing, causing her to blush again and think, “So…handsome…”

“You know Lute,” she locked up again when Alvis spoke, “I feel that you have something’s that’s bothering you, something that’s eating you up in the inside,” she started to get saddened while he was speaking, “And while I know I shouldn’t pry into your thoughts, if you have some thing to say to me…please I would like to hear it. I don’t have to hear it today or tomorrow, but sometime when you’re ready. Ok?” He looked at her with such sincerity that she could no longer hide how she felt about him.

“I…I...don’t know,” she started to cry, “I’m...fine…”

“Then…why are you crying? You shouldn’t be in this-”

“ALVIS!!!” she screamed rather suddenly, starting Alvis a bit. She looked terrified after she did that. “I…I’m sorry….I….can’t….”

“You can’t wha-”

“I can’t love you!!!” she gasped and looked horrifically terrified, knowing she said something that she wasn’t supposed to say. “I’m sorry!” She was about to run, but Alvis was a step ahead of her as he grabbed her body, probably knowing that she would try and run away, and yelled,

“Please, stop!!! Calm down! What do you-”

“Let go of me!” she started to scream loudly as Alvis was trying to calm her down. It took a while but she started to get emotionally weakened and rested in the chest of Alvis. Once she calmed down, he held her tight and said,

“What do you mean? What do you mean you can’t love me?” she breathed heavily, but she started to breathe normally after a few seconds and then said, while there were tears falling from her eyes and it was somewhat hard to hear her,

“I…I’m…a...commoner…some one…beneath you…just this moment….right now…this…is too much…you should…be with someone…of your stature…”

“…Should I?” Alvis questioned. “Should I be with someone of higher stature that I don’t love? Someone that I can never get along with? Why…can’t I be with someone I can enjoy being around…like you?” she looked directly into his eyes and sounded slightly relieved as she said,

“Lord Alvis…”

“Commoner or no commoner…Lute, I want to be you, You’re so cheerful, eager, beautiful, pure…I knew…when I first saw you that day….ah, you’ve probably forgotten that day…”

“W-what?”

“When you were chosen to help us out, there were probably better choices than someone like you, but since I had the final decision…I picked you out.” she gasped, kind of weakly with joy.

“You did? But….why?”

“Why?….I guess you can say I was a bit selfish…I loved you that day. I wanted to be with you forever.” I’m pretty sure she had the weight of the world lifted off her shoulders once he said that.

“Is...is that why...you…taught me?”

“A little bit…you was decent enough with a sword, so I thought that someone else in the Kose force would train you, but when I was asked to take some time to train you, I couldn’t turn down this opportunity to get to know you.” She started to sound excited, and while she had a few tears flowing from her eyes, these were probably tears of happiness.

“Oh…Lord Alvis!!!” she closed her eyes and put her head near his heart as she clutched him.

“I…I love you too…but...but…”

“Sssh…you might scare the stars away, my love.” he said with a smile on his face that Lute immediately noticed when she finally opened her eyes, then as she looked with Alvis at the stars, she felt relieved and able to smile happily again. After a few minutes went by it did not take them long to express their true feelings for each other, and the Alvis/Lute connection grew from that day forth, and was known by many of the people of Kose.

Anyways, the people are unaware that she’s been a top notch spy for a good three years now, and right now she’s exploring the events in Norcelus again. Last time she reported to Queen Karratha, there were rumblings of a possible civil war. She came to see how things stood right now, but there’s also one thing she wanted to know,

“…Hopefully I can figure out Amgis’s source of power…” she walked quietly towards the entrance, trying to see how to sneak past the guards regularly stationed at the entrance, until she saw a flare up in the sky. “No way!” she looked around to see if she was seen, but there was no guard in the area. She happened to be hiding amongst the trees, so it would be hard to discover her, so when she found out no one was there, “Is there something going on?” was her only thought as she picked up the pace, wondering if there’s something more than she knows. When she got to the entrance she saw three dead guards, one covered with blood and a nearly severed head and the other two with a blank stare. She moved up to see the bodies, then immediately went up the hill of Norcelus. “What is going on? Who could do this?!?!” she went to find out.


*****


It didn’t take long for the bandits stationed to attack Amgis’s mansion to see the flares and get a signal telling them to quell this intruder. They had no choice but to head between the town of Norcelus and a large, grassy area and wait to see who or what was coming to attack them. After hours passed, it was almost morning, as the sky was getting light blue, and the sun was getting ready to rise, but nothing came up the hill. This made the bandits extremely angry, but also pretty shocked: Amgis came up with a list of rules, one of them being no jokes, and if one gets caught they’re put in jail. So something as blatant and serious as this probably leads you to believe that there must be a serious threat coming their way.

But with time wasted and their surprise attack null and void, they were furious that this came about.

“Whoever did this,” thought Mason as some bandits headed back home, “Is a damned imbecile!!!” Many of the bandits were miffed as they headed back to Norcelus, thinking about how they have to wait a number of days before they could attack Amgis. Some bandits were curious, however, and ventured down the hill to found out what happened to the guards at the entrance. It took twenty seconds, but a loud, death like scream echoed throughout the land, causing many of the bandits who left to stop, stumble, and/or run back to find out what that was. They stopped and saw from the distance a dark haired creature with blood covering most of his face and coat approaching them with every second.

“W...what is that?!!?” yelled Hadan to Mason.

“I…I don’t know!!!”

“It’s a demon!” screamed Haggin.

“WHAT??! No way!!!! They should be in that accursed dungeon, wallowing away forever!!!”

“Forget about the history!!!” yelled Kotor. “That thing’s coming. We have to stop him, lest we become meat for Amgis’s creations!”

“…Damn it all. Well, he can’t stand up to all of us, so let’s try and get this over with quickly!” So at least 450 bandits, armed with daggers and small blades, which is not exactly a perfect combination, charged at the creature, thinking that they could end this quickly. But like many before them, they realized that they made a huge mistake and just like the others they could not learn from their mistake. The grassy area became a bloody burial ground in about a five minute span, howls and blood curling screams were heard all over Norcelus, and numerous body parts that I would rather not discuss, especially for the faint of heart, were littered all over the field. Once it was all over, there was only one figure standing. That figure headed in the direction of Norcelus….

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