July 29, 2019 at 9:55 am #94043
Sorry for taking so long to get Chapter 6 out. But… its out now! 😀
And speaking of Chapter 6, I forgot to label the post “Chapter 6” like all the other ones, whether you care or not.
Happy Writing Day!
"Muhahaha!"- Unknown VillainJuly 29, 2019 at 10:26 am #94049
Oh, @e-b-raulands, I almost forgot to tag you too!
"Muhahaha!"- Unknown VillainJuly 29, 2019 at 2:20 pm #94084Veraza Winterknight@kari-karast
I really liked it! One thing, though. I wouldn’t name the animals as much. It’s from Chloe’s POV, right? Well, she’s running for her life, she won’t be specifically noticing which animals are which. If she were actually in a zoo, then she probably would be, but not while running for her life.
"You can dance with my henchman."July 29, 2019 at 6:46 pm #94095
@andrew, Is Erik dead?
Your story is yours and no one else's. Each sunset is different, depending where you stand. -A. PetersonJuly 29, 2019 at 7:16 pm #94097
@kari-karast, thank you!
And good point too… I should probably go more into description and names later on in the story. I tent to get very detailed sometimes.
I didn’t really mean to have Chloe name all the animals, there were just so much animals around her that she happened to notice a lot of them as she ran around panicked.
No. Eric is not dead. I just made him out to be dead to Chloe – and to some of the readers who did not read this post.
"Muhahaha!"- Unknown VillainJuly 30, 2019 at 2:36 pm #94157
@andrew, oh good. I probably shouldn’t have asked that, though. Now I went and spoiled the story. Whoops!
Your story is yours and no one else's. Each sunset is different, depending where you stand. -A. PetersonAugust 1, 2019 at 9:03 am #94285
Anyway… I know I already asked this question once, but since I’ve been diving deeper into the story, how much would you rate Chloe’s character and personality?
Does she seem a little bland to you at all? Do you feel like she isn’t driving the story forward, and that she is just sort of there? Any tips?
"Muhahaha!"- Unknown VillainAugust 1, 2019 at 12:17 pm #94293September 15, 2019 at 3:40 pm #97127
Alright, here’s the next part!
I know at the beginning post of this thread I talk about having this story be a “peaceful but not so peaceful story,” but I believe things have changed; after Nicholas attacked with all his crazy animals. Xd Also, this story has sorta changed more into a fantasy genre. And I’m still working on weaving the theme into the story, too.
Anyway, here goes! Enjoy!
Eldymartt was in flames. Bodies littered the ground. Even her family, she didn’t know what had become of them. But amongst the ashen ground and burning fire, sat Nicholas at a little stone table. He held something in his hands.
“Chloe, would you like to play a game of cards?” he said, that cruel smile at the corner of his lips.
Chloe didn’t want to, but she had no a choice. Odd as it was, gravity itself was against her; her legs didn’t even listen to her as she trod right over to the old man’s table.
In Nicholas’s fingers sure was a game of cards. But not just any cards.
The Monster King.
“Would you like to play a game of cards?” he purred. “In honor of Eric Diego’s death?”
Chloe glared, pained and hurt. Nicholas smirked, laying a card on the table. It was a 99-point-card, merely one point shy of 100.
On the card was an evil old wizard draped in blue clothing and holding a magical staff, surrounded by hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of animals.
Chloe’s cheeks reddened. The fire around her crackled. Her eyes drooped down to her lap… to find herself sitting on a chair and holding a pile of cards too, somehow! She cast a card angrily across the table.
Nicholas smirked. “You don’t even have a 100-point-card? And you can’t even win a game of cards? I never knew you were capable of winning so little.”
“Your point is?”
“Now that is a good question.” Nicholas smirked annoyingly. “You see, if you can’t even a win a little card game, don’t you even bother winning a war.”
Chloe’s brow crinkled, confused.
“I have so many plans and ideas. And a war is just one of them. It’s going to be absolutely beautiful. I will rule the world. Kings and queens bowing to me, princes and princesses my manservants and maidservants, but the most beautiful part is…”
She clenched her fists, squeezing the cards in her hands.
Nicholas’s grin widened. “The most beautiful part is that one of two daughters, Chloe and Zoe, will be gifted with the gift of power! One of two daughters, Chloe and Zoe, will bring great destruction. And one of two daughters, Chloe and Zoe, will side with the darkness!”
The dream vanished.
She gasped and leaned forward, lying in a green bed in a strange wooden room. She hoped that Eldymartt wasn’t really burned to the ground like in her dream, and that her family was safe. And also, Zoe, wherever she was.
But Nicholas’s words in her dream haunted her.
The door slammed open. A man dressed in black armor appeared, spear in hand. Chloe’s eyes darted back and forth.
“Nicholas wishes to see you,” the dark knight said.
Nicholas wished to see her? She fell silent. How dare that vile old man do this to her? He would pay for everything. The Town of Eldymartt, the many people, all the death he caused, everything!
“Nicholas wishes to see you now,” the dark knight said sternly. “I will not hesitate to whip you. A thing to know about me, I have no patience for laziness.”
Her mind was a tornado of questions on the inside. She didn’t understand what was going on around her. Where was she? What had become of Eldymartt and the people? Where was Zoe? How had Nicholas trained all those animals? And who was this knight standing right in front of her?
Chloe scowled. “Then Nicholas will see me, won’t he?”
She crossed her arms and slid off her bed, trudging over to the dark knight.
He gripped her by the arm. “No little games, girl. The animals are always hungry.”
She inhaled and blinked her teary eyes. But, as she trod down the stairs swirling in circles to the floor below, something about the walls drew her attention.
The walls were jammed full of color and design. Paintings of monsters and legends and kingdoms swarmed the walls. A drawing depicting a knight and a dragon. A carving of the sun, moon, and stars. A painting of a princess standing in a garden, a castle aflame in the distance. To the most delicate snowflake to the mightiest of mountains, the artistic sight almost hypnotized her.
The art was certainly ancient. Chloe recognized some of the art from long ago stories. She took another step down the stairs. There was a drawing of an emperor, a hilarious jester, and… she paused. The drawing seemed vaguely familiar. It was of a king, monstrously beautiful with red armor and black spikes, a great cloak, a golden crown. His hair was black, his face pale, his eyes so very green─she gasped.
The monster on that 100-point-card!
“Watch your step!” the knight growled. “Unless you plan on tumbling down the stairs. Now move it.”
She took in a deep breath and proceeded with her agonizing trip down the stairs. But she couldn’t stop herself from glancing at the walls. Her eyes locked onto an odd sketch of four young women in white dresses. She couldn’t help but think of the Nameless Daughters.
She froze at the painting of a wizard. He stood amongst a cliff, throwing his hands into the air. Animals prowled the lands below… And the wizard looked identical to the one on that 99-point-card in her dream, as well!
Her eyes flared suspiciously.
The knight glared. “I said ‘move it.’”
Chloe clenched her fists and trod quickly down the stairs.
“Checkmate!” Nicholas laughed, knocking over his opponent’s king across the chess board.
But his “opponent” was merely a monkey─or, more specifically, a mandrill.
The mandrill stared at the chess board in disbelief. Then, threw a fit and scrambled away, knocking over some chairs. Nicholas was increasing the mandrill’s intelligence, but the thing still couldn’t beat him in chess. And for the record, he was terrible at chess.
He stood, his golden cloak drifting behind him. His gaze snapped to the beautiful aquarium built into the black stone walls, watching the fish swim back and forth. An octopus hid behind a group of coral as a crab buried itself in the sand.
“Your Majesty,” whispered a metallic voice, “she has arrived, as you requested.”
Nicholas spun around. The knight in dark armor disappeared from the room, leaving Chloe shriveling in anger.
“Well, look at you.” Nicholas smirked. “Do you know why you are here?”
Chloe raised an eyebrow.
“We are here to discuss important matters.” He smirked. “I know, I know. You are an emotional mess, utterly pained by all the bloodshed, little lives snuffed out like flames. But do not despair. If you join my side, everything will be as it once was.”
“As it once was?” Chloe’s eyes were red with rage.
Nicholas smirked, turning his back to hers. “Sacrifices must be made.”
“Sacrifices? You horrible snake! W-w-why are you so…?” She burst into tears. “Why are you so cruel and evil? Do you like it when people die? Besides, what makes you think I’d join your side anyway?”
Nicholas pressed a hand against the glass, gazing at a shark swimming by. “You have a point. But you see, young unknowledgeable one, I have lived a long, long time. A little too long, in fact. Ever since the Beginning, when the King created the earth, everything was perfect. At that time, He also created a man and a woman. The man was to name all the animals. It was beautiful and perfect.”
Chloe cocked her head. “Yes, my mother told me the story.”
Nicholas smirked, facing Chloe. “Then I suppose you remember it very well. The man and woman were tricked into doing evil by a dark presence. The Deceiver some call him, but we all know very well that he goes by many names. The King’s creation was perfect, but ever since the man and woman disobeyed, evil entered the world. And the consequences were death.”
“But, those who follow and believe in the King, shall be rewarded with a place in His kingdom for all eternity.” She forced a smile.
Nicholas grinned. “Chloe, I believe you are forgetting something. In the Beginning, the King created magic. It was a gift to mankind. But ever since evil entered the world, the Deceiver stole the magic; using it against rather than for the human race. And, guess what, I am all too happy for that.”
“You are insane.” Chloe crossed her arms.
“Oh, but that’s where you’re wrong.” He smirked. “The Deceiver is a dark spirit, a Shadow Reaper in fact. The King cast all the Shadow Reapers out of His kingdom for their treachery. In the past they served as Knights of the King, but turned against Him in an attempt to rule. And they followed one leader only, the Deceiver himself. Whom I also follow.
“When the King commanded the man He created to name the animals, I knew my purpose. The Deceiver shared his magic equally between all the Shadow Reapers, giving each and every one of them a purpose to fulfill. And I am about to fulfill mine.
“If you actually thought I trained all those animals myself, you are a fool. All I had to do was use a little magic. Miss Chloe, I am a Shadow Reaper. As I have said before, we are here to discuss important matters.”
Chloe’s brow crinkled. Then it struck her. It all made perfect sense. The painting of the wizard, twisting every beast to his will!
Nicholas was a wizard.
A Shadow Reaper, even. Chloe put a hand to her mouth.
Nicholas smirked, his eyes full of hatred and evil. “Yes, I have lived since the Beginning. There are many more like me to come. The Deceiver will stop at nothing to overthrow the King Himself. Now, you know. I am a majestic, intelligent, beautiful, powerful creature.”
His green eyes flickered ink black. Pure ink black. Even the whites of his were no more visible. His dark pupils flared a fiery red. His skin turned black and he bared fangs like a vampire.
Chloe stared in horror as the old man morphed into a monstrous, dark, shadowy figure. He loomed over her, smirking his old smirk.
“And that is what a Shadow Reaper looks like,” Nicholas said, morphing back into an old man. “I can take whatever form I wish. An old man, a wizard, anything. And, I am very aware of what I am. But Chloe, are you aware of what you are?”
Chloe gulped. She could hardly speak. “W-w-what are you─?”
“Talking about?” Nicholas finished her sentence. “Oh please, after all you’ve seen, I’d think you would have known better. If you have ever played The Monster King, you’re probably wondering why I am on the 99-point-card. You’re probably wondering why the dragon was on the 10-point-card. You’re probably wondering why that dark knight escorting you from your miserable little room is on the 53-point-card. Haven’t you figured it out yet?”
Chloe held her breath. “No, I have not. But since you’re so ‘intelligent,’ would you mind explaining this all to me?!”
Nicholas smiled, amused. “The maker of The Monster King lived centuries ago. Yet his special game is the most popular in the world. The maker also based his ‘card game’ off lost legends, whom many a man have thought myths. But trust me, child, all those ‘mythical monsters’ in The Monster King are no fairy tale. You have me as an example. Now back to the question! Are you aware of what you are?”
“Yes, I am.” Chloe stiffened. “I am a human. Duh!”
“Correct.” Nicholas smirked. “You are a human. But, not just any human. You are Chloe, twin sister of Zoe, and daughter of Stephany. Chloe, your mother was a mysterious woman. I met her once. She was a missionary for the King, I believe. She was a special person. She was chosen.”
“Chosen?” Chloe questioned. “What are you talking about? Please, not one of the cliché prophecies.”
“Oh, there has been much your mother has not told you.” Nicholas smirked. “You see, your mother was of chosen blood. The King rewarded her with a bottle of dark red pebbles. Very special pebbles. Each pebble was a blessing. She gladly accepted them. One blessing was that she would give birth to twins. Another blessing was that her heart would be always be in the right place. But despite all the pebbles and blessings, she died.”
“But…” Chloe took in a deep breath. “The King’s kingdom of eternal life. I’d say that is a pretty big blessing in itself.”
Nicholas scowled. “That kingdom is anything but eternal. One day the Deceiver will destroy the King’s creation and─”
“That will never happen.” Chloe mimicked Nicholas’s smirk. “You’re nothing but a speck of dust to the King. You realize that, right?”
Nicholas scoffed. “Foolish girl, you truly do know nothing.”
“Have it your way, wizard. Or do you prefer Shadow Reaper? Not like I care anyway.” Chloe paused. “Now, what were you saying about that bottle of pebbles?”
Nicholas smirked. “Yes, yes, foolish girl, the bottle of pebbles. One of the blessings was that one of her twin daughters would grow up to fulfill a great destiny. A great destiny your mother, Stephany, failed to finish. That her work be not in vain.”
“Failed to finish?” Chloe questioned.
“Yes, before she died. Plummeting helplessly over a cliff in that little carriage of hers.” Nicholas smirked. “I couldn’t let her live, now could I?”
Chloe froze, and her cheeks reddened. “You killed her?”
Nicholas smirked again. “Who else? I am against the King, and I couldn’t let her─”
Chloe punched the old wizard in the face.
“First, that bizarre raid of bloodthirsty beasts? And now my mother?” Chloe wiped a tear from her eyes. “No wonder the King cast you out of His kingdom!”
Nicholas staggered to his feet. “Why such an emotional mess? I am pretty sure Stephany, your mother, is enjoying herself up in that ‘eternal kingdom’ you keep speaking of. I would like to question you further, about joining my side and not dying a horrible death instead, but you being overly emotional right now. I’ll meet you again in several days and see if your condition has improved.”
The dark knight appeared.
“Take her away,” Nicholas commanded. “But be gentle, she is perhaps a little fragile at this moment of time.”
Chloe glowered one last time. She turned, the dark knight leading her to her room. Where she would drown in her own tears.
“Zoe, you have arrived.”
She glanced over to see Grandpa Phoenix petting his scarlet macaw, leaning against the green wall. His eyes were blue as the sea, his beard and hair whiter than snow itself. He was wearing all black, as usual.
Zoe grinned, eyeing the dagger in her palm. It was red-bladed and black-hilted. She named it Vampire. Her favorite dagger, out of all the others in her collection.
“Yes, Grandpa Phoenix. I have arrived.” Zoe collapsed onto the strawberry red sofa. “I knew you were waiting on me.”
Grandpa Phoenix stroked his macaw. “The tournaments start in several minutes. Prepare yourself. And always remember this: Never underestimate your opponents.”
“To ‘forget’ is not in my vocabulary. I always remember.” Zoe held Vampire’s blade in front of her eyes. “Nevertheless, I will prevail in the tournaments. As far as I am concerned, I possess realistic judgement.”
“Well, Zoe, it isn’t every day I meet someone like you who can defeat a dragon,” Grandpa Phoenix said sarcastically. “The Nameless Daughters have already chosen certain people to fight in the tournaments. The winner shall become the general for Nicholas’s army.”
“As you have already told me a hundred times.” Zoe smiled deviously. “Now tell me, who are these people the Nameless Daughters have chosen?”
“You will meet them soon enough. But it wouldn’t hurt to make known unto you a few of your opponents,” Grandpa Phoenix replied. “Mario Deontae will be competing in the tournaments. He was so named the Bull-Man for his beastly behavior. Sarah Janson will be competing in the tournaments. She is known for baking the finest of cakes in Eldymartt. Rumors say she is quite unpredictable… But there is more.”
“Continue on.” Zoe smiled.
“Well,” he paused between his words, “Chloe will also be competing in the tournaments.”
Zoe’s smile faded. “What?”
“You heard me.” Grandpa Phoenix paused. “There are five others who will be competing in the tournaments as well. Now, let us chat later. The tournaments start in just, ah, right now actually…”
Eric grimaced, leaning unsteadily against a tree. His face was smeared in blood. Lucky as he was he wasn’t dead, but merely knocked unconscious.
There were shouts in the distance. Tents, stands, and so forth had been deserted. Only a crow was in sight, staring dully into the distance. Bodies littered the ground.
And Eldymartt was on fire.
The shouting grew louder. He glanced in all directions, heart pounding. What had just happened? Where was Chloe?
“Hey!” A man shouted. “Yeah, you there! Don’t move!”
Eric grabbed his bow.
“You are under arrest!” the man shouted, drawing a sword. “Nicholas’s command! Don’t move, or you die!”
Eric reached for an arrow, but his arm fell limp. He took in a deep breath. His fingers were bloodied, his back still hurting from where the lion had knocked him unconscious.
The man staggered forward. He wore torn pants and a sleeveless tan shirt, revealing his tattooed arms. He kicked a wooden stool out of the way with his boots.
“You’re lucky to be alive.” The man snarled, shaking his wildly long, dark hair out of his face. “Perhaps Lord Nicholas will make some use out of you rat!”
Eric only grimaced.
“Well, get on with it! To the prison with you!” he shouted, his dark eyes stern. “I don’t have all day.”
Eric swallowed hard. He didn’t have much of a choice. He staggered forward, steadying himself against another tree.
“Oh, whatever!” the man growled, waving his sword through the air. “If you can’t walk, then you’ll have to ride in that filthy jail carriage with the rats! Now move it!”
Eric glared. “My legs are…”
“Broken?” the man said sarcastically. “Well, obviously they aren’t because you’re still standing.”
“No, not broken,” he muttered. “I’m… just wounded.”
“Seriously,” the man complained. He rolled his eyes, spinning around. “Hey, you dumb people over there!”
“What do you want?!” a figure appeared, bellowing loudly.
“Get over here!” the man growled. “Help me get this rat moving! He’s alive, but wounded! Now get moving! You don’t want to miss out on the tournaments, do you now?”
"Muhahaha!"- Unknown VillainSeptember 15, 2019 at 3:41 pm #97128September 19, 2019 at 9:06 pm #97399
@andrew, I’m a little confused, but I am assuming it is intentional.
I think maybe you should have mentioned the story about shadow reapers earlier to foreshadow this development a little. Nicholas being revealed as a shadow reaper would have been better done if the reader had already known what shadow reapers are. But otherwise, I like it!
Your story is yours and no one else's. Each sunset is different, depending where you stand. -A. PetersonSeptember 19, 2019 at 9:14 pm #97401
@nuetrobolt: thank you! But yes, I agree, I should have mentioned them earlier. I hadn’t come up with the shadows reapers until later, so yes, I will have to… foreshadow them. Thank you!
"Muhahaha!"- Unknown VillainSeptember 19, 2019 at 9:35 pm #97403
@andrew, makes sense.September 21, 2019 at 3:26 pm #97498Veraza Winterknight@kari-karast
Chloe’s reaction seemed a bit unrealistic to me. How did she go from being frightened and confused to angry and brave enough to punch Nicholas in the face? I can see how it could happen, but there was no indication of any of it. Other than that, I thought it was good!
"You can dance with my henchman."September 22, 2019 at 9:01 am #97509
@kari-karast, thank you. I’ll change that part more. Thank you for pointing it out.
But Chloe, after learning that Nicholas had ended her mother’s life, was… very, very angry. Her feelings were a mixture of fear and anger, and she wasn’t thinking quite straightly at the moment.
"Muhahaha!"- Unknown Villain
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.