A Song of Swords and Dragons

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 2 (v.1) - Struggles for love

Submitted: November 17, 2016

Reads: 54

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Submitted: November 17, 2016

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The Vermillion Palace of the Felisian rulers was
always full of grandeur. It was the seat of great wisdom and
architecture and was built by Aeron the conqueror, the mighty
ruler who was a world conqueror of his time, and he was
even feared by gods. He had painted the whole palace with
the blood of his enemy, showing to the world his power and
wrath.
While the palace had its horrifying story, it was
always a great place to live. Large it was, with high towers
and great walls. Along the walls, great portraits of Felisian
rulers were hung. And Hector, the father of Rictor, was the
208th ruler of the Empire. And Rictor, whenever he saw the
portrait of his father among the portraits of other great rulers,
became impatient and dreamed of the day when his portrait
too would be hung on the walls with the great rulers of Felis.
And there were thousands of maidens working for
the palace, and always moving here and there. There were
thousands of majestic guards, who all looked like great
warriors in their great armor. The royal cuisine was always
full of grandeur; the royal family would be seated along the
long table, and all foods used to be placed on the tables. The
food included roasted meat, grilled chicken, fried fish, fried
rice, fried potatoes, different types of pickle, boiled veal,
and boiled rabbit, royal bread along with wine, fruits, rum,
and everything that suited the emperors of the great Felisian
Empire, and empire of wisdom and knowledge. In such
grandeur, Rictor was born and spent his childhood days.
After having his lunch, Rictor went to his father, who
was there in the northern balcony of the palace, watching
birds and the greatness of his great city, Felis.
“Father, you have spent the whole of your life ruling
over the empire. You have done it so well, and you gave all
these long years of peace to the country. This empire is lucky
to have a ruler like you. But I fear what I will be doing when
my time comes.”
“Rictor, you are still young and innocent, and have
not yet matured. Believe me, with time you will be strong
enough to rule this empire and you will even be better than
me.”
Rictor smiled gently and took an apple which was on the bowel on the table and bit it into two halves. “Father” he
said again, “ I have never fought a battle before. And within a
week, I will be fighting the bandits. I doubt that I will become
a good commander and lead my soldiers properly.”
Again he bit the apple. With an evil smile, the Emperor
replied his son “Is it death you fear? I could have made you
stay in this comfortable castle. But I intended to make you
strong and powerful. Look at our ancestors. They didn’t
become emperors out of nowhere. They fought, they failed,
they became stronger and then they succeeded. Whereas you
are going to be an emperor without doing anything. This will
break you down. You need power to wield this throne, or
the power of the people will take you over. You need to be
familiar with fear, with power, with death and with conquest.”
“I will improve myself, father. I will become stronger
and stronger day by day.”
“Good! Then be going now, and do what you ought
to do.”
“One more question.”
Hector looked at him with a sharp gaze. Rictor spoke
“How many men will be there on my voyage to the shipwreck
isle?”
Out of fury, Lord Hector shouted, “You are too weak
both in body and heart. I had planned 200 soldiers for your
voyage in the hope that you will defeat the bandits in such a
way that they will never come again. But it seems, you will
be retreating the moment you see someone die. I am sparing
you no more than 50 men, and you will have to fight all the
bandits.”
Rictor was shoked.
“What! Those bandits would be ripping us all apart if
I go there with only 50 men.”
“Greatest of strengths is bestowed by god to us when
we face greatest of adversities”
Rictor became a statue for a few seconds, and then
said in a low voice, “You want me dead.” Then he dropped
his half-eaten apple and walked away. Lord Hector could hear
the sound of Rictor’s armor while he was walking away. And
then he continued to enjoy the environment from his balcony.
Leonardo rode towards his home, a mile far from the
Vermillion Palace. He loved his home, and his mother very
much, for she took care of his brothers and the hut where he
lived. Her name was Floria, and she loved to knit, to cook
food for her children and to take care of them. Leonardo had
two brothers, Ricardo, a boy of 15, and Rohan, a boy of 9.
Soon he arrived home. He kept his horse named
Blackfire in the stable, and went into his room.
“Mom!” he yelled.
“Leonardo? Is that you?” Floria replied. She was in
the bedroom, knitting a sweater for Rohan. Leonardo went to
her and said hastily like a child, “Mom, next week I will be
going in the shipwreck island with Rictor. I will be fighting
there with the bandits, and surely if I play a significant role, I
will become a commander. Not only a soldier, I will become
a knight and then our days will come, Mom. Then we will be
able to live in a new good home, and we will have enough
sheep and chickens, and even servants….”
“Stop it!” Floria shouted. “You will not go to any
battle once again Leonardo. Once is enough. Do you even
care how I feel?” Floria became very emotional. She looked
at the window and said, “Your father; I remember him. He
was just like you, brave and courageous. He was respected by
all and was a great hero at the battle field.” Then she turned
back to Leonardo and said “Look at him now! Where is he?
He has gone somewhere and will never come back. And do
you know the wound he has left on me behind?” She walked
near Leonardo and placed her hands upon his wide shoulders
and said, “Promise me, you will not go to any battle, promise
me!”
He turned away and said “Mom, this is nothing, not a …”
Floria interrupted “Promise me.”
Leonardo turned away and he was going outside
when Floria again cried, “Leonardo!”
When she was about to say something more, Leonardo
cried back at her , “What! You think I will be living this life of
a peasant forever? You want me to rot in hell, and never see
what is called heaven? You know what, this life of mine today
is worse than death, and it is better to die than live a life like
this. And I would like to die fighting in a battle.”
“Who taught you to talk like this with your mother?”
Floria shouted back at him. Leonardo looked down and in a
soft voice, said, “I am sorry, mother. But do you remember
some days of winter when we had to sleep with our half
tummy full? We had no sufficient blankets and clothes to keep
ourselves warm. And do you know how people insulted us on
the road, and never helped us even though we helped them?
Do you think this is okay? Huh?”
Floria looked down, with a sad face. “But that was
long time back,” she said.
“Mom, I know how you feel. You don’t want to lose
me. And I don’t want to kill people either. But mom, I want a
life. A life worth to live, and worth remembering. A life of no
glory is far worse than death which makes a man immortal.”
As the conversation was going on, someone opened
the door slowly. It was Rohan. He ran to hug his brother. “Big
brother!” he cried and hugged him. Leonardo gently moved
his hand along Rohan’s head, and kissed him. Then he looked
at his mom, and walked away. He moved out, took a gentle
look at his home and looked at Blackfire, his horse. Then he
got on his back, and rode away.
Even though his mother and brothers had no idea
where he was going, he knew.
‘Catherine must have been waiting,’ he thought.
He went on to ride, until he went to a hut. “Catherine!” He
cried. Suddenly, someone closed his eyes, and he smiled, and
grabbed her instead.
“You became late,” she said.
“I am sorry.”
“No, I won’t forgive you, unless we both go for a ride
near the beach” she said.
“Ah, you are a nasty girl,” he said and they both
started giggling at each other. Catherine got on the horse back
first and then Leonardo. The couple looked very cute when
they rode together.
Within a few minutes, they arrived at the beach. The
sun was getting down and down, and the scene was getting
even lovelier.
“Catherine,” he said, “I am very impatient and I want
to marry you as fast as I can but you know, I have no choice.”
“No, you are wrong; we always have a choice,” she
said.
“What might be the other choice than?”
“You have a horse, I have my money. We will ride on
to the end of the world and go to a place where no one will be
there except you and me.”
Catherine’s words lulled Leonardo very much. He
had always aspired to live with her. He had no love for war,
but only for beauty—beauty of nature and beauty of mankind.
He loved her face, her hands, her legs and everything. But
he had so much of duty to execute. He was not born only for
Catherine, but he had equal duty and dedication towards his
family, his king, Rictor, and the empire in which he lived.
“Catherine, you are the loveliest woman in the world,”
Leonardo said, as he looked at her eyes, and she looked at his,
and replied in heart “And you are the most handsome man in
the universe.” And they became melted, literally vaporized.
For a few moments they became lost, as they merged and
became one.
Suddenly a nasty voice came from the periphery of his eyes: “Look fellows, what is going on there!”
It was Rickon, son of Sir Rickard, a knight. He was
with 7 of his lackeys.
“Why on the hell have you come here Rickon?”
Leonardo said scornfully.
“Oh, I wanted to disturb the romance you two were
having,” Rickon replied in an evil way.
“He has a sword,” said one of Rickon’s followers
fearfully.
“Hah, a sword no more harmful than a wood,” replied
Rickon while his men laughed. Catherine went directly in
front of Rickon and said with a pointed finger, “You are no
one to insult my Leonardo. You have no honor.”
“Do you know why,I am doing all this? Do you know
that I have been helping your family financially?”
“We are independent. My family is not poor and we
don’t need your help. Every man in Felis knows of your bad
and bullying character. You kill men for fun; you rape women
because you like to…”
Rickon interrupted, “Do you know how much I love
you? Since the first time I saw you, you have always remained
in my heart. But then, when suddenly this bastard came..”
“Leo is far better than you. He has his character, his
fame, his righteousness and the skill in his sword, making him
far superior than you.”
“He is a peasant, you bitch!”
“A peasant more skilled, loving and handsome than
you,” Catherine said proudly. A great rage of fire took over
the face of Rickon, and he stepped back and said, “Fine, your
poor family has benefited a lot from our money. Even the
dress you are wearing now was given by me.”
Silence prevailed for a few seconds and then Rickon
nastily said to his puppets, “What are you looking at, you
fools? Her dress was given by me and it is a symbol of my
love for her. Rip it off her! I have no love for her now!”
A bearded man, who looked like a drunkard, came
near her and said, “Let it start from her breast.” Then he
grabbed her at her breast, trying to rip the dress off . Leonardo
said softly , “Take your hands off her,” while others went on
laughing and enjoying the scene. He cried once again, “Take
your hands off her!” And then, at the blink of an eye, he took
out his sword and cut the hands off that man. The latter’s
blood sprang from his arm and he was in a deep agony the
next moment.
“You are a dead man now,” shouted Rickon. “Cut him
into pieces,” he said. The soldiers ran at him, while one of
them was going to slash on Leonardo. Leonardo simply knelt
down and thrust his sword at his feet leaving him injured.
And for the other two, he fought simultaneously, until one
of them was going to give a very strong blow when in a split
second Leonardo dodged it due to which his own friend was
slashed. Then, Leonardo cut the back of that soldier with his
sword. Two other soldiers came running at him. When one of
them was about to strike him, he skillfully rotated himself and
grabbed the soldier by his neck, and tossed him onto the other
soldier. As a result, they both collided. When he was about to
strike them both, Rickon attacked him from behind, making
Leonardo fall on the ground.
Leonardo, from the ground, jumped back to his feet.
Rickon and two other soldiers, who had collided, surrounded
him from three sides. Leonardo kept them at a distance, and
forced them backwards, keeping his sword pointing towards
them. Suddenly he was attacked from behind by another
soldier. And when Leonardo fell down, the four of them
went on kicking him mercilessly. Catherine came running
at them, and cried, “Please stop! Please. I beg you!” One of
the soldiers slapped her, and she fell on the ground. The slap
brought redness on her face, which was otherwise quite fair.
Rickon commanded, “Stop. We will be sending this son of
a bitch to the Emperor, and he will be hanged or drawn and quartered the next day for killing my fellow men.”
Rickon sighed. Then he looked at Catherine and said,
“For this bitch, I don’t know what to do. Kill her?”
One of the men said, “I don’t think that would be
good, My Lord!” “
Alright then; I won’t kill her.”
Rickon walked near Catherine and said, “Only stab
her with my sword!” Then, he pushed the blade of his sword
into her belly.
She cried in deep agony, and with tears in her eyes,
shouted, “Leonardo!”. The hurt and wounded Leonardo
blurrily saw the scene, and when he heard the cry, his heart
exasperated. He lurched to get his sword when one of the
soldiers kicked him at his groin, leaving him half dead on
the ground. The poor Leonardo could do nothing. He had no
power to move his body. So, he simply remained there crying
for the death of his beloved.
Then they carried him, and gave him to the watch
men. Rickon, before leaving, said, “I will entertain myself
when I will see you being hanged, drowned and quartered.”
He then moved away, leaving the wounded Leonardo in a
dark room, tied by a round a chair where he was sitting.
Rickon was a very cruel and sadistic boy of 19. He
loved Catherine so much, and he had done all this because of
his love for Catherine. He killed her so that no other person
could love her. He thought that no one deserved her love
except him. To block the way for others, he killed her.
Rickon’s father was Sir Rickard, a knight, who was
from the Tyrantine Empire and served the Emperor Theodred.
He had come to Felis as an ambassador for the Tyrantine
Empire. He had been living there in Felis for over a year.
It was almost midnight, and Floria wondered why
Leonardo had not come home yet. She could know, by
heart a strange sense of premonition, that something bad had
happened to him, but she knew he was not dead. She felt the
vibrations from the air and the wind. Her heart could feel him;
she could feel that his heart had broken. But she could do
nothing to find him. All she could do was pray to the stars to
watch him and pray to the earth to keep him safe. It was all
that she could do now at this time of the night, and she felt
great relief and satisfaction in doing it. She convinced herself
that the gods would watch over him. 


© Copyright 2018 Samir Karki. All rights reserved.

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