Dishonorable Veteran

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
This story is set during the medieval ages where individuals have magical capabilities. The current setting is set during a quadrennial war between two nations.

This story revolves around a veteran's journey way home and conveys how the consequences of his actions during the war take place at his home.

The universe will be tied with on-going stories/other stories.

Edit as of 16/04/19 - Minor tweak to grammar, flow and sentencing.

Submitted: March 15, 2019

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Submitted: March 15, 2019

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The Dishonorable Veteran 

 

Prologue 

The sound of armour clinking. Heavy footsteps pound the soil. Lit torches crackle as they burn. Twelve Qin Soldiers have been tasked to kidnap the wife and child of a distinguished commando.  

 

Trying to find a suitable clearing to set up camp, the point man throws his fist up in the air. The soldiers stop where they are. With the sun at the early stages of dawn, the soldiers realised what lied ahead of them was a sleeping village. They were now at the edge of the forest. With two fingers the point man beckons his comrades to move up to his position discretely. They killed their torches. 

 

“Commander Yuson... what are your orders?” 

 

Yuson Noskei has been in the military for twenty-four years, climbing up the ranks gradually. Being distinguished in multiple skirmishes in his early years, Yuson gained multiple promotions in his early years, becoming the youngest officer in three hundred years. He was known to be calculating and relentless, and it was shown throughout his tactics. His soldiers were to be relentless or were to face corporal punishment. A true iron fist. 

 

“We kill everyone” 

  There was silence. Not the kind that could cut the tension in the air but understanding. Everyone knew before they left for the journey, that they weren’t going to kidnap anyone but they were going for revenge and bloodshed. Insubordination against their general’s orders but Yuson was on a suicide mission to repent for his failed recent skirmishes against the Harx’s elite commando. 

  Yuson nodded towards their comrade, a female mage. She moved behind the brush and pulled out a knife in her right. She brought rolled up her sleeve on her left arm with her mouth and proceeded to draw blood from the palm of her hand. Dropping the knife after pooling enough blood in her palm, she pulled out a wand and cast. “Dogs that should lie, I bring you back to this plane once more...” 

 

 

 

Chapter 1 

 

 

Returning from the quadrennial campaign, a lone veteran makes his way home to his village through the Calvin Forest. His face shows a big jawline covered in a roughly trimmed beard. Tears and cuts riddle his clothes, exposing the fresh and aged scars that cover his torso and abs. His finely kept distinguished fur coat reveals that he’s the squad leader of the Harx’s Commando unit. In a deep, gravelly voice he says to himself “I’ll have to scout for more commandos from those who shown battle excellence again... we took too many losses this time”. 

  A rugged man seasoned and battle hardened over the course of twelve years gets a month of respite to see his pregnant wife. He lived in the city before having met Helen. He met her when he was a fresh recruit at the young age of sixteen, she was fifteen. It was love at first sight.  He couldn’t believe she felt the same.  

  She was a village girl who would visit a few times every year with her father to sell their surplus harvest. Her father knew about the boy but deemed him commendable and honorable. Her father was a simple farmer and wanted a life where she would be taken care of, giving the boy the ultimatum; “If you want to be with her, make something of yourself boy.” Thus, three years later, on his promotion to the commando squad, he proposed to her before the big anointing ceremony. They married in her village and decided to both live there when he was on service leave. 

He lives four leagues from the capital, in a small self-sufficient village. The lone veteran casually walked through the forest. The leaves fell all around as the Autumn wind blew throughout the forest. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath to smell the forest scent. He smelt feint traces of smoke. This was a smell he was all too familiar with. It was the smell of looting and slaughter of a village. He ran to a clearing in the forest and looked towards the horizon. 

  Pillars of smoke climbed from the center of town. The stench of blood filled the air. Man, woman and child... it was not a scene for an inexperienced village militia. A village is being slaughtered by the Qin’s demonic division. Hellhounds brought upon the village by blood sacrifice swarmed the village before there was time to sound the warning bell and by then it was too late. The slaughter ensued. 

  Women clutching their newborns were being eaten alive whilst their babe cried out. Farmers brave enough to grab farming equipment, be it shovel or hoe, attempted to beat back the hell hounds only to be met with an agonising death as the hounds lunged from a distance, ripping away at their necks. Ex-conscripts picked up their service weapons and tried to fight back or protect those dear to them, only to be outnumbered and out skilled. 

  As the bloodbath ensued, on the outskirts of the village, the blood of a man boiled. The hairs of his arm stood straight as goosebumps quickly crawled up his arm. Grasping onto his sheathed sword, his arms and shoulders stiffened. His eyes widened with fear and anger. He could feel his hand go numb due to the sheer force of his grasp. 

  He sprinted towards the burning village through the half-tilled land. Where there would be people tending the land, there were mauled corpses, no longer resembling their former selves. Just disfigured corpses being torn away at their limbs and neck.  

  Drawing his battered blade, a deep gravelly voice came out. Travon cast his summon. “Faceless Halberdier!” Three halberdiers armoured in chainmail and plated pauldrons materialised out of thin air. Where there would be the eyes, nose and mouth were just crevices and mounds of pure white flesh, as if to replicate a normal man’s face.

  The Faceless took the vanguard, with their spears in a charging stance. As the heat from the fire started to become more noticeable, Travon slowed his pace whilst the Faceless continued their charge. “Faceless Halberdier! Faceless Swordsman!” With an additional three of each summon, an additional six to Travon’s forces was added. The swordsman had identical armour to the Halberdiers, with the most noticeable difference being their weapon; a double-edged longsword supported with both hands. 

  Travon could feel his body tiring but knew there was no time for a moment of rest because a handful of hell hounds have started rushing towards Travon’s small party. He counted eight.  The three Halberdiers who took the vanguard each plunged their halberds into one of the oncoming hell hounds, swiftly ending their lives only to be swarmed from each side. The hell hounds’ jaws locked onto the Faceless’s arms. Struggling and stumbling, they had their throats ripped out, causing them to dematerialise into nothingness. 

  The dogs of hell reorganised and continued their mandate to slay every living being in the village. 

Picking up his pace, the six additional Faceless followed Travon into battle. With five hellhounds rushing them headlong with more behind, he issued rank and file amongst the Faceless. Halberdiers took the forefront, with the swordsman right behind. 

  The same scene occurred. The Halberdiers each plunged their spears. The whimpers of what resembled a dog screeched throughout the surrounding area, attracting more of what was present. The Halberdiers with their halberds still plunged into the hell hounds, pushed them further in, finishing them off. 

  The Faceless swordsmen rushed through the gap to stop the remaining two, as the halberdiers pulled out their bloodied halberds. The swordsmen stopped shoulder to shoulder and set up their stance. The remaining two hounds lunged towards one of the Swordsmen in the middle only to be met with a timely downward strike from two of the Swordsmen. Stepping over the beasts from hell, Travon pushed aside the Faceless. 

  Travon and his party were now at the edge of the village and having alerted the raiding party, he saw a familiar scene that he had taken part of. Disfigured corpses scattered around, blood soaked the soil, smoke thickened the air making it hard to breathe as ash flew as if it were wind itself. 

  With eyes focusing straight ahead his breathing grew heavy and his heart began to waver. It was not because of the bloodbath before him that shook his resolve. He had seen one too many times. For he had been on the other side of a slaughter before but never on the receiving side. 

  The mothers, the children, the layabouts, the baker, the butcher, the shepherds and farmers. He did not care for them. It was his wife. He knew but did not want to believe it. He was angry, not thinking straight. Eyes wide. Tunnel vision blurred his mind. “FACELESS CROSSBOW! FACELESS BLADED!” He yelled on the top of his lungs.  

  Three crossbowmen materialised armed with crossbows attached with bayonets for close quarters combat. An additional three Faceless appeared with a sword in their right and a kite shield in their left. “GO~!” Travon yelled in anger. The twelve Faceless formed three groups of four with one of each Faceless joining separate groups. Their orders now were to kill everything in sight. 

  Travon was fatigued at this point. He knew he shouldn’t of have brought upon so many summons in such a short time. He stumbled to the middle of town, cutting down hounds that leapt out, with ease despite his current tired condition. Each kill sprayed warm blood onto his person. 

  By the time he reached the centre of the village, he was met with the ones responsible for this whole crisis. They wore armour which bared no crest nor allegiance, but their characteristics were of the Qin’s demonic division. Slanted eyes, ash black hair and widened noses. Travon counted seven. Four swordsmen, two with shields, one spearman, a female archer and female magic caster, easily identified by the wand she carried. 

  They had a hostage behind their group. She was cut and bruised. Her face was beaten to the point Travon could only recognise Helen by her hair and physique. Her hands were bound by rope. “Are you here for me, you sick bastards? Why did you drag all these people into this? Why did you drag HER into this?” Travon yelled. 

  A Qin swordsman took a confident step forward. “We know how critical you are for the Harx army. So, we decided to teach you a lesson after your pesky raids on our supply chain.” Yuson turned his head and signalled with a nod to the spearman. With the butt of the spear, he pushed Helen out towards the front of the Qin raiding party. 

  Internally, Travon ordered the Faceless to reinforce his position. He knew what they were about to do but his instincts were that of a soldier so he took the precautions to reinforce his position as all flanks were open. 

  Just as the Faceless came out from different directions of the village the Qin’s leader speaks. “I know this is going to be hard to watch... but... do try to enjoy the show” and with a sinister smile, he slowly licked the left side of her cheek from the jaw to the cheekbone. She stood powerless and weak from the beating she endured. Travon’s clenched his teeth together and clutched his sword aggressively. 

  One Faceless group came back without hassle. One group came back missing a bladed and halberdier. The last came back with their backs turned to the centre of the town square with three dogs slowly approaching them. Two dogs lunged at the halberdier only to be met with a quick retaliation from the halberdier, the bladed and swordsman. 

  The last dog ran to the side, charging at the Faceless Crossbowman hiding behind the group. Lunging to gnaw at the Faceless Crossbowman’s neck, it quickly dematerialised. The hell hound was quickly dispatched by the Faceless as they were rejoining Travon in the middle of the town square. 

  With the Faceless by Travon’s side now, there were ten facing the seven Qin combatants. For them to be this deep in Harx’s territory, Travon knew this wasn’t going to be easy. Despite having the numbers advantage, the Faceless didn’t have technical skill when summoned in clusters. Travon knew he would have to charge headlong and rely on his skill and experience to kill a few of them, whilst relying on the faceless provide cover. 

  Travon waited. He couldn’t make the first move 

  Upon seeing the Faceless return to Travon’s side, Yuson angrily thought “So this is how only one person could do so much destruction”. He yelled “ENOUGH! We end this now!” He pulled out his sheathed dagger and plunged it into the side of Helen’s neck. As the blood gushed onto his face he looked over towards Travon. A sinister smile became noticeable on his face, it was to bait a reaction... A reaction Travon couldn’t resist. 

  Travon dashed in a fit of rage. The Faceless Swordsmen and Bladed rushed to both his flanks while the Halberdiers dashed to the forefront. The Crossbowmen were ordered to keep moving and keep their archer and mage distracted whilst they engage with the melee. The leader took a step back behind the two shielded swordsmen and prepared for the charge. 

  At the corner of his eyes, Travon saw a fireball the size of a horse barreling towards him. He ordered a swordsman to sacrificing itself so he could shield himself from some of the explosion. The fireball splashed onto the Faceless, the flames surrounded it and pushed around the Faceless.  Travon was violently thrown back due to the sheer force of the explosion that the fireball caused. 

 

 

 

Chapter 2 

 

 

Discombobulated, and thrown back several meters Travon’s body was heavy. He struggled to lift himself up. He looked down as a burning pain along his chest and right arm became more prevalent. His shoulder suffered a severe burn down to the flesh. The Faceless were engaged in melee. The sound of muted metal clashing and clanking permeated the air. As he was regaining his senses, he noticed that the Qin ranger and mage riddled with bolts. The Faceless were losing the melee due to the Fireball taking out three with Travon included. 

  Pushing himself off the ground with his hands, Travon stumbled to his feet, barely managing to grasp the situation. The Faceless in the melee had managed to kill all but two; the leader and the spearman. Unable to find his sword, he pulled out his dagger and ordered the Faceless crossbowmen to charge as they were out of shot. 

  The two Qin split up. Yuson slowly walked in the direction of the Faceless’s headlong charge. The spearman rushed Travon with his spear ready to pierce Travon’s chest the moment he got in range. Travon bolted towards the spearman; confident he had the Qin outmatched. 

  The spearman lunged at Travon. Travon ducked towards the left and grabbed the polearm pulling it towards himself. The spearman loss his balance letting go of the spear and fell face first into the blood-soaked dirt. Travon pinned him on the ground with his knee. Grabbed his helmet, pulling his head back and plunged the dagger deep into the front of his throat. He pulled the dagger out towards himself, severing the Qin’s arteries. 

  With the recently deceased's’ helmet in hand, he stood up and looked up towards the final opponent. He knew that the Faceless were no match. With a sword in one hand, Yuson pulled out his dagger and flared his martial arts with the sword for a quick second. 

  Travon armed only with a dagger picked up the spear and readied himself. Yuson moved at a brisk walking pace towards Travon. As he closed in, Travon pulled the spear back; placing the hilt of the spear in his right palm whilst still maintaining the tip of the spear pointed towards Qin with his left.  

  In a moment it was over. He launched the spear out of his right palm towards Qin’s upper torso, it wasn’t on target but clipped his right shoulder. It was enough damage to cause Yuson to drop his sword. Now rushing towards YusonYuson threw his dagger into his right hand. 

  Travon was the aggressor, slashing at Yuson’s arms and attempting to stab his chest. Yuson was very agile so he was getting caught with small cuts rather than dangerous wounds. Yuson would throw a slash of his own occasionally which Travon would take the full brunt of. Travon stopped and slouched. Yuson thinking he was tired and ready to give up, rushed towards Travon with a lunge. Travon yelled “Faceless rouge!”. 

  About an arm's length apart, Yuson looked stunned as his dagger was planted into the Faceless. He knew. Travon still slouched, took to stumbled steps forward as the Faceless was dissipating. Travon threw all his weight into a thrust towards Yuson’s throat. Travon gasping for air, collapsed onto Yuson as the life slowly drained for Yuson’s body. 

  Lethargically, Travon lifted himself off of Yuson and looked up. Helen. She meant the world to him. She was the reason why he fought for Harx. She was the reason why Travon trained so hard. The reason why Travon could send soldiers to their deaths. The meaning of his very existence. 

 ?Travon walked up to her. Despair twisted his forehead and filled his eyes. He planted both knees near her head and pulled her head gently onto his lap; rocking his body back and forth whilst holding onto her head gently. Travon whispered “It’s alright now... I...” Travon’s heart was stuck in his throat. Making it hard for him to breathe or speak.  

 ?Helen struggled to breathe, choking from blood pouring down her throat with every breath she took. Helen looked up into Travon eyes and quivered. She smiled like she always did. 

 ?“Helen. I know it hurts but it’s going to be okay.” As he slowly pulled her from his lap into her arms her eyes began to lose life. Travon quickly brought her hand against his face just as it was about to go limp. Her lips moved as if to murmur something. Travon placed his left ear close to her mouth. Helen's breathing was faint.  

 ?“Our son... ” 

 ?As Travon listened, whimpering quietly under his breath. His chin shook as snot dribbled out his noseHe pleaded “Helen you can’t leave me. Not now, not ever... PLEASE” 

 ?Choking on her blood, her eye drifted away and her body grew limp. Travon grabbed her harder and cried out. 

 

 

 

 


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