Azhure: Don’t really have a lot to say, but this chapter might have some POV texts be rewritten to fit the mentality of said character viewed. Enjoy!
The capital of Coastline.
2 hours left.
“I’m going now, mom!” Richter exclaimed, waving his right hand as he hemmed his leather satchel that contains his lunch safely on his shoulders with his left.
“Be safe on the road, dear!” his mother replied, also waving her left hand as she was holding a bundle of fabric on her right.
Today was just like any other day for the boy named Richter who sported a short black hair, a rarity in the kingdom of Coastline – most people are caramel; the nobility and royalty had blonde hair or pale cream matching the sand or so his mother said. His mother said that most of the Ancient Heroes from Coastline had this hair color, brown is the second most and also uncommon, maybe that’s why he got popular with the girls and respect from the boys.
Richter woke up from his bed by the sound from the belltower to signal daytime (6 ante meridiem) and ate served, served by her mother. He would then help around chores as his mother worked, she is a seamstress – a person who makes clothes. Then, the belltower rang its bells again to signal one hour before school (11 ante meridiem) which coincided with the afternoon bell (12 post meridiem).
What about Richter’s father? you asked. Well, his father had passed away six years ago, killed in the succession war in which the neighboring kingdom launched a surprise invasion in the middle of it.
While the much younger Richter and his mother grieved, they were worried about the future. His father had been the backbone of the family of three, and his income barely supported the family. His mother could only sew fabric and it could not cover their daily necessities, not with how the kingdom was being run back then.
But then a miracle happened.
According to Richter’s mother, the war ended and the ruler instated was Albert von Coastline who was unexpected as he did not have any help. He did have the people’s support because he was nice to them, but it didn’t matter as the few ‘high’ people called nobles that mattered to the kingdom did not help him.
From what Richter’s mother said, a ‘mysterious backer,’ which is what people call him, helped the new king to the throne, it wasn’t a baseless rumor as there was a spokesperson for this traveller, the hero Jonathan.
Anyway, the people welcomed Albert as the new king, including his mother too, but many are still skeptical about how he will achieve his views. It was then the new king did the most surprising, according to his mother.
It was only several years later so that Richter was told about what happened, partly because he was too young to understand back then – but he still doesn’t understand. He was told that days after the new king rule the kingdom, he ‘executed’ (a word he didn’t understand) most of the nobles.
His mother and other people were surprised that the new king would do such a thing, but none complained as the nobles did sh*t (his mother acted weird when he asked what sh*t means) to the commoners – some of Richter’s friends had said that their parents had seen the execution and cheered when the nobles’ heads were chopped by the ‘guillotine’ (another word he didn’t understand but some contraption that chops people’s head off). Basically, the nobles get punished.
However, Richter’s mother did say that it wasn’t good enough as their children were spared and allowed to take over as heads of their family and quote on quote ‘keep’ their land even if they cannot rule it. Richter didn’t understand why his mother said so since after that, the new king made changes Richter did not understand, but it basically meant that nobles are no longer in charge – and also moving into this city making it the new capital. And apparently, she was right. Because two months ago, a noble tried to rebel against the new king but the plan was busted by the hero Jonathan.
While all of that was good and all, Richter’s mother is still concerned with how to get food to the table. His mother said that the ‘reforms’ or whatnot the new king established isn’t going to help much.
Few months after the new king’s reign, a merchant company came and changed everything. It was called the Bell Conglomerate – Richter’s mother didn’t know what ‘conglomerate’ means when he asked her about it.
At first, Richter’s mother thought it was weird for them to open a branch in Coastline just when the nobility had been punished. That opinion was enforced with the conglomerate’s fancy building meaning it must be catering to the wealthy like nobles.
Afterwards, the merchant that opened the branch hired the kind old man Richter used to pass by to be its manager and just vanished.
Suddenly, new buildings popped up including that bell tower, and the facilities the new king built got fancier.
Then, the conglomerate gave Richter’s mother a job that is related to sewing.
After that, the conglomerate did a bunch of stuff Richter didn’t know. But whatever it is, it meant that he and his mother get to eat hot meals every day so he was thankful for it.
Also, they opened a school to teach kids reading and writing for free. That is where Richter is going.
Skipping across the road, Richter can’t wait to show his friends at school the toy that his mother got as a bonus.
The boy that will become the bait is the son of a Bell employee?
Unbeknownst to the little boy, he was being watched by no less than four Court Wizards.
Darcassan and Jonathan, in the robes, were hopping across the rooftops where no one would normally look that high up.
Richard and Jill, also in robes, are by the entrance to the cultists’ base in case the cultists abducted a different black hair child that the Court Wizards didn’t know about. One thing Alicia noted before separating was that Jill was awfully close to the other knight but would turn away vehemently went Richard turned his face to her.
Finally, Alicia and Owen, again in robes, are following the child on foot.
The reason four Court Wizards are following the boy, and by extension the cultists tasked to kidnap him, and not simply camping out in front of the cultists’ base was partly on a whim, and also for caution in case something unintended happens such as civilian casualties during the abduction – they at least have to keep innocents out of this plan – or if the then-abducted child gets taken to a different location.
The picture was taken from his school record. (Darc)
Why did you not tell me that before?
Then consider us even. (Darc)
Alicia couldn’t help but yelp out a surprise. The Dark Guardian must have held a grudge for what happened in that mission two months ago.
Really now!? You meanie!
The dark elf didn’t retort (in [Telepathy]) to the pixie’s snark.
And Voice came up with a nickname for Darcassan Erith, the Dark Guardian who is a dark elf. Ilezenya Erith, the Nature Guardian and Darc’s little sister, did say that her brother really likes his black coffee, and Rin told her that even his tea was very bitter. So Alicia assumes it to be the basis for Voice’s epithet for Darc for having chocolate-colored skin and being so bitter.
I see two cultists. In the alleyway between the blacksmith and clothing shop. (Jonathan)
And Jonathan broke the tension.
Alicia gazed to the area Jonathan informed. It took a moment, but she saw a pair of figures in black robes eyeing the black-haired boy. The color of their garb blended them in well in the shadow, you will have to squint to spot them.
There’s two more on the other side. (Owen)
Looking at an approximately ninety-degree angle away from the two cultists between the blacksmith and clothing shop, there was a gap between two unnamed buildings that have another pair of black-clad cultists.
However, those cultists retreated into the dark corridor as their target has gone far away from them.
The knights have not reported any activity over their side. Continue watch on the child. (Darc)
Right. (Everybody else)
In the busy streets of the capital of Coastline, Richter passed by a group of younger children playing marble.
“And… Go!” one kid shouted cheerfully as he flicked his yellow marble. He was a fox beastfolk. “Yay! I got twelve!” he cheered as the yellow marble knocked out ten other marbles out of the circle drawn on the dirt.
“Aw, man!” a human boy cries, “I like those marbles…”
“My turn!” a fish beastfolk boy exclaimed as he readied his blue marble. Fish beastfolk has fin-like ears and gills on their neck; in water, they transform their legs into tail fin and their hands grow fin between their fingers to swim underwater.
Richter smiled as he watched the kids of different races play together. One of the new king’s acts was to end discrimination towards beastfolk. While Richter doesn’t understand exactly how the new king does this, but he knows it involved with the fox beastfolk who was appointed as the head knight of the new king’s sister and princess of Coastline’s personal knights, Alyssa von Coastline.
Now, lots of beastfolk live together with humans and those live outside of Coastline flocked into the kingdom hearing the better treatment towards beastfolk there. Though may have something to do with the fox beastfolk head knight; fox beastfolk like that boy who won a dozen marbles aren’t native to Coastline, his family migrated here.
Richter was thankful for it because of it, he was able to meet a cute wolf beastfolk girl, Anna, who was a very close friend of his.
Richter broke his sight with the kids and continued on. He paused for a moment and remembered that he did bring the ribbon he planned to give to Anna since it’s her birthday today.
“There was an explosion!” a woman exclaimed. “It’s coming from the bakery!”
Just a couple of steps away, Richter could see the bakery he always passes by in flames. He and his mother rarely buy any of the bread there, they liked the bakery from the next street, but Richter still felt bad for it.
Then out of nowhere, a brown hooded figure appeared as if he fell from the sky and then rushed to the bakery.
“Someone went in!” a man exclaimed as the brown figure jumped into the broken display, busting through the debris.
“What the-?” another onlooker was pushed to the side and fell to the ground with a THUD. The culprit was another brown hooded figure who was just a head taller than Richter himself. “Hey, don’t go in there, kid! It’s too dangerous!” the onlooker screamed as the smaller brown figure entered the blown bakery too.
Just as the smaller brown figure was in the bakery, the taller brown figure jumped out of there carrying two people on their shoulders. “That’s my wife and daughter!” a man exclaimed. The taller brown figure said nothing and shoved the two women to their family patriarch and runs back into the bakery.
The crowd was getting thicker with more townsfolk gathering around the site. Richter wanted to get a closer look and so he did. He walked passed the alleyway and then…
“A-Ack!” Richter grunted as he felt his left arm being grabbed. He was pulled into the dark corridor.
“Oh Dark. Entrap thee with your dreams. Sleep.”
There was not much struggle when Richter heard a quiet whisper and felt sleepy afterwards. The poor boy has no understanding of what is going on as his vision blackened with his consciousness leaving him.
The cultists on the left side have kidnapped the child.
I’ll follow them, rendezvous with the knights when you’re done. I’ll alert them. Alicia, you’re coming with me. (Darc)
Alicia just hopes the people trapped in the bakery could make it out alive as the Dark Guardian sinks into his artificial shadow which then slithers to Alicia whilst everybody else was distracted.
As the shadow reached Alicia, Darc emerged from his shadow and wordlessly grabbed the Fire Court Wizard by the robe and proceed to submerged back into the shadow with Alicia in tow.