The prince and the peasant.
A young man walked the mostly empty streets of an old and withered looking town that was at the mercy of a ruthless boiling sun. Everyone on the street walked sluggishly dragging their feet behind them except for a small group and the young man. He was facing north with an upright posture. His clothes were tattered, old and loosely strapped to his body. His hair was a light brown color and his eyes were silver.
The town had a property that told of poverty. The streets were littered with trash and the expectation of cleanliness was mediocre at best. The town was on the coast of the mighty sea and surrounding it on land were miles of forest Far from the rich and luxurious cities at the center of the small continent.
He looked down at the street carefully examining every little crack and dividing line as he strode over them. The young man lowered his hand into his pocket, careful not to reach into the many little cuts and tears that surrounded that area of his torn and unkempt pants. His hand jittered around as he brought out a small amount of thin long green sheets of paper that had a number listed on them signaling their value.
As he looked through the four strips of paper which were all labeled with a one, he clenched his fist in frustration wrinkling the paper inside. His eyes were filled with both fury and determination.
But something in his fist jabed at his palm and fingers as he held it tightly. He loosened his grip and took the papers out of his palm with his other hand. In his hand he held a familiar little locket. It was circular and outlined with gold. When he opened it had two small pictures displayed inside of it. One picture was of a mother held tightly in her arms. The young man’s eyes softened as he looked at the image of his late mother. Underneath the picture was a sentence.
“Never forget, Nile.” It said. When he looked at the other picture his breaths became more certain and poised. He was looking at a medal, a medal that is only given to the mightiest and most courageous of heroes. He had wanted this medal his whole life.
In the picture the medal was glimmering in the sunlight; It was in the shape of a knight’s helmet. It was white with no splotches of stains or dirt. He had wanted it so desperately his whole life.
one day. he thought. One day it will be mine. He turned his head as he heard talking and immediately stopped in his tracks. He looked over to see three friends hanging out together. They were laughing and teasing each other. Nile never had any friends; He never knew what human connection really felt like. No one ever wanted to talk to him and whenever he reached out looking for people to call his friends no one ever wanted to be around him. He never knew what it felt like. Nile clenched his fist in rage, the people turned their backs on him and never even gave him a chance.
A loud crash came from the other side of the town. Nile snapped out of his trance and looked over to see smoke rising in the distance and he heard the screams of terrified people as well as the mighty roars of one of them. Nile held the locket close to his chest looking over at the smoke with opportunity in his eyes.
“I won’t let you down mom.” He said to the locket. He placed the money and locket back in his pocket and sprang towards the smoke jumping and landing on the top of one of the buildings surrounding him and leaping to the next building towards where the smoke signaled his destination.
Within two minutes he was already there. The smoke that he saw rising was what remained of the buildings that once stood tall here now they were shadows of their former selves. In the street was a giant crater and in the crater stood six soldiers all with silver armor shining proudly. He was right, it was one of them, they had been mysteriously appearing on the coast of the small town for weeks now each attack more devastating than the last.
It had jet black skin and even darker claws and teeth. It had a massive mouth that stretched across its entire face and then some. Above its mouth there was no nose; only one huge crimson eye and on its back protruded four tendrils that almost looked like seaweed flowing in the air. It stood 15 feet tall towering over the six soldiers that surrounded it that were imposing figures in their own right.
The creature raised it’s massive arm in the air and swatted at the soldiers like they were flies, and like flies they all went crashing into a nearby building. The creature laughed a sickly grotesque laugh.
“You humans are nothing more than play things to us, the true dominant species of the world, the Fomorians!” It said in a deep gargling voice. Nile suddenly appeared in front of the creature he was centered and balanced even in mid air and his leg cocked back about to strike at the things stomach. Nile thrusted his foot firmly into the beast’s stomach and it was pushed back it’s feet left and imprint on the concrete of the street like two small tunnels had been dug there. The fomorian tilted its head to look at Nile, its eye filled with all the malice and hatred it could muster as Nile stood there smirking.
It raised Its tendrils into an offensive position and charged forwards towards Nile. they were fast and coordinated, nile ducked to the right to avoid the first two but then was struck by the third. He was thrown into the air by the tentacle that pushed him upwards then the fourth one rose into the air high above him and swiftly swung down slamming him into the ground.
Nile laid in the small crater that was made by the impact of his fall. The fomorian slowly walked over to the young man that wasn’t moving in the pit. Then Nile rose out of his hole. He could hear the cheers of all the people around him and though his head was bleeding and it hurt his back just to stand up he looked at the thing.
He was fueled by the peoples cheers and praises not out of some sense of justice or heroism but rather in a more selfish and prideful way. He positioned his feet and arms into what resembled a martial arts fighting stance. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a figure in a white cloak hiding away from the crowd in a darkened alley way. He rushed forwards tucking his right arm behind his left that was raised in front of him defensively.
The fomorian swung at Nile with its giant arm however Nile blocked with his left hand holding onto it tightly he used it to propel him forward guiding his fist into the fomorians chest. The hit was hard and Nile’s fist pushed the flesh into itself like the fomorians body was made of playdoh. Then Nile landed on the ground in front of the thing. It shifted back coughing and grabbing at it’s chest. Nile was sure that he had won now and let his guard down. An instant later he saw a black line land at the side of his face and he was thrown into a nearby building’s wall. He had once again been struck by the things tentacle. He heard a crack come from his arm as he hit the wall. He was breathing heavily and blood was leaking out of the side of his face and the heat of the sun made him dizzy.
“Damn it, I should’ve been able to block that.” He said. On the ground he saw his locket and now adorned a large crack that cut through the middle of it. He was plastered on the wall the same way chewed gum would stick to the bottom of a school desk. The fomorian started towards Nile having regained its balance. All the people had scattered from the scene now that their hero was defeated. Nile was alone. The beasts tendrils slithered up to and over his body. He could feel them begin to strangle him.
His vision became blurry and his body weak. But just before he felt death’s hands take hold of him he saw the fomorian went flying into the air along with its tendrils that let go of him. Above him he saw standing there was prince Zander. His hair was scruffy but also silky and flowing; he had yellow eyes and he wore a red shirt which was overpowered by a majestic black robe that violently shifted with the speed that Zander was going at. Zander looked at Nile and scoffed.
“Pathetic.” Then he looked back at the fomorian; its once imposing and frightening stature was now like a crumpled piece of paper.
It stood straight up and looked at Zander.
“I’ll kill you for that, you bastard human! You think you’re enough to stand up to me?” It said attempting to blanket its fear. Zander began walking over to the monster. It took a step back and prepared to run. But before it could Zander faster than either the monster or Nile could see appeared before the fomorian.
“Do you think any fomorian is enough to stand up to me?” He said regarding the monster with contempt. “You fomorians are nothing but brutes, weak brutes at that.” He said. Zander jumped into the air above the fomorian and placed his hand onto it’s head slamming it into the ground with such force that Nile could feel the shockwave from where he was. It’s face was little more than a fleshy mess then.
The people of the small town then came out and praised Zander to the high heavens as Nile looked on with envy. He stood up grabbing his arm in pain. Zander disregarded the many people who praised him and walked out from the crowd passing Nile and looking at him with contempt the same way that he did the fomorian and walked off.
The people had all left the space and Nile was alone once again. He looked down in disappointment and began to walk home. But before he left the area he heard a voice.
“You’re forgetting this.” Nile looked back, standing there was the same white cloaked figure he had seen in the alley way earlier. Now he could see his face more clearly. It was wrinkled and bald like the face of an old master, his cloak had a long orange vertical stripe running down the middle of it and in the chest area of the man was a green oval shape that protruded two diagonal stripes that went up and over the man’s shoulders. In his hand he held the locket. Nile walked over to the man, the cruel sun was now setting and the skyline was now a dark but hopeful blue color and the horizon was a beautiful vibrant orange as the two looked at each other.
“You’re very strong you know.” Said the man as he handed the locket to Nile. he lowered the hood of his cloak and said. “My name is Safashi, I saw how you fought against that fomorian.”
“I would’ve beaten him if Zander didn’t get in the way.” Nile said, clenching his fist. Safashi paused for a moment, his emerald eyes gazing at Nile’s broken arm.
“Whatever you say.” He said lightheartedly. “I can help you to be stronger if you want,” he said. Nile’s eyes widened in response.
“Seriously? Why would you do that?” Asked Nile. Safashi thought about it for a moment. Tilting his head up to the sky.
“Because you show more potential than nearly anyone else I’ve examined.” He responded. Nile smirked proudly at this.
“So you said that you could make me stronger right?” Nile asked.
“Indeed I can.” Answered Safashi.
“Can you make me stronger than Zander and can you help me get the medal of courageous honor?!” Nile blurted out his words so fast Safashi could barely understand their meaning. Safashi brought his finger to his lip in contemplation and said.
“Well I… Suppose so.” He said.
“Then I’m in!” Exclaimed Nile excitedly.
“Excellent! Then come with me.” Safashi said equally as excited as Nile. The sky was now mostly black now only lit by the many little specs and sparkles of light that were the stars of other worlds.