There once was a glorious castle in the middle of Warrenshire before the offering. It had a beautiful gilded tower, and ornamented gates decked with diamonds, and pearls. The streets next to it were once full of the same festive song every day of the week, while the workers plowed the fields with their oxen carts, the millers churned wheat, and the children giggled with mirth; At the walls the knights yawned at their stations, cleaning their muskets and swords, while the seamstresses knit clothes for their families. They listened for the crescendos and recapitulations and hummed with glee walking through the town’s streets behind their towering walls. The coda would not be for another week, even longer, and they all went about their jobs with aplomb singing along to the once never-ending song.
“Who shall it be? Who shall it be? The one who climbs the tower’s tree. The man who spans the great divide. Then dodges both spear and sword divine: while arrows sing, and pierce with a merciless roar! That dragon’s fear and cannot eat, who survives through storms and quakes of their humongous feet…”
The song that the people could never get tired of. It only brought joy to those who sung it. It was a mystery, like chanting it brought great power, and the people cultivated its words without fault. For as soon as the song started in the morning, they all sung it as it woke them from their beds. It was indeed something that the people needed to keep going, but they didn’t understand, nor were they allowed to understand, why it kept them on their feet.
And the week had went by at its normal rhythm, the people never seemed to have missed a beat, and they kept doing their jobs for their king. It had been then that the coda finally played, the final words to its catchy beat, and the people flocked to the speakers with gleaming eyes, and enraptured smiles. It played for a few minutes before they realized what the words meant.
“The man who is offered to the king and screams for his love as he gains his wings. Who joins his family in the everlasting night after the final plucking of his life. Who slides into a pool of red and loses his chance at the door ahead. Perhaps we shall even keep his head…”
After listening they all seemed to figure it out, and for the first time in years their smiles flipped. The song had ended, and the speakers had stopped playing the tune that had been supporting them their entire lives. It was quiet for the first time in the day of Warrenshire ever, and the only thing that could be heard was the sound of the castle doors opening. Its booming creak echoed through the town as the rotund king juggled on his horse racing forward to the people in search of the pair.
“Knights, go find the chosen ones. Kill anyone who doesn’t fit.” The king commanded.
They hummed a tune as they galloped forward. Singing about the hero that they had come to collect. It was then that the carnage started. It only took a few swipes of their brandished swords and spears before the townspeople ran in panic. Blood splattered onto the floor and faded into the ground before it mysteriously disappeared. All around them screams became the music filling the town. For some reason, it was impossible for the people to resist. Whether it was the knights who fired their muskets, or the farmers who pitched their forks, they were swept up like the fields they had once plowed. The big bellied king laughed before he patted his stomach and swallowed a grape from the beautiful maiden behind him.
The townsfolk only took minutes to reap, and in the end, there were only two who survived. A man and a woman were carried over to the king with their downcast heads bobbling as they were dragged over towards the King. They had chains wrapped around their arms and legs and could hardly stay conscious from the shock they had just endured.
“They are both ready for the fifth level, sire!” A knight reported.
“Good, captain. Give me a second to have a word with these two.”
The king walked over to the half-conscious pair who were shivering on the ground. He pulled up the man by his hair and investigated his red pupils.
“You’re lucky you cultivated to the fifth level on the same day, or else I would have had to kill her, too.” The king smiled.
The knights all giggled.
“You don’t understand how rare it is to have a guest with you. I had to ask for special permission to bring both of you. They even made special lyrics just for you two.” He sighed before dropping the man down on the floor. He looked over at the weltering girl and waved his hand.
“I can’t bear to see their faces. Take them away!” The king spit on the floor as the knights did their duty and placed them in the cages. They were pulled off to the castle as the king stayed behind. A man in a yellow robe ran up to him.
“Sir, reporting, we will have to start a new town again. Would you like this town to be different?”
The king stroked his beard before looking over at his maiden. She nodded at him.
“Yes, make this one more modern. I think it would be nice to raise a different dungeon class for a change.”
The architect ran off with a smile as he started sculpting the landscape to suit his tastes. Occasionally, with disgust, he dumped the leftover plebeians into bins to be carried back to the castle. Eventually, the castle disappeared, and a new kingdom began. As for the two chosen ones, they were cleaned up, and left at the doorway of the fifth floor.