The sun loomed menacingly over the horizon, casting a warm orange light upon the many trees of the forest. Small beams of light trickled through the vast woodlands.
One beam caught the eye of a young man, who had been sleeping on the ground just the night before. He awoke and stood, well rested, though still fairly sleepy from having just awoken. He turned over to avoid the sunlight, though he found himself to not be met with a soft bedsheet, but with prickly blades of grass. He staggered up, having almost forgotten where he was. He rubbed his eyes and looked down at the patch of earth where he had just slept on.
His name was Lupus, and he was on a journey, and far from the comforts of his home. He had the promise of treasure to fuel him, though. Goods that didn't exist in the world that he grew up with, spices that came from strange plants that grew nowhere else. Though most promisingly, gems that were cut so fine, that they were said to blind any man who gazed at their beauty for too long.
So far, he hadn't reached these distant lands. He reached the very border, though a great wall lay in his way. He could see it over the horizon, where the sun had risen. A massive, grey barricade that blocked out the sun.
"You finally awake?" Someone said from behind him.
Lupus spun around to see who it was, though from the sarcastic tone and the fairly deep voice, he already knew.
It was Herma, one of the three other companions that he brought along with him. She was the oldest of them, and never believed in the realm beyond back when they were all in their village. That is, until she saw the great barricade over the horizon.
She was one of the warrior types, having been drafted into the heavy infantry branch when she had lived in the village.
Herma leaned on her spear, with her studded leather and iron armor glistening in what little sun shined upon them.
Lupus glanced around, the other two he had brought with him began to rise.
"The sun has risen, there is but no other action then to proceed," Stalwart spoke, he was the philosopher and scholar of the group, a fairly smart man who dwelled in libraries to read and study. He was a rather polite chap, falling short of Herma's age by a mere four months.
"Is breakfast ready?" Another voice sounded. It was Beet, the youngest of them. He was rather naïve, and Lupus didn't want to bring him at first. However, no matter how much he insisted, Beet was determined to go.
"We'll eat later, right now we have to get over that wall,"
Lupus said, his hand upon his sword, "Are the horses ready?"
Herma leaned to the side to look at the three horses that they had brought. She then turned to look at Lupus "Yep, they're all up," she said.
They had brought only three horses, as Beet didn't know how to ride horses yet.
Lupus squinted at the sun, and looked at the wall in the distance.
"We should leave soon. By the time we reach that wall, it may already be past supper," Lupus said, looking back at his group "Pack up, we're leaving."
"I don't have to listen to you, short stuff." Herma huffed, though still turning back to pick up the various pots and pans from last night.
Beet began to pack up silverware, while Lupus and Stalwart packed up the tent, that only Beet was able to sleep in, while also putting bags onto the horses for travel.
Lupus stomped on the burnt-out sticks of the campfire, and looked to see if he still had the rope at his side.
He still did, and looked around "Does everyone have their gear?" Lupus called.
He was met with a collective murmur of yeses and nods.
Lupus nodded appreciatively, and looked over the edge of the hill that they had slept on.
One day, he would see this place again, and on that day, he would no longer be Lupus the pretender, Lupus the wannabe. He would be Lupus the great, the man who would bring riches back into his village, and he would be the hero that he always wished to be.
He looked over at Beet, worried. He had heard many a tale about the distant realms, and looking at Beet's light leather and fur coat, and short stature, he didn't know if Beet would make it out alive.
Stalwart packed up his sword, and placed it at his side, his robe swaying in the wind. Stalwart was a strange, cold fellow. Polite, even too polite. Never once had he done anything with a foul hand, nor of foul intent. It was almost as if he didn't feel anger, sadness, or hate. Sometimes, Lupus wondered is Stalwart was even human.
And then there was Herma, she was the polar opposite of Stalwart. She was confident, full of energy, and she rarely spoke any sorts of apology. When she set her mind on something, she very well may achieve her goals. She also despised long hours of study, with books, that is. When sparring, she was an absolute menace.
Lupus, was just Lupus. A nobody, a side thought in the bustling world he lived in. A mere footnote in the great stride of the universe. That would change, though. It had to.
Lupus thought back about the distant realms. It was said that it was a magical place, a place once inhabited by many creatures of all sorts, filled with great stone cities and home to the greatest minds that the world had to offer. Nobody knew what had become of those cities, and nobody had gone there ever since.
"Hey, we're leaving, unless you wanna sit here and do nothing." Herma called. Beet was with Stalwart, on a horse, ready to leave.
Lupus grumbled and got on his steed, a white haired mare, who he had taken from the local stables.
He mounted the saddle, and held the reigns. The others followed suit. He gave the horse a gentle kick on the side with his feet. His horse huffed and began to ride in a slow trot, while the others followed.
Soon, they were down from the hill and onto the vast plains, away from the thick forest that they had once slept in.
Lupus kicked at his horse's sides again, this time a bit firmer. The horse neighed, and began to gallop. The others rode beside him towards the sun, and towards the great stone barricade that lie ahead of them.
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