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Shattering of a World: Thorns and Roses (Book #1)

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Far and beyond it’s only winter all year long in the seven lands and surviving is hard to come by in these frozen wastelands. They say the average man cannot come by on his own in the harshest of times in these lands and it would be merely impossible to take them on his own. The people of the seven lands honor the seven gods and even with winter being their only weather the people of the seven lands have managed to figure out many ways to survive and their most prized thing they’ve ever made for survival was their beautiful greenhouses. However, they say that the seven lands are not the only lands in the world and now the kingdom of Uniniqua is planning to be the first of the seven lands to attempt to take voyages out on the Malgaesic Sea to know for sure if there truly are other lands out there and that starts with volunteers. Katrina, a soldier in training for Uniniqua is a person a lot would consider very friendly, but she is not afraid to stand up for herself if one tries to talk down to her and has the sneakiness of a cat. Tarion, a soldier also in training for Uniniqua is a very serious guy that doesn’t mess around, and prefers to work hard and is never afraid to back down from something. Both wanting to be soldiers one day for Uniniqua it may take a voyage away from the seven lands to up their chances, but will they take that chance?

Fantasy / Drama
Quin Kimler
Age Rating:

Prologue: Katrina

Light snowflakes sprinkled down to the everlasting white ground like powder in the peaceful morning, and it was one of those winter weathers where it wasn’t too hot or too cold. It was one where no one barely took notice of it. A few gray clouds were floating in the sky while the sun was brutal to make out at some points. Nevertheless, a few rays of sunshine managed to shine down below, making some patches of snowy areas look like magic particles from the seven gods and goddesses.

The lake that Katrina’s father would take her to had thin ice coursing from each side, except around the area they were currently fishing. Usually, when the two came out here, her father would bring a pickaxe to break apart the ice surrounding the lake, and with him done it many times before, he picked through the ice like butter. The little girl had always admired her hard-working father, and even though she was six years old, she wanted to be hardworking just like him. The male adult was a built man and was always willing to help in any way. After all, he was a healer in their homeland Fasiqua. Whenever he had to do his job, Katrina had to be watched over by their kind neighbor Mrs. Augusta, but the healer would usually take his daughter out fishing whenever he wasn’t doing his job. Fasiqua was known for its good fishing areas and delicious fish. It wasn’t the wealthiest land one would expect, but it had some friendly folks.

Waiting for fish to bite their hooks and tug would bore Katrina as all she could do was sit and watch the icy lake, but she would get excited whenever she managed to catch a fish. Fishing wasn’t all too bad for her as it was a way to bond with her father, and talking with him always made the little girl smile. She had never met her mother before as she died when Katrina was only still a baby. The six-year-old never knew what her mother was like, but her father always said she was very kind and social like her. For a young girl like the healer’s daughter, most would’ve expected her to struggle without a mother, but their neighbor Mrs. Augusta was always friendly to help her with her hair and outfits, almost like a grandmother figure. The lass always enjoyed having Mrs. Augusta around, and her cooking was always the best part.

The wind coursed through Katrina’s delicate dark brown hair as she focussed her gaze on the lake, and every minute that ticked by made her squirmy as she was sitting near the edge of the lake on a rock with her father. So far, they caught four salmon, but the lake didn’t seem to have much fish swimming around. It was her father’s favorite fishing area, and usually, they’d be catching more than four, but today it didn’t seem like they had their luck in fishing. She didn’t like complaining in front of her father, but Katrina was now starting to get impatient.

The dark brunette held her dark blue velvet cloak tightly against her as she held her rod in her other hand, and it was starting to get colder with the dainty white snowflakes increasing. Little Katrina never liked snow that much, and with temperatures like this one, she would always feel like her whole body was freezing up from her small head to her tiny toes. Yet, there never seemed to be a day without snow for as long as Katrina could remember. There would always be thick snow everywhere she looked, and the seven kingdoms’ snow had never melted into any other season for many centuries.

A short while later, a snowstorm slowly started to pick up, and when it did, Katrina began to shiver violently, and her teeth clattered. It was easy enough to tell that the weather wasn’t looking too good, and the young girl wanted nothing more than to be back at home and get warmed up near their hearth. As if sensing his daughter’s wants, Katrina’s father pulled his rod out from the lake. “Come on, Kat. Let’s get back home before the weather gets worse.”

Katrina nodded, and she too took her rod out of the lake, and when she did, she and her father gathered their supplies and started to make their way back home. Whenever the two of them went out fishing, they would always take the same path to the lake and back home, and with them doing it so much, they practically had the way engraved in their heads. Even if the snow had their path covered, they never worried about getting lost in the thicket. As long as they got home together safe, then that was all that mattered.

The clouds in the sky grew darker, and as they did, things got much worse from there when the hail started to kick in. The clumps of ice bounced off Katrina and her father as they trudged through the snow, and the little girl hated whenever she got caught in hail. Whenever she felt those clumps of ice drop on her, it was almost as if they were trying to crack her head open like an egg. Katrina had to pull her hood over her head so the hail would be less frustrating to deal with, and even if it wouldn’t be enough to block it all out, it was better than nothing. With the weather looking pretty bad, the lass had to hold her father’s big hand so she wouldn’t lose him, and anything could go wrong in weather like this.

As father and daughter were getting close to home, Katrina noticed something off to the side of the usual path they took. It was hard to distinguish what it was from where she was, but the more she looked, the more she could see that something was lying in the thick snow as hail was bouncing off it. What could it possibly be? Dropping her items, Katrina ran over to the object.

“Katrina, what’re you doing?” Her father shouted to her.

“I think I see something,” Katrina answered, and when she got to what was in the snow, the lass brushed as much snow as she could get off the object. It wasn’t long until the dark brunette saw what it was in the snow, and when she did, Katrina gasped when she saw a boy. He had a nasty gash on his forehead, and he wasn’t moving. The little girl feared that this boy was dead, but surely he wasn’t right? “Father, there’s a boy!”

“What?” Katrina heard items drop to the ground, and it wasn’t long until her Father got to her and the unconscious boy, and when he did, he started to feel the boy’s pulse on his neck. As he did, it was as if everything had gone silent at that moment, and Katrina waited to hear if the boy was alright or not. “Kat, I’m going to carry the boy. He’s okay, but he’s losing body heat. So I need you to try and carry all you can, okay?”

Katrina hadn’t realized she was holding her breath at that moment, but hearing that the boy wasn’t dead brought relief to her. As long as the boy was alright, everything seemed like it would be okay. Katrina hoped that her father would be able to help this boy, and she knew she shouldn’t worry but just seeing the boy the way he was scared her that he may not make it. Her father was a healer, though, and surely he would know what to do.

Without saying a word, Katrina nodded, and after she did, her father picked up the boy and gingerly placed him over his shoulder to carry him. They weren’t too far from their home, so the two of them went back on the path they were taking after the lass grabbed all she could. They tried to get back home as fast as they could so Katrina’s father could help the boy, and it came down to two possibilities: either the boy would make it, or he would die. The little girl didn’t know who this boy was, but she hoped that he would be alright, and she prayed to the seven gods and goddesses that the boy would be okay.

After some more trudging through the snow, they finally arrived back home. Their home wasn’t the fanciest, but it was a lovely sturdy abode with plenty of space. When they all got inside, Katrina’s father brought the boy into the guest room they had, and her father mainly used it to treat the patients he had if it was too late or a real emergency to take them to the healing place in town. The healer brought the boy over to the guest bed, which was very simple and had a quilt in blue and white colors, and when he did, he quickly stripped the boy’s wet clothes. Katrina had to look away so she wouldn’t see the boy naked, and after her father took the boy’s clothes off, he laid the boy on the bed and covered him in the quilt. The boy looked very pale, and he seemed to have gotten worse. The gash on his forehead hadn’t gotten any better, and the dark brunette swore it looked more open now. Dry blood had painted itself down the side of the boy’s face, and some of it had dried while most of it was still oozing down.

“Kat, stay here with him,” Katrina’s father said as he walked out of the guest room.

At that moment, Katrina wasn’t sure what to do. Was she supposed just to watch him? Just staring at this boy though he appeared to be about the same age as her, and as she continued to stare at him, it brought many questions inside her head. Why was he out there all by himself? How did he get that gash on his forehead? Who was he even?

The boy had some messy, wet hair, and it was as black as a raven, and it looked like he barely ate a thing. As Katrina stared at the boy, she noticed something around his neck. Curiosity getting the best of her, she went to look at what it was, and when she got a better look, she saw a necklace hanging around his neck. It was a black cord, and the pendant hanging from it was very peculiar looking. It was pure white like snow, and it was a very odd shape that the little girl could only describe as roundish and pointy looking. It was unlike any necklace that Katrina had ever seen before, and she wondered how the pendant felt. The lass sat down and then touched it, and when she did, she was amazed at how smooth it felt. It was almost like touching a stone.

Then, Katrina felt movement, and she looked up to see the boy slowly moving. She gasped as she let go of the pendant. That was a good sign, and it meant he might be okay then! The boy then slowly opened his eyes, and when he did, his eyes appeared to be blue. Not just any blue, though; they were icy blue. Katrina was amazed by the boy’s eyes. They were almost like staring at turquoises, and she couldn’t bring herself to look away from them. It was almost like those eyes hypnotized her.

As the boy finally looked fully awake, he looked around him, confused, and Katrina watched as he rotated his head from one direction to another. It wasn’t long until his icy blue eyes fell onto the girl’s green eyes, and when they did, Katrina forgot how to move. She wanted to say something, but no words could leave her mouth. The dark brunette thought about going to get her father, but she didn’t want to disobey him. The boy continued to stare at her in silence, and no words could describe how unpleasant this all felt.

After another moment of silence between the two kids, Katrina finally courageously spoke to the boy. “Hello, you’re awake. My name’s Katrina; what’s your name?”

The boy didn’t respond, and Katrina wondered if she should have even spoken when he didn’t. Maybe she should’ve just kept her mouth shut like a good girl. What else could she have done, though? Now, the little girl wondered where her father was and when he’d be back.

“Tarion,” the boy said quietly and slowly, catching Katrina by surprise. Even though the boy had spoken, he was barely expressing any emotions. He was as blank as parchment, and the dark brunette wondered if he could even feel the gash on his forehead. But, on the other hand, maybe he didn’t notice it at all? “Where…am I?”

“You’re in our abode.” The boy tilted his head, confused at her, and when Katrina caught onto why he looked confused, she tried to explain it better. “This abode belongs to my father and me. We found you outside all by yourself while we were coming home from fishing.”

The icy blue-eyed boy brought his gaze down, and as he did, he closed his eyes and seemed to be thinking about something. Katrina watched as Tarion was thinking, and she wanted to ask what he was doing, but she didn’t want to interrupt what he was doing. The boy was very odd, no doubt about it, and all the lass wanted to do at that moment was leave this room as Tarion didn’t seem to be the type that liked to talk a lot. The dark brunette enjoyed socializing a lot, but this boy barely exchanged any words with her at all. Maybe he was nervous about speaking? Or perhaps he was still trying to adjust to his surroundings. Katrina guessed she would have acted the same way if she found herself in some stranger’s abode the more she thought about it.

As Tarion was in his thoughts, Katrina’s father came into the room with a bowl in his hands, and he placed it down at the bedside. Steam gracefully swirled in the air from the bowl, and in the bowl, there was lukewarm water and a white rag. Katrina was relieved her father finally returned as she wasn’t sure she would’ve handled being in the same room as the odd boy a bit longer.

The healer then looked at his daughter. “Kat, can you dab the rag on the lad’s wound? I’ll be right back with some bandages and some mint tea.”

Without saying a word, Katrina nodded, and as her father walked out of the room, she grabbed the rag out of the bowl and started to squeeze out as much of the unnecessary lukewarm water as she could. After she did, she gently began to dab the rag on the boy’s wound. Of course, the boy flinched as soon as the lass started to dab the rag on his forehead, but the dark brunette tried to do it gently without touching him. But, of course, the last thing the little girl wanted was to feel Tarion, and as she continued to dab his forehead, she didn’t say a word to him. Katrina also went as far as to try and clean the blood that dried on the side of the lad’s head, and as she was dabbing his wound, Tarion started to calm down, and he never said a word either.

After a few more dabs to the icy blue-eyed boy’s wound, Katrina’s father came back in with some thick bandages, another bowl, and a cup of mint tea, and the little girl could already catch the aroma of mint, and she loved mint a lot. Her father placed the bowl, bandages, and cup of tea down on the bedside, and as he did, Katrina moved out of the way so her father could apply what was necessary to the boy’s forehead. She heard her father tell the boy to relax quietly and that everything would be alright. The healer then grabbed the bowl he brought in with the bandages and cup of tea, and in that bowl, there was a green salve to be seen and a white rag. Katrina’s father took the rag out, and when he did, he started to dab the boy’s wound a few times with the rag, and the salve spread out to every tip of it.

As soon as it looked like the salve had covered the icy blue-eyed boy’s wound enough, Katrina’s father placed the bowl back on the bedside, and he grabbed the bandages. The male adult then told the boy to slowly lift his head so he could wrap the bandages around his head. Quietly obeying, Tarion lifted his head, and the healer began to cover the applications around his head a few times, and after he did, the lad’s forehead seemed to have looked much better. Of course, it would take a while to heal fully, but it seemed like the boy would recover just fine.

Katrina’s father then grabbed the cup of tea and extended it to Tarion. “Here, drink this. It’ll help you relax.”

The boy stared at the tea and back to the male adult a few times, looking a little skeptical, and as he did, Katrina’s father looked at him patiently. Her father had always been a patient man for as long as the little girl could remember, and barely anything got him upset. The healer was always a reasonable man, and he would never think about bringing a fist to the face. The look of his expressions would tell anyone that he was a man who could be trusted, and that was what he was trying to indicate to the odd boy. A healer he was, and a healer he would always be.

Hesitantly, the boy eventually took the cup of tea from Katrina’s father, and when he did, he slowly took a sip from it. He seemed to have relaxed a little now but looked to still be in his little world. It was almost like the icy blue-eyed boy didn’t understand how the world around him worked. Tarion barely looked anyone in the eye and mostly had his head down in thought, but he managed to take another small sip of his tea.

“Lad, can you tell me your name?” Katrina’s father asked softly.

The boy didn’t reply, and he kept his gaze down. Katrina couldn’t say that she was surprised. Tarion was about as silent as a mouse. What was his problem?

Before she could even stop herself, words had already slipped from her mouth. “He said his name was Tarion, father.”

The healer didn’t look at his daughter after she answered for Tarion, and he kept looking at the boy. “That’s your name?” Then, without looking at Katrina’s father, the lad slowly nodded. “Don’t worry, Tarion. You’re safe now, and you don’t have to be afraid.” Her father then gently placed his hand on the boy’s shoulder. “Can you answer me a couple of questions? You don’t have to answer right away, though.” After a bit of silence, the boy finally looked Katrina’s father in the eyes, and when he did, he slowly nodded. “Why were you out there by yourself? Where are your parents?”

Katrina watched as Tarion closed his eyes, and as he did, he furrowed his brow. Standing here and waiting for him to answer her father’s questions felt like forever had passed. As her father would always tell her, though, she had to be patient to understand the person better. Katrina wasn’t sure how her father could do it. It had to have taken years for him to get it down right. The dark brunette wasn’t that patient, but she tried as best as possible to be patient in any possible situation like this one.

“I…I don’t remember,” Tarion slowly said. “Everything’s just a blur for me….” The boy then took another sip of his tea.

At what Tarion said, Katrina’s eyes widened. It all made sense now why he was acting this way. The little girl wasn’t an expert in the healing field, but she had the feeling that the lad had lost his memories. She felt terrible for thinking of this boy as odd, and if she would’ve known sooner that he had lost his memories, she wouldn’t have thought of him like that. Of course, Katrina couldn’t have imagined what it was like to lose so many memories, but even that alone sounded horrible, especially for Tarion.

Katrina bit her bottom lip as she stared at Tarion and almost wanted to say that she was sorry, but she technically never said he was odd. But still, even thinking that he was odd made her feel very bad about herself. The little girl was considered very friendly, and she felt like she hadn’t been very friendly enough to the boy. It wasn’t like she hit him, though. She felt very sorry for him for losing his memories, but surely he’d be able to get them back, right?

“It’s okay, Tarion,” Katrina’s father softly spoke once more. “Try not to put too much stress on yourself. In the meantime, it’ll be best that you try to rest. We’ll help you find your parents tomorrow. But, for now, you’ll need to stay here and rest, okay?” Slowly, the boy nodded, and after he did, the healer gathered what he brought into the guest room. “Good.” He then looked at Katrina. “Kat, can you help me make some salmon stew?”

Without a second thought, Katrina nodded. “Yes, father.” Her father then walked out of the room, and the little girl was about to follow him, but she then looked back at Tarion. He was taking another sip of his tea, and after he did, the boy looked down, confused and upset at the same time. At that moment, the dark brunette wanted to cheer up the icy blue-eyed boy in any way she could. He seemed nice, and what harm would it do to try and speak to him once more? Katrina approached Tarion, and as she did, the lad looked at her. The lass smiled warmly at him. “I know we just met, but...do you want to be friends?”

At that moment, Tarion looked at her, surprised, and Katrina managed to giggle when he did. His reaction was pretty funny to her, and perhaps if she managed to get him to lighten up some, he’d have more responses like that. The little girl wasn’t sure if the boy would consider the idea of them being friends, but in a way, she hoped that he would accept to be friends with her.

To Katrina’s delight, Tarion managed to smile. It was a weak one, though, but it was a good start. “Sure.”

It began to look like the start of a beautiful friendship to Katrina, and she hoped that this friendship would last for a very long time. If they couldn’t find Tarion’s parents, perhaps he could live with them then. The dark brunette did hope, though, that he would get his memories back and they would be able to help him find his parents. Either way, though, Katrina was happy to have made a friend.

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