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Blood in Gold (The Archipelago Fantasy Series: Book 1)

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Summary

Two Kingdoms for one desire, taking siege for the stones of the seas above the abyssal sunken cities, hearts warmed by the tempt of searching the numerous essence of its purpose. The Nature's secretive power lays its bet between the rivals, the difficulty of destroying the runes further fortify their stratagem. Swords rise by the roar of valor, lives perish to decimate the diversified ultimate core. Their Kings and Queens listen to the people's drastic words and untimely calls, Gods feasts on its eyes to watch the action of two, whom rise and fall and rule them all.

Genre:
Fantasy / Adventure
Author:
J.A. Batas
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
30
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
18+

Prologue

The mist by the northern isle

The world is cold and stiff like the dead as if the past is still haunting them before the day break.

A remarkable yet horrifying history behind every island locus, morphed into a new destiny as seen in the waters around them. However, they kept their plans a perfect secret, murdering anyone who could have put the pieces together in the darkest shore and reefs, monsters of the trenches can rip limb by limb. The massive one, the colossal beast of the sea guard in defense of the deep, and the hidden ones; the feel of repugnance towards the sailors of the sea, amongst men who were hungry for blood, and who is generous for giving no mercy.

It has long been its nemesis for reasons lost in the deepest trenches underneath, and so the gods know the ends of it.

There are always something lurking underneath the waters, but there is always a bigger boat afloat it that bothers. Bubbles sear heat steaming that smell like death, brittle like ice on every rack ruined breath. Going in the boundaries of every laps, like a splinters of rocks, the tiny and huge are scattered around like a broken world’s complex and subtle pieces.

Aelar, Gordar; lone wrinkled fingers by the morning they sail to fish. Dryland between the ports and islands unnamed. By wears of loose garments of dark shade from dusk until dawn, caved in their hands the veins of strength and wounds of courage. For thousands of years they were keeping the norms of taking what is said to be owned by their Kingdom, taking the resources for which they are the only ordered to sail within the World Shores without any hesitation, through fishes and golden treasures alike. The Aluthea’s reign from the island of the ruined fortress of Andanine to the silent mysteries lies beyond the Raven Islands...was still uncertain.

Gordar: Nice catch Aelar! The harpoon made its way beneath it.

Gordar complimented his comrade while he used his thicker yellow lengthy dart to spit by the bow. Most of their techniques, such as the use of fish traps, harpooning, and using bow and arrow could be performed both on foot and from a boat. Those who lives near the bodies of water, an aim of a man is to bring castle a net full of fishes.

Aelar: What a tiring morning already. We should’ve just join the army if we have the money too. At least we can hold a sword not this dangling thing.

Dismayed to the underlying facts shown off by the Family’s deeds.

Aelar: The experience of feeling to be an anointed knight of the kingdom...I rather just die on the land with the faces of my family in front of me.

The man dripping with sweat said to him, with a stiff and worn out voice while engaging the clutch of the Fisher’s harpoon. Arms stayed within the ropes and blew the flames of every shot to be a successful catch.

Gordar: The fisher workers limit scarce, we should be here all day every day, what if the farm does not have any more servants. The Kingdom is washed up with some good servants.

Aelar: Give golds for the Kings and Queens, give foods to our fellow working men. A wield from our own fighters of country is better than the arrows flying from the rivalry.

Gordar: I can’t believe this conversation lad. We are here sitting our assess mouthing about the strongest people in the realm.

Aelar: What? Really? Be happy because this was the only time we can talk about them. If we talk about this in the near of high lords houses? We are probably dead.

Crestfallen like an arrow through the heart, melancholy due by their day to day work with small to no pay.

The life behind us was ruined, but we still need to carry on to make them living, he thought.

Gordar suddenly missed his thoughts and continue to shoot arrows and spears beneath the sea.

The fishes on the boat seemingly bound the weight that it tilts a bit, every tip of their dagger’s terrible swift, like opening a clam of the world and taking what is belong below the blue ravine canyon; a bottomless obstruct, a bottomless pit. Hold by hold, for every catch and shot of weapon, beyond the trail floats resource, this is what the people needs; decreasing the labor of herdsman as well as farmers, they eat fish instead or else they go the other way around. Diffident they feel towards the nature, as long as they live a better life, diffident to sail across the forbidden as long as they live on a station of good spirits.

Gordar: Ahh, ten big salmons. Trout, ten as well. How many is that? More than twenty Flounders in one settle from the island. They can be very disappointed if there was no Tuna, people with money can wolf down those luxury in a moment.

He joined the seat in front of Aelar, both in a weary state. The sound of sea breeze, roaring distant waves covering up their voices and cold fast breathing.

Aelar: Save some Mackerel for us. I think four was enough and the rest we can let display it beyond the port.

Gordar: Treasures diplayed in the port, yes...but the money was not enough for us to use again, what is the point then?

There could be desecration and loss underneath it, he counted the fishes from its deposit. For the people poor is stomach filled without the gaps of starvation, it was not enough for several families. They were about to head onto another catch, grabbing the necessities of water hunting until...there was something Aelar glimpsed in the corner of his eyes.

Aelar: What the hell is that?

In the crescent boat pointing at the huge stone of one of the small islands, his body takes forward to seek through the waves of the mirror-like grace and unexplored ocean inner rumination. Taking away his eyes upon the darkest and strangest figure on the other side of a stone looking through its narrow eyes. The mist is white and violently cold, they wonder what this man is doing alone in a close empty dry land.

Gordar: A man is waving at us, he needed a help or some sort of food, we can give him space of the boat in as much as he does not kill us. We can’t trust anyone in this world.

Both of his twitching eyes are fixed beyond the island with no space to swing a open weave to get a catch. Gripped ready at net.

Aelar: I cannot figure out. It was not a man, perhaps.

With a stiff voice and looking with a peer from his eyes, above a hand between the eyebrows.

Gordar: Perhaps what? He was there, that guy is just behind that rock, it is obviously a person so what else you could say perhaps...if it is something else?

He is being upright from the oak seat of their boat. Blunted harpoons, wooden bow and a sword not used for whether or not the man that seemingly peers and its hand shake and swish doesn’t have any good intention to act or talk. It is never calm nor a feeling of excitement; a company may join them, or harm them. No caution of prayer within their ears to settle the boat near the seashore.

Gordar’s scheme are without having the courage of staying at the margin of welfare.

Gordar: Let’s find out.

He proceed to row closer to the islet which a flat hill rest underneath a rugged erected stone. Aelar trying to fight back, the rowing came to steady opposite to stop him, shards of waves like gushing, the gods want them to know, and they demand the dread to know more what is going on behind the realm.

They saw it, they saw it disappear joining the waves of the thin mournful fog above the tides. Having a stare onto the blue and luminous sea is the terror they never seek. Whatever that speck of shadow had touched, it tainted, and its vivid lifeblood gradually grew within the stone. Flowers are famous for having the sweetest fragrance and the sharpest thorns, thorns of yellow sticking out on the side of the land. Those Sharp dorsal of a skeleton made of cartilage, not bones, sways and slid onto the blue linen proximate within their small boat. Spreads by slender eight that can swaddle a boat, an enemy of mankind. They are gone for thousands of years yet the resemblance, the mark, the figure is still large enough to pierce the sheet of cold dark sea as well as the screaming bubbles even more. The agonizing unbearable sting, churning the haze and riptide into a raging chaos.

The two boatmen has gone lifeless, clenched chains onto the dark abyssal prison. Eyes shut forever, a dream from birth have taken a borrow, a corpse with the fishes lay forever, never again living at the table of the Lord of sorrow.

The Kingdom and the colossal they knew about, it was the tales that tell that is supposedly forgotten. It will last throughout the ages, the gills flaps and stings, the swords of the abyss is still at rise pierces whoever pass, the exegesis of every pages of the book they are willing to find; it is still counting. The dreaded ones swims, the phantoms, the dead be in the land of the living. Though ‘it’ might add a hundred times its weight to the either drylands distant, it is doomed to live apart until that day ‘it’ returns that which was taken. At most part of every man’s journey, their trips are never safe.


The mist by the southern isle

On Markain island they sail ahead before the sun rises.

Salagor: How many miles, Agaal?

Agaal: Too far to count, Commander.

He responded, nervous and chilled like the mist of winter.

Sailors on a boat from the south islanders, came to Heraya city to train their arms and paddles for a swing and swim. One of them is a Grand Orcater from Shakar, Sea Assassins of the North who pierces its heavy weapons on the fragile side of the rival’s side of the ships to take a stealthy trip to the bottom ocean. Foggy Island of Markain, Agaal a nobleman, and Salagor Makaela, can barely see a thing above the sea.

Hearing whispers of the wind blowing chills from the phantasm, cracking of woods wrecking their earlobes as they row. Agaal’s gray tunic is too unseen, Salagor’s broad black chest plate are way too intimidating for many eyes to see. By the armor plated his body, covered him well as an honor with confidence to go on the passageway to danger, in the absence of fear within his heart.

A message from him, the Garrick must sail with the pride of all fleet.

There above the waters, doing their means of earning a living and waiting for the mist to flatten out the vast ocean. Five of them shivers while working, stinging cold rushing in their nerves underneath the fishermen loose brown fabric, insistent beyond seeking a way to get some necessary resources they will bring home before eight of morning.

Fishes are still plenty, seemingly jumping in the boat , a sigh of gratefulness and somewhat a disappointing catch; so many, yet so less for many people. Helping each other seeting up a trap in the side of the boat with a carrot spiked in a hook, despite the lack of hope of catching for another batch. Agaal and Salagor together with their comrades tried to throw some spears, shoot some arrows of a whetted arrow point, but with all the throw of strings and sharp end spears, nothing floats even a buoyed seaweed.

Then suddenly, doubtless and sensible by the dread. The two honorable men stood in the boat whilst the three fishermen bend their backs to do the duty. On a gest of cold stone and a blast of hearing, Salagor whispered in Agaal’s ears.

Salagor: Can you hear it?

A shiver crawls out like a gory siren below the deep reef. Agaal commands his fellow fishers to prone, hidden below the small boat’s seats they go.

Salagor: The men of Orbitaris are here again, someone might shed blood. Listen carefully, and all of you, be wise enough to answer on what they has too say.

The longsword is rested by the scabbard of Salagor, ready for a crash or a steel of determination, to respect for those who respect them as well; for the sworn sword oath and for the oaths of others. The fear on the eyes of the fishers, it was wobbling, the cold breached the sense of heated soul within their covers. It shuttles and pour, the smell of history prevails many death of blooded enemies. Then there, within and out of the mist was four giant battle ships with flags sways the black lion surrounds the gray horizon, spiraling them slowly to cover the ghosts of the sea realm. Coming closer and closer, until they catch the glimpse of ghastly monstrosity hidden in the gloominess of maddening ashen fogs.

Written in the history as it may be rising again from the depths of forgotten graves.

Ship captains and Masters can be heard to which way for the formation. A Medium-sized ship, all made for maritime combats came close in the veil of the massive one. Drew closer as if the smallest was going to be rammed by and rubbles. Turns its sides now faces the main deck, a bald, high lord can be seen with a Lion’s tooth dangling on his necklace, his black cloak clothed on him. Archers on the gun port above him ready to aim their arrows, intensifying their hopelessness of escape and fear of not going back to the ports anymore.

Agaal cleared his throat, gazed into his eyes within living in fear, but Salagor shone his black eyes to them, a black towering rage.

Rival Commander: Who gave you the rights to sail here pretty man?

The bald man shouted.

Salagor: Who are you!? Did your Ruler sent you here and tell us to stop?

Rival Commander: You don’t need to know my lord. These waters that you roam to are part of our home. Trespassers, you boys are from Aluthea aren’t you?

Agaal: We’re just desperate to catch fish m’lord, our people are hungry. We are carrying their hunger on our backs all day long, please, let us free.

Roared the distinct knightly soul to them, trying his best to convince them to let alone their sail away from the surrounding multiple fleets.

Rival Commander: And so do we... I respectfully command you to not enter again, this part is ours and so do the Southern part of the Sea. Be gone little lords.

A sudden silence, a wind blows along the cries for help, both men in the small boat blew nothing but a face with unthankful awakening. Salagor’s heart beats harmony beyond the valor, he has taken his vows that the sword sets its edge to give life and death to the faces of men.

A pace with my fellow soldiers not come on sight, brave blood dashing about before the start of delight. Taking a shot from his lungs to shoot it out from his mouth. This. is ours. He said in a low, whisper-like tone like a resentful living ghost. The bald man smiled its mockery.

Rival Commander: What do you want? A fight? Not a realization from your little tiny mind had hit you huh? You seem to not understand the situation. You seems to not look around and take a good look at yourselves that you’re all a bunch of thieves of the waters.

The Blaze started to heat up more and more, words by words touched by fierce and hearts never tamed. He tilted his head on the collar of his black cloak and then suddenly, one of the fisherman whose concealed underneath the seat begins to rise.

Fishermen: We don’t want to fight all! We should share this seas. We set down here as a labor for the living of our families but then you decided to surround us with a battleship!? Your intentions are absurd!

A threat killing the smirk of his delight, getting the siege of his soul, letting it all out of the unknown man. The burning message of that fisherman blazing like an ember, and as sharp as the blade on the high man’s dagger.

The bald man just smiled, the only way to feel terror at the moment they stood was the numerous arrows above him, and so...his mouth pale began to open and shouted an order, killing the lie on what Salagor have said.

Rival Commander: READY YOUR BOWS!!!

Someone might shed blood.

They heard it again, the deadly historical events that happened way back the horrific Battle of the Karik. Deployed the Orcater where King Stallify the First have rode, surrounds them the Red waters poured like barrels filled blood of the fallen. Bring in a wail by every shout of loose, loose of arrows raining above them dark skies. Remembering the time where his eyes caught the swaying swords and making precise cuts into their armored bodies, spilling their organs and blood upon the crude wooden floor while limping and growling.

He screamed a declaration in fright of getting killed by a hoard of archers including his comrades in the small boat.

Salagor: HALT! HALT! DO NOT SHOOT! Do not shoot.

Rival Commander: Do not speak against the High People in front of you if you don’t want to get killed. The only time you all been good at fighting is when you killed Rigan of Nezermag, well that’s a pity of you, teasing the fulfillment whilst your king dies in our own hands.

Salagor: But the only time we won this conflict is when we conquered this all. Taking and Fighting for what is ours was sure to be our greatest victory.

Rival Commander: Ohh, Funny coming from you. His son, the second of his name was a frail man yet you let him reign on that stupid throne.

The bald commander whistled one of the servants from his aw, then he whispered on the armored knight after it arrived on his stead. Noticed the Bald man did not spit out his arguments anymore, he took a seat nearby the figurehead of the small boat to calm himself down. Reminiscing the day he used his sharp steel to kill an enemy and saving lives to give a mortal a chance to live. Glancing at the waters, mirrored the clash of demons, men and fallen spirits crawled by power atop, an army done from slumbering in the depths of unknown abyss.

The shouting made him weary, looking at his friend Agaal whose also sitting at the side together with the fishermen.

Salagor: What should we do Agaal?

Agaal: All we need to do, is leave. This man might order his army to kill us, we had to live so we need to leave.

Snucking up for the paddle to row, the spot is congested with massive ships circling their tiny boat.

Rival Commander: Go! Go ahead and row away you shmucks, do you think I’m that blind to not notice your attempt of leaving?

The Commander of the Ships suddenly returned without any warnings, touching the harpoon swing gun in the balcony, and noticed the eyes looking straight down at the small boat where Salagor, Agaal and his men rest in fright. All that is known to them, a stern and cruel blood-thirsty flock of state and a chief without honor. He turns around for the second time, but the intent was different. They heard a command which one of the knights in the small boat beside them.

Listening despite the mumbling of distance songs of wind.

Rival Commander: Sir Akali! Take what they hold of in that boat and chase them before the island of Andanine. Make sure that you don’t get caught by their guardsmen. Move!

A cruel steel and a pointy deadly end of all sword and arrows was waiting to be out of the leash. All men must confess, that was the land of either them or the other. Thinking about getting back to their homeland was beyond far like their means of survival; Country of Aluthea, taking hold of two Kingdoms which rules for centuries, the Reviathan and Sicaris.

Given a freedom to sail, the paddle was out to row freely back to their home across the fading fogs. The massive ships were now diversified, making way for their fishing boat to cross safely. A sign of relief but a report to tell the Marshals after the journey was locked into his brain. On the spur of the moment, they heard another batch of rowing nearby. A small boat approaches them including the man gratified in his coat of seal. In front of him were three heavily armed men, with quiver full of arrows, they are clothed with Musketeer boots and a chain mail hood, dark gray jerkin jackets with a lion’s seal in the right chest.

Chief Archer: Go! Just row!

The honorable man in black is physically tired but spiritually confident to speak up since the ships are now turning their bows in the other way.

Salagor: Do you think I am scared huh? You’re threatening us and there! We’re guarded by archers. What is your commander’s motives?

Chief Archer: I don’t think I remember scaring you sir. Our Commander was the Baron of King Webster Klanel m’lord. He ordered us to follow you through Andanine Island. We only asked you to go away from our waters because this is ours since the Battle of the Karik.

Salagor: Who cares about that battle, we won it and we claimed what is our!

Chief Archer: Do not shout dear sir, Remember our commander Jarvis...he warned you not to talk to us like that. And one thing, who the hell brings sword on a boat?

A laughter was blasted before him. The Fishermen and Agaal were rowing, Salagor was trying to keep his fiery side of heart but then he felt attacked by just a single throw of a word. He sat on the end of the boat again and this time, he took away his eyes on the chief, thought to not bring another words for it to be irrelevant for the rivals. The cold seems to left a mark on him, restless eyes are going to shut, feeling pitiful at the same tick of the clock during duty. Being present of the circle of sworn can be a little to no time, here today and gone tomorrow.

As the tides turned around, his slumber has gone deeper. The dreams of conquest was destroyed beyond their crown. His sentience is awakening, but everything was mere blurry and dreamy. All of a sudden, he heard voice of multiple men’s muffled arguing. Echoing in his ears, the agony of men, the stench of death is a sick irony. It continues and the pain of every tone he hears is as cold as the wind of the sea. Pouring, sound of blood tip over the flesh of a mortal, each strike felling and dismembering, hungrily tearing open into their meat and shattering bone.

Agaal: Commander! Salagor wake up! We are at the Andanine now.

Salagor woke up, feeling groggy from his great sleep. Confusion builds upon his face, he can see the tower barrack of Andanine Island but the sleep was all he gazed upon, it was fast. He saw Agaal rushing towards the nose of the boat, reaching for their passage slip on the dusted drawstring pouch pocket.

Salagor: Where are the three men with us?

Agaal: What do you mean? There’s only two of us here.

Agaal is also confused by Salagor’s question. Salagor saw a pouch of gold on the floor and too many fishes in the net that can feed nearly one brigade of soldiers, giving the boat a little tilt on the side. The gold scattered like a pile of huge dust in glimmering radiance, but he saw something unusual. His eyes were near a close when he saw blood underneath the pile of gold, spilling and crawling its ends outside the shimmering stones.

Salagor: There are so many fishes but, the golds...there is blood in the gold.

Agaal: I think you’re tired sir, we’re here before dawn claiming golds with bare hands from the islands and hunting fishes. Another thing that you noticed, that is the fish blood you see underneath. Look!

Agaal cracks a joke to make him wake up from his dreams back to reality, lifting the net filled a sphere of fishes, lifted by a man who does not seem to wake from the edges of laughter.

Arrival at the Barrack Castle of Andanine is special for them, with no signs of threat or damage dealt on both men. The Castle is made out of grubby black stones covered with vines, left side of the ruin is open havoc dealt by an explosion from the ancient battles. A blue flag at the battlements with a symbol of a black sea serpent half submerged in a red sea, its wings wide and trying to fly. Spiraling with the waves of cold air, drizzle upon the dreadful clouds and thanking the gods they never saw it flaps its wings above the World shores.


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