This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Killigan was relaxing outside of his home, sitting on a chair and looking at the tremendous spires of the central city off in the distance. His home consisted of a small grouping of craftsman living in small, wooden houses on the outskirts of a massive conglomeration of buildings and towers, and the boy was quite satisfied with that. His father taught him everything he needed to know about forging metals and the various talents needed to plan a new project.
He coughed a bit, the dust forming the ground being kicked up by a rogue gust of wind. Killigan Ghor was a young man, barely fifteen years old, and he was rather scrawny for someone who often worked hammering metals and carrying heavy loads. His hair, a golden, shiny blonde, was not impeded by the work or the sulfurous working conditions it was in and maintained its shimmer without fault. It grew to Killigan’s shoulders, which he found was the perfect length for his tastes.
“Killigan, you done with your resting? We need to get these new support beams ready by tomorrow for the Governor’s palace,” a man shouted.
It was Killigan’s father within the forge. The boy stretched a bit then hurried over.
“Yeah. I’m done. Just taking in the sights that the spires of the central city offer.” Killigan grabbed some leather gloves and started putting them on. “It makes me wonder why Calagh doesn’t have a capital yet.”
Killigan’s father was a large opposite of his son, and it showed when he stepped away from an arcane shaper. The man was extremely bulky and his body was charred from the years of working with flames and cinder, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. He had become bald some few years past and often found himself jealous of his own son’s hair before realizing that such a lock of sparkles wouldn’t befit him and would definitely not make his job easier.
“What’s that?” Killigan pointed to the shaper.
The machine was twice the size of an average person in height and three times their height in length. Compared to the rest of the tools and equipment within the enclosed room, it was extremely out of place; Not because it was huge, but because it was far too sharp and had strange blue lines running along its surface in various patterns. Its central body was hollow and its holder could be changed to allow the tool to hold many different types of materials of any shape. An anvil shaped portion, at the top-left, held most of its weight and was where most of the glowing blue lines converged towards. The right portion above the hold had many buttons and levers on it as well as containers for whatever Killigan could fathom.
The boy's father scratched the side of his neck. “The noble who commands our wares decided to grace us with this gift, saying that he wants us to craft him a gun, for some reason," he said.
“A gun?” Killigan put on his apron. “Why? We only ever made furniture and other...things...” the boy trailed off.
“Yes, but this tool will allow me to not only create an object of external beauty!" the man shouted. "But! Also fuse it with magical properties.” The man clapped his hands together and smiled.
Killigan threw his head back. “How?”
“Well, by entering a few commands here on this panel and adding a compound,” The man took a tiny glass vile filled with glowing red powder from his right pocket.“like this one, I can infuse it with any kind of property of any type.” He tapped the his leg impatiently. "But they’re mostly just for looks, sadly."
"We can’t make the magitech weapons like they make for the elite Regimentaries or the Pillar Scieldans, can we?" Killigan wondered.
“True, but if either of us knew any kind of magic, we would be able to do that sort of thing here.” He gave his son a toothy smile. "Imagine the splendors we could make if we had that talent."
“But it’s illegal and--”
The father slammed his fist through a thin, metal sheet next to him and bared his teeth in annoyance. “Yeah? Well, we’ll see what happens when I use this thing." He took a deep breath and relaxed. "This is a delicate procedure and our employer actually lent us a few cheap compounds for experimenting. I'll get to see what I can do first, then I’ll show you how to do it." He adjusted his large protective gloves before resuming. "Until then, you can complete our other tasks first and get those finished, then we can focus on this.”
Killigan scoffed. “Whatever you say, dad.”
The days went by and nothing much changed aside from the boy’s father often becoming increasingly angry when an experiment on the shaper would fail. However, Killigan felt something call to him behind his little village four days later. It felt familiar yet alien and it was within the wild forests and swamplands where nothing had yet to be colonized on account of the Calaghi System still being a new acquisition within the Terran Expanse.
Taking advantage of a resting day where he and his father would do whatever they felt like, the young boy wandered into the woods with a hammer in hand, just in-case any wild animal came by and tried to kill him for food. The trees were spread apart in wide arcs, leaving the dry, dusty, and barren terrain bare to the sun.
Carefully, the boy continued forward with his hammer clenched to his chest. The further he went into the forest, the stranger it became. More plant life gradually rose from the ground, and the trees started to 'melt' somehow. The first time, Killigan did not go any further than this and returned to his home to plan for his little excursions into unknown territory. He might not have been a cartographer, but he was certain that sending this information to the Aelfylce Cartographers would certainly make them happy and give him and his father a few more bites to eat and slightly better living conditions, not that he was discontent with his current one.
Killigan was fairly certain that the vast majority of the planet had been nothing but dried plains of a tanned color with a few lengthy patches of 'cooked' grass. Even the 'forest' was really only evenly distanced, dried tree husks protecting nothing below or around them. The atmosphere gave off a blue sheen, and the sun pounded on everyone on the surface, evaporating any water that once existed, forcing those in Killigan's village to dig deep wells to find large, underground lakes from which to take water. There were few exceptions to the dryness, however.
Around the fifth time the boy traveled to the forest, he made his way through the lands of an unknown terrain. It became much damper and murkier with every step, and the air became heavy and humid. A few bugs buzzed around strange, mucus-green plants growing out of the muck, but generally kept their distance or ignored the human near them. The boy was startled more than once by an inhabitant of the murky depths who would violently splash about and dash off into the distance.
“Eugh. I hate this place. Even the forge isn’t this suffocating,” the boy complained. He took his backpack off and pulled out a container of fresh water. “At least I know what I’m doing...I think...” he trailed off.
Some time later, Killigan noticed something unusual sticking out of the mud. It wasn’t shaped like the rest of the melted terrain and some unusual colors peeled through the mud dripping off of it. Cautiously, the boy walked towards it, taking in his surroundings before getting right next to the anomaly.
“What is this supposed to be? Some kind of mutant plant?” Killigan’s eyes sparkled with a sudden realization. “The Imperator Bulentse offer great rewards for incredible plant-life discovered by normal citizens. Not only will we get some money from my exploring, but we'll get even more for discovering a some strange plant!"
Killigan crouched, wrapped his hands around the 'plant', then started to pull. His hands slipped off multiple times and made him regret his decision after getting caked in mud and plant life.
He huffed with irritation. "What does it take to pull a plant out of muddy water? Maybe if I tried wiping the mud off?"
Killigan Ghor took a clean towel out of his pack and used it to clean the plant, only to discover that it was not, in fact, a plant, but a pair of golden gauntlets enclosed upon each other. There were little bits of paint still present on them, but they were dried and peeling off.
"What...What is this?" The boy pondered for some time then just shrugged. "Whatever they are, I'm certain I could make something out of them. Maybe my dad even knows what they are, but I can't pull them out of there like I did earlier."
Using his creativity, Killigan took some dry pieces of wood from the surroundings and placed them at the base of the gauntlets. After some struggling with using leverage on the planks, a loud suction nose rattled the boy's ears and a large amount of gunk fell from the holes of the metal objects and onto the ground, making the removal of the gauntlets much easier.
Finally, Killigan could fully see what they were. Unfortunately, they were significantly heavier than he thought and created quite a struggle to haul them over to a tint patch of dry land nearby. They would have landed with a thud if the land weren't so soft.
"Good grief. So heavy. And they're, like, five times the size of my own hands!" The boy panted and looked over the two gauntlets while he tried to catch his breath. "What are they even holding?"
Having become more fragile, Killigan managed to break off the mud serving as glue between the fingers and pry them open. His eyes widened when he saw what the gauntlets had clamped onto and fell onto his rear, stunned.
"I need to get this to my house and quick. If anyone sees this they'll probably try to steal them from me."
Struggling just to drag them along the ground, the boy ended up using a large chunk of wood as a makeshift sled to place the fists on. What he didn't notice was that there were two hands still within the gauntlets when he had found them, although they had long since withered and decayed. Disturbing their rest made the mud around them unstable, freeing them from their trap and letting them sink into the swamps for their long awaited rest.
ynez2005: I LOVE THIS BOOK SOOOOO MUCH!!!!Though you really need to make another book,more Princesses!!! Whoooo!!!Girl Power!!!Mabey it could even be Devona's BFF???That would make it even better!!!Plus can you pleeease make Akki come back,together with Thea and Authur amd the whole family is back!Other th...
spooky jedi: Love your story!I really hope more people read this story!Its amazing!! The plot is very unique and different, which is very good to have in a world full of stories. You have very complex and intellectual plot line, with your many loveable character and that hint of 'will they, won't they' is ju...
ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...
Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.
maewilde25: I am so in love with this story!!! captivated me till the very end, there wasn't a dull moment. Didn't particularly enjoy the lay out and some bits of info was missing along with how a 21 year old man amassed so much wealth that needed to be explained other than that and a few spelling errors, th...
Alani Foreigner: I absolutely loved how you created this story. It isn't like the other cliché stories I've ever read. I had just started reading it yesterday and just had to finish it. The main characters are grotesquely awesome and I fell in love with them. If you're into fantasy and stuff I can guarantee that ...
Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...
nirrmitshah: A truely touching story where you'd be at the edge of your seat for the most time. even though the starting might seem rushed, the story was extremely interesting and entertaining. I think certain parts could be added detailing the Mynds's culture. As well as more details on the Jhanthru history....
re8622: The Last Exodus quickly grabbed my attention. Almost as soon as I started reading the story, I couldn't put it down. I found that the ideas the author put forth were very thought provoking given the turmoil we have seen gradually rise over the last several years. I felt that I could understand th...