Small Beginnings- LOTA Part 1

Well, I think it's time I placed the latest version of what I've written on here. I'm starting a new project, and I'd like people to know where I got with the old one, just, you know, because. This is a working title, any suggestions let me know. Thanks guys :)


9. Chapter 9

They had left at dawn. A convenient time, useful mainly because of the fact that most monsters hunted after midday, so they would have a pretty uneventful journey to Orcum Municipus. Arián was there, almost solely because she wanted to see the Zen warriors. She had read up on it, and couldn’t wait to meet them. Of course, she ignored the part of the legend about what happened to the last man to find them. She and Jiro were ready for the trip. Jiro had magically turned two backpacks into fully-fledged rucksacks, and had filled them with necessities. Even though she was supposed to be a disciplined warrior, she was quite adept at packing a rucksack with such things as sleeping bags, provisions, a large tent and changes of clothes. Vellian asked himself how much of that he would have packed, given the chance.

They were all really looking forward to getting to Orcum Municipus was now a fifteen-minute walk from where they were, and, on their way to the Zen cave, Jiro and Arián were bubbling with excitement. They knew that beyond the turning of the rough, stone-ridden, dusty pathway, obscured from view, was a “DANGER: DO NOT VENTURE FORWARD OF THIS NOTICE” sign, and beyond that- who knows??

 For Krenclire, the nagging worry he had persisted. He didn’t really know for certain, but there seemed to be trouble brewing. It didn’t seem like a good day to look for homicidal ninjas, he thought, but how one could convey that to somebody outside their own consciousness he didn’t know. Nevertheless, he pushed on.

Vellian pushed in front of the others, and used his hands as a barrier, signalling for them to essentially shut up and stay back. He drew Nightslayer, wielding it two-handed, and turned round the corner. Nothing but a few rocks. He pushed on, motioning for everyone else to remain behind the rocks. He held lightslayer steady, and blinked. When he opened his eyes, four black-clad warriors stood there, dressed as a ninja of feudal Japan would, and all facing him.

He lunged.

Instantly, the four warriors moved. They were a perfectly co-ordinated killing machine, all focused solely on the occupation at hand- the occupation being the dispatch of Vellian. One stopped the mighty blade, another grabbed him and lifted him off the ground, and the other two, now with green hands, pushed into him, sending him flying painfully into the boulders. He slunk down to the threadbare ground, winded, and Jiro saw his chance.

Morphus dividus!

A barrier was made between them and the warriors. They waited, patiently, as if this was just a friendly respite. Jiro used one of the techniques the Sensei had shown him for healing, and Vellian sat up, slightly dazed. He snapped back to reality, and they all stood up, silently in agreement that they should face the hostile warriors together.

They readied.

They attacked.

They split.

Vellian lunged.

The warrior ducked.

Vellian lunged.

The warrior drew a sword.

He ducked.

They kicked.

He took it.

He swung.

They blocked.


Arián attacked.

Another warrior stopped her.

She punched.

He parried.

He punched.

She ducked.

She low-kicked.

He jumped.

She stood.

She kicked up.

He caught it.

He flipped her.

They backed off.


Morrphus Dividus!

Zen Constrictus!

Morphus Ventus!

Zen Disspellus!

Morpus reptillius!

Zen Necrosis!

Jiro fell.

The warrior fell.


Kren tackled.

The warrior took it.

Kren pulled off the headgear.

It was a she.

He lunged.

She jumped.

She kicked.

He took it.

He grabbed her.

She kicked him.

They flew apart.

She stood.

He stood.

He kicked.

She kicked.

They flew apart.

They all stood.


Morphus Necrosis!


The warriors took the warning, and ran. Jiro recalled the intoxicating drift fast spreading in a comical green cloud, then shook himself off. Arián walked over to Kren and said something out of earshot for Vellian, which Krenclire smiled at. Kren picked up Arián, one hand underneath her chest, the other hand underneath her kneecaps, and carried her over to the others.


“You know,” Arián said, having been put down by Krenclire, “I find it funny that they didn’t even bother to say hi, just went in and tried to kill us. I don’t really think they understand the whole social graces thing, do they.”




It was actually a pretty uneventful journey after that. There were numerous uninteresting details, like that Vellian stopped to tie his shoelaces no less than seven times, and Jiro stumbled and fell onto Arián twice. They crossed three miles of track, spanning four hundred feet upwards, and walked for an hour. Krenclire jumped across the relatively small border between the Dojo’s resident Atland and another, marginally smaller and wooded one. The interesting part came only when this jump had been made, and tall oaks and cedars lined the twisting path inwards.  This is where the journey got interesting.



There was a machine. A Purple, shining machine. A case, with a vibrant metallic purple exterior and a ball of glowing energy in the middle. Funnily enough, it took around ten seconds of looking at it before anyone seemed to notice it existed, and another five seconds before Jiro went “Oh.”

It was the kind of thing physically designed to take your breath away. Around three stories high, and built to impress. It radiated a feel of this is my patch, and with the power this crystalline thing seemed to hold inside, it was in a position to say that. The skeletal rings holding it up also seemed to control the huge ball of energy inside, and the whole structure, hissing quietly, took any breath that could have been used to make a witty remark or the like out of the window. However, they were only partially glued to the ground in awe, and Vellian drew Nightslayer and stepped forward. He made a flicking movement with his hands that made the sword move slightly in a queer circular kind of way.

Needless to say, Nightslayer was a heavy sword. It was about thirty kilograms in total and was difficult to manoeuvre efficiently. However, in his time wielding the supposedly mythological blade, he had grown marginally stronger, and he now found it a lot easier to use the claymore.

They approached the gargantuan structure, readying themselves for something really bad. That kind of thing always did seem to happen, and so when a shape appeared round one side of the purple machine, Jiro didn’t think.

Morphus Ventus!


The poor old man didn’t know what had hit him.

Vellian rushed, Arián bounded, Krenclire leaped and Jiro floated over to the man. They all arrived at more or less the same time, and instantly looked at Jiro disapprovingly. The man’s age looked to be in triple figures. His sunken, melancholy complexion was set in folds of wrinkles, and his short grey beard was messy enough to indicate the lack of a comb, or at least, the ability to use one effectively. Krenclire stooped down and sat him up. The man was wearing a creased guard’s uniform, originally black but greyed with age.  The figure spluttered, coughed heavily, and then stood up with sufficient force to startle Krenclire.

“Who goes there?” asked the man, in one of those wheezy voices trademark to someone stereotypical of his age. “I order you to... erm...”


Jiro stepped forward and realised the guard was about to sneeze. When the sneeze came, it rattled through him like a washing machine that had drunk too much coffee. Vellian stepped forward and stooped slightly, ready to catch any body parts that might fall off from the vibrations. The majority of his appendages looked like they were threatening to do just that.

“Sir?” Jiro enquired, adjusting his view of the now-curled up figure so as to get a view of the head.

“Ah...ah..ah... no. It’s passed.” The man had no apparent idea there were people around him.

“Sir?” Jiro repeated, slightly louder this time.”

“Hello?” The man couldn’t have been anything short of insane. “Hello?”

“Who are you?”

“Sir!” The guard snapped clumsily to attention.

“Cloaking field generator online!” The man was being really strange. “In case Sir was not aware, cloaking field Mk. Two is the magical system for disguising the Atlands! To any from Big Blue, the land below us, the Atlands look like nothing more than a clump of clouds. This device is self sustainable, and has the added bonus of wiping the memories of anyone who may accidentally enter the areas outside the Atlands. Unfortunately for them, Sir, this usually can only be achieved by falling off the sides.”

As the man had recited this apparent report, the four had one by one looked over to the huge machine to their right in slow realisation.

“So,” Jiro pressed, “you are the guard?”

“Exactly where you posted me sir!”

“Who am I?”

“Governor Lucian, sir. I assume this is a test?”

Jiro saw an opportunity for a bit of fun. “Of course, my subject.” He was now using an upper-class voice.

Arián stepped forward dramatically, and linked arms with Jiro. “Indeed,” She said, imitating Jiro’s posh tone.

The guard hastily removed his cap and bowed low. “Lady Orlarn,” he whispered.

“What have you been doing since I left you last?” Jiro sounded portly and snobbish enough to make Vellian stifle a giggle. Arián was grimacing to contain it.

“Exactly what you told me sir- patrolling.”

“Indeed.” In fact, ‘Indeed’ seemed to be the only thing Arián could say without bursting into hysterics.

“Thank you-“ Jiro paused slightly, to indicate that he needed a name.

“Rebus” he answered. “It has been an honour to meet you, your highnesses.”

Jiro and Arián strode quickly off to the nearest clump of trees, and when they reached their destination immediately collapsed in a fit of giggling. Vellian and Krenclire ran after them, and the man walked off round the corner, apparently satisfied.

“What,” Krenclire asked, “Did you two think you were doing?”

Jiro raised his hand to reply, but flattened himself backwards with the hilarity of the matter.

Vellian shuffled forward slightly. “It was funny.”

“And you!” Krenclire whipped round. “You were just egging them on!” He wasn’t impressed.

Arian sat up, managed to control her laughter, and stood, shortly before Jiro did the same.

“Governor and Governess. Not bad.”


If Vellian had looked round the corner, just before leaving, he would have seen the old man hobble off. If he stayed a little longer, he might have seen the old man grow abnormally tall, turn into a skeletal dark-coloured monster and vanish in a puff of pure night. Of course, he didn’t, and was left none the wiser to the adversary soon to meet him once more.

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