Aaricia and the Noland Army

An epic tale of adventure that features Aaricia; a young woman having being betrayed by a loved one, lost her family and her home, must find a way to raise an elite army to help reclaim all she’s lost. Bestowed with a remarkable gift to communicate with a rare kind of beast, and armed with a handful of mercenaries, she must rise to face the most revered ruler in all the lands; the evil Queen, and swayer of the great kingdom of Azzodonia.


2. The Noland Army

Dirty Simo fell to his knees, wet from his own urine, followed by Karazan, the Noose and all the men. As the young freed man made his way through the loyal crowd to meet Aaricia, Simo quickly stood to his feet and began to run away.
“Dirty Simo!” she yelled.
He stopped, scared of what might happen to him, he began to tremble. Simo turned with his grimed fingers stuck between his brown teeth.
Aaricia picked her sword and walked to him, all the men turned to watch. On reaching him, she raised the blade, staring into his affrighting eyes.
“I am sorry, missy!” he squeaked, sweat slid down his forehead, “I-am-so-sorry! I was only…playing, you know, joking?”
“Hmm!” responded Aaricia as she swung her sword three times; his pants and entire clothes came down. The rest of the men burst into laughter but went mute when she turned and stared at them.
“Go take a shower!” she yelled, “Now!”
“Yes! Yes-of-course, missy! Shower!” he creaked, running to a nearby stream, blocking his nates with his left hand and his crotch with the right, “Water! Water! Oh no! I hate water!” he cried.
Aaricia shook her head and walked back, “You shall receive your instructions from Karazan!” she said, “No one leaves this camp, do you hear me?”
“Yesss! Our lady!” said the men in unison, as they turned and stare at their three dead friends.
“Thank you!” said the freed young man, dusting the dirt off his knees.
“Now, we’re even, Zack!” she said to him, walking into the tent, “Karazan!”
“Come on, Aaricia!” Zack panted as he followed her, “I want to be with you,”
Aaricia stopped, turned and stared at him.
“I meant to say, fight with you?” he added, in a playful manner.
“You saved my life and I just returned the favour, my friend!” she boasted, “Like I said; we-are-even!”
Zack moved a bit faster and touched her by the shoulder.
“Don’t you ever approach me like that!” she yelled as she swept him off his feet, placing her sword on his throat.
“Easy! Easy, beautiful!” he begged, “Easy now, it’s me.”
“And don’t you call me beautiful!” she hollered, “Ever!”
“Okay. I’m sorry, please!” he implored, “I have nowhere to go to, you know they torched my place the night they came!”
Aaricia withdrew her sword, stood upright and gave him a lifting hand. Zack grabbed her hand, but his weight pulled her down on him.
“You’re lucky my sword isn’t between us,” she said.
“I’m...I am sorry, again!” he begged, his eyes lustfully sank into her beautiful green eyes. They were both frozen for a moment, their lips almost touched. Zack tried to avoid her gaze, so he looked away, down into her cleavage.
“Really?” she reacted.
“Oh, I am…um!” he stuttered, “You’re going to have to get on top of me. Sorry, I meant, get off of me!” he breathed heavily.
“Huh um!” Karazan cleared his throat, “Am I interrupting?”
“Sure!” responded Aaricia.
“Okay then, I come back later!” said the teasing Karazan.
“I wasn’t talking to you, Karazan,” she said as she slowly stood up, “I think you’re going to have to run down the stream too, Zack.”
“Men are naturally rough,” he remarked, “That’s part of what makes us tough!”
“I’m afraid but, the young man is right!” said Karazan.
“The only men I know that enjoy looking soiled are the ones I see here,” she said, “How many are you?”
“Just thirty six,” he replied, “That’s inclusive of the three men you um…”
“You’ve got thirty three men left?” she asked, “You inclusive?”
“Yes,” he sighed, “We’re just thirty three, now! But well skilled”
“Skilled?” Zack snorted.
“Hmm! Well,” she responded, “I guess we’re going to have to make do with that which is available!”
Karazan, the Noose walked close but keeping a clear distance from her swing, “You’re not thinking of using only thirty three men as an army to attack the…”
“Oh! Ah! Hey, guys!” Zack called out, standing to his feet, “I think that makes thirty five of us now?” raising his finger up like a child, “You know; me, the thirty three of your men, and the iron lady!” he scratched his head, “I’ve got skills too, you know!”
“The only skills you’ve got, is changing a woman’s clothes, after you pick her lying unconscious by the river!” she pointed her sword at his direction, “Don’t speak to me about skills, Zack!”
“Well, I’m still good at something! Are you still mad at me over that?” Zack asked, “I was just being a gentleman! Come on, you were all wet, and cold, and…”
“That’s enough!” she said.
“The boy does have skills,” said Karazan, “A smooth talker, I’ll give you that, but we’re going to need more hands, if you’re really serious about this,” he proposed, “Either way, to me, this is a suicide mission. We cannot face the Azzodonians, even if our number was ten times as much.”
“I have friends in high places!” responded Aaricia, “Have your men ready, tomorrow we shall head to the land of Ghourak by dawn!”
“Ghourak?! ‘The-land-of-Ghourak?’” Zack asked, “The land of the feathered felines?”
“Yes, you do have skills, Zack,” she said, “The naivety of a child!”
“They are called gryphons!” said Karazan correcting Zack, “Hmm! Ghourak, the smallest of all the lands yet, the only domain the Azzodonians dare not step a foot on!” he took a deep breath, “You indeed are looking for trouble, woman! The Ghourakans would smell an approaching fly thousands of sea miles away, I don’t think this is a good idea!” he added, as he began sniffing once again.
“Like I said,” Karazan continued, “It’s a suicide mission! Maybe if you let us in on your objectives, we’d be obliged to…!”
“My plight should not be of concern to your feeble mind,” Aaricia interjected, “Descendant of Ogrieh!”
Zack coughed contemptibly muffling his giggle, mocking Karazan as he walked to her but keeping a safe distance as well.
“You have a face that would make a King swallow a sip of boiled venom in the wake of dawn, to prove his affection for you,” said Zack, “Why tempt the sharp edge of a sword to abrade the second wonder of the world?”
“And which is the first, in accordance to your findings?” she asked.
“Your essence,” he said, “It brought me back from the dead this morning!”
“This one has fallen in love!” Karazan suggested, “His pounding heart seeks for a mate!”
“Karazan, how about you go and have your men prepare for the long journey tomorrow,” she said.
“As you wish, my lady!” he replied, gently making his way out of the tent.
“You know what my problem is with you, Zack?” she said, “It took you too short a time to fall in love with a woman you know nothing of.”
“So, you can tell that I’m in love with you?” he fibbed.
“Well,” she said, concealing her blush, “You knocked at a locked door at the wrong time.” As she stared at him pitifully,
“I’ve already made it clear, and I’m sorry not to reciprocate your hopes.”
“But I want to be with you, Aaricia, to fight by your side!” he said proudly, “I can’t imagine a world without you.”
“Our meeting was an accident, Zack!” she said, “You of all people should know that.”
“It was fate, we were destined to meet. Can’t you see it?”
“I’ve got better matters to worry about.” she said, walking up to him, “And I’ll need some alone time, to think about things, maybe we’ll revisit this conversation some other time.” She reposed, “Look, you and I are not…”
“A worthy match?” he interjected, “I understand!”
He began walking away.
“Zack,” she called, “It’s not what you think, okay? I like you, but I don’t expect you to understand!”
“Then make me understand.” He said, angrily.
“I can’t,” she muttered, “For now, this is the least of things we should be concerned about.”
“Okay then, I’ll give you some space, some time!” he said disappointingly, “I’ll be with the men outside!”
“Zack! Zack!!” she called as he walked out of the tent. She suspired unhappily. She turned away from the exit as she gazes on her image on a reflected armour that hung on a central post, as she thought to herself, ‘Why me?’
While outside, Zack was being cautious around the grumbling men.
“Hey, young thief!” said Karazan.
“I’m no thief,” he replied sadly, “Why do you keep calling me that?”
“That’s the name given to those who take any property belonging to someone else with the intention of keeping it or selling it!” he giggled, “The dame inside, you’re certainly not her type. So when I saw you, I really thought you had her kidnapped, little did I know that you were just a love puppy who has been chasing a dangling bone too large for it to clinch on!”
“For your information,” he said, “I rescued her, I saved her life!”
 “Of cause, you did,” said Karazan, “Spoken like a true looser, and from who did you rescue her from, hero?”
“Nothing that I’ll expect you and your pathetic excuse for an army to understand,” Zack angrily replied, “You call me a love poppy? At least, I have the dignity of making my nature apparent. You on the other hand, are nothing but a clown who lost his own authority by a foolish wager.”
There is a sudden whiff and Zack finds his face dented with a swift punch from Karazan’s heavy fist, which finds him on the sand. His chest pressed by his assailant’s feet.  
“Hmm!” Karazan grunted as he gobbled a pouch of water, handing it to Zack, he said, “You look dehydrated. I have killed boys like you for the fun of it, and though I’ve sworn my allegiance to lady Aaricia, I owe you no such mandate!” with a smile across his face, “I want to like you, kid!” he emphasized, “But don’t push your luck! Go to sleep, lover boy. Tomorrow will be a busy day!”


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