~ Chapter 1: A crazy wish! ~
“Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.” Douglas MacArthur
A long time ago, it was believed that the war between the el’doraws and the elves would last for an eternity.That was until the warriors of mankind joined this war during the First World War. Their swords cut open both el’doraw and elf, but neither nation succumbed to their might. The blood of all three species stained the battlefields until a red sea was formed between all three capitals. In the wake of such a terrible loss, the kingdoms laid down their weapons and agreed upon a truce.
Historians say that if they had continued to wage war, all three of them would have perished eventually.
That was the first step towards the everlasting peace between the el’doraw and elves, while the humans still had their moments of anger and selfishness. As decades and centuries passed, the bond between the two strengthened and grew until neither species felt in danger in the other’s lands.
And so it was, that in modern times, their capitals were symbols and proof of this everlasting peace. El’doraws and elves worked together side by side in international companies as well as the military force.
That’s why, Elenoas, the great capital of the Elf Kingdom, was filled to the brim with both species alike. Buildings form sky scrappers to banks; cars and stores; schools and hospitals were all built and owned by either of them. Of course, this applied to citizenship as well. El’doraws born in the Elf Kingdom were considered as elf citizens, while elves born in the El’doraw Kingdom were considered el’doraw citizens.
Somewhere on the north side of Elenoas, a young elf walked slowly down the sidewalk. He was no more than 17 years of age and had golden hair cut short and deep, green eyes. He was wearing a pair of black-and-white checkered pants, a white shirt, a khaki sweater with short sleeves, and a black tie with the school’s emblem on it tucked behind the sweater. A brown school bag was hanging over his shoulder.
“Anwen! Wait up!” shouted someone from behind him.
Turning around, the boy saw a young girl with pointy ears, waving her hand and smiling brightly through the crowd of busy people. She was a el’doraw of similar age with him, with short silver hair and deep, black eyes. She also wore the same uniform, but in her case, she had a knee long skirt and a white ribbon instead of a tie. In Elenoas it wasn’t a surprise to see both el’doraw and elves attend the same High School, since most of them accepted other species.
The young el’doraw by the name of Carla nearly bumped into someone as she hurried to catch up with him. Anwen stopped and replied to her call by smiling and waving his hand back at her. It was then when he noticed his wrist watch and realized it was already 9:32 AM.
“Hurry up! We’re going to be late for history class!” he told her.
“It’s not my fault the alarm clock died on me. Mom told me she changed the batteries.” Carla complained.
“Yes, I’m sure your mom forgot to change the batteries, and it wasn’t you who forgot to set the alarm.” he said as they both began to walk.
“See! I knew you would take my side!”
“I was being sarcastic. But if we hurry a bit, I think we can still make it to class in time. It’s barely 9:32 now.”
Despite saying that, he walked at a slow pace, waiting for her to catch her breath. Anwen was already used with the girl’s tardy schedule, after all, she had been his friend ever since he moved to their neighborhood. Normally, one would expect him to actually wait for her in front of her apartment building, not go ahead of her, however, the girl insisted more than once that she didn’t need his ‘babysitting’.
Once Carla recovered her breath, Anwen picked up the pace a bit.
“Geez, what’s the hurry?” she asked raising an eyebrow.
“I just don’t wanna be late for Ms. Hana’s class.” he showed her smile.
The girl blinked and looked away, hiding the soft tinge of pink that began to color her cheeks.
As an el’doraw, Carla was very similar to Anwen, in the idea that they both had long pointy ears, although hers were rather small. In everything else, they both looked like normal human teenagers. Nonetheless, the most important characteristic of her species was the ability of her skin to change colors depending on her current emotions, going from dark red to a soft yellow, even completely black was possible.
Usually, each el’doraw was born with a different skin color, a dark purple, a blue, gray, dark green, or even a dark red, however, in Carla’s case, her skin was porcelain white, similar to Anwen’s. This meant that she was the el’doraw’s species version of an albino. When standing next to him, she could easily blend in as an actual elf, especially since besides her face, the rest of her body couldn’t change colors that easily.
The two teenagers stopped at the crossroads and waited for the traffic light to turn green for the pedestrians. Once it did, everyone rushed to the other side. Anwen took Carla’s hand and quickened his pace.
“Come on, slowpoke! Or we’ll be late!” he urged her.
“Oh! O-Okay…” was all Carla could say as she ran behind him, careful not to stumble in his feet.
Anwen’s holding my hand! she squealed in her mind, while the pink color in her cheeks reached all the way up to the tip of her ears.
Once they were on the other side, the traffic light turned green for cars. One of them honked to tell the one in front to step on it. Meanwhile, the two teenagers ran on the sidewalk through the sea of busy people. With his eyes upfront, Anwen didn’t realize that Carla kept staring at his back. They always were like this ever since they first met each other: him looking ahead, and her chasing after him, seeing nothing but his back and sometimes… a smile. She knew this, but she couldn’t bring herself to tell him.
Then, the world suddenly changed. All around them, a strange darkness took hold, but only Anwen remained. He was surrounded by a grave-like silence. The light of day and the usual noise of a busy city had both vanished. All the boy could see was darkness, not even a single el’doraw or elf, not even the sidewalk he was running on just a moment ago.
Shocked by this, he stopped in his track and looked around.
“Carla, are you there?” he called out confused, but she was gone. “Carla, where are you?” he shouted after her, hoping for a reply either from her or anyone else who could explain what was happening to him.
“Hehe.” a soft laughter was heard from somewhere deep inside the darkness.
“Who’s there?!” he called out.
“Just lil’ ol’ me…” the stranger spoke with the voice of a woman.
From the darkness, someone stepped forward and showed herself in front of the teenager. Indeed, it was a woman, more beautiful than an elf and more elegant than an imperial princess. Her red lips curved into a sweet smile, but the look in her deep, green eyes showed a mischievous intention. Two sheathed katanas were on her hips, one on each side. On her back rested a big, black scythe with three curved blades attached to it. Black metal chains were wrapped around her wrists with a black mist covering them and making them really hard to see in the surrounding darkness. Around her shoulders floated a girdle of golden silk, kept up there by some unknown power, and her armor looked as though it had been taken straight out of a medieval history lesson.
“Who… Who are you?” asked Anwen, but when he was about to take a step back, he stopped.
Don’t run away from her! that was what his mind screamed at him and what his guts told him.
“I am the Goddess of War.” she declared calmly, and the black chains rattled at her words like a row of applause from her devoted followers.
Don’t run away, Anwen! his instincts shouted, but a few drops of sweat already formed on his forehead.
He didn’t understand or know why or what was wrong with the woman in front of him, but the very pressure she emanated sent all of his senses on high alert. What she declared through her very presence and imposing look in her eyes was the fact that she was someone who could easily kill him, someone who could squash him and destroy him without a second thought. And yet, at the same time, she was incredibly attractive in his eyes.
“Uhm? Hello?” he said and then gulped.
“Are you afraid of me, kid?” she asked and slowly tilted her head to the left.
“Ye… Nope.” he stopped himself before he lied.
Indeed, at first he felt fear, he still did, but what overcame this emotion was a rather strange sensation of calmness. He understood his place and position, but at the same time, something unknown told him without using any words or magic that he was safe… for now.
“Good! Now, let me tell you why you are here.” she said.
“Uhm? Not to bake cookies, I presume?” he joked.
The goddess squinted her eyes at him. “Not a fan, but from time to time, I do reward myself with a few sweets.” she then took another step forward. “No. You are here because I called your soul from the world in which you lived until a moment ago.” she said and then walked behind him, and he turned to look at her “This is the deal: You tell me your wish, and I will tell you the price! If you accept, you will be granted the chance to try to pay for it. If you refuse…” she unsheathed her left katana and rested its cold, sharp edge on the boy’s cheek, but she didn’t draw blood “you will be returned to your world without any memory of this event ever happening.”
A wish? What do I wish for? thought Anwen as he looked at the tip of the blade.
“Hm?” the goddess tilted her head to the left.
“I want…” he gulped and looked up at her.
“I want to… No, that’s…” he looked back at her blade.
Something crazy… Something crazy… his mind kept telling him.
Anwen gulped. He made up his mind.
Before the goddess’ eyes, he grabbed the blade of her katana. As a result of his sudden movement, his cheek was scratched by the sharp edge and his palm was cut.
“What are you…” the goddess said surprised.
“I want to marry you!” Anwen declared with a serious look in his eyes.
His heart was beating like mad, his senses were heightened, but his instincts all raged at him, telling him that he made the best possible choice, the most exciting one, the most exhilarating one, but at the same time the most dangerous one of them all.
The goddess looked at him with big eyes and then burst into a loud laughter.
“Kid! I like you! You have guts! Very well! I’ll marry you, but the price is the unification of the Feldorah Oyendan Einryu Continent! You will start from the bottom of the rank! From the weakest of the weak! Only fate herself can say if you have a strong enough name to become a Legend or a simple warrior sitting in the shadows of the greats! Do you accept?” she declared pointing a finger at him and showing him a big smile.
The only reason the goddess accepted his wish was because she was amused by his outrageous request. At the same time, she had little faith that a young boy like him could achieve the greatness she spoke of.
“I will do it! But you must come with me.” Anwen replied.
This condition of his wasn’t random. Back in his world, he had read a couple of stories that started in a similar fashion only to end up with the men being sent to their new worlds and never encountering the goddesses they made a deal with until the very end of their adventure. He didn’t want something like that to happen to him.
“Hahaha! That was my intention all along! You are the very first to make such a wish! I like it! Even if you die trying, I believe you won’t fail to amuse me! Go now, Anwen! You will find me in the city of Tharasin! If you manage to reach me without dying, I will stand by your side! HAHAHA!” she laughed out loud and with that, the goddess vanished.
“Oi! Get off! You’re heavy!” the weird voice was coming from under him.
Anwen opened his eyes slowly.
“Get off!” groaned the person under him before kicking him off.
The elf tumbled on the ground.
“Ouch…. I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” he apologized as he got up.
“Hm?” Anwen blinked surprised.
“What?” the one who kicked him off was an elf with an angry look in his eyes, but that wasn’t what caught the boy’s attention, it was the scenery behind him.
What Anwen saw was a clear blue sky, mountains he had never seen before, and a forest stretching as far and wide as the eyes could see.
“Where am I?” he asked a bit confused, but no matter how hard he tried to remember a similar place, he couldn’t because he never left the safety of Elenoas, the capital of the Elf Kingdom in his previous world.
Note from the author: Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Oh, and be sure to check out my other stories too!
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