Novel 1 – WIP

Prologue

Deep in the middle of the forest in the silent shadows of the night, there is asmall hut. That hut is broken down and long since abandoned. In the dark, which

is dimly lit by the few strands of light shined by the moon that has managed to

leak through the thick layers of branches and leaves, there are three moving

shadows. These three shadows are heading for the broken down hut. These

shadows are of three weird, odd, but well-respected people around these parts

of the land. One’s a renowned doctor, well … sort of. A healer is a better

description of what he does. The other’s a skillful and brilliant captain of the

imperial army. The third member of this night vigilante party’s a well-studied

reclusive scholar. They are as famous as they are odd.

The scholar’s as much of an introvert as a person can get. You can

see it clearly through is appearance. He has messy black hair down to his

shoulder that looks like it hasn’t been washed for years. His eyes are deep into

his socket hiding away from the sun, something of which he probably hadn’t

seen for ages. His bushy beard looks like the end of a dirty, tangled mob.

Although he isolates himself alone somewhere deep in some remote forest

surrounded by mountains and streams and rivers, he somehow knows

everything that happens in the outside world. His friends say that he has eyes

and ears looking for news, gossip, and information that have a range of over

several miles more than that of the average human being. The scholar often

boasts, “Though I seclude myself from the world,” he’ll smile at himself

satisfactorily, “There isn’t anything that happens in the world that I don’t know

about.” Yes, he is very proud, egotistic, and all-knowing, but he isn’t without his

flaws. This scholar is a gambler. He is as big of a gambler as he is an

all-knowing god. Place a bet and a deck of cards or something gamble-able in

front of him and see how he’ll react. Maybe that’s why he lives in isolation…to

get away from his gambling debts. His friends often say, “He will win a fortune,

but then he’ll loose twice as much.” That statement can be justified if you have

seen his clothes. His clothes are not only dirty and tattered and torn. They smell

like they haven’t washed since he had first put them on, which can be centuries.

If you know this scholar very well, you’ll notice that he wears the same clothes

since the day you met him and probably until the day he dies. He, this filthy

gambling addict scholar, enters the broken down hut from underground.

The second of the trio is just as amazingly competent and faulty. This

healer has never done two things in his life: one, fail to save a person from

dying from whatever the cause; two, manage to grow even a single strand of

hair on his head. This healer is quite young, too. He is only in his late forties.

Hats are his favorite and most hated presents. This healer is also proud of the

first part of his reputation. “There hasn’t been an illness or a poison that I can’t

make a cure to,” he will boast while sipping his wine bottle, “It just sad to know

that I might be gone before this world is plaque with a deadly disease that might

present a challenge to my amazing healing ability.” Like I have said before, he is

faulty. Our healer is sadly an alcoholic. Aside from medicine and healing

antidotes in his bag, he always carries with him a bottle full of wine. When he is

not walking around drinking or getting drunk, he is sleeping intoxicated. The only

rare chances that someone sees him sober are when they are fatally ill,

wounded, or poisoned. He, the drunken doctor, enters from the roof.

The last member is probably the most dull, normal, and flawed of the

three. Although he is the oldest, a little over sixty, he is probably the best looking

guy of the group also the wealthiest and the most respected. This captain never

has never lost a battle, has never been defeated single-handedly in a

swordfight, and has never failed to flatter a beautiful girl within sight. He is the

one to call when you want something done right and quickly, and he never even

has to leave his chair. Amazing! Officially, he’s a captain. Unofficially, he’s the

king’s advisor and bodyguard. To tell the truth, he hasn’t done much captaining,

advising, or bodyguard-ing for ten years. It’s not that he can’t. It’s that he

doesn’t want to. This captain can pretty much do anything he wants but doesn’t.

He is so garsh darn lazy that he probably hasn’t left his house or even his room

in ten years. This lethargic bastard never does as much a lift a finger to do

anything for anyone for a whole decade. And he still manages to look not half

bad. He, the lackadaisical slug, enters the hut by the door.

The drunken healer is the first to be in the house. That is because he

is drunk and doesn’t know what he is doing and steps wrongly and falls in.

“Whoops!” he says when he landed on a pile of moss covered wood, “Ouch!”

This intoxicated man laughs at himself and then takes a sip of wine. At the same

time, the lazy vermin enters. He yawns and then sits down on the dirt floor

leaning himself against the deteriorating wooden wall. There was a piece of

wood on the floor. He throws it somewhere, “That nocturnal mole better has a

good reason for dragging me out here in the middle of the night.” Just as he

finishes the sentence, his piece of wood hit that “nocturnal mole” on the head.

The mole heaves himself out of the hole that he travels from, “Even if I had

decided to meet in the daytime you will still be complaining, you lazy oaf!” The

scholar scolds.

It is dark in the hut, but darker if it hasn’t been for the hole in the roof

from which the drunk fallen. One of them lit a candle and let it sits on the ground

in the middle of the hut. The atmosphere is supposed to be eerie, but it is rather

comical. There is a drunk sipping his wine singing horribly to himself while a

slothful lout is nodding himself to sleep, and a dirty tramp massaging and

shaking his head hardly believing that these are the world greatest minds. How

sad for the world!

“Alright, ease up on the booze,” the filthy hobo-look-a-like takes the

wine bottle away from the drunk, “and you,” he also takes that same piece of

wood a while ago and hit the snoozer on the head, “stay awake! We have works

to do!”

“Work?” says the sleepy slug, “I haven’t work in ten years. I’m afraid I

forgot how to. So, let me go home and you two can work without me in the way.

Okay?”

The smelly beggar-look-a-like hits the indolent whiner on the head

again, “Get serious you useless scum!”

“That hurts!” the useless scum makes a grab for it and although the

grimy vagabond tries to jerk it away, the useless scum still catches it with ease,

“alright, I’m serious!” The useless scum then throws the piece of wood away

which in turn hits the drunk on the head. The drunk however is at the point

where he is so drunk that he doesn’t feel pain……….too much. “Ow!” the drunk

says casually.

The reeking of a foul smell scholar grabs his head and scream, “I

have a better time talking to a brick wall. What am I working with here?

Someone please kill me right now!”

“We’re trying, my good old foul smelling friend!” The drunk says

drunkenly, “Just tells us what’s going on,” he hiccups, “I’ll try to solve the

problem, and our lazy friend will get it done! It has always been that way!”

The tattered man, who is in need of a nice long bath, complies.

“Something terrible has happened in Placates Cave, the one that contains the

three Amethysts we were supposed to destroy ten years ago.”

“I thought we disposed of it in the Ganges volcano ten years ago,” the

drunken healer says scratching his head.

“No, that’s what we said we did,” the foul smelling beggar-like man

explains, “Don’t you two remember? Ten years ago, after that episode with

those three young men involving the same three Amethysts, we were asked to

destroy them, but we didn’t. We made a plan to fool the king in thinking that he

saw us destroying those Amethysts. In reality, we hid them inside Placates

Cave.”

“I remember now,” The now not so useless slug puts in, “We found

out that it wasn’t time to destroy those Amethysts and that we weren’t the ones

to destroy them. We were only the ones to keep them safe until the three

chosen one comes and take them up the Mount Ganges and get rid of them

there.”

The drunk laughs, “We didn’t do a very good job, did we? Because

now the Amethysts are missing, aren’t they, my unhygienic friend?”

“It’s no laughing matter,” the unhygienic friend says dully and

shamefully, “We have to get the Amethysts back and also find their rightful

owners, the Amethyst Bearers. If we don’t find them in three days, the three

Amethysts will explode and everyone within three hundred miles will die. It is

time to find the Bearers and destroy these Amethysts.”

The alcohol influenced man laughs again, “Alright, my vilely reeking

friend, who are they and how do we find them?”

The vilely reeking friend nods, “The first Amethyst Bearer is a son of

a poor widow in a small remote village by Laurel Pass. He had been very

well-educated by his friend’s uncle. His friend’s uncle’s a worthy scholar and

with the hope of the mother teaches his nephew, but his nephew finds his

studies to be boring. When the uncle finds that his nephew’s friend to be a bright

and intelligent fellow, he decides to teach them both with the friend, our Bearer,

to be the encouragement to his nephew. It works. The two compete trying to

outdo one another. The result is two very competitive but great students. Their

last and true test is the competition for the title First Laureate, which is held at

Morning Tide City tomorrow at noon. I’m sure they’ll be there tomorrow.”

“And we’ll also be there to get our Bearer,” the raving alcoholic puts

in.

“After the competition,” the lazy captain says.

The filthy scholar nods. “Yes, our second Amethyst Bearer is a

rottenly spoiled lad of a wealthy family. He scoffed at his education and takes

his good fortune for granted. He has never heard of the word “no”, and he will

soon be in for a shock of his good-for-nothing life. Well, to say he is

good-for-nothing is a little unfair, because he is very dedicated to and skilled at

swordplay and martial art. He had studied them since the age of ten. That is the

only thing he has ever worked hard for, those skills.

“Tomorrow, he’ll be on his way to Morning Tide City to get his bride.

We will, um, rescue him from the bothersome marital obligation. In returns, he

will help us destroy his Amethyst.”

“A forced marriage by parents isn’t always a bad one,” the

alcoholically influenced man says wisely, “but it is better to let them make their

own choices and suffer by their own hands than be blamed for their own

mistakes.”

The lazy good-for-nothing Captain laughs quietly and thinks out loud,

“We had ruined many weddings and stolen many, many brides. We had broken

many more hearts and kidnapped many a first born child. True, in the name of

good intention, we have done all of that, but never have we call it a rescue

mission and never have we steal a groom.”

“Yes, but we still have to,” nods the delirious drunk, “Besides, there’s

always a first time for everything.” He directs to the tattered educated man,

“Who’s our third lad, my odious piece of filth?”

The odious piece of filth shrugs, “I don’t know.”

The room suddenly is eerily silent. The sound of the rustling of leaves

because of the wind is heard. We can also hear the chirping of the crickets. For

a full minute, the world stops. Somewhere in the universe far, far from here,

something explodes.

“What did you say?” the now more alert yet still lazy bumbling fool

asks.

“I – don’t – know! I don’t know his name, what he looks like, or where

he currently lives. I don’t know anything about our last Amethyst Bearer.” The

dirt covered man replies casually. Our drunk and slacker exchange frightful

glances. They looked pettily at their dirty friend. Their eyes are filled with fear

and realization and shock.

“Don’t look so stunned!” the scholar says, “We are getting older.

We’re not going to be young forever. There will be a day when we have

exhausted our ability and strength. The only thing for us to do now is pass on

what we know to the future generation.”

“I can hardly believe that over half of our lives have gone by,” the

drunk says soberly, “The time we fear most is at hand. My, how time flies when

we’re having fun! Gosh, now we only have the good old days left.”

The lazy good-for-nothing slug is suddenly energetic. He stands up

with determination and says, “No! We still have this last adventure before we

hang up our cape and say, ‘That’s it! I’m done!’ We better makes this last one,

the one to remember!”

The scholar also stands up, “That’s the spirit! If we are going to leave

this world, we are going to leave this world in style and with a bang!”

The drunk is no longer drunk and is able to stand up without wobbling,

“Yes, our last round of fun. I’ll get potential Laureate. I’m good at persuading.”

“Then I’ll get my men and intercept that wedding and steal the groom,

right now!” The no-longer-lazy captain marches out of the hut with full energy

even with the lack of sleep. Then again, he has slept for ten years.

“Good, I’m right behind you. I’ll get ready to find that Laureate. We’ll

meet back here again tonight,” The no-longer-drunk healer begins to follow the

captain, but then turns back and asks, “I probably need to know his name since

there’ll be a lot of potential Laureate at Morning Tide City.”

“He and his friend will be the only competitor from Laurel Pass.” The

still unclean scholar replies. The no-longer-drunk healer goes on his way leaving

only the scholar behind. The scholar alone in the broken hut is thinking hard. He

has his hands behind him. His eyes are staring at the dirt. His legs are pacing

back and forth. Once in a while, he’ll stop only to shake his head in

disappointment and then continuing in the bothersome pacing again. The scholar

does this for a full five minutes. After that, the scholar sighs heavily, and then,

he, too, walks away from the hut, to do what? No one knows, not even him.

And so, the hut is once again back to its solitary and abandoned self.

It is now early morn. There are traces of lights as the sun prepares itself to rise

and let the people on earth knows that it is morning and time to start another

day. Slowly, the sun rises. Far off into the villages and cities, people wake from

their pleasant slumber and begin their day. The animals also wake and start

their own day in their own ways. Our hut and that part of the forest remain

undisturbed and quiet. Nothing, not even a squirrel or a robin, stirs. The sun

rises higher and higher. It is noontime. And our adventure begins.

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