thinkinglazy

Aspiring author and random thinker

Hands of Fate: Chapter 1.1

Today I decided to weekly post parts of my first unedited draft of one of my earlier works. I have not decided on the day of the week in which I would start, but I expect it to be sometime by the end of it, closer to the weekend.

Chapter 1: Assignment to Utyirth

‘It is an honor to be sent on such an endeavor by our Lord Demigod Emperor, an honor only exceeded by death during this endeavor.’ Philosophical Lessons from Utyirth (Volume I: Captain).

1

Within the mighty halls of Partha, Lyra and her Ona have been summoned by Prince Iolcus. The throne room was large and royal with the purple colored Parthan flags decorating its walls. A large purple carpet marked the way to the throne where Iolcus sat. Although it appeared dull in comparison to the Gallecian throne room, the Parthan prince’s seat of sovereignty maintained its awe and royal appearance.

Accompanied by the other nine members of her Ona, Lyra walked into the chamber, expected to meet the returning prince alone. To her surprise, she found her former companion and current Emperor awaiting her as well as the hero, Asclepius. With a joyous smile on her face, she knelt to the Demigod Emperor.

“You do not need to bow to me, not after what we have been through together,” while helping her up, Servak replied to Lyra’s gesture.

“You are an Emperor and I am your Voice in Partha. For that reason I have to bow in your presence, Emperor,” Lyra stood up with the Emperor’s help.

“Regardless of the formalities, I have a request to ask from you. During the Behemoths’ emergence and the events of the resultant war, we have been made aware of a potential rebellion. Unfortunately, we could not spare our resources and had to focus all on fighting the ancients and allowed the rebels to escape our lands with minimal resistance. Anaria offered us information regarding the whereabouts of the entity leading the rebellion, the Cult of Naa’tas. After a thorough investigation, it has been revealed that they traveled to distant lands known as Utyirth. We need your Ona to go and capture Naa’tas,” Servak briefed his Voice in Partha, Lyra.

“We will depart at once, my Lord.”

“The rebellion made us aware that the fight against the Council has not been won yet. To solidify our political influence and my claim to the throne, we will need all political figures to remain within the Imperial lands. As the Voice in Partha, you are required to remain here alongside Prince Iolcus.”

“So you will be sending a nine-man Ona into unfamiliar lands without their leader; that is most unwise,” worried by the reasoning behind Servak’s decision, Lyra suggested.

“You will be replaced by someone more fitting in dealing with matters of unfamiliarity,” a coarse and rugged voice spoke. Asclepius, the Necromancer and hero of the Empire, decided that it was time to join in the conversation and added, “Protector Ganis of the Peacekeeper Core will replace you. She is well-trained in the handling of unfamiliar situations and is the most suitable candidate for this mission. However, I do not suggest she replace you as the leader of the Ona, but as a member of the group.”

“It took me a great deal of training and time to achieve the harmony required to fight within one of the best elite Onas in Partha. For Ganis to reach such a level, it would require her to train along with them for no less than two seasons, that is if she successfully harmonizes with the group,” certain of her logic, Lyra stressed the futility in Servak’s decision.

“I am simply informing you of my decision. Will you accept this assignment on behalf of your Ona, or should I look for another group?” The Emperor often tended to ask his followers about their opinions.

Lyra turned to face the members of her Ona to check if they agreed on the assignment. The lack of response or comment from any of her companions signaled their cooperation, “They would gladly embark on this journey. Regardless of our own desires, your wish is our command.”

“From the moment we met in the Gallecian rune-carving festival, I trusted your loyalty and friendship, but I cannot command you to this perilous mission unless each member of your Ona is willing. Considering the limited knowledge we have regarding the nature of your target or their whereabouts, the mission is classified as one of extreme risk and a low chance of success. We have chosen your Ona because none of them have any ties to the Imperial lands, and because of the group’s composition. Taking all of their skills into consideration, your Ona is ideal for this task,” with brotherly affection and understanding, Servak directed at Lyra’s Ona.

Another moment of silence confirmed their intention to proceed with the task. Impressed by their diligence, Servak headed towards the exit while gently touching the shoulders of the elite warriors. Until the Emperor left the chamber, silence prevailed among the attendees.

“There are a few issues that need mentioning before you proceed. It is crucial to maintain your identities’ secret and refrain from bringing attention to yourselves. Since assimilation into the cultures of Utyirth is critical, you will be given simple clothes consisting of trousers, a leather vest, and a grey cloak. Attempt to acquire clothes and weapons as soon as you can to assure your blending in their societies. Ganis is aboard Commodore Habitus’ ship. They are both waiting for you to start the voyage. Proceed to the armory to drop off your equipment and receive your new gear before heading to the Siren’s Tear, your transport. Good luck,” Prince Iolcus briefed.

With nothing to ask, the nine members of Lyra’s Ona left to prepare for their voyage. In spite of their capabilities and military record, Lyra feared that this would be the last time she would meet with her comrades.

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