CHAPTER 1: THE SEA PEOPLE INVADE GRETALCE
It was all peaceful in the lands of Eurasia, like it had been for a century in time. The Gretalce people were busying about, their minds only on trade among the various regions of Eurasia, all along The Silk Road. Farmers were farming, blacksmiths forging, and priests praying. The Gretalce region was now an area of Eurasia, untouched by war. Because of that, they had spent less and less on maintaining a military over the years and now only a local militia remained. It had been over a century since the last Gretalce War, which cost many locals their lives but those were souls now forgotten. It was a war, many hoped, fulfilled the needs of another one not to come…
And so, on a small farm in Gretalce, a family was hard at work, committed to surviving. The sun was setting, and the moon was in the sky, it was becoming darker by the minute and soon it would be total darkness. When that happened, the Spear family would ride their wagon into town by night and sell their radishes at the local market that next day.
“James, take that basket of radishes to your mother,” James’ father Barrows, replied, as he wiped sweat off his face from the hardships of picking radishes all day in the scorching sun. “That might be the last one, we will be heading into town soon, go tell your mother,” Barrows said. It had been another hard harvest of radish farming for the Spear family.
“Okay father,” James replied tiredly. James then grabbed with both hands and heaved up a basket full of reddish purple radishes and carried them toward their family’s wagon. James could feel his hands grow swollen from the heavy weight and his muscles were getting tight. His mother and sister were at the wagon near the roadside and were inspecting the radishes for imperfections.
When James finally got his heavy basket to the wagon, he noticed something. He saw bright lights of cinders dancing in the air on the hillside from where Seeder village lay. The smell was in the air of soot, which was growing richer as the autumn winds picked up.
“Mother, what is that light coming from Seeder village?” James inquired. “I don’t know, James,” replied James’ mother, Ester. “It’s too early for the Autumn Festive. It looks to be a fire but it’s much too large to control,” she worriedly stated. That’s when James’ older sister, Paula, pointed and sheepishly said, “I see horse riders approaching.” James and his mother Ester then quickly looked up and to their horror, saw a dozen men with weapons on horseback, galloping their way. The sounds grew louder of the hooves clapping the cobble road. “Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!”
“James, go tell your father, a Calvary’s coming this way,” Ester said. Paula put her hands to her mouth, “Gasp”. Her face had turned as pale as the moon and her lips looked as red as blood. James dropped the basket of radishes, “thud,” they spilled onto the cobble road with some rolling about and under their wagon. James then ran to his father, but Barrows was already coming back from the fields. He had notice too, either seen the fiery light or smelled smoke in the air. “Papa, there are soldiers coming this way, we can see fire from the village.”
“Damn it, it’s the Sea People I fear. James, take your mother and sister into the house and then bring me our families spear,” Barrows said this with dread in his eyes. He was shaking now as he talked and had grabbed hold of James by the shoulder, meeting eye to eye with his son. After several seconds, he let go and James then sprinted to his mother and sister, guiding them into their farmhouse. Ester cried, as she looked out the window and James’ sister hid in horror. James, then grabbed the spear of his ancestors, which had been used in battles past fought over their family’s generations. As James left his home, he saw his father was already in the cobble road by the wagon full of radishes, the soldiers, just feet away.
As James ran to his father, spear in both hands, the horse riders circled Barrows. “Father!” James shouted. One soldier moved in toward Barrows while on horseback, he raised his battle axe. With a thrust of his arm, he beheaded James’ poor father, without even saying a word. James fell to his knees upon seeing his father’s decapitation, his father’s head now rolled around to a standstill among the spilled radishes. It was an odd mix of a sight, of red that emanated from seeing the radishes in a pool of blood, along with Barrows blood soaked head. James then regained strength in his legs and got back on his feet. He turned to run back to his home, back to his mother and sister but tripped over his family’s spear.
Before James could get back up, a horse rider galloped up to him, cutting off his escape back to his home. The man raised his arm and swung his battle axe at James’ head. James managed to evade it by dropping to his knees. When on the ground once more, he spotted that his spear was glowing with light. James had never seen his families spear illuminate such as this. As the soldier readied to take another swipe, James picked up his spear and thrusted it, with one arm, into the horse rider’s left side, deep into his ribcage. Warm blood spurted out and poured down the spear and onto James’ arm, as he used his strength and held the man in place. The soldier screamed out as he fell from his horse and slid further down the spear, until its tip, burst through the man’s other side. This sent flesh and blood into the air. While the man tremored so, he then started to ignite. The light was so bright, the other horse riders trotted and cowered backwards in fear. Then within seconds, the man’s body had turned to ash and the air reeked of sulfur. The ashes were then picked up in the wind and blew across the Spear’s radish field.
At that moment, one of the horse rider’s grabbed James from behind, causing him to drop his spear, its light quickly faded. “I’ve got the little sh*t!” said Bog, one of the horse riders. “I’ll slice his throat rate now for what he did,” he snarled.
“No, this one killed Fredrickson and with an enchanted spear, he is a skilled wielder and good enough to keep alive as a slave,” said Master Black, the horse rider’s leader. “But Master Black, I wanted to kill more of these peasant fools,” Bog said angrily. “Consider this boy’s spear a prize you may keep. It must have a nice power crystal embedded inside its blade,” assured Master Black. “Be thankful Bog, now shut the f*ck up and hold the boy still. Further investigation is needed at this little farm of ours”
Bog then held James tight, James could feel Bog’s fingernails embedding deep into his flesh, his muscles losing strength as though they were being pierced by daggers. As Bog held James, the other horse riders dismounted and entered the farmhouse. James could hear the screaming of both his mother and sister. There were loud sounds of furniture and objects crashing and smashing about the home, as the horse riders searched it for any worthy possessions.
“Please, don’t kill my family,” James pleaded. “I have no one else but them.”
“You’re lucky we’ll keep you alive, slave. Ha-ha-ha-ha-haa,” laughed Master Black.
Seconds later, a soldier exited the home affirming, “There’s nothing of worth in there Master Black, should we burn it to the ground?” Master Black then happily replied “First, have your way with the mother and young girl, then burn the home down with them inside.”
“Nooooooo,” James cried. “I won’t let you hurt them,” James shouted, as he tried to break free from Bog’s grip, causing bloody gashes in his own arms from Bog’s fingers.
That’s when Bog let go with one arm and retrieved his mace from his waist. He then cracked James over the head with it and let go of him. James then collapsed to the ground with blood pouring from the knot on his head. As James drifted in and out of consciousness, he could still hear the screams and moans of his mother and sister and the laughs of Master Black, as his men raped Ester and Paula to death and then burned their ravaged bodies inside the Spear’s humble farmhouse.
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