Well, hi. This is supposed to be some kind of disclaimer, even if it's not in bold print. So sue me if I just so happen to like being different! Oh, and if you don't like LONG fanfics, then hit the back button now. This is gonna have 23 freekin chapters. Oh, and this is actually the second chapter. I don't know what happened to chapter one. I'll have to re-post it some time. How about I stop yakking on and just get to the fanfic. 'Kay? xD


It was morning. The air was so sober, even the birds were silent. Ivan was asleep. (Big surprise.) Finally, something stirred. It was the distant thunder of many horses, drawing ever so closer. A warning bell chimed loudly, startling Ivan out of his sleep, out of his bed, and face first onto the floor. Ivan scrambled to his feet and ran to the window, then blinked in utter amazement.

At least two score (40, for you slow students) of horses stopped in the town square. They were from Lalivero, no doubt about it. But what were they doing here? Ivan couldn't help investigating. A crowd quickly gathered around the newcomers, and this proved slightly unnerving to some of the inexperienced soldiers. But they kept their cool. For now...

A man pushed through the crowd.

"S'cuse me... pardon, out of the way..." When he reached the mounted soldiers, one of them stepped forward, smiling. "If I am correct, you must be Master Hammet."

Hammet was anything but in a welcoming mood. (He's cranky in the morning.) "Who are you, and what is your business here?" he demanded.

The soldier paused. "Excuse me for not introducing myself. I am General Zechariah of Lalivero. We were simply passing through." He seemed to be telling the truth, to some degree.

Master Hammet was still wary of them. "You seem quite heavily armed to be 'simply passing through' don't you think?" Murmurs arose from the crowd.

Zechariah faltered, not knowing what to say next. "You never know..." Sweat beaded on his face. Hammet wasn't buying it.

The crowd began to grow hostile. "You meant to attack us, didn't you?" "Get the hell out of here, you filthy animals!" Then, they began to throw things at the already panicked soldiers. This was a mistake. Arrows flew.

Meanwhile, Ivan was watching the whole ordeal from a safe distance. His heart skipped a beat as the crowd erupted in chaos. People screamed and the horses reared up in fear, whinnying shrilly. The three soldiers who fired were thrown to the ground, scrambling away from the now furious rioters. Ivan made his way through the panicking crowd to where the violent scene took place. He soon wished he hadn't. A small clearing had formed, and, in the center of it was... Hammet, an arrow embedded deep within his chest. Ivan stood frozen for a second, as if everything melted out of sight and all he could see was the man who had cared for him for all of his life, now laying on his back, not moving, save for the feeble rise and fall of his chest. Regaining his senses, Ivan ran to Hammet, just as the renowned merchant breathed his last. Too late. Ivan fell to his knees, gone completely numb. He couldn't think. Tears welled up in his eyes, just as a voice interrupted:

"Young man, I am truly, deeply sorry about this. I did not give those buffoons the order to fire..." It was Zechariah. He was still there.

Ivan slowly stood up; sparks were flying from his arms. His mourning could wait. "Get out of here..." he said, barely audible.

Zechariah took a step forward. "What? I'm sorry I can't hear you. Speak louder, boy." He got louder, all right.


Before Zechariah could react, bolts flew. (Shine plasma) His horse flipped out, rearing then bolting, but without its rider. Zechariah was less fortunate than his horse. Where the Lalivaran general once stood, was a smoldering cloud of pink mist.

Ivan stood, panting for a second, then, blinked. What have I done? He thought. I killed him...

The crowd calmed. All eyes were on Ivan. The distant rumble of fleeing horses died away. Once again, it was utterly silent.

A woman stepped forward. "Does this mean war on the town those people came from?"

Ivan was bewildered. "Why are you asking me?"

A middle-aged fellow added: "If those folk wanted a war, then it is my opinion that a war is what they are going to get."

Another bystander: "We will see to that Lalivero will never forget the day they angered Kalay. Master Hammet did not die in vain." Almost as if the crowd had momentarily forgotten him, they turned their attention toward Ivan, who... wasn't there.

Ivan returned to his bedroom, where he could be alone, crying for Hammet, and for the disasters that awaited the people of Kalay.

I should warn you now, when it comes to updating fanfics, molasses moves faster than me. No, seriously. (Ha-ha...) But for the next chapter, be prepared for more attacks, and... Perhaps the greatest living annoyance in all of Piers's lifetime! Until next time!