Author's Notes: First story I've uploaded, tell me what you think, enjoy!

Disclaimer: I'm not sure I posses my own name let alone Lost Odyssey (Mistwalker owns them and refuses to share)


Flower's Thorn

Kaim walked casually up the impending slope set before him. He had been walking through these plains filled with gently rolling hills and shallow valleys for days now. Kaim reached the top of the slope and saw the miles of hills level off into a vast plain. Kaim had lived long enough to see the land change, politically and geographically, several times in his uncounted years on this planet. The land on which he now walked was roughly two miles wide and stretched the gap of the entire ocean. This land mass was known as the Isthmus of Tichor.

The world was, politically speaking, a different place. The modern and industrialized nations had yet to be conceived and the southern islands were waiting to be found, along with the wrath of the Eastern Tribe. Tichor was a small nation on the western edge of the mainland. No nation ever bothered with the small country of a few thousand people until their location became a major military asset.

The two political superpowers of the age fought ruthlessly for total and complete control of the landmass. Countless wars were waged with unnumbered casualties between the nations. Khari stretched its boundaries from the eastern shores to the Ice Canyon, reaching the northern and southern borders of the mainland. Khari used the Isthmus of Tichor as a highly trafficked merchants highway, trading with the small western countries for their resources. Jahzeel was a nation of exploration. It picked up its eastern borders where Khari left off and eventually settled the unexplored regions between the east and west coasts. Jahzeel had sought for control of the east after it had settled the west, thus beginning the generations of war.

The endless field Kaim now looked upon hardly looked like the scene of the treacherous battle it was about to become. Flowers covered the endless plain, waving with the wind like the tides of the ocean on either side of the isthmus. Kaim, who had been a warrior, a lover, and a peacemaker in his lives among the people of his outcast world, knew to appreciate the life that would be lost today, even the lives of the flowers.

Kaim marched onward, the army he now led just reaching the edge of the plain. A man looking ill suited for the fight he was about to participate in, burst from the ranks behind Kaim to meet up with him. Kaim merely glanced over his shoulder at the man and didn't break stride as he caught up.

"General, cavalry from Chilan have come to assist us."

"Good," was Kaim's only reply. All of the men he now led knew him only as 'The General.' Kaim had learned of the attack and had fled to Tichor and the surrounding nations to warn them of the impending devastation. Every single soldier sent to aid the effort, though most were self-sustaining farmers, did not have any actual combat experience. Kaim, being best suited for the job, had been appointed commanding officer of the united forces that he had warned so quickly that he never had the time to give his name. The General now led a combined force of four thousand against a host that was rumored to be six or seven times larger. Four thousand farmers marched on to battle twenty-six thousand trained soldiers.

The betrayal was made final when Kharian flags were visible in the distance. The Kharian nation had forgone all relationships with the nations of the west, hoping to shatter their defenses and attack Jahzeel from two fronts. Jahzeel had refused to send support because the nations of the west traded exclusively with Khari for decades, leaving the western nations to fend for themselves.

The General halted his troops and watched as the opposing army continued forward. Kaim called forward everyone in his makeshift army that owned a bow. There weren't many, just over two hundred men stepped forward. Kaim ordered them to position themselves, as he stood behind their ranks, not sure how skilled their aim was. He gave them permission to fire and watched as the arrows angled upwards to reach across the distance. Kaim knew that this volley would not decide the battle, but any help was welcome. As the Kharian army drew closer, undaunted, the General put his archers back among the rest of the troops and waited.

The enemy was now two hundred meters away. Their movement halted. An arrow struck the ground next to Kaim's foot. The enemy's plan was to kill all of them, if possible, without getting within thirty meters of the mismatched soldiers. The General wasn't going to let his men die, as the Kharian army didn't even give them a chance to fight.

Kaim rushed forward and the men followed. When the opposing hosts met, the volley of continuous arrows had picked off a quarter of the farmers. Kaim led his troops in all the same. He reached the enemy line first and charged into the endless depths of shields and swords. The General cut down lines of enemy soldiers, but they were replaced as quickly and readily as a hydra replaces its heads. Kaim looked at the battle from a numbers perspective. Based on the estimated casualties, his men would each need to kill at least eight of the opposing force. The General looked at the front lines and saw his men falling all around. His attacks increased in speed and ferocity as he saw this. They would most certainly die, but they didn't have to lose.

By the time his last ally fell, the enemy forces numbered three thousand. Kaim killed them all. He looked at the blood-caked ground that matched the red sky of the now setting sun. The General no longer led any men, he was just Kaim once again.

Kaim began to head back to Tichor to report that the land was safe for now and a slight blow to the Kharian empire had been made. Then Kaim passed the line where the two armies had met and saw the only thing that day that gave him hope. Next to the hand of one of the General's men was a single solitary flower, surviving only because the soldier's body had shielded it.

Kaim looked at the plane of death differently now. Seeing all of the flowers that had once flourished in the field, dead. He scanned the plains and found that his origional perception was wrong, other flowers had survived. Kaim dug up the flower that he had first found and relocated it behind where his troops began to fall. Away from the dead. Kaim dug up the remaining flowers, planting them near one another so that they might liver together rather than stand alone, as he now did. Kaim then returned to the defending nations and delivered the news that they were safe for the time being.

In the years that passed, the flowers that survived developed thorns and grew together into such intricate brambles that the Isthmus of Tichor became impassable. The flowers began to spread across the isthmus towards Khari. The Kharian government ordered the reachable portions of the landmass to be dug out and flooded by the ocean in order to prevent the spread of the flowers. The resicents of Tichor were resentfully forced to take the same course of action to protect the land their fathers had died defending.

The war between the two superpowers raged on, eventually leading to the decline of both countries while Tichor and the nations of the west prospered. They prospered until a king in golden armor joined the western nations under one flag as their forefathers had joined in defending the land. The king now ruled over the prospering nation of Uhra.

Kaim occasionally visits the towns near where the isthmus used to stand, immovable, unbreakable in their ancestor's eyes. He still hears the stories from the seafarers who talk of the island that is impossible to explore due to the flowers that thrive on its surface.