A Ragnarok Fanfiction by Lushard.
March 2013 : I am currently revising this fanfiction for a better read. Please look out for minor changes as well.
Revised chapters are going to look like this one.
- Chapter 1 -
The Selected Three
The streets of Juno had always been quieter than any other cities arround for it was the home of the independent Order of Juno, a chivalric order ran by the Junoan Church.
Eversince the time of the Great War twelve years ago, the Order had always been the one who stepped into action to defend the Northren Lands. Starting as warriors under the Junoan Church, their role on defending Juno from invasion during the War had expanded greatly through every battle they had won. So, instead of being disbanded after a treaty with the Kingdom of Midgard had been signed, they were appointed as Juno's official protectors.
The city itself, on the other hand, had always been renowned for its history and grand architectures. Located in the air above El Mes Plateau, the floating city contained the Heart of Ymir, a magical item that had sparked the Great War and awakened dark ambitions. Of course, none of those power-hungry souls had succeeded, thanks to the efforts of the Northen Soldiers.
'Pay attention to your guide or purchase a map,' was what adventurers were likely to hear upon their entrance. Well, it was for anyone's own good, really. Anyone who didn't wish to get lost, or worse, falling from the edges, to be precise. The streets of Juno could seem complicated, and it took more than a week to remember all the routes that connected one place to another. And being the capital city of the Republic, you would also never know if you had trespassed into some restricted area.
For instance, Merhants and Smiths were gathered in a district called 'The Nest', the most crowded district to be found in the city. The Nest was located in the southeast of the city, and was connected to the residental area by narrow streets and bridges. Many adventurers who ventured north always made their stay there for the cheapest inns and taverns that could be found scattered in the area. And since Juno was famous for its advanced technology and magic institute, there was no need to worry for the city to run out of income, for there were always some people who would venture North only to see its magnificent buildings and great exterior.
To the northen section of the city, a huge cathedral stood admirablely. As a novice could have guessed, it was the very headquarter of the Order of Juno, a place where the Junoan Knights and Crusaders lived. There were some divisions that extinguished one fraction from the others. The Knights were in the Vanguards; the Crusaders were in the Guardians. As it had been made known, the two main fractions were led by high-ranked warriors who were the elites of their ranks: the Rune Knights and the Royal Guards. Each fraction had seven heads, and they were elected by the Church itself. Now, we knew them as The Fourteen. 'Greatly known throughout the lands; admired by people; feared by its enemies,' was Junoan children's chants.
It was a pleasent winter morning when those great warriors were gathered in the meeting hall of The Fourteen.
Located on the third floor of the grand cathedral, the sumptuous room was a place where only high-ranked officers could enter. The dim sunlight entered through the rich decorated windows, lighting the room where two C-shaped tables were facing each other. Seven Rune Knights and seven Royal Guards were seated, with one transcendent warrior standing behind each person, acting more like an assistant rather than their second-in-command.
"The Prontera has sent us its envoys last week," said one of the Rune Knights. The man was on his early thirties by apperance. His brown eyes were narrowed although his expression remained unchanged: calm and guarded. The Rune Knight's robe he wore was the very same colour of his short hair: indigo. "It seems that they want us to help with the South," continued he.
"I don't believe they are seeking our help already," one of the Royal Guards sighed. He was easily the biggest and bulkiest man in the room, and with a long scar that ran from his temple across his left cheek, the giant looked more terrifying than ever. "Ephron, have you asked the details from the envoys?"
The indigo-haired Rune Knight nodded firmly. "I have, Gilliard. It seems that the Morrocians were tougher than they thought. And with the people of Comodo and Alberta as their allies, they are clearly an army you don't want to underastimate."
"Have the Fathers and the Senate heard about this?" asked a female Royal Guard with a ponytail.
"They have," Ephron replied. "They are willing to help the Pronteran army for the sake of the peace we have achieved here in the North. With Feyon and Izlude nearby, Prontera should not worry over their position. But if Feyon is taken..."
Ephron didn't have to finish his sentence. Everyone knew that Feyon was the closest town to Alberta, and since Alberta had already fallen into the hands of the Morrocian rebels, there was a great chance that they would quickly move to seize the town to further strengthen their position against Izlude and Prontera. The home of the hunters had been under the King's protection for generations, and the dwellers had proven themselves to be Prontera's strongest ally so far.
"Catriel, you've been there once, in Feyon," stated the oldest looking man in the ranks of the Royal Guards.
A dark haired young woman whom the veteran Royal Guard adressed as Catriel nodded. "Yes, that is true. I was under Lord Olaf when I inspected South," she said, hinting at a certain retired Rune Knight. As a military organization, The Fourteen had an age-limit. Personeel who was over the age of forty should retire from the position and enter the circle of Senate instead, then a Lord Knight or a Paladin shall be elected to take his or her place in the Circle.
"Feyon is the very home of the hunters, before another hunter guild was formed in Hugel," Catriel said. "The town also serves as Prontera's nearest supply base in times of war, and the city itself is guarded by nature."
Catriel spotted some raised eyebrows coming from the ones who hadn't been there and carried on with her speech. "Feyon was located between rows of hills and mountains. Any army advancing towards the city would be completely lost in the woods, not to mention being spotted right away by the expert marksmen. I have met their trappers during the inspection and I know they are the elites of their proffesion."
"But it would be wise not to underastimate the manpower of the rebels," said the older man. He then gave a glance to a female Royal Guard who sat beside him. The younger elite guard nodded in approval.
"Without any intention to brag," she began, "but in this room, I am the one who's the most experienced in handling the deadly blades of those Morrocian assassins. And without a doubt, they are all proffesional killers." She paused and looked at Ephron, silently waiting for his permission to speak further.
Ephron gave the young Royal Guard a sign to continue. "Let's hear more from Irine."
A nod. "From what I know, they are led by eight high-ranked assassins called Guillotine Cross, an even higher rank from that of Assassin of the Cross," Irine supplied the curious ears. "They are advanced in poison-making and well armed in hidden weapons, certainly not the kind of opponents we want to face in the dark. And furthermore, with Comodo to support them, we can conclude that the Rogue Guild is playing behind their success over Alberta," she added.
The whole room fell into an unsettling silence by the time Irine had stopped talking. For a minute, the only sound that could be heard was some creaking noises from the armors of nervous Lord Knights and Paladins who stood behind The Fourteen. The Junoans never really got many chances to venture South further than the border of Mt. Mjolnir. And as a result, many of them were unfamiliar with the Southern people. But the story of the these assassins and rogues were often spoken by the adventurers who happened to stay in the floating city, and though many had not met them in person, they at least could be certain that these killers were as fearsome as their reputation boasted of them.
"Feyon will be lost if we don't act fast," Gilliard finally said, relaxing his stiff shoulders wit a roll. His green eyes swept over the room and shrugged, breaking the intimidating exterior of his psyche. "I'm just bringing the facts here."
Catriel gave a slight nod of agreement. "True. If Feyon is taken, surely Izlude and Prontera will be endangered. And before long, their last defence, Al de Baran, too will crumble." She paused to let the fact sink in. It meant that Juno would be left open.
There was a silence before Ephron cleared his throat and raised his gloved hand. "I vote for their aid. We don't have much of a choice here, I'm afraid."
Catriel and Gilliard raised their hands before the others mimicked their action. Ephron looked arround him and dropped his hand when he spotted no objections. He said, "It's settled then. We will move to Prontera's aid."
"Then, who will be sent? Remember, only two Rune Knights and one Royal Guard are allowed to be sent as a reinforcement for an allied kingdom in times of war," Gilliard stated carefully.
Ephron chuckled. "Don't worry, Gilliard. I know our Order's rules just fine. Before we carry on, is there anyone who wants to volunteer?"
Irine was the first to raise her hand. "I'll do it. I'm familiar with the assassins and it should prove to be useful in the upcoming battle."
Ephron nodded and wrote her name down on a sheet of paper. "Is there anyone else who'd like to volunteer?"
Another hand was raised. This time, it was a young Rune Knight who did. "I am familiar with the high ranked officers in the royal army of Prontera, and I've been in the capital twice on some missions. I believe that will prove to be useful."
Ephron wrote the name 'Remus' below 'Irine'. "And as for the last," he said before another hand was raised, "I want it to be a person whose skills in negotiations and battle strategies are adequate to support their cause since these two have already served the muscles required."
The Fourteen couldn't help but laugh while Remus and Irine smiled at Ephron's remark. Ephron'gaze swept over the room to add one more name to the list, and when he met a pair of dark, scarlet eyes, he smiled wryly. "Catriel," he stated, blowing the laughter away. "I vote for her."
As The Fourteen and their guardians looked at her, Catriel blinked for a few seconds before she finally bowed her head in a gracious way only a matured knightress could possess. A Rune Knight's habit, if not charm. Well, she didn't have any other choice to begin with anyway. So, with a soft voice, she finally said, "It will be an honor."
A/N : Warp Portal, Teleport skill, and Kafra's Teleport Service DO NOT EXIST in this fiction. Yes, it means every character has to travel on foot or mounts. Resurrection of the dead is also out of the story, by the way.
Sorry for the long banlist, but I want the war here to be 'fair'. I don't want to make other guild jumps at another with Warp Portal and such, you see.