FINALLY! After almost HALF-A YEAR of being tortured by college, I have FINISHED THE FIRST CHAPTER! GAME ON YEAH! XD I am So Sorry for torturing you as well, but after reading your comments and getting email alerts on how many of you favorite the fanfic, it gave me the driving force to continue writing as much as I can during any free time I have.
In this chapter, you will see that the story is now set it world of Harley's game. Let me warn you, because the world is now in a fantasy setting (ex: Dragon Quest, FF III, Dragon's Dogma, etc.), it might get a little weird and for some of you, might be a while to adjust. Also on a side note, there will be OCC moments, so YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Nevertheless, do not worry; I'm sure that I stayed at least 80% loyal to the characters.
So enough talk, it's time to get the show of the road! Chapter 1 starts now!
The Great Hall of Glendan Castle was once beautiful, so beautiful that the people considered it as a sacred ground. A giant hall with golden floor and pillars once used to house almost all of Glendan's people during the Era of the Heavenly Wars. The only thing that gave the people the hope they needed to survive those dark days is a magnificent picture on the ceiling, depicting the angels flying around the Regios that is home to their magnificent castle. The kingdom's flags hanging from the top of the pillars as the main flag hangs from the ceiling above the beautiful master-crafted throne that the kingdom's current queen claims.
Now the Great Hall is in shambles. The floor, covered with cracks and filled with small craters, blood smeared its once golden reflection. Most of the pillars are torn and broken, becoming debris in the form of small boulders or rubble. The flags are ether ripped off or turned to burnt ash. The bright lights of raging flames that burn in a huge crater, once the steps that lead to the throne, illuminate the now battle scared hall, revealing a bloodied and battered young lad of 17 with tea-colored hair and blue eyes, bound by chains in the center of the hall where he stands on a glowing magical glyph circle. His once stylish regal clothing is now shredded and stained with blood. Surrounding the glyph circle are ten powerful warriors, all of whom covered in deep cuts and bruises. Their hate-filled eyes stare at the teenager. Then another person appears, a beautiful women with long-wavy black hair and emerald-green eyes, wearing a beautiful white dress with the insignia of Glendan printed on her white cape. Queen Alsheyra, current ruler of Glendan, has revealed her presence towards the lad, her eyes filled with anger and sorrow.
"You have broken my heart", Queen Alsheyra spoke to the lad.
"You have broken my heart as well as the hearts of your comrades. You have committed an unforgiving atrocity that you will never be able to repent."
The young lad said nothing, not wanting to look at his queen.
"This kind of heinous act can only lead you down to one path, DEATH!"
"NO!" A desperate cry from a young woman echoes through the battle scarred hall. Running towards the scene is a beautiful girl of 17 with soft orange hair decorated with silky brown ribbons and soft light-green eyes, wearing a beautiful white dress with the insignia of Glendan printed on her emerald-colored cape. Leerin Marfes, Princess of Glendan and adoptive daughter of the Queen, desperately runs towards the dying lad, tears of sorrow pouring from her beautiful eyes.
As Leerin was about to pass the Queen, crimson armored knights of the Imperial Guard were able to grab her arms in a vice-like grip, attempting to take her away to her chambers. Yet Leerin continues to struggle, desperate to save the lad.
"Please don't do this my queen", Leerin desperately pleaded. "He is an innocent boy and is not responsible for this tragedy. I beg of you, please-"
"Silence child!" Queen Alsheyra yelled at her daughter behind her back. "Whether he is responsible or not, this boy is a danger to the both of us as well as the entire Regios itself as long as he lives."
Queen Alsheyra then turns to her daughter; tears of regret began to form from her eyes.
"I'm sorry my dear. I know how much you care for him, but I must do this for the sake of our people and our home."
Leerin became stunned at what her dearest stepmother had said to her, immediately knowing that she is actually going to go through with it. The Queen then turns towards the boy, keeping her composure as best as she can.
"'Wolfstein' Alseif of the Twelve Heavens Blades", Queen Alsheyra calls the lad by his tittle. "Do you have any last words you wish to speak?"
Wolfstein then lifts his head up and carefully look at his comrades for the last time with a sincere and remorseful look in his eyes. He then looks towards the Queen, and then to Princess Leerin, the only woman in his life that he holds dear.
"Regret", Wolfstein finally spoke. "I have nothing but regret and remorse in my heart. Not only did I fail to save the people I love, but I have also cause the deaths of many others because of my inner rage. I could not control the power honorably given to me by you, your Majesty."
"Stop it!" Leerin screamed to Wolfstein desperately. "It was not your fault! You did not kill those people! I am your witness! I-"
"Leerin", Wolfstein interrupted the Princess with his soft voice. His soft smile made her cry.
"Let it go. It's over."
Just as Leerin was about to say his real name, Queen Alsheyra creates an orb of light from her hands. The glyph that Wolfstein stands began to unleash a bright light, its magic power fueled by the will of his former comrades.
"With this hand", Queen Alsheyra shouted. "I shall strip you of the power I have given you, for you are no longer worthy of wielding it!"
The Queen then thrust the orb into Wolfstein's chest; violently making the boy's body shines intense light as he screams in agony.
"NO! STOP IT! NO!" Leerin shouted desperately, not wanting to see the man she loves die.
Yet the Queen did not stop for she must absorb all of the Heavens Blade powers from him. Wolfstein's screams became louder and louder as he feels like his life is draining inch-by-inch, becoming more painful through time. After sensing that the last of his power stripped from him, the Queen then swiftly rips the orb out of Wolfstein's chest. The orb glows Dark Blue, the color of his Heavens Blade Power. The hall became dark once more, with only the flames and the moon giving it light. The only noises that echo through the hall are Wolfstein's gasping and Leerin's sobs. With a snap of the Queen's fingers, two men dressed in white robes appeared, carrying a heavy black and gold chest. The Queen the puts the orb into the chest and locked the seal with her magic.
"Take it to the sacred chamber", Queen Alsheyra ordered. The men proceed to leave with the chest.
Then, to Leerin's horror, Queen Alsheyra draws a sickening kris sword that she knew all so well. The sword is in actuality the fable execution sword, only used to execute traitorous Heavens Blades. The queen then points the sword at Wolfstein's chest; her teary eyes now show her intent to kill.
"NO!" Leerin screamed in horror. The crimson knights then proceed to drag the now frantic princess out of the hall as fast as they can to spare her from witnessing the execution of the man she loves.
Wolfstein only looked at Queen Alsheyra, his eyes pleading her to end this. Queen Alsheyra accepted his plea and gets ready to kill the boy whom she loved as a son. The moment the Queen ram the blade through Wolfstein's chest, all he saw was white and the last thing he heard was Leerin screaming his real name.
Four years has passed since that fateful day…
The Kingdom of Zuellni has experienced 30 years of peace and prosperity ever since the end of the war with their former enemy, the Kingdom if Gandoweria, almost half a century ago. Despite its only greatest assets are its agriculture and ore mines, the kingdom is famous for its trade cities, becoming a universal hub of commerce, as many exotic goods from different countries all over the world would most likely come through the kingdom.
One such trade city is Yoltem, once a small farming village that evolved over the years as a trade city after the discovery of a nearby ore mine, which later became the Yoltem Mines, the largest in all of Zuellni. The City quickly became famous for its smithies, producing the finest weapons and armors for the kingdom. It is no surprise that many foreign merchants and smiths would showoff weaponry and armors crafted in their motherlands either for exhibition or to sell. Despite becoming a mining and smiting city, Yoltem retains its strong agricultural heritage in the form of a small town built along the road to the city, named Yoltem Meadows. Its farms are farther from the town itself, separated by the nearby meadows that surround the town. The town is also a short walk from the city and is a good place for weary travelers to quickly resupply and rest in their famous inn, the Drifting Swallow Inn. However, a young man who is a resident in this lively town will soon unknowingly come face to face with his destiny, a destiny that will not only reawaken his dark past, but determine the fate of the world as well.
The Lad form Yoltem Meadows
21-year old Layfon Alseif enjoys the soft breeze as he breaths in the fresh morning air. His tea-colored hair moves fluently by the breeze as his blue eyes gazes at the enchanting landscape form the small hilltop that he is standing on. He always loves to take a walk in the meadows in the morning, a ritual that he always starts his day with as he considers it a good luck charm. He always feels refreshed after seeing the fluffy white clouds move ever so slowly through the perfect blue sky as well as the meadows shining brightly due to the yellow sun form above, indigo mountains seen from afar. Indeed, a truly remarkable sight as it is impossible to witness it from within a city or castle. He then takes out his pocket watch to check the time, only to discover that it was ten minutes to nine.
"Well that's disappointing", Layfon said to himself, a deep sigh escaped his lips, hinting that he wanted to stay a little longer. "Well, I guess I better head back, or else I won't have a shop to run."
After taking one last view of the scenery with a cherry smile, Layfon puts his pocket watch back into his shirt's breast pocket and begins his short walk back into town.
"Good morning Layfon", the local carpenter greeted as Layfon passes by his shop.
"Good morning Mr. Alseif", a young woman greeted Layfon while on her way to fetch water from the public fountain.
"Oh, good morning Layfon dearest", an elderly woman greeted Layfon as she stats her day off with a small walk around town.
Layfon did his best to greet back, but it was proving to be difficult since there were so much people greeting him, making him wonder just how many people actually live in the town. Ever since Layfon moved into Yoltem Meadows four years ago, the townspeople always greeted him good mornings whenever he comes back from his routine morning walk in the outskirts of the town. Thou, this is due to a joke some of the residents made up that goes "Say good morning to Layfon and you will have a great day", treating him as if he were a lucky charm.
Despite the joke, everyone in town seems to like Layfon a lot surprisingly, mostly due to his kind and friendly demeanor as well as his willingness to help others. The town's children hold him in high regard, seeing as a big brother of sorts. Even the young women around his age group seems to fancy him, often fantasizing or making up rumors of his true origins since he rarely talks about his past, thou they mostly pursue him because of his profession. They often encourage him to wear nicer clothing because they think that he is too good looking to wear his usual plain outfit, which consists of a white dress shirt, black pants fastened by a black belt with a gold buckle, and brown leather boots worn over the legs of the pants from the knees down.
After being greeted good mornings by nearly half of the town, Layfon's brisk walk slowly comes to a halt as he reached his destination. He proudly stands in front of his shop, Alseif Silver Works, which he built with his own two hands. When Layfon was a young lad of 13, he worked as an apprentice in a jewelry shop to earn money to feed the orphans from the orphanage he once lived in, learning the inner workings of the trade, eventually creating his own masterpieces through hard work and experience. It was only logical for him to go on a business venture of his expertise after settling into his new home, which thankfully became successful after spending many months selling his wonderful pieces in the streets of the nearby city. Out of the four jewelry shops established in Yoltem, Alseif Silverworks surprisingly became the most popular, despite being the only one that is not located inside Yoltem's own city walls. It also gains a nationwide reputation in the two years it operated, which is the reason why many of his best customers are nobles from nearby cities. As the shops name implies, Layfon specializes in constructing jewelry out of silver, thou he also works with gems, but uses them as decorations to his pieces.
As he was about to enter the store, Layfon spots his dear friend Harley Sutton, the towns local blacksmith, rolling a barrel of fresh water that he will use to cool down and harden the various weapons that he plans on forging today.
"Good morning Harley", Layfon shrouded and waved to Harley, a big smile plastered on his face.
Harley stopped rolling his barrel and spot Layfon waving him a good morning.
"Morning Layfon", Harley greeted back with the same enthusiasm as his friend. "I guess you already heard that from the rest of the town."
"Ever since the day I moved here," Layfon sighed.
"Well what do you expect? Your jewelry shop and my smithy are practically the pride of the town. Yet I wish I was more popular with the girls."
"I'm sure there are some girls that admire you," Layfon said to Harley, attempting to assure him.
"Easy for you to say, you are a jeweler."
Harley, a fine young lad of 23 with long greyish-green hair tied to a French braid, is one of the nicest people you will ever find in Yoltem Meadows, yet he is unattractive in the eyes of the women around his and Layfon's age group, mostly due to working in the dirty and sweltering conditions of his profession. Harley wears his usual outfit, which consists of a white t-shirt, black overall, brown-leather tool waist apron that goes gown to his knees and covers the right leg, brown leather gloves, and brown leather boots. He never goes outside without his black bandana, which he mostly uses keep his head cool from the heat.
Layfon offered to help Harley carry the barrel, which he happily accepted. The two then carried the barrel into Harley's shop, Sutton's Blade Craft, which is surprisingly next to Layfon's shop. After settling the barrel down next to the black anvil in the back of the shop, Layfon then starts to look around the shop just to remember how it amazes him every time he visits it. The front of the store has diverse assortments of weapons and armors displayed all over the walls and the various racks inside the store. The back of the store lays the anvil that Harley uses to forge his masterpieces, the barrel of water Harley recently bought, a furnace specifically built to heat up and smelt metals and ores, a tanning rack used to turn animal pelts into leather, and a workbench stacked with various tools. In this place, Harley's own hands built many of the most deadly of weapons and the mightiest of armor in all of Zuellni in this shop, which many traveling warriors and adventurers from all lifestyles would stop by Yoltem Meadows just to buy these masterpieces of war. Rumor has it that Harley secretly forges weapons and armor for the Blue Steel Guard, the King of Zuellni's personal soldiers/bodyguards. Supposedly, the King himself commissions Harley to this task. Layfon, who used to work for Harley when he arrived at Yoltem Meadows, could not confirm the rumors to be true, mostly because he felt it would be rude to ask Harley of the topic.
"This place never cease to amaze me Harley", Layfon complimented to his friend with wonder in his eyes.
"That's because you haven't visit it here often since you opened up your shop", Harley quickly reminded Layfon.
"Remember when I first started working here", Layfon asked.
"Are you kidding me", Harley began to laugh. "On the first day, you accidently broke a blade that you were hammering and the broken piece flew off and struck the ass of a bull."
"I think the bull almost killed that bastard Mr. Sussex that time." Layfon recalled, giggling nervously.
"I wish it killed him," Harley continued to laugh. "That ass wipe of a nobleman just pisses me off with his macho and snobby attitude."
The two then began to talk about the misadventures and funny situations that they each encountered in the past when they did personal deliveries to their customers. Sensing that time was quickly flowing by, Layfon pulls out his pocket watch and checks the time, only to discover that it was twenty-five passed nine.
"Oh crap", Layfon shouted in shock. "I am so late! I got to open the shop now!"
Layfon soon said his goodbyes to Harley and rushes to his shop.
"Remember to tell Mifi that today is my rent day", Harley shouted to Layfon teasingly. "Just because the two of you live with me doesn't mean you can stay here for free.
"Don't remind me", Layfon sigh annoyingly as he receives another money-related problem to worry about.
The inside of Alseif Silver Works is just what anyone would expect for a jewelry shop. The various display cases in the front of the shop exhibits the many types of silver-crafted fashion accessories Layfon constructed with his own two hands. Many of these fine pieces seemed to draw inspiration from a number of foreign countries that Zuellni has established friendly trade with, making each piece unique in its own aspect. Despite being smaller than the ordinary jewelry shop, it gives out an aura of sophistication as if it were part of an exhibit in a museum.
In the sales counter near the back of the shop, 21-year old Mifi Rotten, another of Layfon's best friends and his assistant who worked in the shop since it first opened, was writing a manuscript to a story she has been working on for three years. Her dream is to become famous writer, yet she works in Layfon's shop in order to maintain a decent living. In addition, she ended up living with Layfon and Harley after moving out of her parents' home in the city, as she cannot afford the luxury of buying her own flat. Mifi is a beautiful young lass with blond hair tied to two ponytails via a pair of red ribbons and brown eyes. Her usual outfit consists of a white blouse tucked into a long orange skirt fastened by a black leather belt, and dark-brown boots. She always wears her green bowtie, which she wore since childhood.
The sound of a bell rang through the shop, signaling that someone has entered thought the front door. Mifi swiftly took her eyes off the manuscript and look to the front of the shop to see who entered. She then giggled when she saw her boss Layfon, who was panting and has the look of annoyance in his face, mostly by the fact that he was late for the third time this week. Knowing that Layfon would not want to see any nonsense from her today, Mifi quickly puts away her manuscript into her bag, which lay on the floor next to her feet.
"Good morning Lay-Ton", Mifi greeted her boss with the nickname she gave him the first time she met him years ago.
"Morning' Mifi", Layfon respond with an annoyed moan, attempting to steady his breath after his short sprint.
"So what got you late this time", Mifi politely asked.
"I was hanging out with Harley next door", Layfon quickly responded.
"Well thank goodness for that. At least you weren't attacked by a drunken vagabond like yesterday."
"Don't remind me", Layfon quickly shouted, obviously not wanting to remember the disturbing nature of the event.
Mifi just giggled at her boss' reaction, which in turn made Layfon smile. He knew that the shop would lose its color if Mifi were not around with her perky attitude. Even his other employees would not feel enthusiastic about work without her.
"That reminds me", Layfon said while walking towards Mifi.
"Did Darvin ever showed up today?"
"He hasn't shown up yet", Mifi quickly responded with a hint of scorn in her voice. The mention of that fellow employee of hers just makes her feel angry, which is very rare for a girl like her. "He is obviously getting himself piss poor drunk in that god-awful tavern in the city, you know, the one he always goes to."
"I can scarcely believe it." Layfon sigh heavily and begins to rub his forehead in annoyance.
Darvin was one of his finest employees in the shop, and like Layfon, he has a natural talent in silver smiting. Despite his heavy drinking, brash attitude, and his questionable hobbies, the only hobby of his Layfon knows about is gambling, Darvin was hard working and is dedicated to his pieces. That is until he started coming to work late and constructs his pieces in a slower rate than usual. He then showed up later and later every two weeks, sometimes very exhausted or in the process of recovering from a hangover. His attitude also turned for the worse, often arguing with Mifi and his fellow co-workers when Layfon is away. Then one day, Darvin just stop coming work, and no one from Yoltem Meadows has seen a single sign of him for a full month. Layfon cannot decide whether to feel worried or angry as hell.
"A week ago, during my break, I went to his house to have a long overdue talk", Layfon said to Mifi while leaning on the counter with one arm. "No one answered the door, so I thought he went to the tavern he always goes to."
"Let me guess", Mifi begins to speak, a hint of scorn still in her voice. "You went to that tavern and didn't find him right?"
"Dead on the mark," Layfon annoyingly sighs. "I soon gave up and just guessed that he was in some alleyway gambling as usual."
"You know Lay-Ton," Mifi begins to talk in a careful manner. "I think it's about time that you give Darvin the axe."
"I was afraid you'd say that," Layfon said, shaking his head.
"Well it was clear that his job performance has been poor and most of his recent pieces are not in sellable shape. Deducting his weekly pay for being late did not get him to clean up his act ether, as his attitude just gets worse and worse. I am sorry Lay-Ton, but I have to be honest, you should have fired him a long time ago."
Layfon admits that Mifi was right, but he just cannot help but give Darvin more chances than he deserved with the hope that he would clean up his act. Layfon always knew that, at times, his own kindness ends up becoming the equivalent of a double-edge sword, a curse that has plagued him since his birth. For now, all he wanted to do is to work since working on his pieces also gives him a sense of artistic serenity.
"Well, what can we do", Layfon moaned while giving himself a nice long stretch to shake off the intensity. "If he does show up, which I'm now beginning to doubt, I would just give him that long overdue talk and fire him on the spot." He then walk around the counter and leans his back on it, standing next to Mifi. "For now, I would prefer to finally get the shop open now, as well as getting both Erik and Jude to stop goofing off since I'm here now."
"What about me," Mifi asked with a playful smirk plastered on her face.
"You're the only one who actually does your job," Layfon responded with a playful grin as well. "Since you got to pay Harley's rent by the end of the day."
Suddenly, Mifi became pale and her eyes widened in horror. She has completely forgotten that she has to pay Harley his rent today or else she has to work at the smithy for two weeks straight. She suffered the punishment before a year ago and swore never to let herself be in that situation again. What made it worse was that she currently does not know if she has enough money to pay it in full, which got her in that mess in the first place.
"Hey Lay-Ton," Mifi begins to ask her boss, a panicky tone can be heard from her voice. "When do I receive my pay again?"
"Tomorrow during closing time," Layfon chuckled evilly as he begins to walk away from Mifi and into the entrance that leads to cellar, where both the forge and the shops inventory is located.
"What, no way," Mifi shouted, now about to enter a state of panic. "Is there any way to get my pay early?"
"Sorry, but my hands are tied," Layfon continues to tease his assistant as he walks down the steps to the cellar. "There are a lot of thing that needs to be done and the tax collector is going to come next week, so I don't think I could spare any coin for you."
"This is no funny matter Lay-Ton, don't you dare joke about it," Mifi shouted to her boss, tears of distress forming on the corners of her eyes.
Layfon felt a little guilty for teasing Mifi, but decided to shrug it off, more focused on getting started on his pieces. He could always think of a way to make it up to her later.
Wednesdays were always the slowest day of the week for Layfon and Harley's businesses since there are fewer travelers going in and out of Yoltem. Not many people from the city, who are also regular costumers of Layfon and Harley's, would bother making the trip to the small town as well, mostly preferring to go on the weekends. Now any sensible blacksmith or jewelry crafter would take this opportunity to use the slowest business day of the week as a chance to work their asses off, creating enough weapons or jewelry to resupply their shelves. In the case of Layfon and Harley however, they work their asses off every day to make sure their business do not face scarcity, since their goods are very popular. Therefore, the two shop owners agree have a longer lunch break on Wednesdays to give their employees a breather, but they mostly want to give themselves more time to be lazy for a change. It has become somewhat of a ritual for the two of them to have their lunch out in the meadows on Wednesdays, but twice a month, their usual Wednesday lunch becomes somewhat of a picnic, all thanks to Mifi and her two best friends from the city.
"As always Mayshen, your food never ceases to amaze me", Layfon happily commented on the girl who made the food for the picnic, making her blush bright red. 21-year old Mayshen Torinden is one of Mifi's best friends from the city, who makes a living as a pastry chef in a bakery located in the city square. She continues to live with her parents' home in order to help take care of her bedridden mother, who is suffering from an illness for the past five years. Her dream is to one-day run a bakery of her own, but decides to take care of her mother until she is completely healthy again before beginning her pursuit. Mayshen is a beautiful young woman with long black hair with four fringes sticking out in the back and two small braids that fall past her shoulders and green eyes. Despite having Wednesdays off to take care of her mother, she continues to wear her work cloths, which is in actuality a kitchen maid outfit that consists of a long-sleeved indigo shirtdress that goes down to the knees and has white cuffs, a white French-styled apron, white laced stockings, and black penny loafers. She also wears an indigo house cleaner's headband with white laces.
"Thank you Lay-Ton", Mayshen said nervously, calling Layfon by the nickname Mifi gave him. "I made today's lunch extra special since you, Harley, and Mifi always work so hard."
"It's always sweet of you that you to think about us", Harley happily commented. "You will become a great wife someday."
"That's not true at all", Mayshen shouted in embarrassment, unable to stop blushing.
"Harley has a point", Layfon happily responded. "You do have all the qualities to be the perfect wife."
If it were possible for Mayshen to blush brighter, her entire face would be as red as a tomato. Mayshen has secretly loved Layfon ever since they first met. Her love for him began when Layfon, who was selling his silver jewelry in the city streets at the time, saved her from a gang of drunken scumbags who were about to rape her in an alley she was walking through, which was a shortcut she took to quickly go home before her curfew. She will always be thankful for Layfon for saving her virginity and hopes to one day become the lad's eventual life partner.
"Hey Mayshen", Harley calls the blushing girl, attracting her attention. "If you would let me, I could make you my wife. I promise to be a loyal husband and a great father."
"EH", Mayshen shouted in embarrassment at the blacksmith's half-assed proposal, almost bursting into tears.
"Harley, don't make fun of poor Meicchi", Mifi angrily shouted at Harley while calling Mayshen by the nickname she gave her during their childhood.
"I was just joking Mifi", Harley said while laughing nervously. "I really didn't mean it. Sorry Mayshen."
"It's ok Harley", Mayshen was able to say, giving a small smile. "Thou you would make a great husband. It's a shame that many of the women in the village never paid you mind."
"What do you expect", Harley replied sadly. "Not many women would want to marry a blacksmith."
"I kind of like hard working men like you", said Naruki Gerni, Mifi's other best friend. "It shows that you have a strong work ethic that everyone should adapt."
"Thanks Naruki, it's so kind of you", Harley thanked the girl while blushing. 21-year old Naruki Gerni is Mifi and Mayshen's best friend since childhood, who happens to be an officer of the Yoltem Guard, Zuellni Knights who protect the Yoltem Region. Like her father and grandfather before her, Naruki aspired to become a knight, successfully becoming part of the Yoltem Guard at the age of 19 with high honors. She has become great friends with Layfon and Harley during her final years as a page as she frequently visits the Sutton's Blade Craft whenever her instructors send her to fetch new orders of weapons and armors or to deliver weapons and armors for Harley to fix. Naruki is a beautiful, tall, and strong young woman with tanned skin, greyish-brown eyes, and short purple hair with a cowlick and bangs that partially covers her left eye. Since she is always on duty, she always wears her grey-steel plate mail armor that has a left yellow shoulder guard with the insignia of Yoltem printed on it, which is proof that she is a knight of the Yoltem Guard. Her rank, printed below the Yoltem insignia, shows her current rank, Private First Class. While sitting on the yellow and red-checkered picnic blanket with the rest of her friends, Naruki's long sword, yellow kite shield, and arresting rope dart lay on the grass beside her.
"As expected of Nakki", Mifi cheerfully commented while calling Naruki by the nickname she gave her during their childhood. "She prefers hard working men who she can respect."
"A good man is a hardworking man as I do say so myself", Naruki said while nodding her head, trying hard not to blush.
"I'm really glad that you were able to come join us for lunch Naruki", Mayshen cheerfully said. "You have been very busy as of late."
"It was because my patrol shifts are longer than usual these days", Naruki responded. "After that incident in the mines, most of the men in the Guard are on temporary leave to heal their wounds."
"Oh yeah, now I remember," Mifi suddenly shouted in realization. "That entire incident in the mine happened because two Earth Serpents began nesting there, killing many miners who were unknowingly disturbing them."
"That's about right," Naruki said. "After the discovery of the serpents, a bulk of the Guard, including myself, was sent into the mines to slay them. As anyone expected, the task was indeed very grim. I'm just surprised that we were able to slay them."
"I'm just glad that you survived without a scratch," Mayshen said with a voice of relief.
"It was thanks to this armor Harley made for me that I survived their wrath."
"You don't need to thank me," Harley responded with a sly grin. "After all, I smith the finest armors and weapons ever forged in Zuellni. No man or beast can stand to the might of my steel."
"And now he is at it again," Layfon manages to say as he and the girls lead out a sweat drop, obviously embarrassed to the over-zealous blacksmith.
"Anyways," Layfon said in an attempt to change the subject. "So Mayshen, how is your mother doing?"
"Oh, mother has been feeling great recently," Mayshen joyfully said. "It looks like her illness is finally fading away after all these years."
"I'm so glad to hear it," Mifi shouted joyfully. "Maybe I should visit her if I have the time."
"I'm really glad as well," Layfon said with a joyful smile, with in turn made Mayshen blush.
Thank you Lay-Ton", Mayshen manages to say. "Maybe you could also come to visit mother as well."
"That's a wonderful idea," said Naruki. "After all, her folks really like Layfon a lot."
"I just hope her mother doesn't force me to propose to her again," Layfon said nervously.
"Yeah, you really don't want her father to kill you," Mifi manages to say before busting into laughter.
Soon Harley and Naruki started laughing, making Mayshen blush bright red in embarrassment. Layfon cannot help but to giggle at the sight of her cute face, all the while blushing. Mayshen soon started to smile when seeing Layfon giggle.
As the friends start talking about something new, Layfon soon starts to drift into his thoughts. It has been four years since he become a resident of Yoltem Meadows, four years since he threw away his dark past and start anew. He worked hard to put his second chance to use, and his rewards are a business he can call his own and best friends who he will forever treasure. Even thou the nightmares of his past occasionally haunts him in his sleep, it was thanks to his friends that he has a reason to live happily.
"If only she were able to see me now", Layfon thought to himself, remembering a girl from his past that he cares dearly."
"Earth to Lay-Ton, can you hear me!" Layfon suddenly snaps back to reality thanks to Mifi's constant pestering.
"You really got to stop spacing out," Mifi said with a teasing grin.
"Huh," was all Layfon could say, eyes blinking from the confusion.
"Anyways," Mifi continued. "Can you me a little favor?"
"Yeah," Layfon responded, wary at what she is about to ask him.
"I found out that I'm five copper short from paying Harleys rent in full so-"
"Let me guess," Layfon interrupted Mifi, unfazed by the request. You want me to take out five copper from your pay in exchange for burrowing money from me."
"Yeah, right on the mark," Mifi was able to say before blushing in embarrassment.
"Hey five copper is no big deal," Harley said reassuringly. "You can just give me what you have today and pay me the five copper tomorrow."
"Don't you want a cute girl to work you Harley," Layfon said with a mysterious smirk.
"Well, now that you said that," Harley manages to say before his sly grin came into full form.
"THIS ISN'T FUNNY," Mifi shouted to the two boys in a fit of anger, tears begin to form in her eyes.
Everybody else began to laugh while trying his or her best to calm the now distraught Mifi down. Overall, it was yet another peaceful afternoon for Layfon, and another happy memory for him to cherish.
"Ok Mifi, I'm sorry," Layfon begged to the poor girl, trying hard to stop laughing nervously.
"Sorry isn't going to work this time mister," Mifi said in-between sniffles as tears continue to run through her upset face.
"I'll give you the five copper and a bonus for your next pay."
"Keep talking," Mifi shouted in excitement, instantly getting over her anger at her boss and dear friend.
'Really', Layfon said in his head, annoyed that his assistant played him like a sap yet again.
"I can't believe those harpies, surrounding my deer Layfon like they are the only ones for him."
Princess Leerin Marfes, now a beautiful 21-year-old woman, continues to watch the Sacred Crystal Sphere, using its powers to allow her to see how her beloved Layfon 'Wolfstein' Alseif fairs in the world below. It is obvious that she is full of jealousy now because her Layfon has befriended three girls.
"Stupid Layfon, how can you let those girls get you under their heels?"
"That's because he is too kind for his own good."
Leerin gasped in fight at the voice behind her, turning around to see her stepmother, Queen Alsheyra. To her amazement, the Queen is smiling ever so mysteriously, as if she is about to molest her beautiful daughter's lushes breasts yet again for the umpteenth time.
"Watching how Layfon is doing again?"
"How did you know," the now frightened Leerin asked.
"Since the day you discovered this sacred chamber."
Leerin just stood silent, surprised that her stepmother knew about the entire time, the times that she would sneak of and enter the chamber just to see how the man she loved was doing on the world below. Queen Alsheyra just laughed happily, petting her confused daughter's head, reassuring her that everything is all right.
"The Sacred Crystal Sphere is used by the Royal Family of Almonis only in times of great darkness. The power of the Sphere is very dangerous as it allows the user to spy on almost any living person in the world, so we hid it deep within the castle walls. Since you discovered it so easily, it looks like the Sphere may be in greater danger from theft than we should have perceived."
"So you're going to hide it somewhere else then," Leerin said sadly, knowing that it was the only logical conclusion.
"I'm afraid so," the Queen said sadly. "But you should also use this as a good lesson. You already saw that Layfon is doing well with his new life on the lower world.
"He moved on," Leerin said sadly while forming a small smile. "He moved on and made good friends, friends who supported him and helped him become the man he is today. If only I was also part of his…"
"I know you do," Queen Alsheyra said softly, hugging her daughter in a gentle embrace. "But you have to move on with your life as well. You have to be strong and let go of your feelings for Layfon. I know this hurts my dearest, but you must let him go."
"For the throne, is it not," Leerin hissed.
"No my dear, do this for yourself. You must let him go if you ever want to move on. Layfon moved on because he accepted that the two of you would never be together again."
"Yet he never forgotten me," Leerin said, now forming tears from her eyes.
"Exactly, he will never forget you as the women who cared about him. He will treasure the memories he had with you forever and so will you."
Queen Alsheyra then let go of her daughter and gave her a soft smile.
"Come on now, the maids are franticly looking for you. You mustn't keep them worried."
Leerin nodded to her mother's words and then proceeds to walk up the stairs that leads to the entrance back to the castle.
"Mother," Leerin said to her mother with a big smile. "Thank you for giving Layfon a second chance."
"He was like a son to me," the Queen responded happily.
After Leerin left the second chamber, Queen Alsheyra then begins to look at the Sacred Crystal Sphere, yes full of worry as she views the Layfon cheerful picnic with his friends.
"I'm sorry my deer Leerin," Queen Alsheyra said to herself sadly. "But Layfon is still s threat to both our people and our Kingdom. Now I see a grim future that will befall upon him, a future that this Crystal Sphere has shown me after I faked his death. The Sphere's true power is to show a glimpse of any terrible event that our Kingdom will soon face, and it looks like Layfon will be in the middle of it all. This prophecy is still unclear, but it may affect not only Glendan, but the entire world as well."
Then, tears start to fall from Queen Alsheyra's eyes, afraid of the grim future that will befall on the poor lad, whom she loved like a son. "Layfon, please be ok. Please stay strong."
Wow, I really wrote a lot, about 7,021-ish words worth. Now I know that there is a lot of information written in the chapter, but I want to have the details shown as much and cleanly as possible. I also took the time to make sure I spelled and word everything correctly thins time. I thank you for staying loyal to this fanfic and I hope to see your coments and reviews as soon as possible. Thank you very much for reading, Chapter 2 is on the works right now, so wish me luck.