The land of Boletaria… How the mighty had fallen.
As I kept my eyes out for opposition, I couldn't help but notice the wreckage.
How long had it been since this area had been engulfed by fog? Surely not long, the fog kept expanding, swallowing more and more territory. Slow enough that the countries who knew of the plight cared little for it, as it wouldn't reach them until beyond their lifetime. Leave it for the next generation was the general consensus of those nations.
I was inclined to agree, the fog had seemed to be a death trap at first. People went in, and nobody came out. One nation had been foolish enough to send an entire army in, and a messenger later on to try and find out what had happened. It wasn't like the fog was a wall, a fun little game the children played was jumping in and out of it. Anyone who tried to go deeper simply didn't return.
But then someone had come out. And oh did he bring stories. Perhaps what I've heard has been exaggerated for dramatic effect and simple drunken forgetfulness, but even so, it still had to be impressive.
Souls… The fog seemed to prevent souls from escaping upon a person's death; they could be used as a way to strengthen oneself, to make one escape the boundaries of humanity.
And the soul of a Demon, fuelled by thousands of consumed human souls and combined with its own demonic power, could make one become something akin to a god. Returning with that power… Well, it could solve a lot of my problems back at home.
So, like the other eager adventurers who had recently gone off for some foolish notion of heroism or reasons similar to mine, I had entered the fog into Boletaria.
I was no fool; going too far into the fog would get me killed from the denizens who had made their home there. But in the outskirts surely there would be weaker demons, or people who refused to leave, to obtain souls from. As tempting as finding the soul of a true demon would be, I'd have to be an idiot to go looking for those kinds of creatures. No, leave that sort of thing to the foolish and suicidal. I think I'll manage just being beyond human.
I smirked, movement. A rather pathetic sight, some barely human being with a short sword in hand. Seeing me, with a groan it awkwardly moved forward, until finally lunging, sword outstretched,
My shield moved to intercept. The enemy struck with surprising, but not unbearable, force. My curved blade retaliated and cut through his chest, snuffing out his life.
And when it died, There was a… Feeling. Was this what it was like to obtain a soul? It was…
…Kind of disappointing really, it was sort of a pitiful attempt to make me feel positive, but it fell flat. I didn't feel any stronger either, to experiment I gave my sword a couple of swings. I can't tell any difference. Perhaps that thing's soul was simply pitiful? Yes, that was it, I should probably move on a bit further.
So I moved on, noting the less damaged architecture, which became more and more complete as I moved on until there was only the odd chunk missing, and I found myself entering a keep.
I vaguely recall this place in a map of Boletaria, an outpost that used to be at the border of the land, Boletaria had since grown and the outpost had been abandon and replaced further along, but by the look of the occasional corpse, some group of soldiers had probably made this place their final stand.
Also, by the look of how much the corpses had decayed, the battle had ended some time ago. It wouldn't surprise me if the things I had fought now were soul-deprived "Survivors" of the battle, which might account for me not feeling even a tad stronger.
I kept moving through the keep, until finally I came across something a bit more… intimidating.
In front of me was either a demon or a soul-powered human, if the glowing blue eyes amidst his concealing armour. Either way, his death would give me the power I craved.
Grinning, I readied my blade. The blue-eyed knight charged, shield forward, blade aiming for my heart.
I sidestepped the blow, and struck. The force of my blow managed to dig into the armour and pierce flesh, much to my satisfaction, unfortunately, my opponent didn't consider such an injury worth it's time and struck again without hesitation.
The blade nicked my sword arm as I backed off to avoid the attack. I gritted my teeth, convincing myself that the pain was simply punishment for underestimating the thing. Of course anything powered by the souls I desired would be more resistant then a regular human, that's one of the things I desired from it.
A third slash from the thing was already on it's way. This time I slammed my shield into the blade, managing to knock it to the side.
An opening, and I quickly followed the parry with a riposte, plunging the blade right into its heart. Not the optimal technique for a curved blade like mine, which was far more effective for slashing. But in this case, it was still very effective.
The thing didn't survive. I could see the blue eyes fade, and I forced it to the ground, before finally pulling my sword out after one mighty pull and a "squelch", blood pooling out of the wound. I cleaned my sword, eyeing the corpse and taking a step back to be safe. Still, I was happy to know that whatever the thing was, it had internal organs to pierce.
I should have stopped there, had I not previously thought myself not the fool those others who had never escaped?
And yet I moved on. The fog grew thicker, but I pressed on through the keep.
I went through a doorway, and for a moment the fog completely obscured my vision. When my vision cleared, all I could do was freeze up.
In front of me was a demon, a real demon. The large hall I had entered could barely contain it; it was a wonder how it got in. Three yellow eyes, a giant axe in a thick, muscular hand.
Naturally, my next instinct was to turn around and run. But the fog that I had mere moments ago gone through may as well have been a solid wall, I fell back, stunned, my nose burning.
But not as much as the axe as it struck my back. Every nerve seemed to be on fire, I couldn't breath, I could twitch my head slightly, but when I did, I immediately wish I hadn't. As my vision faded away, all I could see were fragments of my spine in a pool of my blood.
Normally, that would be the end of a story… But then, how am I thinking all this?
What is going on?
What indeed... Well, if you're reading this, odds are you know. But the chapter felt like it should be finished here, mainly cause past tense felt ok for this chapter, but not for the others. Perhaps i'll edit it later to switch this chapter to present tense for a more consistent story, but we'll see.
Anyway, this story is pretty much going to be a sort of playthrough, although i'm questioning if this person will actually make it the whole way through... we'll see.
I will be taking some liberties though, extra dialogue from NPCs for one (a bit more conversational, really), perhaps the occasional taking of a third option, and maybe some alterations of the levels.
Dunno why I thought i'd say all that, but oh well. Hope you enjoyed the prologue, and hope you enjoy the rest of the story!