Author's note: Hey everyone, Formerly Tatsu55 here. I've been really into Fire Emblem: Awakening recently, and it really made me want to write again. Even more than that, I wanted to go back and edit what I had done before. Back when I did Love, Life, and Peril it was pretty okay, but a lot of the language and grammar I used was wrong, and I get the feeling I started using a few too many OCs. So I'm going through and rewriting this whole thing, starting with the very first chapter! Any of you who have read this befoe, be warned: general plot will be the same, but the way it's written and some characters and interactions will be all new. Hope you all enjoy it!
Chapter 1: Death on the Plains
He was finding it increasingly difficult to breathe, as he clambered over the peak of the latest hill that had barred his path. His green cloak was in tatters, several holes and rips from battles past making it a rather poor means of fighting of the morning chill. His brown hair was matted to his head, a single strand falling into his face blocking his right eye, which he found especially annoying as he tried to exhale in a way that pushed the hair up, only for it to fall back in his face once more. A quick glance behind him told him that his pursuers were still there, and they were gaining quickly. Another sigh passed his lips and he knew he wasn't going to escape them.
"Well, if I'm going to die, might as well be on my feet when I do it." The young man said as he turned. He couldn't be older than 16, his form wasn't bulky, but he wasn't thin either, showing small amounts of muscle that had likely built in the same battles that had ruined his cape. He drew his sword, one which had a tiger engraved upon the hilt, and glowed with the power of dark magic. In his Cloak attached to a rather hefty belt was also a magical tome that was all black in color, with symbols on it that indicated it to be a tome of dark magic.
"So, what am I up against?" He mused to himself, seeing his opposition. There were about ten pursuers, four of which were wielding axes, one held aloft a lance, two had swords clanking at their hips, and three were mages, though from here he couldn't discern which type of magic they used. He closed his eyes as his tried to slow his brain, which was trying so hard not to shut down that the pounding in his head was to the point of distraction.
Calm down now. Breathe in and out as you picture the battlefield. Let the possibilities enter your mind. His thoughts began to slow, and it was as if the field had suddenly become a grid, on which he could see the pieces moving. Axes will have the hardest time connecting. Worry most about the other magic users and the lance. Start with sneak attack. Sword's ability will finish lanceman, restore vitality. Realize axe and swordsman may try to attack during that time period. Counter and evade. Switch to magical attack, target mages. Keep on the move, use anything I can for cover. Bodies are the safest bet. After magic users, switch back to close range. Use sword to finish final opponents. Ideal time limit for battle: five minutes. Toll on body: extreme. Likeliness of failure: medium-high.
"Let's go then." He murmured to himself, his sword hand gripping the sword, which was already drenched in sweat. Another factor to consider. He charged forward towards the axmen, but as the man raised his axe high to strike he swerved to the left, heading for the lancer instead. A bolt of light hit the spot he would've been at if he hadn't swerved. Darting his eyes over to the mages, he noted that the right-most one is the one who had attacked with light magic, which was dangerous for his magical makeup.
He ran forward and circled around the lancer, who was twirling his lance as he struck out at the young man as he attempted to get close. Letting out a sigh, the young man struck out towards the lancer, though he only swished the air in the man's general direction. This was where the sword's ability came in. The dark power surrounding the sword struck out in a wave, which swallowed the lancer. The power then returned to the young man, who felt his energy levels rise slightly at the man's demise.
I hate showing a trump card early. The young man thought as he sheathed his sword. I hate even more having to kill people like this. So much for disappearing without a trace. He pulled out his magical tome now, letting the pages blow in the slight wind as he turned towards the mages.
It was lucky he did, as at that moment a fireball came within inches of connecting with his face. He heard a battle cry and turned to see one of the swordsmen barreling towards him. In a rush he tried to finish his incantation for the spell, but knew it was too late as the man slashed out, catching his arm as he tried to dodge out of the way. The young man returned it by blasting the dark magic straight into the man's face, leaving a hole where it once had been.
As the man's body fell to the ground, the boy grabbed his body and hoisted it up in front of him, letting it take the blast of light magic that once more was sent his way. At least the man was already dead, he wouldn't feel any of the further pain inflicted onto his body. It was a small consolation for him as the boy then threw the corpse at the advancing axmen, and then pointed a new spell at another sword user, who promptly threw down his weapon and ran. The young man picked up the dropped sword, and threw it as hard as he could at the mage currently chanting a light spell. The sword struck true in the man's chest, and he fell to the ground as life left his body.
The fire mage gave fright at this and also fled. "Too bad the rest never know when to give up…" He sighed as he eyed the axe men, who were currently trying to surround him. A dark pool of magic formed beneath him, and the young man jumped back before the magic struck upward, managing to avoid it. He gripped his injured arm, annoyed with himself. That throw had just dislocated his shoulder, and the blood was still flowing from the open wound. If he was unlucky he may have just lost the use of his arm for good.
He could feel himself slowing down. The next axe strike he managed to dodge as well, though just barely. He unsheathed his sword and swung it upward, taking half of the man along with it. He could feel himself becoming a little queasy at the sight. He really felt unsuited to this after all. At least he was ambidextrous. Though to be fair it was his left arm that was ruined, so his dominate arm was still in the fight.
Two more axe men fell before the final one gave up and fled. While the dark user hesitated, the young man switched back to his dark magic tome and struck out at him, the blow swallowing the man whole. The attackers were all dead or gone, he had pulled it off. He was beginning to feel dizzy now… all the blood and gore he had just gone through… felt like too much for him. On top of that his arm was throbbing continuously now, and his brain was feeling especially muddled and forgetful.
"I got out of that place to escape this life… and yet since I have, I seem to be killing even more people than before. Damn…" He fell to one knee, breathing heavily. Maybe he should try and offer a small prayer for the dead men's souls. They were likely only doing their jobs, after all. Before he could do that though, he heard a small rustling of grass.
"…" Another man stepped from the shadows, his daggers at the ready. The young man turned quickly on the spot. "I should've known they wouldn't send only the grunts." He said, looking upon the newcomer with a bit of melancholy.
"…" Without a word the man attacked, his twin daggers slashing out. The young man barely managed to hold his sword aloft to block the blow, thankful his sword covered a large area and stopped both daggers, though only just. The man seemed to be expecting this though, and leapt gracefully over the younger man's head, landing behind him with both feet firmly planted. The young man could hear the twirling of the daggers, and turned to face his fate.
The strikes were fast and true, one on his left arm, in the very spot it was hurting him, and the other in his stomach. I'm just not fast enough… The young man thought, as his sword fell to the ground. For some reason, a small smile began to spread across his face. It was at least some consolation to him to know the fight was over. He had lost, but he had done all he could. He could feel the fog in his mind clearing. The pain even seemed to be lessening, as he felt his body begin to fall forward.
"You truly are… an angel of death." He said as he finally fell to the ground.
"…" The man turned without a word, and disappeared.
Somewhere else on the plains, a young woman turned to face the wind, which had begun to blow in a strangely serene way. Something was amiss to her. The wind seemed to be weeping. Without a thought, she grabbed a hold on one of the many wild horses that roamed the plains of Sacae, swinging her leg over it as it neighed contentedly at the gesture.
"Why… Why can't I shake this feeling?" She said to herself as she dismounted from the horse, only minutes after she had gotten on. She had traveled a large distance though, as the horse seemed to have been following the wind that was blowing as well.
"The wind cries stronger here than anywhere else." She said softly, letting her green ponytail fly in the wind. As she looked around, she could see something in the grass. When she recognized it as blood, she gasped.
"Mother earth… what has happened here…" She breathed, beginning to look through the bloodshed. She could spot several corpses, all of whom were garbed in strange black robes, and finally…
"Father Sky… who is this? He's not dressed like the others." She pondered, kneeling down into the grass. He was dressed in a strange green cloak, which was tattered and seemed a poor choice of garments. However, unlike the rest, his chest has still rising and falling, though it very slight, as she could tell it was beginning to fade.
"He's alive!" She gaped in surprise, leaning closer. His breathing was very shallow now, but his heart continued to beat defiantly in his chest. If she managed to get him back to her house, she could treat him and he would likely live. He didn't seem to have anything on him, aside from his attire, a book and a sword, both of which laid so close to him she guessed they were his. He did not have the garb of one of the tribes of Sacae, so she surmised he must be a traveler of some sort. But what she couldn't figure out was why he ended up in a fight with these men. Perhaps they were working together and had a falling out? Many questions raced through her head, but she decided to take care of the most pressing issue first.
"Stay with me… I can save you. Don't give up on life just yet." She said. The man seemed to respond. Looking, she noticed he had opened one eye to look at her.
He saw the girl, but seemed to struggle to speak. "I'm… not dead yet?" He asked in confusion. She shook her head, and he smiled weakly. "...Damn, I'm must be... more stubborn... then I…" He closed his eyes and clearly could say no more. The girl, who assumed she was around the same age as the boy, managed to drag him onto the horse, which had stood there waiting for her return. Thanking Mother Earth for the good fortune, she led the horse as swiftly as she could back to her abode. By the time she arrived, the young man was still breathing, but his heartbeat had begun to fade.
"His condition has gotten worse." She said, finally getting him onto her bed, as there was nowhere else she could treat him. "Now… it's a good thing I've these healing herbs I managed to collect…" She said, and went to work caring for her new charge.
Much later in the evening, the young woman continued her vigil, despite the siren call of sleep that ask for her. "I wish I could do more…" She sighed drowsily. The boy's breathing had stabilized and the wound on his arm she had bandaged, after popping the joint back into place. The boy had at least made a groan at the discomfort, which she took as a promising sign. From there she had applied Vulneraries to both the cut part of the arm (replacing the bandage when necessary) and even more crucially the wound on his stomach.
She watched his face carefully, noting it was in much better condition now. During treatment he had been twisting his face in pain, but kindly even he hadn't moved his body around. Perhaps he was used to being treated. It seemed like everything that could be done had been, though she took the chance to gently push a strand of hair from his face back behind his ear so it wasn't hanging in front of his eye. The young man seemed not to wake, though a small smile once again crossed his features.
"I suppose there isn't much more to do until he wakes up, but I still can't sleep…" She said sadly, rubbing her eyes to convince herself of this as well. She stood up and decided to head outside for a bit. She could use this time to refill the water jugs in the nearby stream, since they were beginning to run low. Luckily he didn't have a fever brought on from the cold or his injuries, but she had been sure to keep him hydrated just in case.
"I sure hope he does wake soon… I suppose I could wash his clothes and take a bath while I'm down there…" she said, glancing at his blood stained clothes lying next to the wall. She had dressed him in a Lorca tribe outfit after treating his wounds (Thankfully her father's outfit fit him quite well, though it was a smidge too big for him), but his clothes were so cut up that apart from the cape which seemed more sentimental in nature… it wasn't going to be much use. "Well… I'll wash them anyway." She said, shrugging, and picked them up. "I could just let him keep the robe though, I hope father would forgive me for doing that." She said and almost giggled at the thought. Likely he would've just told her to stop sweating small things like clothing and do the Lorca tribe proud.
Something still didn't feel right. He should be dead, after those attacks, and yet it felt like the warmth and comfort was going farther away. Replacing it was still the warmth, but like one of a bed rather than that all-encompassing warmth. Also, he was beginning to feel pain again. A lot of it. Particularly in his arm and stomach. A passing thought made him consider that perhaps he was being punished. Another told him someone was beside him. Not knowing what was right or what anything was anymore, he felt his mind once more drifting away.