My name is Elliot Trondheim and this is officially the worst day of my life. I mean, yesterday I went to sleep with my hair its usual black color and in the next one, I woke up with my hair in a totally different color: blue. Why blue? I still don’t know the answer to that question. Next to that my grandpa died recently (the last living relative I know of, thanks for asking) and now I’m living all alone in a small apartment in the suburbs of Kaleid city, the capital of the Central Empire, one of the three empires that´s part of the New Empire
Perhaps I should explain what the New Empire is. It is a union of the three great empires of the World: The Eastern, The Western and the Central Empire. The three empires have been in war for uncountable years, until one day they decided to leave the differences apart and joined as one.
Now, let´s go back to my awfully bad day. I´ve been chased down by an uncountable number of monsters that, thanks to the protective barrier, they are not supposed to be inside the city, but somehow some of them have managed to get inside. Right now I’m being chased by a drunken centaur somewhere in the Market district, which is in the West side of the city (and my house in the total opposite direction so you can guess for how long I´ve been chased down). Up until now I have managed to avoid the creature by hiding in tight places and weaving in the crowd, but I fear that the crowd that I use as a cover is going to end, luckily I can still go through some alleys to make some distance between the monster and me.
I kept running through the crowd when I heard a loud roar followed by the screams of some innocent bystanders.
-“Ohhhhh kidooooo, stop hiding from me”- said the centaur while swinging a rusty one-handed sword –“If you keep running your suffering will only be worse”
I keep walking through the crowd, hoping that I might manage to lose him, covering my head with the hood of my coat to prevent being spotted thanks to my bright blue hair. Suddenly I trip with a food stall and my hood falls off, I try to put it on again…..
-“There you are!!!!”-
…but it appears that he already spotted me. As soon as the centaur called my location, I sprinted as fast as I could not caring to hide anymore since I knew that I would just be putting innocent civilians in harms-way. But it was hopeless he managed to catch up with me and the next thing I knew is that I was dangling upside down grabbed by my right feet.
-“Got´cha”- said the centaur with a huge grin in his face and I could smell the alcohol in his breath- “Ohhh, The Boss is going to give me a huge reward for taking you in”
-“Ok, first of all let me go”- I said while trying to yank my feet out of his hand – “and second, why are so many monsters hunting me?
-“The Boss has placed a nice bounty on your head, and I´m planning on claiming it”- said the centaur while swinging me from side to side
I needed to find a way to get out of there, sadly I didn´t have a sword…… suddenly I felt something in my right hand and I did what my instincts told me to do: I slashed upwards. Now, I don´t know what surprised me the most after that: the fact that I somehow managed to slice the entire hand of the centaur, or the fact that I saw, just for a fraction of a second, a holographic sword that seemed to vanish from my hand. Either way I didn´t have much time to think about it, I used the confusion of the centaur to keep running to the southern part of the city: The Gardens. As its name implies, The Gardens are a bunch of gardens that decorate the southern part of the city; I ran here because, this way, it was harder to involve more innocent civilians in my chase.
Sadly the confusion of the centaur didn´t seem to last too long since I could clearly see him running towards me, so I did the obvious: I ran towards a fountain in the middle of one of the gardens. Once I reached the fountain I turned around and prepared myself for the inevitable; he was at least a thousand feet away when someone stepped right between me and the fountain.
She had bright red hair and a pale white skin and brown eyes, was around five feet tall (and I, being six feet tall, was taller than her), I could say that she was around sixteen years old, a year less than me, and was wearing a black cloak, a white long sleeved shirt, some black tight jeans and black Converse. She turned around, took a look at me and when she saw my hair, her stare stopped there.
-“So, you have been fully blessed by the goddess Saera, no wonder He placed such a big bounty on you”-
-“Are you also hunting me?”- I said while backing up a little
-“Don´t worry I´m here to help, now watch this”- she said while placing her hand on the fountain.
As soon as her hand touched the fountain, red tendrils started to spawn from it and began to cover the entire structure. Once that the tendrils had covered the entire surface, the fountain started to crumble apart and the debris started to float around her. Then she extended her hand towards the centaur, which had closed in on us and now was thirty feet away from us, and the remains of the fountain flew towards him. The creature didn´t have enough time to react to the incoming attack as the floating stones pierced and tore the centaur apart.
-“What was that? And who are you?”- I asked the girl
-“The name´s Elaiza, nice to meet you and you´re welcome for saving your life” she said while putting her hood back on -“and that was the blessing of Rachan, the God of destruction”
-“Wait, so when you said that I had the blessing of Saera, you meant Seara as in Goddess-of-creation Saera?”
-“Exactly, now if you want some answers, come with me” she said while turning around and started walking, not looking back to see if I was following her.
I could have simply ran away and go home, but I needed to know what was happening. I needed some answers. So I decided to follow her. We walked in silence for a couple of minutes; we passed the Market District and kept walking towards the North, also called the Business District since every major Guild has their Headquarters there. We waved through the crowd, heading towards a building that looked a bit odd, as if it were out of place: first of all it was smaller than the rest, at least two stories high and the others three, and the white paint was all smeared and some bits where even missing paint, the windows where dirty and the door was damaged and old.
The strange thing was that the people seemed to ignore the building, as if it wasn´t there.
-“You can´t see the base unless you are either granted permission or are coming with a member”- she said, as if reading my mind.
-“So that’s why we can see it but others don´t”
-“Exactly, now come on. I want to introduce you to the others”
-“Others? You mean to tell me that there are more like you and me?”
-“Exactly, now come on in”- she said gesturing to the open door of the old building.
Once I got in I was instantly shocked by what I saw: stairs. Not a lobby or a reception area, stairs. We walked down and it was getting darker and darker, but thanks to the torches hanging at the wall we could see our way down.
-“Oh, I forgot to ask your name”- said Elaiza, breaking the silence
-“My name is Eliot Trondheim.”
-“I´m Elaiza Ashraf, nice to meet you”- she said while still going down.
After a few minutes of going down we reached to a big cave, with small buildings, something that I guessed were barracks and some training grounds with different assortment of things to practice.
-“What is this place?”- I asked to Eliza while looking around dazed
-“These are the Headquarters of an elite squad created by the Emperors: The Defenders of the Empire”- she said while gesturing around –“but first, you´ll need to meet our leader: Commander Tate Akatsuki.”
By the way she said his name I guessed that the Commander was a serious person. We kept walking until we reached the end of the cavern and in front of us stood what I supposed were the Commander´s Office.
-“Wait here” – she said while opening the door – “I´ll talk to him first.”
After that she got in and closed the door. Several minutes had passed, (Easily I could have waited at least ten minutes) when she got out.
-“Come in,”- she said – “He wants to talk with you.”
She opened the door and gestured me to get inside. Once I got in she stood outside of the room and closed the door. I looked around the room and saw a huge map of the Empires hanging in the right wall and two swords on the opposite wall. In the back of the room was a normal desk with a name tag with the name of the Commander in it. Sitting behind the desk was a really tall (he could have been easily 6’2 feet tall) dark-skinned man with deep-brown eyes and a really short cropped black hair.
-“Welcome Eliot, please sit”- said the man with a really deep, stern voice.
I did as he told me and sat on the chair opposite to him. He didn´t broke eye-contact the entire time, which made me a bit nervous.
-“Elaiza already told me what happened, but I would like to hear your version of the story”-
I started by telling him about the constant assaults that I had received previous to the centaur. Then I told him about today´s events, including the part where I severed the beast´s hand. Once I told him about how Elaiza slayed the beast he asked me to stop.
-“What you told me matches what Elaiza said me, except that she didn´t know the reason behind why the creature was missing his right hand.”- He said while putting his hands together, his elbows placed on top of the desk –“And by the way you just described what happened, I will suppose that you have no idea what the Blessing of the Gods is.”
-“You are right sir.”-
-“Then allow me to explain to you what this power is”- he said while standing up his chair, (confirming my theory about his height) and walking towards the map –“As you know there are eight Gods and Goddesses in this world: Saera, Goddess of Creation; Rachan, God of Destruction; Schailock, Goddess of Water; Teshario, God of Fire; Aschima, Goddess of Earth; Schimite, God of Wind; Verrad, God of War and Maaraa, Goddess of Love. These divine beings, from time to time, gran certain blessing upon some mortals, and this is manifested by a certain hair coloring which depends on what God blessed you.”-
-“So I´ll suppose that the color blue means that I have the blessing of the Goddess Saera, and red is for Rachan.”-
-“You are right. And the amount of blessing that you receive depends on the god that chose you as one of its champions.”-
-“So that means that the more of the respective color you have, the more powerful your blessing is?”-
-“Right again kid. In yours and Elaiza´s case, both of you received a full blessing from the god that chose you.”-
-“And all of the gods grant blessings to the people?”-
-“Not all of them. The only ones that we know that don´t grant blessings are Verrad and Maaraa.”- He said while sitting back on his chair –“Apart from those two, the other gods have chosen a big amount of champions here on the mortal world. And taking that into consideration, the Emperors decided to create a special task force composed of normal humans and blessed ones. Which brings us to the matter at hand: Will you join the Defenders of the Empire?”-
-“You want me to join? Why? I don’t even know how to wield a sword, much less how to deal with this “supposedly” new power that I have.”- I said a bit shocked.
-“The Defenders could use some as powerful as you, and you don’t have to worry about your powers and your training. We can take care of that.”- He said with a stern and serious voice.
I started to consider the offer; after all it was better than being chased around by some angry monsters. Also, by joining the Defenders, I might be able to discover the meaning behind the pendant that my grandpa gave me (I think that I forgot to mention the pendant. It was given to me by my grandfather before he passed away, and the weird thing was that, never in my life, I´ve seen that pendant with him. Also, in the back of the pendant there was a strange symbol engraved in it: It was a straight line in the middle of the pendant and on each tip of the line, there was a triangle; but one of the triangles wasn´t finished. The tips never met). And also I might discover why I was blessed by the Goddess Saera.
-“Fine, I´ll join the Defenders of the Empire”- I said, staring at his eyes.
-“Excellent, I knew that you would do it”- he said while stretching his hand towards me and I shook it –“Elaiza should still be waiting outside, tell her about you joining the Defenders and also tell her to take you to May, she will begin your training.”-…….