Once upon a time there was a kingdom called Draak, ruled by a very powerful king who mastered many kinds of magic. A king named Ezra. Gloriously, he had brought peace upon the land after a thousand years of war, and thus was appointed king by his people. His subjects loved him for his kindness, and Draak became known as the kingdom of peace, where multiple races like elves, humans, dwarfs and wizards could live together in peace and prosperity.
King Ezra had four loyal generals that helped him govern the kingdom. The strength of those four was well known throughout the land, and the enemy kingdoms cowered in shadows, fearing to send out even the whisper of a challenge.
One day as the king was walking around a market near the Palace, a messenger hawk from the High Wizard of Hasgerd Kingdom flew to his left arm. There was a message bound to the bird’s leg, and as the king read it his face turned red.
“Summon my generals!” he ordered one of his guards.
In a short time, all four were assembled in front of the king in the palace.
“You summoned us, my king?” said General Friedrich.
“Yes. The High Wizard from Hasgerd, Count Tharrcape has just informed me that a dark miasma is moving in the Forbidden Forest of Tierra Hueca.” The king paced the floor. “He suspects it to be a work of a necromancer. This must be a remnant from the Last War. I have a bad feeling about this . . . dark miasma only grows in the presence of dark magic.”
“Well, ancient magic is not a rare thing in our land. Why do you fear, old friend, when you have us? We shall slaughter this necromancer in mere seconds like we did in the war. It will be barely a challenge,” scoffed General Arthurius Amaria.
General Xolouz shook his head. “Your arrogance knows no limits, Arthur. Someday, your useless pride will bring Death’s scythe down upon your head. But I admit, what you say is true.” The general turned to the king. “With the five of us together, there is no need for you to worry about this simple matter, my lord.”
“Is that a death wish I hear, Xol? How dare you insult my grandiose presence!” General Arthurius Amaria roared.
The final general sighed. “Enough, you two! My king, may I suggest for my men and I to check out the forest? I am after all, the famous Jack, the Thousand Beast. I shall send word back immediately on any discovery.”
“Very well, Jack. I shall trust you with this task. Take a scout on the southern area of the forest,” King Ezra commanded. “Arthur, you scout the north. Xolouz, you scout the west and Friedrich, you scout the east. Even though all of you are strong, you must never underestimate an enemy. Remember how many of our friends died in the hands of a necromancer. Stay safe, my friends, and let us hope I made the right choice.”
The generals bowed. “As you wish, my king.”
Per orders, they rode their horses and went to Tierra Hueca as planned. As they ventured deeper into the forest, the miasma grew stronger and thicker. Eventually all four met each other in the center of the wild expanse.
“Did you find anything suspicious, Friedrich?” asked Arthurius.
“None at all. And you?”
“I got nothing.” Jack narrowed his eyes. “There is an aching in my bones that foretells of a bad omen. This forest reeks of a strange, vile scent.”
“I second that. Something is not right,” said Xolouz.
The second the words left his lips a man’s laughter could be heard. There was the sound of weapons being pulled out of holsters as the four generals readied themselves with no fear.
“Show yourself, you coward!” Arthurius demanded as he aimed his sword.
A man shrouded in black emerged from the trees. There was the ghost of a smile on his lips as he said,
“My master was right. Such a fool, your king, to send all his generals chasing after only a miasma. Or perhaps he is afraid of something, afraid of his sins from the past war. In fact, all of you should be afraid. You have sinned in war, you have killed for glory.”
“Watch your tongue, you fiend!” Friedrich hissed fiercely. “Muero, IGNITO!”
A crimson blaze burst out of Friedrich’s staff and attacked the mysterious man. Deftly the man blocked it with a Shield spell. Then Arthur cut the shield using his anti-magic sword, Ezxalifur and charged at him. At that moment however, two chimeras exploded out of nowhere and made a beeline straight for him. He was inches away from being bitten before Jack punched the creatures with his Beast Arm.
They broke apart. Jack said, “So, you can summon chimeras. That’s a rare thing. Who are you and what do you want?”
“Ahh! But of course. Where are my manners? My name is Ellen La Fitte. As for what I want; why, that is simple. I want to end all of you.”
He snapped his fingers and more monsters appeared, surrounding the generals on all sides. The four friends merely grinned at the orcs and trolls.
“It‟s been a while since I’ve killed . . . boy, I sure have missed this. Let us display to these maggots the true art of murder, shall we?” said Xolouz.
Within five minutes the enemy lay dead on the ground. Only Ellen La Fitte stood standing, and rather than looking perturbed, he only smiled.
“It seems my job here is done. It’s been an honour to fight with the famous five.Or should I say four?”
His breathy chuckle vanished along with him and the miasma too, disappeared with his presence. The generals frowned among each other, uneasy.
“The man – he was playing with us,” Friedrich suddenly realized. “He cast no Offensive magic at all, only Defensive spells. It was a stall for time . . . we need to head back to the Palace immediately!”
No words could describe how heartbroken they were when they arrived at the Palace. Only rubble remained. There was no sign of life anywhere. All of the Palace guards were dead. Jack searched the area to find King Ezra. Who was capable of such destruction?
“Any sign of the king, Jack?” Friedrich asked, tension lacing his voice.
“Nothing. Zero. This is the work of a monster . . . and more than one at that.”
They were all strong men, but it was a silent flow of tears as they removed hundreds of bodies from the ruins of what was once their home and glory. A funeral was given to honour the fallen soldiers, a funeral attended by only four.
Madness began to conquer their souls.
“Who will ascend the throne now? The king is gone; dead perhaps . . . ” Before Arthurius could finish his words Xolouz cut in with a snarl.
“How dare you utter such blasphemy against the king! You want to know something? Your ignorance really pisses me off. You care for no one but yourself!”
“Enough, Xol! This is not the time to get into a verbal fight!” said Jack.
“No, Jack! This is the perfect time for this argument. This is all your fault. This would never have happened if glory had not blind your eyes . . . Who will lead the people now? What will we tell them, even?” Friedrich yelled.
“All of you are weak. Let me become the next king. I can see clearly none of you are worthy of the title,” Arthurius said with scorn.
The arguments continued and soon turned into a death battle. The battle of the four generals continued for 5 days. Luckily, none of them died as they were evenly matched. After the battle, Draak was divided into four territories, each ruled by a generals Arthurius ruled the northern Draak, Friedrich ruled the south, Jack ruled the east and Xolouz ruled the west. The kingdom which was once known to be peaceful and united was now left with only the murmurs of its history.
author : Anwar Haziq bin Hilmi