Legends Of The Genemage: The Eternal King, Chapter Two

Read Chapter One here:  https://mindofderrick.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/the-eternal-sovereign-working-title-chapter-one/

     “I have been summoned here by my father,” Prince Vikryn stated coldly to the royal guard standing watch outside the throne room of the Sovereign.

     “Yes Sire,” the guard replied, giving a quick bow to the prince before turning to open the large, ornate doors he stood guard in front of. “I will take you to him.”

     The prince followed the guard into to the cavernous throne room of his father, who sat at the opposite end of the lengthy room. The thumps of their boots echoed through the empty throne room as they walked toward the throne. The Sovereign, a short, portly man, who was the stark opposite of his tall, strapping son, bore an expression of exasperation as he watched the two men approach. When the prince finally reached the raised platform that the throne perched on, he lowered himself on one knee and bowed his head.

     “Rise my son,” the Sovereign said anxiously. “There’s no one here but us. No need for the formalities.”

     “Of course father,” the prince said, rising to his feet and approaching the throne. “Then, may I ask why I have been summoned.”

     The Sovereign paused, and then let out a deep sigh of frustration before continuing. “It seems we had a prison break last night. Someone broke into Woodhole and rescued one of our most dangerous criminals.”

     “I see,” Vikryn said solemnly. “Have you sent the royal constable to investigate yet?”

     “No my son,” The Sovereign replied, taking a deep breath. “I do not want this to be handled by the constable. This must remain a quiet, internal matter. That is why I want you to personally investigate this prison break.”

     “Why me father,” the prince asked, perplexed by his father’s request. “I am not a law enforcer. I know nothing about investigating such a crime.”

     “No,” The Sovereign admitted. “But you are a hunter. And this is a job for a hunter. And, you have a personal stake in this prison break as well.”

     “And what might that be,” the prince inquired.

     “The man that was freed,” the Sovereign said. “It was The Immortal.”

     “Aerron,” Vikryn whispered, the name of the prisoner sending a shiver down his spine.  He could only stare at his father with his jaw hanging open in disbelief as the thought spread through his mind like a morning fog.  “I thought,” the prince began, placing his hand on the white, porcelain mask that covered part of his face. The prince could still remember the pain of his flesh burning when he was child, the result of being tortured by the enemy of his family. “I thought he was dead. I thought he died years ago. I thought you had him executed for what he did to me.”

     The Sovereign let out a long, exasperated sigh before answering his son. “We tried to execute him. But he would not die.”

     “What do you mean,” the prince asked in an accusatory tone. “He wouldn’t die? What does that even mean?”

     “We tried to kill him,” The Sovereign exclaimed. We tried many, many times, in many different ways, to kill him. But, he healed from every wound we gave him, no matter how severe. I believe that Immortal might be more than just a nickname.  I now believe that he will actually live on for eternity.”

     “Impossible,” the prince snapped. “No one is immortal. There’s no such thing.”

     “And yet, despite our best efforts, he still lives,” the Sovereign stated. “So I locked him in a dungeon in Woodhole prison and left him there to rot. Now, someone has found him and set him free. He has been weakened by his time in the dungeons, but he is still extremely dangerous. We need to find him and take care of him quietly so that the masses cannot be reunited under him. If he rebuilds his armies and starts another war, I shudder to think what might happen this time.”

     “I understand father,” Prince Vikryn said, nodding his head slowly. “I owe that man a debt of vengeance for what he has done to me. I shall gladly hunt him down and take care of him, either by returning him to his prison, or killing him myself.”

     “Good,” the Sovereign said, nodding his approval. “Gather up your best Houndsmen for your hunt.  You will also have all the equipment you need from the royal armory and any supplies you need as well. Hunt well my son. The survival of our Kingdom lies in your success.”

     “I will father,” the prince responded, gently caressing the grey mask covering the burnt half of his face. “I will not let you or the Kingdom down. I will not let myself down. I will have the vengeance I have sought since I was a child.”

     “My best assassins and executioners could not kill Aerron in all the time he was locked away in our dungeons,” the Sovereign stated, letting out a sigh of frustration.  “I pray that you will have the talent necessary to end his existence.”

 

“Alaaf,” Vikryn called out as he thrust open the door to the antechamber of the Houndsmen kennel.  “Where are you, my old friend?”

“Here Sire,” Alaaf called back as he entered the antechamber from the opposite end of the room.  “I was in the kennel preparing your Houndsmen squad.”

“Excellent,” Vikryn smiled.  “I knew you would be ready for me.  Show me what you have.”

“Of course Sire.  As soon as I received your request, I began to assemble your squad.  Come, let me show you who you will be taking with you.”

     Alaaf led the prince through the back door of the antechamber, and into the main room of the kennel.  The kennel itself was a similar to a dungeon, with a dozen cages lining the walls on each side of the room.  While some of the cages were empty, most of them housed a single occupant each.  The occupants of the cages, both men and women of varying ages, were all dressed in dark grey, tightly fitting, single piece uniforms, designed for utility over style or comfort.  The head of each occupant was completely shaven bald, giving the group a sense of conformity that helped to strip away their individuality.  Though locked in cages, the occupants were allowed unusually comfortable conditions inside their cages, including comfortable bedding, and any other accouterments that would be found in any ordinary bedroom.  As Alaaf led the prince down the hallway of cells, some of the occupants rose to their feet to watch the men walk by, while others remained in their beds, ignoring the procession, and others still buried their noses in books or other forms of entertainment.

     At the end of the hall, Alaaf led Prince Vikryn through a doorway, into another large room.  The walls of the room were lined with racks of various types of weapons, both hand to hand, as well as bows and crossbows.  The center of the room was and empty dirt circle, that encompassed every available space not taken up by the racks of weapons.  Standing in the center of the dirt circle, a group of three people, two men and one woman, all dressed in grey uniforms and shaven heads.  A tall man, dressed in full leather armor, his head missing all sign of hair as well, though a result of natural loss, stood beside the group of three.  As the prince entered the room, all four lowered themselves down to one knee, bowing their heads in reverence.

     “My prince,” Alaaf said loudly, gesturing towards the group before them, “As you have requested, I present you with my very best squad of Houndsmen, led by one of my most experienced hunters, Kretch.”

     “My liege,” the elder man said, crossing his right arm over his chest in salute.  Kretch, a man in his fifties, had been a hunter and trainer of Houndsmen for most of his life.  The man prided himself on his knowledge and experience training the Houndsmen, and was well respected among his fellow hunters.

     “Behind Kretch we have Mooris and Daan, two of our most exceptional Houndsmen.”
As Alaaf announced them, each man in turn saluted. Mooris was a tall, massively brawny man of obvious great strength. In contrast, Daan was a thin man of average height and average build.

     “And finally,” Alaaf announced, gesturing to the young woman kneeling quietly beside her comrades, “we have the youngest member of this squad, Kaishu.”

     “Your Highness,” Kaishu said, looking up at Vikryn with cold, steel blue eyes. Kaishu’s appearance seem of her comrades, tall and thin with a strong musculature, and a face that was calm yet austere. Vikryn could tell instantly that Kaishu’s mind was sharp, and she had quickly analyzed every detail of her current situation.

“It is an honor my prince,” Kaishu said quietly, as she gave Vikryn a rigid salute.

     “An interesting selection,” Prince Vikryn said, walking around the group, studying each member as he passed. “I look forward to hunting with you all.”

     “Now then,” Alaaf said, gesturing for his squad to rise to their feet, “let us discuss your hunt.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. Legends Of The Genemage: The Eternal King, Chapter Three | From The Mind Of Derrick

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