TRANSCENDENCE- CHAPTER 1: THE WAR AND ITS AFTERMATH

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Submitted Date 07/04/2020
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There was a time when two very different beings were at war with each other; humans and those embodied with a source of power mirroring magic called Mageias.

 

No one knew how the fighting started, but one thing was for certain: one was to be victorious. The two sides dealt with many casualties as the world around them began to crumble. Throughout time, it appeared as though the bloodshed would never end.

The humans eventually decided to use their advanced technology to create superhuman beings to aide them in the war. When the word for volunteers had spread, many signed up for the cause. However, only seven were chosen. Many tests were given and the seven chosen were the best fit, both physically and biologically, to survive the experimentation process. After the surgeries were completed, each patient came to realize that they not only received advanced abilities as promised, but they also possessed a supernatural power pertaining to their personalities. Their eyes even changed to what was described as golden as the sun.

And so, this group known as the Transcendent Knights were born and unleashed their full fury upon the opposing side.

Then one day, as the human race was about to be victorious, the knights suddenly vanished. It was another mystery no one had the answer to. Some say that the knights were finally killed in battle and a group of the Mageias disposed of the bodies so none would find them. Others stated that they were all exhausted from the chaos they inflicted and decided to retire. The rest of the world, however, had a different theory.

A rumor was spread that a human male eloped with the Princess of the Mageias who gave birth to their firstborn. This child was to one day rule over the Mageias as a mighty queen; becoming a threat to the humans. They say that the Transcendent Knights located the family's hideout within a mountain of the Northern region. When they arrived, they found the princess lying on the ground dying. No wounds were seen anywhere on the body and there were no signs of any illness. Yet there she was, taking in her final breaths on the cold hard floor. The knights searched the area, but the human father and his child were nowhere to be found.

 

With the remaining bit of life she had left, the princess gave the knights a proclamation:

 

A child was born from the purest of love

This is what will make her power grow

To find the future Queen of the Mageias

A sun on her arm will show

 

The Transcendent Knights will lead her

Down the path she is destined for

Together they will unite the world

And there will be peace once more

 

With this final breath of mine

May those who listen heed my call

The one who obtains the Queen's heart

Will be the most powerful of all

 

 

The Princess of the Mageias then passed away with the knights surrounding her. None of them knew for sure if her final words were of hope or an actual prediction. To prevent the possible prophecy from coming true, the group disbanded.

 

This theory stayed within the hearts of all who knew of it as the world took on a new form over the next five hundred years. By this time, the actual war ended, but the segregation between the two beings lingered. Everything seemed to have fallen backwards. The culture and majority of the livelihood transformed into a new kind of age near to an ancient era. It was as if the world itself was no longer proud of the values it once held and decided to make the reverse. The advanced technology was speculated to have survived the transition, but was kept hidden deep within the government facilities throughout the world; though none had been able to confirm it. Everyone had adjusted to the new way of life, however, there was still that inner desire for the one thing no one thought would be possible to have ever again.

 

Peace.

 

 

A young girl named Erin wandered into a tavern called The Old Ship for a drink of water. Erin had been on her own, hopping from town to town, for the past ten years. She never knew her mother and her father passed when she was seven. Due to having no other living relative, she was forced to roam alone with the hope to one day be surrounded by those who would care about her.

Erin took a seat at the bar where the owner was wiping a mug. "Um, excuse me," she began to ask. Her voice was soft and innocent, almost like a child. It matched her appearance: she was petite with the face of purity. "May I have a drink of water?"

"Coming right up," said the owner.

"Thanks," she replied.

When he left to get the water, Erin had a look around. She noticed how dark and gritty the interior looked. There were antlers hanging all around with the furs of animals that had been skinned nailed to the walls as part of the décor. The crowd wasn't much different from the crude surroundings. All were men who looked dirty and cut-throat. There were even some who looked at her with their haughty eyes.

Erin quickly turned to look away from the stares that made her feel uncomfortable. She then noticed a figure who stood out from the rest. Sitting at the other end of the bar was a man wearing a hooded jacket, gloves, baggy pants, and boots. What stood out about his attire was the scarlet red scarf wrapped around his neck; the brightness stood out from his dark apparel. The hood covering his head shielded the majority of his face, so she couldn't get a look at what he looked like. From what she could tell by his size and posture, he couldn't have been much older than her.

The owner arrived with a small glass of water. "Here you go. That'll be one kerma."

Since the world reverted to an ancient style, it made sense that the currency would change with it. The dollar system was still used, but for the most part, payments were made with coins they called Kermas. Erin worked a few jobs during her travels and was able to make some decent money to help her along he way. She reached into her little blue satchel that had a patch in the shape of a bird sewn onto it and pulled out a kerma.

"Let me know if you need anything else," the owner said as she dropped the small coin into his palm.

"I will. Thank you," Erin said.

The owner walked away as she began to drink her cold water. She looked over towards the man still sitting by himself at the other end of the bar. He remained silent as he continued drinking his alcoholic beverage; beer from the looks of it. Judging from the large bag she noticed leaning up against his stool, this man was a nomad.

Why do I get the feeling there's something special about this guy? Erin thought to herself. It's probably his cryptic persona that's giving me that impression.

"You know, in some regions, they consider staring rude," the man finally said.

Erin didn't realize the man could see her staring through his hood. "Oh, whoa! I'm so sorry!" she said very apologetic. She walked over and sat on the stool next to him. "I didn't mean to be rude and stare at you. I was just curious."

He chuckled at how her curiosity was probably sparked by his dark apparel. "So, you're one of those?" he said. "Ever hear how curiosity killed the cat?"

"Well, did you know that satisfaction brought it back? Cause it did." Erin replied.

He let out another light laugh. "You're definitely not from around here."

"Judging from that big sack up against your seat, I take it you're not either?" she pointed out.

"A tumbleweed in the wind," he started to say. "I'm just passing through."

"Me too," Erin said. "So where are you headed?" she asked curiously.

"Boy, you are just full of questions, aren't you?" he asked.

"A well-known trait belonging to the curious and free-spirited character I'm afraid," she answered jokingly.

The nomad snickered. "Clearly." He chugged down the last of his beverage. "Hey!" the man called the owner, "I need a refill."

"Money first," the owner stated while giving him a stern look.

The nomad searched himself but couldn't seem to locate any kind of money. "I think I used the last of my money to pay for this one."

"Too bad. No money, no drink," said the owner.

The two began to banter back and forth. Erin opened her bag again to see if she could help out. She was able to pull out five kermas, the last ones she had.

The men quit their arguing when Erin held out her hand with the kermas in it towards the owner. "Hey, would this be enough to cover his drink?" she asked full of hope.

The owner of the tavern knew she needed a couple of more kermas to pay for the kind of drink the man had. However, he was charmed by her kindness. "Yeah, that'll cover it." Happy she was able to help, Erin placed the money into the owner's hand. He then turned to the nomad and said, "You got lucky she showed up, pal."

When the owner left to retrieve the beverage, the nomad slightly turned to get a more decent look at the young woman who came to his defense. He saw that she wore bright clothing that stood out against her pale skin; fingerless arm gloves that went just a little past her elbows; her golden copper blonde hair was held up in a loose bun; her eyes were a pure sea green; and even noticed how her beauty was radiated by her kindness. "You didn't have to do that," he finally said as he turned his head away again.

"I know," she began gleefully saying, "but I wanted to."

"So you're curious, free-spirited- as you pointed out earlier- and have a generous heart. Just who exactly are you?" he genuinely asked.

Erin answered, "I'm just a girl who's tired of seeing the world's hate and wants to spread goodness wherever she can."

The nomad was not expecting a response like that from her. He was too stunned to even notice the owner of the tavern returned to drop off his refill. So many memories came flooding back to him of a time where he, too, wanted to end the world's hatred. His methods were more extreme than hers, but he still tried nonetheless.

Erin became worried when her acquaintance didn't say anything. "And I just made you uncomfortable. I'm so sorry. Ugh, I have a terrible habit of getting all cliché-"

"No, please! If anything, you reminded me of how I used to be," he assured her.

"In a good way I hope," she said.

The nomad slightly turned to see her again. He saw the hopefulness in her eyes and grinned. "Yeah, you did." He was happy to see her smile back at him.

"I'm Erin, by the way," she told him cheerfully.

Before the nomad could say anything, one of the men who stared lustfully at Erin previously approached her and nudged her shoulder to have her face him. "Hey there, how about you buy me a drink?"

"Uh sorry, but I actually don't have any more money," Erin stated.

She spent the last of her money on me?? thought the nomad. Something then awoke inside of him, a feeling he didn't recognize. It didn't bother him though. All he cared about in that moment was Erin's safety. He prepared himself in case the conversation the man was having with Erin went down the route he had a feeling it was going.

The rowdy man continued with, "No more, huh? Well, if I can't have my drink, how about paying me back some other way?"

The ruffian's small sinister eyes were beginning to frighten Erin. "Wh-What do you mean?" she asked.

"Oh, you know." The coarse man grabbed Erin and began to slide his rough callused hand up her thigh.

"Hey, stop it!" she shrieked as she tried to break away.

The nomad quickly grabbed the mug with his refill and used it to whack the brute in the face, knocking him to the floor as the alcohol flew around. He took a hold of Erin as she began to fall. She eyes darted up to look upon her rescuer. Still unable to see his face, Erin could feel that was worried about her. She held on tightly to him and did everything she could to keep her composure.

"Thank you," she told him.

"You punk!" a man yelled.

The nomad let go of Erin and had her stand behind him, taking a defense position. The rest of the scoundrels within the little tavern were preparing to fight the one who took out one of their own. The nomad then said to Erin, "Erin, hide behind the bar and don't come out until I say it's okay to."

"Wait, what about you?! I don't want you to get hurt!" she said concerned.

Despite being traumatized by the pig who called himself a man, she was more worried about his well-being. This caused the nomad to smile, of which Erin was able to see. "Don't worry about me. I'll be fine."

Erin turned back to the bar. "Please don't get hurt!" she shouted before hopping over and hiding as instructed.

The nomad's smile became bigger. A small group of ruffians went rushing first towards him, ready to take him out for hurting their comrade. What surprised everyone was how fast and easy the nomad was able to beat the group. The remainder of the scoundrels within the tavern decided to fight him as Erin hid with the owner of the tavern behind the bar. The men grouped together in an attempt to take down the nomad, but each one failed. He was able to dodge attacks with his lightning fast speed while his powerful punches and kicks easily knocked his foes unconscious.

Erin desperately wanted to observe the fighting, just to see if the nomad was alright. She peeked over the bar and saw how he was taking the men down, one by one. Bodies flying everywhere as things within the tavern were getting destroyed. His strength and movements, they're stronger and faster than anything I've ever seen. She gasped when a theory came to mind. Could it be? Could he be a Transcendent Knight?!?

The nomad's hood came off when one of the men he was fighting grabbed it. His face was revealed along with his very long brown hair and golden eyes. Erin's heart skipped a beat as she laid eyes on him. She never encountered a man appearing as handsome as him before and could feel herself blushing. When she got another good look at him, she remembered the legend of the knights and how to tell them apart from everyone else, right down to the eye color. He is! He's a Transcendent Knight! Erin thought to herself.

She snapped out of the trance when she spotted the culprit who touched her inappropriately get up. He angrily pulled out a knife from his shoe. In an attempt to help, Erin quickly searched around for something within the bar to hit the man with.

The nomad finished punching another ruffian when he turned and saw the man with the knife. He was about to fight him when a bottle suddenly hit the man's head, knocking him out. It was revealed that Erin once again came to the nomad's rescue.

"I thought I told you to stay behind the bar until I said it was okay to come out," he said.

"I know, but I saw you needed help…and I wanted to help you," Erin attempted to boldly state.

The nomad saw how much Erin meant that. He couldn't help but smile again at her benevolence. Erin smiled back in believing his grin was his appreciation of her assistance.

Their moment was interrupted when they heard a voice scream, "My tavern!"

The two had a look around and saw how damaged the place had become while being flooded with the unconscious men. "Uh, sorry about that," said the nomad.

"You!" the owner began saying frustrated as his nostrils flared through his mustache. "Get out! Get out now!"

The nomad then retrieved his large bag and approached Erin. "Told you I would be fine," he said with a roguish wink, causing Erin to blush again. He then left the tavern without giving her a chance to say anything.

Erin stood there wondering what she should do. Should she go after him? Should she let him go? Was there anything she could do to repay his kindness? So many thoughts were running through her head.

 

Just outside the tavern, the nomad was speaking with the driver of a wagon that was heading to the next town. The driver was more than happy to give him a lift. The nomad gazed at the tavern to have one last look, remembering the curious girl who showed him what true kindness was.

After throwing his bag into the wagon, a familiar voice called, "Wait!" The nomad looked over and became surprised when he saw Erin running towards him. She tried to speak while catching her breath, "Ju-Just w-wait a minute…Sorry, I-I may walk a lot, but I am not a runner."

"Clearly," he said.

Once her breath was finally caught, Erin pressed on. "Listen, I know who you are and…and I want to come with you!" She turned red in embarrassment.

The nomad was surprised that she possibly knew who he was and that she wanted to go with him. "C-come with me?" Erin nodded. "Sorry, I travel alone. Can't afford any collateral damage."

"Excuse me?! I would not be a collateral damage! If anything, I think I could be of some use to you. Just like how I was able to help back at the tavern," she said with her cheery disposition.

"But don't you have somewhere you need to be? Family waiting for you?" he asked.

Erin lowered her head in sadness. "My father was the only family I had. He passed away when I was seven and I've been on my own ever since."

Seven? She's been wandering around since she was seven?? Erin appeared well on her way to adulthood, but the nomad wondered just how old she was. He wanted to know how long she had been alone. "How old are you?" he finally asked.

"I'm seventeen," she answered softly.

Ten years. Erin, you've been traveling the globe all by yourself for ten years. The fact that she had been surviving for this long on her own made the nomad believe that maybe she could last the journey with him. He let out a sigh of defeat. "Alright, hop on."

Erin's face lit up with excitement. "Thank you!"

She then tried to climb into the wagon, but due to having no real physical strength, she kept slipping and falling off. The nomad tried to keep it in, but after watching Erin's failed attempts for a while, he couldn't hold it in anymore. He began laughing, the hearty kind he hadn't done in so many years.

"What's so funny?!" Erin asked embarrassed.

He saw how upset she became. "Sorry," he said. "Hang on."

The nomad then quickly swept Erin up and carried her. She began to blush again as she was being held in his strong arms. He then jumped into the wagon and gently placed Erin down.

When the two were settled in, he said to the driver, "Alright, you can take off now!"

The driver whipped the reigns and the horse took off and the two began their new adventure together.

 

Eventually, Erin said, "Thank you for helping me back at the tavern. It was very kind of you to help me."

Me? Kind? The nomad lightly blushed at her comment. No one ever thought of him as being kind. At least…not in centuries. "Ye-Yeah, don't mention it."

She leaned in a bit closer to her new companion. "What's your name, by the way?"

The man looked into her large eyes and saw joy. She was happy to be on this new journey with her new comrade. There was definitely something about her that made her stand out from all of the people he encountered with over time. Knowing deep down she wouldn't give up until she got an answer from him, the nomad smiled and said, "Ares. Just call me Ares."

"Ares. Cool name. It suits you," she told him. Ares chuckled in amazement at this girl's optimism. "What's funny?" she asked him.

Ares put his hands behind his head and leaned back against the back wall of the wagon. "Nothing. I just have a feeling this is going to be quite a journey," He looked over to Erin who gave him the most genuine and gentle smile he'd ever seen. I've been alive for over five hundred years, why is it that only your smile made me feel something? Ares then fell asleep at the sound of the calm wind blowing.

Erin soon found herself becoming sleepy by the soothing ride. She fell asleep right next to Ares. She began dreaming about what kind of adventures lied ahead for her and her new companion.

 

NEXT TIME: TRANSCENDENCE- CHAPTER 2: ARES OF THE TRANSCENDENT KNIGHTS

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