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Revised version of "The Endless Journey" (working title) Fantasy - 4000 ish words (1 Viewer)

Funkyjunky

Senior Member
Hello everyone! This time I added a short intro, placed the chapter earlier in the timeline. I also made some changes to the characters: For those of you who have read the first draft I'll point those changes here:
Aliza is no longer neither Silint's wife nor the daughter of the lord.
I gave the lord a name, made him younger and married him to Aliza. He'll now have character development instead of just being killed.
Yagil's character has not changed, rather I used his name on a more likeable character. We'll see something of the small minded shopkeeper now named Boaz later

Well that's all for now, I also tried to make the characters more human and added more variety to my narrative. Any errors you spot please point them out in the comments. While criticizing my work please don't forget to actually tell me if you liked it or not. Thank you for your time!.

The Endless Journey, Chapter One.


If there is a point in history where the fabric of fate began to unravel, one would obviously say it was at the end of the three’s journey, where ‘that which was not meant to be’ happened and the three became the ‘great’ three. To fully understand the workings of fate one must picture a thousand threads, each representing the life of a person slowly intertwining with other threads (or lives) and forming a great mantel, with patterns depicting great and small moments, the immortalized figures of history and the forgotten alike. But this is not the story of the three, for theirs happened long before this one. This story is the story of two men, right now they are simply known as “The Wandering Sage” and “The Weaver”.
The story begins on a road where a merchant’s wagon slowly being pulled by an old mule towards the city of Shefa. The man holding the reigns looked up, in the distance he could see a dozen people and a few children standing outside the town’s gate, they seemed to be arguing with a couple of guards. Despite the distance, he could clearly hear what one of the men was saying, or rather, shouting.
“… Will not pay such a stupid tax! And why should I let you look through my stuff?” The guard said something, but the voices of the other people speaking up blocked whatever he said. Deciding this would be interesting he called out to the back of the cart.
“Hey Silint! Wake up and come see this.” A man rose from his sleep in the back, he had green eyes, dark black hair and wore a white shirt with black leather trousers. Silint looked around trying to decide what time it was, when he finally gave up he moved towards the other man, he was tall and bald with a beard that reached his shoulders, it was a curious thing to see, as if his hair grew the other way around. He was wearing a sleeveless shirt revealing his big muscled arm, with chainmail armor on top of it; his axe was inside the cart but within an arm’s reach. He dressed that way to intimidate people and making bandits less likely to jump on them, a tactic that didn’t seem to work most of the time.
“Shakra what’s going on? We are not in the city yet.” Silint complained as he got out, sitting next to his friend. It didn’t take him long to notice the crowd of people by the city’s entrance, and the grin on Shakra’s face told him the idiot was enjoying the ruckus. Silint put a hand on his shoulder.
“We shouldn’t pry on other people’s affairs.” Shakra looked down at Silint, despite sitting right next to each other Shakra was a full head taller than him. He gave Silint a mock-hurt look.
“I’m not prying into anything, we are just passing through and they happen to be talking a bit loud, besides if you really don’t want to ‘pry into their business’ you can go back to sleep.” Silint considered the offer, he wasn’t tired anymore and whatever trouble those people had might affect them. He shrugged.
“I’m already up…” As soon as their cart got close enough, one of the two guards moved away from the crowd and motioned them to stop; he seemed relieved to have a break from an unending discussion.
“What’s going on sir?” Shakra asked as he pulled on the reigns.
“We are having trouble with thieves and the like coming into the city and doing as they like, so the lord implemented a small entrance fee and we have to confiscate any weapons or suspicious items from anyone with intentions on going inside the walls.” Silint and Shakra looked at each other; they both understood what was going on.
“Sir, if you have trouble with thieves and the like, shouldn’t you be patrolling the streets instead of denying honest men and women entrance to your city?” Silint talked with mocking politeness, raising his voice so that the crows of travelers could hear. The guard was about to say something but he was interrupted by the roaring of the people, telling the guards the same thing but in much more colorful ways. Feeling emboldened by the support of the crowd, he added “We are licensed merchants and we are paying no fine until we see the corresponding papers.” The blood seemed to drain from the guard’s face, the small crowd started making an even bigger ruckus and more guards came, trying to calm the people and asking the first two what was going on. The look on the two guard’s faces was priceless, they were pale and the words didn’t come out of them, so Silint took the matter into his own hands and explained the situation to the recently arrived and confused guards. One of them, apparently of higher rank than the others, had the first guards arrested while he apologized to the crowd. Shakra, still chuckling from the whole ordeal, manned the reign and they were off, people waved at them from the distance. Shakra nudged Silint with his elbow and said in a playful tone “I thought you said not to pry into other people’s affairs.” Silint sighed and gave no answer, the only reason he did that was that as soon as the guards approached them it was their affair as well. Not minding Shakra, he turned to look at the city.
‘The Great city of Shefa’ it was called and Silint thought it didn’t make it justice. Everything was clean, from the city’s wall to the houses and the people, hell even the street children were cleaner than in other cities, almost all except for the poorest houses were two stories tall, the horses were well groomed and didn’t stink, from the moment they passed through the gate the streets were made of stone. Needless to say it was like a dream for travelling merchants like them, Shakra had to try his very best not to picture people as walking coin purses. The market square was even more breath taking, the amount of people buying and selling was three or more times than what they were used to seeing. When they finally found a good spot to set up shop, Shakra and Silint began to unload; one prepared the table and put a few sample herbs on top, while the other one was opening up crate after crate. A few people approached and Silint put on his best smile, while Shakra stood up trying to look as fierce as he could to scare off any potential ‘opportunist’. They were ‘weed vendors’ and had one or more herbs for every ailment: feverfew, ginger and ginkgo for headaches, astragalus, licorice and rehmannia roots plus reishi mushrooms for fatigue, arnica and wintergreen oil for pain… whatever your problem, they had something for it.
They were surprised by how quickly they were selling; they even managed to sell multiple herbs to the same people, and for the same sickness! Shefa, the city of gold they called it, but no one mentioned even the people were made of gold. The pair planned to stay there until they sold out, but at this rate they would be leaving pretty soon. After an hour and a half had passed and the worst of the crowd had dispersed, they were making a list of what merchandise they still had, when a man approached them, he looked around as if he didn’t want other people to see him then motioned Silint to come closer, when he obliged the man whispered.
“Sir I have this… problem with my wife… you see she’s not the same as before…” The man didn’t want to say more than he had to, he talked slow, waiting for Silint to catch his meaning, but unfortunately Silint couldn’t. The show was so sad Shakra had to intervene, saying in flat terms what the man didn’t want to say out loud “Silint, this man wants an aphrodisiac for his wife; Gods know you’re slow in some aspects.” He talked low, making sure not to say it out loud as to not disturb the customer, who was obviously self-conscious of his request. Silint blushed, berating himself for not understanding something so simple, and gave the man some ground up goat weed. Deep inside himself, Silint wondered how long it would take for Shakra to let go of this particular moment, his thoughts were interrupted when yet another customer approached, this time an old man. Oh the wonders of this city! All the money they had made in the day, and they weren’t even done! But little did Silint know, that his life was about to take a sudden turn. The old man stood in front of his table, eyed each herb individually, picked one up and examined it expectantly, Silint rubbed his hands eagerly and with his best vendor’s voice he said.
“May I help you sir?” The old man raised his head, his gaze parting from the herb he had in his hand to meet up with Silint’s, as if he was pondering what to say. After a moment or so of silence, he spoke.
“I heard you had an herb for every illness, is this correct?” He eyed Silint as he talked, his gaze not parting from him for even a moment. Silint felt uncomfortable, but he showed no signs of it, he continued playing his part.
“Of course sir! Whatever ails you? We have everything from oils for your skin and pain relieving tea for giving-out joints.” He held up a small tea bag to make his point. The old man looked at him quizzically,
“I must be getting old for you to be offering me these things,” he laughed, but as Silint tried to apologize he put his hand up to stop him “I personally have no trouble whatsoever, well none that would bring me to a quasi-apothecary.” He eyed Silint, his gaze saying something akin to ‘a stone for a stone’ “I come on someone else’s behalf… but there is a slight problem… We have no idea what ails him. Even after consulting every doctor in this city, none could give us a real answer. So I come to you asking for help. Perhaps if you looked at him you’d notice something the others didn’t maybe-“
“Sir I’m not a doctor, I’m a merchant, what makes you think I would be able to heal something the very best doctors of this city couldn’t?” Silint’s interruption was sudden. Shakra took a couple of steps towards Silint; he had listened to the exchange between the two and needed to urgently communicate something to his friend.
“May I interrupt your conversation for a little bit? I need to talk to my partner here.” He did his best to hide his concerned expression as he pulled Silint back, then whispered making sure the old man couldn’t hear them
“Silint, I want you to watch closely how that man is dressed,” He made a slight nod towards the general direction of the old man, he was wearing a purple shirt of the finest silk, trimmed on the edges with golden weave, his pants were white and practically shone in the light, his brown boots looked more expensive than the entire wagon plus the merchandise in it, but the most striking thing he was wearing was a golden amulet with a bright emerald in the center, smaller gems of varying colors were incrusted around it, making a small circle around it: It was an amulet of servitude towards a lord, or more specifically, Shefa’s lord. Shakra continued “I think you should take some herbs and see whatever troubles his ‘friend’, worst case scenario you get nothing, somewhat better case scenario? You can’t help him but you still get paid for your troubles,” Shakra patted Silint’s back and excitedly said “Best case scenario? You save him and we get to sleep in the castle, given a feast and a proper place to sleep for once in our lives.”
“Like in the stories master used to tell us.” Silint answered, remembering one of those stories where hundreds of people tried to solve one problem, and then the hero comes at the last moment, solving the puzzle and winning a reward. Shakra smiled.
“Right. I’ll watch things over here; you go and make me proud.” Silint quickly walked towards the cart, picking up a few herbs for every ailment he could think of, hurriedly put it inside a bad and said to the old man
“Let’s go see your friend… sir…” Silint trailed off, unsure of what to call the Old man.
“You can call me Yagil.” They walked for a few streets and then stopped in front of a carriage that was waiting for them. While inside Yagil spoke up “About your question,” Silint looked at him confused “Before you had asked me why I came to you.” Silint nodded; he had forgotten about the question and wasn’t really interested in the answer anymore, but he allowed Yagil to continue so that he wouldn’t have to suffer through an uncomfortable silence. The old man looked outside the window for a second, collecting his thoughts, then simply said “Because you’re a man of the world.” the first thing on Silint’s head after hearing this was ‘That is not an answer’; Yagil noticed his confusion, let out a small grin then elaborated. “All these doctors grew up here. They know only what they have seen and what they have read, but when they see something new they’re unable to improvise. They have no practicality, which is an area I’m sure someone who travels as much as you excels at.” He nodded slightly at him, which made Silint tense.
A few minutes passed in silence, both men deep in their thoughts. Silint gazed at the scenery through the window, and was impressed by the fact that the closer they were to the castle; the houses grew bigger and magnificent, the people were better dressed and wore their jewelry openly, unafraid of thieves that might snatch them from their necks. The people didn’t ride on horses, they rode on noble stallions, the horses he had seen by the entrance of the city paled in comparison to these. But then they arrived at the castle and Silint’s heart stopped, he had never seen such a marvel of architecture up close, if in the distance it looked marvelous, then here it was at least a hundred times more impressive, the castle was built with white stones, each of the same size, there was an even number of windows on each side of each tower, the guards standing by the entrance were equally dressed as the others, but their armor was polished and they looked much more disciplined. He gasped when he looked at the garden, flowers of every color and berry bushes from all around the world were growing here, the varied scent made his mind flutter and he lost himself in the beauty of it, the symmetry of such perfect garden. When he was bending to closely inspect one of the flowers Yagil called out to him, breaking him out of his trance.
They climbed an endless flight of stairs, crossing paths with multiple servants carrying water, food and other needs until they arrived at their destination: The lord’s chambers. Yagil put his hand on the heavily adorned doorknob and carefully twisted it to make the least amount of sound he could, then he slowly opened it revealing a lightly illuminated room, with a plain bed and just a few furniture pieces, by the bed sat a woman and a child, and in the bed lay the sick lord. The woman wore a simple green dressed that brought out the green from her eyes, her long blond hair hang by her waist, despite the fact that she wasn’t wearing any jewelry, a fancy attire or any makeup at all, Silint could tell that she was the lord’s wife. The child was a complete contrast from her mother, she was blond with green eyes as well, but she was wearing a heavily decorated pink dress, with a white shoe embroidered with flowers, on her fingers she wore a golden ring on almost every finger of her hands, on her neck dangled a flower shaped silver amulet with a carved moonstone on it. She wasn’t wearing makeup, but to Silint it didn’t seem like it was her choice. There wasn’t much to say about the lord, he was sweating, probably due to a fever, he was wearing a white shirt that had dried vomit on it, and he was pale, paler than the white stones from his castle, his black hair had lost its brightness and his blue eyes were lost, he was looking at Silint, but at the same time he was looking through him. He set the sack with the herbs by the bed, and put his hand on the Lord’s forehead. He was burning, and the dried vomit he could see on his shirt indicated he was also sick on his stomach; he had a rash throughout his body and sores inside his mouth. The paleness indicated his body was tired, it wanted to rest, but the determined eyes on the lord told him that his mind was not ready to leave yet.
“He’s a fighter.” Silint announced to the room.
“Of course, he’s my dad.” the girl said matter-of-factly. The woman gave a smile to her daughter and then took the lord’s hand in her own as she said.
“Please, is there anything you can do sir?” Hers and the girl’s look put the world’s weight on his shoulders. His face grew dark, he scowled as he tried to think of a number of other alternatives to what he had in mind, but everything he thought explained one or two symptoms, but not the whole.
“Excuse me Yagil, but could you take the girl out of the room please?” She frowned then indignantly said.
“No, whatever you are going to tell my mother, you can say it in front of me, I’m already ten years old.” At such a remark Silint couldn’t help but smile.
“Quite mature for your age eh? What do you say milady?”
“Please call me Aliza, and I think she can stay, I’m sure Esther can take whatever news you got for us.” Aliza gazed at Silint, her expectant eyes had a sliver of hope, but held in her eyes that sliver of doubt, he noticed she didn’t trust him completely. Silint looked at the lord for a moment, and he met his eyes again, the distant eyes that didn’t quite look at him, just to confirm the suspicions he had before and now, once again, hoped were not true. Silint looked at Aliza again, and somberly declared
“Milady Aliza, I’m afraid your husband has been poisoned.”
“What?” She rose from her chair, letting go of her husband’s hand, fury and indignation could be felt from her voice as she continued “I’ve had enough of this farce, a weed seller, picked up from the street, will come and tell me that my husband has been poisoned? Such an outrageous thing to say. Especially when every single doctor in this city didn’t even come close to say such folly.” She paced around the room as she yelled, waving her arms and pointing at Silint, who was expecting such a reaction. He calmly waited for her to cool off then took out a few herbs from his sack and held them up for the lord.
“My lord, would you be as kind as to tell me if you recognize the smell of these herbs? You don’t need to talk or move your head, just blink once for no and twice for yes. Do you understand?” The lord blinked twice.
“Perfect.” Silint held the herbs in front of the Lord’s nose, one by one, and the lord would look at Silint and blink once, until Silint took the last herb and when he placed it in front of the Lord, he blinked twice.
“Do you remember where you smelled it?” Silint asked, and the lord blinked twice.
“Was it in your food?” One blink.
“Your water?” Two blinks.
“Have you been feeling this smell from your water for around four weeks?” Two blinks. Silint nodded, then turned to Aliza again “This herb is called skullcap, usually you can take some to clear a headache, but continuous consumption of the herb will cause this.” He gestured towards the lord, who was looking intensely at Silint. A huge grin appeared on Esther’s face, and she was going to say something when Silint raised his hand “I’m not done,” his expression turned somberly dark, and in the most calming voice he could muster he said “I can’t do anything for him.” He watched as the smile on Esther’s face turn to tears, Aliza spoke up.
“But you know what poisoned him! Surely you can make an antidote…” She didn’t need an answer from Silint, the look on his face as he watched the life fade away from her husband said it all.
“If only I had gotten to Shefa a day earlier, his body would be able to withstand the antidote, but now, he’s barely conscious through force of will… Nothing conventional…” Silint’s voice trailed off, wishing no one had heard him, but they did “So you can do something unconventional?” Yagil exclaimed, Silint’s stomach turned inside him and the color drained from his face, he couldn’t answer that question, but then Aliza asked,
“Can you sir? Can you do something for Jasid? Anything… please!” tears flowed from her eyes, Esther wept loudly on her chair, even Yagil begged him to do something.
But Silint wouldn’t talk, his eyes looked intently at Jasid, who returned the gaze, and then kneeling by his side Silint took Jasid’s hand in his own two, giving it a slight squeeze.
“Do you want to live sir?” Silence filled the room, after a moment Jasid blinked twice, Silint closed his eyes for a second. Then as he opened them again he repeated “Do you want to live Jasid, even if it means carrying on with the burden of life with all its woes, but being able to see your wife smile? Your daughter growing up? Do you want to live, despite that meaning your life will be saved by a sin?” As he talked, Aliza and Yagil suddenly understood why Silint was so hesitant on using his ‘unconventional method’, Esther on the other hand still attached to her childish ignorance did not understand what was going on, but she wished her father well, she wanted him playing with her again, telling her stories. Jasid kept his gaze on Silint, and after a moment he blinked twice again. In that moment the room grew unnaturally dark, as Silint let go of Jasid’s hand, picked a few herbs and the mortar and pestle inside the bag, and deftly grounded the herbs until they were dust, then he took the cup of water sitting on the nighstand and placed the grounded herbs within. When everything was done Silint took Jasid’s hand again, and a bright green glow emerged from Silint’s arms and flowed inside Jasid, who emitted a loud gasp as he felt a great surge of energy inside of him. From one second to another Jasid felt better than he had in weeks, he carefully sat up and looked around the room, his eyes glancing from the astonished faces of his wife, his child, his servant and then the cup that Silint was handing him, he took it with his own two hands and drank it.
 

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