Project Mech: The Path to the Lightstone [Chapter 4 is out!]

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Project Mech: The Path to the Lightstone [Chapter 4 is out!]

#1 Post by cj3003 » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:29 am

Project Mech - A Twokinds Steampunk Tale
Hello, my friends!

My name is Jacob (a.k.a. cj3003) and I present to you a new Twokinds story I have created, Project Mech! This book is an imaginative recreation of the Twokinds world in a Steampunk-esque era. It's not all centered around being steampunk like I had originally sold it to be, it's more of a setting than anything. For the moment being (And probably for the whole book), I do not use any of Tom's character's they are all 100% original. The only case that a Twokinds character might appear is in a sort of reference to the past. Might I also note that this book, at times, includes some strong language, violence, and dark themes as of now. I'll have to add a few more things to that list as time goes on :P So, if you aren't into or are sensitive to those types of things, this might not be the best book for you.

Chapters Complete:

Prologue, Chapter 1 - One Escape, Chapter 2 - Troubled Voyage, Chapter 3 - The New Life, Chapter 4 - The Deserter


Description
[/i][/b]
Spoiler!
After being captured and thrown in jail, Natalie Ra'shev finds herself in a bad situation. Luckily, she had an opportunity to escape to a newly found continent called Favieth, a land filled with mystery and unrighteous order. Joining a not so reputable faction called the Crafters, she and her friends look for the infamous Lightstone, hunted by the first Metalmaster himself. Of course, she isn't the only one hunting this artifact.


About Project Mech
[/i][/b]
Spoiler!
Before you scream at me, I know I tend to... infect this board. And if I seem to be a nuisance, I'm sorry. I just really like writing Twokinds related stuff! If you are assuming that my brother is going to be co-developing this book, he is not. I decided to make this story by myself! But, this isn't entirely unrelated to The Dividing War. Although this book is technically is unaffiliated to TDW, it's actually a parallel/alternate story to the scrapped TDW: Age of Negligence(so technically, this is the spiritual successor to TDW), but I won't explain how it related... well, at least now. I'll let the book do that for me :twisted: Just note that you DO NOT need to read The Dividing War to understand this story in the slightest, and all references that are made to those books are in the mindset of someone who hasn't read them.

More notes, this book is now being constantly developed after we dropped TDW: AON, but still is not on a posting schedule. I will post chapters when I believe they are the best they can possibly be. It could be anywhere from a week or a few months before a new chapter. Anyway, like I said earlier, my brother isn't directly involved in this book, other than editing. That being said, this is my most ambitious book in more ways than one.

Before I forget, I need to tell you something. You remember my brother/co-author/art slave, right? Well, he occasional makes character art for the Project Mech characters, so I'll be posting the art of a specific character in the corresponding chapter they were introduced to.
Without further things to discuss, I present to you:

Project Mech: The Path to the Lightstone
I am the silliest noodle.

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Re: Project Mech - A Twokinds Steampunk Tale [Prologue is here!]

#2 Post by cj3003 » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:32 am

Prologue
~Natalie Ra'shev~

“Hey! Natalie, help me up here!”

I crouched behind a crate placed on the side of the two story house. My brother Nick was around the corner from me. I left from behind my wooden cover, walking along the cream-colored outside walls of the home. My leather boots were silent upon the well-kept green grass, making me a little more stealthy in this midnight infiltration. I looked around before turning the corner.

The populated streets were now lifeless in the face of night, the only life being the faint flicker of candle-lit street lights that swayed in the influence of the nightly gales. Checking both left and right, it seemed the coast was clear. Before proceeding, I checked behind me just in case. The alley behind me was just as empty as well, save for the old intoxicated man sleeping next to a door. I shrugged, assuming the wash-up was no threat.

Turning the corner, I spotted my brother leaping for a window, attempting to grasp the red rim of the window. His black hood bobbed up and down in a delayed fashion, occasionally revealing his long keidran muzzle. His rounded ears were popped out of the hood, as he insisted to keep them uncovered.

“Nick! Stop making a commotion!” I demanded quietly in a harsh whisper.

He turned to me, his violet eyes lighting up in frustration, “Then help me! I can’t quite reach it from here.”

I rolled my eyes playfully, walking up beside him. I pushed him lightly on the shoulder and crouched down. Holding out my hands, I interlocked them for a platform for Nick to boost of off.

“You can’t reach it because you are short, Nick!” I teased.

He didn’t look away from the window, but instead kept his entire attention on the wall. Nick looked up and down at both the window and my hands, trying to calculate his jump.

Placing his foot on my hands, he responded subtly, “I am not short.”

I smiled and boosted my brother up to the window. He grunted as he pushed his paw off my rising hands, gaining the necessary distance to grab the window. After grabbing the red windowsill, he climbed into it awkwardly, his legs dangling a bit while he struggled to get in. I snickered quietly at my brother’s attempts.

He leaned out of the window, his face wrinkling in a frown, “Shut up, Natalie! It’s hard to climb into a window without help!”

I shrugged with a smug smile, signaling with my hand to have him help me. He leaned farther out of the window, holding out his arm for assistance. I backed up a few steps, trying to get a running start. I shifted gears and ran forwards, my leather boots still virtually silent in the night. As I approached the wall, I placed my foot against it, stepping quickly to make sure gravity doesn’t work against me in my small window of time. I extended my arm and grabbed at my brother’s arm roughly. I grabbed up a bit too far, and my hand slid down his limb. He stopped me from falling any further by clenching his grasp tighter.

My body dangled a little with only Nick as support, and I quickly swung myself to the wall. Nick grabbed my arm with his other one as well, and lifted me into the window. The warmth of the house hit me like a heated wall, sheltering me from the cold winds of the night outside. I stumbled into the house, trying my best to not hit anything while I regained my poor balance. Unfortunately, my attempts were quickly turned ill.

I bumped into an end table that had a well decorated brown vase placed atop it. I winced as the vase spun threateningly. The vase spun into its side and fell unto its wooden surface below it, only making a tiny bumping sound. I released a silent sigh, thinking how a vase almost blew our infiltration.

Of course, I’m not that lucky. The brown vase rolled off the quint end table, shattering into various little pieces. I looked down in disbelief and horror, knowing me and Nick were royally screwed over.

A door behind us swung open slowly, and an older human lady walked out from the room, rubbing her eyes. She looked sleepy, if the bags under her eyes were any indication. Her eyes shifted around the room lazily. We had no time to move, so we just had to stay still and hope she would be too tired to notice.

The human’s eyes widened as she spotted us. Her mouth gaped open in shock, stuttering out syllables in fear. “Well [censored],” I thought, knowing we were doomed.

Nick swiftly pulled out a shortsword that was attached to his hip, the unsheathing sword making a drawn-out metallic sound. He slowly made his way over to the older woman, holding his weapon pointed out from his right hand menacingly. The lady quivered in fear and backed away as slowly as he neared. I placed my hand firmly on Nick’s chest, my hand grazing across the black fabrics of his thieving clothes.

Speaking in keidran so the lady wouldn’t understand us, I shook my head with disapproval.

“<We can’t hurt this lady, Nick! We aren’t killers!>”

“<I wasn’t going to kill her, I… I just don’t want to get caught, Natalie! Not again,>” he pleaded, looking down with depression.

Suddenly, a burly man stepped out of the room the lady had shown up from, his big bald head red with anger. He had a longsword placed in both hands and he moved his big body in front of the now petrified woman. His brow dripped with sweat, either in anger or from having to carry around a body mass like his.

“Get the hell away from Charlotte, you dirty dogs!” the fat man screamed, raising up his sword. I stepped forward and held out my hands in defense, showing I wanted peace.

“Sir, we will leave, just let us g-”

“No way, [censored]! You little mutts ain’t going anywhere! Come into my house attempt to hurt my wife? Well… I hope you had a good run, ‘cause you’ve reached the end of the line!”

The woman stood from the wooden floor and grabbed the man’s wide shoulder. He turned his head sideways to look this Charlotte character, his angered face relaxing at the worried look of his wife.

“Don’t hurt them, darling!” she pleaded, “They probably don’t know any better!”

He sighed heavily, his saddened emotion slowly shifting to honored rage.

“I’m sorry… but I have to protect you. Even if that means you hating me.”

The man pointed his blade at my neck, only an inch or two away from it. I stepped back in fear of my life, and quickly place my hand unto my hip. I looked down in horror as I saw the trusty identical shortsword of Nick’s I had owned was missing from my side. To both my joy and surprise, Nick had jumped in front of my fear-fueled body and had knocked the threatening sword away from us. The fat man stumbled backwards, nearly losing his footing with every awkward step. He just got more ticked, and charged straight towards Nick. My brother rolled away from the charge easily, sliding across the floor and landing the roll beautifully as he extended out his legs once more to stand. But without any force to stop the charging man, he came barrelling toward me with a surprise on his face.

I instinctively held my hands out in front of my face to use my arms as a sort of shield to protect more vital things. I closed my eyes and prepared for imminent pain from the longsword about to strike me. The steel blade ran easily through my left arm, grazing the flesh on the edge of my arm, the black fabric catching and slowing the blade before it ran clean through that as well. His bulky body slammed into me barbarically, launching me and him into the nearby wall.

As my back and skull hit the wall, my body surged in pain. I shrieked in pain, curling into a fetal position on the cold wooden floor below me as a massive headache - or trauma - exploded into my head. I grabbed my injured forearm with my stronger right hand, feeling the fluidness of blood fill my hand quickly from the large gash.

My senses started to fade out, and both audio and visuals become blurry and fuzzy as I struggled to retain any shard of consciousness that rattled within me. The pain was unbearable, I had never felt so much pain like this before. Sure, I’ve gotten bumps, bruises, and scrapes before, but I’ve never gotten seriously injured while doing what I did.

I exhaled slowly as my senses started to slip away all together. Maybe… just maybe, it was better to slip away and just…

Sleep.
I am the silliest noodle.

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Re: Project Mech - A Twokinds Steampunk Tale

#3 Post by cj3003 » Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:45 am

Chapter 1: One Escape
[/b][/u]

~Natalie Ra’shev~

I finally awoke to an outside warmth that shown brightly upon my face. I squinted my tired and hazy eyes and quickly covered them with the back of my hand. Slowly adjusting to the exterior light, I removed my hand and looked around. I immediately noticed the concrete walls and the iron bars vertical in front of me. I ran up to the bars in disbelief and looked around in fear.

“No… no, no, no!” I whispered furiously shaking the bars. It was no use. I slid down slowly to the ground, sitting on the cold hard ground. Grabbing my knee, I pulled my legs into my face and sat there silently, burying my face into my legs.

“I was caught! I’m in jail!” I whispered in disbelief, my voice cracking a bit as I started to sob. How am I supposed to survive? How is Nick supposed to survive? The town of Sarn hates keidran criminals, and we usually never get trials. Especially for thievery, most just get sentenced to death or worse.

To my surprise, I heard stepping within my cell. I looked up with hope, a few tears that clinged to my cheek fur flying loose from my sudden movement. My brother stood in front of me, his normal thieving outfit seeming to be missing. He was instead wearing a sort of nightgown like garment, the button-up shirt and baggy pants both matching to make a blueish gray color. He smiled deviously as he looked down at me, almost as if he was laughing internally at me. He held out his hand to help me up, a big grin still on his face. I extended my arm and accepted the kind gesture, being lifted onto the ground.

“Hey, Natalie. Sorry about… everything. It all went wrong,” he apologized, looking down in shame. I smiled and patted his shoulder, his drooping ears perking up slightly as I soothed his worried emotions.

“Don’t worry, Nick!” I consoled happily, “Everything is fine as long as we are still together. Besides, given the situation, you reacted logically and in an instant. Even though you couldn’t, I know you were just trying to protect me at all costs.”

He looked down at the white layers of bandage that stretched across my entire left forearm. His expression soured as his ears drooped once more, looking away in shame and his own failures. I didn’t know how to help Nick, I knew that he felt guilty, but there isn’t anything to say that would cheer him up. Maybe changing the topic will do me justice?

“So…” I said casually, “How long are we going to be locked for?”

He looked away from me again, facing a wall with an uneasy expression.

“Erm… Well, we aren’t going to be in here long, I suppose.”

I smiled happily, “That’s great! How did you manage that? Or did some of laws just change? I always knew the government had a little soft spot for us keidran. Like, how long ar-”

“Natalie, that’s… that’s not what I meant,” he said.

I looked at inquisitively, “Huh? Then… what did you mean?”

He looked at me, a small collection tears trapped on the edge of his eyelid. I didn’t understand, what could possibly be wrong about us getting to leave early?

The door of the holding room creaked open, and a young officer stepped into the room, his shoulder-length, wavy, raven colored hair spilled from under his cylindrical hat.

“Officer Stein!” I shouted in glee as I quickly ran up to the bars. The officer took of his hat and bowed at me, a big smile on his human face as he put on his navy-blue hat again.

Officer Stein was the only Watch member we could trust. We were always pleased to see him over all other officers, as he usually would let us get away with things without big consequences. It’s like he knew how hard it was to be an orphan and to have to resort to criminal practices to get by.

“How’s my little con-artist doing today?” he asked jokingly, putting both his hat and coat on the rack placed on the wall next to the front door.

“Eheh… Not so well,” I said, lifting up my injured arm to show him.

“Ouch… at least it looks a bit better from the first time I saw it. It’s not as swollen.”

“Wait, you’ve seen my injury before?” I asked curiously.

He nodded, “Oh yea. You bled all over me as I took you down here,” he smiled jokingly.

“You were the officer to find us?”

Nick came into my view, and stood against the bars of the jail cell.

“Yeah, he found us. It was only a few moments after you were knocked out. The big [censored] was trying to hold me down as I clawed and kicked at him, but I guess no amount to scratched could get him off of me. Officer Stein quickly pushed the fatty off me and scooped both us up and placed us here. Believe it or not, we are lucky to be here right now. Most of the other watch members would have just killed us right then and there,” Nick explained.

“Wow… well, thank you for not killing us, Stein!” I smiled.

He shrugged with a grin, “My pleasure.”

His joking attitude became rather serious in an instant, like he had just seen the world end behind us or something.

“Like I’m sure Nick has told you, the two of you aren’t staying here for long. If he hasn’t, then… surprise!”

Turning to Nick, he opened his mouth to speak, “Would you like to explain the situation or should I?”

He looked away, “Go ahead, Stein.”

Sighing, Stein continued, “I can’t bear to see you kids like this. You shouldn’t be criminals, you are far too good to be doing that. But this time, I couldn’t get you out of jail for free. You committed a serious crime, I hope you realize that. Invading a home? Disturbing the peace? Attacking a home owner? How do I save you from that this time?”

I shrugged, “Well, you apparently did it this time.”

“Right, but you won’t like what it will take to get you free,” Stein warned.

“For both of you, there are separate options. For Nick, it’s a rather simple one: you can be drafted into the Templar army and serve for them. That will not only keep you out of trouble, but it let all of your experience come in handy!”

Turning to me, Stein’s eyes looked at me sadly, “For you, Natalie… well, I tried my hardest to keep you and Nick together, like you’ve always strived to do. I looked through all the loopholes I could last night, I didn’t even sleep. I just searched and searched, but… nothing came up. You are just simply too young to join the Templar army with Nick, no matter the position.”

“Wait, c’mon, there’s gotta be something,” I tried.

“I’m sorry, Natalie. There just isn’t. In human years, you must be at least 19 to join the Templar army. Your age in human years is… roughly 16 or 17, considering you just turned ten a few months ago if I’m not mistaken.”

I looked around, “If I can’t join the army… than what can I do?”

“Well normally, nothing. You would have had to rot in jail for probably most of your life, considering the sentence. For humans, no time at all, but the government doesn’t consider the shortened lives of keidran.”

Scratching his chin, he smiled, “Luckily for you, there is… one more alternative.”

“Well, let’s hear it then,” I demanded.

“You know the newly discovered continent that is north east of Mekkan?” Officer Stein asked anxiously, as if he was waiting for a big reveal.

I shrugged, “I think so… It’s that place with all the abandoned ruins with ‘technological advances’ littered about them?”

“Right you are!” Stein exclaimed happily, “Faiveth is full of mysteries and secrets, and is a hotspot of adventures. It’s also a great location for people looking to settle away from their previous. Or if they have to escape Mekkan.”

“Oh, I can see where this is going,” I sighed, rolling my eyes, “You want me to travel to this Faiveth and start with a clean slate?”

Stein nodded, “You got it. So, consider your options here. You can either sit here and jail and spend the rest of your days looking at brick walls…”

“Or, you could go to Faiveth and make a new life for yourself,” Stein bargained, “Think about it, it’s a newly founded continent and rich with colonies. Colonies always need help, and you could easily slide into a job and do something positive with your life for once!”

I crossed my arms and looked away from Officer Stein.

“And why are you so convinced I wouldn’t just start conning again?” I asked in a bitter tone.

I was surprised to see Nick walk up and put a hand on my shoulder. He looked into my eyes pitifully, his pain almost transferring to me.

“Because you hate this, Natalie. You hate conning, you hate that I have to steal, you hate that we live on the streets, and most of all, you hate this goddamn city.”

I nodded slowly, every part of me not wanting to admit what he said was true. I couldn’t lie to myself, however. Even if I wanted to believe it, I would still know it was true. I don’t like conning people out of their money, but it’s something I have to do. It’s the only thing I know how to do, and it’s the only thing I can provide when it comes to financial support.

Nick learned how to thieve by observing the people on the streets when we were very little. He started with petty thievery, stealing a pie from the baker’s window, snatching a few coins from a coin purse. He started to get better and faster, and eventually could still things like jewelry and large amounts of gold without a problem. Though Nick was good at stealing people’s money, I was better at tricking people into giving me their money.

But, he was still right. Even though I did it almost daily, I knew conning was a bad practice. I always tried to con rich people, as they are greedy and hardly deserve the wealth they are blessed with, I sometimes had to work my magic on… less fortunate people. I have no remorse for the rich, especially if they were humans, but I could hardly stand conning people that were just as worse off as we were.

“You’re right, Nick. I… I hate what I do. But what else can I do? This is only thing I know how to do!”

Stein wagged a finger at me, “Well, I hear there's a group of mechanical enthusiasts named The Crafters up there in Goldreach City. They are always looking for new members! I’m sure they would be willing to teach you what they know!”

I looked at Stein inquisitively, “Wait… I thought you’ve never left Mekkan before… and hardly anywhere else than this city!”

Stein shrugged, “You aren’t wrong. The town of Sarn is my home, and I don’t usually leave it. The only reason I know about Faiveth or The Crafters in the first place is because of my brother. He lives up there with them, and we send mail back and forth all the time. From the sounds of it, Faiveth is a lovely continent.”

I sighed heavily, “Okay, okay… I think you’ve got me convinced. I’ll go to this continent or whatever, and I’ll meet ‘The Crafters’. Just… how am I getting there?”

Stein smiled, unlocking the cell, “Oh, don’t worry about that! I’ve spent money out of my own pocket to get you a ride to Faiveth on a cargo ship. It’s an old-fashioned wooden caravel, but it’s a bit smaller than its ancestors. Well I mean, it’s a cargo boat, so what did you expect?”

“Come on now, Natalie!” Stein cheered happily, “I’ll lead you to the docks. Nick will wait in here for a Templar official to pick him up.”

“Stein… why are you doing this for me?” I asked genuinely.

He looked away, “Well, my job is to get criminals off the streets. This is a way, I suppose.”

I shook my head, “What’s the real reason, Officer Stein?”

Sighing, he looked back into my eyes with his own brown pair, “Look, I like you two, okay? Just something about you guys… you just seem different from all the other criminals. Maybe it’s the fact you are orphans, or maybe… maybe it’s because you and Nick remind me of me and my brother. You two would do anything to keep each other safe, and you always work together. I guess… I kind of wish me and my brother were as close.”

“You aren’t close with your brother?” Nick asked behind Stein.

“It’s not that,” Stein explained, “You two just have a really tight bond, y’know? Me and my brother were close as kids, sure, but we always seemed to drift away. I cared for you two because I didn’t want the same to happen to you kids.”

“That doesn’t make sense then… You are separating us now!” I pointed out.

He turned quickly to me, his face filling up with anger, “Only because I have too! I tried my hardest to watch over you and keep you together, but you only make it harder and harder to do that each day!”

“He’s got a point, Natalie,” Nick said, defending him, “Officer Stein is the only person in Sarn besides ourselves that we could trust. He’s only done good by us. I personally believe he did everything he could to keep us together, but things don’t always work out like we want it too.”

Stein never did anything wrong for us, so maybe I should just trust him on this. He was surprisingly wise for being almost as old as Nick in human years. I’ve never doubted him before this, so there is no reason to do it now.

“Alright, Stein. I’m ready to go to the docks. Let me just say goodbye to Nick.”

He nodded, “Of course.”

Turning to Nick, I could visibly see the tears in his eyes. I couldn’t tell if he was happy or just trying to hide his sadness, but his lips curled into a quivering smile. I walked up a few steps to him and gave him a gentle hug. Nick returned it with the same gentleness, sobbing quietly into my shoulder.

“I’m scared, Natalie… I’ve never been longer than a week without you,” he sobbed softly.

A few tears fell from my eyes as I held him closer, “I’m scared too, Nick. But this is the only choice we have. It won’t be so bad. We could always do what Stein does and just write to each other.”

He nodded, wiping off the remaining droplets of tears, “Yeah, we could probably do that.”

Stein walked up behind me, pointing to the door, as if asking if I was ready. I nodded, and walked from the barred door of the jail cell and to the front door of the station. Nick waved me goodbye reluctantly. I waved one little have to him as I made though the door and into the rather active morning streets of Sarn.

Stein looked at me, “C’mon. It’s not too far from here, we shouldn’t take long at all.”

I nodded quietly, walking beside him. What am I supposed to do without Nick? He’s the only person I knew to trust, besides Stein! I won’t know who to talk to, and even if I did, I’m lacking in social skills! How will I make friends? How will I make money? These “Crafters” are the only lead I have, for crying out loud!

Stein noticed my troubled look and patted my shoulder softly, “Hey, don’t look so down, Natalie. I’ve got a good friend of mine leading you to Faiveth by boat. He’s one of the best captains I’ve seen!”

Realizing his words didn’t help, Stein stopped me and gave me a warm hug.

“Everything will sort itself out, Natalie.”

I sighed lightly, and returned the hug.

“I just hope you are right.”
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Re: Project Mech - A Twokinds Steampunk Tale [Chapter 1 is out!]

#4 Post by TheFrozenSlime » Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:59 am

God, I love a good steampunk story, and I like where this one is going. Good work so far!

And now, I'm sorry, but my inner Grammar Nazi is starting to come out:
That doesn’t make since sense then…
There was one other that I saw, but I can't find it. Sometime before that one.
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Re: Project Mech - A Twokinds Steampunk Tale [Chapter 1 is out!]

#5 Post by cj3003 » Sat Jul 04, 2015 5:25 am

TheFrozenSlime wrote:God, I love a good steampunk story, and I like where this one is going. Good work so far!

And now, I'm sorry, but my inner Grammar Nazi is starting to come out:
That doesn’t make since sense then…
There was one other that I saw, but I can't find it. Sometime before that one.
Thank you! I appreciate your support! And don't worry about being a Grammar Nazi, I can't catch everything :P Everything helps. Heh, I'm kind of bad at making that mistake though, and also the mistake of typing "would of" instead of "would have" (and other forms like should have and could have). It comes with my dialect, I suppose.

Ah, I found it! I'll update the edit in monetarily. Also, next chapter will be out soon. It's a long one, so be ready :grin:
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Re: Project Mech - A Twokinds Steampunk Tale [Chapter 1 is out!]

#6 Post by cj3003 » Sat Jul 11, 2015 4:51 pm

Ah, this was one of my most favorite things to write. In this chapter, Natalie starts her way to Faiveth, the mysterious new continent everyone is talking about. We are introduced to two new characters, Stella and Jon. I love both of them, and I hope that you guys like them too! Next chapter is already done, but I'll wait a while to post it so I can edit it and make it really nice.
Chapter 2 - Troubled Voyage
“Well… here we are,” I whispered to myself, looking at the smaller caravel. It had the name The Lennox painted in white on the side of it. The ship looked a bit old for what it was, and the sails had a few tears and holes in it. Around it where many other vessels waiting for departure, and most were bigger than this ship.

A section dock protruded past the rest of the dock and had stairs that lead it up to a platform that was well aligned with the ship. Looking on the deck of the ship, I saw a few workers walking about on it. Most looked to be human, but a few keidran littered the ship as well. From here, I couldn’t tell if they were slaves or not, but they seemed to be cooperating either way.

I walked up slowly to the ship, my feet creaking on the wood of the dock leading to the boat. I realized it looked like I was sneaking up to the boat at this point, and I forcefully hit my forehead with the palm of my hand, shaking my head.

Walking the rest of the way like a normal person, I looked upon the boat. A man was standing at the edge of the boat, right in front of the path to get on. Though the morning sun silhouetted him for the most part, I could still make out a few features. He was definitely a human, I could see it from his head to his feet. He wore a dark grey jacket over a forest green shirt. He ironically wore cargo pants, the many pockets of the tan article being filled with various things. His hair was swished upward in a more suave style, the lot of hair being a sort of dark grey color. He smiled and jumped down from where he was.

“You must be my last thing of cargo I was waiting for,” the man said.

I couldn’t tell if what he said was an insult or a joke, but I nodded either way.

“I guess I am,” I responded subtly, walking closer to the boat. The man kept smiling as I walked past him and boarded the boat. He made his way out in front of me and stopped my with his hand. I obeyed his request, and stood there silently for a few moments. The man looked among the workers.

“Boys! Release the anchor! We are heading off to the Goldreach City ports!” he shouted to the men behind him before turning back to me. The lazing workers scrambled at his request and rushed to fill his demand. I grinned a little at them.

“Ah, I almost forgot to introduce myself! My name is Jon Bailey Valentine, owner of this ship.”

“So, you’re a sort of sailor then?” I asked.

He nodded, “Right you are, the seas are where I belong. I make trips between Faiveth and Mekkan to run supplies between the two continents. I also occasionally make a trip to the Basidian Islands, but that’s a rare event to happen.”

A little awkward silence ripple through the air as I scratched my neck sheepishly.

“Eh… So, about these keidran, are they…?”

“Slaves? Of course not! I normally have no slaves on this ship, I’m one of few humans who are against enslaving your kind,” he said with a bit of a proud smile.

“Wait… what do you mean ‘normally’?“ I asked suspiciously.


Mr. Valentine waved his hand for me to follow and walked up to an old door on the ship, the hinges creaking a bit at him as he pulled it open. A little layer of dust covered the staircase that descended down to the deeper depths of the ship. He ordered a crewman to give him a lantern, and a scrawny looking human hurried to his side. Mr. Valentine then lit the glass lantern with a matchbox placed nearby, the glow illuminating the dark depths of the caravel.

As he started to make his way down the stairs, I shrugged and followed him. My soft steps echoed in the darkened room, making for an eerie surrounding. Mr. Valentine’s face was lit up by the crude lantern that he had dangling from his hand, and I could see his face was a bit distressed. I wanted to ask why, but I thought it was safe to assume this room was giving him the creeps.

We hit the bottom step, and Mr. Valentine turned the corner into a room. I couldn’t make out the details from where I was standing on the staircase, but I noticed that there was natural light flooding from that room. I turned the corner, and I was hit by a wave of shock.

A young keidran lady was barred to the wall, her arms extended upward but the rest of her body slumping down in defeat. Her light cream colored fur looked a bit unnatural for a keidran, it looked like a sort of sour white, but it didn’t look necessarily bad. I noticed that her stomach fur pattern shifted from the cream color to a pure white, and the same for the underside of her tail. She had pointed ears and a bushy tail, so she had to either be a wolf or a fox keidran.

Mr. Valentine moved his lantern closer to the shackled keidran, the light from his lantern glowing brighter on her body. He quickly pulled away in disgust, closing his light green eyes.

“We… normally don’t have slaves.”

I looked up to him, “W-why now?”

He walked over to a corner and looked intentionally away from me.

“They pay a lot more to... ship slaves to Faiveth,” he said in a shameful matter.

The slaved keidran shuffled a bit in her spot, and both me and Mr. Valentine looked over her direction in surprise. She coughed quietly, her entire body moving in the cough’s influence, excluding her arms.

“I… understand…” the slave whispered weakly.

My mouth gaped open and backed up in fear. Mr. Valentine stopped me with his hand so I wouldn’t run into him. My scared mind took this as a hostile action, thinking he was trying to grab me, and I took a swing at him. My claws dug into his defending hand and the force of the punch sent him stumbling backwards.

His awkward movements were interrupted by an empty barrel, and he stumbled unto the ground. I covered my mouth in disbelief of what I had just done, and I ran up beside him to help. He waved me away as he used non-injured hand to hoist himself back to his feet.

“Mr. Valentine! I’m so sorry! I-I… I don’t kno-”

“It’s fine, it’s fine. I’m going to guess you’ve never seen a slave before?”

I nodded and turned my attention to the slave, “How did you know?”

“Just a hunch,” he chuckled awkwardly, trying to cover his wound.

He sighed and paced around the room, “Look, lass…”

“Natalie,” I responded, interrupting him.

“Right. Natalie… I know this is a lot for you, and I’m about to ask more.” The old man sighed, “ Look, I hate enslavement as much as the next person, but it’s still legal in all parts of Faiveth. Even a few Templar villages back in Mekkan still have slavery legal in their towns as well. But, someone has to do the dirty work, ya know?”

Thinking of my past shamefully, I nodded.

“Anyway, I’m going to get to the point. I want to do good by the slaves I have to transport, but unfortunately, this slave has been marked as a dangerous person. We… we had to put a mind suppression enchantment on her shackles,” he admitted, pointing to the glowing runes on the shackles.

I raised an eyebrow, “Dangerous? How so?”

“I don’t know,” Mr. Valentine shrugged, “I was just told that, both in her deed and verbally.”

He shook his head from being side-tracked, “Look, Natalie. I need to ask you a favor. I know we just met and you probably don’t trust me, but…”

I raised an eyebrow to tell him I was willing to hear what he had to say.

“Well, I was thinking… And it’s just a thought, but… maybe you’d like to possibly stay down here and accompany our friend here?”

I looked at her sad and drooping body. Shifting my eyes slowly away from the saddening scene, I shrugged.

“I guess so. I’m sure she will be pleased to meet someone of her own kind. Er… well, sort of. I’m not a wolf keidran... but I’m the next best thing, I suppose.”

“My thoughts exactly!” Mr. Valentine cheered, walking up the stairs to exit the room.

At the top step, Mr. Valentine spun on his heel and turned to face me. I moved my head until I caught his eyes in my vision.

“Oh, and one more thing, Natalie.”

“Yes?” I answered back.

“You are quite an exotic keidran, if you haven’t noticed before. Wild dog keidrans like yourself aren’t exactly common either.”

“What are you getting at?” I asked bitterly, instinctively snarling.

He sighed, “Faiveth doesn’t have laws against capturing keidran for slavery like most cities in Mekkan do. And you being so… rare, you’ll be quite the target for slavers. Just try to watch yourself out there, okay?”

I felt a bad for being aggressive at Mr. Valentine. I guess he was just trying to help me, but I’ve learned to never trust easily.

“I will, Mr. Valentine. Oh, and I’m sorry for… y’know, your hand and all. That was pretty dumb of me…”

He chuckled, “Don’t worry Natalie, I’ve had worse. Oh, and just Jon is fine. You don’t have to be so formal with me.”

I smiled, “Okay, Jon. That’ll do.”

“Don’t forget, supper is in a couple of hours. We are having some Basitin-styled fish tonight!”

I frowned at the mention of fish. I don’t know how the Basitin like it so much, I’ve never preferred the taste of it. It was too… watery. Not nearly enough fat to satisfy my Keidran tastes.

“Eheh, that sounds… lovely,” I said a bit dreadfully, trying to hold back the impulse to of telling him how much I did not want to eat the blasted things.

“I’m glad you think so. My boys spent a lot of time catching the buggers and would be just delighted to the meal not going to waste. Anyway, I have other matters to attend to. I’d assume you would want to chat with our friend over there, but just in case you don’t, you could always help the crew.”

I nodded, planting a small smile on my lips, “Thank you, Mr. Vale- I mean, Jon. I’ll be sure to help your boys out.”

He waved in both goodbye and in thanks and shut the creaky door softly. I continued to look up the stairwell for a few moments, but decided it was time to look around this place.

It was obviously a storage room, barrels and crates stacked in a tight little corridor straight from the staircase. The cargo stood in front of a door on the right of the hallway, making it impossible to enter the room behind the door without moving the cargo away.

Curiosity flowed into my mind as I noticed a small circular window that pointed into the room. Interested, I snuck up to the wooden door and cupped my hands around the window to see. Peering in, I was disappointed to find it was just a room full of more crates and barrels. Sighing at the disappointing search, I slumped over next to a barrel and rested my head on it.

From where I was sitting, I could see the archway that lead into the room where the wolf was kept. The wide archway was constructed on the right side of the corridor if you were facing from the staircase. The wolf keidran shivered in her binds, and I could only feel bad for her. Aside from this, I hadn’t seen any form of slavery in my life. Sure, I’ve heard so many stories about slaves from the books Nick would read to me, but I hadn’t seen one up close.

I slowly made my way over to her. Her ears perked up as I made my quiet strides to her chained body. She shifted her body up a little and slowly rose her head to looked at me. I could see her eyes now, the irises colored a rich and deep blue, almost like a sort of precious stone. They seemed to be faded though, and I could only assume it was because of the mind dampening rune attached to her shackled that were cuffed around her skinny wrists. An expression flashed on her face, being a mix of both anger and desperation.

“You… What do you want?” she spat weakly.

I sat down on the floor in front of her, crossing my legs and interlocking my fingers.

“I’m just here to talk you, nothing more.”

Her body slumped down, her arms being forced to hang upward by the influence of the chains that extended from her shackled to the either side of her on the wall. The chain was made of iron and it was rather short, making sure she couldn’t move much from her position.

“T-talk…? About what?” she asked.

“We can start with your name. What is your name?”

“My name? Its… S-stella. Stella… Ward.”

I frowned in sympathy as she tried to find a comfortable position in an otherwise extremely discomforting bind. What did she do to something like deserve this? She was chained up like a prisoner, and even worse, her presumably fragile mind is being suppressed by the enchantments on her cuffs.

“Hello, Stella. My name is Natalie Ra’shev. I am a canid keidran, like you.”

She moved her head up and gave me a glance over before letting her head sag down once more, her straight and knotted long, blonde hair flowing downward with her head.

“You aren’t… in binds? Why?”

I scratched my neck awkwardly, feeling a bit ashamed. If I hadn’t had someone like Officer Stein around to save my hide, I would be in a similar position she was in, with a little less chains and deeds involved.

“I guess I am more fortunate, Stella. Admittedly, I thought I had it the worst out of anyone I knew. You see, I... “

Deciding not the reveal my past to a stranger, I stopped mid sentence. Stella was waiting for me to finish, shifting slightly in the silence.

“The worst… is only when you a-are in binds, Nat… Natalie,” she commented fraily.

“You’re right, I’m lucky to be where I am,” I said quietly, thinking of Nick.

He was probably picked up by the Templar right now, being sent off to one of their colleges. Templars desperately wanted new members as mechanical contraptions started to replace magic. They wanted to spread the magical knowledge to almost anyone who would listen before it became an extinct practice.

Shaking of the thought, I returned to reality and proceeded the conversation.

“Have you been a slave your whole life?” I asked.

She nodded.

I shuddered at the thought of enslavement, forcing into captivity for all of one’s days. Even though I was born and raised on the streets, being forced to fend for me and Nick, it was much better than being born into slavery. Just as conning and thievery was the only thing I knew, being a slave was the only lifestyle Stella knew.

I decided to move forward with the conversation, “So… I hear you were marked as a ‘dangerous’ slave. How did that happen?”

Stella looked at me once more, a face of pure hatred forming on her tethered face as her deep blue eyes pierced my inner being with intimidation.

“I… killed my m-master. That [censored]… had it coming. I did what… I had t-to do to surv… survive.”

I looked away from her heated gaze, feeling a bit uncomfortable being in the presence of a murderer. But am I any different from her? Though my crimes were a lot more petty, they surely were enough to equal that one big crime. In both cases, we did do what we had to do.

“You were… brave. I probably wouldn’t be able to bring myself to kill someone,” I responded, sounding a bit wimpy.

“T-tell me about… yourself,” she requested softly.

There was no need to hide my past anymore from her, I figured she deserved to know.
“I was a con artist, and a damn good one too. I didn’t hardly have to create schemes, most people gave me money of pity or because they thought I was pretty. That didn’t stop me from plotting out cons, especially when it was against the rich.”

She shook her head very slowly and weakly, “That’s… your past. I want t-to know… about you.”

“Oh! Well, lets see…” I pondered.

“Well for a start, I’m from the city of Sarn, located in east Mekkan. I’ve never lived in any other place. It’s a shithole really, I wouldn’t take a vacation there at least. But about me? Eh… I’m not a very interesting person, to be honest.” I responded in a saddened tone.

“Family?”

I sighed heavily, “I only have a brother as family. I was born an orphan, being raised on the streets. I guess my brother knew my mother for a few years, but she died quickly after I was born. Neither of us know what happened to our father.”

“Where is… your brother now?”

I shut my eyes tight, “I… I don’t want to talk about it.”

Looking up into my eyes, I saw her smile for the first time. The smile was a tiny one, sure, but it was still visible.

“Do you love your brother?” she asked in a lighter tone than normal. I noticed she didn’t seem to have any problem speaking this time, for whatever reason.

I looked at her sideways, “Well, yes. Of course I do, he’s the only family I have. But… why do you ask?”

Her smile got a little wider as she looked down to the ground.

“It’s just… hearing about families make me… happy. I’ve always… wanted a family.”

“You could always make your own family, y’know. I mean, you're kind of a pretty lady, Stella. It wouldn’t be too hard for you to find a match,” I suggested with a cheery smile.

Her ears drooped down, “How am I supposed… to get a family being… a slave?”

I hadn’t really considered that. “Maybe one day you won’t be a slave, Stella.”

Her deep blue eyes peered down word, her face returning to a sad state. “I… wouldn’t get my hopes up. Last time… I did, I got re-... recaptured.”

“And now you are here,” I whispered, looking up and down her chains. Are they really necessary? From what I can tell, Stella wasn’t dangerous at all; she just wanted to be free. Any person that has been enslaved their whole life would go to any extreme to obtain freedom.

“What if I have talk with Mr. Valentine to get those shackles off of you?” I suggested to her.

She smiled a little, “I would… be happy.”

“Okay, I’ll do it as soon as I see him, okay? For now, I should help the crew out. Will you be fine all by yourself down here?”

She nodded, “I’ll be fine, Natalie… Just go and do what you… must. I appreciate everything… you are doing for me.”


<><><><><>

I did my part on the ship, and I helped a crewmate check a storage room and take inventory. It wasn’t long before suppertime rolled around however, and Jon came out of his cabin and shouted across the caravel that dinner was being served. The crew all had rushed into the mess hall, all eager to eat. Well, everyone beside me.

I wasn’t too hungry tonight, and I decided to sit out on the deck. It had quickly become nightfall, and the darkened sky lit up in a brilliant show of stars, some of which I hadn’t been able to capture while in the city. Instead of a mixture of black and bright white, the sky had streaks of colors invading it as well. Shades of orange, purple, and red flooded parts of the night sky, making the already beautiful sky more so with its vibrancy.

My ear twitched as I heard the door to the mess hall swing open. Jon stepped out with a glass of alcohol in his right hand as his body was brightened by the glowing room behind him. He caught sight of me and walked his way over with an uneasy look on his face.

“Hey Natalie, what’s wrong? Dinner is inside waiting for you,” he said, trying to mask his concerns.

“Huh? Nothing’s wrong, I just don’t like fish that much.”

He looked into my eyes, his troubled face now revealing itself. “I can see through that, Natalie. Really, is there something that is bothering you?”

I looked across the deck at the door that lead to the storage room where Stella was. I sighed lightly and rested my jaw on a balled fist, my elbow then resting on my crossed legs.

“Stella isn’t as bad, Jon. She’s just… misunderstood,” I told him.

He shrugged, sitting down beside me, “I’m going to guess ‘Stella’ is the slave's name? Well, slavers don’t just give out ‘Dangerous’ labels to whoever they please, the slaves actually have to do something to get that title.”

“But she did something rational! I mean, I would have done the same thing she did!” I shouted, raising up my arms in protest.

“Look, I can’t make a judgement call on her. The only info I’ve got on the lady is her slave deed. If it says she’s dangerous, than I’ll have to trust it,” he explained.

I changed my glance to the ocean on other side of me. It was calming, but it didn’t help with the empathy I felt with Stella.

“Jon? Does Stella really deserve to be chained up like she is? If you care for slaves, you wouldn’t make her endure that kind of torture.”

He ran a hand through his dark gray hair, taking a shot of the brown liquid in one go.

“She’s dangerous, Natalie. What the hell else am I supposed to do? What if she attacks my crewmen? We will all be screwed then,” he reasoned with me, coughing a bit at the alcohol.

“Just trust me, okay? If we can at least get her into less confined shackles, like some that weren’t chained to the wall, that would be ideal! She would be able to be way more comfortable. You want that, don’t you?” I asked.

“I… I suppose so. But what about those mind suppression enchantments on the other shackles? That’s the only thing keeping her from killing us!”

“She isn’t dangerous,” I told him with a calm voice, “She’s just had a rough time. Giving her freewill now will make her trust us now instead of later, when you have to undo her shackles. Just imagine if she attacks you, Jon!”

Sighing heavily, Jon stood up, “Fine, you’ve convinced me. But she isn’t leaving that room, and if she does… It’s your neck on the line.”

I cheered and stood up as well. He smiled a little as he walked back into the mess hall. I shifted my head away from the door and back to the stars. Many moments passed as I was silently watching the night sky, marveling at how pretty it was tonight.

The door swung open once more, and Jon walked out once more with a tray of assorted things placed neatly on it. As he got closer, I could make out what was on the tray. I saw two plates of food, one having a cooked and seasoned fish in the center, surrounded by a serving of peas and a few lettuce leaves. The other had a large piece of chicken that took up most of the plate, a slice of buttered bread tucked next to it. Two shots of whatever Jon was drinking was placed near the edge of the tray. Shackles dangled from the edge of the tray, threatening to fall off, and a key was placed next to the shackle.

“Hey pretty lady,” Jon complimented with a smile, “Got you some gin! I thought maybe you and Stella would enjoy a shot.”

I looked at the gin and back at Jon, “I-I don’t know if I’m even allowed to have alcohol…”

He patted me with a free hand, balancing the tray in the other hand, “C’mon Natalie! It’s fine, there isn’t anyone that can take you in for enjoying a damn drink! Besides, you look old enough to drink.”

I shrugged, “Okay, I guess. If anything, Stella can drink them. Thanks, Jon.”

Jon smiled and handed me the tray. I nodded in additional thanks and made my way across the dark deck as Jon went back to his dinner. I carefully opened the creaky door with one hand, trying not to spill anything from the tray as it rested painfully in my free hand. Once I got the door open a crack, I quickly repositioned the tray to occupy both hands while I used my foot to move the door open the rest of the way.

Walking down the old stairs of the boat, I softly called out for Stella, hoping she didn’t fall asleep.

The only sound I heard was the jingle of chains moving, and I hoped that meant she was in fact still awake. I turned the corner slowly with my tray in hands and observed the weakened wolf. She seemed responsive to my quiet steps, with her ears moving with every step.

“Stella? I’ve brought you dinner,” I whispered, setting down the heavy tray and sitting with it. She moved from her slumping position and looked me in the eyes.

“Did you… talk to Mr. Vale… Valentine?” she asked, sounding much more weak than the time previous.

I fetched the key from the tray, standing from where I was. I walked over to the shackles and slowly pushed her body against the wall to give the chain some slack. Taking the tiny bronze key, I held Stella’s wrist and placed the key into the slot. Twisting the key, the shackle popped off her wrist and flew unto the wall, swaying a bit afterward. I quickly did the same to the other shackle, and Stella fell unto the ground.

As she hit the cold floor of the boat, she gasped as if something had been restricting her breathing. She wrapped her hands over her skull as her body spasmed at the sudden gain of her full mind. Stella’s groans were short and subtle, being followed by a quick gasp. I stood back in terror as her body shook and flailed violently from the release of the spell.

Stella’s body finally gave way and stopped moving. Her wide open eyes slowly began to fall shut as I wondered if she had died. Seeing as her stomach was still moving with tiny breaths, I could deny that theory.

I crouched down beside Stella, wondering what I could do. Her mind was probably throbbing in pain, and her body weak from her time in binds. I felt horrible knowing her freedom was going to be cut short.

I sighed as I realized she was going to be out cold for some time. I crawled over to a corner and rested my head on the wall. If she was going to get some shut-eye, it was only fair that I got the same opportunity. Closing my eyes, I slowly drifted to sleep with the rocking boat soothing me to my slumber. This is going to be one voyage, that’s for sure.
I am the silliest noodle.

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Re: Project Mech - A Twokinds Steampunk Tale [Chapter 2 is out!]

#7 Post by cj3003 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:41 am

Heyo! After about 10 days, I got this chapter rolled out! It's not much this time, I understand it's rather short, but I hope it's enough to satisfy for a bit while I finish making the next chapter the best it can be. Keep an eye out for the next chapter, huh? (Sorry for missing the deadline for TDW: AON by the way, that'll be out this Friday hopefully!)

Chapter 3 - The New Life
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Six weeks after departure…

I felt a bump hit my ribcage. I shut my eyes tight in attempts to stay asleep, but I knew that my sleepiness was gone by now. My eyelids opened slowly as I looked around. I saw Stella standing in front of me, her foot extended out to my torso and her hands forced behind her by the shackles that were placed around her wrists.

She displayed a little smile on her face, and I returned the smile sleepily. Rubbing my eyes slowly, I had realized I fell asleep on the wooden floor of the storage room again. Cracking my stiff back, I stood up.

Stella’s light blonde hair was covering her a portion right eye, but she instinctively tucked it back. Her linen spun clothes were baggy and rugged, showing at least a year of age. The shirt was a bit too short on her and exposed her midriff, displaying how her light gray-colored fur shifts to a white oval shape that stretches up to her collar. The only other white she had on her was on the top of her muzzle, but that seemed to blend in with the similar hued cream colored fur.

“So, today is the day…” Stella whispered with a fake smile.

I nodded slowly, remembering that we had finally hit land. Jon had told us that we were going to be arriving at Faiveth by morning. I suppose he was right.

As I started to exit the room, Stella ran up to stop me.

“Hey! Didn’t that Valentine guy say you were going to deliver me?” she asked.

I looked away for a moment with discomfort, “He said I could if I wanted to.”

“And would you?” she asked with a slightly hopeful tone.

Hearing her tone, I felt as if I had to do this. I did spend most of my time with Stella, exchanging stories and telling about ourselves, so I became close to her. I haven’t many other people in my life that I could be friends with, so having Stella as a friend was a fresh new experience all on it’s own.

“If you want me too, I… yeah, I’ll do it for you.”

She smiled big and nodded, “Thanks, Natalie. I wouldn’t want any of Valentine’s goons to take me there.”

I chuckled and turned around off the stairs, waving Stella to follow me up. Opening the door, a flood of sunlight hit my face as we exited the dark room. It took a second from my eyes to adjust to the change of lighting.

Looking to the right off the boat, I was stunned by the scenery. Faiveth was in front of me, and it was so… green! Unlike Sarn and it’s depressing and gray atmosphere, this place was bright and sunny with lush vegetation covering it’s lands. You can almost tell that no one’s been living here for many years.

In front of us, a small little village was sprung up. It had about a dozen buildings, maybe fifteen, and they were all made from a white sort of stone. It kind of looked like… clay? All of the roofs were made from a stylized red material, the slabs of red slanting downward. I could see a few humans walking in the street, but no keidrans from what I can tell.

The village was surrounded by a dense forest that extend in both the west and the east. It didn’t reach out to far outward and seemed to mostly hug the shoreline. Rolling hills moved past the forest and stretched out as far as I could see. My eye picked up a rather large city not to far in the distance.

“Uh… Natalie? I know the view is stunning and all, but we should probably get moving,” Stella suggested, making me snap out of the observing haze I was in.

I nodded awkwardly and pressed forward, holding Stella’s arm so she would move with me. I went rather slowly, understanding that she might fall if I walked too fast. I saw Jon leaning against the railing of the ship, talking to a few of the crew members. His eyes caught mine and he waved me over with a little grin.

“Hey, Natalie! I see you took up my offer of delivering Stella to her buyer!” he shouted in an oddly cheery tone for talking about a slave.

“Erm… yea, I did. She kind of requested me to do it. And… well, I can’t really say no to that,” I shouted in response across the deck.

“Heads up!” he shouted, throwing a rolled piece of paper to me. I caught it with ease and gave him an odd look.

“It’s her deed. It’ll tell you who to deliver it to and where. Thanks for doing this, by the way.”

“No problem,” I responded, unrolling the paper and scanning the details.


Name: Stella (Ward) of the Maes Mawr Tribe
Gender: Female
Age: 13 (~27 in human years)
Species: Mixed Canid Keidran; Wolf and Fox
Price: 158 human gold pieces (price negotiable)

Deliverer: Jonathan Bailey Valentine
Receiver: Wendell Aaron Gallegos
Approver(s): Zachariah Viljar Langstaff & Dennis Tyler Ward
Trade Location: Gallegos Farms

Additional Information: [DANGEROUS] This slave was reported to revolt against and murder her previous owner, Dennis Ward. She may be using his last name as an attempt to access Human controlled cities. Be extra cautious around this slave, she is unpredictable.



“Damn, they’ve got some serious dirt on you, Stella!” I said with a playful smirk. She gave me a slight look of distraught, probably thinking that this piece of paper soured my opinion of her.

Noticing her worry, I shrugged, “Hey, we’ve both got some pretty nasty pasts. I won’t think any different of you, even if you killed someone. We all make mistakes.”

She looked down in shame, “Except I don’t regret my decision…”

I gave her shoulder a reassuring squeeze, “That’s all in the past now, Stella. Don’t let it define who you are, and definitely don’t dwell on it.”

Jon walked over across the deck and through some burly sailors to approach us. He stopped a few feet away and scanned us up and down with his light green eyes. He gave a little grin and a raised eyebrow at us.

“Is there a hold up?” he asked genuinely.

“It’s… nothing,” Stella responded.

“Hey Jon,” I said, making the old man turn my direction, “Where is the ‘Gallegos Farms’ located?”

He pointed to the large city in the skyline, “You see that behemoth city? It’s located to the west of that, somewhere next to a village named Noparia. Though, I don’t know the exact path to get there…”

He snapped his fingers, “Hey, my son might know! He lives in Goldreach City, that one I showed you. His name is Bradley.”

I scratched my head, “That’s good and all… but how will I find him?”

“He’s works up in that library they have in Goldreach. It’s owned by The Crafters. They’re a bit… private with their information though, you might have troubles getting in.”

“Worse comes to worst, I can break in…” I whispered under my breath.

Jon squinted a bit, trying to decipher what I had whispered. After a few brief moments, he shrugged and carried on with his explanation.

“Anyway, the way to Goldreach from here is easy. But, I would recommend stocking up on supplies. And… maybe a change of clothes, Natalie? I don’t know why you have those black robes, but people will think that you are up to no good.”

I looked down at my thick, black robes and blushed. I almost had forgotten that I was wearing these… It was even worse that I hadn’t changed them since I was released from jail. I sighed and ran one of my hands through my long and wavy brown hair.
“Yeah, I guess I do look suspicious in thieving clothes…”

Jon blinked a few times with his mouth open.

“T-thieving clothes?” he repeated in a scared stutter.

I realized what I had said and a quickly turned my head away bashfully, hitting my forehead in disbelief of myself. Why did my mind let me say that.

Think of excuses, I held out my hands in defense with a nervous smile.

“That’s… eheh, not what I meant,” I tried, scratching the back of my head, “I meant to say they look just like thieving clothes. Y’know, those scumbags would probably wear something like this!”

Stella gave me a sleazy look as I quickly dismissed her expression with a forceful wave of my hand and a whisper of “keep your mouth shut”.

Jon raised an eyebrow, “Whatever the reason you have those… really black garbs, I’d advise you change into something more civil. Some people around here will get the wrong idea.”

I nodded, “I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for a tailor or a clothing store.”
I said my goodbyes to Jon and assured him I’d come around to visit. He smiled and told me he’d be waiting. Walking down the ship’s plank, I dragged the chain that was attached to Stella’s shackles to direct her. She oddly didn’t seem to mind, but I figured it was because she was used to it by now.

The boards of the small dock were firm under my feet. I made my way into the streets of whatever settlement I was placed into. The street’s weren’t too busy, but a few people still remained. To be honest, the populus I could see wasn’t much different from Sarn’s. Mostly filled with humans, but a few keidran were sprinkled in. There was only one person that stood out.

“What is that thing?” Stella asked, looking at the same person I was.

I blinked a few times, trying to figure out the odd figure that was not to far from us. The frame suggested that the person was female, and she seemed short and rather young. Long ears popped from her head, easily extending to be ¼ of her arm length. The unearthly person was covered in fur like us, her thin coat colored to be and ash grey. She had really long, black, and straight hair that was well-kept and organized. A short muzzle protruded from her rounded face, looking a bit… unnatural.

She had on some sort of uniform, a light grey-blue pair of overalls placed upon her black under shirt. Knee-high rubber boots covered her seemingly digitigrade legs, seeing how as the boots were her foot would’ve ended. A pair of black goggles covered her eyes, making the young girl seem very shady.

“I… I think that’s a Basitin,” I replied to the rather scared Stella, “Y’know, the folk that seem to stick around their secluded island. If she is a Basitin… what is she doing here?”

Curiosity got the best of me, and I approached the new species. She was trading with a street vendor, paying him for the orange that was placed in her hand. My instinctively criminal mind made me glance at her oversized coin pouch, but I quickly shook my head to get the thought out, remembering why I was here. The girl took notice of us approaching her, and she slid her goggles down to the base of her ashen-furred neck. Her eyes were a pale green color, looking rather bland and standard.

“Huh,” she said subtly with a high-pitched voice, “It’s not everyday you see a keidran slave master…”

I looked down to my hands and remembered the chain I had that connected to Stella’s wrists. Her hands were placed at her front to make for more comfort and ease while I escorted her to the trade location.

Stella let an eep pass her lips as she cowered behind my back, “She can speak our language!”

I tugged her away from my back and frowned, “Well, duh! She doesn’t look dumb, does she?”

Stella muttered something in response, rubbing her wrists. My mouth opened in surprise as I realized I had tugged Stella really hard. Damn, did I feel like an [censored] then. I was going to apologize, but I was interrupted by the stranger’s talking.

“Oh! I should've seen it sooner!” she said in a cheery and friendly.

“You guys haven’t seen a Basitin, have ya?” she asked, placing her hands on her hips and standing in a heroic pose, a big grin on her small muzzle.

“Are all of you so… short?” Stella asked.

The basitin’s expression turned sour in a snap. She placed a furious finger under Stella’s chin as the wolf yipped and jumped back in surprise, scrunching up her back and holding her cuffed hands out in defense.

“Listen here, wolf-lady! I am not short!” the basitin barked, “I’m just a little... vertically impaired, is all.”

“Yeah Stella, she isn’t really that short if you consider her age,” I added.

“Hey, I’m not young! I’m sixteen!” the basitin shouted in defense.

I raised an eyebrow, “Sixteen?”

She waved away my suspicion , a smile returning to her face, “That doesn’t matter. Anyway, we kind of got on the wrong foot… My name is Piper Vekula, or just ‘Pip’ for short. That’s what my friends call me, at least.”

I extended out my hand for a handshake, “My name is Natalie Ra’shev. Behind me is Stella Ward.”

Pip took up my handshake eagerly, her thin and boney arm creating a surprising amount of force in the shake. She smiled once more and put her hands into the front pockets of her grey-blue overalls. Looking for conversation, she tilted her head in curiosity, her long ears drooping in delay after her head moved.

“Say, you guys don’t really look like you're from Faiveth… are you from Mekkan?”

I nodded, “Both of us are. Stella was unfortunately born into slavery and I don’t know where she resided from, but I am from the city of Sarn.”

“Unfortunately?” she repeated in question form, “Isn’t she your slave?”

I scratched my head, “No… it’s a long story. Basically, I was coming to Faiveth to join the Crafters but I meet Stella on the ship I boarded. I was asked to deliver her to the buyer.”

Pip’s ears twitched at the mention of The Crafters.

“Hey, I’m a Crafter! If you were looking to join, maybe I could help you get in?” Pip asked politely.

“That explains her get-up…” Stella mumbled behind me.

“Well, I appreciate the offer, but I have to deliver Stella,” I said.

She shook her head, “That’s fine, I can join you! Besides, you’ve never been to Faiveth before. I could help you get around! Being a Crafter calls for us going all across these lands. Just tell me a place and I should be able to help you get there!”

“I need to get to Goldreach City to meet with someone.”

I scratched my head, “...but should you be, y’know, working? I mean really, you kind of have a job, right?”

“Pfft, my lazy professor isn’t in town this weekend.,” she said, flopping her wrist lazily at me, “I’ve got tons of time! I was just out exploring for my free time, but I guess I’ve found you!”

Stella shook my shoulder, the chains attached to her clinking and rattling with her movements. The link also moved within my grasp, tickling my hand a bit.

“Natalie, why are we going to the city? We could just ask the basitin for directions to the Gallegos farms…” she whispered into my rounded, disc-like ear.

“Even if she does know how to get there, I still want to meet Bradley,” I whispered in response, “...and shouldn’t you be glad we are taking a detour? That just means I am extending the time that you are free.”

She looked down at her shackles, “I wouldn’t call this ‘free’…”

I opened my mouth to respond, but I knew she was right. Even though she wasn’t technically being enslaved, she’s still in shackles.

Pip looked at us curiously. We hadn’t noticed she was already making her way down the street. She waved us over to her.

“Hey, slowpokes!” she teased from afar with a big grin, “Pick up the pace, huh?”

I made my way over to her in a few steps. My feet crunched against the gravel streets of this nameless village. We walked past many of the clay buildings, and I admired all of the varying shapes the houses had. The only thing they shared in common with each other was the material they were made from and the red brick slanted roofs.

Past the edge of town, I could see the massive city poking past the tree line. It seemed with every step, it grew a bit larger. This was it. I was finally on the road to change my life for the better. I just hope Nick is alright…
I am the silliest noodle.

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Re: Project Mech - A Twokinds Steampunk Tale [Chapter 3 is out!]

#8 Post by Jed255 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:36 am

Though I may be alone on this boat, I hardcore ship Natalie and Stella. (They're totally adorable, plus the ship name is Natella. PERFECTION.) |D #OTP

I'll just... Leave this fanart of the two here. :wink:

[spoiler="Probably not canon... For now. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)]Image[/spoiler]
Co-developer of The Dividing War Series, and the art slave who works in the cellar. Living the dream.
[The Dividing War - Forum Edition]

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Re: Project Mech - A Twokinds Steampunk Tale [Chapter 3 is out!]

#9 Post by cj3003 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:42 am

Jed255 wrote:Though I may be alone on this boat, I hardcore ship Natalie and Stella. (They're totally adorable, plus the ship name is Natella. PERFECTION.) |D #OTP

I'll just... Leave this here. :wink:

[spoiler="Probably not canon... For now. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)]Image[/spoiler]
My boy, don't you influence the readers to ship them. How dare you.

In all seriousness (even though I was there when you drew it), it's still a great piece of art. And very adorbs. But that is a NOTP in my book. For now, you only get some subtle hints :twisted:

Guys, please no. I can hear you wanting this. NO. YOU DON'T WANT IT. JUST LEAVE PLEASE.
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Re: Project Mech: The Path to the Lightstone [Updated Things!]

#10 Post by cj3003 » Sun Aug 23, 2015 1:44 am

Hey hey!

I'm going to revise this scrubbish piece of literature. I've gotten this book wrote up to chapter 7 I believe (I don't post until I go back and "edit my chapters"), but I realized that my book needed some serious changes! So, I'll be updating it every so often with revisions and probably new content within the chapters! So, for now, I shan't be posting anything new.

As you may see, I've added an Update Log in the topic post. That's for both your and my convenience. It's good for all of us so we know what I've changed and when I did it. If you're concerned about how much I'm changing, well...

The changes I am going to be making won't be minor, but nothing too major either. The basic plot of the first 4 chapters are going to be the same, but I will be adding these things:

• Some change of dialog - I feel there's isn't enough chemistry between characters, and also that the dialog is a bit bland at times. I'm going to have to really spice up the rather large amount of dialog, since I want the personalities and bonds that my characters have to be very enjoyable, as that's a key element in my opinion.

• Lots more setting - I'm lazy, and I never create a good and vivid setting. Oops.

• Better explanation of lore and plot, no info dumping - Self explanatory. I've got to make sure the lore and plot is as understandable as possible without info dumping.

• And of course, grammar edits - The things me and my editors didn't pick up. You'd be surprised. Luckily for me, I have a text-to-voice program that helps me better identify my mistakes by hearing them.
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Re: Project Mech: The Path to the Lightstone [New Prologue Edits]

#11 Post by cj3003 » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:00 am

"Seeing one last person like your fanfic... It fills you with determination." Thought I'd start off with a Undertale joke (GOD I LOVE THAT GAME). I can't twll if anyone was disappointed in me for stopping the production of this, but I know I was. I just kind of... moved on. In a way, I guess. Truth is, I have like 5 chapters stocked up, and I plan to serve you them. Someone recently filled my heart with joy as they praised me for making this, and I knew it wasn't time to let go. Not just yet. If you are wondering about The Dividing War, that is almost certainly dead for sure. I might take up writing it by myself, but I certainly wouldn't count on it. Nevertheless, we have some Project Mech to enjoy! (Sorry for not parting the paragraphs liek normal, you've gotta give me credit. It's midnight.)

Chapter 4: The Deserter
[/b][/u]

“Here we are guys! The grand city of Goldreach!” Pip exclaimed, displaying the city in front of us with a swoop of her hand.
She wasn’t wrong, it was certainly grand. Buildings towered above our heads like some sort of a beacon while an assortment of keidran and humans crowded the dense streets. I could see shop after shop, home after home, business after business line these streets. Mechanical airships flew overhead of us, and I stared in awe at the size of the metal beast.
“What is that thing?!” Stella exclaimed, pointing at the sky.
I smiled, “An airship.”
A big, metal gate was in front of us, signifying that this was the way into this bustling settlement. The large doors were pushed open, giving us a good view of the people within. Thick metal walls surrounded the city as far as the eye could see, protecting it from invaders and containing the people within. On either side of the gates were tall archer towers that had a handful of armored guards occupying them. They stared us down as we walked into the city.
An armored human lady stopped us with a hand, her spare one placed upon her weapon. She looked to be some sort of elite guard as she wore expensive looking platemail while the other guards seemed to equip chainmail based armor. Her brown skin and black hair contrasted against her light grey armor. Her brown eyes looked a bit more inviting than the other guards, but you could still tell she was cautious.
“Citizens! What brings you to Goldreach?” the woman asked.
Pip stepped forward, and grabbed out a circular metal object from a pocket of her overalls. It looked similar to a silver pocket watch, with a little nub on top to seemingly open the device and reveal the clock within. This wasn’t the case, however. When Pip pressed the button, a small inner circle of the front side flipped over to reveal a small document that gave detail of her Crafter status, the circle emitting a metal shing sound as it moved. It was cut into circle shape to fit the rest of the little device, and a matching glass panel covered the paper, a bronze circle keeping the thing together.
Pip held out the watch-like thing to the guards face, her voice sounding deep and official.
“Piper Vekula, Apprentice Crafter, Assembly Class. Me and my friends are here to take a trip to the library to meet with someone.”
The dark-skinned woman squinted her eyes at me, “And why the hell do you have a slave, miss?”
I looked to Stella, who was standing patiently around, her ears perking up at the mention of her, and then I looked back to the guard.
“I-I’m making a trade…?” I said in an accidental questioning tone. The guard shrugged and waved us in. She stopped me before I could make it in though, her brown eyes piercing into me with a serious look.
“A word of advice: I wouldn’t go around looking like that. We already have enough scum to clean up on a daily basis. Don’t conform to their standards, I don’t want to have to add you to my list of things to deal with.”
She shoved me away a little, making me stumble backward. I looked away bashfully like a scolded child. The woman started to walk off but stopped halfway through her walk. Without turning to face me, she spoke.
“Also, don’t act so shifty. The citizens of Faiveth already have trouble trusting people. Just… be careful. And honest.”
And with that, she entered the archer tower to resume her duties. I mentally cussed the lady out in my mind, mumbling hate as I struggled to catch up to Piper. Stella ran behind me to keep up, her chains jingling around the air.
“What an [censored]!” I spat hatefully, “Who gives her permission to talk to me like that? She doesn’t even know me!”
Stella slowed her jog a bit, “She’s got a point though. You still are dressed in your thieving clothes. You don’t exactly look too… clean.”
I ran a hand into my curly brown hair with frustration, “I know, I know, but she didn’t have to be a bitc-… Eh, she didn’t have to be rude about it.”
I saw Pip in the distance, browsing shops from windows. Running up, I could see she was looking at sort of jewelry store with googly eyes. She had her hands upon the window, hopping back and forth to different pieces. I couldn’t help but chuckle at her.
“See anything you like, Piper?” I asked a grin, putting a hand on my hip.
“I love it all!” she shouted, her not leaving the display. I noticed one piece had a price tag of 1200 human coins on it. I shuddered at the sight.
“Geez, these prices are steep…” I whispered under my breath.
Pip shook her head, “Eck, I don’t want to be caught up looking at this! We’ve got business to do!”
She looked at me with pitifully, her black hair toppling downward was she looked down, “Sorry for being distracted.”
I smiled, “It’s fine, Pip! I was actually going to go shopping myself before we head to the library. I mean, I’ve already had several people comment on my clothes…”
Pip clapped her hands with swiftness and excitement, “Oooh! I love to shop in Goldreach! Tell me; what’s your price range and what style are you looking for?”
I gave her a sideways look, “Uh… style?”
“Y’know, are you looking to be fancy and posh, or something more casual? Or maybe you are looking for armor? Well, given what you are wearing, I bet you want robes!”
I stopped her with hand, “I just want something that won’t attract any attention to me. Also, something light would be nice.”
Pip frowned, but quickly pondered on it. She looked around the city, moving her head around to see past the travelling citizens on the streets. She pointed to a quint little shop on a corner. It was made of brick, with a small oaken sign that extended away from the store above the door. One long glass pane let people see within the shop.
“That shop should do nicely. If I remember correctly, it called “The Velvet”. It’s got a pretty fancy name for a shop that sells commoner’s clothes.”
We walked into the crowd of citizens of all sorts to make our way to The Velvet. I held Stella close to my back so she wouldn’t get lost into the crowd around us. Even she was a bit frightened by the sheer amount of people that occupied the streets, as she came up closer to my side with a small whimper arising from her throat. I moved the chain to my hand farthest away from her and grabbed her arm softly for comfort. She looked a bit confused at first, but accepted the gesture with a warm smile.
Ahead of us, Pip had already reached the door of the little shop. She grasped the handle with a firm hold and swung the thing open with a bit more force than a normal person would. The glass door flung outward, and started to retract almost instantly. Pip stuck out her foot and stopped the door from moving with her wrapped paw. She smiled and waved us in.
Passing the basitin with a small grin, I walked into the small shop with Stella following closely behind. Pip checked around a bit and went in as well. The walls were a very dark purple, almost being black, and the wallpaper seemed to be a bit beaten up in places. The shop showed obvious age, probably a family-owned store that was passed down a few generations. Clothes hung from racks that dotted the shop and a counter was placed near the back of the shop to the left.
A bored looking keidran kid sat near the counter, his feet placed crossed on it. He was a sort of feline, his fur bright yellow and dotted. He noticed our presence and kicked his feet down and stood. Shuffling out from the desk, he put his hands into the pockets of his brown slacks.
“Welcome to The Velvet,” he said casually, “If you need any help, just let me know.”
I nodded, “Thank you, sir. I’ll tell you if I see anything I like.”
Pip looked up to me, “I can take Stella’s chain while you look, if you want.”
I turned to Stella, who was sheepishly holding her hands to her chest. gazing around the store. She noticed me look and raised an eyebrow to show her attention.
“Are you okay with Piper holding you for a bit?” I asked.
“That’s fine, I suppose. Yeah, I don’t mind,” she grinned shyly. I nodded and handed the connecting chain to Pip. The basitin grabbed the metal links with care and dropped her hand to her side. I decided to look around.
Looking about the cheap clothes for a few minutes, something caught my eye. A plaid flannel shirt with light blue and white stripes sat folded in front of me. I smiled a bit, this shirt would do! I grabbed the long sleeved overshirt and swung it over my forearm. In that same pile the plaid shirt was in, I saw some tan shorts. They looked to be cargo shorts, the many pockets of the pants would come in handy. The shorts were obviously meant for women, the shorts being a bit to short for an average man.
Walking over to the counter, I took out the coin sack that was attached to my robe. The kid looked over the price tags and back at me.
“Uhuh… Yeah, that’ll be 63 gold pieces, please.”
I shrugged, grabbing out currency and counted it out, “Not a bad price… You were right, Pip!”
She giggled, “I know my stores, trust me!”
I rolled my eyes playfully and grabbed up my clothes and started to head out. Piper held out Stella’s chain, and I took it carefully out of her hand, putting it in my spare hand.
Stella looked at me with surprise, “You know how to count?”
“Yeah, of course! What, you don’t…?”
She looked down in embarrassment, “No, I was never taught how. Just like I can’t read or write… I can count up to fourteen, but that’s about it…”
I patted her shoulder, “Let’s just hope your new owner is nice enough to teach you some of that stuff.”
“I wouldn’t count on it…” she said with depression.
Pip put her hands on her hip and gave Stella a serious look.
“Hey, there isn’t any harm in hoping, Stella! Why are you always moping around, huh?”
“Because she’s a slave! Wouldn’t you act the same way if you had slavery waiting around the corner for you?” I shouted, defending Stella.
I turned to the sad wolf, “Pip isn’t wrong though. You should at least act like you’re happy. C’mon, just enjoy the time that you have away from people that think you are just a bag of dirt.”
Stella looked up from the ground with a little happy grin, “Okay, yeah. Sorry for acting like an [censored]. I should try to be a little more cheerful.”
“That’s the spirit!” Pip shouted, thrusting her hands upward, “But we could probably go soon, the library closes in an hour.”
I glanced outside through the large glass window, looking past tall buildings and the crowd of citizens.
“Huh? But it’s only four o’clock… Oh well. Are you guys ready to go?”
Stella and Piper nodded simultaneously.
“Okay, let’s head out to the library then,” I said, walking out of the door.
“Come by The Velvet again!” the keidran boy shouted behind us.

<><><><><>

“Is this thing the library?” I asked, looking at the huge building in front of us. Pip nodded, craning her head upward as well.
The building stood tall and proud against all the other small houses surrounding this beautiful part of the city. A white and gray tiled plaza rested below our feet, creating a smooth and large place for citizens to gather. It was definitely quieter than the rest of the bustling city, there weren’t many people around and you could hear the wind as it rustled through the autumn colored leaves of the trees. The sun almost seemed to shine brighter here in this clear sky, making the area even more pretty.
I turned my attention to the grand building once more. It was about three or four stories tall, however, it was more wide than tall. The structure was almost completely marble. There were four symmetrical columns that supported the roof that extended past the walls, creating a small line of shade. Long and thin stairs lead up to the building, and I could see the large reddish-brown doors from here. They were nearly half as tall as the building, and two golden, vertical handles stuck out from it.
“Damn… what a place,” I commented, bewildered by the magnificence of this particular location.
Stella looked a great amount more stunned by this place than I was.
“This building is just… massive! Wow, I can’t believe such a place exists!”
Piper shrugged, “You still haven’t seen the inside. Come on, let’s get in there!”
Walking the dozen or so steps, we started to make our way to the big library. After walking across the long concrete slab that separates the stairs from the building, Piper ran ahead of us and grabbed the handle of the door. With much exertion, she grunted and pulled as hard as her small frame would allow her to, slowly stepping backward with the door. She dropped the handle and bent over, placing her hands on her knees and panting very softly.
“I’m not closing that…” she protested with loss of breath.
I shrugged and grabbed the handle. I waited for Pip to go in, and then I started to pull the door shut. Pip sure made it seem a lot heavier than it was, as I pulled the door with relative ease. I held Stella’s chain close to my hip as she moved with the edge of the thing, being restricted by the links of metal.
Gazing around the innards of this structure, I marveled at the sheer space this building contained. Each one of our footsteps echoed throughout, making for a bit of an eerie setting. In front of me and for the rest of my vision could tell, there were tall and sleek book shelves, each of them filled mostly with books. Chandeliers hung from many different locations, giving off dim but relaxing light. It was just enough to light up this massive building.
A man was placed by a desk - presumably a secretary’s desk - nose down in a book. I could see from his forehead and the fingers that wrapped around the book that he was a human. His flesh was almost a pale color, showing he must spend more time in books than outside. Spiky, russet hair protruded from his skull, the hair standing up for the most part, but a few strands dangled unto his forehead.
Moving a bit closer, I saw a glimpse of the man’s face. I instantly recognized who was behind the book.
Before I could say anything, Pip jumped out in front of me. She looked deeply enraged for some reason. I was startled at her uncanny emotions, jumping back a bit. She took one large step forward, grasping the book. With one swift motion, Piper slammed down the book with great force. The man jumped back in his seat with surprise, his rounded glasses falling down the bridge of his nose.
Piper shifted her body with disgust, her head pointed downward slightly with her eyes locked onto him.
“Bradley Exodus Valentine. ‘The Ever Promising Exodus Mage’. A damn lie that was, huh?”
He looked startled for another moment, but something clicked in Bradley’s mind. He grinned slightly, standing from his seat and pushing his rounded glasses up his nose once more. His expression changed to match Piper’s.
“Ah, I see. A Crafter, aren’t you? I thought your kind was done harassing me.”
She clenched her fists, “And I thought you were done running, Valentine.”
He opened his arms and revealed the massive library behind him, “Oh, I have. I’m a historian now, I think that classifies as ‘not running’. Look, whatever [censored] they feed you kid, it’s mostly just that. I don’t give a damn about The Crafters anymore, and neither should they about me. Whatever you are here for, save it.”
I raised my hand, “Actually, I was here for you…”
He moved from behind the desk, pushing Pip out of the way. She stumbled around, giving him a dirty look. As he approached me, he adjusted his glasses to see me better.
“What an interesting breed of Keidran you are! You are lucky I’m not a slaver dear, you’d fetch a lot of coins for your exoticness!” he complimented.
Bradley looked down at the chain I held in my hand and followed its trace to Stella’s cuffs. He adjusted his glasses once more, frowning a bit.
“Oh. I see you’ve already taken up such a profession…”
I looked down at the chain with a bit of surprise, shaking my head vigorously, “N-no, you’ve got it wrong! I’m no slaver, I’m only… erm, delivering her. That doesn’t sound much better, does it…?”
Stella stepped forward, “I requested that she deliver me to my buyer. She isn’t a slaver at all, sir.”
Bradley nodded, “I see now. Sorry for the assumptious behavior I was displaying just then, Faiveth can be filled with dirty people.”
“Just look in the mirror, you’ll see one,” Pip commented sourly to Bradley. He closed his eyes and chose to ignore her instead of carry on the fight.
“Hey, what gives anyway?” Piper demanded, “You should know that this is The Crafters library! What the hell are you doing sticking around here if you were on the run?”
Bradley slipped a hand into one of the front pockets of his black overcoat, pulling out a metallic object. It was a Crafters Watch!
“In case you haven’t forgotten child, I am still a Crafter. I never resigned, nor was I exiled from their organization. Simply put, I was only marked as a ‘deserter’. That doesn’t mean my name nor my title has expired in any way.”
“That’s impossible!” Piper shouted, “You are a deserter, they would of had to unvalidated your status!”
Bradley grinned deviously, “You are wrong. I never actually deserted my mission. In fact I’m still on it.”
I shook my head with frustration, “Wait wait wait! I’m so confused! Can we start from the top?”
Bradley sighed, “As much as I’d like to give away top secret information, I can’t just give it away to strangers! I’d at least like to know who you are. Let’s start with The Crafter, huh?”
Piper crossed her arms, looking away, “The name’s Piper Vekula, Apprentice Crafter, Assembly Class. I already know who you are, Valentine. Bradley Exodus Valentine, Expert Crafter, Magic and Animation Class. You were just a step away from become the Master of that class, weren’t you?”
He nodded, “I was, but that isn’t the subject of matter right now.”
Bradley looked at me, “How about you?”
I scratched my neck, “Me? Well, I was kind of shipped here to Faiveth for personal reasons. I was actually on your father’s boat. That’s why I came to see you in the first place. Your father told me too.”
Bradley clapped his hands together, “Ah, you must be Natalie Ra’shev! My father talked about you quite a bit! You too, Stella. I knew your story sounded a bit familiar.”
“Wait, when did you see Jon?” I asked.
He laughed, “While you were hanging around that Crafter, Father came to give me a quick visit. He must of slipped by you without you noticing.”
Bradley studied me a bit, “So, that’s it? You just wanted to drop by and give me a good hello? I appreciate the thought, but I could have been without The Crafter over there…”
“Yea… I guess so? I was only going to go to you for directions to the Gallegos Farms b-”
“Wait!” he shouted, stopping my sentence with his hand, “Gallegos? As in Wendell Gallegos?”
I glanced around the room awkwardly, “…Yes?”
Bradley smiled and hugged me suddenly, “I must see Wendell! He is my best friend, don’t you know?”
His hug started to get tighter as I was slowly losing my airflow, a crunching sound emitting from my ribcage. I struggled for breath under his really powerful bear hug.
“I di-didn’t know he w-was your friend,” I wheezed.
He released the hug, sending me stumbling and gasping for air. I rubbed my violated ribcage as my lips frowned in pain. I noticed tears streaming from Bradley’s eyes as he tried to conceal his face in his black overcoat.
“Are… you crying?” I asked, trying to hold back the spurt of laughter that was arising in my throat.
“No,” he answered very briefly, shaking his head, “I’m just… uh, I have something in my eyes, that’s all
Bradley rubbed out the unmanly tears of joy away from his eyes as he cleared his throat, adjusting his glasses once more. He walked around the arched secretary desk and snatched up the wooden chair that was placed behind it. As he set it down, a rather soft bang came from the bottoms of the legs, echoing throughout the library. Bradley sat down with a quiet grunt, placing his right leg upon his left, resting his interlocked hands on his waist.
“I do believe it’s story time, is it not?” he asked with a sly smile, “Please, do take a seat.”
I shrugged and grabbed a chair from a table not too far away from me. Stella followed close and acquired one as well. Placing mine a few feet from Bradley, I sat down patiently. Stella did the same, placing her chair right next to me on my left side. Bradley turned to Pip, who was leaning on the desk behind him.
“Care to join us, Piper?” he asked with fake hospitality.
“Not really, I’m good where I am,” she spat back, looking away from him.
Bradley shrugged, “Suit yourself then…”
“Anyway, where to start…?” he thought out loud, “Ah! I know. I’ll start with the mission, that seems to get people riled up. Well, I was in fact a good Crafter and a good magician - a real one, not that kind that play with cards - and I rose the ranks of the Crafters with ease. Upon my second year, I was nominated to become a Master of Magic and Animation. Of course, any sane person would be honored to have such an opportunity, and I was. Right before the announcement of the new Master, I was assigned a mission. Now, this is where it gets a bit tricky.
“I personally was hunting for the journal of Valb’rgur Azelinus. Heh, that’s his Keidran name at least. He always wanted to be called Carter Bradford anyway. But of course, my team had no idea that his journal was where we were going.”
Piper’s jaw dropped, “You stole his journal? Are you mad? I knew what you stole was something important, but I didn’t know you stole from the First Metalmaster!”
Turning around in his seat, he pointed at Pip, “Shut it! I am getting to that part.”
“Interruptions aside, me and my team were sent to retrieve some artifact, I can’t quite remember what it did. Either way, while poking around the rubble of Bryalshire Castle - the place where we were sent - I came across Mr. Azelinus’ journal. After realizing it was his journal, I decided that I should study it to find out the secrets that man kept from everyone.”
“Jarvin Sieben, the Metalmaster at the time, demanded the book be handed to him. In return, I told him to screw himself, and I took the book for myself. So Piper, I hadn’t ever stole the journal, I found it. Now, had the mission been to retrieve the journal instead the petty artifact, I would have been delighted to give it to the Metalmaster. But the facts were that I found it for myself, while my team nor the Metalmaster did not.”
Piper stood up straight, “You left out the part where you left your entire team to die in a explosion! Or did you cause that to make sure no one could take the journal away from you?”
Bradley crossed his arms, “Did they really tell you that, child? Foolish. It is simply not true, we were raided. My team was poking around Bryalshire Castle when an explosion hit the castle. A whole gang of bandits showed up, looking for trouble. Since that castle was old and abandoned, the scrawny thing came down with one hit of the base.”
He closed his eyes with deep pain, “My entire team died with the tower. All of them were crushed in the falling rubble. I only lived because I was on the top of the tower, with no roof to kill me. The worst part was the bandits didn’t even know who we were. They just wanted the artifact for money.”
“I… I killed all of them. I was so enraged that all of my friends were swept away in one foul swoop because a few damned bandits. After disposing of the murderous fiends, I searched the rubble for… hours. Not a single person was alive. I found the artifact intact in the rubble, so I snatched it up and ran away. Of course, I already had the journal in hand, so there wasn’t a reason to stay. The worst part was that Jarvin just swept it under the rug like never happened. So of course I wasn’t going to give that [censored] the journal!”
“After that day, I stopped practicing magic. It got me into that mess, and I never wanted that again. So, I decided to become a historian instead! I still get to learn many things, but I have an astoundingly less chance of dying when I do this!”
Pip crossed her arms, “Do you still have the journal?”
He shrugged, “Of course, I’m still studying it.”
“Then… I’m afraid I’ll need to confiscate it,” Pip demanded, holding out her hand.
I stepped in, “What the hell, Piper? Can’t you just drop it? Bradley found the journal, so therefore it’s his! You don’t have the right to take it. Besides, his entire team died for this, don’t you remember?”
“Do you honestly expect me to believe that?! The Exodus Mage is a lying and cheating man! Don’t trust him over me!” she shouted across the library.
I shook my head, “I… I don’t care who is telling the truth! It doesn’t matter! This is all so pointless. Whatever reason Bradley had for leaving, I trust that it was for good. Just look at him, Pip. Does he really look that bad of a person?”
She took a moment to look at him. He was standing there, his eyes filled with tears. He sobbed quietly into his hands, his glasses pushed up to his forehead. Bradley’s shoulders moved with his sobs.
Piper closed her eyes, “I don’t understand… why would the Metalmaster lie to me about this?”
Bradley looked up from his hands, his eyes a bit reddened by his crying, “Whoever the Metalmaster is now, they were probably just telling you what they were told. I do not take it personally.”
He looked at the door, “Library closes in an hour… you should get going. Hey, Natalie?”
“Yes?” I asked politely.
“Tell Wendell I said hello. Tell him to come visit sometime.”
I shrugged, “Okay, I can do that.”
I am the silliest noodle.

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Re: Project Mech: The Path to the Lightstone [Chapter 4 is out!]

#12 Post by backonninja » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:13 pm

cj3003 wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:29 am
More notes, this book is now being constantly developed after we dropped TDW: AON, but still is not on a posting schedule. I will post chapters when I believe they are the best they can possibly be. It could be anywhere from a week or a few months before a new chapter.
Minor under statement? :roll:
Any idea how long until the next update (rough estimate)?

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Re: Project Mech: The Path to the Lightstone [Chapter 4 is out!]

#13 Post by cj3003 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:09 am

backonninja wrote:
Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:13 pm
Minor under statement? :roll:
Any idea how long until the next update (rough estimate)?

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It's really hard to say. I have a lot of unposted chapters, but the story wasn't going well while in development. At the time I started this, I had a very vague understanding of where I wanted it to go. But it didn't end up that way.

I'm currently trying to rework the whole thing into being not a fanfic, but instead, a story of my own. This would been I have to create a world of my own, among other things, and that takes hella time lol. I have so much planned for this series, but I'm trying to work it all out. It might be a while before anything happens, but it is pretty far along. Though I probably won't post it here, the reworked version will probably be on my Wattpad.
Sorry to disappoint you Backon (;_;)
I am the silliest noodle.

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Re: Project Mech: The Path to the Lightstone [Chapter 4 is out!]

#14 Post by backonninja » Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:08 am

Could you at least post a link here when you do upload it?

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Re: Project Mech: The Path to the Lightstone [Chapter 4 is out!]

#15 Post by cj3003 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:40 am

backonninja wrote:
Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:08 am
Could you at least post a link here when you do upload it?
Of course! I'll personally let you know!
I am the silliest noodle.

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