Fall Silently

A fantasy story by Itsasu Deauxnim

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Chapter 1

As the battlefield dust blew away, Langlar grasslands revealed itself, green grass stained red and yellow from blood and vomit alike. Andrej lay bloody, down in the field. A broken leg, a shot at the shoulder threw him off his horse and into his leg—the impact of his heavy armor crushed his frail lower frame and down he went tumbling down a hill. A bloody body, a twisted leg, battered armor. This pitiful combination made him like a corpse. A blood-soaked corpse in a field full of countless others.

Andrej’s sword, its blade adorned with three magic runes remained in his hand, one of the enchantments being strength; a great grip, and never slip. Even through all the ordeals, it remained firmly on his palm, and Andrej, who carved the runes himself, felt some pride at that. The other two runes, however, symbolized protection and power—and those he knew it didn’t help him in that regard. He sighed.

Not far by he heard rustling. Clangs of metal. Dainty footsteps on the blood-soaked earth. Someone is coming by him, and Andrej wondered who.

Could it be the fabled Valkyrie? The warrior of the gods descending to earth, taking the souls of the fallen to high Valhalla? The dainty steps came closer, and though in pain, Andrej can still use his eyes quite clearly.

If it was the Valkyrie, then, Andrej thought the stories were highly exaggerated. Rather than the tall, intimidating, armored goddess of war he expected, she was a girl wearing simple clothes, carrying stacks of armors, swords, belts and assorted items on a cart.

Ah, Andrej thought, a corpse plunderer.

Abominable work, he thought. But it says something about this peasant rebellion. If conditions are as bad that mere children need to loot dead soldiers in a battlefield, a rebellion is actually quite expected.

What interested Andrej more was that the girl was holding a firearm. The very symbol of the peasant rebellion. A new way. New technology. A new path that seems to symbolize freedom from the chains of serfdom and from a government system oiled by the blood of the workers.

Their manifesto, anyway.

The weapon she was holding seemed to be the most common; a musket. The armed girl looked around the battlefield for anything of value.

She came closer to where Andrej lay, looked down…

Oh no.

She sat on her knees examined Andrej’s sword. Andrej knew of this sword’s value. Its blade still sparkling new with freshly-etched runes inscribed on the blade. Runes she might not able to read, but runes are quite the symbol of a quality. A sign that a scholar or a mage (or an overeducated knight) has touched the blade and blessed it. Moreover, it did not have the haunting red stains of blood on the blade. Though ashamed, Andrej admitted he never got to kill anyone. While each and every Lerciveu soldier around him died with their blade stained red, his blade was still shining clear—save for the runes, that is.

As she tried to pry the sword off of Andrej’s rune-strengthened grip, Andrej had no choice but to speak.

“Cease, commoner.”

The girl quickly stepped back and pointed her weapon at Andrej’s head. “Are you human, soldier? Or but a lich?”

“I am human. Lower the weapon. I am defenseless.” The girl, however, did not lower the musket. “You’ve taken a fancy to my blade, it seems.”

“Aye. Even I can tell it is well-crafted.”

“Can you read the runes inscribed on it?”


“One of the runes etched there symbolizes strength. It gives the wielder of this blade a strong grip of the hilt. You cannot pry my sword off that easily.”

“That’s a crying shame, isn’t it?”

“However, I am willing to make a deal.”

A deal? Andrej chuckled in his mind. Funny, it seems he’s the one lying helpless on the ground while she’s the one with a musket and several swords in her cart.

“Do tell.” She’s listening!

“If you free me and nurse me to health, I shall give you this sword in return.”

In Andrej’s view, there were only two things that could happen now. She could either shoot his head, letting the enchantment die with him, or chop his hand off and leave him to a grisly death. More unlikely, she will not take the deal and leave him dying in the cold night with a bloody shoulder and a broken leg.

But what he’s hoping, however is that she will take the bait and take him to whatever dwelling she resides in. Very unlikely, but with such pain in his leg, it is the best plan he can think of.

As she thought over the offer, he came up with other plans, less plausible plans than his current one.

“Fine,” she says in the middle of his thoughts.


“I’ll take you home.”

Oh gods, yes, Andrej thought. Happy was he that the plunderer was a mere child. If she was a bit older, the less naïve mind might kill him on the spot. He thanked the goddess Fate for her kindness.

Yet he shouted curses at the sky upon feeling the sharp pains in his broken leg as the girl dragged him to the cart. Later on, Andrej would remember this ironic time and laugh. But now, he was too pained to not shout profanities to the gods.

When he landed on the hard cushion of metal armor, he screamed even harder. The girl propped up his broken leg on the cart edge, still eyeing the rune-etched sword in Andrej’s hand.

“Are those real runes? Not just random scratches?”


“They look ugly.”

Andrej opened his mouth to reply, but has nothing to say.

As the girl picked up the cart and rolled eastward, Andrej asked for the girl’s name.

“Camellia. Yours?”

“Andrej. Camellia… sounds awfully nice for a commoner.”

“You’re awfully light and skinny for a soldier.”

“Oh, hush.” Andrej lay on his metal pillows and rested at those words, attempting to sleep.


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