The Sanzam Chapter 5

edited January 11 in Original Stories
Hello there, My name's sfs22,
Since I learned how to read I devoured all the books that were in a ten meter radius around me. While reading I sometimes would think "I wouldn't have write it that way" or "The character could have done something else". The more I read the more this kind of thought would pop in my mind. And the more I thought that way, the more I asked myself if I could write a story of mine. Two years ago, during a conversation with a friend a concept of story came to my mind and since then it grew until the day I decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a shot so here it is : a story about life and death, the family, the peace and a lot of magic 'cause fantasy is fun.

Synopsis: After a war so long no one can remember when it began, Numonens knows a period of peace but who knows how long it will last? Follow the Sanzam, a group fighting from the shadows in order to maintain the fragile peace, through their adventures in a land full of magic and monsters.

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  • edited June 18

    Prologue : Little Rat


    It was a radiant afternoon in Turum, capital of the Golden kingdom. The east district's densely packed brick houses formed  a maze of small alleys and narrow streets. In one of those a boy twelve years old wearing tattered clothes and covered in filth was running, carrying a bag on his back. A man in his thirties slightly overweight and well dressed was chasing him and shouting : 
    "Little Rat I swear you that this is the last time you rob me, I'm not going to let you slip out of my reach this time!" 
    The man was drenched in sweat from the pursuit but still held on, hoping he could get this abominable youth. 

    The boy known as Little Rat was an infamous thief in the district and well known for his ability to intrude even the heavily guarded shops and leaving them clean from all their valuables. When he was two, his mother that was poorer than poor sold him to a rich noble as a slave. At that time he was barely able to walk and talk but had to work as hard as the other slaves. It is there that his master named him Little Rat, referring to his habit to sneak up everywhere in the house. 

    When he was ten, a great thief intruded the house during one of Little Rat's sleepless nights. That night he made a deal with the thief : he would not alert his master and even help the robber in his job and the thief would take him as an apprentice. Under the guidance of one of the most talented thief of the city Little Rat learned the secrets of the hidden side of the city and how to survive in this urban jungle. However the man only taught him how to be the perfect robber so he could use him to work in his place. His mentor molested him very often and would take away everything he had from Little Rat. 
    Under this difficult life, Little Rat developed way faster than any boy of his age and after a few months, he was mostly able to survive on his own. So when his teacher died half year ago it was all the better for him. 

    These memories flashed through his mind without reason while he followed the escaping route he had prepared. After turning at a corner he suddenly jumped to a wall and started to climb it with the agility of a monkey. When the man following him turned the corner Little Rat was already lying on the roof of the house, waiting for the man to walk away to resume his escape. 
    Back down on the alley, the man frowned for half a second before checking all the possible spots Little Rat could have hid himself in. After ten long minutes of infructuous research the man understood he lost the boy and started to head back to his shop while cursing Little Rat out loud. 

    After confirming that he was safe, the boy jumped stealthily from roof to roof until he arrived at the top of an abandoned house. Some tiles where missing and all the windows were broken. If you looked carefully you could see a lily carved on a wall of the house. Little Rat jumped from the roof to the balcony and then entered the house. The interior was not as dilapidated as the exterior, although it was not in good state either. The rooms were totally empty except for some mattresses on the ground, also there was not as much dust as you could think for this building. 

    Little Rat descended all the way to the basement where there was some stacked junk and a lot of carpets. Once there the teenager sat and opened his bag to make an inventory of his new belongings. 

    "This pig is as rich as ever, even if I came once a week I couldn’t make him suffer that much of a loss, so why is he so stingy? It's only a few gold coins and some jewelry, I don't understand rich people." He sighted at the man's selfishness after having assessed his gains before turning his eyes as green as a pair of emeralds toward one of the carpets of the room.  "Alright now's the time to go!" He then walked toward the corner of the carpet and lifted it to reveal a trap door. 

    Beneath the trap was an underground tunnel, it was 1.2 meters large had wood logs supporting it and was illuminated by some burning torches. There was thousands of tunnels like this one under the city, they had been dug by the previous generations of outlaws to ease their movements in the city and escape the vigilance of the city guards. 

    The tunnel was narrow and there was multiple other tunnels crossing it but Little Rat never lost his way. It has to be said that he traveled through these tunnels for two years now so he knew most of them. 

    The tunnel had a slight slope and by the time Little Rat arrived at his destination, he was already a dozen of meters underground. This destination was an underground plaza tens of meters large and close to 5 meters high. The floor of the plaza was paved in stone and the walls were made out of wood. On the center of the plaza there was a large pillar of stone roughly carved in the form of a man holding the wooden ceiling.  

    A crowd of beggars, thieves and other criminals were trading goods and services, some even had a booth. When Little Rat entered the plaza he went to see some of the peddlers to sell them what he earned not so long ago. Back then, Little Rat's teacher was one of the peddlers that made the most profit on the plaza. 

    It is for this reason that half a year ago, a group of peddlers ganged up on him and killed him. When Little Rat heard of it he immediately came to them to offer to sell his acquisitions only to them and at a low price. This deal was a proof of good faith and the promise he wouldn't extend his business as much as his teacher. It is this way that he assured that the men wouldn't kill him for the time being. 

    However, even with this Little Rat never trusted those guys and stayed away from the underground city as much as he could, descending for trading and exiting as soon as his deal was made. The way he took to return to the surface was always the same, his teacher always followed this one and it ended up as an habit strongly imprinted in his mind. 

    As for why his master followed always this it was rather simple : the exit was directly in the basement of a brothel associated with the underground society. The man was one of the most famous client of the house and since Little Rat would often be by his side when he came the boy was also well known even if he never spend any time with the girls here. 

    When he walked through the hall a girl gave him an alluring smile and a wink. It would happen sometimes but the boy was too young to be interested in this kind of business so he would always just pass by without really looking. After walking out of the brothel he went to buy some food. 

    He walked on the streets smiling and patting the small bag on his waist. It had been a while since he had that much gold on him, to be exact it was since a year ago, when the merchant guild had put a bounty on his head and the city guards started to try to catch him. He then had to learn the guards' round to avoid being caught and even had to give up on some of his favorite victims since they were way to well guarded, even for him. 

    After having bought what he needed he went through the east city gate and walked on one the roads that crossed the large fields of wheat that surrounded the city. A kilometer away from the city were a large forest that extended itself outward on a large area. Little Rat went to the forest and continued to walk lazily until he was in front of a large tree with a nail planted in its trunk.  

    Attached to this nail was an almost unnoticeable thread that went above the branches. After pulling the thread Little Rat took a step back and a large rope fell from the tree. Using the rope the boy climbed the tree, once he finished his ascension he pulled back the rope in the tree and then followed a road of ropes invisible from the ground but very useful to travel in the trees. 

    When he understood that his teacher would only steal his benefits Little Rat constructed this base of him in the forest, it took him a lot of time but in the end he had a perfect hideout. After a short travel on the ropes he arrived in a small cabin with wooden planks as walls and a pile of leaves to form a bed. There was also a chest in a corner that contained some of his most valuable treasures that couldn't be sold at the underground plaza. 

    When he finally arrived at his home it was almost the twilight and Little Rat was exhausted from everything that happened this day so he laid on his bed and fell asleep very quickly. However Little Rat's sleep was very light so when a group of men came in the forest in the middle of the night he immediately woke up. 

    There was a dozen or men turning around with torches in their hand and looking everywhere as if looking for someone and Little Rat could hear at least one man walking on the path of ropes. They clearly came for him. 

    The moment he was awake he started to move. He had planed long ahead that one day someone would succeed in tailing him down to his lair so he already knew what he had to do : he moved from his bed by doing the less amount of noise possible and then, using a knife he always had on him, cut a thin cord fixed to the door of his cabin. 

    This cord was linked to a system of pulleys that took almost a year for Little Rat to build. This system crossed multiple trees and had been made so that it was the less visible from the ground. After cutting the rope, multiple branches that were under strain because of the mechanism were released, making noise and some even cracking, as if somebody was running in the foliage through this way. 

    At the same time Little Rat started to move stealthily in the opposite direction. His plan was perfect and even if it pained him a bit to have to leave this hideout he worked so much on, it was better than to be caught. As the men on the ground were rushing toward his decoy his almost invisible figure was moving slowly away. 

    Each time a man walked under his tree he would stop in his movement and melt with his surrounding, becoming virtually invisible. He knew that they would find quickly the truth about his decoy, so when all the lights of the forest where behind him he jumped to the ground and was ready to run away from the men chasing him. 

    °     °     °     °     ° 
    Mr. Podert's day had been quite unusual : in the morning one of the merchant guild informant gave him a letter from the higherups. The letter stated that a few days ago, a guard saw one of the nightmare of the local merchants : Little Rat. The guard was at the brothel and the time it took to realize who was this youth, he already had lost sight of him. 

    After asking the prostitutes about him he came to know that the boy would pass by very frequently. The guild as well as the Guard already knew about the underground tunnels but they never tried to meddle with it since it would be way too troublesome. However, with this knowledge they understood the boy habit and spread the word that if anybody were to be robbed by him and couldn't catch him, they had to send someone to wait for him at the brothel. 

    It was the afternoon of the same day that one of the mercenaries he hired to guard the backroom of his shop caught the boy red handed. However Little Rat managed to escape by a fluke so he followed the instruction. After a long wait, his scout came back with the approximative location of the thief's lair. 

    Mr. Podert and some of the other victims of Little Rat then regrouped and waited for the night to fall to try to corner the child that haunted their nightmares. When Little Rat activated his decoy, Mr. Podert was the one that was the further away from it. So when everybody was rushing that way, nobody noticed that he fell down on his torch, snuffing it down at the same time. 

    It was just when he was getting back on his feet that Little Rat landed right in front of him. 

    "Don't be fooled by his trap, he's over here!!!" He knew very well how crafty and elusive this boy was so he didn't dare to be careless and shouted from the bottom of his lung at his comrades. He then positioned himself between some trees so that Little Rat couldn't pass behind him in a short amount of time. 

    °     °     °     °     ° 
    When Little Rat landed on the ground, the shout of Mr. Podert took him unprepared since he thought that he passed all his pursuers. Seeing the man in front of him blocking his way and knowing his back was a dead end he choose to run to his left, toward a deeper part of the forest. 

    The issue was that he never went that far in the forest and because of that, he was running blindly forward. The boy hadn't finished his growth, he even barely started it, so the increasingly large bushes slowed him more than the grown up men that chased him. Because of that they were slowly but surely closing the distance between the pursuers and the prey. 

    After a long hour, Little Rat was only ten something meters away from the men. The situation seemed desperate but he knew that if he encountered a tree at the good size he could have the time to climb it and then try to hide himself in the canopy. 

    Holding on this though he pushed himself forward with a second wind. But after exiting the next bush, all his hopes were crushed to dust. At that moment, what was before him was a forest... but 20 meters below his feet. 

    He could see the rising sun at the border between heavens and earth. Under any other circumstances he would have found this scenery magnificent but right now it meant only one thing to him : imminent death. 

    When the men arrived at the same cliff as Little Rat, they rapidly encircled him but didn't jump on him instantly. They had very cold smiles on their faces and seemed to delight in the boy's misery. 

    "Now that you've got nowhere to run we can have a true talk my little friend." A voice hoarse from the exhaustion of the hunt that just took place resounded from behind the circle. Immediately after they heard this sentence all the men's smiles widened and Mr. Podert walked in to be just in front of Little Rat, a hand on the handle of the sword that hanged at his waist. 

    Before entering the forest the men drew lots to know, if they were to be able to capture the boy, who would have the right to kill him and Mr. Podert was the winner, and now he was claiming his price. 

    "If you implore my pity and hand over what belongs to me I shall think about sparing your little. Filthy. Worthless life." Mr. Podert talk in a tone that didn't give place to any doubt about his intentions and accentuated every word of the end of the sentence. 

    The grin the other showed couldn’t be any wider and some even laughter at Little Rat. On the other hand, on the boy's face you could see disgust, disgust toward his destiny that put him in poverty while these men clearly were born with a silver spoon in the mouth. Disgust toward his lack of luck during this chase. Disgust toward the men's sadism. 

    But then all of this disgust then turned in determination, it had always been this way in his life : he would face setbacks only to spit in the face of life and turn the tables. This determination was simple and he said it out loud without batting an eye. 

    "I don't plan to die today but if I do I wont give you the satisfaction of my humiliation, nor the one of being the one that killed me." He said those words softly, without any trace of anger or resentment. 

    When Mr. Podert heard that, he quickly drew his sword and immediately slashed down to Little Rat. The boy however had already took half a step back and was starting to fall from the cliff. Just before the blade touched him he added a last line. 

    "Mark my words, today's matter is not concluded." Then moment he said that, he felt an excruciating pain run through his head. 

    Since Mr. Podert was a bit late in his strike, the sword didn't split his head in two but still sliced badly his face, hence the pain. The fall that followed seemed to Little Rat like a really long dream, he saw the house in which he was a slave, his growth under the contempt of his master, the arrival of the thief that took him away. He then saw the many times his teacher had beaten him for not bringing back enough gold from his robberies. He saw how he built his cabin in the forest. He saw today's events. And then he felt something stabbing him in the back and his fall came to an halt. The last thing he saw was the large branch that pierced his stomach and then there was only blackness. 

    °     °     °     °     ° 

    On a empty road walked a man, he was tall and his shoulders were broad. He had a walking staff and a large cloak that hid his features but couldn't conceal his large frame. He suddenly turned to look in the distance and seemed to focus his eyes. Those eyes where the only thing you could see from his face but they really stood out too much : they were silver in color and were faintly glowing with a golden light. 

    "10 kilometers to the south, 5 minutes left. Hmm it is at least interesting, I'll go and see by myself if he really is worth the trouble." His voice sounded old but not weak in the slightest. Even before his sentence finished to echo, the man disappeared leaving only his staff as a proof he was here the instant before. 

  • edited June 18

    Chapter 1 : The Sanzam


    When Little Rat regained his senses he was standing in the middle of a large hall and was wearing clothes that fitted him perfectly and were extremely clean. 

    The strangeness of the situation lead him to think that the only possible explanation was that he was dreaming. However, when he tried to remember what happened before he went to sleep he couldn't remember anything. The last thing he could remember was the stroll he took on the roofs after robing Mr. Podert and then there was a large blank in his memory. But since it was just a dream he just put these details asside. He decided that he would just enjoy the bizarreness of this dream until he woke up and then would call it a night. 

    He then proceeded to check his surroundings. After a closer look it was better to call the place he was at a corridor. It was twenty meters long and five meters large. On the walls were suspended some painting of various scenery, each more enchanting than the precedent. There was some plants in pots along the walls and two chairs at the middle of the corridor, one on each side and facing each other. On the ground, that was made out of stone and formed a complex pattern, was a green carpet embroidered with golden threads that made it look majestic. 

    The ceiling was made of a multitude of glass panels from which came a blinding light that illuminated the whole corridor. On one end of the corridor was a large green curtain with a golden blazing sun embroidered on it while the other side had a large door. Little Rat himself was standing a couple of meters away from the door. The door seemed to be made out of gold and had some words carved on top of it, unfortunately Little Rat had never learned how to read so he couldn't understand what it meant. 

    Besides the words there was also a very large carving that depicted a group of people worshiping the same blazing sun that the one that were on the curtain on the other side of the corridor. 

    As the little boy was about to push the door, he suddenly felt a strong force pressuring him to the ground. He first tried to resist but the force kept increasing in strength so he ended up laying on his back. While he was still struggling to get up his face split open and a lot of blood splattered everywhere around him. The pain was almost unbearable and he screamed from the bottom of his lungs as he was still crawling on the ground. But it was almost immediately followed by an even more excruciating pain coming from his abdomen. At that time a good share of blood came out of his mouth and the pain was so intense he hadn't even the strength to shout. But no matter how much he suffered, for an unknown reason he didn't pass out. 

    It was at that time that he heard a voice as if someone was whispering to his ear. 

    "I just brought you back, but now I need to stabilize you. Hold on, it may sting a bit." 

    The following second, Little Rat felt like his whole body was burning in the Inferno only to be frozen in the coldest winter the next second. He felt an incalculable number of needles stabbing him all over, and as much swords cutting his flesh.  

    This torture lasted only for a couple of seconds but to the boy it seemed like an eternity. When the pain washed away he softly said in a mocking tone " 'It may sting a bit' … I'm rather lucky that it wasn't p..." But before he could finish his sentence he passed out. 

    °     °     °     °     ° 

    It was a rainy day to a small village located in the south of the golden kingdom. There were only a few houses in the village and the only street was desert. One of the houses had a sign that indicated it was a doctor's. In a room of the second floor a teenager laid on a bed with a man in his mid twenties by his side. The boy had a large scar that ran from his forehead through his nose and stopped at his right cheek. 

    The man had his hands laid on the chest of the boy and had his eyes closed. His hands regularly glowed a golden blue light, each time they did the man's face turned a bit whiter. In a corner of the room sat an old man. Although his white hair and wrinkled face showed how aged he was, he still had the muscular frame of a man in his best years. But what stood out the most wasn't his strong build but his eyes that were silver in color and shone with a golden light. 

    After a long time the man finally retrieved his hands and heaved a sight of relief. 

    "So, how is it?" The old man had stood up and wore a worried expression on his face. 

    "The state in which he was when you brought him was so close to death I'm still unable to understand how he was still breathing. Had it been anyone else than me, he would be dead by now. By now he should be safe, but it will take him some time to wake up." The man had an exhausted look on his face but you could see the pride of having done an impossible deed in the depths of his deep blue eyes. 

    The old man smiled at the other before moving to the door. "You've done a good job James. I entrust him to you, I hope that he'll become a great man." After saying that he walked out of the room. 

    James' face fell when he heard what the old man said and rushed out of the room. "Alexander wait..." But it was already too late, the old man had already disappeared. "Why do you have to be in such a rush to go, you've not come in two years and when you return you just toss me a boy before running away." James whispered sadly before turning to the boy with a bitter face. 

    °     °     °     °     ° 

    Usually when Little Rat woke he was full of energy and ready to go but for the first time in years he felt deeply tired when he regained his senses. It is for this reason that it took him a long time to realize that he was in an unknown house. When it came to his mind he tried to remember how he ended here but the only thing he could remember was the deadly chase and the bloody conclusion. Only, since he wasn't hurt in the slightest he thought it was like the strange hall : a dream. But then how did he ended up here? 

    The room he was in was rather small, it had only the bed he was lying on, two chairs and a table. From his bed, Little Rat could only see a curtain of rain through the window so he decided to get up to have a closer look. It was at that time that he realized that he was completely naked under the blanket. He decided to use the blanket as a toga and walked to the window. But has he was half way, the door of the room opened. 

    Since he was in a foreign environment and judging from the situation, Little Rat had concluded that he had been captured and was going to be detained. Following this logic the only person that could come to his room was his kidnaper. Having reached this conclusion, he decided to flee without delay so he ran to the window, dropping the blanket that covered him and blocked his movements. 

    But before he could even reach the window he had a piece of cloth on the head and the voice of a young woman sounded in his ear. "Look at you running around naked, you should cover yourself before going anywhere young lad." 

    Little Rat grabbed the cloth that blocked his sight only to be faced with a smiling woman in her mid twenties. Her blond hair flowed on both sides of her charming face all the way to her waist. Her smile was very enchanting and you could see a bondless kindness radiating out of her face. Little Rat then watched the cloth in his hands only to discover that it was a set of clothing that was roughly his size. 

    Since in his scenario this woman was the person detaining him he didn't believed in the kindness she showed. However, he played along with her and smiled while putting on the clothes she gave him. When the woman saw this she cheered "Do you like it? I sew it myself. Usually I'm not that good but this time I'm quite pleased with the result." 

    Little Rat only silently nodded to her, having been a slave for the most part of his life, he knew that he had to please his master if he wanted to avoid a lot of problems. However the woman didn't let him off with this much and started to examine him under every angle and commenting about every point. 

    It were only after a thorough investigation that she finally left him off with a beaming smile and exclaiming how proud she was of her work. She then straightened herself and looked in his eyes. 

    "Let me introduce myself : I'm Rebecca, I live here with James, my husband, and help him in his work." She then added with some pride on her face "He's doctor, and even if he will never admit it, he would never be able to do his work without me." 

    She then pitched Little Rat's cheeks and asked him in a teasing voice "And what is the name of this adorable little boy before me" 

    Without showing any expression on his face, he responded on a placid voice "My former master used to call me Little Rat." 

    Rebecca's face froze at the moment he said this. "Former master? And this kind of name... So once again, Alexander was right..." She muttered to herself before turning to Little Rat. "You're not a slave anymore we'll find you a fitting name, I promise you!" 

    The boy frowned at this affirmation, if he was not here as a slave then what was he? However he didn't voice out his suspicion about her intentions since he wanted to avoid unnecessary trouble. 

    "But before anything else you'll take a bath, because I can smell that you've not washed yourself for a very long time, have you? After reflection I should have given your clothes AFTER your bath, not before *sight* I can be very silly sometimes." 

    She then grabbed his hand and pulled him to the door. They moved through the house all the way to the bathroom on the first floor. Rebecca then filled the bathtub with water and heated it with a fire, stripped Little Rat and plunged him in the hot water. She washed him as she would have done with a newborn and only stopped when the water was becoming muddy from all the filth she had managed to clear out of the boy's skin. 

    Even through he was not very shy, being taken care of this way by a woman left him clearly uneasy. However, having been a slave for so many years and believing he was back in this position he only accepted the situation and never tried to resist. 

    After the bath Rebecca gave him a towel to dry himself and a new set of clothes. When he wore them you could see the excitement in Rebecca's gaze when she saw the young boy wearing the clothes she had made. She then took him to the living room and they seated close to the fire. 

    Not long after a strong growling sound came from Little Rat's direction. Rebecca smiled and exited the room. When she did the boy walked toward a window to try to see where he was. Since it was still raining outside he could only see the reflection of the room on the glass from afar. When he was closer to the window he suddenly froze. 

    "You have been unconscious for three days, so it is normal for you to be hungry, however don't overeat, we still have tonight's dinner and it would be bad if you were full by then." When Rebecca came back she had a basket of fruits in her hands. 

    After hearing what she said Little Rat already stiff body hardened even more. What made him to pause was his reflection in the glass. To be precise the detail that struck him was the scar that run across his face. If you added what Rebecca said, there was only one conclusion. Did the pursuit in the forest really happen? But then I should be dead. Even with the help of a great doctor I don't think I could have been able to walk after only three days of rest. And if so, who would carry me to a doctor? Just what is going on?!! 

    He turned to face the woman smiling at him and hesitated for a long time before asking what weighted on his mind. "What happened to me?" He uttered his question so faintly that Rebecca almost didn't hear what he said. 

    "If you really want to hear the answer of this question and even more you should wait for James' return, he's better for telling stories. It shouldn't be long before he comes back from work. While we wait him you should eat and drink a bit." She gave him the basket and a cup of water before returning to sit by the fire. 

    He accepted them and sat besides her. He planed to flee from here but since it was still raining and he had absolutely no idea of his location he decided to stay for the time being. 

    Waiting for James' return, Rebecca told Little Rat about her husband's job. He was a doctor as well as an herbalist, he even had his own medicine garden in the backyard. He would sometimes go to other villages to give some help there. If a patient came when James' wasn't home Rebecca would give them a basic treatment and wait for her husband to come back and finish the job. She also acted as his assistant when he worked at home. 

    It was an hour latter that the man entered the house drenched from the rain and exhausted from his long day. "James!" Before he could do anything his wife had jumped in his arms and gave him a welcoming kiss. "Look, Little Rat –that's how the boy said he was named- has woken up and the clothes I made look so great on him! Look!" She then jumped around excitedly while dragging her husband to the living room. 

    James followed lifelessly his wife and saw the teenager he spend so much time and effort saving laying on a chair and enjoying the warmth of the fire. 

    He couldn't help but to think of the last words Alexander left him before leaving. He sighted and then walked to face directly the fire. "Well. My little friend, knowing Rebecca she should have gone talking about me for hours without stopping so I guess you already know close to everything about me, I am right?" 

    "How could I have talked to him for hours? He only woke something like two hours ago." A sharp voice resounded from another room. From her tone you could tell she was displeased with James' way of presenting things. "And even if he had woke up earlier I wouldn't have talked to him about the main topic before your return. Your lack of faith in your wife is a terrible sin, I think I'll have to correct your behavior." By the end of her sentence you could clearly detect that she was just teasing him. 

    "If it is like this, it seems that I have to start from the beginning..." James turned to have his back facing the fire and  smiled to Little Rat. "Do you know a bit about the continent's history?" Little Rat shook his head but stayed silent, waiting for James to continue. 

    "*Sight* For you to understand my story I have to go back in time, to the last century to be precise. By that time our continent, named Numonens, didn't have any country worth being mentioning, only small duchies." 

    "At that time these powers used to fight each other in small scale wars. It is by the beginning of the last century that all the tension that had build up over the years exploded and a massive war began. Almost all Numonens was consumed by it and it lasted for decades and only finished 27 years ago." 

    "When the war ended, five factions had emerged from the chaos and founded the five kingdoms that still rule Numonens today. The five kingdoms at that time were at the end of the rope so they agreed to stop the war to reconstruct their broken countries." 

    "It is at that time that the ruler of Dissiarela, a large empire living in an archipelago far in the east, started his move. Rumors told that his army was slowly organizing to start an invasion of Numonens, at the time it was the most vulnerable." 

    "The different kings of Numonens then made a secret gathering of the most promisiong members of their respective armies and founded a group that headed to Dissiarela. At first their objective was just to delay and weaken Dissiarela's army from the inside and gather intelligence about it so that Numonens could prepare its defense..." 

    "After their depart the kingdoms started to organize themselves slowly, although they didn't put too much hope on this operation they still thought that it would give them some time. However five years passed by and during this period they didn't receive any information from Dissiarela, nor did any army came to their door. After the five years ten members of the original group came back to the base the kingdoms gave them. They brought back only two things : the news that the war intended by Dissiarela had been cancelled and a large sarcophagus." 

    "They said that what was inside the sarcophagus was the reason Dissiarela had stopped their attack. When they opened the sarcophagus, they were utterly shocked because inside of it were a pile of decomposing heads. On each head was a piece of paper with the name and position of the person it belonged to. After verification the rulers of Numonens understood why Dissiarela had stopped their offensive after the death of these people : they were all the generals of the enemy army. Without its head the army had fallen into chaos and the empire gave the order to retire." 

    "Just before they disappeared, the group added only one last thing. They said they were called 'The Sanzam'." 

  • edited June 18

    Chapter 2 : Silvio Sanzam


    "Just before they disappeared, the group added only one last thing. They said they were called 'The Sanzam'."  

    Just after James said that, a voice interrupted him from the kitchen "Well that's a nice story and all but dinner's ready so it'll have to wait for latter." Rebecca was just at the door of the room and gestured them to come. 

    Little Rat had never had a real dinner in his whole life so when he saw all the meals on the table, he started to wolf them down. Rebecca had a smile during the whole time and James talked about his work.  

    After the dinner, Little Rat was lying on his chair with his hands on his belly. He was feeling quite sleepy but he immediately woke up when James sat beside him. "I think it is time for me to tell you the conclusion of the story." He said that with a very serious face. He left a small time for Little Rat to straighten himself before resuming the story. 

    "After the Sanzam cleared their mission they started to disperse. However the kingdoms weren't at ease with letting escape these people that ended a war by themselves. They feared that one day someone could hire the group to overthrow them so they issued a death order against the Sanzam." 

    "Over the course of the years, some of them died, others simply disappeared from the surface of the earth and so people started to forget about them and even the kingdoms don't think they're a threat anymore." When he said that, James had a mocking smile on his face. 

    "What people don't know is that the chief of the Sanzam survived and is still out there, recruiting new promising people into his ranks. His name is Alexander, and he's the one that brought you here so that I could save you." 

    After listening for this story, Little Rat didn't think much about it. First of all, this story about the Sanzam seemed a bit exaggerated  and even if he assumed it was real, there was no reason this kind of group would want a twelve years old thief to join them. Moreover, the story didn't explained how James had saved him, and he would never believe that a doctor could save someone that was in the state he was. In conclusion, the story didn't gave him much information except for the fact that James didn't want to tell him the truth. 

    Seeing the doubt written all over the face of Little Rat, James gave up on trying to gain the boy's trust with mere words and changed the subject. "Judging from the clothes you wore when we found you, the name you use and the grievousness of the injuries you had when we found you, I assume you are a slave that as been disposed of. Am I right?" 

    Being to lazy to explain the exact story and since it wasn't that far from the truth, Little Rat just nodded to James question. 

    "So, are you willing to stay with us? We'll offer you food and shelter and all you'll have to do is to help Becky and I in our work." 

    When Little Rat heard this proposition he was already prepared for it. It has to be said that he felt from the very beginning that he had been captured and sold as a slave to this house. From his understanding, he was in a village that was far away from everything. Even through he liked his independence, his skills only enabled him to survive on his own in an urban environment. In a place like the one he was in, he wasn't sure escaping right now was a good idea. 

    After thinking it thoroughly he nodded, he decided to play along with their comedy and wait for an opportunity to get back to a large city. 

    After that, Rebecca lead him to his room on the second floor where he slept soundly. During this night, he made a strange dream. He was in the same corridor has last time, however this time it was nighttime. Most of the corridor was in the darkness except for the door and the curtain. The sun that was carved on one and embroidered on the other were shining a faint blue light. Firstly he tried to open the door but however he tried, pushing or pulling with all his might, he couldn't make it even move an inch. 

    After a long time he gave up and turned to the other end of the corridor and decided to see what was behind the curtain. But no matter how long he walked, it seemed he wasn't moving at all toward the curtain. After a certain amount of time he gave up and just laid on his back, watching the starry sky through the glass roof. 

    Suddenly he felt like he was not subject to the gravity anymore and his body flew one meter from the ground. He woke up and confirmed he was indeed flying through his room. However he rapidly fell and rolled on the ground in pain. It is then that a voice sounded above him. 

    "You've slept long enough, the sky is already bright and the sun is high. You should prepare yourself, you've got a lot to do today." 

    Rebecca was standing right besides him with a beaming smile on her beautiful face. However. From a single look at the window, Little Rat could clearly tell that the sun had just risen a few minutes ago. The energic woman dragged the still asleep boy through the house all the way to the living room where a great breakfast (and James) was waiting. 

    The two men were still a foot in the dreamlands but Rebecca was full of vigor. She explained to Little Rat that it had rained so much during the last week that the fields had to be given extra care. Because of that she wanted Little Rat to go and give a hand in the work of the villagers. That way he would get to know the neighbors and it would be beneficial for him to start doing manual work since he had a rather weak constitution. 

    Since he already resigned himself to follow every order the couple might give him, Little Rat didn't even try to contest her decision. After eating a good share and having mostly woke up, Little Rat followed the woman to a nearby field where the villagers had already started to work and introduced him to the man in charge as James' apprentice. 

    After confirming that the man accepted Little Rat's help for the day Rebecca left to the house. Under the man's guidance, Little Rat worked in the field for the whole day without complaining and with an uncommon zeal. Most of the workers came during the day to talk and help him. He would answer them politely and had a lot of conversation. 

    He had a talent with his tongue that he had developed when he was a slave. At that time he learned the etiquette and how to lead a conversation by observing his master when he received gests. He usually didn't showed this ability of his to others but since Rebecca told him one of the goals of this day was to get to know the neighbors, he made all the effort he could to socialize with the workers. He just never really talked about himself and when someone would ask about his origins he would elude the question. 

    It was only when the sun was about to set that James came to the field come bring back home the boy. By that time the boy was thoroughly exhausted and could only barely stand on his feet. Outside of the house Rebecca was excitedly waiting for them. 

    "After leaving you in the fields, she started to think of a name for you and since she found one she as been in this state, incapable of waiting for your return and tell it to you. She even asked me a thousand times to try to find what she had chosen." It seemed that James had lost as much energy as Rebecca had gained. "She's always been lively but since you've came she's even more excited than usual. I just hope she will not stay in this state for too long or I might die from exhaustion." 

    When she noticed them Rebecca ran toward the man and the boy. "Little Rat! I found a great name for you!" James rolled his eyes but didn't dare to complain. "Since our wedding, I would sometimes talk with James about how we should name our children when we have them. I wanted to call our first boy Silvio but he would always refuse..." 

    "Because that's a terrible name!" James couldn't control himself and responded to his wife. 

    "That's YOUR opinion, but whatever. Since I will not be able to name my son that way, I hope you accept it. For your last name, since we're planning to let you join the Sanzam, why not let it be your identity? So you would be Silvio Sanzam, do you like it?" 

    Little Rat didn't understand why she talked about that Sanzam thingy again, it was clearly a fairy tale. But since he decided to please the couple he wouldn't bother with this kind of detail. "Yeah I love it, from now on I am no longer Little Rat, I'm Silvio Sanzam, the powerful knight of the Sanzam!" The boy cheered up at the news even though he didn't mind at all this kind of thing. 

    "Tss, tss. It seems James slacked off when he told you the story. The Sanzam are not knights nor mages or anything else. They use their very soul to fight against their foes, and you're still an apprentice that need to pass a few trials to be accepted. But that's a story for another day." 

    Seeing how serious Rebecca was about this matter, the newly named Silvio couldn't help but think that there might be a part of truth in this story. However he rapidly cast away such a though. 

    After that they ate dinner while Rebecca was describing her day to Silvio. Immediately after Silvio went to his room and slept soundly. Once again he dreamt of the corridor and once again he couldn't escape it. Also once again he woke up flying through his room with Rebecca laughing at him. 

    Days passed peacefully and even if he was thoroughly exhausted each time he came back home, Silvio appreciated to not have to worry about his safety nor if he'd had enough to eat each day. In a flash a whole week passed by. By now the boy was acquittanced with most of the neighbors and all of them would say that he was a good boy. 

    By this time he had accumulated a lot of body exhaustion and could barely move after the forced wake up from Rebecca that had become usual.  

    She clearly is a demon disguised as a angel. 

    That was the though Silvio had when he saw this woman that was smiling to him. 

    As they were descending to the living room, they heard cries outside, Rebecca rushed to the closest window, when she saw what was happening outside, her expression froze. It only lasted half a second but in that time, Silvio managed to catch a glimpse of the exterior. 

    There was a group of people clad in leather armor and wielding swords that walked out of a house. Most of them had blood stains on their armors and their swords were dripping with blood. They all had a sinister grin on their face and they were slowly walking toward the villager that was shouting in fear in the street. 

    "Don't move, I'll take care of this." When she said this, Rebecca had a warm smile on her face but her eyes were void of any kind of emotion. 

    However by the time Silvio raised his head toward her, she was already gone, making so that he didn't have the opportunity to see this detail. He was still pondering about what to do when James came to him. 

    The man grabbed and carried him all the way to his room. James tossed Silvio on his bed and placed a knife besides him. "Whatever happens, don't show yourself until we're back. If you ever get caught, use this to protect yourself." He then rushed to the door and locked it. 

    Silvio stayed still for a good minute before realizing that this was the best opportunity for him to escape. Although this life was peaceful until now, he preferred his former occupation over the work in the fields. He went to the window to see the situation outside, from there he could see that a great number of people wearing the same outfit that the bandits rampaging in the street had the village surrounded and were slowly approaching. 

    Speaking of whom, the bandits on the street where nowhere to be seen but some screams coming from different houses hinted about their whereabouts, one of the houses was even set on fire. From this sight, the boy decided to follow the wise words of James and just hide in the room until the situation settled down. Only he didn't knew what the couple was doing since they went out, he could not see them and they couldn't possibly have fled since the whole village was surrounded. 

    The time passed slowly and the cries where fewer and fewer around, Silvio didn't know what was happening, but at this stage he didn't dare to sneak a peek through the window out of fear to be spotted. 

    It was at that time that he heard people rummaging the first floor. From his large experience as a slave and then as a thief, he could tell that there was three person searching through the first floor. 

    He envisaged to escape from the window and hide in a house that had already been explored by the bandits. However by the window he saw that James was back in front of the house but was surrounded by six bandits and three others were watching the spectacle. 

    James had a sword in his hand but anybody with a brain could tell that with the numeral advantage alone, the bandits could kill him easily. However the doctor didn't seem to have even the slightest trace of fear on his face. 

    "When my own father taught me the ways of the medicine, he made me vow to never hurt nor kill anybody. Since I don't intent to break my vow, I would like for you to surrender peacefully."  The bandits were a bit surprised at James' declaration but then laughed it out. 

    "Don't worry boy, if we kill you, you won't have to hurt us. Hahaha." 

    "Hey a doctor could be pretty useful for us! Try not to kill him so we can bring him back." 

    As the bandits were jeering him they slowly approached him and readied their weapons. 

    "Sight... Do you know how hard it is to knock out you bunch with a sword but without hurting you? Alright here I go." 

  • edited June 18

    Chapter 3 : ...

  • edited June 18

    Chapter 4 :  ...

  • edited June 18

    Chapter 5 : ...

  • edited January 15
    Okay now for my review of your novel, thisll be the last i do in a while because i need to do other stuff. I picked yours because of the low number of chapters and im glad i read this before you carried on writing, ill explain below as to why:

    NOTE: please forgive any typos across my review, i dont have the energy to fix em up. But if anything i said doesnt make sense, just ask, ill respond.

    I didnt want to start with this but there are way tooo many info dumps... By the end of reading all this i ended up with was a headache because you overwhelmed me with way too much information being presented through dialogue.

    Now to the dialogue. Well you have over done it, the things the characters say makes them lose any flavour to them as people, they just seem like bland npc there to tell the mc about all the information and thats it. The things they say if you consider it is just not that normal, i guess they would say some info from time to time not to the scale they constantly keep doing.

    I feel like the current characters have some potential to them, try to make your characters deeper because currently they seem shallow and not really fleshed out. When doing dialogue try to think of sub text. Thats the key to creating good characters, or if you want to show something about them. They can still say info but in a unique way that could tell the reader something about them. Research around for the meaning of subtext and try to understand what im trying to say.

    Now to begin with the story itself. Its a decent concept that still needs a lot of working on, thats my opinion and im no professional, as im just listing things as i see them, i understand that you might have different thoughts about that.

    You kinda ruined the the first chapter with its ending. It was waaay too bland that it ended just like that. No excitement through the battle, no building up to thd climax and even if you didnt do that you couldve recovered yourself with making his fall more detailed and exaggerated that makes the reader have worry for the mc. But you just told and you didnt show. You basically said his bones shattered and the rule of writing is to show not tell. You could have explained in more detail how his vision of the world twisted as he fell because he was rolling down and how each time the rocky face of the cliff, it scarred his skin leaving a burning sensation and how the speed caused him to shatter his bones and how crunching noises could be heard and that bone splinters covered his lungs as 3 of his ribs broke and that even his arm was twisted in his weird attempt to grab unto something which he somehow did even he lost all sense of where he was looking at because the world looked like it was spinning. You couldve dramatised the actual fall to make up for the boring fight which was so fast that it was too sudden, which makes dramatising the fall much cooler as it lets the reader still feel tensed because they were shocked to see him fall so suddenly and your prolonging the explanation of his fall which makes the reader anticipate whether he survived or not. Hopefully what i said makes sense.

    Next, the scene where you made the mc cry wasnt placed that well. I as the reader did not feel too connected to the mc, i still did not know what troubled him or anything about him emotionally. You dont have to show that he directly is troubled by something, it should be really really subtle that the reader notices somethinf wrong and then if he opens about his troubles by crying because its something that plagued him and he kept such feeling bottled up, making you feel sadness that he had to go through such a thing and you werr there to experience that with him even thiugh he didnt open up, i wouldve felt joy for the mc when he finally cries releasing his pent up emotion. Okay I honestly didn't explain that well, its pretty s**t, ignore this paragraph if it doesnt make much sense.

    So what else, the mc growth is not the problem but what is abnormal is how he has knowledge of things thag werent even explained to him, things that before he met these people he never even thought about. In my opinion, it wasnt something that sat well with me. Maybe im just being stupid.

    Grammar isnt your strong point, probably because english isnt your first language so its something that can be forgiven. Even though english isnt my first language, i live in the uk so thats what helps me. What i suggest to fix this up, is to just read all your chapters till you hate them. Search up words youre not too sure are correct when you write. An example is the word "loose". That means like a loose nut or a knot. You probablt meant lose, the first time i thought it was a typo but then you did it again.

    There is the chapter where you said the mc was in seemingly in pain, its better to be more definitive its not something that should be a mystery, but a bit later you contradicted yourself by saying that he was all fine. But i think you mightve redeemed yourself because you stated that the healing sanzam thingy causes a lot of pain when used from the scroll.

    Ah yes i remembered, about the scar. Thats one reason why i didnt like how little the fight lasted, there was literally no excitment and i felt no worry for the mc because it just happened too quickly. 

    The speed at how fast the recruitment happened left me unsatisfied, like the fight. Again you can redeem yourself here, by having some deeper meaning to their willingness to accept him and not just because of some plot and the need for it to advance. The reason to why the mc accepts so quickly could be explained by his naivety as a kid, because even if there was money people would still be doubtful. I just realised what i said could be a little pointless as he did doubt them a bit later and i guess that he accepted quickly because he didnt want anything bad to happen.

    I think i could talk about more things but i have a headache and i need to get other things done today. So heres your review. I honestly hope this helps and that youre able to either leave the current and improve yourself through the future chapters or go back and fix up the previous chapters. Though im not sure how ahead you have written, hopefully not too much. Goodluck with the story, the premise has potential if executed well.


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