the Prequel, the Chronicles of Heaven's Curse
Copyright © 2021 by Kalverya Johansson.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or, if real, used factiously. All statements, activities, stunts, descriptions, information, and material of any other kind contained herein are included for entertainment purposes only and should not be relied on for accuracy or replicated as they may result in injury.
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Prologue I: The Valdis Heir
The war against those of the pélanocytes and the délanocytes Excelian blood types was as prevalent as ever. Something that Natalia Valdis knew all too well and was frequently reminded of. As such, it irritated to her to no end. However, she knew better than to voice her thoughts. She didn’t want to be on the receiving end of disapproving glowers from her parents let alone the entire Council on such topics. “As the only legitimate heir of the Valdis Clan currently present, you’re expected to meet with the other clan elders to discuss the appropriate course to diffuse the potential internal war that will ensue if the trade routes remain unusable,” Natalia sighed, at another task. Her thoughts pulled from her advisor’s voice and to her siblings, why was she the only one dealing with this, surely she could have some help? She thought with a grimace. Surely, mother wouldn’t have agreed to this? A loud scrap of a chair against the marble floor pulled her mind back to her advisor’s voice. “Any questions my Lady?” he asked, expectantly.
Natalia schooled her features into an unreadable mask, as her parent’s always did when addressed. “No, that’ll be all Jai. Thank you for letting me know.” Natalia declared, evenly. Jai watched her for a moment his unreadable golden eyes trailed over her and she returned his gaze, deciphering if he’d noticed she’d spaced out. By the look in his eye, she knew he had but didn’t mention anything. The man nodded, and bowed with his hand over his heart. She watched the dark haired man with dark russet skin much like hers exit the room. Leaving nothing but the sound of her blood pounding in her ears and her deep exhale at the exhausting day. She took several deep breaths to calm her anxiety before climbing from her chair behind her desk and rounding it. She regarded the fresh faint scrap marks along the ground opposite her desk and raised a brow. “That wasn’t there before,” she muttered then glanced at the door. “He did that on purpose.” Natalia smiled, he knew her too well.
Hoping he didn’t mention her behaviour to her mother, she exited the room and wandered along the stone hall and past the woven designs made out of leaves or other flora and traditional paintings she knew told tales much older than her, lit by the warm torches on the wall.
Her deep red, gold and black dress designed with slits on either side of her legs, kept her cool within the humidity of her home and touched her gold sandals gently that covered her feet, ankles and shin before stopping just below her knees, a similar design covered her forearms while a gold band wrapped around her right arm.
Natalia passed the small courtyard, where water pooled from the wall and into a fountain that flowed along the ground and towards the vines marked with different flowers that crawled along the far wall where she heard the twitter of birds and felt the rays of the sun through the open roof of the courtyard on her exposed shoulders and upper arms. She pulled her long dark hair over her shoulder, exposing her open back and played with the ends of her hair, woven in golden tendrils.
Natalia continued to stride down the many halls and stairs before coming across the room she’d spent the past few minutes searching for. The open terrace echoed a rush of water from the nearby waterfall, lined in stone, marble and vines. The echo of steel on steel pierced the sound of the waterfall the closer she moved to the training ring. Within she spotted L’Eiron Augustus-Valdis and her father Adriel Valdis sparring. “Come on, surely you can do better than that L’Eiron.” Adriel declared, smugly when he deflected L’Eiron’s attack. Natalia watched for some time, wondering who’d win but at the same time, she admired the curl of her hair as she observed them pretending not to pay much interest. Then, as expected L’Eiron caught her father off guard, the moment he recognised her presence and off balance before standing over him with a sword at his throat.
Natalia held back a laugh at her father’s surprised expression. “We’ll done L’Eiron, but I’m pretty sure I was distracted,” Adriel declared.
“And how is that my problem?” L’Eiron asked, and helped Adriel to his feet.
“It isn’t,” Adriel declared. “Just acknowledging it wasn’t exactly a fair win.” L’Eiron raised a brow at the comment and watched Adriel turn this back on him and held open his arms towards Natalia. Swiftly and easily, Natalia leapt over the railing and ran to her father’s embrace. “My darling daughter girl,” he greeted, with a bright smile. “How are you?”
“I’m good father. I’m glad you’re home,” Natalia smiled, grateful he’d made it back in one piece.
Her father pulled away and regarded Natalia with a serious expression that caused her to smile in confusion. “Now, as the referee of this fine match. Do you think L’Eiron rightfully won?” Adriel declared a head taller than her, with a playful grin while L’Eiron joined them with a raised brow and sheathed his sword.
“What do you mean by do you think? I did rightfully win?” L’Eiron argued, his golden brown eyes glowered at the older man.
Natalia stepped away and pretended to think about it. “Hmm, I’m not too sure I’d have to say L’Eiron since he did have a sword to your throat. Or, it could have been father considering that L’Eiron knew I was in the room. Not that anyone let alone a woman should distract you. In saying that, L’Eiron won fair and square.” Shock encompassed Adriel’s expression and L’Eiron laughed.
Adriel straightened and rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment, “Using my own words against me, huh? You always seem to have this uncanny ability to put people in their place regardless of how much they may not like the truth.”
“Well you did say a real warrior never lets his environment distract him. He uses it to his advantage just as L’Eiron did. I guess you could say he’s definitely learnt that lesson.” L’Eiron beamed with pride at the comment and Adriel play fought with L’Eiron. “Even if he is the last one to learn it.” L’Eiron scowled at the implication and Adriel laughed at the truth in that.
Adriel sheathed his sword and shook his head, then wrapped his arms around both his children and guided them to the edge of the ring. “Why is it that no matter how much I feel like I’m winning I’m always loosing when you lot gang up on me?”
“Because this is a different type of battle,” L’Eiron remarked, smugly. Adriel laughed.
“That it is.” Adriel declared and grabbed the face wipe Natalia handed him and L’Eiron. “A reminder that words are just as powerful as any blade if not more so.”
“If that’s the case, then that explains why Narelle thinks she’s above everyone. All she has to do is use a bunch of fancy words and worms her way out of everything. Not even Nerius and Kushim could get away with that,” Natalia muttered, annoyed. “Speaking of which, where is she? I’ve been taking up all her tasks this week especially today because she’s somehow disappeared and no one knows where she is. Even advisor Jai said something about me being the only legitimate heir present. If I had known you were here I would have done the same thing and made you deal with it.”
Adriel and L’Eiron moved from Natalia and towards the pool of water funnelled from the small water fall. “That’s probably why he didn’t tell you,” L’Eiron remarked, with a smirk and sat on the fountain’s edge.
Natalia crossed her arms and considered his words. “That’s not true is it father?”
“Yes and no but also because we’ll your mother and I aren’t going to be around forever and all of you need to not just know how to handle your roles but how to find your way through the trials each one may possess.” Adriel said after he washed his face and cooled his skin with the water before turning back to Natalia. “In saying that I’m going to clean up a little before dinner, don’t want your mother mad at me, be sure to tell Narelle to come see me when you find her.” Adriel declared, and pecked Natalia on the forehead and rubbed L’Eiron’s hair playfully before turning away and exiting the open space into one of the halls that connected the room.
“Wait so you’ve taken up her tasks, does that mean you have to follow them through as well?” L’Eiron asked, recalling what she had said. “That’s a bit much considering that you have your own things to do.”
“That’s exactly why I’m frustrated and tired. Maybe a little moody too because of it but mainly just tired.” Natalia confessed and sat beside L’Eiron as he patted himself with the cool water.
“So what are you going to do?” He asked.
“I’m going to hunt her down. Tie her up and drag her back to the palace.” Natalia remarked, mentally considering the best rope to use, how far she’d gone and anything else she’d need.
“Why not just send a guard?” L’Eiron asked, frightful of the gleam in her eyes.
“No. I want the satisfaction to see the look on her face when I tie her up like a wild boar.” Natalia declared in triumph.
“You’re going to tie your sister up like a wild boar and drag her back the same way we bring back the actual bores?” L’Eiron asked, frightful.
“Yep and I’ll do the same thing to you too if you do that to me,” Natalia threatened, pointing a firm finger at L’Eiron who held up his hands. He’d always known to never make her too mad. After all, she was pretty scary when her unstable cells were un-reactive but just imagining her when they did. Sent a shiver down his spine at the thought.
L’Eiron swallowed and backed away a little. “Got it, don’t give you extra work.”
Later that night, L’Eiron took the biggest meat he could find before Nerius and Kushim could even reach for it. “Hey! Why did you take the biggest piece L’Eiron!” Nerius growled.
“I agree. You can’t be that hungry!” Kushim retorted annoyed and L’Eiron scowled at both of them before pulling his plate away when they reached for the t-bone.
Then L’Eiron, Nerius and Kushim started an argument on the opposite end of the table while Natalia and Narelle watched the argument silently, their brows twitched in frustration at the scene, as they ate their dinner like Mariana without any complaint.
“Gods, give it a rest!” Narelle growled after some time, annoyed. “Mother and father aren’t here and if they were you wouldn’t be arguing the way you are. I swear you must be adopted, to behave like that at the table!”
“Anaphora and I are adopted dummy and we don’t act like you two.” L’Eiron remarked, smugly. Glaring at Nerius and Kushim.
Anaphora growled from the other side of him. “What are you talking about? You’re the one arguing with Kushim and Nerius over a piece of meat, when there’s plenty. You’re with them on that. Maybe all of you were swapped at birth.” Natalia laughed at the comment while Mariana ate her food before asking Natalia to get her more meat and vegetables and cut it up.
“We are so not!” L’Eiron, Kushim and Nerius growled. All the men climbed to their feet, gripping each other’s shirts. The table shifted, utensils and plates clattered while Narelle and Anaphora yelled at them to stop, fearful of spilling the food everywhere.
When they didn’t stop Natalia slammed her hand on the table and glared at all of them, her once black eyes now crimson and deadly, black markings rose and shifted along her skin. “I don’t care who’s adopted and who’s from where. You’re all acting like a bunch of children. The only one here who can act like that is Mariana.” Natalia pointed at Mariana as she stared at the sight of her brothers with a wide frightened expression. “Even then she doesn’t behave like you and if you lot make her cry I swear you won’t get a chance to start your meal let alone finish it.” Tinges of her black hair began to turn silver and at the Narelle and Anaphora backed away while the men stared at her frightfully.
Everyone watched each other until, Adriel and Artemis’s footfalls entered the private dining room while Mariana ate her recently diced meat. “Mamma!” Marianna greeted and everyone froze when Adriel scanned every face in the room with a disapproving expression while Artemis glowered at everyone then slapped her son’s hands loosing their grips on each other, before scuttling to Mariana. She gave her a lengthy kiss on the forehead and spoke to her gently when no one said a word. Artemis pulled Marianna from the table when she said she was full and glared at everyone over her shoulder.
Turning back to Marianna. Artemis said, “Time for bed sweetheart.”
“But I’m not tired,” Marianna whined until her voice faded from the room while a helper followed the pair.
“Now that Marianna is out of the room.” Adriel declared, sharply. “I’m sure you’re all aware that your behaviour could be heard from down the hall. The helpers thought there was a physical fight in here and were too scared to enter. You know I have one main rule aside from all the others: there is no fighting in our home. Arguments fine. Physical altercations no. Unless it’s in a supervised training ring. Now I’m going to ask this once: why were you lot behaving immaturely?” Narelle, Natalia and Anaphora glared at the men who paled under Adriel’s dangerous gaze.
“Ask them,” Narelle said, gesturing to L’Eiron and the others.
Before L’Eiron could reply, Adriel cut of his words, with a strident glare. “Well?” he asked.
A science-fiction dystopian world with superhuman elemental manipulators known as Excelians who live within the Earth’s Crust as they hunt for the twelve pieces of Midnight Eclipse. In the underground country of the Fire Reserve, New Icarus is home to the Excelians. Long ago, they were Human but due to a suppressed gene every Human carried, they awakened, then were hunted and feared for their exceptional abilities. Centuries have passed since those dark times, and the Excelians now live peacefully in the City of New Icarus, harnessing the power of their élanocytes cells that give them their elemental and supernatural abilities. A series that follows the story of Gothalia and Noel-Len who have to survive an ancient war. Read more about Excelian Universe.
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