Prologue: A Pall of Fire
Happy anniversary, "Between Innocence and Resolve!"
To celebrate, I have rewritten the story. So in essence, a complete recreation of the war between Lumisade and Vesisade. The plot is going to be 20% more consistent an much more easier to follow (I hope)
Prologue: A Pall of Fire
He shot up. Instinctively, Linus began to look from left to right, trying to find the person who called his name. Amidst the field filled with golden wheat, not a single soul was found. The wind whistling through the forest nearby startled him, Linus thought. He returned to his job collecting wheat; there were acres of wheat left to reap before sundown.
"Linus, remaining idle will bring about your death!"
"Who's there?" Linus quickly shot back. He raised his scythe defensively as he carefully inspected his surroundings.
A willowy man before appeared before Linus, a smug half-smile across his face. His skin was almost glass-like, as Linus could see through the man's pale, grey body. It was as if a shadow had sprung from the ground and began to talk to him.
Linus' hands shook violently. The scythe and his arms danced to the tempo of his frightened gasps of air, to which the man stared aloofly at.
"Wh-who are you?!" Linus asked, his voice going faint.
"What do you mean?"
The ghost gestured to the sky above the forest. Black smoke soon began to rise from the other end; Blaustadt was burning.
Linus stood in terror. He looked to the ghost in hope of an explanation, but saw a stern face of impatience. The ghost told him to run, but Linus ran in the direction of the fire.
"What are you doing?!" The ghost roared.
Linus did not answer. He ran through the forest, his legs moving with a sense of bile curiosity. Soon, ash from the fire began to fall like flakes of blackened snow. The sweet scent of the forest's flowers were replaced by the stench of burning wood. Roars like the sound of a distant thunderstorm echoed through the trees.
"Linus, turn back immediately!"
"No!" Linus shot back. "There're people that I need to help!"
He passed by a church on the outskirts of Blaustadt; it was still standing, unperturbed by the fire. Linus leaned on its walls to catch his breath.
"There is not much-"
"Why do you want me to run away?!" Linus snapped. "There are people that I care about that will die if I just run away! If you're so afraid of what's happening to Blaustadt, then flee!"
"Very well. I'll simply step back and watch from afar." The ghost said, sighing in resignation. He drifted away from Linus, and waited by the church's doors.
Linus continued to Blaustadt without the ghost. Embers swirled past his eyes as he passed through the stone walls that guarded Blaustadt. Sounds of explosions and the cries of panicked men and women filled the air. He rushed to the mercantile district; they worked there.
"Mr. Weiss! Miss Weiss! Karla!" Linus yelled as he ran towards the district. He tried to find at least one of them as he searched among the fleeing people. Swerving through the crowds of people and avoiding the collapsing buildings torched by fire, he continued searching.
He ran in the opposite direction of the fleeing townspeople and searched the streets of the mercantile district. By the time he reached the store that Karla and her parents worked, it had succumbed to the fire. Linus called out their names for another time, but could not. His voice had been exhausted, his body weak from the smoke and ash he inhaled.
He returned to the church, weakened, empty-handed, and infuriated. The ghost only shook his head.
"I assume that you did not find your companions." The ghost said, a tinge of sorrow in his voice.
Linus did not answer. He sat on the wall of the church, slumped and unresponsive.
He looked up at the ghost, and asked in a feeble tone, "Blaustadt was such a peaceful place. What's happening?"
The ghost did not answer.