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18+ Language Violence

The Roads of Marceris Ch.10 (2/2)

by DudeMcGuy


Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language and violence.

Lucian lied on the hard wooden floor and stared at the moonlit wall of the small bedroom. Sleep eluded him despite his exhaustion, and he wondered if Radi's snoring or the cold breeze entering from the open window were to blame. He had often found it difficult to sleep during the journey to Melliark, and this night felt no different to him. His mind was still filled with doubt over his future, even as he lied safely indoors among new friends.

As he dwelled on the upcoming combat evaluation it became more difficult to keep his eyes closed. Dyne said he was in the military a long time ago, he thought. Should I ask him for advice in the morning?

The night went on as Lucian drifted in and out of consciousness, trying to shake his uncertainties and fears. He almost found peace before the breeze blew into the room again, causing him to pull his blanket higher over his shoulders. This must be how Darius felt the night before he left for Ragamsol.

After yet another unsuccessful shift in position, Lucian heard a soft shuffling sound behind him. He slowly rolled to his opposite side and noticed that Dyne was no longer lying on the floor next to him. The wooden floor creaked on the far side of the room

Lucian pushed himself up slowly with his elbows to see Dyne gently close the door and exit with his blankets slung over his shoulder. He must not be able to sleep either. I might as well join him. Lucian waited a few moments before he wiped his eyes and stood. Quietly walking on his toes, he carefully stepped over Radi and left the bedroom.

Lucian closed the door behind him and turned towards the dining room table, but to his surprise, Dyne was nowhere in sight. Looking into the dark corners of the room, he took just a single step forward when he heard something slide under the front door. Curious, he cautiously moved to the door and crouched over the object. He found what felt like a small piece of paper with something attached. As he lifted the note into the moonlight, a key fell from between the folded page and dropped onto the floor.

"This is the key Zaine gave to Dyne for the house," he whispered to himself. "Why would he--" Lucian hushed himeslf as he heard a soft voice coming from just outside the door. He pressed his ear against the wooden door and listened again for the sound.

"Come on, girls,” Dyne whispered to the horses. “It's time to go home."

What? Go home? No, he's not... He can't! Lucian immediately picked up the key and unlocked the door as the note fell to the floor. Still barefoot, he stepped outside into the cold morning air and looked to his left to see Dyne climbing into the front seat of the wagon.

"Quietly now," Dyne whispered to the horses.

Lucian stared at Dyne in disbelief as he ran to the wagon. "What are you doing?"

Dyne squinted through the darkness. "Oh, Lucian? What are you doing awake so early?"

"What about you?" Lucian demanded. "How can you do this?"

"Shh. Lower you're voice, Lucian. Calm down."

"Calm down?" Lucian shook his head. "I can't believe you would do this to Juliana! In the middle night without even a word. You... you can't just leave her like this!"

Dyne lowered his head and sighed. "She already knows. It was planned this way from the begining."

Lucian took a step back. "What?"

Dyne pushed his luggage from the seat into the back of the wagon. "Come up here."

Lucian calmed himself momentarily and quickly climbed into the seat next to Dyne. "You can't do this," he pleaded. "She still needs you. We all do."

Dyne put his hand on Lucian's knee and looked at him. "Listen, Lucian. I would stay, but I promised my daughter I would return safely."

"You mean Juliana's mother? I don't understand. Why would she want you to--"

"Lucian," Dyne interupted. "There is... There is something you should know about me. " He looked over his shoulder and steered the wagon into a nearby alley.

----------------------------------------------------

"What are your orders, commander?" Zaine shouted.

Reyner held his hand against his brow and looked out across the battlefield. Only half of the men he personally led through the waist-high currents of the Nelna were still standing, and the flames of Ratheim's wizards began to illuminate the night sky as they rained down from the far side of the battlefield. He looked on as the enemy force continued its march, almost unimpeded as they began to ford the stream.

"Fall back to the tower!" Reyner shouted. "All frontline soldiers retreat to the hilltop and hold the tower!"

Zaine slogged through the current and stood next to his commander. "But, sir! General Dorain has ordered us to prevent them from crossing! If we pull back now the river will be lost."

Reyner head his sword high and signaled towards the hill behind them. "Don't be a fool, Zaine! It's already lost. Those orders we're given under the condition that Rathiem was not reinforced. But if we defend from the hill our archers will outrange their warlocks!"

"Oh, of course! They won't advance past the river without magic support."

Reyner nodded. "Precisely. Now pull everyone back quickly. That's an order!"

"Understood, sir!"

Reyner and Zaine began to call out the commands to the soldiers as they waded against the current towards the hill. "Fall back! Fall back to the tower! Archers cover the retreat! Aim for nearest targets, nearest targets only!"

Reyner reached the west bank of the river when a young soldier suddenly emerged from the waters; coughing blood as he crawled to Reyner's feet.

"C-Commander, I can't--" The warrior rolled onto his back and cried out in pain as he pressed his hands against a deep wound in his side.

Remker kneeled beside his soldier and inspected the wound. "Don't close your eyes, son. You're strong enough to get through this! You hear me?"

The young man grimaced and nodded weakly as he struggled to breathe.

Remker tore the sleeve from his tunic and pressed it against the soldier's side. "Zaine! Get this boy to the healers!"

Zaine sheathed his blade as he ran towards them. "Yes, commander!" He quickly wrapped the soldier's wound before lifting him onto his back. "Just keep breathing! There's help for you up at camp. Just hold on." Zaine began to ascend the steep hill with the young man on his shoulders.

"I'll be right behind you, Zaine." Reyner frantically searched the river for any more of his surviving men, covering his nose and mouth as the wind carried heavy smoke and embers from the northeast side of the river. "Everyone, fall back!"

"Commander!" someone answered from the stream. "Anyone please! Please help!"

Reyner squinted through the smoke to see a young man struggling to fend off two enemy swordsmen as he backpedaled against the waters. Reyner charged into the river without hesitation. "Hold on!" he coughed. "I'm here with you!"

The young Marcerian solider thrust his sword into the upper arm of his closest enemy as he evaded a strike from the other. His enemy doubled over in pain, but held onto the blade and took it with him as he fell under the current. Now disarmed, the young soldier panicked as he fled his remaining pursuer towards Reyner.

"This way!" Reyner called out to the soldier. "Retreat! Fall ba--" As he shouted, an enormous ball of fire descended from the sky and erupted in the water ahead of him, engulfing the young soldier as well as his enemies.

The force of the magic blast knocked Reyner onto his back and under the stream. Disoriented and shaken, he quickly resurfaced and felt for his sword in the muddy riverbed. With his ears still ringing, Reyner soon retrieved his blade and looked ahead. The young soldier's charred corpse drifted towards him as he cleared the water from his eyes and nose. Damn Warlocks! They'd even burn their own to block our escape!

A second explosion detonated against the hillside behind Reyner as he stood and gained his bearings. He looked out across the river to see seven more of his men still fighting from beyond the reach of his voice. Another nearby explosion forced him back towards the hill, and Reyner reluctantly fled the battle; cursing his enemy's name with each smoke filled breath.

He sheathed his blade and trudged up the steep hill behind his men. "Get the wounded to the healers immediately!" The responses to his orders were forced and weak, some not even audible as most needed all of their strength just to press on. Reyner felt the heat of Ratheim's flames at his back as fire rained down against the base of the hill.

Exhausted, Reyner kept his head down and pushed ahead. The rising smoke began to blur his vision, but he knew he would soon reach the summit and escape the fumes. Just a little further. We should be able to regroup and hold them in the valley. Dammit! If only I had known they called for so many reinforcements.

Reyner reached the hilltop moments later and nearly fell to his knees, catching himself on a large boulder nearby. He breathed in the fresh night air and forced his weary legs to continue towards the border tower, passing by many of his injured and fatigued soldiers.

Many of the wounded men in his battalion lost the strength to stand shortly after reaching the summit, collapsing to the ground even as their comrades tried to hold them up.

"Where are the healers?" Reyner shouted as a man fell before him.

"Here, Commander!" Two dozen white-haired men sprinted past Reyner and towards the injured soldiers carrying supplies and water. With glowing gemstones in hand, the healers quickly knelt beside those with the most serious and life-threatening wounds. The eldest healer came before Reyner and handed him a flask of water.

"Are you hurt, commander?" he asked. "We came as soon as we received the order from captain Zaine."

Reyner drank the entire container dry before answering. "I'll be fine, Ahrios. We were out numbered, but most of us made it out by my count."

Ahrios folded his hands and bowed before Remker. "Thank the Goddess."

Reyner shook his head and pushed the flask against Ahrios' chest. "There was no Goddess near those waters, Ahrios. I assure you. Now go tend to my men."

"Of course, Commander. There is just one thing."

"What?" Reyner snapped.

"G-General Dorain requests your presence at the tower."

"What? Dorain is here?"

Ahrios nodded. "He's just arrived and begun to set up camp within the hour. Captain Zaine already left to brief him."

What is Dorain doing out here? What about the fortress at Fheor? Reyner dashed off towards the tower. "Get my men on their feet quickly, Ahrios. And get anyone who can stand a bow. Ratheim is not taking this hill!"

"Understood, commander!"

Reyner reached Dorain's camp within minutes. The general's forces pitched their tents in the safety behind the the border tower; where they were arming themselves for battle. This is all that's left of Dorain's battalion? Did he split his men to reinforce the other generals? Who is holding Fheor? One of Dorain's captain's pointed Reyner to the largest tent at the far end of the campsite, and Reyner heard Zaine's voice from inside as he lifted the curtain and entered.

"Yes, general," Zaine said kneeling before the general, "there's at least a hundred Elentien among their reinforcements."

"There's certainly more than that," Reyner said as he entered. "I haven't seen them advance that aggressively since the fortress at Kehn last year."

Dorain, only just starting to equip himself for battle, fastened his steel gauntlets against his arms and turned to Reyner. "Ah, commander, you've come at last." He waved his arm towards Zaine. "Leave us, captain. Your commander and I have urgent matters to discuss."

"Yes, general." Zaine saluted Dorain and Reyner as he stood and walked towards the exit.

Reyner put his hand on Zaine's shoulder as he passed by. "Wait outside for me, Zaine. Ahrios is watching the front for now."

"Understood." Zaine said with a nod. He saluted Remker and left the tent.

Dorain walked over to the corner of the tent and stared at a map spread across a long wooden table. "You believe they had more wizards, commander?" He asked as he secured his sheathed blade to his belt.

Reyner followed Dorain to the map and examined it. The blue and red painted figures spread across the map were all concentrated within five miles of the Marceris-Ratheim border, but none were closer than those positioned in the Nelna region.

"Many more, sir." Reyner added three additional red figures to the Nelna river from the side of the table. "We were overwhelmed almost immediately. I gave the order to retreat as soon as I realized, but we still suffered heavy--"

"How many men do you still have?" Dorain asked, looking at Remker with urgency.

"Just over eighty percent, I believe. Roughly three hundred."

"Excellent!" Dorain exclaimed. "It's all falling into place. We have them!" Dorain began moving pieces on the map to reflect the current situation. He removed a single blue figure from Remkers force, but added three additional enemy figures on the river.

This cannot be! Reyner thought as Dorain slid pieces across the map. They're planning their invasion here? With that many men we won't be able to stop them from crossing the border. He turned to Dorain. "Sir, is this map is correct?"

The general stared at the map with wide eyes. "Indeed. Our spies have confirmed Ratheim's movements. This will be their numbers once they receive additional reinforcements at dawn." Dorain walked away with his hands folded behind his back. "Nearly a third of Ratheim's entire army will charge the border by this time tomorrow."

Remker followed Dorain away from table. "W-We must call for aid, general. We cannot hold back a force of such size!"

"There is no one who will reach us in time."

Remker shook his head. "No one? What of your men at Fheor?"

"Fheor was lost to us. What you saw outside is what remains of the men who fought there."

"Then, then we've no choice but to retreat immediately! Without Fheor this position holds no strategic--"

"Prepare your men, Reyner! We attack the river at dawn."

"Dorain!" Reyner shouted. "H-Have you gone mad? Ratheim outnumbers us eight to one!"

Dorain began to laugh as he sat in a large wooden chair and strapped on his steel greaves. "I have nearly a hundred of our strongest wizards here under my command. And those fools have chosen to stage their assault from the river."

No, he's not thinking of... He wouldn't. That would be suicide!

"Your battalion will drive them back into the waters. It is of no consequence if we are overwhelmed there, as long as our initial charge forces them back into the Nelna. If Ratheim wishes to minimize casualties they will be forced to send their supporting warlocks into the river. But my own wizards will be positioned in the river just upstream from the battle. And then..." Dorain stood and retrieved a large gemstone from his satchel. The clear stone shined bright blue as it rested in his palm. "In the frozen waters... those fools will breathe their last!"

"And what of my men, Dorain?" Reyner shouted. "You'll be marching them straight into an icy grave!"

Dorain stood from his seat and shrugged. "Most of the men under your command are Kliaten soldiers. And inexperienced ones at that. Tell me, commander Reyner, how long have they been in service? Eight, Nine months?" Dorain chuckled as he retreived his chain mail.

Reyner clenched his fists as he stepped towards Dorain, confronting the general face to face. "Six months for most of them. And you know that Kliaten resistance means nothing if the entire bloody river is frozen over! What's come over you, Dorain?"

The general set his armor aside and smirked as he stared back at Remker."So, half a battalion of rookie Kliaten in exchange for Ratheim's strongest wizards. You must admit, commander, his majesty would be more than pleased with such a trade."

"Tell that to the familes of my men!" Reyner stared straight into Dorain's eyes. "I won't do it."

"Don't be a fool, Reyner." Dorain snapped. "Your men will die as heroes! Heroes who's deaths finally turned the tide of this war. The greatest sacrafice men of their standing could ever hope to achieve. Thier sons and daughters will sing of this battle for decades!"

"No!" Reyner shouted. "The war will be won on another day and their fathers will return to sing with them. Have you lost your mind, Dorain? Or are you throwing my men's lives away to avenge those you lost at Fehor?"

Dorain scowled and glared at Reyner as he pushed him away. "Silence, fool! You would do well to remember to whom you speak." He held his gemstone up to his chest as it's light began to intensify.

The unearthly chill of Dorain's magic forced Reyner to step back, but he did not take his eyes off of the general, nor did his resolve waiver. "I won't do it, Dorain. I'm ordering my men to retreat back to Forghem."

Dorain laughed. "No, commander. Or should I say, captain?"

"What?"

"As of this moment I hereby demote you two ranks and order you to return to Melliark. Your troops will assemble into my battalion effective immeadeatly."

Reyner stepped back to the entrance of the tent and held his arms out at his sides. "You can't do this, Dorain! It would be a slaughter! I won't let you!"

"Excuse me?" Dorain lifted the gemstone over his head. "You have no say in the matter. Now begone!" Dorain lunged forward as he activated the gemstone.

The ground surrounding Reyner began to freeze as an intense chill ran through his legs. Within seconds his arms began to tremble from the freezing pain, and he nearly slipped on the ice forming underneath his feet. "Dorain," he whimpered, the frozen breath barely escaping his lips. "Don't do this. Please." Reyner fell to one knee and held his chest as the intensity of the cold magic overwhelmed him.

Dorain stood over Reyner and chuckled as he lowered the magic stone. "Get out of my sight you disgrace! Before I order you down into the river with the rest of them." He laughed as he lifted his leg and kicked Reyner's jaw and knocked him onto his back.

I can't let him do this. I won't! Reyner's hands slipped against the ice as he crawled to his knees and caught his breath. He wiped the blood from his mouth and glared at the general, who looked upon Reyner with anger and disgust.

"Go back to Melliark you fool. Crawl back into the hole you came from!"

"Dorain!" With all that remained of his strength, Remker sprung to his feet, drew his sword with both hands and swiftly thrust it into Dorain's sternum. He cried out in anger as he pushed the blade all the way through the general's back, driving the hilt forward as Dorain's blood dripped onto his hands.

The stunned general looked down at his pierced, bloody torso and fell to his knees. Reaching for the blade with trembling arms, he looked up at Reyner in disbelief. "You! D-Damn You!" Blood poured out from his body and mouth as he weakly tried to pull the sword out from his body.

Reyner ripped the blade out from Dorain as he stepped away, allowing the general to fall face first onto the dirt and ice ahead of him.

Dorain's entire body shook as he weakly raised his dimming gemstone. "T-Traitor! Curse you... You Bastard! Curse--." The general covered his mouth as his body convulsed on the ground. Within moments he was silent, lying motionless in a pool of his own blood.

What have I done? With his arm's shaking, Reyner kicked the dull gemstone away from Dorain's lifeless body. He then heard the sound of the curtain open behind him and turned, ready to strike with his bloodstained sword.

Zaine entered quickly and glanced at Reyner before crouching over the fallen general. His mouth hung open as he stared at their fallen leader.

Reyner backed away. "Zaine, he was--."

"I know, I heard everything." Zaine stood quickly and snatched Reyner's sword from him." "Take his horse and get out of here! I'll tell everyone he ordered a full retreat to Forghem. Go quickly!"

"But Zaine, his men will come looking--"

"Just go!" Zanie shouted as he tossed the bloody sword aside. He grabbed Reyner by the shoulders and shook him. "I'll take care of the body. You have to get out of here!"

------------------------------------

Dyne frowned as he hunched and looked down at the horses. "I spent the next three years on the run. It wasn't until after the war that I was able to settle in Panelsca. But word of Reyner's betrayal had spread all over Marceris by then, so I changed my name shortly before I married."

Lucian stared at Dyne, unsure of how to respond. "Dyne, you. You actually killed--"

"Those men were all I had, Lucian. They were my family back then." Dyne looked back over his shoulder at Lucian. "I grew up here in Melliark, but ever since I was a child, I was alone. I never knew my parents, and I spent most of my youth stealing from good people just to get by. So I eventually joined the military just for the steady meals, but over the years I changed as I rose through the ranks. I found myself caring more about the my men than even winning the war. They weren't just my comrades, I loved them like brothers... and sons."

Like sons? He killed the general to protect his family? But... I killed a man out of rage after mother was already gone. I wasn't able to protect anyone. Lucian looked ahead and remained silent as Dyne continued.

"When Dorain told me his plan, I just couldn't accept it. I chose my family over my country. I murdered one of our best generals. And without Dorain's leadership and tactics, countless others lost their lives in the battles that followed. The war was eventually lost... because of me."

"Dyne, you... you've put yourself in great danger by coming here," Lucian whispered. "If anyone found out who you are or what you've done, if anyone recognized you they would--"

"Now you know why I can't stay, Lucian. I promised Juliana and her mother I would return to Panelsca. Zaine is meeting me at the gates soon, he knows one of the night guards who will let me out without any questions."

Dyne risked his life to bring Radi and Juliana to Melliark. Unsure of how to respond, Lucian climbed out of the wagon and stepped away as Dyne snapped the reins and steered the wagon out from the alley.

"I'm glad we met, Lucian. Please look after Juliana and Radi for me until you're sent out into the field."

Lucian caught up to the wagon as it turned out onto the street. "Dyne, wait."

Dyne brought the wagon to a halt. "What is it?"

"You said that Juliana knows? Do you mean she--"

"She along with the rest of the family, yes. They all know what I've done."

"So then, the reason Radi and you..."

Dyne sighed. "He hasn't called me grandfather since his father told him. And I don't blame him. I was just as brash and arrogant as him at that age. I'm sure I would've felt the same. But Juliana, she--" He stopped himself and looked away.

"Dyne?"

Dyne wiped his eyes against his sleeve and looked ahead. "Even after she learned the truth, she would still come to read the Aeda to me, even against her father's wishes. And even when I refused to hear it she would still come back the next day... with that same smile.”

That sounds just like her. Even when I tried to push her away she wouldn't let me.

Dyne turned and stared at Lucian from above. "Sometimes I think this journey was as much for me as it was for her. It's going to be several years before she completes her schooling here, and I don't how much time I..." He wiped his eyes again and cleared his throat. "Please watch after her, Lucian. I know she's ready, but she knows little of life in the city. So look out for her while you're still here. If not for her sake than for mine."

Lucian nodded. "I will, Dyne. It's the least I can do to repay you both."

Dyne smiled and chuckled softly. "I had a feeling I wouldn't regret bringing you along. Thank you, and good luck." He cued the horses forward once again. "Farewell, Lucian."

"Goodbye, Dyne." Lucian stood silently in the middle of the narrow street and watched as the small cart disappeared into the morning fog. I'll keep her safe. I promise.


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Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:23 pm
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ShadowVyper wrote a review...



Yo Dude!

Shady here to review the second part of your chapter! Can't wait to see where you take it! :D

The night went on as Lucian drifted in and out of consciousness, trying to shake his uncertainties and fears.
~ Yes. <3 I think we can all relate to this feeling, and the words you use to describe it are perfect. Well done.

Quietly walking on his toes, he carefully stepped over Radi and left the bedroom.
~ Yus. A Dyne/Lucian scene. *gets excited*

Lucian immediately picked up the key and unlocked the door as the note fell to the floor.
~ From the inside? It seems a bit strange he'd unlock the door with a key, while he's inside the house.

The flashback is wonderfully done. As I'm starting through it, all the new characters have me quite intrigued. The names you have for the various people and places and rivers and such are fantastic. As you know I have trouble coming up with fantasy names, so the sheer number you have of them you have is also rather impressive, haha. :)

"Don't be a fool, Reyner." Dorain snapped. "Your men will die as heroes! Heroes who's deaths finally turned the tide of this war. The greatest sacrafice men of their standing could ever hope to achieve. Thier sons and daughters will sing of this battle for decades!"
~ whose, not who's and I believe this should be sacrifice instead do sacrafice, but I'm on my mother's iPad right now, so I don't care enough to take the effort to google it and double check to see if you're using a different word that I'm not familiar with.

"As of this moment I hereby demote you two ranks and order you to return to Melliark. Your troops will assemble into my battalion effective immeadeatly."
~ your typos are rather amusing to me. I'm sorry... But I'm not really, either, haha. Immediately.

~~~

Okay!

I take back what I said on the last review. *this* is your best chapter yet. ;) Seriously, though, I really enjoyed this bit of your story. I liked the character building you did with Dyne. I already liked his character, but this just made him that much more interesting and well rounded, so well done there. Your pacing was also quite good. As you know, I much prefer action to conversation, especially in fantasy stories, and you utilized that flashback quite nicely to make this a wonderfully action filled piece.

Anyhow, as I mentioned, I am on my Mother's iPad (I'm actually at a hair salon mooching off the wifi while I'm waiting for my sister to cut my hair, haha) and the Apple is about to drive me insane. So, I'm going to end this now.

As usual, if you have any questions or complaints about my review, you know where to find me. Keep writing!

~Shady 8)




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Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:33 pm
GoldFlame wrote a review...



Hey, Dude! :D

Lucian lied on the hard wooden floor


Aurora already pointed this out, but I'll give you a chart so no further mistakes are made: Lay Conjugated in All Tenses.

Sleep eluded him despite his exhaustion, and he wondered if Radi's snoring or the cold breeze entering from the open window were to blame,


Sounds a bit clunky, phrased this way. Maybe: "Despite his exhaustion, sleep eluded him, and he wondered whether Radi's snoring ...." The breeze I'd also love to be expounded on. More detail, description, that kind of thing.

His mind was still filled with doubt over his future,


This is hardly an impartial nitpick because "filled," there're so many synonyms, but ... "filled." It's a launch pad, not a peg.

As he dwelled on the upcoming combat evaluation it became more difficult to keep his eyes closed.


It varies around the world, but usually three or four words, a comma's required. After the introductory phrase, I mean: "As he dwelled on the upcoming combat evaluation, it became ... "

The phrase spans across a long period of time, too, but it's not the main focus. To mend that, I'd recommend making the "main focus" heavier: "As ... it became more and more difficult ... "

After ... sound behind him. He ... floor next to him.


The sentences mirror each other, structure-wise. I think you can clip "behind him."

the floor next to him. The wooden floor creaked on the far side of the room


Redundancy again: "floor" and "floor." I'm also struggling to see how the two sentences interlock. A paragraph break or a transition, maybe ... and also a period after "room."

He must not be able to sleep either. I might as well join him.


At this point the narrator's entering treacherous waters. It's like he's restating what's already been implied, and what would sound much better incorporated into the narration. I also have trouble imagining someone weighing his decisions as carefully as this, thinking as slowly as this, acting as cautiously as this.

Quietly walking on his toes, he carefully stepped over Radi and left the bedroom.


There're some unnecessary words here, like adverbs and prepositions. But this barely qualifies as a nitpick. I'd just recommend clipping "carefully," because we know he's being careful if he's quietly tiptoeing.

"Why would he--"


Question mark after the M-dash.

... the door. He pressed his ear against the wooden door ....


Caught redundancy: "door" and "door." I think you could just toss in a pronoun and that'll be mended.

What? Go home? No, he's not... He can't! Lucian immediately picked up the key and unlocked the door as the note fell to the floor.


I wish I could see more ... internal reaction. The narrator's relying solely on dialogue to convey Lucian's emotions, and while the dialogue's perfect, it isn't enough. What about facial expressions, or his heart pounding, or shock erasing his thoughts? Make it believable, without straying too far.

Lower you're voice, Lucian.


Exchange "you're" for "your."

In the middle night without even a word.


I think you forgot a preposition and an article here: "the middle of the night."

"There is... There is something you should know about me. "


Since the ellipsis isn't breaking off a sentence, and it isn't ensuing a period, the second "there" doesn't need to be capitalized.

interupted.


Forgot an "r."

----------------------------------------------------

"What are your orders, commander?" Zaine shouted.


I'm guessing the hyphens are acting as substitutes for asterisks, but since you're switching time, setting, and perspective, asterisks aren't sufficient. I'd recommend a chapter break, or italicization, just an indication that we're starting on a fresh page.

... and the flames of Ratheim's wizards began to illuminate the night sky


You're in past participle tense but there's no additional auxiliary verb. Easy fix: "... and the flames of Ratheim's wizards had begun ... "

Those orders we're given under the condition that Rathiem was not reinforced.


I'm kinda struggling to make sense of this sentence. Usually contractions aren't used with past tense verbs, so maybe that was it, but even so, it sounds confusing. That Ratheim ... what? The "was" should also be "were," so it corresponds with "orders."

"Those orders we were given, under the condition that Ratheim [fill in the blank], weren't reinforced." Or enforced? "Those orders we were given weren't enforced."

"Anyone please!"


Comma before "please."

"Are you hurt, commander?"


Forgot to capitalize "commander." I also saw this mistake echoed in several other places.

Reyner put his hand on Zaine's shoulder as he passed by.


Eh ... "put" is like "filled" in the respect that it doesn't convey much. Try "placed," or "slapped," anything along those lines.

"Go back to Melliark you fool."


Forgot a comma before "you."

"T-Traitor! Curse you... You Bastard! Curse--."


"You" doesn't need to be capitalized, and the period can be clipped.

With his arm's shaking,


No need for the apostrophe.

But... I killed a man out of rage after mother was already gone.


Forgot to capitalize "mother" here.

Even when I tried to push her away she wouldn't let me.


Another instance where a comma was neglected (see Nitpick Four.).

See that? Those nitpicks are even pettier than last time.

The internal dialogue improved drastically. Before, so many obstacles in the flow: unnecessary phrases, redundancy, stiffness, but ... that's all dematerialized. Even fair to say the narrator's got it nailed, ignoring the occasional slip-up. Just fantastic. And the perfect quantity, which helps drive the reader's focus toward the genuine narration.

Same goes with sentence structure. It's well-varied, and the subjects don't keep stealing the spotlight, like little kids; they're mature and share. I also caught less "simple sentence"s: the kind featuring a single independent clause. Now there's introductory phrases and dependent clauses and appositives galore.

I don't think I need to brush over mechanics. It all flowed so beautifully, I didn't pause once as I read. My only nitpicks concerned redundancy and such, which make frequent appearances in published works, so I can say safely if I saw this at the bookstore, picked it up, and flipped to this chapter, I'd be enraptured.

All that aside, really interesting chapter. The characters are fleshing out, or more specifically, their pasts, and I can't wait to see what's going to happen next.

Keep it up! Looking forward to more! :D




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Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:52 pm
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TheCrimsonLady wrote a review...



Hello, love!

Aurora here for a Review day review!
On that note... Happy review day! Now, down to business. I haven't been doing grammar and spelling, so lets start off with that.

Lucian lied on the hard wooden floor and stared at the moonlit wall of the small bedroom.
He lied? Oh, what did he lie about? Haha. I think you meant that he lay on the hard wooden floor. Also, well, this isn't grammatically wrong, but I think you can come up with a better descriptive word for wooden than hard. We know it's hard! Is it uncomfortable? Depressing? Painful? Consoling? Dusty? Rough? There is no end to how you can describe it!!!!

------------------------------------
Uh uh. Use three asterisks, ***, like that.

This cannot be! Reyner thought as Dorain slid pieces across the map. They're planning their invasion here? With that many men we won't be able to stop them from crossing the border.
Ahh... what? I'm guessing they have a lot of men, but you make it sound, the way it's worded, it sounds like the defensive force has a lot of men, but is still unable to defeat the attackers. :). I don't think you meant that, and if you did... 'wow, how badly trained are they?', would be my next thought.

"Dyne, you. You actually killed--"
"Dyne, you... you actually killed--" Something like that. But the way it was written before, your first sentence in the dialogue is a fragment that a three year old might say.

Lucian nodded. "I will, Dyne. It's the least I can do to repay you both."
No 'both' needed there, love. You is singular as well as plural. Let us make our own assumptions; your readers are pretty smart. We'll figure it out, and spelling things out clearly is usually a waste of time, is boring to read, and makes you sound less graceful and eloquent.

Your descriptions were good and the style you write with fits this piece perfectly.

Keep persisting, love!
~Aurora




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Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:11 am
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Deanie wrote a review...



Hello! It's me again!

Happy review day!

Ooh this was good. I really liked this chapter, and of all the ones I have read this is by far the best! I loved seeing Dyne's past, and how he did everything he could to protect his so called family - the soldiers. And then, after that how the war kind of crumbled and was lost. Wow, that sure is a heavy weight to bear on one's persons shoulders. And you managed to show us Julia's compassion, because her opinion of her Grandfather didn't change in the slightest when she heard the truth about what he'd done as well. I think this was wonderfully executed. I can't hold a finger of criticism when it comes to the flashback you showed us.

A small thing though - we never got to see what the not Dyne had left said? Yes, the key fell away and Lucian got that, but I was curious to know what he had written. Was it simply goodbye because everyone but Lucian knew he was leaving, or was there a longer message on it? I wanted to know!

Although Dyne's character seems very developed and deep in this chapter (yes I know, I keep going on about characters >.> But I think character development and relation is very important to a story ^.^) but Lucian could do with some work here. I feel like you could give him some more time to think about what he started to. He mentioned that he had killed someone not to protect others, but just for himself. Maybe have him compare that some more, and perhaps (I don't know if Dyne knows what he did in the past or not? I need to read those previous chapters .-.) have him thinking what Dyne must think of him if he knows what he did, and if Dyne doesn't know, maybe wonder what Dyne would think of him if he did know. Does Lucian think any less of himself now? Does he feel more ashamed? I want to know ^.^ You touch upon this, but I think you could dig your nails deeper into this.

myself caring more about the my men than even winning the war.


Smallest nitpick in the world, but the 'the' in here needs to be cut out.

At one point Dyne says the losing the war is all his fault because he killed an important person and all. But Lucian kind of brushes over the response to this. Most people's initial reaction is to answer with things like: It wasn't all your fault, or, you can't possibly know that happened because of what you did. It might've happened anyway. And I was kind of expecting an answer like this from Lucian as well? It seemed like it would fit his character.

Other than this, it was a wonderful chapter, and as already mentioned, my favourite. Do notify me or let me know when you post the next chapters! I want to keep reading this :)

Deanie x





Beware of advice—even this.
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