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Chronicles of Valarian 3: A Will Not Your Own

by Lezuli


“There you are, Val,” Emily said with a wide smile as I entered the small house Fen’s family called home. The inside had not changed much in sixteen years, the only differences were the small bouquets of wildflowers sitting on the table and sills. Emily had brought them in to quote, ‘lighten up the place’. I found they at least lessened the smell of wolf over everything.

“The food’s getting cold, so you’d better eat up.” Emily, by human standards, was quite nice to look at. Milky skin, long brown hair, and blue eyes set in a soft heart-shaped face. She was pretty, but not aggressively so. Her happy attitude and perpetual kindness reminded me of a flower in spring, so beautiful you always wanted it to be near.

“I’ll pass,” I replied dismissively, leaning against the wall near the window. I had never been partial to flowers, too fragile for my taste.

The soft breeze blowing in from the window ruffled my hair and tickled my nose with the scent of humans and smoke in the nearby village. How long had it been since I was there to amuse myself in their borders? So much to annoy, so little time to do it. Especially now.

“But Val,” Emily protested, her lips drawn in a pout. “You need to eat.”

“Yeah, Val,” Fen said through a stuffed mouth. “This food won’t eat itself.”

I narrowed my gaze on the two of them, “We’ve been over this before. Unlike you pathetic mortal beings, I do not need to eat to live.”

Emily sighed, her face crestfallen. “No good again, huh?” I glanced at her out of the corner of my eye to see her gripping the cloth of her indigo dress in her hands. A determined look stole over her crestfallen expression. “One of these days, I will make something you want to eat. Just watch!”

“Don’t bet on it,” I muttered, turning my attention back to the field outside the house.

“You don’t have to listen to that old man,” Fen told Emily. I twitched at the insult, but chose to overlook it. “You make the best grub around, Em! Val doesn’t know what he’s missing!”

I assumed I wasn’t missing much. While I did not have to eat to survive, I did do it for fun sometimes. Nothing I had ever sampled prompted me to want to eat on any regular basis. Emily’s cooking would be no different, of that I was sure.

“What are you doing on the island anyhow, Val?” Emily asked, back to kindness. “Did you come to see Fen?”

“Partly,” I kept my response short as to prompt less conversation. “I’m mostly here to talk to Tyr.”

“I think Father’s out on a hunt right now,” Emily mused, “He said he wouldn’t be back until later.”

I gritted my teeth and pushed off from the window. “Then I’ll find him myself.” I was here for a reason and I did not want to wait. Finding him would be no hard task for one like me.

“Have fun, I guess,” Fen sighed, “I think Father’s in the mainland great plains hunting grimm.”

So there were more grimm than there should be on those lands? The Great Beasts weren’t guarding the portals well at all. Not good. Grimm were powerful black dog-like creatures from the Underworld whose claws and fangs could rend souls and who hunted in packs. If they were running wild in the Middleworld, then this was even more of a reason to talk to Tyr. “Thank you,” I nodded, transformed into a fox, and jumped out the window. I called up my foxfire and dove into it, forcing it to burn away the surface of the world so I could dive between the spaces of the worlds. Traveling this way was a gift that I alone possessed. A new ability the Elders could not replicate. It was something that made me just a little more independent from them. Which meant they hated it with every fiber in their beings.

I rode the blue fire until I recognized the point where the land of the plains met with this between-space and burned through that to the plains. I reappeared in a burst of blue fire.

I landed lightly, and cast around to get my bearings. It appeared I had landed in a patch of barren, scorched earth in the plains. Around me, the formerly lustrous golden grass was bent and broken. The stalks were mangled beyond repair, scorched, and blackened from fire. Barren patches in the land where the earth had been violently exposed littered the once-great terrain. The scent of burned flesh and blood was thick in the air, the final stoke in this gruesome mosaic.

This wasn’t the plains anymore, this was a battleground where they had once stood.

What had happened here? What battle had been fought that I had not been aware of? This level of destruction was impressive. It spoke of strength greater than that of which the humans possessed. Which only meant that this was a battle involving the Supernaturals.

I had to find Tyr, and fast.

I called up my fire and swirled it underneath me so that I rose into the air. Another of my powers, though this one was given to me by my predecessors. I flew through the crisp air of the sky, the scent of blood wiped clean from my senses. My fur was pressed against my body, the wind sent my ears flat against my head, but I could not slow down or stop. I had to find Tyr, I had to know what was going on. Was this further proof of what the Elders already suspected? Or was it simply one battle in millions fought between the ever-warring species of the Great Worlds.

My flight took me quickly over the decimated plains and into an area less destroyed, here the wild grasses of the plans were growing safely, freed from the carnage of their fellows. Their yellow stalks looked from the sky as if the ground was covered in a carpet of swaying gold.

My sharp gaze zeroed in on several black shapes surrounding one brown shape below me in the middle of this carpet. It appeared that the brown shape was fighting against the black ones.

Tyr! It had to be, no one else was stupid enough to take on a pack of grimm on their own. Quickly, I shot downwards towards the shapes, which rapidly expanded into Tyr and the remains of a pack of grimm. A ball of foxfire ignited in my palm and I threw it into the fray, sending the black Paranormal dogs up in blue flames.

They cried out in agony as the flames burned away at their flesh and furr. By the time I had landed as a human, they were all dead.

“Valarian,” Tyr greeted when I turned around. “I take it Fen and Emily told you where to find me?” His tunic and breeches were splattered with the black blood of Paranormals and his own ruby blood from a myriad of wounds on his person. He swung his blade back and forth in two clean strokes and sheathed it on his back. Despite his battered condition, he looked like he was in no pain. I wondered, briefly, how much discipline it had taken him to get to that point.

“They told me you would be coming back later,” I replied. “I could not wait that long.”

“Oh?” Tyr raised an eyebrow at me. “And why would that be? Why would the great Fifth Fox care so much about one human that he would go out of his way to find them?”

I didn’t react to the barb, “What happened back there? What battle was fought?”

Tyr didn’t have to ask me to clarify. He sighed, his gaze older and darker than men twice his age, “What happened was that the Enlightened Ones attacked a battalion of the Northern Army and slaughtered them all.”

I cursed under my breath. Gabriel was getting cocky. The military strength of his angels and other Enlightened Ones was strong, yes. After all, they were the foremost military force in any of the Great Worlds. The denizens of the world of light obeyed Gabriel without question, even when he attacked the humans without reason. But if he continued this path, he risked upsetting the Balance and having the Great Beasts set it right themselves. Although...with a blast of icy fear, I realized that if what the Elders had told me was correct, then possibly the Balance wouldn’t be kept after all.

“Did the humans provoke them at all?” I asked, hoping that that was the case.

“Of course not,” Tyr shook his head. “Since when do the Armies of Light require any reason to attack the humans?”

“Since never,” I muttered. Curse that Gabriel, did he somehow know already? He may have been one of the Dues Kings, the leader of his respective world, but that didn’t mean he had endless intelligence resources. At least, I could only hope that was the case.

“They’ll lie low for a while, though,” Tyr continued, his voice grave, “Even Gabriel doesn’t risk the wrath of the Great Beasts.”

“Actually,” I interrupted, bringing Tyr's wandering gaze back to me, “That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. The Elders have a task for me.”

Tyr shook his head, “I never thought I’d see the day you obeyed anyone’s orders.”

I curled my lips into something that wasn’t quite a smile, “I am the Sword and Servant of the Foxes. My will is not my own where my creators are concerned.” And oh, how I loathed that fact. “Regardless, what they told me concerns you as well. Have you noticed an unrest in the Middleworld as of late?”

“Yes,” Tyr nodded, looking off into the distance like the answers to his problems would appear over the horizon if he stared long enough. “I have. There are more wild creatures not born of the Middleworld stalking its lands. I have heard of more conflicts between races as well. Tell me, is something wrong?”

“The Elders have told me that they believe we are on the cusp of something terrible,” I said, “They believe that the worlds have finally upset the Balance beyond repair and that the Great Beasts will be punishing us for it.”

“Punishing us how?” Tyr’s voice was darker than ever before. I knew that he was truly grasping the implications of this horror. Out of all of the humans I knew, Tyr knew the most of the conflicts between worlds and what it was like to be a Supernatural. His reality was rife with magic and he was more sensitive to it than any other human I had ever crossed paths with.

“I am not sure,” I shook my head. “That is my task. To discover the truth behind the Elders words and to see what calamity is to befall the Great Worlds.”

“And what does that mean for you?” Tyr asked, sounding worried. Was that worry for my sake? Laughable. I was not a creature to be worried for. I was a sword, a fox, a wild thing, I was not something for a being like Tyr to worry for.

“It means that I will be tracking down respective Great Beasts and dragging the truth from them,” I informed him simply. This was not a task I was looking forward to. I avoided fighting the Great Beasts because they were the only creatures in any of the Great Worlds that had the potential to beat me. I was immortal, but the Great Beasts were something else entirely. They possessed a power unlike any in the rest of the worlds.

Beating something, for the first time in my long, long life, was no longer a matter of certainty.


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Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:06 pm
Andrewknorpp wrote a review...



Hey, Andrew here to review. Sorry for the delay. This is definitely interesting, it gives us some plot to hold on too. I find the non-human main character interesting. I don't know if I've read a book where the main character is a super powerful nonhuman creature and knew that from the getgo. You can probably do some very original things with that.
But into specifics!

“The food’s getting cold, so you’d better eat up.” Emily, by human standards, was quite nice to look at. Milky skin, long brown hair, and blue eyes set in a soft heart-shaped face. She was pretty, but not aggressively so. Her happy attitude and perpetual kindness reminded me of a flower in spring, so beautiful you always wanted it to be near.

Great description
“I’ll pass,” I replied dismissively, leaning against the wall near the window. I had never been partial to flowers, too fragile for my taste.

Once again an amazing shift, like the one from the first chapter. Very character-defining.
“You don’t have to listen to that old man,” Fen told Emily. I twitched at the insult, but chose to overlook it. “You make the best grub around, Em! Val doesn’t know what he’s missing!”

That awkward moment when you realize you have had the gender of the main character wrong the entire time. I thought Val was a girls name. That is my bad XD.
Tyr shook his head, “I never thought I’d see the day you obayed anyone’s orders.”

You mean obeyed.
Beating something, for the first time in my long, long life, was no longer a matter of certainty.

Good end and a good example of what I was talking about. The main character is already so powerful. I'm interested to see how you manage that.
Thanks, And keep writing!




Lezuli says...


Thank you very much for your review. As for Val's gender, don't feel bad. People are mistaking Val for a girl all the time, I maybe should have picked a more masculine nickname, oh well. Hindsight's 20/20 as they say. I do hope you stick around for some more chapters later!



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Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:13 pm
HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm Knight Hardy here on a mission to ensure that all works on YWS has at least two reviews. You will probably never see this but....Imma do this anyway.

First Impression: So this was a pretty nice continuation from the first chapter. Its building from the place where that left off and these two seem like they would be far better off being together. That second chapter seems fit for maybe a flashback or a prologue rather than as its own chapter. But anyway coming back to this one I think its doing a wonderful job really setting up our conflict for the story to come. We are really getting a good sense of what sort of plot this is shaping up to be and that's nice because the story really does need to get moving by this point with it being Chapter 3.

Anyway let's get right to it,

“There you are, Val,” Emily said with a wide smile as I entered the small house Fen’s family called home. The inside had not changed much in sixteen years, the only differences were the small bouquets of wildflowers sitting on the table and sills. Emily had brought them in to quote, ‘lighten up the place’. I found they at least lessened the smell of wolf over everything.


Well that's certainly interesting...with the smell of wolf that is not the flowers.

“The food’s getting cold, so you’d better eat up.” Emily, by human standards, was quite nice to look at. Milky skin, long brown hair, and blue eyes set in a soft heart-shaped face. She was pretty, but not aggressively so. Her happy attitude and perpetual kindness reminded me of a flower in spring, so beautiful you always wanted it to be near.


And that is yet another great character description that I run into in one of your stories. You've got some really good ones sprinkled throughout.

Emily sighed, her face crestfallen. “No good again, huh?” I glanced at her out of the corner of my eye to see her gripping the cloth of her indigo dress in her hands. A determined look stole over her crestfallen expression. “One of these days, I will make something you want to eat. Just watch!”


Well that is an admirable goal to have there.

I assumed I wasn’t missing much. While I did not have to eat to survive, I did do it for fun sometimes. Nothing I had ever sampled prompted me to want to eat on any regular basis. Emily’s cooking would be no different, of that I was sure.


Hmm...he clearly has some very high standards and it does beg the question where does the food go...because if he doesn't need to eat you would not expect a functioning digestive system to be a part of his body.

So there were more grimm than there should be on those lands? The Great Beasts weren’t guarding the portals well at all. Not good. Grimm were powerful black dog-like creatures from the Underworld whose claws and fangs could rend souls and who hunted in packs. If they were running wild in the Middleworld, then this was even more of a reason to talk to Tyr. “Thank you,” I nodded, transformed into a fox, and jumped out the window. I called up my foxfire and dove into it, forcing it to burn away the surface of the world so I could dive between the spaces of the worlds. Traveling this way was a gift that I alone possessed. A new ability the Elders could not replicate. It was something that made me just a little more independent from them. Which meant they hated it with every fiber in their beings.


Definitely a very interesting travelling method and you are running dangerously close to having a bit too much just straight up narration in spots like this. I understand its necessary for us to know about the world but it does obstruct the flow of the piece somewhat so be mindful of it.

I landed lightly, and cast around to get my bearings. It appeared I had landed in a patch of barren, scorched earth in the plains. Around me, the formerly lustrous golden grass was bent and broken. The stalks were mangled beyond repair, scorched, and blackened from fire. Barren patches in the land where the earth had been violently exposed littered the once-great terrain. The scent of burned flesh and blood was thick in the air, the final stoke in this gruesome mosaic.


I think that you meant stroke there.

Tyr! It had to be, no one else was stupid enough to take on a pack of grimm on their own. Quickly, I shot downwards towards the shapes, which rapidly expanded into Tyr and the remains of a pack of grimm. A ball of foxfire ignited in my palm and I threw it into the fray, sending the black Paranormal dogs up in blue flames.


Are you sure about that though? There are many stupid humans that would probably do that.

They cried out in agony as the flames burned away at their flesh and furr. By the time I had landed as a human, they were all dead.


Well Val is powerful...clearly.

“Oh?” Tyr raised an eyebrow at me. “And why would that be? Why would the great Fifth Fox care so much about one human that he would go out of his way to find them?”

I didn’t react to the barb, “What happened back there? What battle was fought?”


Well I guess Tyr is just salty after having to fight for his life against supernatural beasts.

I cursed under my breath. Gabriel was getting cocky. The military strength of his angels and other Enlightened Ones was strong, yes. After all, they were the foremost military force in any of the Great Worlds. The denizens of the world of light obeyed Gabriel without question, even when he attacked the humans without reason. But if he continued this path, he risked upsetting the Balance and having the Great Beasts set it right themselves. Although...with a blast of icy fear, I realized that if what the Elders had told me was correct, then possibly the Balance wouldn’t be kept after all.


Lots to decode in that paragraph right there. It appears some serious things are going down these past few days. Very interesting indeed.

“Yes,” Tyr nodded, looking off into the distance like the answers to his problems would appear over the horizon if he stared long enough. “I have. There are more wild creatures not born of the Middleworld stalking its lands. I have heard of more conflicts between races as well. Tell me, is something wrong?”



I can definitely sense the main conflict coming up now.

“Punishing us how?” Tyr’s voice was darker than ever before. I knew that he was truly grasping the implications of this horror. Out of all of the humans I knew, Tyr knew the most of the conflicts between worlds and what it was like to be a Supernatural. His reality was rife with magic and he was more sensitive to it than any other human I had ever crossed paths with.


Of course he is.

“It means that I will be tracking down respective Great Beasts and dragging the truth from them,” I informed him simply. This was not a task I was looking forward to. I avoided fighting the Great Beasts because they were the only creatures in any of the Great Worlds that had the potential to beat me. I was immortal, but the Great Beasts were something else entirely. They possessed a power unlike any in the rest of the worlds.

Beating something, for the first time in my long, long life, was no longer a matter of certainty.


Well that is definitely a really nice place to end this chapter. It certainly does a great job of keeping us wanting to read on for me.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall this is shaping up to be a pretty cool book so far. I'm glad that we got to see both Tyr and Val in action again with these beasts. It gives us a good sense of what the two are like in terms of relative power so that we can see just how powerful Val is and also see how powerful these things that he has to fight must be. And definitely intrigued by that ending. Looking forward to reading more.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




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Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:42 pm
RadDog13579 wrote a review...



Hi Lezuli, here to review chapter 3. This was a very good chapter that even further dives into the lore of the Great Worlds. It was really interesting to learn about grimms and the Great Beasts. I really don't have a lot of criticisms but here are a few. First, it would be nice to have a bit more description of the grimms besides just black dogs. Secondly, I like having a little bit of mystery on some stuff but with the Elders, it was a bit too much. I think that it would be good if you gave at least a brief introduction to who the Elders are (or what) because you talk about them so much in this chapter. That's all from me. Happy writing!

-RadDog




Lezuli says...


I'm here with thanks once again! I've had comments on my lack of description on the grimms, but there really isn't a lot of lore on them besides them being big supernatural black dogs. If they show up again, I'll add some more. As for the Elders, I'm going to post an 'extra' chapter featuring them(I cut it from the original lineup because I thought it would repeat too much from this one). I hope you enjoy the rest of the chapters I have up in the meantime!



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Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:08 am
WaterSpout wrote a review...



Hello Lezuli! Here for a review.
I seized this chance immediately when I saw it had one review. Hopefully this doesn't turn out rushed as I am writing this at night. But without further ado, I'll get started.

Emily had brought them in to quote ‘lighten up the place’.

^Needs a comma in between 'quote' and 'lighten'.

“Have fun, I guess,” Fen sighed, “I think Father’s in the mainland great plains hunting grimm.”

^I tried Googling 'grimm' and the results were a tv show. It definitely had nothing to do with this. Especially after I read:
Tyr! It had to be, no one else was stupid enough to take on a pack of grimm on their own. Quickly, I shot downwards towards the shapes, which rapidly expanded into Tyr and the remains of a pack of grimm. A ball of foxfire ignited in my palm and I threw it into the fray, sending the black Paranormal dogs up in blue flames.

^So grimm are black evil dogs. Did you make them up or take inspiration from somewhere?

I landed lightly, and cast around to get my bearings. It appeared I had landed in a patch of barren, scorched earth in the plains. Around me, the formerly lustrous golden grass was bent and broken. The stalks were mangled beyond repair, scorched, and blackened from fire. Barren patches in the land where the earth had been violently exposed littered the once-great terrain. The scent of burned flesh and blood was thick in the air, the final stoke in this gruesome mosaic.

^Really good description here as always.

“I am the Sword and Servant of the Foxes. My will is not my own where my creators are concerned.”

^So that's where the title comes from.
Overall, this is another great addition to the novel. I didn't actually notice that many grammar mistakes, so good job! As a whole, I didn't notice anything wrong with the plot. There is one small thing, however. When you started talking about grimms, there was no explanation as to what they were, how they looked like(only that they are black dogs), and what their purpose is, if any. And the whole Gabriel and his angels attacking humans was a bit of a surprise. You kind of just told them in a way that suggests you already talked about them, but this is the first time. Unless I forgot...?
You explained the Norns really well in the second chapter. It took me by surprise when you mentioned Gabriel. It was a little too sudden. You could try explaining more to the reader about the grimms and the whole angel issue. Other than that, everything was done really well. I'm enjoying this so far. Hopefully you do enough reviews to post the entire thing!
With caution,

WaterSpout




Lezuli says...


Thank you as always! I apologize for the lack of information on grimms, but they are actually a creature out of mythology. They are large black dogs with glowing eyes that are able to steal souls and are often associated with dark and sinister things. I'll add a little more information about that in the story!



WaterSpout says...


That makes sense, and no problem!



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Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:51 am
penngreen4776 wrote a review...



Hi! I'm penn. I wanna start this off by saying I'm not the greatest at criticism, if only because I don't like making people feel bad.

This is pretty great. I'm not lying here. While the previous chapter threw me off a bit, as it wasn't plainly obvious it was flashback chapter at first, it only continues to entertain and excite me. Valarian himself is good fun, with all the cockiness you would expect of an all powerful fox deity. And the idea that he himself might struggle against obstacles in this wonderous world you've made has me waiting in anticipation. Tyr sounds like a good man/warrior/father that only wants to protect what is his, and the fate of Fen is deeply intriguing. Also, clever. Fen, the first half of Fenrir, who in Norse mythology is a monstrous wolf that bites off the hand of who the Romans described as a suspected god of war while being bound, and later kills Odin, the king of the gods, during Ragnarok, the end of the world.

I'm a bit of a nerd about that kind of thing. Also, excited how you might tell a similar story. I also don't know how to label spoilers, if I'm correct about what might happen.




Lezuli says...


Thanks for your review, I'm very glad you liked it! Also, I was wondering if anyone was going to notice the similarities between Fen and the legend of Fenris Wolf. In the interest of keeping the plot a secret I'm going to neither say you are right, or say you're wrong, but I hope you'll keep reading and find out!




I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.
— Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights