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18+ Language Violence

Before The Dragon - Chapter 17.1

by ShadowVyper


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

There was nothing in the entire universe that Jerica hated more than Transports. Not the injections. Not taking the arrow. Not even dealing with Lord Biryn… although the beast had come close. She would be hard pressed to decide whether fighting the beast or being Transported was worse. All she knew was she’d be happy to never experience either ever again.

She felt like she was being ripped apart. She could imagine she could feel her cells separating from one another, the chromosomes unraveling and flying apart as her molecules hurdled through space at the speed of light. And then being thrown back together felt even worse, with her cells somehow finding a way to knit themselves back into tissues.

Derik said she was melodramatic.

Maybe she was. She still hated it.

Jerica felt wind passing through her for a brief moment as her partially-formed body rushed towards the ground. And then she landed. Hard. Her weight slammed down equally on both legs. Her left leg gave out, sending her tumbling down to the ground face-first. Her stomach felt like it’d landed back in her body upside down. She managed to push herself up just in time to avoid the vomit that sprang from her mouth.

“The mighty warrior,” Femola sneered. “Can’t even handle a little Transport.”

She spat. Her throat burned and her arms trembled.

“Kyrek, go get an audience with the king.”

Jerica was vaguely aware that the Lieutenant obediently rushed off. The Rangers hauled her to her feet. She wobbled. It felt like she was on a ship that was sailing through a cyclone. The world tossed around her and her mind struggled to find stability. She could see red stones beneath her feet. The palace? Or, a courtyard?

It was brighter here. It’d only been mere moments from when she’d stood in Atraya, but Nykeria was a few hours closer to the sun than her country was, and always got the daylight before they did. Not that they deserved it.

The Rangers dragged her up a flight of steps.

Jerica blinked, hard, clearing her vision. Lord Femola marched ahead of them. Palace Guards jerked the doors open, gawking as they passed. The Rangers on either side of her were roughly jostling her after Femola. She could feel the presence of the third Ranger behind her. And yet, she still couldn’t be bothered to care.

They dragged her up an additional flight of stairs. Lord Femola huffed impatiently at how long it was taking the Rangers to carry her dead weight without her making any attempt to walk. Lieutenant Kyrek stood in front of two massive mahogany doors. Lord Femola stomped along until he stood in front of his officer.

“Kyrek?”

“The king knows we’re here, sir!”

The Rangers set her down. Jerica balanced on her right leg, shoulder resting against the stone wall to keep her from wobbling. It was cold against her bare flesh. She twisted a bit so that the cool could soothe her injured shoulder. Her eyes flicked around the space around them. The Nykerian palace was so much different from the Atraian palace.

In Atraya, their palace and houses and the city wall were built from gray stone. This palace was made out of red stone. On the walls hung brightly colored tapestries. Instead of the dull embroidery of realistic scenes that decorated the Atraian palace, these were brilliant reds and yellows and blues braided together in beautiful abstractions.

A palace guard opened one of the doors and looked at Lord Femola. “The king requested you enter first, sire.”

Jerica watched him go into the Throne Room, feeling a little sick to her stomach. Her mind wandered back to the last time she’d seen Lesaf Femola. Biryn had tasked her with killing Femola’s Head Advisor, since he was the one pushing for Lesaf to insist on the marriage between Lyiaza and Josef. Femola hadn’t taken it well.

“The next time I see your ugly face, I want it to be on a platter.”

Jerica sighed. This was going to end badly. And she was starting to care.

She glanced around again, her gaze landing on Lieutenant Kyrek standing to her right. He had murder in his eyes as he glared at her. She forced herself not to linger on him. He’s just an idiot grieving his father. Leave him alone. The Rangers were a much bigger problem. One stood on either side of her, with the third Ranger off to the left.

“I’m going to piss on your grave, apolvosgua,” Kyrek snarled, stepping forward.

Or not. She snapped her head towards him, returning the glare as rage flooded into her. He was well-justified in his hatred, but the insult still offended her. She drew herself up as best she could as he neared. His palms struck her shoulders, shoving her until her back was pressed firmly against the wall. He towered over her, pinning her against the wall with his body, hands still on her shoulders. She gritted her teeth as pain stabbed through her again.

“You murdered my father,” he hissed.

The Physician’s face flashed across her mind’s eye. A pang of guilt twisted her stomach. She shouldn’t have killed him. Physicians dedicated their lives to helping people – it was hardly Doctor Kyrek’s fault that he’d been drafted into a stupid war. Her eyes flicked across Kyrek’s face. She could see his father’s featured glaring back at her. I’m sorry.

Go away, Jerica. Send the assassin back. You’ve got no business here. She tried to shake the guilt from her mind. She couldn’t hardly admit to Kyrek that she’d made a mistake. Besides, it’s what needed to happen. She couldn’t afford to start second-guessing herself. If she started apologizing now, she’d have to apologize to all the other people she’d wronged, and that would take the rest of her life to catch up on.

Kyrek jabbed his finger into Jerica’s shoulder.

Rage drowned the guilt.

“Oh, I remember him clearly,” she spat. The pressure stopped. Kyrek’s gaze landed on her eyes, suddenly vulnerable. Let’s see how you like having someone jab at your wound. “He died badly, blubbering about what a disappointment his son is.”

Kyrek’s featured twisted in anger and he drove his fist into her face in an instant. Her head slammed against the wall behind her, making her ears ring. She wobbled for a moment as her balance was thrown off. His fist landed on her face again. The world slid from beneath her and she landed flat on her back, vision blurred.

Her eyes fluttered open just in time to see Kyrek landing on top of her. He straddled her abdomen and grabbed at the chain around her neck to haul her a few inches off the ground. His fist slammed into her face again, driving her downward so that her head slammed against the floor. Her skull felt like it split wide open.

Jerica tried to raise her hands to protect herself as he punched her again, but the manacles were still chained to the iron belt around her waist and she couldn’t get her arms any higher than her chest. His fist slammed into her face again and again and again and—

“What the—?” Femola yanked Kyrek off her. “Stop it!”

Jerica coughed, blood mixing with her saliva until it was a bitter slime that coated her entire mouth. She turned her head and spat. The blood dribbled down her cheek. She took a shallow breath, gagging as the blood dripped from her nasal cavity into the back of her throat. She spat again.

“As much fun as this is to watch,” Lord Femola said. “We are on a time constraint. Rangers, get her up.”

Her body ached even worse as the Rangers yanked her to her feet. It felt like someone had wrapped her entire body – from her head all the way down to her toes – in barbed wire and now were pulling the strands tight. Her sternum ached with the force it put on her body to breathe. Her ribcage felt like it was full of bees that stung her with each breath.

The Rangers hauled her into the Throne Room.

Jerica stared at the brilliant red carpet beneath her. It took too much effort to lift her head. She gasped, breaking past the block in her chest to pant for air. Her toes dragged along the carpet. Her stomach churned with the choppy stride of the Rangers on either side of her. She could see Femola’s boots ahead of them, leading the way.

She weakly forced her head upward.

Fuck.

There was a man sitting on the throne directly in front of her. He was middle-aged with graying hair and sandy brown skin. And glowering at her with all the intensity that she remembered from the last time she’d seen him. Five minutes. Five minutes without something going wrong for me. Is that too much to ask?

The Rangers stopped walking.

Jerica took a deep breath and deliberately forced herself to raise her chin. Maybe if I make him angry enough, he’ll just kill me and put me out of this misery. She swallowed hard, cringing as bloody saliva slid down her throat. She coughed, then took a deep breath and met the king’s angry glower. Oh, come on, it was just one advisor.

He stood from his throne and jauntily strode down the few stairs towards her, stopping uncomfortably close to her. She could see the bright yellow sash he always wore over his crimson robes. The only difference was her sorry state. This wasn’t like her. Wasn’t like them. She always had the upper hand when Levin sent her to Nykeria. Always.

“I thought I told you—” He grabbed a fistful of her hair and yanked her head backward, exposing her neck. His eyebrows were knit together as he scowled at her. He reached his right hand up to grasp her throat, firm but not tight. Just threatening in the reality that could change in an instant. “That I didn’t want your head connected to your body the next time I saw you?”

“In case it wasn’t clear.” Her voice was hoarse, barely loud enough to be heard. She rattled her chains. “I don’t want to see you, either.”

“Think we could just pop this head off now?” His grasp tightened around her neck for the briefest of moments before loosening again. “Quell some of the vitriol?”

She swallowed hard. His scowl turned into a cruel smirk; palm still pressed against her throat. His gaze flicked towards the Rangers on either side of her. “Leave us.”

“Sir!” They both released their grasps and stepped away.

It felt like a lead weight dropped onto her shoulders as she suddenly had to support her own body. She extended her right leg to catch her weight as she fell. The angle was all wrong. Her weight landed on the right side of the ball of her foot and her ankle rolled.

She landed on her face at the King’s feet.

He put his foot on her side and kicked her onto her back. She blinked, hard, trying to think past the throbbing of her head. It was louder than her all thoughts. All words. All sights. She opened her eyes. He was standing over her, smirking. “At my feet, just where you belong.” 


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Sun Jan 31, 2021 2:43 am
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Carina wrote a review...



Oh boy, Shady.

I don't have to read the other chapters to fully understand what happened here. It's simple, really. I'll break it down for you, just so you understand my ca$h money fre$h perspective.

First, Jessica had a giant hangover, and the car ride to the bouncy house castle was not fun. The world that takes place in the story I think is in the future, since the cars are all renamed Transporters. Fitting - they do be transporting peeps. Anyways, some park rangers dragged her in the castle bouncy house. Kyle went over to greet her, but Kyle was having none of this and started to beat her up. Something to do with the Star Wars like, "Luke, I am your father"? Or maybe it was, "Like, I killed your father"? I'd have to scroll back up and double-check to know for sure. Anyways, something about a holy femur showed up and broke the fight, or rather, maybe Jessica's femur broke. And then it looked like they dragged her to the police station where the head sheriff is about to throw her in a cell. Or something like that.

Jessica is right: this is pretty dramatic. Melodramatic? Oh, right, I'd have to reread the story again to find out what she said for sure, but I'm pretty sure that I read everything right to begin with, so there's no need for that.

Anyways, overall it's a great action chapter, and I hope Jessica gets over her hangover motion sickness and gets a fair trial out of jail.

Enjoy this fantastic review.

Your turdpost goddess,
Carina




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Sun Jan 31, 2021 2:23 am
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Vil wrote a review...



o.o

I am suddenly very afraid for Jerica's safety and well-being. What happened? What is going on? How is this happening? Why is this happening? Does Jerica at least have some clothing on now, not for the King's sake, but her own?

Major cliffhanger here, and I'm afraid to click on the next part now ;-;

This one does feel slightly rushed again, but that could be a result of me reading it quickly and nearly having a heart attack while trying to figure out how she's going to get out of this ;-;

Oh, this just deepens y hated of Nykerians and Men in general, I might be a misandrist now ;-;

Also, random question-- do you have a shareable map that I can skim over?




ShadowVyper says...


Does Jerica at least have some clothing on now, not for the King's sake, but her own?


:3 No lol she's got pants on but no shirt

Major cliffhanger here, and I'm afraid to click on the next part now ;-;


I take this as a success ;)

Oh, this just deepens y hated of Nykerians and Men in general, I might be a misandrist now ;-;


Ahaha my honor to convert you ;) jk jk I don't hate men... except for the ones in my novel xD They're all trash except for like Derik and Rek and Akeno and Kieran.

Also, random question-- do you have a shareable map that I can skim over?


Sure! I think I'm going to swap positions of the Nykerian castle and the mountain with the dragon because I realized how I wrote it doesn't make sense for Nykeria to get daylight first since it's to the west >.> But this is what I have for now lol

Image

Thanks again for the review!! You're awesome <33



Vil says...


What's Swaltou?

You are too <33333333



ShadowVyper says...


Ok brace yourself for a lot of incoming notifs because I finally have time to respond to all of your AMAZING reviews <33

Swaltou is the name of the forest that stretches between Griveka, Atraya, and Lutalya and is a ...rough xD place. It has a lot of criminals living in it that often rob people who have to travel through it.



Vil says...


Ohhh ok!

Yayyyy C:



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Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:59 am
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IcyFlame wrote a review...



OK there are so many of these to be read I'm gonna make a start on them or I'll never be through! So when we left off there was a big cliff-hanger as per usual so I'm ready to get stuck back in!!

There was nothing in the entire universe that Jerica hated more than Transports. Not the injections. Not taking the arrow. Not even dealing with Lord Biryn… although the beast had come close. She would be hard pressed to decide whether fighting the beast or being Transported was worse. All she knew was she’d be happy to never experience either ever again.

Oh boy, considering how horribly you've already described the injections this seems cause for concern!

She felt like she was being ripped apart. She could imagine she could feel her cells separating from one another, the chromosomes unraveling and flying apart as her molecules hurdled through space at the speed of light. And then being thrown back together felt even worse, with her cells somehow finding a way to knit themselves back into tissues.

Ouch!!! However, I'm curious why if Derik thinks she's just being melodramatic and it's not actually that horrific... why don't they use it more often? Surely it would be a real benefit in war?

“Kyrek, go get an audience with the king.”

Super casual!

It was brighter here. It’d only been mere moments from when she’d stood in Atraya, but Nykeria was a few hours closer to the sun than her country was, and always got the daylight before they did. Not that they deserved it.

A few hours closer, so how long would it take them to actually travel between the two without transport? Interesting, as I had the impression they were fighting Nykeria, not just defending their own lands! This makes more sense now!

A palace guard opened one of the doors and looked at Lord Femola. “The king requested you enter first, sire.”
I thought only Kings were called Sire?

Femola hadn’t taken it well.

I'm shocked.

“You murdered my father,” he hissed.

Look, pal. King's Assassin. Does that ring any bells? She murders people for a job, you're gonna need to get over it.

Let’s see how you like having someone jab at your wound. “He died badly, blubbering about what a disappointment his son is.”

Oh Jer, she just can't resist can she? Also, why hasn't he said something before? Or come to visit her when she was their prisoner and kicked her about? Why is he only saying something now?

Oh, come on, it was just one advisor.

Well yes, and all the others she's killed in battle...


He put his foot on her side and kicked her onto her back. She blinked, hard, trying to think past the throbbing of her head. It was louder than her all thoughts. All words. All sights. She opened her eyes. He was standing over her, smirking. “At my feet, just where you belong.”

Right, add him to the list of characters I hate in this novel!

I'm hoping that somehow she finds the strength to beat up this king but I feel like that might not happen the way I want it to...
Anyway, onto the next of many parts I have to read!

Icy




ShadowVyper says...


Ahh!! I was so happy to log into these reviews ^-^

However, I'm curious why if Derik thinks she's just being melodramatic and it's not actually that horrific... why don't they use it more often? Surely it would be a real benefit in war?


Fair point! I guess I should try to work this in somehow... basically, the Rangers are the best of the best among the warriors. They have to be good at fighting and spying and scouting and such. They are also the only ones (to Jerica's knowledge ;) ) who know how to do Transports. They also take an insane amount of energy to do them.

and also I suck at making magic believable and consistent xD

A few hours closer, so how long would it take them to actually travel between the two without transport? Interesting, as I had the impression they were fighting Nykeria, not just defending their own lands! This makes more sense now!


Ooh! Yeah, no, the Nykerians attacked Atraya. They Transported Jerica to Nykeria at this point.

I... actually just went to look at my map for this... and Nykeria is south of Atraya not east... so I apparently need to edit this xD ... maybe I'll just swap where the mountain and castle are? Then the Nykerian castle would technically be to the east? Idk. That's future Shady's problem lol

But this:
Image

Was my original concept of how the countries all fit together. And the battle is happening at the castle in Atraya.

I thought only Kings were called Sire?


I... don't know xD I was under the impression that all royalty was? And Lord Femola is a prince as well as being War Lord? But I'm not set on this at all I can change it to sir lol

Look, pal. King's Assassin. Does that ring any bells? She murders people for a job, you're gonna need to get over it.


xD

Also, why hasn't he said something before? Or come to visit her when she was their prisoner and kicked her about? Why is he only saying something now?


Do you think that would be a better way to approach this, to put it in earlier?

The thing with Kyrek is I entirely re-worked his character lol If you remember Eloonta from the last version of this story? This is him lol The feedback I was getting in the previous draft is that he was being viscious for literally no reason and people hated him, but not in a good way. So, I decided to make it more personal, but I still wasn't sure how to work this bit in because I was told she was just getting beaten up for no reason and that wasn't enjoyable to read.

So... long ramble xD But, do you think this should come up before now? I just figured this was an organic place for where Kyrek has an excuse to be with her already instead of actively seeking her out.

Right, add him to the list of characters I hate in this novel!


xD Ayeee

Thanks so much for the review!! Super helpful :D



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Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:49 am
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SilverNight wrote a review...



Hey again! I am here to witness Jerica's suffering. Again. :')

There was nothing in the entire universe that Jerica hated more than Transports. Not the injections. Not taking the arrow. Not even dealing with Lord Biryn… although the beast had come close. She would be hard pressed to decide whether fighting the beast or being Transported was worse. All she knew was she’d be happy to never experience either ever again.

She felt like she was being ripped apart. She could imagine she could feel her cells separating from one another, the chromosomes unraveling and flying apart as her molecules hurdled through space at the speed of light. And then being thrown back together felt even worse, with her cells somehow finding a way to knit themselves back into tissues.


So that is teleportation. That's a really cool way to write it! Yes, it doesn't sound too fun, but the idea of being torn apart and repieced together again is really interesting.

Jerica felt wind passing through her for a brief moment as her partially-formed body rushed towards the ground. And then she landed. Hard. Her weight slammed down equally on both legs. Her left leg gave out, sending her tumbling down to the ground face-first. Her stomach felt like it’d landed back in her body upside down. She managed to push herself up just in time to avoid the vomit that sprang from her mouth.


(But apparently it makes some sick. :c)

Jerica was vaguely aware that the Lieutenant obediently rushed off. The Rangers hauled her to her feet. She wobbled. It felt like she was on a ship that was sailing through a cyclone. The world tossed around her and her mind struggled to find stability. She could see red stones beneath her feet. The palace? Or, a courtyard?


I think the comparison to a ship was clever-- it does sound a lot like being seasick! I'm not quite sure you need a comma in "or, a courtyard", but I'm not certain it shouldn't be there either XD

I can think of where one might be needed, though! A comma should separate "the world tossed around her" and "and her mind struggled to find stability".

It was brighter here. It’d only been mere moments from when she’d stood in Atraya, but Nykeria was a few hours closer to the sun than her country was, and always got the daylight before they did. Not that they deserved it.


I like her bitterness over this XD

The Rangers set her down. Jerica balanced on her right leg, shoulder resting against the stone wall to keep her from wobbling. It was cold against her bare flesh. She twisted a bit so that the cool could soothe her injured shoulder. Her eyes flicked around the space around them. The Nykerian palace was so much different from the Atraian palace.

In Atraya, their palace and houses and the city wall were built from gray stone. This palace was made out of red stone. On the walls hung brightly colored tapestries. Instead of the dull embroidery of realistic scenes that decorated the Atraian palace, these were brilliant reds and yellows and blues braided together in beautiful abstractions.


Me: I bet their castle is dark and evil and Edgy™
Me now: ...oh.

But really, I like the surprise! It's nice that the bad guys have an architectural taste other than "let's build this castle like a supervillain with far too much to spend would". In fact, the description shows that Atraya's castle would look drearier than Nykeria's, which is interesting!

Or not. She snapped her head towards him, returning the glare as rage flooded into her. He was well-justified in his hatred, but the insult still offended her. She drew herself up as best she could as he neared. His palms struck her shoulders, shoving her until her back was pressed firmly against the wall. He towered over her, pinning her against the wall with his body, hands still on her shoulders. She gritted her teeth as pain stabbed through her again.

“You murdered my father,” he hissed.


Welp. I don't like him. I kinda wanted him to be redeemable, but not sure that's happening ;-;

“Oh, I remember him clearly,” she spat. The pressure stopped. Kyrek’s gaze landed on her eyes, suddenly vulnerable. Let’s see how you like having someone jab at your wound. “He died badly, blubbering about what a disappointment his son is.”


I know that's not what happened, but the lie makes me sad :c

Kyrek’s featured twisted in anger and he drove his fist into her face in an instant. Her head slammed against the wall behind her, making her ears ring. She wobbled for a moment as her balance was thrown off. His fist landed on her face again. The world slid from beneath her and she landed flat on her back, vision blurred.


Ouuuuuch. There's a small mistake at the start, where it should be "features", so I'll point that out real quick!

There was a man sitting on the throne directly in front of her. He was middle-aged with graying hair and sandy brown skin. And glowering at her with all the intensity that she remembered from the last time she’d seen him. Five minutes. Five minutes without something going wrong for me. Is that too much to ask?

The Rangers stopped walking.

Jerica took a deep breath and deliberately forced herself to raise her chin. Maybe if I make him angry enough, he’ll just kill me and put me out of this misery. She swallowed hard, cringing as bloody saliva slid down her throat. She coughed, then took a deep breath and met the king’s angry glower. Oh, come on, it was just one advisor.


Five minutes? Jerica, your author seems to be saying "maybe in five years". :P

Does she have clothes on again? I haven't seen anything about her having them or not since the end of Chapter 15, and I feel like they might have dressed her for an encounter with the king.

“I thought I told you—” He grabbed a fistful of her hair and yanked her head backward, exposing her neck. His eyebrows were knit together as he scowled at her. He reached his right hand up to grasp her throat, firm but not tight. Just threatening in the reality that could change in an instant. “That I didn’t want your head connected to your body the next time I saw you?”

“In case it wasn’t clear.” Her voice was hoarse, barely loud enough to be heard. She rattled her chains. “I don’t want to see you, either.”


Oh, gosh, he's scary. That's certainly a strong threat to read, though! o.o

He put his foot on her side and kicked her onto her back. She blinked, hard, trying to think past the throbbing of her head. It was louder than her all thoughts. All words. All sights. She opened her eyes. He was standing over her, smirking. “At my feet, just where you belong.”


Well, I might want him dead for that alone. But I must admit that's a great one-liner to end with! c:

Thanks for tagging me! I'll get to the next part tomorrow. <3




ShadowVyper says...


Aye! Thanks for the quick review :D

So that is teleportation. That's a really cool way to write it!


Yii! It's teleportation. And thanks c:

I like her bitterness over this XD


Ahaha ;)

There's a small mistake at the start, where it should be "features", so I'll point that out real quick!


Thank you! You point out things I definitely miss when I'm editing and I appreciate it c:

Five minutes? Jerica, your author seems to be saying "maybe in five years". :p


Ahahaha

Does she have clothes on again? I haven't seen anything about her having them or not since the end of Chapter 15, and I feel like they might have dressed her for an encounter with the king.


She is still topless... I was afraid it was going to get old if I kept mentioning it.

Oh, gosh, he's scary. That's certainly a strong threat to read, though! o.o


heh heh heh

Thanks for tagging me! I'll get to the next part tomorrow. <3


For sure! Thanks so much for the awesome review! <33



SilverNight says...


<3333333




Every really new idea looks crazy at first.
— Alfred North Whitehead