z
  • Home

Young Writers Society


12+

Conqueror Rising: Chapter 3.1

by Snoink


How does one prepare to meet a Conqueror?

Solea wasn’t sure. When she was a little girl, sometimes her father would tell her stories at night about the Conquerors and all the stories seemed awful.

The first Conqueror had started innocently enough. This Conqueror had been born a mere mortal to a pair of White Swans, and she felt the horror of mortality. Her parents too had trouble grasping this as well. And so, in a desperate bid to gain immortality, she begged the Black Swans — her uncles and aunts — to allow her to have some of their blood so that she could somehow become immortal through the magic in their blood. Most of them refused her. But one of the Conqueror’s uncles pitied her and gave her some of his blood. His blood gave her immortality, but it poisoned her and made her mad with bloodlust. She possessed that uncle using his blood and used him to collect the blood from his Black Swan brothers and sisters, until they were all under her control.

The White Swans at the time could not believe that such a thing could happen. They tried to ignore it and pretend that this was merely a phase that would soon pass with time. They hid from the Conqueror, hoping that she would soon die, not understanding that she had achieved immortality and had turned mad in the process.

The blood turned the Conqueror so mad that finally she hunted down Diamea using the twelve Black Swans, intending to bleed him and possess him, just like she had the other Black Swans. Diamea allowed her to bleed him, pleading with her throughout that she should stop and remember who she was, but the Conqueror only laughed at him.

But Diamea tricked her. When she bled him, he chose to die instead, cursing her for eternity. Shortly after, the Conqueror’s body was destroyed. The White Swan, Eurodities, found the secret pool of water which the Conqueror used as a bath and poisoned the water with such toxic poisons that the Conqueror’s body completely melted away and she was destroyed.

And that was how the first Conqueror lost everything and simply became a lost soul who wandered the world as a voice on the wind. There, she was doomed to share her memories to her children and the children of her children, hoping that one day they might be restored to glory, and watching them succumb to madness and death instead.

As for the Black Swan who had helped her rise to power? He had been acting as a bodyguard to the Conqueror when she was destroyed. And so when the Conqueror begged him to drag her out of the water, the Black Swan — possessed, of course — could not refuse the Conqueror’s request. So as he tried to fish out the Conqueror, much of his body was destroyed in the process until he became completely dumb and deformed. But he, however, could not die. And so, after she was destroyed, he was cursed to wander the world forever, deformed and dumb, trying desperately to make amends somehow for bringing the Conqueror to so much power.

Solea always loved those stories because they terrified her so much that couldn’t sleep. Then she would wake up her father and make him rock her on the rocking chair. As he rocked half-asleep, he would hum and sing songs in the Swans’ language about the wind and water that sounded so wild that she would press her face close to his chest and listen to his heartbeat thudding in her ears. And there, she would imagine a storm coming past until finally, exhausted, she would fall asleep, tangled in his arms.

Of course, Solea hadn’t realized then that her father was the Black Swan who helped the first Conqueror rise to power. Growing up, she always considered the uncle stupid for trusting the Conqueror, and she thought that his punishment of being stricken dumb and deformed was a just punishment for his crimes. After all, didn’t he know that the Conqueror was evil incarnate? Once she asked her father why the uncle had trusted the Conqueror. But her father only shrugged and said that perhaps the uncle just didn’t know at the time how evil she would become. It seemed like a silly answer to her then.

And now?

***

Solea found out that the teacher had been decided upon a couple of days later when Alainna came, bearing a letter from Archondid that was addressed to them both.

“The idiots chose the Conqueror,” Alainna said, furious. “Listen to what Archondid wrote.”

To my Lady and my goddaughter:

The teacher has been decided upon. Sergius and I will be attending every class to make sure that the instruction is adequate. Please ignore me while I am in class and pretend that I am not there, as I will need to devote my full attention to the teacher and I absolutely cannot be distracted. If you need anything from someone other than the teacher, you can speak with Sergius. We hope that you will learn our language quickly.

Uclepidies begs you both to wear the gifts that he gave you to the class.

Love,

Archondid

Solea frowned. “I understand the necklace, but the old cloak? Why should I wear that?”

Alainna smiled bitterly. “I suppose we’ll find out when the Conqueror attacks us.” She flopped down on the bed angrily. “So Uclepidies finally caved, the coward! Though, I suppose we shouldn’t have expected him to stand against the Conqueror for long. Not with his history. No, he recognized the threat, gave us a couple of little trinkets so that we would recognize our doom, and then abandoned us in the end. The coward!”

“It wasn’t just him that made the decision,” Solea said, though her face fell.

“No, they all did, and they should all be ashamed!" Alainna snapped. "They should know better! They’ve had to face the Conquerors before. Besides, even the youngest child knows that you never trust a Conqueror. Never! And yet, here they are, allowing a Conqueror to come close to me, the Lady, before I’ve even had a chance to meet Diamea. Worse, they are allowing the Conqueror to come close to you, a Black Swan’s daughter! The first Conqueror has already possessed your father, and his blood runs through their veins. What if this new Conqueror wants to add you into her collection?”

“So we are doomed?” Solea asked.

“Not if I have any say about it,” Alainna declared. “If they think they can just lead me to my death, they have another thing coming.”

“So what do we do?”

“We’ll force the Conqueror to reveal herself, of course,” Alainna said. “Then, once she reveals herself, everyone will imprison her until I find Diamea.”

“But how?”

Alainna grinned. “By annoying her, of course.” When Solea looked shocked, she added, “If I can enrage Uclepidies and cause him to attack me, even though he has every reason not to attack me, just by annoying him, can you just imagine how much more annoying I can be when I actually want to be?”

Solea stared at her incredulously. “You want to annoy our new teacher so much she attacks you?”

“And once she does, she will be quickly imprisoned for attacking me, until Diamea comes,” Alainna said firmly. “Then Diamea can deal with her and we'll all live happily ever after.”

Solea frowned. “This sounds like a very bad idea. Uclepidies hurt you, but at least he stopped and restrained himself when your mother intervened. Who will stop this Conqueror when you push her over the edge?”

Alainna shrugged. “What else are we supposed to do? Let the Conqueror do whatever she wants to do until she goes mad and starts terrorizing us?”

And Solea didn’t know what to say to that.


Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
1500 Reviews

Points: 156314
Reviews: 1500

Donate
Sat Jun 17, 2023 8:11 pm
IcyFlame wrote a review...



How does one prepare to meet a Conqueror?

How indeed? I'm still not 100% clear on whether there's only one Conqueror left like we heard in the prologue or whether there happens to be more than one. If it's the former, letting them teach in a school right near the Lady who forms a key part of the prophecy seems like absolute madness... but I guess I'll read on to find out what's what!

The first Conqueror had started innocently enough. This Conqueror had been born a mere mortal to a pair of White Swans, and she felt the horror of mortality. Her parents too had trouble grasping this as well. And so, in a desperate bid to gain immortality, she begged the Black Swans — her uncles and aunts — to allow her to have some of their blood so that she could somehow become immortal through the magic in their blood. Most of them refused her. But one of the Conqueror’s uncles pitied her and gave her some of his blood. His blood gave her immortality, but it poisoned her and made her mad with bloodlust. She possessed that uncle using his blood and used him to collect the blood from his Black Swan brothers and sisters, until they were all under her control.

This is so much easier for me to digest that all the speech and letters in the previous chapters!

Although, being nitpicky...
Her parents too had trouble grasping this as well

You don't need both 'too' and 'as well', one is plenty :)

This section also helped me consilidate the fact that the Black and White Swans still consider each other brothers and sisters - I was a little fuzzy on that before.

They tried to ignore it and pretend that this was merely a phase that would soon pass with time.

This seems super naive... is it because it was happening to the Black Swans and not to them?

she hunted down Diamea using the twelve Black Swans, intending to bleed him and possess him, just like she had the other Black Swans

Wait, is Diamea a Black Swan too?

He had been acting as a bodyguard to the Conqueror when she was destroyed.

If he was there then why didn't Eurodities see him?

So the things I feel I'm still missing knowledge wise - how come there's more than one Conqueror at a time? How do the new ones get formed? Why did they lock Solea up when they suspected she was a Conqueror but this one just gets to...teach...a class...

I have many questions, but I'm enjoying reading this one!

Icy




Snoink says...


If it's the former, letting them teach in a school right near the Lady who forms a key part of the prophecy seems like absolute madness... but I guess I'll read on to find out what's what!


It does seem like a bad idea...

This is so much easier for me to digest that all the speech and letters in the previous chapters!


Yay for bedtime stories being more digestible! XD

You don't need both 'too' and 'as well', one is plenty


Ahhhhh thank you. I unfortunately do this too often... I have literally cut out thousands of words in a novel just removing these redundancies. O_o

This seems super naive... is it because it was happening to the Black Swans and not to them?


The Swans... are not infallible. And they make dumb mistakes.

Wait, is Diamea a Black Swan too?


No... he is the creator and the father of the Black Swans and White Swans. (The Lady is the mother... I am not sure if this is clear at all, LOL.) Diamea can change his appearance to whatever he wants, but one of his popular forms is as a Swan with crystal feathers. But like. When I read through the story a month or so ago, I realized that I hadn't actually described him as such??? Though I did describe that there was a knife with a crystal blade that was made with one of his feathers?

AHHHHHHH.

...one of these days, this story will make sense, lol.

If he was there then why didn't Eurodities see him?


EURODITIES DID SEE HIM. And she let him go ahead anyway. But they've made up???

IT'S A MESS.

So the things I feel I'm still missing knowledge wise - how come there's more than one Conqueror at a time? How do the new ones get formed? Why did they lock Solea up when they suspected she was a Conqueror but this one just gets to...teach...a class.


Hmmmm... maybe in the fairy tale segment, I can state something like the Conqueror had many descendants and periodically one would rise up again and go mad just like the first one. So that way, it would make it clear that this was a blood lineage thing and that's why anybody with unclaimed Swan blood is immediately a suspect...



User avatar
79 Reviews

Points: 7948
Reviews: 79

Donate
Tue Mar 28, 2023 12:47 am
cookiesandcream123 wrote a review...



Hiii! This was an interesting read, and the worldbuilding at the start is great! I love how the swans' story was told as a fairytale to Solea by her father; it definitely sounds like something that would happen in a fantasy genre. Your writing's also smooth and engaging.

I was a bit confused at first (during the Conqueror's backstory), but that's probably because I jumped in on chapter 3.1. There's also one sentence that I think could be edited or shortened somehow:

“If I can enrage Uclepidies and cause him to attack me, even though he has every reason not to attack me, just by annoying him, can you just imagine how much more annoying I can be when I actually want to be?”


It makes sense, but it tripped me up a little while I was reading. Maybe you could remove the second "just" or shorten the first part about Uclepidies? I'm not exactly sure...

But anyways, the chapter's well-written and I can tell you're a really experienced writer. Also, it seems like you have the world and story fleshed out. I think you could totally try to publish the novel when it's finished!





As a writer, I'm more interested in what people tell themselves happened rather than what actually happened.
— Kazuo Ishiguro