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Emperor's Heir - Chapter 1

by shieldmaiden


Chapter 1

Heart pounding, I ran through the marketplace, leaving a man shouting after me as I jumped over his overturned stand and the remains of his produce. I yelled back an apology but didn’t stop as the thief turned over another bench, crockery smashing and breaking across the pebbled stones as the owner dashed against a wall, her lungs screaming in fright.

“Sorry!” I called over my shoulder as I watched the thief run around a corner and disappear from sight.

I groaned with frustration. “Boja,” I muttered, “Now would be a great time to cut him off!”

I gritted my teeth as an ache started to prick my side, and I slowed to a stop. Panting, I looked up at the pointed, slated roofs above me and an idea formed. Grinning, I ran over to a standing cart and jumped on it.

“Hey! Get off,” A man said, his face red.

“Sorry, sir,” I groaned back before grabbing a beam and heaving myself onto the roof itself.

“Are you crazy, girl! Get down from there!”

“Can’t.” I looked around and breathed in the view. A bunch of people had gathered around below. The women, with their long, brightly-colored dresses, looked like flowers. They gasped in fear, as I began to run along the roof’s edge.

There, around the corner was the thief, surrounded by men in masks with knives drawn and pointed at his chest. Smiling, I walked back towards the owner of the cart and crawled off the roof.

“Your assistance, sir,” I asked as I held out my hand. Grumbling, the man presented his arm and helped me down from where I stood on his cart. “Thank you,” I said before walking through the small crowd towards the thief. As I rounded the corner, the masked men lifted their blades to let me through.

“Thanks boys,” I said before facing the thief. “Well, what do you have to say for yourself?” I asked

“You are mistaken!” The man cried piteously, his foul breath blowing in my face.

“And why is that?” I coughed, waving a hand to ward off the stench.

“I was simply taking what belongs to me. Yes, it’s mine and you all are in for a lot of trouble. I shall have you arrested.” The thief thrust out his chin and spat on my feet. One masked man took a step forward.

“It’s alright Boja,” I said, taking the money bag from him and holding it out to the thief. “You make a habit out carrying around a woman’s purse,” I asked.

“Ah yes,” He nodded fervently, “That would be my wife’s. She always makes me hold it while she goes about shopping – safekeeping from pickpockets … you understand?” He chuckled nervously.

“Oh, sure,” I nodded, “And a woman always shrieks when she gives her husband her purse to carry.”

The thief swallowed. “My wife is a very nervous woman,” He explained, “She suffers from an unusual medical condition.”

I laughed. “Now that a new one. Perhaps you would oblige us by allowing us to personally return it to your wife,” I said, “Such a shock it must have been. I’d like to make my apologies for not understanding the situation.”

I lifted my hand and the masked men lowered their blades. I wrapped an arm around the trembling thief.

“Hadn’t we better hurry,” I asked, “We wouldn’t want your wife to suffer a collapse.”

“No . . . no . . . we wouldn’t,” He echoed, glancing around like a trapped animal. Then, in a panic, the thief twisted out of my grip and bolted.

One of the men made to go after him, but stopped when I held up my hand. “Let him be,” I said.

I turned to Boja. He had now pulled down his black kerchief and was smirking at me.

“Shouldn’t we capture him and present him to the official?” He asked.

“No,” I replied, “He’s just a petty thief. We’ve more important plans for tomorrow. Besides we can’t always do the officials’ work now can we? They’ll run out of business.”

Boja laughed. “Just like a girl,” he said, “You are feeling sorry for him. Why break our backs if you always let men like him get away?”

“Because it’s good exercise,” I explained, “You were a full five minutes late getting into position. We could have lost him.” I walked right up to Boja till we were nearly standing nose to nose. “Is that going to happen tomorrow?” I was a full head shorter, but Boja lowered his eyes under my gaze.

“No,” He answered, “It will not happen again.”

“Good.”

I turned to the others.

“Yahi,” I said, tossing the purse to a man with shaggy blond hair. “Return the pouch to it’s owner.”

Yahi nodded and ran off, quickly melting into a sea of bodies as he joined the swarms of people that were drifting from one stall to another.

“Why does he get to play the hero?” Murmured one man with a scruffy beard.

“Because Yahi was the only other one besides me who witnessed the crime,” I explained, “He will know which woman to give it to.”

Boja knocked the man in the head.

“Hey,” he cried out in protest, jumping away in disgust, “What was that for?”

“To see if there is any sense in that blockhead of yours.” Boja knocked again. “Sounds pretty hollow to me, Koulow.”

“The sun’s heat doesn’t agree with me,” Koulow grumbled back.

“That’s not all it doesn’t agree with,” A quiet, scrawny man spoke up, smirking at his comrade before marching right up to him and grabbing Koulow’s beard, twisting the skimpy strands. “It appears that the sun doesn’t like your face either,” The man laughed, “It burnt it. Is that why you grew a beard? To protect your delicate features?”

Koulow pushed him away fiercely. “No,” he said harshly, “The beard makes me look more like a bandit.”

“More like a ferret.”

“Ja stop picking on him,” I admonished half-heartedly, as Koulow lunged at him.

“Why,” Ja asked while dodging his fellow’s attacks, “We’ve been trying to persuade him to shave for weeks now. It makes him look like a bear-cub.”

“Your all just jealous ‘cause I can grow a beard!” Koulow protested as he threw a half-hazard punch at Ja.

“I’m not,” I chuckled.

“Well, if you were a boy you would be,” he grunted back before bending over double with a groan of pain after Ja’s well-aimed kick.

At that moment, Yahi came rushing back. “What’d I miss,” He asked, panting as he gazed curiously down at the two men who were now rolling over top one another on the dirt like two bear cubs.

“Ja and Koulow are arguing over the beard again,” Boja explained.

“Oh.” Yahi wrinkled his nose. “You should shave it,” he said before jumping out of Koulow’s reach as the man attempted to grab at his boot.

“You returned the purse,” I asked.

“Yes,” he replied. His face turned red. “The lady was very grateful.”

“Ho, ho,” Ja laughed, “Pretty lass, was she?”

Yahi nodded sheepishly.

I coughed. “Back to business,” I said, as Ja and Koulow picked themselves off the ground, “Will you and all your merry men be ready to meet in the forest tomorrow?”

The men all nodded.

“Review the plans that Yahi drew,” I instructed while handing out sheets of paper. “We gather at dawn. Make sure that your men are well armed.” I glanced up at the sky. “It’s getting dark – Grandma will have my head if I’m late again.” I waved at them all. “See you tomorrow!”

I turned to leave.

“Need me to walk you home?” Boja asked, blocking my path.

“Why?” I asked, squinting suspiciously.

He raised a bushy brow. “In case something was to happen to our General. I feel the responsibility as second-in-command to know all her whereabouts.” He paused before adding with a suggestive waggle of his brow, “And to protect her reputation, of course.”

I shook my head with an exasperated sigh, but a smile grew in spite of myself. “I shall be fine,” I replied, patting his shoulder, “But in case I should depart this world sooner than I perceive, you are appointed General of our grand little troop.”

There were groans in the background and a faint, “I was hoping for a recount,” muttered by Ja.

“Quite.” Boja bowed. “I shall allow the lady to pass. The bandit has now retired.”

I shoved at him playfully as I passed by. “See you guys tomorrow,” I yelled over my shoulder as I broke into a run.

Thinking of Grandma’s hot rolls waiting in the oven, I kept the fast pace till I reached the rush of the town square. Slowing down, I navigated through the crowds of people pushing past each other in the marketplace, each one eager to reach their homes. I passed a couple stalls, stopping at a few for only a couple minutes before continuing on. I finally made it through the jostle and heat of the masses before breaking into a run again. I was just rejoicing at my good time when I rushed around a corner and bumped into something … hard.

Looking up, I realized that I had nearly knocked over a guard.

“Pardon me,” I stammered in apology as I lowered my head. But not before seeing a bunch of guards gathered around an empty litter. They were all dressed in blue and yellow, the colors of the kingdom of Yosae. I looked closely at the one I had bumped into. His garb was similar to the others except for the fringe along the sleeves. They were sewn in golden embroidery – a symbol of royalty, belonging only to those of the imperial family in Yosae.

Immediately, I knelt down before the prince. “Forgive me your highness,” I cried with my head lowered, “I didn’t see you.”

“Please rise,” a kind voice replied. “You will give me away and I was having a jolly good time.”

I got to my feet but didn’t dare look the man in the eyes.

“What’s your name,” he asked.

“I’m called Kkachi,” I replied, “Your Highness.” I added hastily.

“Well Kkachi, it appears that I have lost my way,” The prince continued, “Perhaps you could point me in the right direction.”

“If I can be any help, Your Highness,” I replied, wondering how royalty could possibly need assistance from a commoner.

“Do you know where the Palace is?” He asked.

I lifted my head in shock and gawked at the man. He had dark hair, a firm jaw, and brown eyes that twinkled back at me. I quickly lowered my own.

“The Emperor’s Palace,” I asked breathlessly.

“Yes,” The prince’s voice was laced with an undertone of playfulness. “The Emperor’s Palace.”

I pointed with my finger. “If you go straight ahead and then turn left at the Municipal Office, you will reach the North gate,” I directed, “From there go down the main road for five miles.”

I heard a rustle of fabric. Glancing up, I saw the prince bow.

“Thank you, little lady,” He said before he caught me staring. I quickly lowered my head, but not fast enough.

“My lady! You’re hurt!”

I covered my face with my hand.

“No, Your Highness,” I protested.

“But there is a scar!”

“Yes,” I agreed, “But that happened a long time ago … when I was a little girl.”

“Oh.”

I stood there a little awkwardly, not knowing if I should excuse myself or show the way to the gate.

“Thank you, Kkachi,” The prince said quietly, “We shall be able to find our way with your clear instructions.”

I bowed low once more.

“The honor is all mine, Your Highness,” I replied.

I rose and made my way through a small crowd. I walked a few paces before glancing back. The prince was still watching me and waved his hand when he saw me look his way. Blushing furiously, I turned and ran the rest of the way home.


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Thu Nov 28, 2019 4:23 am
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Raelyn wrote a review...



WOW! Just WOW! I loved this so much. I am sorry I am so behind on your novel, but I am a book leech(well I am actually very picky, but when I love it... ) so I will catch up fast. So let the reviewing commence.

BANG!

I loved how you started this off with an action adreanline bang. It really grabs the attention over your ready, so nice job:)

ache started to prick my side, this was an interesting phrasing what did you mean here?

I love the description and use of so much dialogue. You are already building quite the characters.




shieldmaiden says...


Thanks Raelyn! It means a lot that you like it. Especially if you are a bit picky. That makes it mean so much more that you chose to give what I've written a try. Thanks!



Raelyn says...


Anything for a good pal:)



shieldmaiden says...


Aww, gee thanks;)



Raelyn says...


have you read my hidden heir?



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Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:32 pm
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LewisPencastle2 wrote a review...



Hey, I'm starting at the beginning of your series just to read it for fun, but I also saw a couple things i'd like to point out. The entire premise is good except there is a few small grammar errors mostly just with missing preposition words, but besides that it flows rather well. The only other thing is that at one of the characters describes a woman as a "lass" which kind of breaks with your other names, which to me seem like part of a more asiatic/eastern based fantasy (unless that's just me). Lass is directly a colloquial Scottish term, and on its own I know its a pretty petty criticism, but you might want to make sure you don't use idioms from other cultures too much, because it could take away from your own after time. Besides that its great and I look forward to reading the rest.




shieldmaiden says...


Thanks!!!



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Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:10 am
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TropicalRain wrote a review...



Hi! I'm TropicalRain and I'm here to talk about your chapter for a little while.

So let's start.
So I can't point out anything that is wrong because everyone else has done an amazing job doing that already. So I'm here to talk about the good things.

I think everything about this chapter was spot on, right from the beginning to the very end. I couldn't take my eyes away from the screen. Right from the part with the epic chase, to the part were Kkachi heads home, it was just so captivating. And I loved every second of it.
I thought it could do with a little more description, but it's the start of the book and we will get into the surroundings later. I think the mane goal of the first chapter is to have the pour to hook your readers up an till the very last word, and I think you have nailed that to the very cor. I'm going to go right ahead and read the rest of your book. I'll try and leave some reviews as I go.

Keep writing amazing things!
TropicalRain.
Spreading wisdom like water in a river.




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Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:32 am
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Pomeroy wrote a review...



I saw one of your chapters in the green room, and was like, "Dang gotta go read the whole story." So here I am, starting with the first chapter. At let me just say, it really makes me look forward to reading the rest of them, cause this is so good! It's written really nicely. The dialogue between the bandits is cute and fun, and the dialogue between Kkachi and the prince is also cute and natural. While you havent shared much about the characters or the world just yet, there's enough context clues to make me feel immersed in the world and like I understand what's happening, so that's good. So overall, I love it! But let's jump into the review.

I always begin with the nitpicks!
"You make a habit out carrying around a woman’s purse?" after "out" there should be an "of" I believe, and a question mark at the end of the sentence.

“Now that a new one." "That" should be "that's"

"“Why,” Ja asked while dodging his fellow’s attacks..." There should be a question mark after "why."

"Your all just jealous ‘cause I can grow a beard!” "Your" should be "You're."

"“You returned the purse,” I asked." Again, there should be a question mark.

“In case something was to happen to our General." "Was" should be "were."

"I passed a couple stalls, stopping at a few for only a couple minutes before continuing on." Unless she bought something at the stalls, or her passing them and stopping them is somehow significant, you could remove this whole sentence. I think it would help the paragraph flow better, too.

"“Please rise,” a kind voice replied." I would replace "a" with "his," since we already know who's speaking. The use of "a" almost implies that it's a third party that hasnt yet been mentioned. Also I would replace "replied" with something like "ordered" or "instructed," cause he's telling her what to do, not specifically replying to her apology.

"“What’s your name,” he asked." Ya just need another question mark!

"I pointed with my finger." This could be altered to say where she pointed rather than how she pointed. I'm sure your readers know that one points with their finger, so maybe you could replace that with something like, "I pointed down a crowded street" or some other kind of descriptor to paint a bit more of a picture of this world for us!

That's all for my little nitpicks. Please dont be overwhelmed by them at all. They're just small things that dont speak at all to how interesting this story is, and how well it's written!

Now just a couple of thoughts and suggestions, that are mostly just personal so feel free it dismiss them haha!

First, her climbing the roof seemed a tad anticlimactic. I thought maybe the chase would continue from there and she would cut the thief off, or that it would transition back into a chase on the ground. But a0s it was, she climbed the roof and then just... climbed back down. Kind of a small thing, but it took away from the excitement of the chase, and there wasnt that satisfying conclusion of her being the one to catch him.

When you first introduce Boja with, "One masked man took a step forward." And then the MC says his name, you could even add a brief description of his appearance there, or just some detail of his appearance to give the reader more of an image of what you've made Boja to look like. Is he tall? Broad? Short? Large? And because this is where you first introduce him, and he's a character of at least some importance, right there would be the perfect place to mention something about him!

Lastly, when the prince acknowledges her scar, you can take advantage of this to naturally transition into a little bit of back story, if you wanted. Or at the very least, tell your readers where the scar is specifically located, what it looks like, etc. Is it super noticeable to the point that even some are disgusted by her face when they see it? Is it just a small scar across her cheek? For example, after he says she's hurt and she protests, you could always add something like, "My hand flew to my eye, where my scar from [x] years ago/[x] situation happened." And just continue with the conversation as is. This avoids maybe later when you want to talk about the scar now, but you cant really naturally transition into doing so.

Sorry this is so long, oof.

Anyways, as I said, this is really interesting, and I'm looking forward to catching up on the story and being able to comment/review on the other chapters!!

- Pom!




shieldmaiden says...


Thanks so much for all the help - especially with the grammar. That is very easy to miss and I'm glad you pointed it out so that now I can fix it. And that point about climbing on the roof is great advice. Now that I think about it, it is very anticlimactic. I will like to make it more dramatic in the future. Thanks again so much for the review! Hope you like the rest. :)



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Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:19 pm
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Gnomish wrote a review...



Okay!

I'm not sure if this is like robin hood, or something completely different, I just heard the words "merry men" and immediately thought Robin hood!

First of all, just a grammar thing, “Return the pouch to it’s owner.” The it's should be its.

Secondly, I really like the story so far, the action is excellent, and I like the dynamic between the characters. I had the impression that Kkachi was some tough gang leader, and I found if somewhat funny to hear her talk about her grandma killing her if she was late. It made her seem much more human.

Thirdly, I like the part at the end. The prince seems like a nice guy, but being ever suspicious I think he's a villain.

I can't wait to read the next chapter!
-Gnomish




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Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:35 pm
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Anma wrote a review...



Hello shieldmaiden!


This is really a great way to start a story.
The action and events really made it a great read.

It flows very neatly and I just have to say I love the names.
I feel they really go with the story.

I love how you made it funny in a way and you shortly explained who the group is.
I really enjoyed reading it.

I don't have any suggestions here so just keep up the good work!

Happy review day!

Anma




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Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:20 am
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EditorAndPerks wrote a review...



Hi there! Welcome to the website, and I hope you enjoy it here. As this is the first chapter to this story, I wanted to go over a couple of elements to get you started.

Kkachi is our narrator here, so let's focus on her for a few minutes. I'm always curious with first-person narratives to see how much information the reader can learn about these characters and try to picture them in one's mind to really get a feel for them. Here, I'm curious as to how high of a position "General" is in relation to what I assume is the city's police force, of some form? What I'm interested in learning more of is how large of a place this is, how else this city is run, and if the royal family is the "official" leader of the entire kingdom/center/town-ish.

I'm actually really okay with not getting too much of a clear description of Kkachi at least in the first scene of this story. From there, I can picture a somewhat mid-age woman who's clearly knowledgable and practiced in her profession and position, which is neat to see. I think I wish this first chapter could have started with a more calm day then transition to the chase scene, to better establish even what apparent time zone this is set in. I'm supposing that this is somewhat in the past, with a typical market feel to this opening chapter, and having a royal family living in a palace in part of the larger town gives a classical vibe to this.

I'm guessing that this prince will surely show up again, and hopefully, he'll know where (I assume) his house, or at least his family's place is next time. I'm also figuring that there might be a romantic blend to this later as his instant concern for a passing stranger is curious. If that doesn't turn into a thing, that would make me surprised, but also pleased. Let's see if some stories can have and keep platonic relationships in some capacity.

Overall, I think this has a decent sense of voice here, in this mostly calm and collected force of a General ready to rally her soldiers to do something in the forest, and the appearance of a prince. There are a lot of characters to cycle through in her underlings, so I'd hope that in future chapters we can get to know everyone better in smaller groups over having everyone bunched together, as it can get confusing.

Nice first chapter!




shieldmaiden says...


Thanks. I hope that my next two chapters help clarify up a few things and that you are able to get a better idea of what the setting is. I kind of struggle with that and realize that it is very important. Thanks for the helpful advice!



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Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:52 pm
Horisun says...



I loved this! It was real good. I really enjoyed how you opened this up with a chase scene. I love those! Really, the only thing that didn't make since to me was why the prince was asking the way to his palace, but I'm fairly certain that will be explained, or cleared up later. I look forward to the next part. Keep writing! :D




shieldmaiden says...


Thanks so much for the review. Hopefully, my next chapter clarifies why the prince is asking for directions.



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Horisun says...



I loved this! It was real good. I really enjoyed how you opened this up with a chase scene. I love those! Really, the only thing that didn't make since to me was why the prince was asking the way to his palace, but I'm fairly certain that will be explained, or cleared up later. I look forward to the next part. Keep writing! :D




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Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:24 am
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FlamingPhoenix wrote a review...



Hello, FlamingPhoenix here with a review for you on this lovely day, and to help you get your work out the green room.

Okay so let's start with the review.

Mistakes.

So I saw this one line that just need a small thing to be fixed.

“The Emperor’s Palace,” I asked breathlessly.

So here she is asking a question isn't she, so I feel like you should put a question mark there instead of the comma.

Plot

I'm happy to say that your plot is already coming along really well. I like it that you jumped right into the action. it was a really cool way of getting your reader hooked. And I can't wait to see what you will do next in the next chapter.
I am also very interested in the name of your story. I can already tell what it means, and I'm quit excited to see what will happen.

Characters

Now I have met quit a lot of people in this chapter. And I already not quit a lot about them, so that's good. I'm looking forward to seeing what more I will find out about them.

Setting

i think the setting could do will a little more work. But in this chapter the way you started it, I think you did a really good job, but for the next chapter I think you might want to work on the setting a bit.

Over all this was a really fun chapter to read, and I would love to be tagged for the next chapter. I hope to see more of your work out on YWS soon. Never stop writing and have a great day/night.

Your friend
FlamingPhoenix. :D
Reviewing with a fiery passion.




shieldmaiden says...


Thanks so much for the review and the great advice. It really helps and I found it very encouraging!





I'm glad I could help you out. It was fun reviewing and reading your chapter. I look forward to the next one.



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Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:52 am
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Honora says...



I see you did some editing lol. Looks good Cecy!! (You already know my opinions on your book so I'm not going to review lol) See you sometime later...;)





Courage, my soul! Now learn to wield the weight of thine immortal shield...
— Andrew Marvell