KOD Chapter 1
The Keeper of the Gravestone
Power is the right of the mighty, gifting only who are worthy the will to rule all lesser beings.
— DK. Kaizer
IN A WORLD FILLED WITH CONFLICT with powerful beings of a multitude of races, empires take arms to fight for dominance, each bearing the crest of the strongest fighting styles they possess, whether it be through magic or abstruse martial techniques. They battled for years and raged countless wars wreaking havoc on the land, eventually resulting in the birth of four mighty races that stood above all. They are the ambiguous Dark Elf Kind, the mighty Colossal Giants, the Superior Tiger Clan, and the Mage Union.
These powerful forces had successfully carved out a place in their chaotic world to reign as the ultimate rulers, yet, even so, their reign of supremacy was short-lived as a new power soon appeared.
It was a powerful race that had arrived in their world without a trace of origin, with powers far beyond the like they had ever seen. Because of this, the war had shifted, placing these newcomers at the forefront due to their uniqueness. Their style of fighting outclassed all the previous races vying for supremacy, whether it was through magic, strength, techniques, and even craftsmanship; this race’s warriors were on an entirely different league.
Soon, their very name began to spread across the world like a raging tide with unstoppable momentum, the very name all began to dread and fear, the name of Dragon Kind.
It was later said that three mysterious leaders had led this race in the days of the War Age, they were said to be so strong with abilities far superior to even the greatest generals of their clansmen, reaching a different scale of power. Through their might, they had managed to push to war even further, causing it to rage for eons upon eons with those of Dragon Kind, ultimately suppressing all sides, but at the very moment they were about to claim true supremacy something happened, they disappeared, vanishing from the face of the world.
Upon their disappearance, there followed a new calamity, one that had destroyed more than half of the entire world; the people later call this event – the Division Shock.
It was only after the catastrophic destruction to the land and disappearance of the dragon race that many years later, the world was led to the start of the new age, the era of the Alliance of Four Races, and peace was finally restored at last, or so it seemed.
Deep within an ancient forest, an unusual place filled with legends of the unknown. One would see a variety of unique spirits dancing about the wild forestry, painting a colorful atmosphere to this wildland. The creatures here were bizarre, each carrying a distinctive and compelling kind of energy. They ranged from gigantic oddities to those of familiar shapes belonging to bear-like monsters and other animals.
At this moment, the sky was dark as the curtain of night had blanketed the world, leaving only the lights from the radiant stars that painted a cosmic brilliance in the very heavens as they shone upon the earth. These bright rays shone their splendor onto the ancient forest, causing it to glow with a peculiar light, imbuing its entirety with a mystical ambiance.
Swoosh! Suddenly, a light wind blew as a sea of leaves danced about the area, making their way through the thick trunks of old trees towards a similar direction at the depths of the ancient forest.
Aa-chu! Following a loud sneezing sound, on top of a massive tree with a branch that was as thick as a large water barrel, two figures sat while observing a region inside of the ancient forest.
Looking towards the left of the tree branch, one would see a skinny looking man holding a simple spear on his right shoulder, with one arm wrapped around it and his other arm resting on his leg. At the right of this individual was a robust-looking man with a hard and rough-looking face. He crossed his legs over with one arm playing with a leaf as his other focused on wiping the mucus from his nose.
The skinny man to the left wore a conical hat that rested on top of his black hair, he had a face that was sharp with slim cheeks, carrying a shrewd expression by nature. A sizeable horizontal scar ran across his nose, filling him with an atmosphere of rich experience and depth. He wore tore up clothing and wrappings around his legs with dried up blood stains, one stained with dirt as it seemed to have not been washed for an awfully long time.
The man seated on the right had his head wrapped in white wrappings, which included both his arms and legs. He also wore tore up clothing with many patches along its surface.
“Tsk, this damn wind is killing me!” The muscular man said as he continued to wipe his runny nose.
The skinny looking man with the spear turned his head and looked at him with a strange expression as he spoke, “Hey comrade, did you hear the legend?”
“Hear what? Is it another one of your falsehoods? Che! If so, then I’d rather not hear anything. Rufallus, why do we even have to be the ones on night watch? I rather spend my night with a fine lass,” The muscular-looking guy said with a face filled with discontent.
Rufallus didn’t seem to mind his complaints; he continued with his earlier words as his eyes flashed, “Did you hear the story of this place?”
“Hmm, a story about here…? Ahhh! You mean the story of…” The muscular man was about to reply, but before he could finish, Rufallus promptly interrupted, finishing his words for him.
“The Keeper of the Gravestone… they say he’s been guarding an ancient gravestone since the beginning of time. A guardian of some mystical treasure believed to be hidden inside that stone,” Rufallus said as he spaced out, visualizing the scene as if it was before his very eyes.
The muscular man who heard this spat on the branch they sat on before he spoke in reply, “Bah! Do you even believe that kind of bull-crap? Everyone should know just how foolish of a tale it is; I doubt there’s anyone who would even try to seek it out. Hmm, wait? Don’t tell me that this is the reason why we’re here?”
As he thought more into it, his eyes flashed as he came to a sudden realization causing him to curse out loud, “Well shit! It’s no wonder why the boss suddenly became interested in this cursed forest!”
“Hahaha! Well, don’t let it bother you too much; we just gotta watch this area for any strange phenomena that might occur. You know if we do a decent job then we… eh?” Rufallus was currently replying to the muscular man, but when his eyes swept towards a specific area in the ancient forest, he exclaimed as he saw a strange scene.
Suddenly, with a buzzing sound followed by the noise of something shattering, a bright light shone from the depths of the woods soaring towards the limits of the sky. With this change, chaos began to flow throughout this forest as the oddities, and strange beasts started to run amok in fear creating what is known as a Beast Tide. Luckily though, the few who dared to venture here were no weaklings.
“Hehe! It looks like we’re in luck, comrade! Quickly, let’s go inform the leader!” Rufallus said in excitement as he looked towards the scene before his eyes.
“Finally! We can leave this cursed place!” The muscular man yelled in excitement as he gripped the branch with both of his hands.
In an instant, they vanished like the wind, leaving behind a bare branch as they danced amongst the tall trees making their way towards another location, easily avoiding the dangers of the now chaotic forestland.
With a loud swooshing sound, another gust of wind blew, carrying a group of leaves from that area towards the location of the strange glowing light that reached the sky’s limit. They blew amongst many tall trees and vine wrapped branches gliding towards an open field.
There in the distance before them, one could see that at the center of this bright ray of light shining towards the heavens, was a gravestone. It was 8 meters tall and 2 meters wide and had an archaic air, with old forgotten writings on its surface as an ancient aura flowed around it. The tombstone was old and worn out with multiple cracks and broken-off segments; there was even dried up moss that had grown to occupy most of its worn surface.
In front of this gravestone was a man seated on the ground with his back resting against the tombstone. He wore an ancient-looking armor that had rust all over its surface, one that had aged due to an unknown amount of time. It was a man with long flowing green hair which fell over his handsome face, with deep-set eyes, a straight nose and wide lips showing features that belonged to a man in his late twenties; his skin was bright seeming not to be affected by the filth of the mundane, as an old sword placed within a rusted sheath rested on his shoulder.
He rested quietly as if everything in the world was of no concern to his existence, destined to lay in a state of eternal slumber. Nevertheless, on this night, his fate was about to change.
The rays of light that pierced the heavens soon retracted as a group of golden chains suddenly appeared from the ancient gravestone connected to the sleeping man.
With a cracking and crumbling sound, the chains reacted as if they had lost all their power, breaking apart before they faded away into particles of light shining across the entire open field.
The instant this occurred, the green-haired man that rested suddenly reacted as his face that was peaceful and calm suddenly darkened, his eyes furrowed while beads of sweat trailed down his forehead, falling onto the ground of the grassy field.
Eventually, his hand that was on the ground started to shake as his palm began to sweat when he gripped the ground, gathering a bunch of dirt and grass in his hand.
“Uh…” With a low grunt, his closed eyes shook as they abruptly opened, viewing the strange environment before his eyes. A look of confusion now on his face, as he frowned seeming to be lost about everything he muttered softly. “Where am I? Who am I?”
“Who am I…? Who am I…?” His voice reverberated throughout the silent field; he slowly lifted his body off the lush ground using the tombstone behind him to aid his now weakened body.
With a loud clanking noise, the sword that was on his shoulders fell to the ground due to his movements, echoing in his mind causing him to fall into a daze as his awareness faded away into his unconscious mind. The world around him turning to blankness as a new scene unfolded.