This article, Chapter 5: Return to the Crown City, is the property of Shamankingaursu.

(2 Years in the Past)

Plato had arrived at the main city on Konats. It was a city that stretched as far as the eye could see. Some of the features I’d see off the bat was the castle. It was a massive thing, build after the war.  The build of great stone lost to history with 4 massive towers that stretched 50 feet above the castle which already stood 80 feet itself. They were many things to see in the city of Typica. There was the vast temple that he remembered praying too with his family. I wondered where they were now. Did they die? Were they alive and did they search for him? Did they remember? I shook my head, it didn’t matter now. That was the past if I told the king what I knew he would stop this. He would end this madness.  

I walked down towards the city trying to act not that out of place. With his greying hair, however, he looked very much out of place. Most Konstian had Red bright hair shaped in any manners of forms. The warrior had them in the shape of mohawks, some wore it long and others wore it short. I had it long but it was grey. Even the elderly didn’t have grey hair. Sure there Red hair had dulled but it was still red. The time without light had turned the bright red hair of my youth grey. Or maybe it was the price I paid sealed with a creature of unholy origins in myself. I didn't know for sure but I knew people were staring. Too much attention I thought.

I'd hurry along passing by a shop. I'd smell the aroma of soup being cooked by the man in the stand. My belly growled, I was hungry. He really had not eaten since he left the village. That been a couple hour ago and even then he didn’t know if the villagers had even feed him. They were in need of food so why would they have any to provide to him an outsider.

Thinking about them brought back the painful memory of seeing their corpses. He’d close his eyes trying to think happy thoughts. Anything other than the village. There was not much to think of. Maybe memories as a kid but he didn’t remember that much. There were distinct flashes in his mind. Running with his parents there, pretending to be a knight over here, praying at the temple in that corner...there was not much to think of. For now, however, this was enough. 

Plato breathed in as he keeps walking. He could get some sort of food at the temple. Say he was a beggar of some sort. They would be happy to help him. He’d walk along observing all the people that passed by him with joy in their eyes with no care in the world. If only they knew what was going on under the surface. They would hopefully never need too. The king would take care of it. 

Plato arrived in the temple his eyes wandering the vast halls. It served also as a fountain of lost knowledge. Books filled the halls with all sorts of knowledge. They had one row of books all about the great's wars of Konats between the kashvarr and Konats, another for the art of magic that had become far more rare in the days after the war itself. They had one row dedicated to the study of the White Arc. A god of sort among the people. Some called it false, but he had prayed once or twice. He was said to have turned himself into a star to bring heat and life to the universe. No one knew his true name. Plato found most impressive of all that they were four rows dedicated to swordplay. That was most likely to honor the great heroes of old. How he’d pray to be anywhere as brave and strong as the great wizard, Tapion or Minotia. 

Priest: “Hello sir what brings you to our fine temple.” 

Plato looked up at the priest. He was a young man with red hair flowing down his back almost to his legs. He had a plump but bright face. His eyes were a deep blue that was he was absorbed into. Like small little oceans. He had only heard of oceans, stories on other planets were the vast escape of water filled the world. The only water of Konats was Underground. The heat made it difficult for any water to exist on the surface. He’d shake his head, he was thinking too much. He was giddy to be home.

Plato: “Yes I’m just looking for food. I was hoping one day I could see the King.”

The Priest laughed.

Priest: “You must be with the Prophet he is down the hall.”

I'd not say a thing. If there was a way for him to get in he’d not complain. I'd nod his head in thanks and walk to the end of the halls. There waited a small man it seemed to him. He seemed to be about his age made slightly older. Metals shined under his coat and it seemed to cover his left arm. He must be wearing some sort of armor under his cloak. Around him, Konatian priest talked to him asking questions.

Priest 2: “So there is really water on the surface of other worlds.”

Prophet: “Yes.”

Priest 3: “You say on your world that people live in peace, forming massive cities to stretch across the world.

Prophet: “Of course.”

Priest 4: “And they fight in Toury to demonstrate their martial prowess. Seems quite Barbaric.

Prophet: “It is a sport to honor the courage and the training we have done. Martial arts is a way for people to show that.”

Priest 2: “How good this world sounds. Though it pains me to ask you say that gods don’t exist. I find that impossible.

Priest 3: “How did we all come into existence

Prophet: “In due times we can all understand. Whether gods exist is not something I worry about. It is how people apply themselves. I traveled for 10 years and seen many things. Many devilish things. Many good things. Gods don’t control men’s action through these goods and bads. It is a man who does such deeds.”

Plato approached. He did not care for his conversation but he wanted to meet with the King. 

Prophet: “You're a stranger. welcome.” 

He’d extend the hand that he thought was covered with metal out from under his coat. Instead, he found it was made of metal. He’d shake the man’s hand as he grinned nodding under his cloak. He’d lean close whispering into my ear.

Prophet: “You want to join me I assume to meet the king.”

All I did was nod. It worried me greatly this man had an arm of metal. I had never seen such a thing. I stood on straight as the Prophet let go turning to face the others. 

Prophet: “I am off. My assistants and I are going to meet with the King. Do not worry we shall return soon.”

I ran out with the Prophet with people waving behind us. I was still curious about why he had just taken me under his wing as he went towards the temple though I didn’t ask. When we walked I got a better idea of his age. He was not as young as I thought.

When we reached the castle two men drew their spears blocking the door. I stepped back in surprise but the Prophet but his arm on my back as he stepped forward.

Prophet: “We are to see the King.”

Guard 1: “Sorry he is busy meeting with the Kashvarr.”

My Heart sank into my chest. Why would he be meeting with the Kashvarr? 

Guard 2: “We're not supposed to talk about that.”

The Guard hit his friend guard as the Prophet smiled.

Prophet: “We will be on our way now.”

We turned before I ran off. The Prophet followed him. Why would the king talk to the kashvarr? Tears bubbles in my eyes.  I believed the worst that maybe they were working together? Why else now would he be talking to them. I tried to escape the Prophet but he caught up grasping my shoulder. 

I’d turn to hit him away but metal hand grasped my hand. He’d stare at me from under his cloak as if observing me. His eyes glowed with ki as he seemed to be sensing my powerlevel or something. I didn’t know. 

Prophet: “You will need to return here. You will find the King and ask him the truth.”

Plato: “I know the truth.”

Prophet: “Did it come from his lips.”

Plato: “No...why do you even care.”

The Man stared closer as fear lingered up his spine. The intensity of his glare made me almost think he was out there to get me. Maybe one of the Kashvarr Hunters. I tried to pull my hand to my sword but he grabbed my hands and held tight. He looked me up and down. I had never felt a grip so strong. That was what I was so focused on. I could not move an inch.  Fear override my rage as I took in a deep breath as he let go.

Prophet: “I am a Prophet and I’ve dreamed of you before.”

Plato: “Then what happens after I do this if I do it.”

Prophet: “If I tell you, you will alter history.”

Plato: “Why should I believe you?”

Prophet: “Why not. You can either find the truth or attempt to escape Konats.”

Plato: “How do you know this future.”

Prophet: “There is no This Future. Only one future. No other ones. There is no other path these events can take. If they take any other events then you will be doomed.”

Plato: “I will go into…”

Prophet: “You must sneak in. At night.”

Plato: “Why?”
Prophet: “They won’t let you in.”

Plato: “Fine, but only if you tell my future after.”

Prophet: “If I don’t.”

Plato: “I will do the opposite you ask of me.”

The Prophet sighed.

Prophet: “Fine.”

I assumed he didn’t know anything but he did make a valid point. He could have been meeting with the last one maybe they had captured him. So he’d sneak in. Tonight. 

The Present 

I have been dreaming all about this. That Day with the Prophet. After Vinegar brought me here. I thought about the things he said. I thought about Konats. I thought about a life I left behind. A Life I altered with one stupid action. Dammit, all of it to Hell. I gripped my face containing my rage. I didn’t want it to happen again. I never wanted to lose control. It was a one-time thing to escape the prison. To escape what I been going through. 

I was in a Cell. He had been transported to an arena. It was small space but from what he understood he’d be put in a tag team and fight with a partner. Tomorrow. The cell brought bad memories. It was not as dark but it was cramp. I could try and break out. People who die, some of them deserved to, others didn’t. It would be selfish to put his needs over other lives. Not again. He’d grip his face staring at the ceiling. He’d wait for his chance to sneak out and get out. He’d find a ship and leave. Easy as that.

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