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Chapter 1: Chapter 1 : Salazar (1)

The sun flooded the plain. It was Autumn, a particularly mild one : the grass, still green, rippled around the walls of the city like the waves of a calm sea.

Sitting on the terrace at the summit of the Tower, Nihal felt the morning wind hitting her cheeks. She was at the highest point in Salazar, and it was from there that we could enjoy the most beautiful view of the valley that unfolded across miles and miles until we lost sight. The City-Tower, with its fifty floors of houses and shops, dominated this limitless valley : a single and huge tower, which housed a metropolis of fifteen thousand people, piled up on its thousand feet of heights.

Nihal liked to stay there alone, letting the morning breeze playing with her long hair. She was sitting on a large rock, with her legs crossed and her eyes closed. She also had strapped a wooden sword at her waist, as the real warriors do.

When she's sitting up there, she always feels some kind of peace, soothing her mind. She finally could concentrate on herself, on her most secret thoughts and this strange wave of melancholy who embraced her from time to time. But also on that long murmur that arose from the depth of her soul.

But this day Nihal was in a completely different mood. It was a day of war and she was watching the valley like a bloodthirsty captain who was in a hurry to go on a rampage in the melee.

There was in front of her a little group of kids, from 10 to 15 years old. All were boys, except her. All were sit, except her, she was standing tall in the middle of this little battalion. She was their chief. She, a slim and slender teenage girl, with long blue hair floating around her head, purple eyes filled with life and big pointy ears. Despite her thin and graceful aura, the kids were patiently waiting for her next words.

- Today, we will fight to take the abandoned houses, she says. The Fammins are ruling that area but they don't know anything about us and clearly don't expect to see us coming. We'll get them by surprise and defeat them with our swords.

- What's the plan ? asked a plump kid.

- We'll go in tight rows down to the floor above the shops, then we'll cut short by going into the handling pipes behind the wall ; from there we'll directly arrive in their hideout. We'll get them from behind : if we don't get caught, it'll be easy. I'll take the lead with the attack squadron.

Many of her companions nodded their heads with a determined expression.

- Then the archers will come.

Three boys approved, with a sling on their hands.

- And last but not least, the infantry. Are you ready ?

An enthusiastic choir answered. "Yeaah".

- So here we go ! Nihal raised her sword in the air and dived in the narrow path that leaded in the tower, followed closely by the group of boys.

The little troop was walking in tight rows throughout the corridors which traversed the inner circle of the tower, under the half-amused, half annoyed gazes of the inhabitants. Who knew quite well Nihal and the shenanigans of her little troup.

- Hello, general !

Nihal turned around. A little being, barely as high as her, stocky, and the face full with a thick beard, faced her : a gnome. He saluted her with a funny curtsy. Nihal stopped her soldiers and also bowed her head down a little.

- Still chasing the enemies ? asked the little being.

- Always. Today we must chase the Fammins away.

- Aah that's it, like always... If I were you, with how things are moving, I wouldn't say that name so carelessly, even when you're playing !

- We aren't afraid ! shouted a boy in the back.

Nihal smiled with a cheeky look : Indeed, we don't know fear and neither fear them. Anyway, what are you worried about? The Fammins aren't on good terms with anyone, and the Land of Wind is still free.

The gnome burst into laughter and said with a blink :

- Do whatever you want general ! Good luck !

Then they started to go down the floors of the tower one by one, with a regular military pace and in rows, like real soldiers. They went past the houses and shops, with a very large mix of different races and languages used by the population of Salazar. Following on each floor the corridors, which were lighted on a regular pattern by the sun who passed through the windows of the central garden.

Every tower in the Land of Wind had a sort of well in the middle that had two functions, enlighten the inhabitants and a little garden, which is a cultivated area made up of many vegetable gardens and a few orchards.

Nihal entered with confidence beaming out of her in a parallel alley, where she opened an old door. Behind it, it was total darkness.

- Here we are!

The young girl took a solemn expression :

- Now, we don't have room anymore for doubt or fear. Like always, our duty does not allow us to weaken our will.

The others seriously nodded and entered the room too.

They couldn't see anything, the air was thick and dense, filled with some mustiness. After a while, their eyes started to adapt to the obscurity in the room and they could see the outline of stairs that went even deeper in the darkness.

- Are you sure it was today that they wanted to repair the wall ? asked one of the boys. I heard that there are some cracks here and there.

- They've already come, answered Nihal. I did some research ! Hush Hush, stop chatting and get ready for the action !

The sound of their footsteps was heard for a while in the corridor. And then there was just a deep silence.

- Finally, said Nihal while holding her breath.

It was always like that before a raid : her heart started beating rapidly in her chest and the blood was pounding in her temples. She like that feeling, the in-between of the fear and the lust for the incoming fights. She started to brush her fingers against the wall until she felt a wooden door. She stuck her ear on the wall and managed to catch the weak voices of the young boys on the other side :

- It's always us ! Complained one of them. I'm tired of playing the Fammin !

- I got you brother ! Last time Nihal, beat me and I was full of bruises !

- And me, she broke my tooth...

- When Barod was the chief, we took turns, but not now...

- Maybe but with Nihal we enjoy ourselves a lot better. Damn, when we fight it feels so real ! I feel something deep inside me... Like I'm a real soldier!

- We can't say anything she's the strongest among us. It's only fair that she's in charge.

Nihal backed away from the wall, and silently sheathed her sword. With a big front kick, she broke the door and jumped into the room followed by her group.

The wide room was covered in dust, thick spiderwebs were hanging in the ceiling and windows. It was one of the room froms a big abandoned mansion, like all the houses on this floor. Six boys were sitting, each one of them holding wooden axes in their hands, even if they were caught off guard they got up like a one-man-army, and the fight began.

Nihal was battling like a fury : she was bumping violently on her enemies, and her sword was hitting tirelessly. In the heat of the moment, the enemies were passing between other rooms, going through the whole mansion until they reached the exterior corridor.

The group with swords had the upper hand in the fight. We started to hear moans of pain from the others, who were retreating under their blows.

- Retreat ! Shouted the enemy chief, all those who were still capable of moving started running down the stairs.

- Follow them ! Said Nihal, who was already running after them.

One of her soldiers held her arm :

- Not by the shops, Nihal ! If my father knows that I went there again he will kill me !

Nihal freed herself.

- Don't worry ! We'll just chase them and then we'll retreat too !

- Aaah it's becoming worst and worst..., whispered the boy gritting his teeth, who chose to still follow the orders of his general.

They all started to run down the stairs too, like madmen, holding their swords with a firm grip, to the shop's floor.

Most of the shops on this floor were displaying their goods behind the windows, but there were also other sellers, mostly those who sold fruits and vegetables, that had set up big tables in the alley. The group who had been running bumped the table, and other customers too.

- Damn little devils ! Shouted the seller. Nihal, this time your father will hear about me do you understand ?!

But Nihal still chased after the runaways. When she was running like this, with her sword, she felt invincible. Her teammates had already caught the Fammins, but she still had to capture the last one, their chief.

- I got it ! She shouted at her army, flexing her legs even harder. She sprinted very fast and managed to reach behind him. Her breath tickled his neck, so he threw himself down the stairs and landed heavily 2 floors later. He got up wincing in pain, look around him to see if he was on the right floor, and dive by the window.

Nihal bent her head outwards : in their mad run, they went down the tower by a lot. Her prey was snuggled up in the middle of the central garden. Nihal jumped without fear, landed softly and launched her body in the direction of her opponent, raising her sword against him but he was already with his hand raised in the air.

- Wait wait ! I surrender ! he said a little breathless.

Nihal got close to him :

- Congrats, Barod ! You've become quite fast !

- For sure with you chasing me...

- Did you hurt yourself ?

Barod threw a swift glance to his bruised knee.

- I'm not as flexible as you. Well anyway, next time, chose someone else to play the Fammin's chief ! I've had enough, I'm always hurt : i'm still full of bruises from before.

Nihal laugh was cut short by a furious shout :

- Damn !! It's you again ! Now you've done too much !

- Oh-Oh Baar ! Whispered Nihal.

She helped Barod to get on his foot, and the two children started running through the salad's field.

- I don't care if you run away, I know who you are !

When they got to the end of the garden, Nihal turned her head toward her friend and said :

- You can go back to your house ! I'll deal with him !

Barod nodded without turning back and went directly to his house. Nihal took one of her best poker faces and went to speak with the peasant, an old man who lost a few of his teeth, with visible anger on his face which could be said to be amplified by all his wrinkles.

- I already told your dad that if I caught you again around this area, he'll have to pay for all the damage you caused ! He shouted. Today, I have to throw away 3 salads, yesterday it was carrots... And all that without speaking about the apples that you have already stolen !

Nihal managed to make an innocent face and said :

- This time I didn't do anything wrong, Baar ! My friend fell down from the window up there, and I got down to help him !

- Ha ! It has been ages that your friends are falling down and you coming to help them ! If you are afraid of heights stay away from the windows !

Nihal nodded, with a face saying 'yes, I'm sorry' :

- You're right, forgive me. We won't do that again I promise ! She said with an angelic expression which managed to melt down the old man's anger.

- Hum, right ! Hush ! Go away ! Tell Livon it'll cost him a free repair on my tools !

- Yes don't worry !

The young girl sent him a flying kiss and run away as fast as possible.

WolfStar14 WolfStar14

~~ 2051 words ~~

First chapter of the novel, I hope the translation is good !

There will be a few chapters that explain the background and all until the action begins.

The mc is still young, but she will grow fast because... hehe anyway she is quite lovable from what I remember when I read it the first time, and the plot is also catchy !

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