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Hey Hero!! Be my Bodyguard!!

Introduction

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The Continent of Keiros has many kingdoms and disputes. Almost a thousand years ago, there was a small kingdom that slowly expanded into an illustrious and prosperous Empire called the Zankor Empire. For almost two centuries the line of Emperors ruled with love, understanding and peace. But not all were happy with the empire. They had a neighboring kingdom called Orina. Orina and Zankor had several cold ears off and on and held a rivalry against each other.

Things came to a head when The Emperor was assassinated, and the spark hit the powder keg. Orina and Zankor declared war, and had been warring for a long while. It was almost total bloodshed followed by several tense lulls.

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Seven hundred years have passed and for the moment, a temporary peace is keeping the two factions at bay from one another, leaving them to resume their own individual political adventures and gain. Technology flourished, and several famous Mages helped in discovering newer things by the decade.

However, Orina had made the people around its own borders believe Zankor Empire is a cruel and evil place. And as of the newest debate of succession, it would seem they had a patsy to prove them right. The next Ruler to Zankor's throne is almost the textbook definition of Evil. She was not a nice ruler to barter with, or make negotiations to. She wanted the war finished no matter what it took. Rumors begin of just how far into the darkness she really was in. Slowly other nations began to fear the Name Zankor due to these rumors, except for the few nations skeptical of it all.

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The Northeastern Kingdom of Valsir grows worried, and more so by visions of an impending darkness in the Empire. To investigate, they sent one of their best heroes to investigate it. His first stop was Orina to get supplies, and then on into the Empire itself. However, Orina scouts discreetly followed him and things turned hectic when the Imperial guards arrived and captured the Hero.

Now he is awaiting trial and his fate is unknown, this is the story that follows.

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The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 2 authors

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Character Portrait: Lilith Hekabe Character Portrait: Zianro Azura
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"Tuck in your bed my son, for it begins a long time ago..." Was how Zianro's father always opened with his stories, back when he was young. He wished this was how the next chapter of his life began with. But now he was chained to a wall, with various chains. He didn't even know what dungeon, if any, was he in. Zianro was only here because they suspected him of something he wasn't capable of doing. Espionage, it was a stupid thing. They could've charged the actual Orina spies, but he assumed as an exotic hero from a country in the distant North, he'd be a perfect scapegoat and be forgotten about.

Valsir, his mind drifted to his homeland and the inn he grew up in, and the stables he once tended to. Happy thoughts on his family, Father, Six elder sisters. His sisters, last he heard his eldest had her first child and her husband died six months before in a freak accident. Fate was cruel that way. He then saw two guards outside his cell. "They said he killed a dragon in a day!" Said one soldier.

"I heard it was two." The second one replied. "Actually, it took me three days. It was a rogue dragon that would've caused damage." the guards turned to Zianro almost in shock. "I almost had no sleep that entire time."

The guards went back to whispering about how they couldn't believe he was their prisoner. They thought almost anything could happen with him here in the Zankor empire. All it depended on was their ruler. Then all of a sudden, a third guard rushed to his comrades and whispered something in their ears that made their hairs stand on end.

"She's coming?! Here, right now?! To inspect the prisoner?! Quick! Look at least presentable and hope she's not in a bad mood!" The two hurried and got in a good stance and awaited the approach of their ruler.

"Well, shit, I have a bad feeling my life's about to go further downhill." came the thought in his head. He had to do his best to contain his frustration however, they confiscated Draconil for the time being. So he could do nothing if a fight came his way. Either way, if death came his way, he'd have to welcome it, or at least something that could be worse.

"All Hail Madam Lilith Hekabe! Glory to Zankor!" The guards shouted as the doors to his cell opened, potentially letting in the person mentioned. Zianro only stared at the ground, not because he didn't want to look up at her, but because his chains felt more heavy for some reason.

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Character Portrait: Lilith Hekabe Character Portrait: Zianro Azura
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Word traveled fast, about the special prisoner that was held in the jail. Lilith had heard much gossip from the two guards 'escorting' her to his cell. Not long before she had been enjoying the glories of the day in her chambers, changing up the formations for battle in case she needed to do so. She was humming a light tune as she continued her work when a light knock came through as an echo. Now she was walking through the prison doors and down the winding steps. While she walked, she thought of how his punishment would go. So many methods, yet so many people that don't survive for the fun parts.

"All hail Madam Lilith Hekabe! Glory to Zankor!" Lilith nodded in approval.

"At ease men," Lilith said, opening the cell door herself. The instant her eyes fell on the man, a smile crept onto her face. She had never seen such an exotic person. Most people in Zankor were pale. Especially since she started ruling. A constant cover of rain clouds covered the sky. Occasionally, such as today, it was slightly sunny. "Dairus, what are this mans qualifications."

"Well it seems that his strength is exceptional. And according to rumor, he slayed dragons. So I'd say he's perfectly qualified for you." Lilith squatted down in front of the man to get a better look.

"Today is your lucky day, boy. You get to battle for your life. Lose and you die, win and you get to live a life of comfort as my pet." Lilith nodded at her Lieutenant who promptly left the room. "Prepare him for battle, take him to the arena. Oh and if you try to escape, I'll take you down myself." Her twisted smile showed her true colors. She left herself, leaving him to the soldiers. Lilith herself made her way to her special section of the arena. As she sat, her Lieutenant reappeared. He reminded her a lot of herself when she was young and second-in-command.

"Are you sure you don't want to just get rid of the pest? I thought that you had zero tolerance for espionage." But Lilith held up her hand to stop him. If this man lasted against some of her best soldiers, he was definitely worthy of being her body guard. She hated the idea of needing one, but with how things were going, she would need one so she could at least sleep occasionally. The Lieutenant was doing a good job of protecting her, but with a dragon slayer on his team, he'd be invincible. Lilith would much rather do her own protecting, but she needed to conserve her energy for more important enemies.

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Character Portrait: Lilith Hekabe Character Portrait: Zianro Azura
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Zianro rolled his eyes at the man's description. "It was a single dragon in three days. How hard is that for a tale to not get wrong?" he thought to himself. It was then the woman called Madam Lillith squatted in front of him to get a better look at him. "Today's your lucky day, boy. You get to battle for your life. Lose and you die, win and you get to live a life of comfort as my pet. Prepare him for battle, take him to the arena, oh and if you try to escape, I'll take you down myself."

With the most twisted smile he's ever seen, Zianro watched the ruler leave. Maybe people were right. Maybe Lilith was the darkness he was sent to investigate. No, no conclusions had to be drawn yet. The guards unchained him and dragged him to the place where he'd entered the arena. He grabbed Draconil from the guard and placed it where it belonged, sheath and all. He then proceeded to walk into the Arena, where he was faced with several soldiers wearing decorative armor. "Honor Guards huh?" he thought. There were about three of them, and armed with regular steel weapons.

Zianro calmly drew his sword from his sheath. Draconil's black blade shined in the sun, a red and white line running down from the hilt and stopping at least three inches from its start. He muttered a small prayer to his ancestors to watch over him in this fight. The soldiers charged at the man and one swung. To that soldier's amazement, he heard his blade crack at the contact of Zianro's blade.

Zianro smiled as he began to fight off his attackers. To any witnesses amazement, he had some skill in fighting he knocked two of them out. The third soldier was fighting as hard as he could, but his blade suddenly snapped in half by Zianro's strength backing up his defense, as he then met a boot to the face that sent him flying to the wall.

Zianro then looked up towards where he thought this 'Madam Lilith' was seated at. "There. I won. Are you satisfied about my victory?" He asked giving an honest grin as he sheathed his blade. He knew what winning meant however, and it didn't sit too well. He won his life, but lost his freedom, potentially.

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The man drew his sword with an amount of calmness that only a master swordsman could possibly possess. His blade was one that she hadn't seen before, just as exotic as the man. As the battle went on, the shattering of her soldiers swords didn't phase her, but her smile grew. However, she could feel her Lieutenant gasp and flinch. "Are you sure using this guy is safe?"

"Are you doubting your strength, or worse, are you doubting mine?" Lilith gave him a dark look that made him stand at attention, tripping over his own words. Lilith let out a laugh before turning back to the man, who had finished off the soldiers.

"There. I won. Are you satisfied about my victory?" Lilith stood and nodded in approval. She gave a the Lieutenant a look he knew well.

"Bring the victor to Madam's office, hang the others." However, Lilith simply leaped from her spot and landed next to the man. She looked closely at his sword.

"What do you call your weapon, Swordsman," Lilith asked, beginning her walk to her office. A few guards surrounded her and the man, eventually the Lieutenant made it to Lilith's side. The walk made its way through the higher class section of the main kingdom that surrounded Lilith's castle. Most people were inside their homes, making no noise as she passed and those who were stuck in the street were in the deepest bow position possible. Lilith didn't bother looking at any of them. She simply continued to walk the path. Once they reached Lilith's castle, the guards all peeled off, leaving the main three to enter. It didn't take much longer for them to reach the office, which was scattered with maps, strategies, battle formations and all sorts of random documents. "Alright, what is going on today."

"Well, filing obviously needs to be finished, General Cathal has a report on the battle that finished three days ago."

"Did we win?"

"Yes."

"Then what is there to report?" Lilith sat in her chair. "Were their survivors?" Lieutenant nodded and Lilith let out a joyful cheer. "Add them to my list and I'll have a full day tomorrow!" The Dark Lord took off her hat and tossed it onto a peg hanging from the wall. She kicked off her shoes as well and pulled out a piece of paper. "You may leave now, I want to figure out a name for my new pet. I like Jeffery," she said with a chuckle.

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Zianro raised an eyebrow slightly when Lilith leapt from her seat and landed next to him, peering closely at his blade, now that he had a good look at her he can figure out what she looked like better in the light of day. Almost as tall as himself, long light blue hair cascading down her entire back, with almost blue eyes to match it. She almost had an hourglass figure about her.

"What do you call your weapon, swordsman?" she asked as she began walking, thus signaling Zianro to follow her as well. But he felt like it would be rude to not give her an answer to her question as they walked. "Draconil, Blade of the Blessed Dragon." he had no other option then the truth. They were then joined by her guards and the second person who followed Lillith. He observed the walk to her castle silently, feeling more and more uneasy about deciding to win the battle. But he knew why he wanted to win, no, had to win. If he died, it ended the Male line of the Azura clan, and thus, the Bearers of Draconil as well. He didn't want that, and frankly, neither would his ancestors.

They had already entered her office when Zianro came back to the reality of things. He listened to their discussions of battles, who won, what was there to be done, etc. "P.O.W's?" he thought to himself. If The Madam's plans were anything like how he just went through, those poor folks who fought her would probably need to say their prayers.

"You may leave now, I want to figure out a name for my new pet. I like Jeffery." he heard her say with a chuckle as he glared slightly. "By Na'ari's forge...is she kidding me?!?" he thought. As soon as the lieutenant walked away Zianro breathed calmly, trying hard not to show any frustration the statement she said gave him.

"You already took my freedom, will you please allow me to keep the only dignity I have that is my name? It's Zianro Azura, ma'am." he had a feeling he was about to get off the wrong foot with her, but he just wanted to ask for simply just that small greivance of keeping his name. For if he was given another name, he'd forget who he is, and he didn't want to lose his identity.

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Character Portrait: Lilith Hekabe Character Portrait: Zianro Azura
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The sadness she detected in his voice as well as a hint of frustration made her laugh even more. Despite that, she continued on thinking of a name. Of course, Lilith knew and didn't honestly care that he would refer to himself by his real name when speaking to others, but she wanted to express the fact that he was hers. "Zainro .... I like Zain. Zain it is!" Lilith got up from her chair, looking Zainro dead in the eyes. "Zain, as my new pet and guard, I need you to promise that you would lay your life down for me. That no matter what happens, I am your first priority." Lilith paused. "And if you don't, I'll have to get rid of you. I have chosen you out of thousands, out of millions, of people. Be grateful."

The Evil Ruler waited for his response before silently going about her organizing. At first, she separated everything into piles, then continued to file everything away into it's proper place.

"So how'd you end up in my dungeon, Zain? Seems odd that someone as non-threatening as you is even here. Let alone you haven't tried to kill me, so I'm assuming you aren't an assassin. Do you not have any family back where you are from?" Lilith left the room and motioned for Zainro to follow her. She moved through the halls, listening to him speak. She stopped in front of a room at the end of one of the many halls. Lilith pushed open the door to reveal a rather comfortable looking room. "This is my previous body guard's room. And now it's yours. If you need me, find a guard and he'll take you to my quarters. Make yourself at home."

After that, Lilith departed down the gray hallway. The journey to her own room was long, and the closer you got, the darker the hallways became. Once she reached her room, she closed the door behind her. Since the day was drawing to a close, Lilith figured she would arrange her bag for tomorrow. It was going to be a full day of torturing tomorrow. How she wished the day would end already so she could have a little fun. A knock on her door lead her to groan. The Lieutenant entered slowly, closing the door behind him.

"Madam, I wanted to come to you with concerns for your safety. I know we already discussed this, but I was hoping that you would allow me to have a surveillance team watch him while he's here. Of course they wouldn't do so when he's with you, as I know you wouldn't enjoy that."

Lilith sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. "Fine, do what you want, but only for a reasonable amount of time." The Ruler made a shooing motion to her Lieutenant who bowed and exited the room. Lilith looked back at her bag and continued to pack away her different tools.

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Character Portrait: Lilith Hekabe Character Portrait: Zianro Azura
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"Zainro... I like Zain. Zain it is!" The swordsman was slightly surprised at how she said his name but then, for a second decided it was slightly better then Jeffery. It was then she looked into his eyes. "Zain, as my new pet and guard, you have to promise that you'd lay your life down for me. That no matter what happens, I am your first priority... And if you don't, I'll have to get rid of you. I have chosen you, out of thousands, out of millions, of people. Be grateful."

Zianro heaved a heavy sigh. This promise he had to make sealed his possibly permanent job and residence of country. That meant no more wandering, no more high adventuring...well, she was a fighter and her empire was huge, so maybe not. So he placed his fist over his heart. "I, by my family name, do swear to follow the promise to the letter." he said, in a standard oath of allegiance. No choice, it was tradition, plus it'd help him understand her more.

She turned her attention back to him by asking the questions of how he ended up in the dungeon and if he had any family. Was it a trick to get him to endanger his father and sisters? No, he didn't think that. "I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Or if Fate is cruel, the wrong place, at the right time. Some of your guards was capturing spies from Orina and I got caught in the mix because I was passing through the area. I simply just wander the world now, cost of being a hero." he shrugged, "I do have family in Valsir, my father, my six elder sisters. Probably by now a niece or nephew by my eldest sister. It's been awhile since I wrote to them. I assume my letters get lost in the business of the Inn, Azure Tankard."

They stopped at a room and Madam Hekabe indicated that it would be his quarters. He sighed and walked in, he had a long day and simply wanted to sleep.

---

The Next day began with a scream from the torture chambers, it was so loud it stirred Zianro from his slumber. The young Valsirian woke rubbing his head and looked around, half asleep, thinking he was back home in a busy tavern, only to find Draconil laying across the table. He fully woke himself up and got up. He would have began his day by cleaning himself up, but he had no idea where the bathing areas were, or even what kind of bathing customs there are in Zankor! He felt like a very unprepared tourist. So he simply put back on his shirt, and picked up his sword and uttered a small prayer to his ancestors to bless his day.

Sheathing his sword he then walked outside the quarters. He looked around as he decided to look around the castle, he felt his stomach rumble as an indication he needed food.

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"I won't go down without a fight."

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"It seems no choices will be given..."

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"I won't go down without a fight."

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"It seems no choices will be given..."

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"I won't go down without a fight."


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