The Kingdom Of Allysia
The Kingdom of Allysia was famous. Despite being located in the continent’s northwestern corner, it was considered a central hub in which merchants and scholars gathered from all over the realm. The kingdom’s prosperity was brought about by its abundant human resources. It possessed more people than any of the surrounding nations, and as such, was able to better assign individuals to roles befitting their talents. The country’s economy was more developed than any of those in its vicinity, and, of course, its people saw the benefits.
And that was only the tip of the iceberg. The Allysians were indeed proud of their robust economy, but they were even more proud of the state of their technology. The magically enhanced items and tools produced in Allysia were often a full generation ahead of what could be found elsewhere. It went without saying that their advancements were not limited to devices for the masses. Their military tools had also been subject to innovation.
The might of the Allysians was no secret. Allysian flags and soldiers could be found amongst those leading charges against demi-human forces more often than not.
The man that sat at this mighty nation’s forefront, its current monarch, was King Reiyd Glorio Allysia. King Reiyd had yet to achieve anything revolutionary. He wasn’t known for his prowess in combat; Reiyd was not the type of king that could break though an enemy army and fell a general with his own two hands.
However, he was regarded as a splendid ruler nonetheless. His policies brought the country stability, and as such, his people considered him reliable.
“I implore you to reconsider, your majesty! We must take action! The time has come!”
Said king was currently entertaining a visitor in the throne room. The younger man attempting to persuade him was none other than his son, Riutt Glorio Allysia.
Reiyd believed that his son had developed into a fine young man. The prince loved his country and always worked hard to serve it. Alas, Riutt was still young. He failed to understand that his passion could sometimes be misdirected—
“My son, I understand your concerns, but I will not allow you to act.”
—And that this was precisely one of those times.
“So you want me to sit by, twiddle my thumbs, and watch!? Our country was just subject to an invasion!” raged Riutt. He was practically shouting at the top of his lungs.
The king knew the cause of his son’s anger. The messenger that had arrived just a few days prior had informed them both that Alfyro, a city near one of the country’s borders, had been temporarily occupied by an army of monsters.
“The assault, or invasion, as you call it, was insignificant. The situation has already resolved itself. The only individuals harmed were criminals. I see no reason for us to deploy our soldiers,” said the king. Unlike his son, he was able to remain calm as he made his verdict.
It wasn’t as if the king hadn’t considered retaliation. Rather, he was refusing his son precisely because he had already considered it. In the king’s eyes, picking a fight with the invaders wasn’t worth it given their point of origin. But much to the king’s dismay, his son did not share his judgement.
“The amount of harm caused is irrelevant. What matters is that our country’s borders were breached by a foreign force!”
Listening to his father’s conclusion had only caused Riutt to become even more passionate.
Riutt firmly believed that retaliating and assaulting the enemy with a counter-invasion was the best choice to make. He was concerned that the monsters would return and attack the city once more if they did not immediately demonstrate the extent of their power.
Another reason the prince wished to launch an assault was that he was simply angry. One of the towns in his beloved country had been damaged by mindless monsters, mere animals without the ability to reason.
But in truth, both of those reasons were mere pretenses, excuses.
The truth of the matter was that the prince wanted to expand his country’s borders. The monsters that invaded Alfyro had come from the Wicked Forest. All of the countries bordering the Wicked Forest had classified it as too dangerous to conquer.
In other words, it was untouched, prime real estate, yet to be claimed—a literal mountain of treasure.
And Prince Riutt desperately desired it. Annexing the Wicked Forest would, without a doubt, strengthen his nation. But his father, the king, was too afraid of the Supreme Dragon to conquer it. In Ruitt’s eyes, his father’s fear was unfounded. The Supreme Dragon was supposed to have settled down in the Wicked Forest’s depths hundreds of years ago. The prince knew the legends, but he doubted that the dragon had remained. At the very least, it had not been sighted in recent times.
He knew that the monsters that made the forest their home were powerful, but so were the enchanted items and weapons at his disposal. He knew that his forces could deal with them, that they had a good shot at making the Wicked Forest their own.
In other words, the Prince believed that the only thing preventing Allysia from annexing the Wicked Forest was his father’s cowardice.
“You are only saying that because you have failed to grasp the Wicked Forest’s nature,” said the king, with a sigh.
“I know it, and I know it well. It is but another uncharted region teeming with dangerous monsters.”
“You would not wish to challenge it if you truly understood it.”
The father frowned as he gazed upon his stupid, stubborn excuse of a son, his eyes filled with disappointment.
An expression that Riutt simply could not tolerate.
“I do not care what you say, Riutt. I will not permit you to send our forces to the forest. That is a royal decree.”
“…Fine.” Ruitt clenched his teeth. “I will refrain from it for the time being.”
The prince turned around and violently burst out of the throne room in a fit of rage before lumbering down the royal palace’s elaborate hallway.
He didn’t even bother trying to hide his displeasure. It was clear that anyone that approached him as he was now was prone to incurring his wrath. Despite that, another man soon scurried to his side.
“What now, Your Highness? His Majesty’s royal decree makes it quite difficult for us to play our hand.”
“His Majesty knows nothing of our plans, and he will continue to know nothing of our plans,” said Riutt, bitterly.
“So proceed as planned?”
“Yes. Rally the troops.”
“By your will.”
The man left the prince’s side in order to attend to his duties.
With no one to accompany him, and no destination in mind, the prince stopped walking and turned towards one of the castle’s many ornate decorations.
Though he was staring the decoration down, it failed to be reflected in his eyes, as his gaze was filled with naught but the light of a passionate, uncontrollable ambition.
The clattering of footsteps and clanging of metal echoed throughout the Wicked Forest as a group of armoured, disciplined men trudged their way through it.
They were moving in formation, but the group as a whole still seemed a bit awkward and unnatural. In a sense, one could say that it was only to be expected. Though all the individuals present had gathered under the prince’s banner, they weren’t truly a unified division. They were merely cooperating with one another in order to get the job done.
Most of the troops were soldiers employed by Allysian nobles. They were all technically a part of the same, overarching organisation, but they’d never actually met each other prior to embarking on the expedition. They all served different masters; each group worked at a slightly different pace. Naturally, they were only here to further their employers’ interests. The nobles had sent them to the prince’s aid in hopes that he would provide them with a piece of the territory he had set out to claim.
“Ugh. I hate this. Why the hell are we all the way out here?” groaned one of the soldiers.
“Chin up man. I know how you feel. This place is dangerous as all hell, but they be payin’ us real good for the job, don’t they? Besides, we’ve got a good number of experienced veteran fighters with us, alongside the newest gear, so it ain’t all bad.“
“Yeah, we made a killin’.”
The two men that replied to the soldier’s complaints were mercenaries. Like everyone else present, they were also selected for the job by someone that wanted to get on the prince’s good side. Mercenaries would typically act like bandits in times of peace, so many of the actual soldiers detested the men, but they did at least acknowledge their strength.
“Besides, heard some demon or demi or something kidnapped a bunch of demi girls. If things go well, we could get a taste of those girls ourselves.”
“Hehehe, demis? I like me the sound of that. Guess I better work hard.”
“You won’t last if you start getting all excited now, you limpdick.”
“Heh, no worries there, bro. My boy down there can stay hard longer than a rockbird.”
The men continued to engage in the vilest of conversations as they moved—an act only made possible because they had yet to learn that they were marching straight into the gates of hell.