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Literature
asphyxia
inhale. exhale. breathe.
inhale. exhale. breathe.
except you can not; you do not know why, but you can not. you grapple at the air and you try to pull it in but nothing works. your lungs refuse it. they cough and hack it back out and violently you sputter and gag as the once sweet gas that gave you life now refuses to provide you with any benefit whatsoever. like it has betrayed you. stabbed you in the back.
or, rather, in the lungs in this case.
inhale. exhale. breathe.
inhale. exhale. breathe.
    you are struggling against the air as it denies you your right. oddly enough, the image of childbirth comes to you, and the feeling is reminiscent of your first day on earth, even if you do not remember it. that day, too, you were choking and gasping and your lungs did not work. but this is different altogether. then, your lungs did not know what to do. they were new, and fresh, clean and pure.
    now they are stained with the filth of cigarettes and
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Literature
All's Fair Chapter 18
All's Fair in Love and War
C h a p t e r 18
End of Days
Rylaen smiled when they crested the final hill before Sempton came into view. There she was, sitting atop a hill, her walls still strong and her flag still waving in the wind.
"She still stands," said Rylaen to Derrick, "and her standard is still flying." He spurred his horse forward; the city was only a mile off now, and with the time left in the day (it was early morning), they could begin various preparations to strengthen their defenses. "Derrick," Rylaen began as the bartender sped up to keep pace with him, "you and I will go in together and see if we can find the lord. The men will, for the time being, stake out on the far northeast side of the city walls."
The knight-commander felt wonderful, knowing that his men knew what they were doing. It was just as good, too, to have a man like Derrick, who had so far proved himself reliable, at his side. The sun was shining bright, as well, and no cloud blotted out the azure sky; a n
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Literature
All's Fair Chapter 17
All's Fair in Love and War
C h a p t e r 17
Glory
Frozen winds bit through layers of leather and fur as if they weren't even there; the men huddled around small fires and did as best as they could to keep warm. They were, for the most part, not very successful.
When Erhuidt told him he'd be going up to Nevarra, Jedediah forgot to consider how very cold it would be, given the time of year. He packed accordingly, of course, but the last time he'd been up in the northern ranges of Altarea had been near the beginning of the Four Years War. That was just too long after living the southern life, and now he cursed the circumstances.
The Nevarran Range was a fairly unforgiving territory; it was a natural barrier between two Larsan provinces, and some of the peaks were so high that they were shrouded by clouds. Luckily, they were about as high as they would need to go, but still, it was high enough for the snow to come down in flurries sometimes. And the cold and snow were not their only worrie
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Literature
All's Fair Chapter 16
All's Fair in Love and War
C h a p t e r 16
Departure
The morning saluted Rylaen and Ariadne, who only accepted the greeting grudgingly, with a bright morning sun and a loud, raucous knock on the door. This was the third night they had slept in the same bed; it had been a week since the first time. Jedediah's voice was coming from the other side of Ry's door:
"Rylaen! It's Jedediah! The king wants us to leave today!"
Rylaen rubbed the grogginess from his golden eyes with a sigh and said good morning to Ariadne with a soft kiss. "Today?" responded the knight from bed. "Are you sure? I thought he said tomorrow." Jedediah heard his response, and shook his head in disappointment; without asking for permission, he opened the door and stepped inside. The look on his face was one of pure shock, perhaps utter disbelief.
"Ariadne," said Jed, somehow managing to avert his eyes despite the fact that the prince and princess were both dressed, "I apologize, I did not know you were here."
"It, it's
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Literature
All's Fair Chapter 15
All's Fair in Love and War
C h a p t e r 15
Homecoming
Ariadne looked at the flower before her as she sat alone in the gardens of Castle Sleipnir, the sun lighting up the beautiful land that was her home. She missed having the company of Jedediah and Rylaen—but truth be told, she could do with just Rylaen. Ari missed sitting in on his practices and training, she missed taking walks with him through the gardens and through the Kingstree Forest. She missed everything about him, she realized.
With a heavy sigh, she turned away from the bright orange flower and started when she noticed one of her handmaids beside her. Ariadne had been so lost in thought she hadn't seen when she had joined her. She supposed she shouldn't be too surprised, though, to find Bethany sitting beside her; Beth was not only one of Ari's handmaids, but a good friend and Ari's closest confidante, second only to Rylaen. Her company was welcomed now, in his absence.
"Beth," Ari said, smiling, "I didn't see you the
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Literature
All's Fair Chapter 14
All's Fair in Love and War
C h a p t e r 14
Retribution
He was drenched in a cold sweat as he attempted to sit up in the bed he woke to find himself laying in. His left leg was throbbing with his pounding heartbeat, and when he attempted to move, it hurt viciously. Rylaen looked to his left and saw Jedediah sitting in a chair, asleep. There was the low thrumming of heavy rain on the roof of the house, a relaxing, soothing drone. It was night, as well; the candles lit on the table and the imposing dark told him this.
With great effort, Rylaen pushed himself up in the bed, and leaned against the wall for support; he was grateful that he had been taken out of his armor. In his struggle, he must have woken Jed, who startled at the sight of Ry sitting up.
"You're awake!" Jed said, leaning forward, ready to jump to his help should he ask for any. Rylaen wanted to smile, but feared that the expression on his face would be misconstrued if he tried; he wanted to know if he looked as awful as he
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Literature
All's Fair Interlude 1
All's Fair in Love and War
A n I n t e r l u d e
The place in which he found himself was a shock; in fact, he had to check his limbs and body to make sure he was whole, make sure he was really here.
But hadn't he just been here a while ago? It looked different. The entire place had been burned and torn down, destroyed by the painful potency of war. It was now pure: unharmed, unscathed by the fiery tendrils of mankind's ultimate solution to conflict. The sky was a deep, beautiful blue, completely clear of clouds, and doves were commonly seen flitting from tree to tree. The people of his old home mingled in the streets and conversed cheerfully with one another. A group of children ran by, kicking a ball down the road and grinning with the naïveté and happiness of ignorant youth.
He missed those days, and remembered painstakingly when he had been one of those children.
"Rylaen!" an aged woman called from the doorstep of an oddly familiar home. "Don't keep out too late, young man
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Literature
All's Fair Chapter 13
All's Fair in Love and War
C h a p t e r 13
Ashes to Ashes
A crisp, wintry day graced Ester with her presence; she was not too cold, but comfortably refreshing from the hot summers that seemed never to end. The people warmly welcomed this change in weather, as they did every year; they also welcomed the mark of a full six months of peace between Larsus and Velia.
Four months had passed since Erhuidt had announced to the populace that his adopted son was a caster. The news was, surprisingly, well received. Then again, was it so surprising, considering the boy had become a symbol among the people? The royal family and friends did not debate about it; they were simply pleased with results. Upon making this announcement, the castle began receiving citizens to present themselves pledging their undying support to Rylaen and the rest of Larsus, despite the fact that he was the first caster in thousands of years. The best part was, to Erhuidt, this was all of their free will.
He had no doubt,
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Literature
All's Fair Chapter 12
All's Fair in Love and War
C h a p t e r 12
Of Ages Past
"His eyes were brown before. Darker." Ari's voice was the only comfort in this cold, bright room. Shivers crept down Rylaen's spine.
"They still look brown to me, princess," an old, grizzled man by the name of Kithkopphus told her. Rylaen knew next to nothing of this man—just what Ariadne had told him, that he was a historian and a scholar, that he knew more of magic than most on Altarea due to his age and extensive research. "And I've told you, a caster who has gone through their Awakening will have bright golden eyes."
All these terms were just as unfamiliar to Rylaen as Kithkopphus himself. He didn't know what a caster was, nor what a caster's Awakening was. The knight was growing more and more frustrated, and as much as he didn't want to admit it, he felt like a lot of that frustration was directed at Ari. She knew much more than she'd told him already, obviously. Although Rylaen hadn't asked for more information prior t
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Literature
All's Fair Chapter 11
All's Fair in Love and War
C h a p t e r 11
Unforeseen Circumstances
Accidents happen. Ezekiel knew this. Most accidents were minor. Easily patched up and fixed. Some accidents took a little more effort to resolve. And even fewer were the accidents that had permanent or severe results. There were also the few whose effects weren't noticed for quite some time, and then bit down hard when it was most inconvenient. Ezekiel especially disliked those. But he hated—hated!—when he made an accident and didn't even know until years later.
He figured, after all, he would've been smarter than that in all his years of experience.
"Tell me," Zeke said to his six brothers around the black, oblong table, "tell me why you all have that look on your faces." His voice was calm, but beneath that exterior, it was laced with violence all too ready to be unleashed. "Is this about the situation in Altarea?" A silent pause. "Yes, I figured as much." He ran a hand through his long white hair. The loo
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Literature
All's Fair Chapter 10
All's Fair in Love and War
C h a p t e r 10
Awakening
"A month and still you refuse." Urick grunted at Loki as he hefted half of a dead, rotting tree over his shoulder; Loki took the other half under his arm. "A month, you still refuse, and we're stuck here, in this forsaken forest, living off the land, when he could be at home, a woman on each arm, a fire in the hearth, and a keg of ale in front of us!" He quieted for a moment, glowering at Loki.
"I like it here," Loki told Urick, a smile on his face. "Besides, we don't necessarily have all that back at home. We aren't war heroes; we didn't exactly win."
"So? Better chances of it there than here," Urick countermanded. The two started back for camp. Loki made no response, so Urick decided to probe him a little more:
"You know why I think you don't want to leave yet? You're thinking about the idea I had after the war ended." Loki stopped, looked at Urick, and dropped his half of the tree. It was silent for a moment.
"Innocents, Urick. W
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Literature
All's Fair Chapter 9
All's Fair in Love and War
C h a p t e r 9
Intervention
Black stone corridors intertwined for what seemed to be miles. He could have gone about this all quicker, but he felt like walking; walking cleared his head; walking helped him think of how he would tell his younger brothers what was happening and what had to be done. They would take the proceeding events well, he figured; there was not much else they could do. Many of them grew impatient, though.
Ezekiel did not know why. There was nothing else in their world but time to be had.
He passed each of his six brothers' rooms, the thick wooden doors barring his entrance and sight; they all, he figured, were sitting in the council chamber, waiting for him anyways. Ezekiel was always the last one there. It was his reminder to them, in a way, that he was the senior, the leader, the most powerful, and thus able to treat them how he pleased. That, along with a few other sporadic 'reminders,' kept the other six in line.
The dealings that had
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Literature
All's Fair Chapter 8
All's Fair in Love and War
C h a p t e r 8
The Eighth Tower
For a month life had been, in all aspects, improving on the grounds of Castle Sleipnir—and not only there, but in Ester, and throughout the lands of Larsus. It wasn't denied, either, that life in Velia was becoming better as well—which was only testament to the inhabitants of both countries that the end of the war was for the best of everyone.
The affairs of the royal family lost a grand amount of tension, as well, as there was no longer a war hinging on their every decision. Matters once again became the usual issues of state and city, and the separate countries were left to their own devices. Cities began to flourish more and more under the new trade routes that passed between Velia and Larsus. Everyone was, in fact, fairly happy with these new arrangements.
Rylaen Vyctoren was, admittedly, much happier now that the Four Years War was at an end; he found joy in the lighter training he received from Jedediah, the ti
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Literature
All's Fair Chapter 7
All's Fair in Love and War
C h a p t e r 7
A Patriot's Duty
It was a bright, sunny day in Damarius, a small border-village of Larsus.
Bright by definition of light, that is; the lives of the inhabitants were anything but; however, ignoring this, the sun shone on as it always had.
The wars were never as prosperous for simple-folk as they were for nobility, and the borders of the country suffered the worst: they would be the first to come under control of the foreigners, the first to suffer the brutality of the occupying army.
Damarius was no exception.
Most of the city guard had been transferred from Damarius to the Larsan army to bolster forces, as small a number as the city guard may have been, numbering no more than forty men-at-arms. By all means, those forty men could never make a difference against any army on their own in a small town on the border, so why leave them there? The recruiting scouts, however, had left five or so of the guard as "civil enforcers", not that anything ba
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Literature
All's Fair Chapter 6
All's Fair in Love and War
C h a p t e r 6
Negotiations
It was to be made sure that the messenger of Velia was treated with the utmost kindness and respect as a demonstration that peace was at hand, and so it was done. Emperor Cain Velia was to be expected in the morning to begin the negotiations, for which Erhuidt was simply ecstatic; the Four Years War, as it was already being called, was finally coming to a close. Larsus would no longer have to fight for the right to survive and prosper on lands that had been theirs since the dawn of the kingdom.
Erhuidt, though he was tired, remained awake, unable to sleep; the excitement he felt at the possibilities the negotiations opened was greater than any simple victory. At the same time, though, the king was worried that Velia would be strict in their negotiations. Rulers had to draw the line somewhere; how far Velia would let Larsus go was completely uncontrollable.
Rylaen, Jedediah, and Ariadne had departed from the throne room after heari
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Literature
All's Fair Chapter 5
All's Fair in Love and War
C h a p t e r 5
Blood-red Rivers
The igniting chaos that burst to life when the Larsan and Velian armies clashed made Jedediah feel at home. His home, his country, his battle, and his sword in hand, he began to slay victim after victim. Being the master-at-arms meant he usually only got to train greenhorns, and rarely did a battle come to him. This was where he belonged, in the fray.
Rylaen, however, felt out of place, but he knew what to do with a sword and shield in hand. And now, it seemed as though there was something recognizable about the noise; in fact, the smell, sight, and even the thought of witnessing all this had a feeling of what might have been seen as familiarity.
Ironic, he thought to himself. I faint in my first battle, and lead the charge of my second. Ry closed his eyes again for just a moment, said a silent prayer to Pasx, and spurred his steed forward.
Cries of "For Larsus!" and "King Erhuidt!" went up all around him. Choosing to stay his
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Activity


deviantID

Rylaen
Gregory
Artist
United States
"aha classsiiic
thats just like you :]

perfect example of you on a daily basis, eye brows raised all skeptical and confused at the same time but sooo aware. aha niceee. :]
even have the whole arms behind the back."

There you go, there it is, and there you have it:
Skeptical, confused, and aware all at the same time.

Current Residence: California
Favourite genre of music: It's all good
Favourite photographer: Da Vinci
Favourite style of art: Da Vinci
Operating System: XP
MP3 player of choice: iPod
Shell of choice: 12 Gauge
Personal Quote: "War is such a primitive thing; but then, I feel mankind was made for no better."
Interests
things are coming alone nicely. the novel is well in the works, actually, so don't worry about that; chapter eighteen is just a a doozy, and well underway.

summer's almost over, too. less than a month before i go back to school for senior year (uh oh) and the end of my life. it's been a good summer, though; beach, countless hours spent doing nothing, lots of time with the guys. jacob even visited from washington for a couple weeks. that was awesome, to say the least.
i hurt my foot playing football at the beach the other day. now the big toe on BOTH of my feet are like "FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUU--". my right ankle is still a little sore, too. in general. that's always been my spotty foot. oh well, now look, i'm talking about nothing.

oh yeah, i've also been thinking about halting updates on here concerning All's Fair; as in, no more chapters after eighteen. after all, it is supposed to be my novel. i'll think about it.

i haven't started my summer homework for AP english yet, either. i'm so screwed it's not even funny.

OH WELL.
  • Listening to: Senses Fail: Let It Enfold You
  • Reading: dante's inferno
  • Drinking: water.

Comments


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:iconwhitechariot:
whitechariot Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very very very much for the :+devwatch:!! Really, thanks a ton! It means a lot to me :heart::heart:
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:iconrylaen:
Rylaen Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010
oh, don't mention it. i love the style of your art and the bright, vibrant colors as well. it makes me happy. you're great at what you do!
Reply
:iconwhitechariot:
whitechariot Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
<333
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:iconrylaen:
Rylaen Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010
:DDD
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:iconjochannon:
jochannon Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2010
Thanks for the watch!
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:iconrylaen:
Rylaen Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2010
Likewise, sir!
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:icondj-matikz:
DJ-Matikz Featured By Owner May 25, 2010
Thanks for the favorite.
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:iconthefoxastronaut:
TheFoxAstronaut Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
thank you muchly
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:iconmischiefcommittee:
mischiefcommittee Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2009
Thank you for joining the Mischief Committee.

As a member of Project Mayhem, you must follow these rules:

1. You don't ask questions.
2. You don't ask questions.
3. No excuses.
4. No lies.
5. You have to trust Tyler.
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:iconrylaen:
Rylaen Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2009
Sir, yes, sir!
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