Rune Soldier Louie
Chapter 1 – The beginning of the story
With the demise of the Old Castor Kingdom, the age of magic came to an end. That was five hundred years ago. Then came the “New Kingdom Period”, it was also called the “age of swords”. It was an age unlike any other, it was full of sorcery and barbarians as all tried to use their swords to forge new kingdoms. In between these five centuries, a lot of kingdoms rose and fell.
On the Alecrast continent, a new kingdom was born, the Kingdom of Ohfun. A hero called Jarre slayed a powerful dragon using his sword, this kingdom is also known as the “Kingdom of the sword”. However, in this age of swords, it seems the ancient kingdom of magic didn’t disappear, they were called “magicians”, and they have been spreading their magic ever since their incarnation. Among all these magicians, there are some who have excellent fighting skills. These good natured people who fight using magic, they are called “Magical Soldiers”.
With these blessing words, four ceramic cups were held high in the air.
A strong young man gently lifted the glass, in response to the four blessings. Then, a thin layer of foam was floating in the cup, the young man took one breath and swallowed the red liquid. It was beer, a wave of bitter taste spread throughout his mouth.
“You haven’t changed.”
Another young man who was sitting to the right hand side spoke, he didn’t know whether the others were in a daze from god, or their emotions.
“With a physique like that, you should be able to gulp more than a barrel.”
Five of them sat at a table, a female sitting next to the young man said this. In order to prevent her little brown hair from falling into the glass, she licked the glass clean with her mouth.
“Drinking a barrel is far too much, a couple of glasses will do me.”
Said the youth, while waving to the barkeep to give him another glass of beer.
“Another glass, though I’m afraid it might not quench my thirst.”
The young man said with a confident smile. This young man’s name is Louie.
This summer, he had just turned nineteen, in the world he currently lives in, he is considered an adult. Louie lives in Ohfun, the capital of the kingdom, where he studies at the Magician’s Guild. However, even though he is a qualified magician, he is still a disciple in the world when it comes to his standing in the world of magic.
This young man is sitting in the presence of legit magicians.
He entered the magician’s guild a decade ago as a student, where he began to learn under his mentor. Subjects varied from learning about the ancient magical kingdom, the heritage of magical texts and magical words. During this time, there was about one hundred student’s studying at the Magician’s Guild. Today, there is only five students.
“Don’t worry, this will be the last one.”
Louie said, while looking at the barmaid.
Now, there are almost five fully fledged magicians.
The only thing they have to do is chant the “magical ancient language” and say the ancient magical words, only then will they be regarded as real magician. Then they will be granted the use of a “magical stick” to cast magic.
After learning basic magic, they will have to study the ancient texts from the ancient magical kingdom. Afterwards, they attend an awards ceremony where they will receive a formal qualification as proof of them being a magician. Benefits of this qualification include becoming a mentor and carrying out research activities.
Three days ago, Louie received a book of ancient magic at the ceremony, there was five people in total who received an ancient book of magic.
After the ceremony, the five magicians went to a local tavern to celebrate.
“We were the last ones…”
The woman called IIa said. She was two years older the Louie, the oldest of the last five.
“You shouldn’t worry too much, we were just slower than the others.”
That didn’t do much to improve her spirits.
“You know, every day I struggle to even use magic!”
Louie said, in a trance like state.
“That’s because you don’t focus on your magic studies, I’m not even sure if you want to become a magician.”
“Is that so?”
Louie replied with a wry smile, he then mumbled something as he gulped down on his beer.
“I’m not cut out for it…”
Louie looked disappointed as he finished looked into his empty glass, IIa then patted him on the shoulder and spoke.
“With the amount of beer you drink and your physique, not many people would even suspect you of being a magician.”
IIa said, Louie also certainly didn’t dress like a magician.
If Louie had become a Knight, he’d probably be one of the best considering the size of his body.
“Aren’t you and Mr. Carwes related?”
Mr. Carwes is a court magician of the kingdom, he is also the headmaster of the magician’s guild. It’s said that he’s one of the most powerful magicians on the continent. Louie was a relative of this great magician, but his parents died when he was a child and he was adopted.
“I and my grandfather aren’t the same.”
Louie said decisively.
Though, Carwes could be consider his father, he was too old at the time and Louie just called him grandfather throughout his childhood.
“If you really are related to him, then you should become a magician.”
Daly said, as she laughed.
“I heard that people who become magicians inherited the blue blood from the ancient kingdom.”
“That legend is too far-fetched.”
Daly said, Louie jokingly replied.
In fact, Louie also thought that, he was related to the great magician Carwes after all.
The great Carwes never married, and nobody knows if he has any siblings.
Louie didn’t really care about whether he had the blue blood or not, because it wouldn’t affect his relationship with his adoptive father.
To him, you can become a magician whether you have blue blood or not.
“What kind of aspect do you like the most?”
Louie didn’t hear her, he was lost in his thoughts, and it seemed what Daly said changed his mood, so he quickly changed the topic.
“Basic magic, specifically the part where you stick out your hand and say the incantation.”
When Louie replied, he looked really lonely.
“Mr Carwes always does make sure you learn the basics.”
“I’m working on expanding my magical talents.”
She was referring to using the ancient magical language to enhance her field of magic, like teleport or clairvoyance, etc.
“Aren’t you satisfied with your body?”
Ila looked surprised.
“I’d like to be just like Louie.”
Daly easily said.
“Since you work out so often, you’re better suited to be an adventurer, you could go out and explore ancient ruins.”
“That gives me an idea, if Louie actually found something, then we could carry out some research, it would give us a boost in our studies.”
Two men sitting opposite of Louie said, while laughing.
The two men were just joking. However, Louie was taking this seriously.
On the continent of Alecrast (font face=”Nimbus Mono L, monospace”span lang=”zh-CN”亚力克拉斯/span/font), abandoned ruins can be found all over the place.
It’s been five hundred years since the collapse of the ancient kingdom, inside the ruins left behind it was said that untold amounts of treasure, precious metals and stones, works of art, magical treasures, etc. These so called adventurers sneak into these relics and plunder them, this is how they make a living.
Though, sometimes these adventurers commit heroic deeds such as fending off monster infestations, bandits, pirates, etc. However, not all adventures have such high achievements. Most adventurers become caravan guards or guard a rich noble’s mansion, or they do menial tasks for clients in exchange for food. In other words, they’ll pretty much any job.
Being an adventure is the ultimate form of freedom, but the public doesn’t generally trust in their abilities or the wealth they desire.
Louie thought about this considerably.
“If I can gain the trust of the people…”
At that time, the others were more concentrated on other things, no one noticed Louie.
Louie reached to eat some of the food, he then chatted to some of the others.
And thus, the celebration continued into the night.
After the celebration, they returned to the magician’s guild, and then to their rooms.
The other four were pretty wasted, it didn’t seem like they would be practicing magic tomorrow.
However, Louie didn’t drink enough. Knowing him, once he starts drinking, he only continues if he’s having fun, but his mood became sour halfway through the celebration. Louie changed his clothes and went onto the street, he headed towards a small alley.
In the south-western part of the city lies Joy Street, it’s still bustling with activity even though it’s the middle of the night. Though most of the public stay away from this part of the city.
Louie frequently visit’s this area.
He wants to be a magician—
Throughout his childhood, this was the only thing he wanted to be.
However, Louie always doubts himself whenever it comes to his life decision. This doubt prevents him from progressing, and whenever he is in a bad mood, he simply cannot concentrate on reading about magic.
It’s this strange impulse that brings him to Joy Street, drinking, gambling, women, fights, all of these things, they give him a temporary moment of joy and improve his mood.
However, this place doesn’t always satisfy him.
He turned the corner and headed down a dimly lit street.
The air was filled with the smell of garbage, rats were feeding on whatever rubbish they could find, a dog barked. He didn’t know where it was coming from, this was a particularly lonely night.
He heard someone shouting, followed by the sound of something being broken, then came a barrage of cheering.
In this place, these sounds were quite common.
“It’s a fight!”
Louie picked up his pace and headed towards the sounds.
His emotions were high, then he thought, that tonight might be a good night after all.
His destination was a lively bar just up the street, Louie had never been inside because he thought the place looked boring—but this time he just had to check it out.
Gathered at the entrance was about twenty people, parts of the bar were damaged or torn down, Louie could tell that this fight was intense.
He tried to worm his way through the crowd and get a better look. However, he wasn’t prepared for what he saw inside, in fact, he was speechless. There was two men and three women, it was clear that the women has prevailed.
These three women, it was the first time he had seen them.
While the two men, they seemed to be trainee Ohfun knights, or at least that was the impression Louie got from them.
Previously, Louie overheard a conversation they were having in the same bar where his graduation celebration was held. Although they didn’t explicitly mention their profession, Louie was able to learn that they were knights in training from their conversations.
However, these two trainee knights didn’t pose a threat to the three women.
One of the women had a sturdy physique, like Louie. If not for her red hair and large breasts, she was have been mistaken for a man. Her upper torso was half covered in leather armour, parts of her wrists and ankles were covered in white cloth, though most of her body was uncovered and her light dark skin was clearly visible, on her cheeks, thighs and arms was a piece of text or a logo.
As far as Louie can recall, it looked like a mark similar to that of the Arido tribe that live in the northern Yasugarun mountains, for some reason she must have left her tribe.
They are brave mountain nation, when the Kingdom of Ohfun was created they sent many people to help in its construction. Ever since, the tribes have retained their autonomy and continue to live in their ancient tradition.
One of the other women was blonde and was wearing less revealing clothing, there was a charming smile on her face, but she didn’t seem to be helping her companions out. However, if she joined, her efforts would probably be fruitless.
Then one of the men, a freckled faced man, tried to slap her in the face, but she slapped his hand away and sent him crashing to the floor.
On her plump chest, there was a pattern of a Warhammer embroiled.
It was the symbol of Mylee, the God of War.
Louie didn’t know if she was a simple believer of Mylee, or a holy magical priestess, the only thing that was certain, was that she believed in the God of War.
And the last woman, she looked like a little girl.
Her face was like a cat playing with a mouse, as was her agility, she easily kicked the trainee knights away.
Her body was that of a teenager, and it was obvious that her chest wasn’t developed, though her waist looked soft and curvy. However, in the light of the bar, Louie found her sparkling black eyes particularly moving. If she wasn’t in a fight, she was probably a lovely girl.
Together, the three girls didn’t look that big when compared to Louie.
However, they were causing serious harm to the trainee knights.
Onlookers gathered inside and outside the bar to watch the ongoing fight, these people seemed to find the fight interesting. However, none of them intended to stop it, even though the trainee knights were taking a beating. “If this continues, they’ll most likely die…”
A stranger holding a glass said to Louie.
Louie thought this too, he and this man were different, none of them wanted to see someone lose their life.
(Someone should stop this.)
Louie thought to himself.
However, it seemed no one in the crowd was willing to step forward, they were happy to see the three girls humiliate the trainee knights.
(What should I do?)
Louie was wondering if he should end this farce, but then he saw one of the trainee knights put his hand on his sword handle.
Then, the entire room was filled with cheers and booing.
“The guards are coming!”
Someone outside the bar cried out.
It was probably some guards out on patrol, they were aware of the commotion and heading it this way. Ohfun, among other emerging countries, had very good security. And if anyone was caught by the guards, they would be subjected to severely punished. “If you draw your sword, then I cannot guarantee your life!”
A smile appeared on the red-haired female warriors face, the trainee knight just started her down.
Even though Louie was watching from the side-lines, he could help but shiver, his whole body was wrought with goose bumps.
Seeing the female warrior’s superior strength, the trainee knight hesitated for a moment, but then he remembered that he was a knight of honour, so he pulled out his sword. His silver blade dazzled in the light of the bar.
His comrade followed suit and pulled out his blade.
“It seems you can’t wait to die!”
The female warrior leisurely said, as she pulled out her sword.
Her little companion pulled out a small thin blade, seemingly from nowhere.
The blonde women didn’t pull out any weapon, she just concentrated and preformed magical gestures. It seemed, that she could use the holy priestess magic of Mylee, which means she also received combat training.
Both men looked at each other, they couldn’t decide if they would be victorious.
(I can’t sit idly by.)
He liked fighting, and wasn’t afraid to fight to the death!
The guards were getting closer, if they saw this situation, then the trainee knight would be in trouble. But if they saw him lose the fight to a woman, he would be shamed for the rest of his life.
And the women, they would probably be expelled from the city. Perhaps they are already accustomed to a wandering lifestyle, however, they would probably like to avoid trouble with the authorities whenever possible.
“That’s it, stop the fight!”
After careful consideration, Louie loudly shouted this to the two parties.
Discontent rang out throughout the crowd. Among them, some were cheering, they were looking forward to seeing Louie get in on the action. However, that was not Louie’s intention.
Usually, he wouldn’t be the sort of guy who would stop a fight, but today was different.
Louie had been drinking, but he had enough faith in his abilities, he then quickly sprang into action to stop the fight.
First, he extended his fists, and knocked the two trainee knight’s weapons to the ground, then he turned around and punched the female warrior in the face.
This sudden blow sent the female warrior flying against the wall.
“Who do you think you are?!”
The little girl’s voice was lovely, even though she was angry, she lifted her leg and tried to kick Louie.
But he didn’t dodge, he met her kick with a kick of his own.
The girl was as fast as the crack of a whip, she kicked Louie’s left thigh.
However, this is what the little girl said.
“This guy’s leg is made out of wood!”
Her face was full of pain and anger, as the little girl held her sore foot.
“You actually hit a woman in the face…”
The blonde woman angrily said to Louie.
She stopped right in front of him, and was going to slap Louie’s cheek. He caught her hand midway and pulled her body close to his. The priestess was surprised by his sudden movements, Louie could tell that she wasn’t a bad person from looking into her blue eyes.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
Louie said to her. A moment of silence followed thereafter.
“The guards are coming here, if you stay here, you’ll most likely end up in prison.”
“The guards are coming!?”
The blonde girl said in amazement, as she stared at the bars entrance.
It seemed, that she was too busy with the fight that she didn’t hear them coming.
The guards finally arrived outside the bar. Everyone outside the bar hated the guards, so they prevented the guards from entering right away.
“Get out of here!”
Louie let go of the blonde haired woman’s hand.
Just then, the female warrior stood up, she glared at Louie with murderous intent.
“Don’t you understand? The fight is over.”
Although he didn’t convince the, the three women left through the back door. Louie felt relived.
But it seemed his intervention caused the opposite effect, if they wanted to get back at Louie, he probably wouldn’t be able to win against all three of them.
Then, he turned around and looked at the two trainee knights.
They stood up, thoroughly embarrassed.
Louie calmly walked towards them—
“Listen, the fight is over.”
He said to the two trainee knights.
They lifted their heads and stared at him, even though the fight was over, they just kept breathing.
Louie repeated himself again.
“Next time, remember to take better care of that honour of yours.”
At that time, the guards broke through the crowd and entered the bar.
Louie had his back to the guards, so he turned around to face them.
“There was a fight. I was just watching…”
Louie answered, he then picked up a bottle of wine from a table, and muttered something as he drank.
One of the guards threw a punch at Louie. It wasn’t a strong punch, though Louie pretended to stagger backwards. Of course the guards noticed the two trainee knights, however, they winked at each other, realizing what Louie was doing.
Even though this was unfair to Louie, he knew this was the best outcome. He saved the two trainee knights from dishonour, and prevented the three women from being expelled from the kingdom.
Louie’s hands were tied behind his back, he was then taken to Ohfun City’s dungeon.
Although some thought he made a stupid move, Louie thought that tonight was quite stimulating. Though, he regretted that he didn’t drink enough wine.
Louie was released the following morning.
When he was thrown into palace’s prison, the guards found out that his father’s name was Headmaster Carwes. Knowing this, the guards released Louie.
“I heard that you were drunk and got into a fight.”
Carwes said, as the cell door closed behind Louie.
Upon finding out, Carwes wasn’t angry, he just gave Louie another speech about not getting into trouble, Louie found this very boring.
“Have you seen the king?”
At the end of the sermon, Carwes said to Louie.
“Does the King often come to the dungeon?”
Louie was confused by his father’s question.
If the King found out that Carwes adopted son was thrown in the dungeon, it would probably cause him some misfortune.
“Oh, I didn’t see him.”
After Louie told him what happened, they went to leave the dungeon.
Louie’s clothes were all dirty, so the prison guard washed them after he returned his prison garb. Then they left.
It was now noon, Louie’s stomach was empty. So, he planned on finding someplace to eat and return to the Magician’s Guild.
Louie walked around the streets, looking for a restaurant to appease his belly. Suddenly, he saw three figures walking out of an alley.
Standing in front of him, it was the three girls from last night.
Louie took a combat stance, because he sensed murderous intent from the women.
(I bet they’re here to take revenge.)
All three girls were armed. The female warrior was holding a large sword with both arms, the priestess was holding a small war hammer, and the little girl was holding a small knife.
Louie only had a small dagger on him, he had no chance winning against them. Though if this was a fist fight, he might have stood a chance of winning.
No matter how you look at it, Louie’s only option was to run away, otherwise he might lose his life. However, he wasn’t afraid at all, he was excited.
(I must be crazy.)
Louie said inside himself.
These girls looked very accustomed to combat. The large red-haired woman looked like a mercenary, she must have experience a real war.
The blonde woman was a warrior priestess of Mylee, the god of war. Not only was she combat trained, she could also use divine magic.
As for the little girl, she could be a thief, considering her fast movements.
If these three women acted together, in coordinated actions, nobody would stand a chance.
They are: adventurers, seasoned adventures. However, that doesn’t mean they’re any good.
Louie just stared at them in silence.
“Your name’s Louie, right?”
The little girl looked at Louie from head to toe.
Louie didn’t want to respond to her. However, he was convince that she was a thief, only a member of the thieves guild wold be able to obtain personal information so easily. “I heard that you’re the son of Headmaster Carwes from the Magicians Guild.”
The blonde priestess said slowly.
It was the tone of inquiry, but rather the tone of confirmation.
Louie remained silent.
“I was surprised that a magician…”
The red-haired women spat a mouthful of saliva onto the ground. Her right eye was significantly bruised, there was still traces of Louie’s punch from yesterday.
“Actually dared to punch me.”
“If it wasn’t for that trick you pulled, you would be dead several times over.”
Listening to her words, Louie thought that she was overconfident.
However, Louie was confident that he could beat her in a fist fight, although he’d never dare to fight her since she was armed. Most of the time, Louie would settle his battles with a punch, but this time was different.
“You came to me, okay. The time for talk is over.”
It appears a fight was inevitable.
Louie was prepared for a fight, he closely monitored the three women’s movements.
“Yesterday, I was tempted to tell you…”
The female warrior said, the priestess patted her on the shoulder.
The blonde priestess took a step forward.
“My name is Melissa, I was born in Ramuriasu.”
The girl called Melissa said, as she elegantly bowed to Louie.
Louie thought, that she came from a noble background.
Ramuriasu ss the continent’s oldest kingdom, their etiquette courses are quite rigorous.
“The God of War, Mylee, has given me a revelation, you are a hero, this is why I have come to you today.”
Upon hearing this, Louie cried out in surprise.
“I’m a hero…”
Louie was speechless for a moment, the priestess stared blankly at his face.
“Since the God of War told me that you are my chosen hero, I must follow my beliefs.”
Melissa avoided eye contact with Louie, she deliberately turned her head to the side.
“So, you want to worship me as a hero…”
“Although I’ve done a lot of wicked things in my life, I don’t intend on giving up my dream of becoming a magician. Moreover, I’ve never heard of a magician becoming a hero, the only person I can think of is my grandfather.” Louie doubted their honesty.
“This is confusing! God must have given a wrong revelation.”
Melissa clenched her fist, and reluctantly looked up at Louie.
“I’m sorry, I can’t be you’re hero. Nor do I want to become one.”
“No, you are a hero.”
Melissa said firmly.
This was related to her beliefs, there was no changing this fact.
“We are adventurers.”
The female warriors said with a sigh, Louie wore a puzzled look. She then told Louie that her name was Genie.
“As you can see, I am a warrior. Melissa is a warrior priest to the god Mylee, and Merrill is a thief.”
The little girl called Merrill nodded, she was clearly unhappy.
“We are looking for a companion to join us, a magician would be the perfect choice.”
Adventurers face all kind of unexpected situations, therefore, it’s essential to have a magician as a companion. Although warrior priests can use magic, they can only use a basic healing spell, that’s why they need a magician.
“We would prefer a female magician to join our party.”
The little girl called Merrill said with disdain.
Upon hearing this, the female warrior Genie immediately signalled to Merrill to stop talking.
“In short, the God Mylee gave Melissa a revelation that you are a hero, she’s got to follow you. She doesn’t have a choice…”
When she said this, Louie began to understand.
“So, will you let me join you?”
“Although we’re reluctant…”
The warrior priestess Melissa looked directly at Louie.
“You want me to be an adventurer?”
Becoming an adventurer could mean only one thing, setting out to explore the ruins of the ancient kingdom. At least, this is what Louie thought.
Of course Louie was attracted to the ruins, but not because of the treasure, but for the encounters with dangerous monsters. Though, he think it was unbecoming for a magician to participate adventuring outside of a research expedition.
Even though these three women came to Louie because of a revelation, Louie didn’t believe in fate.
But sometimes mysterious events do happen. Like today…
Louie carefully considered his options, as the three women stared at him.
From the moment Louie was born, he knew he was destined for great things.
After thinking for a moment, Louie reluctantly agreed He didn’t know whether he was doing them a favour, however, he had nothing to lose.
The three women looked at each other with odd expressions.
They felt relieved when he said that, but they weren’t showing their true feelings, they didn’t’ want Louie was their companion.
Women, adventuring, wine, Louie knew his satisfaction from fighting couldn’t be replaced…the only thing he could do was give it a shot.
End of Chapter 1
Translated by Ciaran Hillock .