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Good is Rare
Kalis had no love for royalty. He slipped through the alleyways of the city with liquid-like grace, like a shadow, disappearing into the eaves of roofs and leaving no trace that anyone had been. The better to avoid being caught. He would definitely not desire the company of what the city’s rogue world called: Wasps. Such an annoyance would be very disadvantageous, particularly today.
Moralok was what they called, a “dream city.” The ancients said everything here was a miraculous creation from the minds of the ones of the Past. Streets were lined with turrets of cloudi, sparkling springs and rivers, and creatures of such variety, the city was a zoo, a beauty, and a wonderful vista point all in one. Some would look upon Moralok and instinctively name it a utopia, but as life is such, everything has its flaws.
Moralok was ruled by a family of nobles. The “peasants” called them Thurmbolises. However, through this family ran a jumble of personalities ranging from selflessly kind, to wickedly horrible. Only the Head and his selected court were to rule, though. Every day was a battle for their lives as relatives killed their brethren for an easier path to the “throne.” From birth till death, one of the noble family was fated to tread a path drenched in blood. But, only the strongest would survive to become Head. The Thurmbolis was, very bluntly, a royal family at the peak of the social pyramid. In past times, it may have been a joy for subordinates to serve under them, but now, they were most definitely becoming a corrupt government. A kind soul was a rarity to come upon nowadays and was often immediately killed off by the more foul, blood-relatives. In fact, the current ruler of Moralok was, amongst the commoners, known as a rogue and twisted man who loved betrayal. Needless to say, Moralok had been degraded so low, the mere name of the country was scorned everywhere by its inhabitants. The “dream city” had fallen to “scum of the world” in less than a year. Citizens, living in fear, only cast their opinions in hushed whispers as not to let the Wasps overhear. A careless slip was fatal. However, Outsiders had yet to catch news of what had become of the once dubbed, “utopia.”
Kalis scowled and crouched low in a street corner, painted grey in the shadows. The heavy tromping of leather boots on stones grew louder, along with a faint buzzing.
“Where be the indignant brat?” A deep voice boomed over the streets, mixed with heavy panting.
“I-I don’t know, sir,” a meeker voice replied. “We’ve gotten no response from the patrol on the East Side. His whereabouts are unknown.”
“Well, find him then!” The manlier voice barked sharply. Kalis cringed from his spot and froze when he felt the heavy steps grow nearer, the buzzing even more so. Finally, the faintest blur of a shimmering wingtip buzzed into view, and his eyes widened after a single glance. Kalis shot off immediately in the opposite direction, not caring for all the noise he created or for the immensely conspicuous trail he left behind. He just had to get out of there! Heaven knows what the wasps’ stingers could do to you. There were just too many rumors.
At the splintering of wooden crates and thunks of fruit baskets colliding, the men looked up in time to see the blurred form of a boy disappear from view.
“THERE!” Boomed a particularly chunky man, likely the deep voice heard earlier, a stubby, gloved finger pointed at the spot where the blur had vanished. “Catch him! Catch him, or the King will dispose of us all!” However, it was not only the meek little man who dashed forwards, but an entire herd of stampeding military men, racing forth as though their breeches had caught fire.
Kalis, a good distance away heard the reaction from his vigil on the edge of the Melleniam Clock Tower. Now all the militia of Moralok would be after his head… unless he miraculously slipped back, back from where he’d escaped from. However, Kalis had decided. He hated royalty and despised the nobles. He would never, in his life, return of his own free will. He’d cut his own throat before that happened.
Dimmed memories of the dreary, horrible place he’d once been in clouded his mind. He had never spoken to him once, save for his trial. He’d never even spared him a glance. How could one who called himself that, do that to him? He couldn’t even stand to think the word. His hands clenched into fists. He’d never go back. Suddenly, a voice rang in his ear from behind, and Kalis’s muscles tensed profusely, as he hadn’t sensed the man approaching. It seemed he had no aura at all. At once, he knew just who it was.
“Found you at last, Kalisphorth, Second Son of the King, and Former Competitor for the Throne.” There was a hint of a sly leer in the voice as it whispered, “Tsk, tsk, we wouldn’t be returning now would we? After ten years? I do say the King would be immensely displeased. Finally missed your pampered and luxurious life eh?” There was silence, as though a rejoinder had been expected. However, the voice continued, “Ahh, He shall reward me handsomely for this deed. You’ve got nowhere to run now. Where will you go?”
Kalis moved his eyes back slowly and caught a glimpse of the figure, confirming his doubts, and then looked ahead. His ragged mantle blew dustily with the wind. “I’ll die before I ever go back.” And with that, he displayed a great sprinting leap off the edge of the clock tower, plunging hundreds of feet below into the slums of Moralok, and uttering not a slip of a note as he fell.
The wind battered his skin and clothing with full force, and Kalis narrowed his eyes into slits to escape its fury. He could hear the thick rippling of his mantle in the breezes and almost abruptly, something bubbled up inside of him. Be it sorrow, regret, or happiness, he did not know. He just let it out, in a cruel, hollow laughter that echoed in the streets. Shortly after, a bone-crushing collision filled the city, and all movement froze for the merest of seconds, and then resumed to normal business, as though nothing had happened at all.