Keeper Of A Warlord’s Heart
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Four lives, one kingdom, and a timeless tale of love… ***** The Land of Kalise was being overwhelmed by an invasion and the only thing left to do was to ask for help from the neighboring country. As an elf descendant that can wield magic, there’s only so much that Erriene could do, but as a Prince, he will do whatever it takes to protect and help his people. But what if what’s asked of him was something that he might not be ready to give? ***** The Country of Maud was an unbeatable force. Having a Frost Giant’s blood in his veins, King Alarick is a Warlord that’s used to getting anything and everything that he wants. But what if the only thing that he truly ever wanted in life was something that he could never get? ***** As feelings develop, emotions break out and the past coming back to haunt them… Will it bring them closer together? Or will it drive them further apart?
Part 1 - The Present; Chapter 1 - Intruders
Alarick was patrolling the frontiers of Maud, nervous calloused hands twitching; sharp, unkind eyes scanning the fences and limits, waiting for a threat that never came.
His stallion was huffing, trotting angrily, looking for trouble as much as he was. They made a formidable pair.
His hands were bloody from the bear he helped to hunt, but the adrenaline was still pumping in his veins, fierce believers of an invisible enemy.
The only threat to the country nowadays was the occasional ice bear and packs of giant wolves that plagued the villages closer to the mountains.
No war, no battles.
Alarick spent the last seven years making himself known as the scariest warlord to ever been born, and it paid in respect and fear from his enemies.
He didn’t need to be here to kill these animals. His soldiers could very much deal with it. He came just for fun.
Besides, he knew people liked seeing him around. It gave them the feeling of protection that he was very much glad to provide.
He shifted his attention- without moving his gaze from the horizon- to the fast trot of a horse in the distance.
He knew it was Figl without even looking, the man was always desperate on a horse, always worried for some reason.
The heavy breathing got closer and Figl tried to scream his message but choked on his own words.
The soldiers accompanying him chuckled at the screeching voice coming from the pale, clumsy guard. He chuckled too at the thought that Figl could be a Southerner.
He was mighty small for a Maudian with his six feet.
Alarick had prohibited him from fighting, but he insisted on being at least a messenger or a domestic guard.
“Xiath, ghlac sinn uhvatili smo yazini de Nord gheata tuath,” he panted. “Ach dar Levon agus Thorne pegaram eles izmedu selayi gini. Ca jyra Sud!”
(Your Highness, we’ve captured the whores in the North Gate.)
(But Levon and Thorne caught a spy between them. From the South!)
Alarick huffed like an old lion to the stressed messenger, and his warriors relaxed when he did so. If Alarick wasn’t worried, then no one else was.
He nodded from his tall black stallion and the messenger bowed and joined the end of the party, still looking wild but tamer now under his watch.
That boy needed a man, woman, someone, anyone, but he was very resistant to Thorne’s advances.
Thorne was a good captain, but Levon was a little air headed and despite being his second in command, only gave him headaches.
There were no ‘spies from the South’, he snorted to himself, only curious little wayward soldiers, sticking their noses in somebody else's business.
Alarick liked to give those Southerners to one of his men, warriors tended to like those pretty Gythaeans, and it was amusing to see them trying to escape the clutches of a Maudian.
Some of them ended up liking it, but usually it scared them so bad they either broke or ran away to spread nasty rumors about Maud.
Good. He didn’t like to look soft.
He called the small party of soldiers he’d chose to patrol with him, and headed back to the fortress.
His fortress. His castle and his frontiers. His territory.
His grandfather was the first barbarian to challenge the old tribe and create an actual empire.
Some followed willingly but it took them years to convince the rest of the old tribe to join them.
Alarick was born right in this new, different transition. With time, everyone began to notice the advantages of having a home that you couldn't carry on your back.
Twenty five years old and carrying on the old man’s legacy, being the warlord of an established territory, he realized that he liked it.
It was great to have a place to call yours, after all.
Homes that put roots on the ground and demanded you to look after.
Despite a lot of talking between his soldiers that the wild life was something to miss, Alarick found he liked looking after an immovable home.
But, a fight now and then wasn’t much to ask for. These days, he only had these petty confrontations to solve and wild animals to kill.
Getting closer to the fortress, he took a second to appreciate the building.
He had a castle, the Enrilth Castle, and it was a new acquisition, but rarely used by himself despite it being his official home.
He did like it better than the fortress, it was his father’s, but the emptiness usually left him uneasy.
Not the emptiness of the castle, but of company.
Soldiers, maids, whores… They weren’t much of a company.
It had been impossible to get his father out of the old fortress and into the Enrilth Castle, so despite the old man rarely leaving the library where the portrait of his deceased spouse hanged on, Alarick slept a lot in there.
Before Alarick’s heart could work out an anguished beat at the sad memory, his attention was caught by a commotion on the outside.
Alarick got down from his horse, fur cloak blowing with the snowy wind, and he could already see the problem ahead.
Levon was baiting them like predators circling the prey, Thorne was looking confused, and those small women weren’t native, they were outsiders.
And they were terrified.
His soldiers had put them on a line by the stone wall inside the hall of the fortress and they were hurting their little hands clutching the wall for support while his men laughed.
Alarick’s heavy boots made a loud sound on the stone floor and his beasts- three forest wolves he raised- came right behind him trying to get his attention.
He could see that Levon was in front of someone, and he gave Alarick a wicked smile.
“Ovaj ce du vam svideti, Xiath,” and he cringed inside but didn’t showed it.
(This one you’re going to like, Your Highness.)
It was probably a male whore, and Alarick just wasn’t in the mood to deal with them today or the near future for that matter. He had long been done playing but it did not deter his soldiers from trying to provide him entertainment despite his refusals.
“U redu bem, khuile aga se. Svi vi ishi deg,” he said in a bored but firm tone.
(Alright, get back. All of you.)
His soldiers immediately took a step back and Levon showed him the ‘whore’.
Alarick clenched his teeth when he realized who it was and he had to restrain himself from taking out his sword and beating Levon to a pulp.
Chapter 2 - A Piece Of Paper
“Dur yihi mani quem wer esses fios er. Dur ghaim ha deveria meg da pozoves,” Alarick told Levon in a drawled voice.
(You don’t know who this is. You should have called me before.)
The big man shivered at the bad omen.
Alarick clicked his tongue at him and turned to the ‘whore’ and grabbing the trembling man by the elbows to forcefully turn him around.
Severn was a tall, eighteen year old boy that was all angles, bones sticking out everywhere. Curly black hair and bluish eyes. He was one of the princes of Gytha, a country south of Maud.
He looked more like the Knight than the King, more manly than other Gythaeans in his manners, but more wicked as well. They said he ran away from his family to become a whore but everybody doubts it’s the truth and that rumor didn’t last long.
Soon after, he started to work for the Temple of Cyndel owned by his brother, Prince Erriene.
“Xiath Alarick,” Severn said shakily in Maudinian with such a weird
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