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My blog is primarily my own personal fluff in the Warhammer 40,000 universe regarding the Draconis system such as the Knight House Yato in Draconis III, the Imperial Guard...I mean, Astra Militarum regiment trained there, the Draconian Armored Defenders, and the Forge World of Draconis IV with its Adeptus Mechanicus priesthood, Cybernetica cohorts and Skitarii legions, and the Titan Legion, Legio Draconis, known as the Dark Dragons.

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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Inferno

Sorry, Lord Adiatun Varunn. For some stupid reason, my email didn't notify me of your comments and I forgot to approve them. I have been receiving spam lately, so I changed the system to shut the stupid bots down, and selected the moderation feature. Unfortunately, that meant I missed out on your comments 4 days ago! I thought I selected the notify by email feature, but I didn't receive any email, so I didn't see your comments until I checked Blogger itself today (because I planned to write another story). Sorry about that! I'll be more diligent in checking my comments in Blogger next time. I must say, that is one irritating bot. I don't care about finding out what my name means, and I'm not stupid enough to click on the link you're trying to direct me toward.

Well, that's enough ranting. Without further ado, let's get into storytime! I'll make sure to keep an eye out for your comments this time, Lord Adiatun Varunn! Who knows, the Word Bearers might make an appearance sooner rather than later.

Inferno

Lying on the courtyard of the Scholam temple located within the mountains of Hakuren, Satoru winced from the pain. The first blow had caught him by the temple, grazing the skin and sending a trickle of blood down his face. The second had hit him in the ribs, causing him to double over before a kick from the rear sent him sprawling on the ground.

"Get up, you filthly lowblood!"

Above, his assailants leered at him malevolently. Rolling to his back, Satoru recognized the first son of Daimyo Kobayashi, a thug despite his handsome features. Kobayashi was the perfect, model student at the scholam, earning the praise and adoration of his tutors - but that was as far as his outward appearance went. In reality, he was a brutal, ruthless bully who enjoyed tormented his lessers. Accompanying him was Umezawa and Ueda, both also aspiring Knight pilots, but from a lower-ranked noble family.

"I can't believe such trash will be piloting a Knight suit like us," Umezawa sneered, wrinkling his nose in disdain. "It leaves a bad taste in the mouth."

"Bastard children should not be allowed anywhere near the Questoris chassis!" Ueda snarled. "You should have stuck to piloting an Armiger class, just like the other lowborn!"

Satoru said nothing. He had never asked to pilot a Questoris chassis. It just so happened that his father, Daimyo Honouji, was in need of a new heir after his legitimate son perished in valiant combat against a greenskin invasion. Satoshi had been laid low, but his Knight armor had been recovered, salvaged and restored to pristine, working condition by the mysterious Tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus, as well as the Sacristans of the Household. With his first son dead, Honouji had turned to his only other son, fathered by a concubine.

Satoru was aware of what the other nobles said about his mother. That she was just a prostitute, a lowly commoner who Daimyo Honouji picked on a whim and brought into his household out of giri, or social responsibility, after getting her pregnant. His stepmother - the First Lady of the Honuji family - had not taken to it well, but had always disregarded the existence of Satoru and his mother because of how far below they were in terms of social class. However, Satoshi's death had changed everything, and her resentment had grown.

"If only it had been Satoru who died instead of Satoshi," she was known to say spitefully to her servants. It wasn't as if he could have, even though he had been granted an Armiger-class Knight of his own. Unfortunately, at that time he was still in training, and he had not been sent along with his half-brother to curb the Orks' Waaagh!. Ironically enough, it was Satoshi's mother who had prevented him from going, afraid as she was of Satoru stealing the glory from her son despite the fact that he only piloted a significantly smaller chassis.

Her hatred was not exclusive. Highborn nobles such as Kobayashi did not welcome lowborn pilots into the scholam temple reserved exclusively for aspiring Knights, and he made his animosity known on multiple occasions. Delivering another kick to Satoru's midriff, he then stomped on the latter's head and pushed it close to the soil.

"You should crawl on the ground and eat dirt like the worm you are," he taunted.

Satoru said nothing. Their positions were too far apart. There was absolutely nothing he could do. Even if he fought back, the tutors at the scholam would surely take Kobayashi's side over him and expel him. He would bring dishonor and disgrace to his household. In the eyes of an arrogant noble such as Koyabashi, a commoner like himself was akin to nothing more than a pebble on the road. It was even worse when people labeled him as the son of a prostitute. No one would bat an eyelash if Kobayashi was to slay him with one of the two curved swords that hung from his waist.

The two swords that were the symbol of the Samurai, representing their positions as the honorable Knight pilots of Draconis III.

It was ironic, or so Satoru thought. The noble Knights of Draconis III was supposed to protect the populace...defend the innocent civilians who resided in the feudal domains of the Knight world. Noblesse oblige...honor and duty. Bushido. The way of the sword and the path of the samurai. These were the tenets drilled into them from young, ever since they first set foot into the scholam. Yet, why was scum such as Kobayashi abusing his power and oppressing those of lower status? What honor did he glean from such shameful actions?

Satoru closed his eyes and weathered the next barrage of kicks and stamps from the trio. It would be over soon. This was another routine beating, and he knew that it would end soon enough. As much as Kobayashi and his flunkies resented him, they didn't have the stamina to hit him forever. As he suspected, the assault lightened up and the trio withdrew, leaving him in the dirt.

"I hope the filth reconsiders his decision to pilot a Questoris Knight."

"Hah! As if he has a choice. I heard that it was his father's decision."

"Well, we'll take it out of Lord Honouji's hands. That lowblood can't pilot any Knight if he's dead, right?"

Laughter erupted from between the three.

"Hang on, let me get a quick smoke."

At Kobayashi's words, the three bullies huddled together. Blinking, Satoru rolled to his side and slowly pushed his upper body off the ground. His bruises throbbed incessantly and his vision continued to swim, but he could barely make out Kobayashi retrieving a small box from his pocket. He opened it and tapped out a single lho-stick before sticking it in his mouth.

"Where did you get that from?" Ueda demanded, astonished. From what Satoru knew, lho-sticks were against regulations in the scholam. Students were not allowed to smoke until they reached of age. Yet Kobayashi merely grinned, disregarding the rules.

"Contacts. When you're born in a prestigious, noble family, you'll get to know a lot of people."

"I want one too."

"Sure. Don't burn yourself, though."

Chuckling at his own joke, Kobayashi passed a second lho-stick to Umezawa, and then a third to Ueda when the brutish guy looked at his two friends forlornly. He then took out a lighter, snapped open the cartridge and lit up his lho-stick, inhaling deeply as he savored the taste. Ueda and Umezawa followed suit, lighting up their own lho-sticks and enjoying the narcotic sensations that flowed through then.

Satoru watched them bitterly, but his eyes lingered particularly on the flames that danced about at the stubs of their lho-sticks. They seemed so beautiful...so deadly...so powerful. A sudden thought occurred to him while he watched, transfixed by the small fires.

If only I could burn them.

Something inside his mind snapped, a primordial, roaring daemon that reared up in the dark recesses of his consciousness. Initially, Satoru shuddered, but he blinked away the image, realizing that it wasn't real.

However, the...warm current of something that circulated through his body felt real enough. Shutting his eyes, Satoru reached out, his hands scrabbling. He knew it wasn't there, not physically, but for some reason, he could almost reach it.

"What's the filthy lowblood doing?"

"Maybe he has gone mad from the beating."

"Hah! Then he will never be a pilot. Good riddance."

The three nobles noticed his erratic movements and scoffed at him. Satoru ignored them, feeling his mind link with something dark and primordial. He had the impression of a great sea...no, a vast ocean that stretched out infinitely. Predatory shapes lurked in their depths, just out of sight, and he felt the alien, malevolent consciousnesses brush past his spirit, causing him to reel.

No! So close...I can...I can...

"I think he needs another beating. Apparently the punishment from earlier isn't enough."

"Yeah. Give him a good kick this time."

The trio turned and strolled toward him, their fingers still toying with their burning lho-sticks.

That's right...come closer, closer...

Unaware of their presences, Satoru reached out and established a connection with the Great Ocean. There was a thread...no, several threads, allowing him to tap into the great power it possessed. Tap into it...and use it for his own.

"Burn."

"huh? What did you say, you trash?"

Kobayashi's question was interrupted when the embers on his lho-stick burst into life, bellowing as they expanded rapidly. His eyes wide, Kobayashi spat out the lho-stick and backed away, but he was too late.

The sparks exploded into an inferno, blossoming outward and enveloping his retreating form. Kobayashi shrieked as he toppled over, his skin blackening within seconds. His two cronies watched, transfixed, and quickly discarded their own lho-sticks, but they were a few seconds too slow. The small embers that sparkled at the stubs of the lho-sticks transformed into colossal conflagrations as well and engulfed them. Flailing madly, they screamed as they crashed across the courtyard, their bodies smoldering.

An alarm went off in the scholam, but Satoru barely heard the shrill cry. He was laughing softly to himself, drunk upon the power he had just harnessed. The currents no longer flowed into him, the connection to the great ocean cut off abruptly as he instinctively recoiled from the daemonic entities that slowly drifted close to his mind, but it was enough. He had achieved his vengeance and incinerated his oppressors.

He was still laughing when the tutors found him and the three charred corpses that were splayed about in the scorched courtyard.

4 comments:

  1. Lord Adiatun VarunnFebruary 27, 2020 at 1:03 PM

    No problem! You have no reason to apologize, on the contrary ... I thought the problem was mine so I tried to send the comment again (more or less) and then you still have the right to decide what to publish and what not without doing wrong nobody, don't worry. Then I like your stories and you can't do anything about it :-)

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    Replies
    1. That's a relief! I'm glad you like my stories. I failed the Black Library Submissions, though, so I wish I was a better writer. Still fun to write about my own characters.

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    2. Lord Adiatun VarunnFebruary 27, 2020 at 1:33 PM

      Welcome to The Club! I also tried and failed ... it means that I will try harder next time. Maybe it won't be enough but, maybe, I'll improve a little :-)

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