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  1. The Impossible Quest On a hot afternoon, a group of blade dancers braved the scorching heat of the sun and reached the middle of Almahad. To their surprise, a wizened old man clad in shabby grey cloak greeted them and offered them cool water. They introduced themselves to the man, shared their details of their long journey and revealed their reason for the visit to Almahad: to kill the deadly Sand Beast created by a mad warlock, who released it into the desert over a century ago to wreak chaos for lark. The old man expressed sadness over the deaths of previous adventurers who had attempted to kill the beast upon the request of the people of the desert, and tried his best to stop the group, since it was too dangerous. But the brave blade dancers did not waver. They thanked the old man for the water and warning, assured him they’d succeed and return to him with the reward. “What happened to that mad warlock, though? Is he dead?” one of the blade dancers asked the old man. “He met a cruel fate, a deserving one. Stoned to death a century ago,” answered the old man. “My grandfather had once fought him,” said the second blade dancer. “He said the warlock had a strange mark on his left wrist that could summon the Sand Beast from anywhere,” “That arm was cut off by a brave hero,” said the old man. “To avenge his master, the evil beast killed the hero’s family,” The group gasped and shared looks. “How unfortunate,” said the third blade dancer with a sigh. “Do not worry, old man, we shall bring death to the beast. We will complete this impossible quest and seize victory!” The old man smiled weakly, his eyes misty. “I pray you do. Please avenge my wife and children as well. The beast killed them ten years ago. That was the day I lost my purpose to live, so now I live in the middle of Almahad to warn the adventurers and save their lives. Sadly, no one listened and the beast killed them all. But I believe in your determination. You might finally get rid of that vile monster. “Oh, young adventurers! Go ahead and put an end to it! May luck shine in your favour!” The group shared confident looks and shook hands with the old man, before taking off to their destination. A hot, dry wind swept across the desert. The old man’s cloak flapped. A wicked smile spread across his wrinkled face. His left arm was missing. Fools. My beast cannot die. The slow poison in the water I gave you shall weaken you in the fight. My beast will live and you foolish adventurers will die. Again. Creepy laughter filled the hot air. Will any adventurer be able to discover his truth and stop this century-long madness?
  2. Hello, Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to my topic! I please want your attention for a little bit. The story you are going to read comes from a work started at late night, the only moment where I can find a bit of time to write something, but this is just a sum up of the entire story I wrote. I had to cut A LOT of it to make it match with the contest requirements (I wrote 15k characters, cause I thought contest asked for 3k words and not characters). I wanted to apologize for the simplicity of the story itself; you may have read such kind of thing a hundred times. And I definitely understand that maybe some parts will not be really clear, but this is due indeed to the 3000 characters limit the contest asks us to respect (For clear reasons, Obviously). I have just read all of the stories before mine, and they just were amazing! This is why I wanted also to enforce my own story by posting on a spoiler how the REAL STORY should have been. I am asking to those who are curious enough to just check the following spoiler, before reading the contest one, and if I managed to make you smile even a bit, It means I reached my main Aim 🙂 The spoiler is not competing for the contest in any way. Its purpose is meant just in case some curious people want to learn more about my story. The character count is: 2986 And here the story which is going to compete for the contest 🙂 Okay guys, another round! My treat! Holy Garahan, Atie! this is my 4th Black Blood Mug tonight! That’s Mence for sure! I would recognize that voice among thousands. My dear Moraktar, so full of lif.. uhm walking creatures! How much time has passed since I left, 5 years? I hope they will recognize me. The rotten air of Moraktar and the way Reims creates Alcohol from Forlorn’s Black Blood have always fascinated me. Hey! Look who’s come! Ladies and Gentlemen, Judge Higgs! Hail oh great knight! Hehe, thank you Reims! I am happy to see you all, guys! I can feel a very warm environment, these people have always been very nice to others. Higgings! I knew you were here! – A mage entered the Tavern few seconds after me Donkor, my friend, what brings you here? – He comes closer to me How can I miss the chance to see my old apprentice back to our Town? But yea there is a reason of why I am here tonight – Continues – I was wondering if you finally found her No, not yet . I realize everyone was looking at us, wondering what we were talking about. Is there something we shall know? - Asks Kaziya I guess you guys deserve an explanation . Donkor refers to my dear lady. Just recently I found out that she has stepped these lands, therefore, I need to find news about her. And how did you meet her, exactly? - Asks Reims I met her centuries ago, when I was alive and served King Rael. Judge Magister Higgings. With me there were 2 more Judges, Judges Orcelius and Marcus. As noblemen of that time, we all were well considered by our King but also by Miriam, The King’s daughter and most beautiful creature of the realm. It was the period during which the opposite Kingdom was threatening us. Days were passing and I received a message from the King . He needed the presence of all Judges to the Throne Hall. He needed us to deliver an important message to the Enemy Messenger, to the frontier; he wanted to avoid the war. We all quickly left the Hall but suddenly I hear a voice: His Majesty was calling me. He warned me and told to be careful of Orcelius and Marcus. He confessed me about suspects he had on those Judges. I prepared my horse and rode to the frontier, but I lost the other Judges on my way. I reached the frontier. Both Judges were there, with the messenger and 4 more soldiers at his side. I hid myself behind a tree, but I could not hear what they were saying. I remember they just left that place after a while, so I just turned back to the castle, suspicious. It was late night when suddenly the Castle Alarm rang; something happened. A soldier ran to my room and told me that King Rael’s life was taken. I ran to the Throne Hall and saw King Rael stabbed on his back. Miriam was at his side, shaking him on the desperate attempt to wake him up without success. I summoned an extraordinary council to decide who could take King Rael’s place. The council decided that Miriam should have been declared as rightful queen of the Kingdom. She had no choice but accept and she wanted me as Court Advisor. Next day a report from our Messenger: Enemy troopers were just few Kilometers away from our castle. Before leaving, Miriam made me promise to come back once the fight ended. When I arrived, it was a bloodshed. Everyone apparently disappeared. suddeny, Someone called me, I turned back and Judge Orcelius was right behind me. He was smiling in a weird way. I felt a sort of pain, and noticed blood flooding down my armor. I touched something like a dagger which pierced my armor, and Orcelius holding it. I fall on the ground and only some minutes later a soldier found me. With all the strength left, I begged the soldier: “Please, Tell her, I am sorry"
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