The legend of The Only Good Man

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This is a story by The Only Good God. It is simply a story based on, but more detailed and longer. Please do not edit it. The story is under construction and will continue to be until a long time later.

Prologue

A crowd has formed by the steps of The Great Temple. The clock on the wall read 11.50. The clock had never been fast nor slow, as all time was based on the clock. The clock-seller in the marketplace adjusted all clocks and watches to the exact second, synchronised with the clock. Nobody remembers when the clock wall was erected, but it had stayed there ever since. On the same wall, a notice board was set up, announcing the daily happenings and faces of wanted criminals. On that day, only a few noticed were posted. A wanted poster for Judas Rupert, a petty thief with a mole just below his mouth, and a birthmark that covers half of his face. An advertisement for the new pottery store around the corner. A notice that notified the citizens of the last prophecy of Prophet Daniel, who was the greatest prophet of his time. The prophecy was to be made at midday on that day at The Great Temple.

The Great Temple stands next to the marketplace, and on the other side, the clock wall. It faces the entrance of the city, and as soon as one enters the city, he would see The Great Temple on the far end. The Great Temple was located on the outskirts of the city, and behind The Great Temple was a jungle where wild animals reside in. If one was to venture further, he might meet some scarier and deadlier monsters. The Great Temple was made purely of gold bricks, anyone saw it claimed it was the greatest structure they've ever seen.

The crowd started to build up, constant chatter resounded through the plaza. A beggar came towards the crowd and begged for money, but was given a few punches and kicks instead. As he started limping back to his usual place next to the notice board, the crowd suddenly hushed in anticipation and waited in silence. Most of the people were looking at the clock and mentally counting down the seconds. The minute hand finally joined the hour hand at the '12' mark, and no bell was rung, as there was no bell tower in Godville. At the very moment, Prophet Daniel walked out of The Great Temple and raised his hands into the sky. Prophet Daniel was still in his fifties, despite revered and looked up to. He was perfectly capable of walking without a walking stick, but he brings one with him wherever he goes anyway. He was wearing the same white robe he wore twenty years ago, and the only difference was that it was stained yellow by age. He walked out barefooted, revealing equally stained toenails which share the same state as his fingernails and teeth. Despite his frail looks, his voice was still strong. The sun was at its zenith, shining down directly into the plaza, where the crowd was assembled. The rays of the sun ricocheted off the golden temple into everybody's eyes.

"Today, I will reveal my final prophecy, and it will be the greatest one of then all," Prophet Daniel spoke on the top of his lungs, looking into the sky. "By midnight, two boys will be born, and they will be the rulers of Godville."

Mark Wood was a top-notch archer. He could aim and hit a moving target from more than a mile away. He was on a mission that day, his objective was to shoot a target, a very prominent one. No reasons were given, but he didn't ask for any. He knew that as long as he did what he was told, his family will be safe, and that's all that mattered. Bringing his bow and arrow to the roof of a two-storeyed building, he glanced briefly at his target and knew he could not miss. He pulled the bow until he felt a great deal of tension, and placed the arrow in position and he released it. He didn't even bother watch his arrow as it flew towards his target. He, was a cold-blooded killer.

Prophet Daniel watches in horror as a shiny golden arrowhead flew towards him. Time seemed to slow down as his mind went back to the earlier stages of his life.

His name wasn't Daniel at the time. He was Eliyah Wood, one of the most promising young gladiators at the time. It was also before the monsters were forced back into the deep of the jungles. At the time, monsters roamed ths place, and gladiators were those who fought them back. They call the period the Gladiator Era. Eliyah and Mark Wood were brothers, both of the excelling in archery. Eliyah was the better brother, both in terms of charm and talent. He was feared and honoured by the other gladiators and citizens of Godville alike. Mark was the one who tried very hard to follow in his brother's footsteps, but it was not of much significance as his brother was the one who won all the medals, and brought his family proud. They were very close, until one day, a day that separated the brothers, and from that day on, nobody had ever heard of Eliyah Wood again.

Eliyah went hunting with his brother. Both of them were armed with their trusty bows and a short dagger. They ventured forth into the dark of the jungles. It was in that region, where the stronger monsters were, the Ents and the Giants. However, they did not encounter either of them, but the ones that were the greatest of them all. They were known as the Ancients.

"Quick, come and help me up!" Mark bellowed at his brother, having fallen into a deep pit. They were fighting one of the Ancients when they realised they could not defeat it. The Ancients were more than twenty feet tall, and they had skins that are impenetrable, as if they were made of rocks. Their only weakness was their single eye, but they managed to protect it well. The plan was for Mark to distract the a Ancient and Eliyah would be the one shooting the arrows at the Ancient from a tree some distance away. However, Eliyah missed and was discovered by the Ancient. The brothers began to flee, when they realised that their only chance of killing it was gone. Eliyah, being some distance away, was running ahead of Mark. Past a swamp, through some trees, he finally reached a point where he believed he would not be in danger. "What's taking him so long?" Eliyah though as he stood waiting. Mark could be heard screaming and running towards him from a distance. Mark ran for his life, nearly out of breath, he could not take it anymore. The Ancient, which had large strides, was nearly catching up to Mark. Just when Mark turned around to see where his pursuer was, he fell into a deep pit. The Ancient was catching up, so Mark shouted at his brother, in hopes that he could save him. Eliyah started running towards Mark, but when he saw the Ancient running towards Mark as well, he hesitated. Should he go and save Mark, as risk losing his life as well, or should he just save himself? He decided to go with the latter.

Eliyah his behind a tree, and watched as the Ancient slashed at his brother. Blood splattered everywhere, and Mark fell limp. The Ancient left soon after, when it scanned the area and decided that there was nothing there to fight. Eliyah fled quickly without checking on his brother, and returned to Godville. Consumed by guilt, he decided to start afresh. He was no longer Eliyah Wood. He became a wandering prophet instead. He became Prophet Daniel.

"Oh brother, you forced me to do this." Mark touched the three parallel scars on his left cheek. He rolled his wheelchair down the stairs and his eyes welled up. Crying was one thing he had not done ever since he was young. Hr thought of the incident, how lucky he was to be only paralysed from the waist down, how lucky he was that the Ancient's attacks were not lethal. Its claw grazed his face, leaving the scars. He was lucky that when he was crawling back to town, a healer picking herbs spotted him and saved him, the lady he married later. He thought of the betrayal of his brother, and he cried.

"Eliyah, I forgive you," whispered Mark as the first teardrop landed onto the ground.

Prophet Daniel watched as the golden-tipped arrow flew through his chest, dying his robe the colour of bright red. With his last few breaths, he proclaimed "It is important to disallow the two boys meet, as one is good, and the other - evil. They will mark the new generation, a generation of heroes." He stares into the sky, and he died.

On the other side of the plaza, Mark followed instructions and slitted his own throat. He thought of the safety of his wife and kids, and smiled. A stream of tears flowed from his eyes as he lay there. He would have lain there for another two days before he would be discovered

Just a few minutes before midnight, two boys were born on different sides of the city, and their first cries came at the same time the clock struck twelve.


Chapter 1

Lorna sat by the window in the simple house she and Jack lived in. She was on the armchair looking at the backyard where grass blades swayed to the rhythm of the wind. Chattering insects dwelled in the shady, sheltered areas. Daffodils sprouted between tall blades of grass that dwarfed the little white flowers. Butterflies that had wings with many shades from the spectrum fluttered around, attracted by those small white flowers that were hidden from view. A cherry blossom tree bloomed in the backyard, giving out a pretty pink glow. It provided shelter to Lorna when she sat under the tree. The sun shone through the gaps between the tree leaves and gave the grass alternating shades of green that moved as the leaves rustled in the wind. A tiny blue bird with a wide wingspan that seemed disproportionate to its body landed briefly on a branch of the tree, rested for awhile. It left soon after, but not before picking a blossom up with its bright yellow beak. The sight of that made Lorna smile, as she remembered sitting below a cherry blossom tree when Jack approached her. Jack, like the bird, plucked a blossom from the tree, and handed it to her. It was the first gift she received from Jack, and it was one that she kept for a very long time, long after it had started decaying. On that day, they took a long walk by the stream, completely oblivious to the creatures that dwelled nearby, as well as the sea-monster that was supposedly living under the water. At least that was the the story the elders made up to explain the floods and the disappearance of people who walked nearby, who were most certainly swept away by the floods and the raging waters. Raganoth, they called it. All Lorna knew was that she had fallen in love, and the couple only had eyes for each other. The connection between them was instantaneous, even though their personalities were very different. Jack was a popular guy who was liked by everybody and had no problem talking to girls, whereas Lorna was a shy girl who was incapable of getting herbs from the pharmacist without her cheeks flushing red. They were married after a few years of dating, and just a couple of years after that, they found out that she was pregnant. The pregnancy was completely unexpected, and they were most definitely not prepared for it. However, they decided to keep the child and instil good values in him. They wanted to provide the best for him, so Jack decided to obtain a proper profession of carpentry, a childhood hobby that had been replaced by partying when he reached adulthood.

Lorna caressed her large pregnant belly, and smiled as she thought about the baby's future. She predicted a lot of time spent on the child, playing, teaching and nursing. She anticipated the child being lively, out-going and fun. Most of all, she expected the child to be kind at heart, always willing to help others in need. The town doctor said that the child will be born in a week or so, but due to their technology, or the lack of it, he was incapable of determining the gender of the child. However, that wasn't an obstacle that impeded them. If the child turned out to be female, she would be named Helen, and Theo if he was a male.

The sun began to set and Lorna realised how late it was already. Jack left to hear the prophet's last prophecy at eleven, and if she were to trust the clock on the wall, it was already five. She began to worry for Jack, as ever since they were married, Jack became a really responsible man, and wouldn't be late unless something big had happened. However, that wasn't the exact reason why she was so worried. Her mind went through all the possibilities, thoughts flitting through her head. One of them was that Jack may have encountered danger, and in the worst case scenario, died. The frown lines on her forehead deepened just from thinking about this. What if he was eaten by a monster? What if he had had a heart attack and died? What if he had been captured by bandits and never came back home? These 'what ifs' made her paranoid. They made her feel helpless and scared.

Jack reached home, out of breath, and found Lorna collapsed on the floor in sobs. Her imagination ran wild as she started to visualise life without Jack. Jack held her in his arms and comforted her, "It's going to be alright, darling. I'm here." It was only then, when Lorna realised her surroundings. Her crying subsided and she started laughing about how stupid she must have looked. Then, Jack told her the bad news. "Daniel died," he said, "Assassinated." The news shocked her, especially because Prophet Daniel was her idol. She used to fantasise about him when she was a young teenager. He was a successful prophet, and he was also kind, gentle and helpful. He was revered by the citizens of Godville, assuming the name of Prophet Daniel, as nobody knew his real name. They knew that wasn't his real name though. While Lorna was letting the idea of her idol dead sink in, she felt her dress turn wet, and knew that she was ready to deliver.

Jack, despite being out of breath, ran like a headless chicken to find a midwife. As he ran past the market, he knocked over a barrel of cabbages and was awarded a vulgar hand gesture as a stream of profanities flowed out of the trader's mouth. In normal circumstances, he would have stopped and shouted back at the trader, but that day had been far from normal. It took a long time for Jack, who alternated walking and running, to arrive at the clinic. But when he arrived, nobody could be found. There was a sign in fancy handwriting hung at the wooden doorknob that read 'Out for delivery'. He was pretty sure when the sign was made, it didn't mean what the midwife meant. Jack was sweating all over. Drops of sweat rolled from his forehead into his eyes, stinging them and making them red. He forcefully blinked a few times before ihe made the decision. It was pretty much the only alternative, albeit a lot less attractive and a lot riskier.

Past the Great Temple, he followed a path along the outskirts of town. Through dense jungles he went, and wound up at a hole. The hole was disguised as a mole hole, completely hidden to plain view, and with all the other mole holes around, it was unlikely to be suspected. After making sure he wasn't being followed, he dropped into the hole and walked into a dark tunnel. The ceiling was infested with bats, and without a torch, it was nearly impossible to navigate it. However, bringing a torch was not an option, as keeping it burning would need a lot of oxygen, and that was scarce in the tunnel. Being so obscured in the darkness, Jack nearly got lost in the tunnel, and it took him quite a long time to find his way out. He closed his eyes and imagined a dark cobblestone path, with a lot of bats hanging overhead, since he couldn't see anything in the dark anyways. Following his imagination, he walked further into the tunnel, and turned to his right, and walked into the darkness with his hands stretched out, just in case his imagination misguided him. Finally, he felt the door, and he started fumbling for the doorknob. He turned the doorknob and, as usual, was greeted by the two-headed parrot.

"Welcome to Serapheeeena's lovely house!" the parrot heads squawked in unison and continued to peck each other's eyes out. The house had not changed a single bit, including the creaky wooden planks that were originally used as a temporary substitute for the floor, but when Jack had offered to change them, Seraphina insisted that the wooden planks were perfect for the house. The house was, unsurprisingly to Jack, impeccably clean, swept everyday by the nice little mice trained for that purpose. Seraphina was sitting on the couch, her age was not showing despite being nearly eighty. In fact, she looked even younger than Lorna.

Not very long ago, Seraphina lived in Godville, and was a well-known witch doctor of Godville. Many people went to her to seek help when they had mysterious illnesses that the town doctor was incapable of identifying and curing. Her remedies were disgusting, yet effective, from decapitation of a rat and drinking its blood, to eating the brains of hyenas. Her reputation of a powerful but kind-hearted witch was growing, and many people respected her. However, that respect had not lasted very long.

The son of a major official of Godville was poisoned by a witch and died a horrible death, and the father vowed that he would avenge his son, by getting rid of all the witches in Godville. Firstly, he convinced the citizens of Godville that they were all evil and deserved to die a horrible death just like his son. Then, he placed a bounty on all the witches in the world. When neither of the campaigns' effectiveness was up to his standards, he led a witch-hunting expedition known as the Cleansing Party. However, Seraphina was not afraid, as she thought that she would not be hunted down, given her contributions to the town. In fact, the official himself would not be alive if not because of her.

Just two years ago, he fell victim to a weird disease that made his skin rot. Nobody dared to go close to him, fearing that it may be contagious, except for Seraphina. She studied him like a test subject, and found a rare herb named Phoenix's Tail that was probably capable of curing him. However, that herb was not easy to find. It was found only in an area people call Edge of the World. It was there where many rare plants were found, but also found there were a poisonous plant known as snow ivy. It may not sound that dangerous, but it was very. Any contact with the plant granted the person a horrible death. No antidotes, and the poison acted too quickly for the administration of one anyways. Seraphina nearly fell onto one, but she was able to use a magic spell that allowed her to levitate over it instead. Her selflessness and bravery got her a medal of honour, which she declined, stating that her actions were not for that purpose, but to save a man's life.

However, one day, while she was preparing to make an alchemical transmuter, the Cleansing Party started lobbing arrows into her house. There was a force field that prevented anyone with malicious intent from entering, but the arrows went through just fine. One nearly hit the side of her head, but was just inches wide of the target. Seraphina knew she could not stay, and left through the back door. However, a gladiator was already waiting for her there. As soon as he saw her he unsheathed his sword and assumed a battle stance. Seraphina, having no combat experience and knowledge as she never needed any, was so scared that she nearly relieved herself in her dress. To delay her imminent death, she too struck a fighting pose, trying to scare him. However, she wasn't successful, and the gladiator attacked anyways. As she fell to the ground, a halo seemed to form on top of the gladiator's head. The gladiator raised his weapon and was about to strike it in her heart, the halo grew bigger and bigger until it was obvious that it wasn't a halo at all, but a huge fireball. The gladiator fell to the ground, and behind him stood a little boy holding a lighted torch in his hands. He held the torch like a baseball bat, and he must have swung it like one at the back of the gladiator's head. "What's your name?" Seraphina asked the little boy, and he replied that his name was Jack. Seraphina brought Jack to the aforementioned backup house, which she had it built a long time ago. The condition of the house was rather bad, but it was nothing Jack couldn't fix. Aspiring to be a carpenter, he built a some of the furniture for her and also replaced the flooring with temporary wooden planks. That was where Seraphina stayed for most of the rest of her life. Even though the Cleansing Party no longer hunted for witches, it was still illegal to be a witch in Godville, and violators were garrotted.

Jack and Seraphina became friends after that episode, and Jack would sometimes visit her when he was free and bored, or when none of his other friends were around. During those visits, Seraphina would tell him about the older days, having lived through a lot. Sometimes, she would tell Jack about the end of the Dark Ages, how the empire of evil was destroyed by gladiators. But most of the time, she told Jack about gladiatorship, and how the gladiators reclaimed the city of Godville from the monsters as he was most fascinated by that.

"I need your help," Jack pleaded, as Seraphina stood up. He knew that it was dangerous for her to reenter Godville, but he needed to take the risk. After telling her the problem he was facing, she expressed her willingness to help and walked to the door with Jack trailing behind. Through the tunnel they walked, and Jack finally caught up with Seraphina after walking behind her for most of the time. When they exited the tunnel, Jack noticed that she had already finished disguising herself.

Jack led the way once they entered Godville. They walked past the old house Seraphina used to live in, which was evidently charred and vandalised. Rude symbols were drawn on its walls, and half of the structure was burnt down. There, Jack explained that many rebellious adolescents spend their time in the dilapidated house, until one of them accidentally burnt it down. During that incident, two boys burnt to death, one stupidly ran into the fire due to the confusion. The other died protecting his girlfriend from a falling pillar that was on fire. As a result, a law was passed to prevent anyone from entering the house. The law wasn't regulated strictly though, and it became a place people dared each other to enter, until they realised there want much there. "Why," Seraphina asked, "do you remember all the details so vividly?"

"Because I was there when that happened."

Following that, they walked in silence until they reached the house.

Lorna's screams were emanating from inside the house, as she was evidently in a lot of pain. Jack fumbled with the keys, and when he finally opened it, Seraphina ran in, but she didn't allow Jack to do the same, as it was the custom of Godville that no man is allowed to be in a room when a woman is delivering. Jack sat on the steps in front of the door, waiting for the child to be delivered, and listening to the screams of his wife. What seemed to him to be an eternity was over in five minutes or less, and Lorna's screams subsided. Jack rushed in to see a baby boy covered in pink skin crying in Seraphina's arms. Lorna was unconscious on the bed. "What's wrong with my wife?" Jack anxiously asked. Seraphina explained that Lorna's lifeblood gushed out while she was delivering, but luckily Seraphina was able to seal the veins before she lost too much blood. However, the loss of blood cause Lorna to grow faint. Seraphina stayed in the house until Lorna woke up and then slipped away from the house.

Lorna woke up to see Jack by her side with a little baby in his hands. She smiled as Jack handed her the baby, finally seeing the baby after so many months of him being inside her. She checked under the diaper and saw that the baby was a boy. "What should we name him? Should we go with Theo?" Jack asked as Lorna fed her baby for the first time. "No, he shall be named Daniel." Jack understood the name of choice. After the great prophet the baby was going to be named! He had a lot to live up to. Jack was thankful that Seraphina left, because she would have objected the choice of the name. Seraphina did not like Prophet Daniel, as she thought all prophets were conmen. Similarly, Prophet Daniel hated Seraphina too, as he thought her kindness was pretence, but not that his opinion mattered, because he's dead.

So, the child was named after the mighty Prophet Daniel. And, indeed, he had a lot to live up to...