“It’s so relaxing out here.” A blond-haired young man sits on the side of a small boat as it sails through the ocean looking through a small notebook. “It’s hard to believe there’s so much chaos on the mainland right now out here. I wonder if they even know the king is dead?”
Over a hundred years ago, the continent was embroiled in chaos. Demons and monsters ravaged the land, causing a war that enveloped the land. This war lasted longer than anyone alive could know. Living in that time, war was life and attacks from demons were as common as breathing. Scores of people would die by the day fighting the demonic horde, all controlled by a central point of the Demon Lord.
This being from hell itself sat upon the throne of demon kind, and everyone knew the war would not end until this being was felled. However, its immense strength and the power of its host were unstoppable. It was truly the apocalypse. Many challenged its power, but not a single soul returned alive.
However, one day, a young orphan named Zedal appeared. His family was slaughtered by demons. He swore great revenge and marched into the distance with a sword in hand. Gathering a host of allies from across the continent and powerful weapons, he marched towards the Demon Lord. Many saw him as yet another fool, tossing away his life. But to everyone’s surprise, while many died, Zedal and five others survived and slew the Demon Lord.
After that, Zedal led forces to sweep the land of demons as he led a great crusade. Slaughtering demons wherever they appeared when the last demon was slain, peace returned to the world. And by that point, everyone in the world agreed on one thing: Zedal would be the one to lead the continent. Remaining the land after him and founding a kingdom under that name Zedal sat as the king and unifier, bringing all races and clans under his rule. This was the state of the kingdom of Zedal for over one hundred years.
Zedal became known as the great unifier and his rule will forever be known as a time of peace, a peace over a century old. However, that peace was broken the moment he breathed his last breath. Three months ago, Zedal passed sitting on his throne and declaring one final edict.
Before his body was cold, many fought over who would take his place. Zedal left no heirs and, being an orphan, he had no family and no blood relatives.
Considering his age, it was bound to happen sooner rather than later. But there was almost a deific belief in him enshrining him as a form of God. Having that belief shattered by reality, chaos emerged and quickly swept the Zedal Kingdom once more.
Lords of all kinds scrambled for power as lawless fiends swarmed the land. Chaos had returned once more and everyone believed the kingdom would fall. But one day a duke with many connections, a vast fortune, and power to match put an end to it. Using every resource he had available, he put an end to the chaos to bring forth the king’s final death bed edict.
Sensing his life was at an end, Zedal wanted to believe in the youth of this new age to uphold the peace. He said to select one youth pure of heart and have them lead this new world. With this, the duke proposed one game as a way to test the smarts, skill, intelligence, and intentions of one such youth. The King’s Game.
A battle between twelve youths set on the far-off Aloock Islands. These twelve will gather their resources and test their abilities to play a war against one another. The one who stands before at the top of this game will gain the title of King and rule the land. Those in power agreed to this and set off to prepare various youths to battle on their behalf.
One of these youths is Glyn Mattox, the young son of a minor noble. Although the first-born son of his family, he is the son of the second wife. With no right to inherit any titles or lands, he is the perfect choice to send in this game. An irrelevant child of minor nobility is only slightly better than a commoner. Now, what better tool is there than that?
“Let’s see.” Glyn stands to adjust his sail as he stares up at the clouds. “No sign of storms. Looks like they were right about the weather for once. Now what kind of island am I going to?”
He opens his book and pulls out a piece of paper. “Jubert Island. A small island with no notable features and no notable exports.”
He sighs and runs his fingers through his hair, slicking it back and showing off his pointed ears. “Talk about a handicap. Were there no other islands of any worth available? Or were the other islands worse?”
“How am I supposed to find any court members if I’m going to be stranded on some no-name island?”
He sighs and holds out his hand. A black king chess piece emerges from his hand, shining with a rainbow forming around it. Turning his head to a bag of chess pieces, they glow, resonating with the king piece in Glyn’s hand.
“I have to find some worthy allies or else I’m going to be worse off than the others.” He closes his fist as the chess piece fades away. “I have to at least beat him. If I do nothing else, I have to destroy his chances of becoming king. Only then will my family be free of that asshole’s influence.”
Thinking about his target, his mood sours as he shakes his head and returns to his book. “I might not have a main export or anything of note on the island. But at the very least, I’ll have people. And if there are people, I can find at least one talented person in the pile.”
“A diamond in the rough, as it were.” He turns to the sails and adjusts them to catch the wind as it pushes the ship through the sea. “Once I’m there, I’ll have to get right to work. There’s a lot to be done and little time to do it. I have a little over a month to pull something together, or I might as well give it up before I even start.”
Like with any game of note, this King’s Game had its fair share of rules that all participants must abide by. Each king candidate would be given a set of magically enchanted totems in the form of chess pieces. Every piece aside from the king piece represents a magically binding contract. Those bound by the contract must obey the rules of the king. In exchange for their obedience, the king could use the piece could influence their growth and increase their strength far more than your average person.
However, should a king lose with their piece being destroyed one way or another, they’ll be forced from the game and lose all rights to the throne? Glyn, of course, knew of this and knew that murder wasn’t something strictly forbidden. So, it was likely that one or more of the candidates will move toward murder or assassination.
“I just need a bishop capable of using advanced healing magic, and then I’ll have some chance of taking him down,” Glyn says to himself.
He holds out his hand and stares into the distance, spotting land far away from him. He smiles as he adjusts the sails and heads toward the island.
“That has to be it Jubert Island.” He says as he sails towards it at incredible speeds. “I have to find the leader and introduce myself. And from there, inform them of how things are going to be from here on. I have to rule the island as king. But I can just sit as a figurehead until the time for a fight comes.” Glyn smiles as he draws closer. “You know what? I’m sure I can make this work. I just know I can win this thing. Hell, the inhabitants might even be grateful for someone to come to their little island.”
Glyn breaks out in a laugh as his ship draws in closer to the island.
Meanwhile, on the shores of the island, a young woman with light red hair stands in her leather armor and short sword at her side. Her two fox tails flow with the wind as she keeps a lookout and, as she senses a voice, her fox ears point up.
She takes a breath to calm herself as she grabs the hilt of her sword and readies herself for an encounter. “Okay Mila, you can do this. You have to, for the sake of the village.” She says to herself, cementing her resolve.
“I’ll kill the king candidate and save my home from this game’s nonsense!” She yells out as Glyn draws in closer.