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A note from CKJ5

This chapter is the final chapter of my novella, Fragments of the Wildlands. I hope you enjoyed visiting the Five Kingdoms as much as I did writing it and sharing it with you. 

Since you made it to the end, I would love to hear your thoughts about the novella via reviews, ratings, or direct messages.

Of course, this is just one story set in my Five Kingdoms universe, and I plan to release more novellas. The Five Kingdoms of Cordizal series is six books series. The first two novels, Scourge of the Five Kingdoms and Dogma of the Five Kingdoms, are available now on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited, with book three, Heretics of the Five Kingdoms, coming soon. (you can find the links below) 

A short story and another novella is coming soon to Royal Road, so be on the lookout for them as well.

But again, thank you for taking the time to read Fragments from the Wildlands.

Cheers,
Charles

 

updated June 30th, 2022

Miguela sat outside in an open tent with a fur blanket draped over her shoulders as the twin suns made their way up into the sky. The compound had Vestigare agents all over the area, combing every nook and cranny for evidence. Now and again, a young agent would make sure she was comfortable but would not tell her much about what they were discovering in the compound. This time, the young agent brought her a mug of spiced wine. Miguela warmed her hands on the ceramic mug. She was grateful for the warmth for her hands and the alcohol for her nerves.

 

Miguela was unsure how long she sat in the tent, watching Vestigare agents scurry around like ants, but finally, the young agent returned, carrying a bench seat. The agent left without a word, and a few moments later, the purpose of the seat became abundantly clear as a rotund Ramon man waddled into the tent. He wiped his brow with a silk handkerchief before sitting down.

 

“Miguela DeStrella, I am agent Zak Corvius of the Vestigare,” the agent said cordially. Miguela could not help but notice the absence of her title, despite the Ramon’s pleasant demeanor.

 

“I wish I could honestly say it is a pleasure, agent Zak, but unfortunately, today had been everything but pleasant,” Miguela said. The Ramon smiled at her wit.

 

“Indeed. It appears that you have been through a rough night, to say the least. I am going to ask you some questions, then we will see about getting you out of here,” he commented. Almost as if on cue, the same young agent from before came with a box for writing utensils for the large Ramon, and Miguela had to fight back her tears as she remembered Caecilia. The Ramon looked at her with a look of understanding and allowed her to collect herself for a few moments as he busied himself with his writing utensils.

 

Miguela took deep breaths, and when she felt up to speaking, she met agent Zak’s eyes and nodded.

 

“Now I need to start from the beginning and ask, what exactly were your duties at the compound,” the agent asked. Miguela was confused by the question.

 

“Wait, you don’t know?” Miguela asked, and agent Zak responded with a shake of his head.

 

“The Academy and the Consul gave Archmage Belvi considerable leeway to conduct his experiments. Headmaster Vawall reported that the last update he received from Archmage Belvi stated there was significant progress being made in the project but no breakthroughs as of yet. The Head Chair of the Consul corroborated the headmaster’s claims,” agent Zak explained.

 

“That is not possible. We recorded everything. There should be thousands of parchments explaining what we accomplished,” Miguela replied.

 

“Unfortunately, it appeared that Archmage Belvi was incinerating all of your work. Are you saying you were successful in your endeavors?” the large Ramon asked, holding his ink pen poised to write her response.

 

“What happened to the others?” Miguela asked.

 

Agent Zak smiled, putting down the pen.

 

“You have earned the right to have your questions answered. So, I will answer any questions you have to the best of my ability. But, please keep in mind some answers I will not be able to give you because of clearance. After you are satisfied, then you will answer my questions. Deal?”

 

Miguela nodded, and the agent continued.

 

“I am afraid the answer to your previous question does not have a positive answer. From the compound, you and the stablehands are the only survivors. Archmage Belvi was in possession of two fused weapons, allowing him to unleash powerful spells on the individuals that he did not poison.”

 

Miguela could not believe that all of her friends were dead and wanted to think about anything but their demise, so she focused on the other details the agent provided. Miguela already had figured out that the Archmage was using fused weapons, but it felt surreal to have it confirmed as not a figment of her imagination.

 

“Who was Archmage Belvi?” Miguela asked, figuring that she should at least find out what she could about the man who ruined her life.

 

“That is a question I cannot fully answer because the Vestigare does not know yet. However, we do know Archmage Belvi was a talented necromancer, and to a lesser degree a talented summoner. He seemed to want to bring necromancy back as a practiced art, and this project was going to show that we could use necromancy to help society. We don’t know why he was obsessed with his goals or where he studied his trade. We also do not know how he created fused weapons,” agent Zak answered.

 

“Was he connected to the Scourge?”

 

“As of now, we do not think he was directly connected. We believe there is an underground society of necromancers who trade secrets and work together from time to time. We believe he was connected to that ring. More than likely, individuals from that society are now working with the Scourge. So, it is very likely that Archmage Belvi has had contact with members of the Scourge at some point,” agent Zak replied.

 

Miguela would probably think of thousands of questions later, but as of now, her mind was drawing a blank. Agent Zak picked up his pen again and readied himself to begin writing when suddenly another agent appeared. The new agent was also a heavyset man but was a short Arzan. He had light-blue skin and jowls that made him look like a domesticated hunting hound. Agent Zak, at the sight of the new agent, scrambled to his feet. Miguela was surprised at the speed a man of his size could move.

 

“Head agent, what are you doing here?” Agent Zak asked

 

“I am here to help clean up this embarrassment to the Five Kingdoms,” the head agent retorted in a shrill voice.

 

“Since my agent has seemed to forget his manners, allow me to introduce myself. I am Edgen Heiken, the head agent of the Vestigare, and you must be Miguela DeStrella,” head agent Edgen said, turning his attention to Miguela.

 

Miguela stood to greet the head agent with a curtsy.

 

“Indeed, sir,” she replied nervously.

 

“Excellent. That will be all, Agent Zak. I will take it from here,” head agent Edgen said, dismissing the Ramon agent without even looking at him.

 

“But, I still need to dictate her statement,” agent Zak said.

 

“No need. I will make sure everything is in order. That will be all.”

 

This time agent Zak gathered his writing utensils, stood up, and excused himself before waddling away.

 

The head agent waited until agent Zak was out of sight before returning his attention to her.

 

“Come,” he said and left the tent.

 

Miguela had to hurry to catch up with him, but he led her away from the compound to an open field where a large windship floated near the ground. Standing by the gangplank were two identical Grang in immaculate leather armor and an older Xandran with white hair and dark livery.

 

“Ernesto, as we agreed upon,” head agent Edgen said to the Xandran, approaching the gangplank.

 

“The Lordship would be most grateful for the runes as well,” Ernesto replied.

 

“I would like a flying pony, but we cannot always get what we wish for. I need to give the Consul something, and if the Lordship wants them so much, he knows where he can find them,” head agent Edgen said before turning on his heel and leaving.

 

“Miguela DeStrella, my name is Ernesto, and I am in service of the Lordship of Xandelfi. He knows of your remarkable gifts and would like to make an offer for your services. Not to worry, your brother is waiting for you in Xandelfi now. All you have to do is come and listen to the offer. I believe it will be impossible to turn down,” Ernesto explained, gesturing towards the gangplank.

 

“I have so many questions,” Miguela said, worrying about her brother, Jori.

 

“And I promise they will all be answered, just not by me, ma’am. If it pleases you,” he said, gesturing again towards the gangplank.

 

Miguela heard the stories about the Lordship of Xandelfi and was sure that if she refused to go, she was dead, so she saw little choice but to ascend the gangplank.

 

Once aboard the windship, she watched as the crew lifted the ship off. She stood on the deck, watching the compound disappear from view, and wondered what the future would hold for her and the Five Kingdoms.

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A note from CKJ5

If you like what you are reading, you can find more epic adventures in the Five Kingdoms universe on Amazon:

Book 1: Scourge of the Five Kingdoms

link: https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B09VK3JZ8V

Book 2: Dogma of the Five Kingdoms

link: https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B09VKC3TRR


About the author

CKJ5

  • Tokyo, Japan

Bio: Charles K. Jordan was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. He attended university in his home state, as well, where he studied Information Technology. After graduating, he decided to move abroad to experience more than what he had seen in the United States. He found his way to Japan in 2003, and since then, he has called Japan home.

Charles K. Jordan was always drawn to fantasy, sci-fi, and adventure. When he was a young child, the first novel he read was Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by Deborah and James Howe, and from that point, he was hooked. Since then, he has found inspiration and heroes from various writers in all forms of media. Some of his heroes include Robert Jordan, J.K. Rowling, George R.R. Martin, Quentin Tarantino, Terence Winter, Garth Ennis, and Glen Cook, just to name a few. Ever since that fateful day that led him to pick up Bunnicula, he knew his calling in life would be to create and hopefully contribute to someone’s growth and dreams.

Charles K. Jordan vowed to himself that no matter what happened in his life. He would never stop dreaming, writing, and creating.

The Five Kingdoms of Cordizal series available on Amazon:

Book 1: Scourge of the Five Kingdoms

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09VK3JZ8V

Book 2: Dogma of the Five Kingdoms

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09VKC3TRR

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