From the Author
This work was originally a Legend of Zelda fan fiction set in the modern era. I decided to change it up and release it from the chains of fan fiction because I had a better idea of where I wanted to take it. I have the original version for all its glory, minus the editing. I hope that you enjoy the journey through book one because there will be a surprise at the end.
The City of Secrets
The City of Argus; a city built from a war that ravaged the Main Lands and became the successor to the Kingdom of Argoria. If not for a hero chosen by a most sacred sword forged and blessed by four Goddesses, the Kingdom would have fallen to Mordohn [more-don]. He is a being that none who normally lay eyes upon would survive, for if he laid his eyes upon you, any thoughts of escape were pointless. With the blade now known as the Blade of the Gods, the Hero, though battered and near death, was able to defeat the King of the dark creatures and end the war.
With the war over, the goddesses that intervened came down from above to bring a sense of peace between the two conflicting worlds. With a treaty signed by all races from both the Main Lands and the Forest of Shadows, a new era was born and with it a new city. The goddesses then gifted every survivor with the ability to hide their true forms, thus reducing the need for violence. This gift would then be passed on to their offspring.
For 1500 years the newly dubbed Argus, grew both technologically and industrially. Everything appeared to be perfect. A major school catered to all grade levels, practically no violence except for the occasional bar fights, and an excellent economy made Hyrule look like a perfect city. However, all of that was during the daytime. At night, however, Argus was an entirely different city. In the alleyways, violence was a way of life. Murder and vandalism filled the morning news. Even though all that transpired at night, any remnant of trouble was cleaned up with magic.
In the middle of the city sits the greatest evil to hit Argus. Palmer Industries, owned by Clark Palmer, owns just about everything. From the Hospitals to Argoria Academy, you can’t go anywhere without seeing his name. He pretty much runs the city. Palmer Industries is the tallest building in the city as well. Purposefully built that tall, so Clark would be able to observe the whole city right from his office; from Palora Bay in the south to the Forest of Lost Souls in the north. He could take in everything. If anyone tried to defy him, he would know.
Now we come to our main character of this epic tale. Liam attends and is in his 14th year at Argoria Academy. The Academy is a place where all youngsters are required to attend and must complete 16 years. The first 12 years contain your basic classes such as reading & writing, math, and science. Years 13 through 16 have a higher math and science, as well as History & Legends, and Sword Fighting. Liam isn’t exactly the brightest student, but he does get by on his own. He has two friends, Jacob and Nikki. And, as we all know, all schools have that one bully. The one that everyone fears; allowing them to run the place.
After his normal day of classes, he started on his way home without delay. It was drawing close to winter. With the incoming chilly air, he was looking forward to returning home to a nice tall mug of hot cocoa; made from fresh Drali Ranch brand milk. He was so excited that he didn’t even bother to hang out with his friends after school. He may be near twenty, but he couldn’t pass up anything sweet made by his mother. However, what Liam didn’t realize was, that he was about to stumble upon his destiny. His world was about to be turned upside down.
He was just about halfway home when he heard what he could plainly tell was a scuffle, coming from an alley he passed. He kept telling himself not to worry and to keep on walking. Liam wasn’t usually the nosey type, but something deep inside told him to look anyway. Not wanting to be seen, he got as close to the wall as he possibly could and popped his head around the corner. He made sure it was just enough as not to be noticed. What he saw shocked him so much that he almost fell over.
At first he saw two plain-looking men fighting. One was overly buff and the other, a tad scrawny. Seeing as how there was a bar at the other end of the alley, it seemed normal to Liam that two drunks would be wanting to brawl. He did a double-take as he watched the two men begin to change. After the transformation, the buff man now looked like a pig with the scrawny man appearing to be a skeleton. He would normally pass that off as him not getting enough sleep, but this was happening at the end of the day.
Liam was about to creep away when the strap of his school bag broke; making a loud crash as it hit the ground. The two men stopped and looked over Liam’s way; finally noticing him. Liam was too busy picking up his stuff to notice the two exchanging words. He left a few papers but did not care. He’d rather lose his homework than his life. He turned and ran as fast as he could, not bothering to look back.
Both men had been chasing him for quite some time. Among the fears of being killed by whatever they were, and the fact that there may be a whole other world around him, Liam just wouldn’t stop running. He had finally reached a bridge when he decided to look back. It was then that Liam realized that the men had stopped chasing him. He didn’t bother asking himself why. He just kept on running. Liam didn’t care why they stopped, and he didn’t want to take the chance that they would start chasing again. He just wanted to get home and feel safe once again. He was hoping that what he saw was just an illusion; that the two men were just drunk and angry. Somehow, he knew that wasn’t the case. He knew he needed to tell someone what he saw and he knew his mother was his best option. He knows she wouldn’t know anything, but he knew that she would at least comfort him after his ordeal.
Out of breath and ready to fall over, he entered the safety of his home. His mother came into the hall from the kitchen. She was carrying a mug. The familiar smell kept him awake just long enough to utter a few words, “you won’t believe what I just saw.” His mother was close enough that she caught him as he slumped over and lost consciousness.
1: The Scent of Self Discovery
The air was warm and filled with a sweet scent. Liam quickly recognized it. Liam opened his eyes and saw that he was in the den of his home. He had somehow made it to the couch, but the last thing he remembered, he was saying something to his mother. “Could she have carried me by herself?” He thought to himself as he got up and pulled the blankets off him.
He caught another whiff of that familiar sweet aroma and finally noticed the tall mug sitting on the table. He could tell it was his mother's famous Hot Chocolate. He quickly took the mug and began to chug it, not caring how hot it was. It was barely warm. He also noticed that the fire had been going. He looked outside and noticed that the sun had gone down. He guessed that he must have been out for a few hours.
That was when he remembered the two people, or things, that were chasing him. He called out for his mother, but no answer. Thinking she might be upstairs and just couldn’t hear him, he put the not-so-hot chocolate down and headed upstairs. Thankfully, the den was close to the stairs. He still felt a bit weak, but he felt good enough to go short distances.
He got upstairs and immediately noticed a ladder in the hallway. He didn’t even know they had an attic. He called to his mother again and still no answer. He slowly walked up to the ladder and tried calling for her again. He knew she must be up there, but he used up most of his strength walking up the stairs. He repeatedly called up when she finally popped her head down. His mother had long flowing blond hair and beautiful blue eyes. He couldn’t believe that she’s his mother. Her looks were flawless.
“What do you want?” She pulled her head back and climbed down. “It’s good to see you’re awake, but you should still be resting.” She put the ladder up. It sat flush with the ceiling. If you didn’t know it was there, you could easily miss it. “Why don’t you go into your room and lay down? I’ll make you a new mug, and I’ll bring it up to you.” She directed Liam to his room.
Knowing she was right, he went to his room that sat right at the end of the hallway. Inside, the room was just the right size for him. It was also quite a mess. Liam was always too exhausted from the walk home to clean. He had a game console hooked up to an old 15” screen, so the picture quality wasn’t very great. He had them sitting on top of a wooden box, something he found outside in an alley one day. His bed wasn’t just a bed. It was a futon. He would use it as a couch when he wasn’t sleeping, and then pull it out when he went to bed. He also had a little mat that he would sleep on top of when he couldn’t stand the feel of the bars underneath. Liam did what his mother told him to do. He pulled the blankets out and set up his bed. By the time he had finished and was laying down, his mother had walked in the door.
“Careful, it may still be too hot to drink.” She handed him the mug and sat down beside him. The weight of both on one end caused the bed to tip slightly, but she didn’t move. She sat there with a look of concern on her face. He had never passed out before, and the words he said right before had left her curious. She let him take his first drink before she asked him what had happened.
“Well, I was on my way home when I heard fighting coming from an alley.” He took a sip and put it down on the armrest “Normally I would have just kept walking, but something was telling me to look and see what was going on.” He shivered after remembering what he saw. “I got up against a wall and leaned my head around the corner. What I saw, I’m not sure if it was real or just my imagination, but the two men that were fighting, from what I saw, turned into hideous creatures. One man was huge and buff. He turned into a pig, with a snout and tusks. The other guy was pretty scrawny. When he changed before my eyes, he looked like just a skeleton.” He pointed over to his broken bag that his mother had most likely brought up while he was asleep “And if the strap had not snapped, I wouldn’t have been seen and chased by them.”
His mother just kissed his forehead, even though he was almost twenty, picked up the mug, placed it on his bedside table, and began to head out the door, “There are things that I can teach you, and there are things that only you can discover.” She closed the door, and without her son seeing, she began to cry. She knew that this was bound to happen. She made her way down the stairs to wash the dishes. She put the fire out before heading to bed as well.
The next morning, Liam awoke to rain pounding his window like rocks. On top of that, a crisp chill in the air. A sign of the cold season drawing closer. Even though he was still shaken up about yesterday, he knew he had to go to school anyway. He got up and quickly dressed, not caring how messy he looked. He then found some tape and patched up his school bag. He rushed downstairs, and as he walked into the kitchen, he saw one of his friends. They were helping themselves to a stack of waffles. “What are you doing here?” He dropped his bag on the floor and sat down in the seat opposite. With bright red hair, brown eyes and a beautiful face, it was hard to believe his friend was a tomboy. Yes. Nikki was his childhood friend. They did pretty much everything together. Just as he thought about this, she stuffed her face with a fork full of waffle. He put his hand on his face and just shook his head. He couldn’t believe how she became the way she is now.
“Could you pass me the syrup?” She completely ignored his question, poured on the syrup that Liam passed her, and kept on eating. She finished her plate in no time while Liam hadn’t even touched his. He didn’t feel like eating. Not with the thought of passing through the area that those men chased him from yesterday. Although the choice was stupid, he chose not to eat. Just because it was raining and he’d be walking with a friend, he still didn’t feel safe. He just wanted to get the day over.
Nikki stood up and made her way out of the kitchen; with Liam close behind. Only when they were at the door did she finally decided to answer his question. “You want to know why I stopped by?” She picked up an umbrella and opened it up inside. Three of the ribs had broken. “I was hoping you had an extra one.”
Liam didn’t know what her motive was, but he had a feeling she had done it on purpose. He knew that she knew he only had one. Liam just humored her and opened his. They walked outside, and Nikki immediately huddled up close so she could stay dry. Liam decided to leave the current issue be and attempted to change the subject.
“So, last night I was chased by two drunks that apparently didn't look human to me.” Liam tried laughing it off as if it was a joke, but Nikki saw right through him. She could sense that somehow, what he was trying to say was true.
Not wanting to cause him any more stress, she decided to leave the matter alone for the day. She could see that his mind was wandering. She could only imagine what he went through. As she thought about what could have happened, Liam stopped dead in his tracks while she kept moving. She was soaked before she got back under the umbrella. The water was now dripping from her hair and clothes.
“Sorry.” Liam was just staring at the other side of the bridge that was just ahead of them. “It was just on the other side there.” He pointed to the dark street that sat just on the other side. “I was chased up to that point. I don't know why, but they just stopped when I started across the bridge.”
“Oh come on,” Nikki grabbed his bag and pulled him along.
Liam was hesitant at first, but finally gave in. He knew that there was no stopping her when she started something. He got a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach as they crossed. He looks at his friend’s face as they finally hit the other side. What made him think more, was that the rain had stopped once they crossed. They were both glad it did, but Liam was a bit curious. Maybe it was his fear that made him as cautious as he was, but he still felt that something was strange about that rain stopping.
“If you don't hurry, we'll be late to school.” Nikki was far ahead of him. She was ready to get to school so she could change out of her wet clothes and into her gym outfit. Although they didn't have a traditional gym class, they still had to wear those white shirts and shorts, and sweats in the winter, when not practicing swordplay. She didn't even bother to wait. She turned back around and kept on going.
Doing so left Liam with no other choice. He had to rush to catch up, but she wasn't too far ahead. They both looked around and saw the damage left by the heavy rain. The gutters and drains were all flooded, and the curbs were looking like small rivers. Even some shop signs were flickering on and off. They both realized how much worse this side of town was. Their side was mainly residential while this side was mostly business. They had no time to linger and think about how bad things could be. They picked up their pace and continued on their way.
They eventually reached the same exact alley that Liam had described. Liam decided against bringing it up. He just sucked it up and quickened his pace. Once passed, he slowed down. He had decided not to say anything else about what happened until after classes. He thought that maybe he wouldn't be stressed out by then. Well, stressed about that anyway. To think that there may be something else out there made him cringe. They didn't even look friendly as humans. He then started to remember how his mother had told him that it was up to him to discover things on his own. He knew that she knew something. He would have to try to get an answer out of her later that day when he gets home.
The more Liam thought about what happened, the more he felt his mind changing. His fear was still there, but now a sense of duty was beginning to rise. “Why would I feel this way? What duty could I possibly have?”
“What did you say?” Nikki had heard Liam mumbling and turned to check on her friend. It was as if he didn't even hear her. “Hello, is anyone in there?” She shook her head and got back to walking. “I swear you can be weirder than even me sometimes.”
Liam finally realized what she was trying to say. “Nothing at all. I’m just thinking to myself,” was all he could come up with at the moment. Luckily, the Academy was just ahead. A large concrete wall surrounded the place. To get in, they had to show a pass proving that they go there. All children, teens, and young adults are required to attend. However, there are those that either flunk out or expelled. They are never to return to the Academy. Liam went to reach into his bag for his pass. He rummaged through while still walking. He could not feel it at all. “It couldn't have!” Liam remembered dropping papers yesterday. In his rush, he just thought it was his homework. They got to the guard station that separated the outside world from, what felt like to them, a giant jail for kids and young adults. However, he didn't have time to worry about that now.
“Pass, please.” The guard stuck out his hand to receive the next student's ID. Nikki was the first to give him the pass. “Everything checks out. You may enter.”
“I'll meet you in homeroom.” Nikki left Liam with his little issue. Inside the walls were three buildings that separated the grade levels 1 to 5, 6 to 12, and then 13 to 16. Out front leading from the gate to the three buildings was a giant garden. It was beautiful with many species of plants. Behind the three buildings was a large field. It was built for sports as well as whenever students had some free time in between classes.
“Do you have your pass or not?” The guard was getting impatient. He was tapping his feet in frustration. Most of the students may have already been through the process, but it was getting close to the bell ringing. No matter how hard he searched, he could not find it. Thankfully, the guard knew him, and they had another way to verify. Liam was directed towards a set of chairs and instructed to sit.
For those that could not present proof at the entrance, extensive questioning from the Dean of the Academy awaited them. If they passed, they would then be given a new ID, and then returned to their classes. Students lost their passes all the time, but he felt a bit embarrassed because this was the first time he lost his. He was hoping that those guys he saw didn't have it. The IDs contain your name, date of birth, your home address, and phone number. Just the thought made him sweat.
As the last student got through, the guard walked over and commanded the ones that were in the chairs to get up. There weren’t that many trouble makers that day. The guard pointed towards the buildings, and everyone knew where to go. They lined up and walked down the large path that led through the garden. Liam was just hoping that it wouldn't take long. He couldn't afford to miss certain classes.
Down the path and into the middle building, which was also for grades 6 to 12, the students walked quickly and quietly. The office is on the main floor. Liam is thankful for this. He doesn’t have to go far to make it to his building.
Behind them, the guard was watching them closely. No one looked like they were about to do anything, but Liam thought it was better to be safe than sorry. The front of this building was large. With an area for students to sit and rest during lunch or between classes, a vending area for quick snacks, and a receptionist, this was obviously a major hub for students. The building for the higher-grade levels didn't have all this, but he didn't complain. It somehow made sense to him why the buildings were set up differently and had different privileges. They went down the hallway to their right. Their destination awaited them at the end of the hall.
They were instructed to stand against the wall until it was their turn. Liam is fourth in line. He was happy yet nervous at the same time. He saw the first student go in and not three minutes later walk back out.
“OK, looks like this will be quick,” he whispered to himself as heard the Dean call for the next student. His worry started to fade as the second student came out and the third went in. This one was taking longer than the others were. Nevertheless, he didn't care, as long as he was quick. He thought that the kid might be having trouble answering questions. He knew it happened sometimes. He also knew that there were people that would get nervous when put on the spot. He then saw the door open and the kid walking out. This kid, though, did not look too happy. He dreaded to think what could have happened. However, he had no time to think about that as he heard the Dean yell for the next student to enter. He slowly walked up to the door and turned the knob and with a quick motion, he entered the office.