The fire raring in the brick fireplace, pieces of metal scattered around, the walls dirty with ash and the staff working hard. Men and their sweaty hands kept bringing the metal hammer up and down slamming onto a thin sheet of metal. They flipped the metal sheet over and began to slam down on that side many times. The sheet of metal was then placed in the blazing inferno. These hard-working men were crafting blades. The grandest and greatest sword maker was names Markie Swovinta. He made swords not just for Kings, but for great knights of the royal army. His work is known throughout the lands of Byzintonia and beyond. Byzintonia was well-known for its way of constructing the blade to craft it sharp and light in use. Markie’s master’s great great great-grandfather, Mosho Kukeinovok created this technique. He kept this secret in five scrolls that explain each step in detail to forge the blades. These scrolls were kept in the school and given to the current master, Markie, who protect these secrets with his life. Even if someone was to thieve the scrolls, the person would need to acquire the desired skills to perform each step in order for the blade to be constructed precisely otherwise the blade will just be a piece of metal.
It was a beautiful evening in the village Hitaro: “The Village of Strength”. It was given that name due to the number of tough men that originated from Hitaro. Many of them are famous warriors and others for their skills in farming and other professions. Markie was focused on completing a sword for a well-respected Senator who recently been promoted to become of the Head of the Senate. A dark clothed figured entered the shop and Markie’s assistant Zumtoi Hatoyo went to help the stranger.
“How may I be of service?” asked Zumtoi.
“May I see Master Swovinta?” replied the shadowy figure.
“Master Swovinta is occupied at the moment. Other men in our shop can be…”
“No!” yelled the man startling Zumtoi, “I must see Master Swovinta.”
“Alright, let me speak to him. Please wait.” Zumtoi responded in shock. “Master Swovinta, there is a hooded man demanding to see you at the front desk.”
“What could this be?” thought Master Swovinta. “I will go see him.” He walked to the front desk.
“I need you to come with me Master Swovinta.”
“Why do you need me? Reveal yourself!” commanded Master Swovinta.
“It is too dangerous to reveal myself here. Please meet me at the Crosshound Inn. Please talk to the receptionist and state ‘Blackhounds will survive.’ She will give you a room key and firections to the room where I reside. See you soon.” The hooded figured rushed out the front door.
“I wonder what this man wanted me for.” Master Swovinta walked to the back of the room and continued to work on his latest masterpiece. He worked on it for a couple of minutes and began to stow away all of his tools in the closet within his office in an orderly fashion. “I’m leaving early today Zumtoi. Take care of the ship and don’t work the students too hard. Let them have a relax day. Take care.” Markie took his coat and traveled into the freezing, snowy land before him.
“Take care Master” responded Zumtoi in a nervous tone.
The Crosshound Inn was just a couple of blocks from where Markie’s work shot was. Markie was having no trouble walking in the 5 inches of snow and in the freezing weather. At the Crosshound Inn, he opened the wooden front door and entered in carefully. He noticed the receptionist to the right of him and walked towards her.
“Blackhounds will survive” Markie told the receptionist in a low voice. The receptionist retrieved a black key under the table and slid it to Markie’s open hand.
“Go upstairs and on the 2nd floor there is a room to your left that will open without a key. Find the room and enter. Within the room there is a wooden door underneath the bed. Use the black key to unlock the door,” said the receptionist.
“Thanks for the help.” Markie walked up the wooden stair case to the 2nd floor and the hall lights dimmed. He walked down the creaky corridor looking on the left attempting to find the door that will open without a key. The last door in the hallway did not have a keyhole so Markie entered the room. The bed was to the right of him and he moved the bed over. Under the bed there was an aged door.
“This must be the door,” whispered Swovinta to himself as he took the black key from his pocket. Markie kneeled down with his left knee as he inserted the black key into the dark-colored door. He slowly turned the key counter-clockwise and three clicks echoed. A door knob suddenly appeared above the key hole.
“This is it!” exclaimed Markie as he took hold of the door handle as he cautiously turned the handle clockwise and slowly open the door. There was total blackness o the other side of the door frame and Markie began to lean into the hole. Then two hands from the darkness pulled him through while the door closed behind him. Flames on the stone wall flickered on revealing at the middle of the room a table and a hooded man sitting behind it.
“Please sit Master Swovinta. There are many things we need to discuss,” whispered the hooded figure. Master Swovinta saunter towards the wooden table and pulled the chair in front of him.
“What do you want with me? What is the reason to bring me here?” Markie had many questions in his mind that he want answered.
“All of your queries will be answered shortly but I must know this. Are willing to join the Marquelli family in their fight for justice?”
“The family, who assists deprived individuals, obliterates town governments and has a colossal army?”
“Yes, the one.”
“Never, by no means I will pledge loyalty to them. Everyone knows there is an entity that is pulling the strings on the Marquelli family members.”
“Excellent, I can depend on you and you are correct in your assumption. There is a mystery behind the great Marquelli family. I shall reveal to you who I really am.” The hooded figure lifted his hands slowly clutching the lip of the hood and little by little the figure’s face was revealed. Markie was in shock as to who it was
“Are…e…e…you…” staggered Markie.
“Yes, I am who you think it is; the last surviving member of the illustrious Victorouge family. I’m on a journey discovering the finest sword makers and you are one of them.”
“What is the need for a sword maker?” questioned Master Swovinta.
“My journey is prolong and perilous. I must retrieve the proper elements in order to make a great sword. Each section must be constructed with care. Master Swovinta, you are the master in the art of the blade. I must locate the masters for fuller, guard and grip and sheath.”
“What sort of ‘great sword’ you are trying to construct?”
“It is the unnamed legendary sword from over a thousand years ago. In that age, there exists a remarkable warrior who defeated the evil creature in its attempt to conquer the world with the help of four celebrated sword makers. This sort of evil will rise again and plunge the world into darkness.”
“So the Marquelli family is going to revive this evil?”
“Not entirely. A person that the Marquelli family hired is manipulating them to perform various deeds. The charities they perform and the buildup of a grand army is part of this person’s plan.”
“Who could have they hired?”
“From my sources it is an individual with great magical might however I am not completely confidant in that report. In any case, your master’s great, great, great grandfather was one of the illustrious sword makers and you have those secrets.”
“Is this revenge against the Marquellis or to save the world?”
“Mutually, The Marquelli have assassinated my family one by one however the prevention of this world’s destruction is imperative.”
“This…World? Is there a world parallel to ours?”
“It is undetermined however I believed that there is a parallel world where the source of this great evil resides. Similar to the ‘Yin Yang’ notion where there is a balance of good and evil. Will you accompany me on my quest to locate the other sword makers and to construct the grand sword?”
“Okay, I will join you on your journey but I need to return to my work shop to retrieve the require items.”
“Let convene at the village entrance. To let you know my name is William.” William lifted his right hand and the room filled with purple smoke. Markie found himself outside the Crosshound Inn entrance.
“How did I end up here?” questioned Markie. “Well I better quickly get my belongings.” Markie rushed back to his workshop but when he arrive, he noticed how unusually quiet it was. He slowly opened the back door and cautiously entered the room. The work shop was eerily empty. Markie hurried to his office and there sprawl on the floor was his assistant Zumtoi. He drops next to Zumtoi to help him out.
“What happened here?” whispered Markie close to Zumtoi’s ear.
“Some… cough…skilled…ninja came. They… cough…took all of your…students away. I…was able to oppose…them. Here… cough…is the key.” Zumtoi lifted up a wooden key towards Master Swovinta than fainted.
“They must have been sent to come after my secrets but why? Hang in there Zumtoi, I will get you to the hospital.” Markie took the wooden key from Zumtoi’s motionless hands and placed it in his coat pocket. He lifted up Sumtoi and carried him to the hospital two houses down the right. Markie entered the small hospital and placed him on a wooden table.
“Receptionist, please take care of Zumtoi and when he recovers tell him that I am on vacation and to take care of the studio.”
“As you wish Master Swovinta.”
“Take care Zumtoi.” Markie walked out of the hospital and commence his walked towards the village entrance. Before he reached the village entrance, Markie entered a restaurant and walked all the way to the back to the storage room. There he removed the rug off the floor revealing a door. Markie grasped the wooden key from his pocket and inserted the key into the door turning the key clockwise. The wooden door popped opened revealing in the small area five scrolls. Master Swovinta shuts the door, locked it and covered it with the rug. He placed the five scrolls in a leather bag and departed the restaurant. There at the village was William waiting.
“I’m glad you were able to make it. Were there any troubles during your preparations?”
“My workshop was turned upside down, my students are gone and my assistant was injured severely.”
“The Marquellis must be on to me. We must depart as soon as possible.” William took Master Swovinta by the arm and began to dart out of the village. Just as they were to exit, two men in black garments with cloth wrapped around their head only revealing their eyes appeared before them.
“Surrender Master Swovinta…William Victorouge.”
“What is your desire?”
“Nothing related to you William. We just need Master Swovinta”
“I cannot allow you to capture Master Swovinta” replied William in a demanding tone. William took his sword out from the brown sheath bracing to fight the two ninjas.
“If you get in our way we must eliminate you.” Ninja starts appeared in their hands and spring into a battle stance. A long pause existed between the two ninjas and William as they analyzed their opponents. Markie rushed behind a bush observing the fight from afar.
“I hope William is a skilled swordsman” commented Markie.
One of the ninja moved his foot slightly and started to lunge at William rapidly. William had his guard up and stepped away with his right foot. As the ninja passed William, he threw his stars. It missed Williams head by a centimeter. The second ninja charged with excess of ninja stars soaring all around. William swiftly shifted his sword stopping all the ninja stars headed for him and quickly headed towards the first ninja. He lifted up his sword and swung in front of him. The ninja jumped in the air avoiding the blade however William lifted his sword slightly catching his pants catching the ninja off balance. From behind, the second ninja attacked but William rapidly moved to the right causing the second ninja to collide into a tree. Both of the ninjas became unconscious.
“Come Master Swovinta. There might be more ninjas after us.” William and Markie ran down the dirt road attempting to stumble on the right place to hide and rest. The quest for all of the sword makers was set in motion and Master Swovinta is in the adventure of his life.