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The Soul Saga (working title)

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New member
Feb 2, 2009
United States
[/QUOTE]Okay I just thought I'd put this here and see what you guys think. I don't know if it's good or not, so I'll let you guys voice your opinion. Maybe you could give me advice. Now, that's not the name of the story, it's the chapter name. I've also started writing chapter two, but I thought it wouldn't make sense to put it here if it's incomplete. I don't really know how to use the marginal things, so forgive me if the structure of the text looks weird or too wide. Any advice is appreciated, thank you.


The hour was late in Rhenova, and Korishoba was lying in his apartment room in the Larken building, completely awake. He had tried everything he could today to ensure a good night’s sleep, even taking a second shift at work to wear himself out, but his efforts proved useless. This night marked the third in which he had found himself in a state of restlessness, and he was starting to get concerned. The day after tomorrow he would be entering in the fourth annual Brawl-Fest; a lack of sleep was certain to affect his performance. He had been following this event for two years, and now that he was finally old enough to compete, he didn’t want his first attempt to be ruined by exhaustion.

Korishoba had learned about the sport called “brawling” on TV as a young child, before it had become popular in Rhenova. While the swordplay mildly amused him, he never really understood how the game worked, and had not thought much of it. But when he was twelve, an announcement in the city paper revealed that a new Brawling Gym was going to be constructed in his district. Once it was completed, he started to visit the center on his free time, learning the basic skills and occasionally dueling with his friends. The gym manager once said that he had some potential, but Korishoba had never considered taking the sport seriously until two years ago, when the Brawlers’ League of Rhenova had lowered the contestant age requirement for Brawl-Fest to 17, in order to allow an exceptionally skilled boy named Ralik to participate. Korishoba watched his matches closely, intrigued by how such a young brawler could be so talented. After seven games Ralik had been defeated by an older competitor, but upon entering the tournament the next year he finally made victory. Such a story was inspiring to Korishoba, and he decided that he ought to take a shot at it as well. The fact that there was a 1200 credit prize only boosted his motivation further.

It was now past midnight. Finally he decided that he just wasn’t going to fall asleep, and with nothing else to do he might as well grab a bite to eat. Taking the elevator down and stepping out into the warm summer breeze, Korishoba set off for the restaurant. Feeling around in his pocket, he guessed he had enough money for a burger or two. Out of the corner of his vision he saw a shadow move across the street, and stared into the darkness cautiously. It was well known that this district had the highest crime rate in the city, and this was partially why Korishoba had learned the basic skills of brawling. He was pretty sure they wouldn’t help him much in a group attack, but nevertheless felt he needed to have some sort of self-defense. In any case, he had gone on previous nighttime wanderings without trouble, so he wasn’t too worried.

A few minutes later, Korishoba arrived at the restaurant. Normally at this hour, the owner would have already left, sticking Korishoba’s friend with the night shift. However, this was not the case tonight; the owner was sitting at the counter with a cheerful countenance, although he looked rather tired.

“Hey there, welcome to--Korishoba! How’s it goin’? I gave your buddy the day off,” the owner said in a jovial voice; apparently, working the night shift did not bother him. “The guy’s been looking pooped lately, so I told him to go home and get some sleep! So what can I get you?”

Korishoba took a brief glance at the menu on the wall. “Um, I’ll take the number four combo. And…” He counted his money. “Wait, actually just the burger--”

“Not enough? Don’t worry about that, just gimme what you have.” The owner deposited Korishoba’s money into the register and spun around to prepare the meal. Korishoba sat down at the counter.

“Hey thanks! You know, you seem pretty tired yourself,” he added.

“Yeah, I been workin’ all day.” said the owner. “Just been one of those really busy days, y’know? Lots of customers, I been dishing out orders nonstop since eight! I’m on a roll here!” Korishoba smiled.

“Alright, what’s going on?” he asked the owner. “You look like you’ve just won the lottery.”

The restaurant owner tossed a patty onto the grill, and as it began to sizzle he disappeared into the kitchen.

“As a matter of fact, you might say I did,” he said from the other room. “Just this morning…” There was a sound of shuffling boxes, and the owner reappeared with a potato in his hand. “Just this morning, I got a visit from a representative of Merit! Y’know, that new business place? Seven A.M., I’m barely getting the place ready for breakfast, and in walks this pal sporting a suit and tie. He had a briefcase in his hand, and right then I knew something good was coming. You don’t get no suit-wearing, brief-case carrying people around this place for nothing!”

The Merit Corporation was a business company that was slowly rising to the top of the corporate world. A few years ago, they had begun construction of a new headquarters in Rhenova’s capital district. It had been completed this past spring; their building was simply massive, towering over several of the other skyscrapers in the city. Whenever he walked past it, Korishoba would wonder about what an excellent view the employees in the top floors would get to work with.

The owner began to slice up the potato as he continued.

“So the guy introduces himself, name was something like Sercil, or Cecil, very professional manner, and says Merit’s hosting a kind of community event in their new place, to celebrate its opening I guess. Dinner and a show, that kind of thing. Anyways, they’re throwing a huge banquet, and guess what? They want to me to do the main course!”

“They do?” Korishoba said, genuinely surprised. “But you’re not really…” He struggled to find the appropriate word, but the owner cut him off with a hearty laugh.

“Oh man, that’s exactly what I said! I’ve never done that fine dining before, this is nothing compared to what you see down in the capital! But since it’s a community thing they wanna appeal to the typical Rhenovan, who comes to me! He offered a load of cash too. So now I’m due in three days at the Merit building, to cook burgers for the whole city! I swear, after this week business is gonna skyrocket!” He placed Korishoba’s meal onto the counter, and slid it in front of him. “Here you go kiddo!”

“Thanks. I remember hearing they were gonna have a special opening. Good for you then!” Korishoba bit deep into his burger. “You know, I also have something big this week.” He swallowed the bite and took a swig from his drink. “I’m seventeen now, so on Thursday I’m gonna enter in the Brawl-Fest tournament.” The restaurant owner rubbed his brow wearily.

“That slice ‘em-dice ‘em sport? Oh boy, I really don’t think you should be doin’ that stuff, pal. I-it just doesn’t look safe at all! How’re you even old enough to compete?”

“Cause they put the age requirement down to seventeen a few years ago.”

“They lowered it? Why the hell for? Seventeen…jeez, you’re still just a minor!” Korishoba started to speak, but the owner threw up his hand.

“Okay, I know you got early independence, but still, these brawlers are real tough! A little seventeen year old going against them, they could just slice your arms off!” Korishoba rolled his eyes; the guy had no idea what he was talking about. Anyone who watched brawling knew that the swords weren’t designed to actually cut, and each player was given armor to minimize injuries.

“Jerol, I’m really not that bad,” he said. “I already know all the novice stuff, and for several months now I’ve been practicing the more advanced training.” He grinned broadly. “At the very least, I’ll get last place!” With a final bite he finished the burger, gulped it down with his drink, and stood up.

“Hey, you don’t believe me, come and watch me compete. It starts at seven o’clock at the Fight Corner. In two days.” Jerol nodded, but his expression remained worrisome.

“Alright. Take care then, Kori.” He grabbed Korishoba’s plate, and turned to wash it as the boy left.

Korishoba walked out of the restaurant, full of thoughts. Jerol’s reaction to the news was to be expected, but what he failed to realized was that Korishoba was not going to be the only 17 year old entering the Brawl-Fest. If this year’s competition ended up being like last year’s, then the majority of the contenders would be close to Korishoba’s age, and that meant he had a higher chance of winning. Then, once the competition was over, Korishoba could unwind the next day with the Merit grand opening; Jerol had agreed to see his matches, so it was the least he could do to show up at his banquet. In any case, he would never pass up on---

He stopped in his tracks, and became completely still; the shadowy figure across the street did the same thing. After a few seconds, Korishoba resumed walking, but with a quickened pace. Once he reached the corner of the block, he immediately turned left. The other person followed suit, crossing the street onto Korishoba’s block. Without hesitation, Korishoba broke into a full sprint and shot down the street, turning into an alley and squatting behind a dumpster. There he waited nervously for the person to pass by, peaking out from his hiding spot every ten seconds. He had lived in this district all his life, and he knew the dangers; it had become instinctive to run and hide. Crouched against brick wall, he was standing in near blackness, but his white shoes might still be noticeable; he prayed that he would not be spotted. A minute later, his stalker appeared from behind the corner…and turned into the alley.

Korishoba felt his heart surge, but he knew he had to stay completely still. The person following him apparently did not know he was hiding here, and continued to walk down the alley. But once he was halfway the person stopped, standing in the middle of the alley for a long time. Korishoba decided not to run just yet, in case the stalker was listening for him. Suddenly, a second figure entered from the opposite end of the alley, and approached the first man. The two began to have a conversation with low voices; Korishoba strained to hear what they were saying. At one point he thought the first man said “look elsewhere,” and then watched the second person raise his right hand to the sky. The alley was briefly lit by a red flash before a small spark shot from the second person’s hand and rose up into the night. The figures then resumed their conversation. Feeling that he should leave quickly in case the they somehow spotted him, Korishoba slowly crept back to the sidewalk and ran home as fast as he could. Once he was safe, he crashed onto the bed and slept until noon.
Last edited:


New member
May 2, 2008
The City of Roses
Re: Hey is this any good?

I like how you didn't open with a passage that sounds like it belongs in the rising action. This feels like the beginning of a true exposition with the right amount of suspense/mystery mixed into it. The ending seemed a tad rushed, but that's the only thing that was "off". I hope you continue writing =)


Bronze Member
Sep 10, 2009
Re: Hey is this any good?

Interesting. I enjoyed reading this; there weren't any mistakes detected and this is well writen. You should continue writing. :]


New member
Feb 2, 2009
United States
Re: Hey is this any good?

Okay, thanks guys who commented. I didn't even realize anyone had said stuff until just now, I thought it was just kinda ignored lol. Anyways, I decided I'd post more stuff after all, so here you go. Let me know what you think, thanks. Oh, and by the way, also let me know if the underscored indents were helpful or not. When you post stuff on the forums it doesn't show indents for some reason, so I just added those because I have trouble reading things without indents. But if it's distracting then I won't do it next time.


_____Korishoba woke up in the afternoon feeling a little sluggish, but otherwise well rested; the thoughts of last night’s encounter had faded off with his dreams. After he ate lunch he proceeded to the brawling gym, where he planned on practicing for a couple hours until it was time to go to the Fight Corner. He expected the place to be packed, but to his surprise there were only about a dozen members here today; the rest had probably left for the contest already. Among those who were practicing was Korishoba’s friend Ferusser; he had known him since the beginning of high school, and although Korishoba was older than him he was much larger and more experienced at brawling. However, the two enjoyed dueling together, each seeing the other as good practice.

_____Ferusser was in the middle of a practice round with another gym member, but his posture was sagged, and he looked genuinely tired. When he saw Korishoba, he called a timeout and stepped down from the arena.

_____“Hey…what’s up?” he panted heavily. His torso drooped forwards, resting on his knees. Korishoba walked up to him shaking his head.

_____“You know, this is kind of going overboard,” he said, gesturing at Ferusser’s doubled-over stance. “Don’t you think you should save your energy for the actual contest?” Ferusser shrugged.

_____“Hey man…you gotta practice how you play. I’m fine anyways…just need something to drink.” he stood up and grinned. “And look at you, late to the party! How do you expect to win anything with that kind of effort?”

_____“What do you mean?“ Korishoba said defensively, “I’m just as serious about this as you are! I just…I figured I should just get in some light practice, and not wear myself out before the competition. A warm-up, you know?”

_____“Yeah, you got a point.”

_____“Besides, my body’s been acting weird lately. I’ve been having trouble sleeping for three days now. I probably shouldn’t push myself too hard before I fight.” They walked over to the vending machines, and Ferusser bought a drink. Then they both sat down in the gym lobby.

_____“Well, maybe if you still went to school you’d get bored to sleep by the assignments in history.” Ferusser said. He popped the cap off his bottle and gulped away. “Speaking of weird, did you hear there was a fifth kidnapping?”

_____“Fifth? I thought there was just one girl, a month ago!”

_____Ferusser looked shocked. “Where the hell’ve you been? Just last Saturday another person disappeared. It was someone from our school, a guy. He was a freshman too, that must really suck. I hope he’s alright, but nothing’s been heard from any of the other missing people.”

_____“Wow. So four other people have already been kidnapped?”

_____“Yeah, it was on the news, I don’t know how you haven’t heard about them. Each one was abducted at night, and all of them came from this district. One person gone wouldn’t be surprising around here, but with five people, you think there’s a killer on the loose?” Korishoba shuddered at Ferusser’s words. He had suddenly remembered what happened the night before.

_____“I sure hope not,” he said. “I’ve got enough problems trying to survive on my own around here.” Feeling uncomfortable, he decided to switch back to the Brawl-Fest. “Hey, so what did Dario say? Is he coming to watch us or not?”

_____“Yeah, he’s coming. He said his boss gave him another day off. His boss was gonna go too, so he just bought two tickets and gave one to Dario.” Ferusser rolled his eyes. “That’s probably the only reason he’s going. A free ticket.” Korishoba laughed; Brawl-Fest tickets were expensive, but it was just like Dario to jump on the opportunity to get free stuff.

_____“Ha, and his boss is going thanks to me. I asked him to go since I’m showing up to his Merit banquet tomorrow.” he stood up. “Okay, you done with that drink? Help me get some practice in.” He pounded his chest. “Man, I’m gonna be so ready for this thing.”

_____Brawling is essentially a variation on traditional fencing. Two players are each given a blunt sword and a uniform with padded armor. The uniform bears emblems on the chest and each shoulder pad, which act as targets for the opponent to strike. The targets are specially designed to be easily slashed by the sword’s blade, so that any strike that hits the pad will leave a visible mark on the target. A strike on a player’s weapon shoulder scores one point, a strike on the off shoulder scores two points, and a strike against the chest will score three points. The goal of each brawler is to score ten points within three rounds before the other player. If a brawler is struck on a section of the body other then the designated targets or arm guards, the opponent who made the strike loses three points. Stepping out of the arena boundary will also forfeit one point to the other player. Additionally, if a brawler can make three consecutive strikes to the chest of his opponent before a first strike is made against himself, then he receives an automatic win.

_____For some reason that last rule appeared in Korishoba’s mind as he walked through the clear sliding doors of the Fight Corner. A warm rush of air blew past his face as he entered the crowded lobby; the sound of a hundred conversations filled his ears. He knew all these people weren’t entering the match, but were just spectators registering tickets or placing bets. Several high-definition video screens were mounted on the walls of the room, displaying profiles of the numerous contenders as well as footage of the arena. Weaving his way through the lobby, Korishoba approached a combatant registration booth and received his entry number. According to the special Brawl-Fest rules, the tournament starts out with two random contestants; the loser of this match is replaced with the competitor registered with entry number one. Entry number two fights the winner of the second match, number three fights the winner of the third match. This process is repeated until there are no more contenders. Korishoba was entered as number 12, so he had considerable time to observe the other competitors before he had to step into the arena.

_____After retrieving a uniform from the service desk, Korishoba headed downstairs to the locker room, where the other combatants were already changing. He spotted Ferusser changing several rows down and walked over to him.

_____“Hey, there you are!” said Korishoba. “What number did you get?”

_____“I’m number seven, I got here nice and early. What’re you?”


_____“What, really? That’s last place!” he shook his head. “I told you, you should’ve come earlier. You’re gonna get a really tough opponent by the time that comes.” Feruser leaned close to Korishoba, and lowered his voice to a whisper.

_____“Hey, honestly, you think either of us got a chance against the real challenge?” He nodded his head to the back of the locker room, where a tall boy not much older than Korishoba was fastening the pads to his uniform. Korishoba hadn’t even noticed Ralik when he walked in; seeing him in person was unexpectedly intimidating.

_____“I doubt I do,” he responded quietly. “You’re as big as him though, so maybe you could take him.” He studied Ralik’s body: the brawler was lean, but well-cut. Lifting his own arms up and glancing at them, the difference was obvious. Ferusser on the other hand, had plenty of solid meat on his bones, although he wasn’t very toned.

_____Ferusser shook his head. “I don’t think that matters. He’s got way more experience than me. Remember last year how he took on the thirty year-old guy from the coast? That guy was ripped, and he had a really good backswing, but Ralik was faster.” Korishoba nodded thoughtfully as he changed.

_____“Yeah, that was the one where he almost beat him with three strikes.”

_____“I swear, that fight really pissed me off, I was so damn close.”

_____Korishoba and Ferusser looked over their shoulders; Ralik was standing right behind them. “I’ve never won by three strikes before,” he said. “But I swear, I’m gonna do it tonight.” He stepped past them, and headed for the stairs that lead to the arena. “Hey, maybe it’ll be one of you guys.” he said as he proceeded up the stairs.

_____The two of them stood in silence for several moments, absorbing their encounter with last year’s champion. Korishoba’s face felt hot, and he clenched his hands into tight fists. Ferusser threw his clothes into a locker and slammed it shut.

_____“I don’t think he’ll get us with that,” he said casually. “Trust me, some of the guys here are so bad they shouldn’t even be competing.”

_____“What a smartass.” Korishoba said, glancing at the stairs where Ralik just left. “He’s got a lot of nerve, talking straight up to us like that.” Ferusser shrugged.

_____“Well, he’s really that good. And course he’s an asshole, what do you expect? The guy whooped some of the best brawlers in the city, he probably thinks he’s invincible or something. I know I would.” Korishoba frowned, and locked up his street clothes.

_____“He’s not. That guy needs to be put in his place.”

_____“Then maybe you could do the honors!” Ferusser said with a grin. “C’mon, let’s head up now. The first match is gonna start soon.”

_____As they walked out into the arena, there was a huge roar of cheering from the stands; the referee had stepped into the ring and was about to announce the start of the tournament. Korishoba and Feruser jogged along the wall of the gym to the combatants’ box, where the other contenders were already seated. The official held up a tiny black chip in his hand and squeezed it hard, emitting a loud alarm. The noise from the crowd gradually dimmed, and once it was complete silence the referee spoke in a quick, practiced voice.

_____“Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the fourth annual Brawl-Fest of Rhenova. The first seed will now take place. Will the selected starters please enter the arena at this time.” Two contenders in the seats to Korishoba’s left stood up and jogged out of the box and up the arena steps. They shook hands, and promptly took their places in opposite corners of the ring. The two blade bearers approached them, carrying their sheathed swords.

_____“Draw your weapons.” Each contender unsheathed their blades. “First seed.” The official raised his right hand over his head, and chopped through the air, bringing it down to the left side of his waist. “Brawl!”
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