Peer Review by Julia Warnock (United States of America)

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Lunar Rise - Prologue

By: Aurelia.Valus


FREE WRITING

    Screaming was all she could hear. The battle cries were drowned out by it, and it made her head spin. No matter how much she tried to ignore it, the screams continued to echo in her ears. Although she refused to acknowledge the fact that those cries of agony belonged to her comrades and that one may as well have belonged to a loved one of hers, the fears still made its way into her head.
    “Position half the eastern wall defenses at the southern gate,” she ordered a messenger.
    “The Earthlings have set fire to the buildings near the western gate” another messenger reported. 
    Gritting her teeth she said, “Send some soldiers from the palace guard.” He bowed quickly, then hurried off to obey the command.
    “Commander!” A voice hollered, and she recognized it; a man ran through the double doors of the war room. It was Atlas, her second-in-command, and most trusted adviser, though he was not but a few years older than her. His face was stern and filled with concern. “The Palace has been breached.” he said, drawing in a breath.
    Her eyes widened and her body went still, it took her only a second to replay the words in her head. The next, she was already halfway out the door, sword strapped on her back. She was almost to the hallway when she stopped and turned, “Atlas, you’re in charge until I return.”
    He nodded and paused with a concerned look on his face, “Be on your guard, your Highness.” 
All her life, people had mocked her for being a Half-Astral. She had a human mother and an Astral father. People told her that her senses were dull and she would never be nearly as strong or fast as her father. Atlas had never once mocked her for who she was, and as she sprinted toward the palace, she realized she had never ran as fast she did before that day.
    She used the servants entrance at the west side of the palace, keeping to the shadows to prevent detection. She knew what the protocol for a breach was: everyone in the palace was to take shelter in the weapons room on the second floor.
She located the nearest staircase, and took only a few steps before she felt the presence of something behind her. It was leaning in the shadows, a good ten steps from the staircase. It took her less than half a second to draw her sword. It was black, golden around the rim, and had a golden hilt that resembled celestial wings, the latter representing her rank. 
    “Is that where they are then?” The man said, in a rather mocking tone, as if he already knew the answer to his question.
    “Who are you?”  she asked, his voice seemed familiar.
    “Who me? Just the hand that will end your pathetic life,” he replied. Then, he smiled; her eyes widened, and it took her a moment to realize that he wasn't human.
    The creature chuckled, acknowledging her realization. He smiled again, then lunged.
She narrowly avoided his attack at the last second, nearly losing her balance on the stairs. He took advantage of that and stuck again, almost landing a blow on her arm.
    She swung her sword and missed.
    “Too slow,” he said mockingly. She swore she recognized that voice, but couldn't quite put her finger on it.
    This time, he went for her legs. If she wasn't on the stairs, the fight may have been more evenly matched. Unfortunately, she lost her balance and fell backwards, smashing her head against a stair as she fell down. By the time she righted herself, it was too late; he was flying— flying straight at her with incredible and impossible speed. She only had the time to grab her sword and use it as a shield as he crashed into her with such great force. The walls behind her crumbled then collapsed and she lay motionless on the paved paths outside the palace.
    The screaming had been silenced, giving way to a distant rumbling. She opened her eyes, feeling the dust and grit stuck on her eyelids rub together in the most unpleasant way and lifted her head. Ignoring the sharp pain in her arm, and the crimson blood that stained her silver-white hair, she tried to sit up, but found herself unable to do so.
    “Finally awake I see.” A voice said. She whipped her head to the right and saw the creature— the creature who had somehow beaten her.
    She frantically looked around for her mythical artifacts, but couldn't find them. She could see her sword, but it was too far for her to reach, and the creature was in front of it, blocking any way of reaching it. He loomed over her with a devilish smile.
    “Now you can look at my face when you perish” The man said with a little smirk.
    She growled at him; she could see his face now, but she still couldn't recognize it. That voice...where had she heard it before?
    She looked up to the sky; dark grey clouds had covered up the sun. She cursed under her breath and tried to get up again, but each time she tried, a terrible, sharp pain arose in her back. Wincing, she pushed through it and stood up, legs trembling. She never got a chance to take a step before the man jabbed his fist into her gut and sent her sprawling back onto the pathway.
    “You persistent little brat,” he scoffed. “Look at me while I drain the life out of your pitiful existence.” 
She then heard a noise—a sword being drawn. The man began laughing maniacally, and brought it down upon her. Unable to get up, she shut her eyes, awaiting the blow. Instead, she heard the clang of metal. She opened her eyes to see Atlas standing before her, his sword crossing with the creature’s. 
    “Run!” He gritted at her. His arms struggled to hold back the creature’s massive sword. Seeing the desperation in his eyes, she got up. Disregarding the pain, she hobbled as fast as she could go in the opposite direction. Once she was a good distance away, she looked back. She could see Atlas and the creature fighting, and he was struggling to block its blows, just as she had. Suddenly feeling a rush of guilt and cowardice, she started back toward the two with as much speed as she could muster. She was nearly thirty feet away and had no weapons to help Atlas kill the creature. Quickly spotting a spear suck in a fallen soldier, she grabbed it. Just hang on a little longer, she thought. She was almost there when Atlas caught her, and turned his head; the creature, taking advantage of his distraction, flicked Atlas’s sword away and shoved its sword through his chest. 
    Tears began to run down her cheeks and all that came out of her mouth was a whimper.
    The creature yanked its sword out and grinned, turning his back and stalking toward the palace.
    Suddenly overcome by rage and disbelief, she hurled the spear as hard as she could at the creature's body. She wanted it to feel how much she hated his existence and the emotions that coursed through her. The spear traveled faster than any arrow, faster than the eye could perceive, a golden light enveloped it as it found its mark on the creature’s back. It grunted and growled, then hissed at her and disappeared in a wisp of smoke.
    She made her way toward Atlas, who now lay motionless on the pathway, blood pooling beneath him. She fell to her knees and wept bitterly. Atlas was the man who had tirelessly trained her day after day, the man who had never mocked her for who she was, and had always been there for her when she needed someone to lean on. 
    She suddenly felt a hand on her arm. “D-don’t cry” Atlas wheezed, coughing up blood.
    She whipped her head up and saw him smiling gently at her. “I’m so sorry…” her voice broke, “I’m so, so sorry.” 
He groaned in pain “Its not..” He coughed again, blood running down the side of his mouth, “your fault...” He slid his hand into hers. “Just know...that,” he smiled again, “I love you and I always have.” 
    Her heart was pounding, but all she could think about was him. Then his eyes became glassy; his hand went limp in hers. She cried out in grief, yet all she could think was how he selflessly sacrificed himself so she could live and how she had never known how he had felt—how she would never have him by her side again.
    She heard a deep rumbling at that moment and a cruel laughter in the air, she looked up, right as an enormous meteor crashed into the palace. She screamed. Her parents were in there, her entire court was in there and there was no mercy when the palace came falling down.
    The ground began to crack, then shake violently. All of a sudden, the path beneath her split apart, swallowing her whole.
She could hear the whistling of the wind, and realized she was falling. So she fell, darkness claiming her once more.

This is my first ever piece! The credit for my editor goes to @BurningMidnightOil so go follow her, shes amazing. Also, I will be posting this on Wattpad after I get sufficient feedback here, so go follow me there @Aurelia.valus.

Message to Readers

I would really appreciate if you would take the time to comment and review! Any suggestions always welcome!


Peer Review

This story is cool because it has so much emotion and action. It was also very sad at the end. I really want to know if there's anything that happens after the protagonist is swallowed up by the ground. Does she die? What happens to the other people in the story?


I'd like to know more about the setting of this story and why the conflicts occur. You don't tell us much about why this war is happening, or why that monster came and tried to kill the protagonist. Also, in the title it says this is a prologue. Is there more to the story? I'd love to know if anything happens next. Other than that, I think it was really good!


Reviewer Comments

I think that the main thing you could do to improve this story would be to add more details and tell the reader more about what's happening. It's kind of confusing in some parts because there isn't too much background information. It would be nice if you could just sprinkle some more bits of information throughout the story. It was exciting and suspenseful to read, and I think you did a really good job! :)