Posted 11 March 2009 - 11:46 PM
It was a cool morning, as ordinary as any other dawn. The sun continued to rise above the horizon as the young boy who had collapsed upon the solid ground once again flashed his eyes as he had begun to wake up. The boy, having a sense of laziness, remained on the ground for some time, until his senses realized that he had fallen asleep on the edge of a cliff, where he was previously training earlier in the day. The boy was quick to scramble onto his feet and pick up a bag full of items that he kept, including first aid supplies and a remedy to cure physical wounds. His dark, jet black cloak dragged behind his crimson red armor that protected his body.
The young man slowly began to walk away from this cliff area, tightly gripping the sword that was sheathed on his waist. The swordsman reached another area that resided along the same cliff, and proceeded to travel down towards an area next to a wooden log house, a house of which he soon stepped inside.
On stepping inside the wooden house, he viewed the surrounding area and looked for anyone in sight. He saw no one and continued to lay his sword against the wall and purge himself of his cumbrous gold trimmed armor. On the entry of the house were two sections; the left sector containing a table and what appeared to be the ‘kitchen’ of the house, and the right half possessing two beds and a clutter of clothes as well as weapons that were hung high upon the wall.
The boy lay on the bed further to the right. The bed itself was very basic in both design and structure. Within an instant of the currently relaxed boy’s first sigh of exhaustion, an older man, who appeared around the age of forty to fifty, walked in the house and greeted the boy by handing him a red apple that appeared freshly picked from a tree.
“So you’ve come back, Isaac,” the elder man spoke to the younger boy.
“My apologies. I was caught up in my practice that I had not watched the time and dozed off,” Isaac replied. He sat up from his bed to begin eating the apple.
“You shouldn’t work yourself too hard. I know you wish to become stronger, but just practicing your sword strokes will not make you stronger,” the man replied. The older man had a grey beard about a centimeter long, and grey hair that only extended just enough to cover his scalp.
“What are you suggesting?” Isaac replied, amidst finishing the remainder of his apple and disposing of it. Isaac’s hair was jet black, similar to his cloak, and extended down half way his forehead and to the back of his neck. At the end of the front side his hair bangs naturally stuck up in such a manner that it would never get in the way of his vision.
“You lack the necessary battle experience to become somebody beyond an ordinary swordsman,” the man responded. “I have been a knight for thirty three years now. You can hold me to my word when I judge someone’s fighting ability.”
“If that is truly the case, then let me gain experience. If you will not let me, then I commend you for your hypocrisy,” Isaac replied, forming a deep grin.
“So be it; I had planned on this anyway. As we continue to remain idle, Valaria continues to send its forces across the land of Brachia, conquering the innocent and killing nobles.”
“Urgh… Levion, please do not remind me of them. Just hearing about their actions brings me frustration,” Isaac answered back. “I’m going to take a nap, and then we can head off to the city of Bulten. The Plains of Karen are currently being attacked by Valaria,” Isaac said, stopping to yawn, “…so I would like to see what can be done to stop the corruption of the people of Karen fighting amongst themselves, before the situation becomes too dense.”
“If that is what you wish, then that is what we will do. Although I must say I am not fond of such haste when a decision was only made a few minutes ago… Such haste will only lead to stumbles. In any case, I will prepare for our journey, as it will be a long travel to the eastern lands of Karen,” the elder knight Levion replied. With those words, Isaac closed his eyes and fell asleep… Dreaming… The dream of a brighter future for the continent of Brachia.
The Wandering Swordsman
Isaac’s eyes fluttered and his body sat up from its resting position, as his mind wandered on the events that had occurred just before sunset. A single lamp was lit on the wall in between the two beds, as Levion awaited the awakening of Isaac. Little conversation happened between the two warriors as Isaac prepared himself in order to head off in the midst of the dark night, leaving behind the cabin where he had practiced his swordsmanship for the duration of two months. The youthful swordsman slipped on his dark black boots to match the scheme of his clothing, and then signaled Levion that they were to head off. Isaac had strayed off schedule with his original intended plans, which had resulted in their departure to take place at nightfall rather than in the presence of light.
Upon closing the door of the wooden house, two horses immediately caught Isaac’s attention. The former was a white horse with armor that belonged to Levion; and the latter was Isaac’s own, a young horse with brown skin that was mainly used for travel. Unlike Isaac, who only used a sword for combat, Levion was additionally equipped with spears and lances and fought while riding on horseback; this was a style used by knights and cavalry, as well as many nomadic tribal warriors. Both of the warriors climbed on the back of their respective horses and were in position to ride off to their destination until they had sensed something had gone amiss.
“Which way is east?” Isaac asked, dumbfounded by his lack of direction.
“…We’re facing north right now, so I assume you can tell which way is east?” Levion replied, keeping silent of Isaac’s lack of preparations when it came to traveling to their destination.
“Indeed, it is that-a-way,” Isaac said, pointing towards the eastern horizon. Levion nodded in agreement and rushed off towards the open plains. Isaac was slightly delayed in his initial movement, but rode off in the same direction, following Levion just enough so that Isaac would not lose track of Levion’s presence.
…In another area of Karen, several years before Isaac’s departure to Bulten, a clan of swordsman had existed. These people caused havoc across the land, fighting others and causing destruction with no just cause. Their people were hated, and eventually, the clan’s dark deeds would come back to haunt them.
The army of Valaria appeared at the doorsteps of the clan’s village. The soldiers completely surrounded the area and called for the clan to completely surrender, or suffer a consequence that was… unimaginable. Unheard of.
The clan chieftain walked to the village gate and greeted the soldiers. The soldiers did not. Within an instant, a dark aura consumed the soldiers of Valaria, their red armor becoming crimson red, and their lances suffused with energy that would only corrupt their souls. The clan and the soldiers of Valaria engaged in battle; the lances would break through the swords of the clans, and one by one, the clan was wiped out. There was no mercy. No forgiveness.
The man who had initiated the attack stepped up. He had sleek grey hair and eyes infused with dark justice. His armor was the equivalent of his soldiers; crimson red with a silver trim. He was… untouchable, as far as fighting was concerned. Few people could match his speed, and those who could lacked the necessary strength to penetrate his armor. Not even a single scratch could be made against such a terrifying power. The man revealed himself as “Cole” and raised a large, heavy, steel sword above the heads of the few remaining clan members…
He wiped them out with a single blow.
At the same time period, in another area, a young boy was practicing his swordsmanship. Being raised in the clan that he was, his sole purpose in life was the goal of killing. His clan left him no sense of mental freedom. The wishes of his superiors were his own goals, as he was taught… Until the day that his clan was wiped out. The swordsman known as Tekun was unaware of the events that were currently happening. He had been purposefully sent away, as Tekun’s father was fully aware of the attack that would nullify the clan’s existence.
Tekun returned to his village. His body went numb; his mind was inevitably going insane, unable to absorb the images in front of him. His eyes turned a crimson red color, as if though they had absorbed the color of the Valarian’ soldiers armor... Tekun could not bear to watch the aftermath of such a slaughter. He fell to the despair that surrounded him. Tekun was… too weak to save anybody. Too weak. Too incompetent.
That was eight years ago.
…Elsewhere, the twenty-five year old Tekun found himself wandering the Plains of Karen in search of somebody that would help him further his blade. Tekun was good at finding trouble, if nothing else. As if though fate had granted his meager request, a village bandit appeared at his feet, wearing ragged clothes and a built body with scars all over.
“Heheheh… If it isn’t the Immortal Soldier!” the bandit said with a grin. He gripped his axe in his right hand. Tekun noticed the axe and in turn he responded through actions, not words—the bandit fell to his knees and dropped his axe on the ground. He gripped his stomach, trying to relieve himself of the unbearable pain that had consumed him.
“You’re a fool… Attacking me… Was a mistake… My comrades will raid all the villages… and it will be your entire fault… Hahah… hahah…!” the bandit continued to maniacally speak. The rest of his body collapsed on the cold, sandy ground, the injuries overwhelming him. Tekun would not let innocent people be hurt. Not again. He headed off to the closest village that the bandit had mentioned.
Levion and Isaac came to a stop in their movement. They had ridden for hours and had agreed on finding a place to rest. They entered the nearest village, its gates wide-open, welcoming any and all people, no matter who they were. A man who had been fishing welcomed them and directed Levion and Isaac towards a house where visitors could rest for the night. Isaac thanked the man and immediately hurried off to the area that the villager had mentioned. Levion watched in disgust of Isaac’s behavior, but slowly followed. Upon entering the area, Isaac asked about a place to stay for a night. The lady at the desk smiled and asked for twelve hundred gold pieces. Isaac twitched his eye, and as if though Levion was a knight in shining armor—which he actually is, he handed the clerk the money she had asked for and they were taken to a small room with two beds for their usage.
“What a boring day,” Isaac mumbled, taking off his armor. Compared to Levion, Isaac had very little armor; it mainly consisted of a left shoulder pad and thin chest armor that would provide him with some chest protection without weighing down Isaac’s movement and agility.
“If you’re going to complain, it’s not too late to head back,” Levion replied, sitting on the bed.
“I never said that,” Isaac replied. Isaac had already slept earlier and consequently wasn’t in a mood to sleep. Coincidentally, neither were the Travis Bandits, the same group of bandits whose leader had been killed by the wandering swordsman Tekun.
“Everybody, this is an emergency! If you are an able man, get out there and protect the women and children! The Travis Bandits are here!” a man said, busting through the doors and yelling as loud as his lungs could possibly allow.
Isaac immediately jumped up from his bed and grabbed his sword, which was made out of a steel specially designed for Isaac so he could easily carry it without being weighed down by the steel. Levion levitated his body as well, and the two of them headed outside the hotel-like building. Isaac surveyed the area… by now, most of the civilians had retreated, and the bandits were at the main gate. A group of six villagers stood up to the brigands and their steel axes, equipped with rusted iron weapons and tools with dull points not even meant to fight with. Levion ascended his horse, which was stationed next to the building, while Isaac advanced up to the main gate.
“Why are you here?!” one of the defending villagers asked, panicking, struggling to hold on to his weapon.
“The doors were wide-open, so I thought we could come in and join you guys! You can’t tell us to leave now that we’re already here…” the bandit replied, stepping closer to the villagers, outnumbering them twenty to six. For every step the bandit took forward, the villagers moved back a step. The leader of the Travis Bandits, who apparently had only been chosen within the past two hours, raised his axe above the villagers, grinning, and then smacking his lips like a foul beast. His followers behind him began to laugh maniacally, enjoying the ‘game’ that was being played on the villagers.
The axe fell down upon the villager’s head; it was quickly parried by Isaac and his blade.
The brigand fell backwards onto his followers, and he signaled for the attack. The barbaric men entered the walls of the village. In turn, Isaac looked back in frustration, albeit quickly relieved by Levion, who began to ride around, fighting the bandits off and aiding the few villagers who struggled to survive against the power of the enemies’ mighty axes. Isaac took a step forward and slashed horizontally at his opponent, who overpowered the attack and hammered the axe towards Isaac. Isaac dodged the slow attack and made a thrusting motion towards the enemy, catching him off balance. He knocked the axe out of his hand and used the side of his blade to knock the enemy backwards, injuring his body on impact with the rough ground.
Four more bandits surrounded Isaac, outnumbering him. Isaac swung at one of them and missed, and then dodged an attack incoming from behind. The offensive bandit clumsily fell to the ground due to his inexperience in wielding weaponry.
“Looks like you need some help,” a boy said, taking down two bandits, as if though he had done it a million times. Isaac looked back, and made a fatal mistake as the last bandit rushed in towards Isaac. The swordsman intercepted the attack, kicked the enemy in the guts, and then knocked him back with the sheath of his sword, straight into a building.
“…Who are you?” Isaac asked. At the least, he accepted him as an ally, as he had been saved by the mysterious swordsman.
“The Immortal Soldier, Tekun,” he replied. He did not bother to chat, but rather he faced towards the leader of the bandits, glaring at him, as if though he was telling him to back off. Isaac refocused himself on the battle and rushed to Levion’s aide, cutting through the body of a brigand with a running slash. Levion slashed at the axe of an enemy and managed to overpower them, the impact causing them to fall to the ground. Isaac stepped on the fallen body and then jumped off of it, rising at least ten feet in the air gaining incredibly momentum, then releasing his fury whilst striking an enemy, who attempted to guard against the attack. An in vane attempt, the foe’s axe handle was broken in half, and the bandit fled for his life. Within an instant, the remaining foes noticed that they maintained little chance of winning against the ‘Immortal Soldier’, and scurried off as to protect their lives.
Isaac grinned at their defeat, albeit only for a split second, as he kneeled on the ground, grasping his bleeding right arm.
“Are you alright, Sir Isaac?” Levion asked, eyeing the man who stood in the center of the village, who had revealed himself as ‘Tekun’.
“I’m fine… I overused my strength, however. My muscles are hurting against fighting all those heavy weapons…” Isaac replied, reopening his eyes after squinting in pain. Levion rode towards Tekun, giving him a very serious look. Tekun noticed the approaching knight and unsheathed his sword.
“…The Immortal Soldier… What is a man like you doing here?” he asked. He kept a distance of about ten feet between them, knowing that the man was a dangerous foe.
“I only came here to fight off these barbarians,” Tekun replied. He turned away from Levion and began heading off, only to be stopped by Isaac.
“Hold. Why did you fight these bandits?” Isaac asked. Isaac was, or at least appeared to be, in no way intimidated by the strength and skill of the person he had confronted.
“They were my enemies,” he replied. He moved past Isaac and continued walking away.
“… I want you to join me,” Isaac said. Tekun paused his movement, albeit only for a moment.
“You are a strong person. I need strong people to help take down Valaria. If there’s something you are looking for, I can try and give it to you in compensation for your help,” Isaac replied.
“…Give me… What I’m looking for? You can’t do that,” Tekun answered.
“Why not? If it’s money, that won’t be a problem at all. Neither will food, nor shelter, nor weapons, or if you are looking for strong people to fight… I expect to have many of those as well,” Isaac replied. His face became more stern and serious.
“I want revenge for the deaths of my people,” he replied, his voice reforming itself into one of vast intensity. Tekun turned around. “Can you give me what I want?”
“…Whatever your goal is… If you join me, I will make sure that your goal will always be kept in sight. Your goal is part of my goal… for example, Levion’s hopes to end this dreadful war are also my hopes as well,” Isaac responded. He took a few steps forward, breaching the borders of his guts.
“Hm… Let’s see then… Let’s see how strong you are,” Tekun replied, a grin evolving on his face, his sword still held in his hand, prepared to attack in an instant. As Isaac analyzed Tekun’s response, he unsheathed his blade and held it with two hands in front of him.
Quite predictably, Tekun indeed went offensive against Isaac; and within an instant, the two swordfighters crossed blades in a test of strength. As Tekun overpowered Isaac, he stared in the eyes of his foe… The eyes that were so significant, and so much like his own… Warm eyes that had met a cold sight; enlightened pupils who only experienced darkness; eyes that fought forever, yet never intended to fight.
The peak of their battle had rapidly been ascended. Isaac, now tired and worn out, had been bested by his opponent. His fate was to be decided by this soldier of blood, assuming that Levion would not interfere in the warrior’s duel.
“You are weak… Just like I used to be. Too weak to protect anything, or anybody… Easily deceived and easily bested by your enemies,” Tekun spoke. He took the sheath of his sword and used it to knock down Isaac from his standing position, indirectly claiming victory; not that Isaac was worried about that anymore. His new focus was to claim his life that he had so riskily put on the line and assure his overall safety.
“I will join you, under my own conditions. If you need help, then find me using this slip of paper. I believe that Knight over there is familiar with it… Likewise, I doubt I will need help from you, but…”
“…We are the same… We both seek power. We both have our goals. Because of this, we’re sure to meet each other somewhere… Possibly in a light that shines greater than the one that currently fades.”
Yes, I just pasted my entire story thus far. D:
Signature thanks to Shu.