Spherical Warfare

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3. Chapter three

Chapter three

I The art of coming back home again was one that few mastered in the first place, so even more exceptional was it when Terrence, one of the  more skilled practitioners from the human race, was entirely clueless as he landed on his arse in a forest, immediately being struck by a brisk gust of wind, having been on a pilgrimage in a completely diverse terrain a moment ago. "The feth-" was all he could really say, and henceforth he would never encounter a situation capable of astonishing him again, for the reason for his stop mid-sentence was that a surreal and incomprehensible hole erupted in the air above him, tearing through the air as if it was out of the same fabric as Terrence's clothes, opening up a rift where all light was pulled apart in inexplicable ways, and all that could be seen was an array of colours being distorted around a horribly plain black line; the sight was outlandish in its purest meaning.    Being either pushed or pulled through the rift by a, for Terrence's case at least, invisible and likely forever unfathomable force was a red-maned character with mud on his knees, and awkward it was indeed as his landing took place on the abdomen of Terrence.    "This never happened," the newcomer stated calmly. Nobody disagreed.

II

"Travelling I am, tucked in the wool of lamb, trotting for the sunset now, my spirit all but low, curls in the sand, forced by my hand,

The roads thin, the world at my feet, a city council seat, a girl named Lin, in every town I have, every settlement, my friend eloquence, set the path,

Travelling I am, tucked in the wool of lamb, trotting for the sunset now, my spirit all but low, curls in the sand, forced by my hand,

Weapons honed, exploration done, Overhead the sun, mythical kings dethroned, spinning tales unaproned, likely untrue my hun', benefactors none, chose for me my bun,

Travelling I am, tucked in the wool of lamb, trotting for the sunset now, my spirit all but low, curls in the sand, forced by my hand,

Sins unatoned, moral qualms extinct, life philosophy unsynced', dangers outzoned, a traveller I am, travelling I am!"

 

III Grease sprinkled into the fire and produced a sound only enjoyable for a small minority of people, much to the dismay of Terrence, who as a result would turn his head and tense up every time a spectacularly high crack was heard, as erratically as they would. For every other purpose, he would remain completely still.    "You're not a very wholesome dinner companion, are you?" the red-haired acrobat inquired. "That's something I've never been," the grey veteran responded curtly. "Even less so when I'm in a forest I've never seen before in my life, and I don't even know how I got here in the first place." he ended tartly. "Quite the brooding one, aren't ya?" Sean gnawed off.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Tell me then, why are you so bothered? It's a normal looking forest, and it had a nice deer for us to eat, what's not to like?" "It's called having a home, a place where you like to be. Not elsewhere." he said in a tired voice, "and having been brought here literally in the middle of a sentence by some outlandish magic doesn't make it any better." "There are things tying you down, hm. Well I guess being your age it's unavoidable." the scarlet one said cockily. "Being your age it's unavoidable to be ignorant. You'll soon realize that living your life on the run with no settle is hollowly so." was Terrence's words. "Who are you at any rate, to claim wisdom greater than mine?" he asked afterwards. "I am Sean Lenuar, jack-of-all-trades, and you?" "Master Terrence Connor, greatest swordsman to have ever lived, and by far the richest. In all likelihood you already know this by hearing my name?" "Ah! You're not  at  all as boring a dinner companion as you said you were!" Sean loudly proclaimed after a long-winded laughter. "I suppose that's true, but had I said otherwise I would've"

IV The night came with a ghastly cold; The grass would turn raw with frost, and what had been a lush and lovely domain of nature was redone into a field of discontinuation overnight, a sight very much unpleasant to wake up along with. For Terrence's case, many years had passed since the moment where he had promised himself never to be surprised again, thus his face remained uninfluenced as he opened his eyes, regardless of how his thoughts would reassemble after awakening.    For Sean, it was different. Several exclamation marks would be a necessity should his abrupt vocal manifests of fear and confusion be recorded in direct citation. Terrence's immediate lack of reaction, to both the situation and Sean's reaction, caused what would be the second event in a sequence of events that would go on to make a n unknowingly large amount of difference in the main course of the world.    "Silence, eh? Fuck you royally then." he said and turned on the side. "I'll finish my sleep as if this paranormal scorching of the earth's womb never occurred." "Scorched?" Terren answered with half-arsed bafflement. "Cold did this, not heat. Didn't you notice your toes turning blue?" "Well excuse me good master Connor, but packing a proper bedroll has its advantages!" Sean practically sang with haughtiness. "More likely it is that you're simply a single-tracked moron with no knowledge of the world outside the city you were whored in." Terrence replied mercilessly. "Bringing out the big weapons, are we? I retract my earlier statements, you're not interesting nor enjoyable to be in the company of!" Sean whined. "Oh would you both shut up, you'd think you were pubescent barmaids arguing over the handsome customers the way you scream and chatter!" The abrupt disturbance had Sean taking off the air for a few inches before he collected himself and drew blank, but Terrence's trained reflexes had him with a blade by the stranger's throat in the matter of seconds. "I'm uncertain if you've noticed, but you don't really have the better of this situation." it said, it proving to be a stunning-looking dark-haired woman in an elegantly provocative red silk gown. "You may have a blade at my neck, but I have the higher ground and a sturdy tree at my back." she said, and raised her eyebrow smugly as she continued, "have you ever gotten beaten up by a girl before?" The reactions that then ensued was for anyone without martial training rather confusing, but in luck for the crimson opportunist he had learned a thing or two living on the streets in a cut-throat environment. The woman immediately twisted her hips and bent her leg into place to land a perfect thrush in the man's gut, but before launching an attack of any kind Terrence took to use the subtle grip he had prepared under her opposite knee and grounded her in one swift movement. "I-impressive," she muffed through coughing while hopelessly trying to regain her breath with minimal losses of dignity. "You're the first I've met who knows that, Shieldbreakers aside." Terrence grunted and tightened his grip around the now unsteady case. "Who are you?" he then asked.  "Princess Ellandra the Red, now unhand me you, wretched-" she screamed in response, coming to an abrupt end as her leftmost hand came to freedom which she then used to slap Terrence across his face. He held her down again and emitted a joyful laughter. "I admire your tenacity, and audacity, but I'm not thick. I have Shieldbreaker level martial training, by that one could assume that I am one, and have thus had contact with the lady of Angdor, and while you are beautiful enough to have the fruity rogue over here staring avidly at your cleavage, and arrogant enough to have many monarchs staring longingly at your obnoxious posture, you aren't one yourself, that much I know. So I ask you again my love, who are you?"    She spat on his face and uttered a single sentence.

"As years passed, as history was unravelled and knowledge was being surpassed, they waited patiently for the time to strike. The time is now, the hour of launch has come to be. The fabric of the very world in which we live is being torn. Hear me, hear me, I am your guide."

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