Heart Of Fire


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2. Chapter One

 

  "Come on Gwynt! I want to see more power in your swings, not less!" Her trainer shouted from the corner of the arena. Gwynt had trained for - she did not know as she had lost any sense of time. Nevertheless, she knew it had to be over soon. What was Thors reason to push her this hard? Gwynt knew he was a tough soldier and a good friend of her father.

  Ever since her mother had died, Gwynt had formed a bond as strong as the Nature itself, to her father. She wanted to be a warrior just like him. Her dream was joining the army and fight by her father's side. Thor had laughed when he had heard what her biggest dream was and said 'I'll gladly train you like one of the boys!’ Therefore, he did.

  She had not regretted her choice of becoming a warrior but her training had increased for each year. The older she got - the harder the training got. Gwynt was almost twenty-four and on her twenty-fifth birthday, she had to pass the final test for becoming a warrior. If she did not - Gwynt had wasted eighteen years on training and would not be able to take the test again. If not eighteen years of training had not helped - nothing would do then.

  The sun and the hard training made her sweat and dizziness was sneaking up on her. The poor girl was indeed seeing double and needed to stop before the heat killed her. Thor was starting to just dodging around, not even trying his best to do so because she was too weak to even hit the dummy right next to her Master.

  "If you can't stand the heat now, how will you be able to do so in a war that will last for days?" Thor yelled. He hit Gwynt with a wooden stick in her stomach beating out the little air she had left and falling to her knees gasping for air - not even her dirty-brown armor couldn't stop the hard blow from the tall man.

  "I... I can... Do this!" Gwynt gasped, struggling to get on her feet but could not because of her dizziness and exhaustion. Thor rolled his eyes and shook his head.

"Enough for today Gwynt," she gave him a disappointed look. Even if she was tired, she did not want to stop practicing. In less than a week, she would turn twenty-five and had to take the test. She needed to keep going! Gwynt turned her head to see Thor walking towards the exit. Rage started to fill her body and with a determinate decision. Using her sword to help her getting on her feet, Gwynt screamed and charged towards Thor, dragging her sword as she ran. Thor turned around and was too slow this time to dodge, when the flat side of the blade hit him in the face.

  Gasping after air and sweat dripping from her black long hair, she fell on her knees once more and looked at Thor. He was rolling around not knowing where he was or what had happened. However, that only lasted for a few minutes when his gaze landed on Gwynt.

  "So you aren't useless after all. Good girl," he smiled and got to his feet, offering his pupil a hand. Gwynt accepted it and got to her feet still trying to keep her balance; Thor wrapped an arm around her supporting her.

  They walked in silence back to the armory. None of the spoke only their footsteps sounded on the gravel path they were walking. The arena was outside the training grounds where the other pupils were practicing whatever fighting technique they loved. Gwynt loved the art of sword fighting and some of her friends was into bows and could not practice with them even though, they needed sword training in case they did not have their bows.

  The trees were swaying lightly in the soft in the warm wind. This was the hottest summer they had for as long as she could remember. The crops really did not want to give any and most of the villages could get food on the table. Even the people who worked at the Grounds could not get enough to eat or making bread for supper and the animals could not get food. As the gray stonewalls approached from behind the trees, her mind began to think of a shower and get a lot to drink and then get some sleep.

  Voices and noises from the big outside ground sounded more clearly, when they entered. The wooden doors were scared after battles and after the pupils practicing. Most boys were 'playing' with the swords while the girls were more into being archers. Of course, there were some girls that were taken sword practicing and boys the archer.

  "Watch out!" Even if Thor still were a bit sore after the hit in his face with Gwynts sword, he pushed her aside and jumped a step back as an arrow fly past them - perfect height for a bull’s eye if Thor hadn't pushed her away. Thor looked up and spotted a boy, not older than fifteen standing on a stack of hay with a few friends. If he had not been there, they would have hit her right in the head and then they would have been laughing. They would not even have helped her get medical attention. In addition, it seemed Thor knew that. It was not the first time the boys had done that and Gwynt did not know why they were still here.

  "So YOU are responsible for all the wounded pupils!" He shouted and his voice boomed across the ground. Even those in classrooms, came to the windows to watch was going on. Everyone respected Thor when he was raising his voice. His golden hair looked like it was about to burst in flames as the sun was shining upon him, he's tanned skin on his face was getting darker for every minute he was standing there, his filled with rage and his veins pumping blood around faster than rending water.

  "You - come here," Thor, said, the words slipped through his gritted teeth and still everyone heard what he had said. The boy jumped down from the haystack, holding his head high and walked towards Thor and Gwynt. The boy stopped a few feet away, Thor did not think it was close enough and moved closer.

  "What's your name boy?" The boy remained silent but still with his head held high - starring right into Thor's sea-blue eyes.

  "What... Is your name, boy?" He asked again as he was beginning to be impatient. Gwynt was watching, knowing she should not say a word; else, she too would get a punishment of some sort. It was when Thor began to smile she became worried. Not for herself or Thor but for the boy. The tall man grabbed the bow. It was a beautiful bow. The lightwood and the length of it indicated it was a hunting bow and not a battle bow. It had carvings - maybe Elven language.

  "I'm not asking again boy, what's your name?" Sweat was now peeking on the boy's face, still not saying a word. His gaze was on his beloved bow and flicked from the weapon and to Thor. Taking a deep breath, he looked at Thor.

  "Cerrig..."

  "Well Cerrig," his smile getting bigger and bigger for every second.

  "I have been told there's someone who's been shooting at the other pupils for the last few months." Cerrig remained silent at this statement.

  "And now you are shooting at my pupil." Thor raised the bow and took a good look at it.

  "Fine piece of art..." Was all he said and the sound of wood breaking in two and the cry from the young boy filled the warm summer air. Cerrig fell to the ground, picking up his now broken bow from the dust.

  "That might teach you not to use the rest of the pupils as targets," looking around he shouted:

  "And let this be a warning to ALL of you!" Thor grabbed Gwynts arm and dragged her towards the gray building - everyone was staring at us and no one spoke a word.

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