The Warrior Within

A young boy destined to be the saviour of this new world. His adventure begins, and along the way, finds what it takes to be a hero, but first, he must realise, that to be a true hero, you need to know, the warrior within.

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6. A voice worth listening to

The four adventurers were startled at this man’s reaction. Lery almost reacted and was positioned to fight the man, but Lija grabbed his arm.

“Lery, this ain’t the time.” Lija turned to the stranger, “We are not here to harm you, first, what is your name?”

“My name? I have no name, my family abandoned me before I ever met them. My Legion calls me Mar.” Mar was barely visible where he layed, but a distinct scar that spanned his face made Jedediah feel as if he had seen his face before.

Srold quickly stepped in.

“What is the name of your legion?” He asked in an almost demanding voice.

“We are the 24th legion of Strocton, renowned for our many victories against the mue, though secretly we fight the Stray. We were recently assigned to the defence of these islands.” The more he walked, the less confident he sounded. “We were not prepared however for the onslaught that followed. I am just a recruit, but I have trained all my life by my legion, and for my legion I live.”

Jedediah became curious about his Legion.

“Mar, where is your Legion?” However, Mar seemed to be slightly deaf at this moment.

“As I said before, we are of Strocton. Which province within Strocton does not matter.” This response gave Lija and Srold an uneasiness. There are some provinces within Strocton that themselves are corrupt.

“No, I meant, where is your Legion now?” Jedediah was already tired of Mar’s deafness.

”I am not sure, we were split up after fighting this giant beast…” Mar trailed off in though, as slowly a look of terror overcame his face. For a moment Mar was frozen still, unable to even talk.

“We need to get moving, before this fire consumes us all!” Srold has been overly stern and serious since his wife’s death, who could blame him really?

LIja and Srold helped Mar up from the ground and helped him across through the river. The fire was everywhere, screams could be heard everywhere over the crackling of fire. There weren’t many who lived in this small area, but there was certainly no mistaking that some of those screams weren’t from the island, while other screams weren’t even human, no Mue’s lived down in the islands, so to the four of them, they accepted that they were animals dying in the blaze. Of course, it was the distant shriek of the immortal being that Jedediah could hear. At first the beast filled him with hope, a finding of his destiny, but as time went on, he was finding it hard to think straight. He was plagued with every doubt and would compare his strength to the beast, and fail. And for every scream he heard, he felt one step further away from being able to face the beast.

It was nearly nightfall, and no words were spoken since the finding of Mar. The five needed a place to hide for the night, there were less fires here, but the caves they stayed in had collapsed so they kept s look out as they travelled up north beside the river. Jedediah amongst his fears was slightly excited that he may see where the Sloc turns to fresh water.

It was sunset when Mar spotted a hut. But as they approached, Lija was feeling very cautious. He felt something wasn’t right about this hut. He spotted a small shed about a ten minute walk away. He proposed that they should go into the shed instead.

“We would not fit in there, we should go in here, there are probably supplies in here anyway, the fire is nowhere near here, so it won’t burn down on us.” His strong Strocton accent almost made him sound like a mighty warrior. However, it was his slightly childish glint that prevented the full recognition.

“That may be all true, but I really think we should go take refuge over there.” Lija was very suspicious. Then Srold spoke.

“I think Mar has a point here.” However, Srold has a suspicion that Lija may be onto something. The five enter the hut and found five beds, slightly damaged, but till usable. There wa s plenty of food and even fresh water in skins. There was some gold coins on a bench, which if they were to ever find a market, would buy them a week’s worth of food.

Once Mar had fallen asleep, which was as soon as he layed on his bed, Lija slipped out of the house. Jedediah caught him and asked where he was going.

“Son, I’m going to inspect this shed, something isn’t right here, I feel the Aura pulling me there.” Lija’s face couldn’t be seen in the darkness, but Jedediah knew that Lija was nervous about something.

“Let me go with you then.” Jedediah was quiet, but his request may have been a little loud. Lery had fallen asleep too, but stirred as he heard Jedediah’s voice. Lija waited a moment, then they heard the sound of Lery turning over.

“Fine, follow me.” Lija wasn’t happy and became even more cautious with his son with him.

As the pair began walking to the shed, Lija explained to Jedediah that he felt the Aura say to go to the shed. He admitted he didn’t know why, but he heard to go again once Mar had fallen asleep. By the time they were near the shed, Lija realised that he didn’t check where Srold was and was surprised to find that inside the shed, was Srold, working over a bench, with a latern on. Srold was startled at their entry but was relieved to find who his guests were.

“You always knocked when you came to my hut, and would never enter until I opened the door” At least some of Srold’s humour was returning.

“What are you doing here Srold?” Lija was confused as to if he was happy or angry, though he reasoned to be happy in the end.

“Well, you wanted to come here, so I came and explored here as soon as Mar turned his back on me. Of course, Lery would be distracted by the food and bedding, so I knew he would be ok. I am not sure if I trust him with Mar however.” Srold had lost his humour and returned to being rather nervous.

“I don’t really trust him either, though having the three of you walk off on me isn’t making you a better alternative.” Lery had silently entered behind Lija and Jedediah, much to everyone’s relief.

“Well, this is good never the less.” Lija felt a peace and relaxed having them all here. He asked Srold again what he was up to.

“Well, upon entering this shed I found two artefacts. One was a golden orb, it’s quite nice actually, take a look at it over there.” He pointed towards a shrine of some sort. The three looked at the orb, it was a golden sphere, with three bands of gold on each three axes. Along each band was a different type of jewel. As it stood, rubies went up the orb facing them. Sapphires were across the side, creating a green outline from their view and the last was across the orb, intersecting the rubies in front of them. This band was covered in emeralds.

“Well, this looks beautiful, but, what is it for?” Lery wasn’t overly impressed at the orb at all, but he could tell everyone else was. So he played along.

“I have no idea. I am trying to read through all these scrolls here. It looks like whoever lived here previously was doing some studies into the ancient stories of the immortal being. But look at this.” Srold turned around holding a document with a words faded out. “I only got here not long before you, but I was reading this, it’s a scroll recording the words of the last Mue high priest. It read of the beast that he had seen flying over his lands. He described the creature just as Jedediah had explained to us.” Jedediah felt a small sense of accomplishment when he heard Srold say this.

“So this beast has been stirring for a short while, how many years since the high priest told the prophecy to his death? Lija was inquisitive tonight that was for sure.

“A couple hundred years I think”, Srold read a little further. Then he stopped for a moment. The audience of three awaited an explanation. “It says here, that the high priest believes his successor was somewhat possessed. Not entirely possessed, I guess he is trying to say as indoctrinated. But, the point is, he believes the beast indoctrinated the successor since he was empty of the Aura, and had exposure to the Montuit. Why would a successor, with knowledge of the Aura, choose to delve in something so dark?”

Just as he went to continue reading, Mar walked in. He was angry at his abandonment. Srold hid his scroll from Mar’s sight. Lija calmed Mar down and suggested that they all returned to the hut. After Lija and Lery left the Shed, Srold turned to Jedediah and handed him the scroll, which was bound up in a cylindrical container.

“I have a feeling that orb may be irrelevant, but this was the second artefact, a decorated and reinforced message container. I found the note in this container. Whatever you do, do not let Mar know of this scroll, even more so, never let him read the scroll. You must swear it.” Srold was being very serious again.

“I swear Srold, but, why?” Jedediah’s childish curiosity always brought Srold a smile, at least, most of the time. There were some moments Srold wished he wouldn’t ask questions. This was one of those moments.

“Do not worry about why, just don’t. only read this scroll when you can read in privacy, and do not read it until you feel the Aura tugging at you. You are going to need to rely on the Aura from here. I.. I have my fears-“ Lija told them to hurry and leave before Mar lost his temper again.

“Don’t worry, you can tell me in the morning.” Jedediah said with a smile.

They walked for only five minutes when the darkness had completely covered them. They didn’t realise the clouds gathering until now, but only now could they see. Another two minutes and they started running towards the hut.

Then they heard that ear piercing roar once more…

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