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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7. The Beast and his Army

“Quickly! Get inside!” commanded Lija. The five ran as fast as possible to the front door and stumbled in.

“I don’t think the beast saw us” sighed Mar. Up until the beast tore off the roof of the house. The beast claw was as larger than the house itself. The five were hidden. Lija signalled to be prepared to sprint towards the shed. Everyone but Mar acknowledged. The beast spotted Srold’s leg leaning out from under a desk and roared ferociously as he lifted his arm to crush the house, all but Mar ran as instructed towards the shed. Lija turned to see Mar’s face, full of nothing but hatred. He yelled at Mar to run, but Mar remained still. Lija looked at Mar for only a moment longer, watching Mar as he awaited his imminent death. Lia turned and ran.

They were running the distance between the shed and the house, but it felt longer with the beast on chase. There was no way they could actually outrun the beast, but they gave it their best.

“Evasive movement! He is swooping for an attack!” Commanded Srold. The four ran in different directions as the beast tried to fall on them. The four surrounded the beast. None of them were equipped with their armours, but they never let their weapons leave their side. The beasts head was rick next to Lery, who grabbed his mace and tried to land a strike to the beast’s eye. He missed and instead knocked a tooth. Its tooth fell from its mouth, and landed next to Lery, it was about half his height.

“Quick! While he is dazed, run to the shed!” Commanded Lija. The beast roared in pain. It had never been struck before, no man had dare try. The temporary stun wore off quite quickly, but gave the four men time to run for the shed. The beast glided across the plain to catch up the men. Lija turned back to see what the beast was doing.

“To the sides now!” Srold and Lery ran immediately left and Lija ran to the right, but Jedediah had ran too far. “Jedediah! Look out!”.

The dragon opened his mouth as a torrent of fire projected towards Jedediah, he had heard hi father and turned. He watched as the flames came closer. He fell to the floor as the flames flew over him, however the beast was then able to move in towards Jedediah. Lija, Srold and Lery watched. Lery tried to run to Jedediah’s rescue and maybe knock the beast stnned again, but Srold stopped him.

“There is nothing we can do” said Srold with all remorse. He looked at Lija, who gave Srold a nod. Srold grabbed Lery’s hand and ran for the shed once more, however, Lery looked at Jedediah now the flames had finished. He looked at the beast, he couldn’t leave his friend. He broke free of his father’s grasp and ran to Jedediah’s side.

“Lery NO!” Yelled Srold. Lija saw what was happening and joined Lery as well. Srold looked at what was happening, the beast almost looked amused. Srold ran into the shed yelling to the three to hold their ground.

“Kids, I do not think we can harm this beast unless he makes himself vulnerable, just focus on staying alive and wait for the opportunity to strike.” Lija never took his eyes of the beasts forehead, he could see something, but he wasn’t sure what it was he could see.

The beast then let out something similar to a laugh, Jedediah could have sworn he saw a smile on the beast’s head.

Jedediah grabbed his sword and shield and made sure he had a tight grip on both and immediately he felt strength and confidence surge through him. Lery put on his gauntlets and grabbed his made with two hands, he also felt a tremendous amount of strength wash over him. Lija had summoned a long javelin, which manifested itself in Lija’s hands. Once it had formed, it looked as if made out of lead, though Lija seemed to have no trouble wielding it.

The beast then swooped with his claw at the three, Lija jumped, Lery dropped to the ground but Jedediah angled his shield and pushed the beast claw upwards over him with it. The beast clawed with his other hand and this time Lery stood up and pushed against the beast’s hand. He was holding his ground, however the beast was pushing Lery across the ground, at this point Lija could reach the beast’s elbow joint and ran to try and take the opportunity, however the beast saw him and immediately stopped pushing Lery and tried to stomp Lija. Lija ducked point his javelin skyward, and Lery came to try and push against the beasts hand once more, though Jedediah went around to the beast’s blindside. Lija wanted to jump out the way but knew the beast would still stomp him, he was trusting the two kids could do something amazing.

Jedediah found the beast’s tail. He began to run up his back, with the beasts head in sight, meanwhile Lery was slightly late in helping Lija and was only able to prevent Lija’s death, however he could see Lija had been struck. Lija’s spear punctured the beast’s foot, and when Lery saw that Jedediah was climbing its back, he grabbed the beasts hand to prevent him from lifting it. He would counter what the beast wanted, if the beast tried to crush Lija, he wold push, if the beast wanted to regain his balance to stop Jedediah, he would pull. For a few moments he succeeded, Jedediah was almost at the head. Then the beast roared and spread his wings, Jedediah saw the wings and chose to attack the right wing. He stabbed his sword through the flesh of the beast and tore a small hole through what Jedediha could reach. The beast shrieked in pain and continued to try and fly.

Jedediah impaled his sword on an angle into the beast’s scaly flesh, successfully piercing in between scales he gripped his sword tightly. As the beast tried to fly he began to fall to the right. Lery and Lija were safely on the ground. Lija wasn’t too badly hurt, but knew that he wouldn’t be able to react fast enough to any action the beast performed. The pair watched the beast, leaning to his right, fly in the air with Jedediah hanging on.

Jedediah dug his shield into the beast, then released his sword out of the scales and lifted himself and impaled his sword again. He climbed alternating between his sword and shield all the way to the beast’s head. The beast managed to stay aflight still, despite his wing.

Jedediah reached the beast’s head, noticing a small glowing gap between two scales on the beast’s forehead. It was more of a hole than gap really. However, in that moment he did not worry what it was but instead dug his shield on the beast’s eyebrow and leant over the beast’s evil eye. His eye looked sinister, and orange-gold glow that was quite eerie. The beast creased his eyebrow in anger and hate as Jedediah lifted his sword and struck across the beast’s eye.

By now the beast was in the clouds. Lija’s heart pounded as pictures of Jedediah’s potential deaths arose. Until he saw the beast falling. Jedediah had impaled his sword and shield into the beast to hold on for the decent. Nearing the ground Jedediah grabbed his shield out and held it underneath himself, he then took back his sword of the beast, tearing part of a scale with it, and pushed of the beast. Jedediah decided he would fall at an angle and hopefully that will lower the impact of landing.

Lija and Lery ran towards Jedediah in hope to catch him. Lery notice that Jedediah was coming in too steep. He rushed towards Jedediah, as he was about to land, Lery punched Jedediah’s shield to push him the air slightly, but increase his horizontal speed. Jedediah then slid across the ground and eventually stopped.

Lija watched as the beast looked the three of them, he roared once more and retreated. However, in the horizon he saw and army of demon’s part of The Stray approached. Immediately Lija told everyone to follow him.

“We need to get to the docks, it is time!” shouted to the kids. Srold came out of the shed with two backpacks.

“Well, I see you took care of the beast, however temporarily. I have gathered all information and artefacts necessary. Here kids, take the bags. I also found some maps that will be useful in the future.” Srold did not sound as serious as Lija, since he had not seen the imminent threat approaching. They were about a half-hour way, but that was still too close for comfort. Even the kids could feel a sense of death.

The docks were not away from the charge however, they had to run alongside the Stray’s charge. They all ran the docks were still a while away and there was no way they could run the whole way, but they tried to anyway. They stopped to walk instead of running. They had to make it at least near the docks. The docks were equipped to deal with naval invasions, and though only manned with a handful of people, they were quite effective at protecting the only conduit between them and the world. Many pirates also came to the docks, they never attacked, but instead found it their home. Though they lived on seas, when they are in docks, they would live as any other citizen.

The screams and shouts of the demon army could be faintly heard in the distance, the presence of death was even stronger on the four, so they all began to run again.

The docks were in sight now, they all ran with a second wind as fast as they could, the Stray were gaining on them. They ran towards the docks, who immediately raised the alarm as they saw the threat incoming. The docks all lit up as they warned the small village surrounding them. War horns could be heard. Though, how could a remanent take on an entire army of demons?

The four of them entered the large stone village gates, guards armed with crossbows readied their weapons, aiming at the incoming horde. Watchtowers shone their beacons to alert any incoming boats about the attack. Two passing by ships from Strocton came to investigate the docks. They were on their way, probably carrying at least 200 soldiers each. In the meantime the village rose to arms, the children were safely hidden away underground.

Lija lead Jedediah, Srold and Lery into a passageway that led to the docks. Men and Women were pouring out of the tunnel from the docks to fight the incoming horde. When a gap appeared the four ran down the corridor and found themselves on a pathway just overlooking the ports.

They ran across the pathway so to arrive at a boat shed. This shed contained small two man fishing boats with oars, all the great warships and cargo ships were either in port or out at sea. The four sat to catch their breaths. Jedediah thought for a small while.

“Are those boats from Strocton?” Jedediah had said peering across the ocean and through the still present darkness.

“Why yes son, they do seem to be, though, they would never come down here in such a way. Something is up” said Lija suspiciously.

“Never the less, if we could board those ships we could sail away safely, let’s try and find a way to board them when they arrive” said Srold calmly.

“I don’t think we have time Srold, can you hear that? The battle has begun to rage outside, and if these boats arrive, they will find themselves fighting until the army is defeated before they sail away” argued Lija.

The docks were very well designed, in that they took advantage of the cliff faces and hills to separate them from the rest of the world, however, there was only one real passage way to and from the docks.

“Then we fight until they get here” exclaimed Lery, “we fought the beast today, I am sure we can gold these demons off for a short while, look! The boats are hastening to us!” It was true, the two Strocton boats accelerated towards the docks very fast.

“Well, alright then, let’s do it” said Lija unenthusiastically. The idea of fighting furthermore in his state and his head injury from the beast’s stomp, made him very hesitant of the idea. But he pushed through.

They ran back through the corridor and found themselves in a courtyard. I had a paved path through the middle connecting to a corridor that leads back to the village and another corridor where they had just come from.

“This is the prayer courtyard for traveller’s, fitting for a time such as this really” said Srold. “Lija, you should go back when the ships arrive and guide the soldiers here. That is of course if we don’t come to you first.” Srold was analysing his environment, what was he thinking?

“Ok, we hold our ground, but retreat slowly. We want to delay them, we cannot defeat them alone.” Lija explained. “Hopefully- WAIT! I hear footsteps”.

They charged towards the corridor only to find Mar walking towards them. His appearance obviously showed he was hurt from the beast’s stomp, but he seemed perfectly fine otherwise. A little too fine. Something was gnawing at Lija and Srold about Mar. Now was not the time however to ask such questions.

“I’ll hate you all later, right now they are coming towards us”. Mar was equipped with hand blades. They were three blades that are parallel to the arm and are quite long. The edges were barbed and the blade was light. Lija never remembered him obtaining them or having them on him. Again, now was not the time for such questions. “Hope you guys are ready”.

If only he saw the things we just did, thought Jedediah to himself. The boats still had about 10 to 15 minutes, darkness still covered the lands, and there was probably hundreds of the Stray about to overrun the only thing that keeps the island connected to the rest of the world. Lija had one objective, get the boys travelling to Strocton. Srold had written them instructions on what their next step should be, and that their number one goal was to defeat the beast.

A large number of shrieks came through the corridor, the screams were terrifying and their shouts were overwhelming. Even still, the four managed to stand, Mar was about to run when he saw the other four standing to fight. Lija had his javelin back, Srold was positioned to overwhelm the undead demons with life, Lery had his mace and gauntlets and then Jedediah. The only reason Mar would have not run was to see Jedediah. Out of the four Jedediah had the most ferocious stance and atmosphere. Mar himself felt intimidated, he decided that he too would fight. Though Mar hesitated once more, he fought using the Montuit, allowing him to blink and shadow step across his foes. The four were full of the Aura, he could not afford to do as such. He shouted that he would flag down the ships.

There was no time to argue, the four were seconds from engaging, they stood close to the corridor. Srold stepped forward a summoned a ball of light in his hands and threw the ball into the corridor. A flash of light and for a moment they all saw the faces of their enemies.

They all realised one thing, someone was not going to live after this fight, the demons would not relent until they had taken at least one more life. They were prepared for the worst.

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