A travelers story

The story is about the the 15 year old James and the friends he meets on his journeys. James carries a big burden and a big hate, which eventually will lead him and his friends to a battle whit the strongest of demons.

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4. Chapter 3

The day of the raid finally were here. James had been quite exited for today and woke earlier than the sun for once. Charlotte woke a bit later, but still earlier than normal. “Char, one piece of advice, stay out of 2 meters direct way of me. I can’t guarantee your safety if you get any closer.” James said while they were looking their thing through and James unpacked every single bag except for one containing some water and some bread. “And don’t get too close to me either. I won’t take responsibility for whatever scars I might give you” Charlotte gave again. They both laughed and began going to the guards’ camp. Now they had one thing to do. Wait.

Hours on hours without end came and went. James and Charlotte were happy they haven’t had any alcohol since that evening. They wouldn’t be able to do this with a hangover. Parties without end came or left. People were getting impatient and that could be felt on the atmosphere in the camp. “When are we gonna start?” “Are anything gonna happen soon?” “Is there something they didn’t tell us?” could be heard all around, until one man suddenly spoke up. “Shut up people, it’s still early and you’re just restless because you haven’t gotten the sleep to be up this early.” A few people began challenging the man, but as he stood up and pulled forth his weapon, every single challenger put down their weapons. The man were two meters high, and wielded a broadsword even bigger than himself. His arms were filled with muscles, his head shaved without any trace of hair, he had a solid 6-pack on his stomach and weren’t with a kind face. However, the man looked not only good, but also so fearless and secure that even the mightiest man James had ever seen faded in comparison. “I Sullivan Georgson hereby proclaim that anybody strong enough in heart and body to challenge me will be awarded if they can give me at least a cut. Let your energy out on me instead of this blabbering” the man said and walked out to the middle of an open space. When no one else went to take the challenge James might as well he though. If anything then to show these scary cats what a real traveler is like. “I take your challenge” James shouted and walked into the open space.

Sullivan cracked a laugther “And who sent you into the ring kiddo?” Sullivan asked. “I did so myself. I don’t travel in a party were people would test you like this” “So you do travel in a party?” Sullivan asked. For such a big person Sullivan were cleverer than he seemed. “Yes I do. But I travel with one companion and she’s not exactly the type to encourage this,” James answered with honesty. “And you’re not just doing this to show off to her?” Sullivan said cracking an even bigger smile than before. “I’m doing this to kill time and see what you’re made off. But perhaps you’re all words and no action?” James said. Sullivan got mad after hearing this. “You’re asking for it kiddo” he said rather angrily. James shook his shoulders “Am I now?” he asked and made himself look unknowing. Sullivan lowered his sword and pointed it at James with so much ease that it looked like he were wielding a stick and not a heavy broadsword. “Next word you say will be the one to start this kiddo. If you want to you can end it now before I hurt you,” Sullivan said still holding the sword with ease. “Well then. Let’s begin” James said taking out his katana. “But I’ll warn you, the probability of me being the only one to go unscratched is small and you need to be careful of where to land your strikes. You hold it easy now but need to get speed after a swing,” James said circling Sullivan. When Sullivan made no expression to trying to move, James tried the other side. Nothing here either. Should he try to go all in? No that would just be stupid, Sullivan might need some time before the strike sets in, but he holds the upper ground. James desperately needed a tactic so that he could hurt Sullivan just a little. Then it struck him, he could just made the movements to go all in then in the last second before Sullivan would have the range to hit a strike he would quickly dash to one side and avoid the danger. Thus, he could get close enough to hurt Sullivan. Therefore, he tried, and everything seemed well 3 meters to Sullivan and Sullivan raised his arm, however as James dashed Sullivan caught him just as he landed. Not with the sharp side of the blade, but still so hard that James were pushed through the air in a matter looking like he were going to die. As he hit the ground, his body bounced off one time before going into a roll for about 4-5 meters. A voice rang out to him “James!” and Charlotte got over to him. “So that’s the girl his traveling with eh? I see why” Sullivan said and turned to the crowd. “If no one else wants to challenge me then scatter and stop with the whining” Sullivan said and turned around. No one would volunteer after looking at the speed of which Sullivan drew his sword. “Are you ok James?” Charlotte asked. At first, James could hardly breathe and when he could, he swallowed as much air as possible before answering, “I’m fine, he just took my breath away. But his not normal. I’m not sure he could be a demon, but normal aren’t something to describe him as” James said. However, the atmosphere now changed. Instead of waiting impatiently, the travelers all talked about the fight between James and Sullivan. “Is he a demon?” “What a monster” and many similar things were hearable because of the many voices saying it at once. However, Sullivan didn’t leave his place for the rest of the wait. Instead, he heard the rumors of him. The rumors he had always heard.

 

After another long wait and just before someone started talking about the wait agin, an officer walked through the camp. ”All travelers gather your gear and come with me.” The wait were now officially over and people didn’t have to get mad over small things anymore, now the goal were in sigh. And how the travelers had been waiting for this. Now the frenzy could begin.

The guard captain were in front of a large group of soldiers. As he began ordering people to their places he quickly found out none of the travelers were mowing an inch. “Why aren’t you following orders?” he asked. “Give a paper with the battle plan for the soldiers out and we join were we want. That’s our way of doing it. You can’t defeat monsters with strategies like this. Have you ever been in a raid yourself?” another traveler answered and asked. The captain said with a clear voice “Yes I have been in a raid myself. A few years earlier, we raided this exact nest. But now the monsters are back.” The captain said. With a sound hearable to town all the travelers face palmed. “You freaking idiot. Don’t you know that monster return to a nest if they aren’t killed. Now they are stronger and for each generation they get stronger and stronger. Be happy it’s been nothing more than a few years otherwise an army would be needed instead of villagers and travelers.” The man who had spoken earlier said. The captain looked baffled “Really?” he asked. The man just nodded. Even James knew this and had face palmed himself. James weren’t sure if Charlotte had understood what were going on but even she face palmed. “Did you know this already?” James asked her. She nodded. For a second James were confused, but then remembered that Charlotte were quite shy and since she were standing together with many hundreds of people she didn’t feel sure. All the guards looked at each other before saying something without their captains orders, “Every villager not sure he can kill a monster in the first try leave now. Those who are come with us and get a weapon. You will need it. Furthermore if you know nothing of fighting with weapons then leave.” Their captain send them displeased looks but allowed it as he himself had failed in something today.

 

“We’ll take this side, who takes our flanks?” the travelers had begun finding out where they were going to go in the raid. James had picked a spot with no flanks but leading directly to the main chamber of the nest. “The only thing I’m asking for is a more than 4 meters wide area where I can swing this and avoid hitting anybody with it. Therefore, no flanks as flanks typically end up on the turf I’m on. I don’t want to kill anybody because of one such mistake.” James had said as his reason for taking that road. He were in on not entering the main chamber before the others joined, but had said that if he needed to he would. James and Charlotte sat next to each other a bit away from the discussion of places. “I’ve missed this so much,” James said. Charlotte looked over at him with a confused look. Instead of saying what he had, missed James pointed at the sky. Somehow, it had already gotten night and no one were even the slightest amount of ready for this raid. What Charlotte and James saw were a sky filled to the brim with the brightest stars and the most beautiful constellations. For minutes, they just stared at the sky like two young children. Then Charlotte said, “I can see my zodiac from here,” and pointed towards a constellation looking like a young flower. “Oh you’re a blossom. I’m a spring” James responded and pointed towards a smaller constellation of three stars on the top, a few on the bottom and then a circular motion in the middle. There they sat until they fell asleep. No one noticed them drifting off in the middle of the night up against each other. Not even themselves.

The next morning the sunset woke up James, who had never seen a sunset before. He almost rouse to his feet before noticing that Charlotte were leaning up against him sleeping. This is like a scene in a story, James thought. When Charlotte woke up, she stood up and just glared at the sun. Her eyes sparkled in a way they never had before and once again, James felt his heart melt. “So beautiful” James said and looked out on it. “It truly is” Charlotte said. A man surprised them so hard that James almost drew the katana. “We’re ready to go now” the man said and led them to the nest.’

When they stood outside the nest all they needed were the sign to go in. Red eyes stared from inside, but neither James nor Charlotte minded. “I remind you of this once Char. Don’t ever get within three meters range of me. I’m not sure you would survive.” James said. “I know. But that applies to you too” Charlotte gave him back. They both grinned at that comment. “No matter what will happen I’m glad I got to be in a party with you Char. It’s been a pleasant experience”. A large horn could be heard all of a sudden. This were the signal and Charlotte and James walked into the nest. The second they could they spread out and then the monsters were over them in a second.

Monsters weren’t looking like orgs or trolls or dragon. They were human like in figure, but taller, skinnier and mostly of all a lot wider. They didn’t wield weapons are shields as they fought with their skin and claws. Despite them looking weirdly with their gray toned skin and long limps they were extremely fast. So fast that the smallest mistake now would mean death. However that’s what most believe but it’s actually trying to do things right that causes death here. James weren’t thinking of what he did, he just did it. A monster jumped on him but before it got close enough to hurt him, he made a giant slash with his blade and not only the monsters hands, but also the head got cut over. In the same motion he turned the blade in a 45 degree spin towards his left thigh were a monster were aiming. He did these kind of maneuvers with taught ease. The monsters kept coming and he kept killing. A few scratches meant nothing when ones live were at stake, as it was here.

As for Charlotte she did the same thing, except that James more or less stood still on the same few meters, were Charlotte bounced off an enemy breaking its neck and then midair slicing another one. In the landing, she did a small spin and sliced the neck of a number of enemies. Before long, less and less monsters attacked the firm James but targeted the ever-moving Charlotte. However, that didn’t help them. In the end fewer and fewer came to fight the two youngsters and began backing off. James began breathing rather hard, but still wielded the katana like it were a stick. Same with Charlotte who had less and less force in her jumps and spins, but were still lethal. Monsters aren’t dumb and know when they might end up losing more lives than necessary. However, James blocked the first part of the entrance and the fast Charlotte had the second part. The monsters had no were to go. Moreover, the survivors from last were still in the main chamber. Funnily enough a “king monster” is a monster who fled from a fight to live safely somewhere else for a while before returning to their lost nest. Time didn’t matter just they got back there. When they then did get back, they began breeding strong monsters. The “king” weren’t strong itself, but only chose the strongest of their followers to breed with. Thus stronger and stronger monsters were born. The first-born were the “prince” or “princess” and got to choose from the next line of breed ready monsters, and so on, and so on. Until someday the nest were so strong, that no one had any chance at all to take it over. A few years weren’t enough, but strong monsters had already been breed and that were no good sign. The other monsters would do anything the “kings” and “queens” asked them to. And right now that were to defend the nest.

Hours on hours went. James and Charlotte were quite worn out, but the monsters still were in disadvantage as they were so strong. Without realizing it, James had been stepping closer and closer to the main chamber. This would be serious; if he crossed the line there, he would die. He were way too worn out to protect himself from many monsters at once and Charlotte were even more worn out. I surely hope the other parties will get here soon, James thought. And when speaking of the sun, a wall suddenly collapsed. “Sorry to keep you waiting that dumbass captain didn’t check the inner structures and we had to bust our way through here to get anywhere.” James fire was lit agin. “No need to apology just keep ‘em off me and my companion until we’ve caught out breaths again. And where’s the captain I need a new agreement.” The man who had busted the wall down laughed. And slammed his way through the main chamber. With him came over 30 different parties all ready for death or glory.

 

In the end, James and Charlotte did nothing more than they had already, but on the other hand, the others said that about 60% of the monsters in the main hall were slain by the two of them alone. A ridiculous number but James weren’t happy with it. He would have done more, but now it were too late. James and Charlotte sat in the tent belonging to the embarrassed guard captain. He silently handed James and Charlotte the money he owned them, and then took out a large bag. “You said you wanted something valuable, take whatever you need,” the captain said before leaving. “But keep to the agreement ok?” James nodded and opened the bag. Rolled the inventory out on the table and looked over a few things. Then his eyes fell on something. It were a stone of some sort, but it weren’t a stone, it shone like a diamond, but looked like a ruby, it felt like there were a fire in the stone. It called out to James to take it. And that he did. “Why do you take that gray looking stone?” Charlotte asked “It’s not gray it’s red like a ruby and sparkling like a diamond,” James responded. Charlotte didn’t even want to try anything. She could hear this were how James saw the stone and therefore she didn’t want to bother him with it. As James hold the stone a crack of intense light shone from the stone. The crack got bigger and wider, filled more and more of the stone until it filled the entire stone, and looking at the light blinded you. Then the light stopped and even Charlotte had to agree on what James had said.

After James had packed, the bag and stone away agin a man came into the tent. “Come with me young lad. I have something to show you,” the man said and left. James looked at Charlotte who just nodded and went with them. “In the raid we found a lot of weird items, but what I’m gonna show you now I show you because none of our men use your weapon, nor does the other adventures. Go to the weapon masters tent over there,” he said and pointed at a tent with weapons drawn on the side of it “and tell him that Andrew sent you.” James looked at Charlotte who were just as confused as he was.

As they entered the tent of the weapon master, a rough voice called them out. “What do you want?” it asked so dry that you could make sharp edges soft with it. “Andrew sent us…” James answered. The voice now got an entirely new perspective. “Oh, it’s you. I’ve been awaiting you,” it said so happy you almost couldn’t believe what the way the man had just spoken. A man came around a cover and smiled at James, he were a big muscular man, had little hair and a big nose, but he didn’t look bad, all in all a nice looking person. “You see we found an incredibly rare weapon when we searched the nest. No travelers’ fights with such a weapon and neither does any of our soldiers. That’s why we came to you, the only one in this land fighting with this kind of weapon,” the weapon master said. “I wouldn’t say I’m the only one, but I’m one of the very few people who does yes” James responded. “Well anyways, a katana that length surely isn’t a true katana anymore. However, the weapon you have is not what it’s supposed the be. A tachi.” The weapon master said this in one such voice that James almost thought he were making fun of him. “A what?” James asked, “A tachi my fine friend. It’s almost like the katana your wielding, but this one is what a copper steel, bronze steel or ingotium and steel,” Note: ingotium is a material harder than diamonds and as sharp as a thousand swords in one, “blade instead of the steel one of your katana. This alloy makes the blade so much sharper and durable.” He said and pulled a weapon much like James’ katana out of a chest. The guard were looking like the mouth of a snake, the handle were shaped with robes around it but with such a grip that losing it were almost impossible, the blade were in a blueish metallic color. This were with ingotium. “Wow this surely is a master piece of a weapon, mind if I swing it around a few times?” James asked, “Be my guest,” the weapon master said. James swung the weapon with the same ease as he did with his current weapon. But this one felt like it were made for him, the blade were light but still so durable and sharp that it actually sliced the air and left an impression of wind after it. The handle felt like melted for his hands. What I wouldn’t give for one such weapon, James thought. After a few swings and a little show off James gave the weapon back to the weapon master. “This surely is a master piece. I don’t know what I wouldn’t give for one such beautiful crafted tachi, but I’m currently broken, and the four holes on the guard are quite annoying.” James said and pointed at two holes on each side of the guard. The holes weren’t that big, actually of similar size to the stone he had just taken, as reward for helping with the raid. “Would you like to get this for free?” the weapon master asked. James face lit up for a second with the thought of getting this masterpiece of a weapon for free, but quickly he got more serious. “Ok, you lure me here with this prize worthy weapon, and tells me that I can get it for free. What’s the catch?” James asked. “Nothing. You did well and all the other travelers complimented you and your companion, said that you two killed more monsters between you than the rest did all in all. That’s why I’m giving you this. We have no value in it, and I can’t think of anybody who deserves it more than you. Take it and leave in the morning. You will not be forgotten with this.” The weapon master said. “Are you sure?” James asked. “Indeed I am, I don’t think I’ve been this sure on something for years actually.”

 

Back in their room in the inn James and Charlotte stared at the mysterious stone James had taken. It still shined like there were a fire inside the stone, but the red color had faded a bit since he touched it. “What do you think this is?” James asked. “I have no idea” Charlotte responded. “Some sort of gem maybe?” Charlotte proposed. “No gems don’t shine like this, nor do they do that when you hold them” James had the tachi he had just been given another look. No matter how you looked at it, it were an amazing weapon, so well balanced, strong and yet flexible, good looking but not so much that people didn’t fear it. This weapon were more fitted for a king than a former farmer’s boy. “You should be honored to have such a beautiful weapon and that stone,” Charlotte said. “Whatever you do don’t sell either of them.” James just shook his head. “Like I could make myself sell this, it’s way too valuable for something like that.” James said and thus ended the conversation. “Hey Char? What do you want to do now?” Charlotte thought about it for a second before answering, “I don’t know. Just traveling and seeing the island is enough for me right now.” I see, James thought. “Well in that case let’s travel to Saijei,” James proposed. Charlottes face turned from sleepy thoughtfulness to complete surprise. “That’s a travel that will take months, maybe up to a year,” Charlotte answered. “Yet it’s the most efficient way of seeing the island,” James responded. Charlotte thought hard about it for a second, and then she answered, “Let’s do this.” After that, she went to sleep. James packed his shed, which still fitted the tachi just as well as it had fitted the katana, with the stone, and some more bags. “Sleep tight Char, you’re gonna need a lot of energy tomorrow” James said before he himself went to sleep.

Needless to say he got a huge surprise when Charlotte in the middle of the night crept into his bed because she were freezing.

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