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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8. Chapter 7

The days up until the raid went by uneventful. James, Charlotte and Emily were killing time in their room but time still almost stood still for them. One of the days, Emily asked James “You once said that there were a city where they worshipped people with animal ears and tails. Why is that unusual?” “It’s not because it’s that common.” James sighed, “It’s unusual because it’s people they worship. It might as well be a random traveler as the finest princess they worshipped. For them what the person wants and is doesn’t matter as long as they can worship the person.” Emily looked shocked. “So they worship persons without thinking about the persons feelings?” “Yes”

The day of the raid finally arrived. Emily had trouble sleeping but both Charlotte and James had slept well for once. Suddenly James realized Emily missed something “What do you fight with Emily?” James asked. “Normally what I can find of sharp things.” She said. “I can kill with pretty much everything sharp as long as I have something I can hold onto without cutting myself.” James stood in thought. “How long would you like to have to your “prey”?” James asked. Emily showed with her hands the length of an ordinary kitchen knife. “Around this long” she said. James already knew that nobody wanted anything to do with the inn they were sleeping in so before they left James walked into the kitchen took two knives and handled them to Emily. “Take these and fight with. If they don’t suit you then yell me the length of stone and shape you want it in. I’ll then cut a piece of razor sharp stone and throw to you.” James said. Emily nodded and thanked James. It didn’t take long before they realized how many parties that were collected here. Compared to the last raid James and Charlotte had been in this one were humongous and the last one were quite big. It were as a small city of travelers had assembled here. Once again, a lot had showed up early including James, Charlotte and Emily. As usual, people were talking about the general and the soldiers being “late” when they were extremely early. A voice rang out. A voice James never think he would be able to forget “Shut up. You’re talking about them being late when you’re early. If it’s that big of a problem just go back to sleep.” It were this Sullivan guy from last time. James could still feel the place he had been hit with his sword if he overextended himself. “If you want to use some time then challenge me.” He said. “The first to give me a scratch will get a nice reward.” Emily almost walked over to take on the challenge, as she were bored. However, James took her arm and shook his head. “His too strong.” James said. James lifted his shirt in the side Sullivan had hit him. There were still a clear bruise from when he were hit. “He did this. Almost a month ago” James said. Emily’s face went from happy with a challenge to being shocked. Someone this strong would be close to those who helped Akata, demons. “What is he?” She asked. “I don’t know” James said. They could clearly hear a challenger had accepted Sullivan’s challenge. A few seconds later, they could hear the sound of something being hit hardly and then rolled over the ground. James closed his eyes as he remembered the pain from the hit.

 

The general were actually late but it turned out he weren’t feeling well. There were no strategy the travelers just went to where they wanted out from the map they got and then they had to make sure everyone had a spot. James quickly took a side entry to the main chamber as where his party when the others asked why James swung his tachi. Then people understood. With one such long blade it would be almost impossible to avoid hitting people but James clearly didn’t want to hit anybody. The rest of the planning took sometime but they were done before launch time.

As the raid began, the travelers got setup in small groups. The ones to be closest to the entrance were the first to enter and then it kept going like that. James, Charlotte and Emily were some of the last to go in. They had around an hour to make their strategy. James and Charlotte knew the way both of them fought but knew nothing of Emily’s fighting style. “Emily we have one thing to keep you save. Distance. Get within 2 and a half-meter of me and I can’t guarantee your safety. Get to close to Charlotte and you might wind up dead too,” James said. Emily just nodded,” If I were to go close to either of you, you wouldn’t even notice I were there before it were too late. I move as silent as a wolf when I hunt, I strike as quickly as the arrow from a bow and I see as well as the hawk in the sky. I don’t need armor like either yours or yours” she said and pointed at James who wore some light armor, a steel plate covering his chest a thin plate around his arms and a little in front of his legs. Charlotte wore a bit more armor but still not a lot. She had thicker plates and her arms and legs were completely covered with steel. Emily just wore her usual leather clothes. “The clothes I have on are layer on layer of the strongest leather from both wolves, deer’s, rabbits and other wild,” Emily explained. James and Charlotte nodded. They could clearly see how strong leather could handle some cuts. Also for the first time they noticed how unusually thick her shoes were. Probably filled with fur or something James thought. “It’s your turn next. Get your things together and get ready,” a man suddenly yelled at them. They all nodded and got to the group they were assigned to. Even before they got close, James almost called it quits right there at that second. All travelers have people they have hard to handle. And James found the group he hated the most. Ever since James were left on his, own this guy on the same age as him begged him to join his party. This guy were called Mark. “Girls if I suddenly slap somebody or gets slapped please don’t take it ill. But if you can see that guy please don’t talk to him. His probably one of the biggest nuances in the world.” James said. The girls were both puzzled but that stopped at the moment they got close and the boy talked to James. “Well if It aren’t little loner James,” Mark said. James sighed, “Hello Mark.” He said and drew his sword found a nearby bush and let the shed stand up on it. “If anybody takes anything from that they’ll pay with their hands. Understood?” James asked. His voice rang his sincerity and no one wanted to get their hands cut off. “So how’s it been this last year? Got a good job?” Mark asked before laughing. There’s a reason I hate you, James thought without saying it out loud. James had met Mark many times and each and every time Mark had tried to get James into his party. Just not as a fighter or anything like that. But as the boy to handle all the chores he didn’t want to do himself. “I’d say I’ve gotten a bigger salary than you this last year. Taken from the point that your sword is half rust by now.” James said and showed his own tachi. Mark had a longsword but it were old and the blade were in danger of falling off at any moment. “A tachi I see. And an ingotium one too. This is more fitted in the hands of a noble than in the hands of a farmer’s boy.” Mark said when he saw the tachi. James nodded and then added, “Furthermore I think I can finally get you to shut up about me joining your party. I have my own now,” James said and showed the girls behind him. Marks face turned dark. For years, Mark had tried to get into a party with James just to make fun of him, but he already had a small party and couldn’t leave it to travel with James. He couldn’t force James into a party either. Mark himself had a girl in his party. For a long time Mark had been talking about her as his girlfriend. James never believed it though. The girl were extremely violent and had a magic weapon made from the magician under her families control. The weapon were two pieces of wood with moveable parts. They were hand held and if you pressed what she called “the trigger” down, something shot out of the wood. She had called the weapon for guns but all it were for James was magic of the darkest aspect. Marks face clearly said what he thought. I envy you for having such cute and pretty girls in your party. However, before he got to say anything they were called in the nest. Now it were life or death. One mistake and all around them could die.

They got to their position without having to fight. James ran a nice distance into the side cave before he stood still cleansed his mind and let instincts take over. At every noise, he swung his sword and slayed monster on monster that charged at him. Charlotte had also cleared her head and let instincts lead her strikes. Emily however hardly had anything but tactics in her head. When James saw her, he thought she were going to die. A group of four monsters stood around her and was ready to slice her in two. However, she slipped right pass them cut the throat of the first made a spin and had stabbed the next right through the heart. In a single motion, she threw one of the knives right between the eyes of one of the last two monsters and stabbed the last one right above the rib cage in such a way that when she jumped off the monster and took the blade out blood spilled onto the floor in liters at a time. She quickly took the last knife out of the last monster and went to the next unknowing monster. James admired her. Were everyone else stopped thinking she had tactic on tactic in her mind and kept killing with such ease that it looked like she were breed to do it. Charlotte defended herself from a group of three monsters when one suddenly made a weird noise. Emily had thrown a stone into its throat and the two others got so surprised they forgot about Charlotte who took the distraction as a reward and slayed the monsters. More and more monsters stumbled into the side entrance were James, Charlotte and Emily were. However, they killed them all with ease. At some point, the monsters almost overpowered James but Emily cut the legs of some and suddenly stabbed some others. James now had the time to cut the throats of the last standing and kill those who laid down. Having Emily on the team were a big help, as James no longer had to worry about being overpowered by the monsters. With new found energy James sliced and diced the monsters and moved further and further into the cave.

It took hours of fighting but finally all parties reached the main Chamber. And they were hit with terror. Everywhere monsters stronger than they had ever seen stood and waited for them. James and Charlotte were almost ready to quit when they saw how many there were. They most have killed hundreds each but there were at least ten time the amount of monsters here than travelers and soldiers. How could there be so many monsters here? Had they failed lots of times? A monster suddenly rose from a chair like rock he had been sitting on. Or well at least James went with that as he saw the crotch. “Humans yet again you disturb my home. Yet again, you try to kill me and my subordinates. I will see none of this. I hereby give you a choice set one person up against me and if he wins we will never come back or try and fight and the rest of us will kill you in seconds.” As he said, the last the roof everywhere began cracking and holes appeared with meters in-between them. Over the holes there stood hundreds, no thousands of monsters and were ready to kill if they needed to. Sullivan instantly walked in “I will fight you” he said. The monster king laughed, “Yeah you’d like that. Send in the human no other human can defeat so that you win easily. NO!!! I DEMAND A FAIR DUEL. I DON’T CARE WHAT WEAPON THE PERSON WIELD I DON’T CARE ABOUT ANYTHING BUT THE FACT THAT IT’S A FAIR FIGHT!!!” The king yelled and the entire hill began shacking. James stood forth. He knew he weren’t the strongest but neither the weakest. He might be the one with the best chance to win. “I’ll fight you,” James yelled and jumped into the room. “HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! You? This young boy. That weapon is one I know though. Fine you will fight me, but remember your life is on the line Boy” the monster king said.

 

The monster king had given them two days to prepare James for the fight. Everyone but Charlotte and Emily scolded James but all he did was shrugging his shoulders. “I might be the one with the best chance of winning,” he said and swung his blade around a few times. Every time a millimeter from the ground even though he made it in movements. Then he suddenly jumped but even then, the blade didn’t come any further up nor down. He swung at a fruit thrown at him, he sliced it in two and each of the pieces hit another person but him. Another fruit were thrown at him but he caught it midair with the tip of his blade. He then took a bite of the fruit. Threw it back and sliced the box someone sent towards him. This continued for minutes but James steady accuracy kept going. When he lowered his blade, it never hit the ground. When he did anything to either slice an object or defend from a stone or similar hard things he hit so precise that even Charlotte who needed big accuracy to be effective were impress. Emily then tried sneaking up on him she made a tiny noise. In the next moment, James tachi were right in front of her nose. A stone had been thrown at the same time however, James just spun around and avoided it that way and instead it hit Emily. That were the last straw. Everyone knew that would be impossible by them if they couldn’t see that stone. “If you have this reaction speed then why couldn’t you dodge my strike?” Sullivan suddenly asked. “Because I prefer still fight. I can charge into a fight but if I can, I do as I did here and stand still avoiding everything coming my way. What I can’t avoid easily gets my blade instead, but since I were midair when you hit me I had no way of going away,” James said. Sullivan nodded, “Let me tell you something. Even though you almost succeeded back then your fail were you’re timing. I hadn’t even drawn my sword back to attack when you shifted. That gave me time to strike you.” James were baffled. He had clearly seen the movement to draw the sword but he hadn’t? “Let’s try again because I think that might be a similar way you’d have to fight that king monster.” Sullivan said.

Once again, James and Sullivan stood in a circle of people. James wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. However, Sullivan didn’t stand still like James thought he would. Instead, Sullivan circled James and James circled Sullivan. Suddenly Sullivan charged in on James with speed not possible with his big heavy weapon. James almost began going for a defensive but then instead he dashed away to the right in the last second. Sullivan cut deep into the ground as his sword hit. However, he pulled it out fast again. He now waited for James to attack him instead. This kind of duel? James thought. An idea formed in James head. He zig zagged towards Sullivan then suddenly ran in a straight line. Sullivan drew his sword back and James did nothing. Sullivan predicted something that never happened and James almost got to him. However, before he got to even cut Sullivan, Sullivan took the sword with his left hand and swung it to the side. James who held tightly on to his weapon flew with it. He hardly had time to deflect the next strike before it hit him. The only reason he had deflected it were that he wanted to get up quickly. He swung his sword hand on the other side of his body and in the same motion, he deflected Sullivan’s’ sword. As he got up Sullivan were fumbling with the sword, then gave up and instead of pulling it straight out he made a large hole when he took his sword out of the ground. James had no way of calling the duel quits and had to continue fighting. He wouldn’t charge directly in but instead stood his ground and cleared his mind. Showing his attack pattern in a charge fight did him no good. When James opened his eyes again, his eyes had another spark in them than they usually had. He were determinate to show everyone that he could at least cut Sullivan. “You calling it quits already?” Sullivan asked. James turned his blade so that the edge were turned towards the sky and the tip towards Sullivan. Sullivan understood and once again attacked James. James didn’t even move and inch before Sullivan’s blade were towards him. He then spun a quarter of a circle and felt the sword stop in the air right behind his head. He then turned around cut Sullivan and jumped half a step backwards. Sullivan charged once again with the same result. He then attacked from the side of James instead of from above, but James stepped backwards and almost laid himself down as the blade stopped above him. He then got up cut Sullivan over the hand and before Sullivan had a chance to responds James had jumped, landed on Sullivan’s sword and set off into a backwards flip. Sullivan dropped the sword with the sudden weight at the tip. James quickly swooshed away the sword away from Sullivan. “You can something with that sword. But you still need some skills in moving fights,” he said. The meaning weren’t to misunderstand. Sullivan gave up. He knew that James had the upper hand like this and nobody fights if they can’t be sure they can survive. James lowered his sword and almost collapsed. It had taken a lot of energy to stay still in the face of death. And even more to move when fear controlled him. James were beat. However, as long as he still fought this fatigue would not show. It would mean he died if it ever happened.

“That was awesome,” Emily, said when they sat back in their room. “True,” Charlotte agreed.  James himself just sat and went over the battle in his head. All he had seen were himself moving and having no idea what really happened. “I keep telling you I don’t even remember anything other than the fear and blurring of turning after I cleared my mind,” he said rather annoyed. “And we keep telling you that it were cool” Emily said. Charlotte gave her a look that said not now. James honestly never really noticed what happened when he fought. He remembered a blur and the sight of blood from every fight ever but he never remembered what actually happened. Emily stopped telling him how awesome it were, but couldn’t understand why James didn’t want to talk about it.

“You’re swinging way too early when you charge,” Sullivan said and deflected yet another strike. “I can see where and how you want to hit me before you’re even close to me.” “You’re too big a target anyway,” James said. “And you’re so small that I could crush you with my foot” Sullivan replied. Everybody looked at them training. James were the cities last hope and Sullivan were the one training him. Sullivan still got a few cuts when James were lucky or fast after a strike. “You relay too much on the speed force than your own strength.” Sullivan said. “I’m actually quite weak,” James said, “I’ve never broken armor, I’ve never cut wood all the way through in one strike and I’ve never disarmed anyone with my blade before. For a fighter with a tachi I’m not even worth being called a pupil.” James said. Sullivan swung his sword towards James who almost instantly jumped backwards, landed almost perfectly and rose ready to deflect, defend or evade depending on Sullivan’s next strike. “Not even fit for being a pupil? If I could move that quick with my weapon as you can I’d killed everyone a long time ago. You’re agility are your strength. But you don’t use it. Spin more, jump after hitting and most of all evade instead of deflect or defend. You’re so fast I can’t even imagine drawing my sword again before you could have killed me after evading,” this were clearly Sullivan’s way of praising James. However, it wouldn’t help James the least. “Praising me or going easy on me won’t help neither me nor the town,” James said. Sullivan caught what he meant and launched another bombardment of strikes towards James. None of them hit but James didn’t have time to try and strike Sullivan either. He needed a small opening. Sullivan’s right hand suddenly twitched for just a moment, his sword lost so little speed that only James could see it, and the chance had opened. James didn’t even take a second before he had Sullivan in such a way that if they fought for live and death Sullivan would be dead. The next few times all ended the same way. The second Sullivan made a mistake in any way James were on him the moment he saw it. And the fails kept getting smaller and smaller. At some point James topped mowing. “Are you doing this on purpose?” he asked. “You’re ready,” Sullivan responded.

This could be the last night of James’s life and yet he felt like he had an endless night before him anyways. What have I gotten myself into? He thought. Charlotte got over to his bed. “Can’t sleep?” James asked. Charlotte shook her head. “Figured,” James, said. “Maybe somebody else should fight the monster king,” Charlotte said. “I’m ready for it Char. But still this might be my last night. I’m so afraid that I could die already.” James said. Charlotte were shocked. When she looked at James she couldn’t see the fear in his eyes, but except for that he looked like he were completely sure about everything. “Charlotte if I survive this, hear me out on something,” he said. “Of course,” she responded. Emily laid in her own bed hearing all this. A faint smile played on her lips.

 

Everything about being ready left James. Today he had the entire town on his back. If he failed today, it would mean the end up the city and his death. Can I really do this? James asked himself. Sullivan came over, laid his hand on James shoulder and said, “You’re ready for this and you can definitely kill that arrogant monster,” he said.

“So you actually showed up,” the monster king said, pointing his finger at James. James took his blade forth. “I didn’t come here to chitchat I came to kill you.” James responded. The monster king laughed hard. “Very well then. Let’s see how good you are with that puny blade,” the monster said and walked into the ring of monsters and humans watching this.

The first thing James did was clearing his head. He then began circling the monster. Both parts waited for the other to attack. When James didn’t start the monster king suddenly rushed forward almost piercing James with his claws. After less than a second James had managed to give the monster a fairly large wound in the back. His timing were perfect because just after he stepped back the monster swept around almost cutting James. James stood still for a second before charging at the monster. The monster prepared to attack but just as its claws were about to hit James he jumped to the side and evaded them all. He then jumped back and cut a deep wound in the monsters wrist. A terrifying roar filled the hollow. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH,” the monster were clearly in pain and James, like all other humans, covered his ears. Even the monsters covered around their head. The monster king then grew in sizes. His muscles got clearer and his overall look made it clear why he were the king. The name forming on every ones lips also said why. “Rex.”

The monster before had a smooth voice, or well at least for a monster, but when this spoke it sounded like broken glass and chalk on stones, “You will die puny human with your puny blade. You will die and feed me. MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.” Then it attacked. James just barely managed to evade before the next attack came. This were nothing like when he trained with Sullivan. James couldn’t just evade until a fail turned up. He had to attack head on to get a saying. James quickly analyzed the monster. The weak points had to be the point just over its heel, and the wrists. Other than that, of course the neck and throat but those were out of the question to try to get. James ran around the monster trying to get to the heels, but the monster were just as fast as he was and he never got the chance. The only place he had a chance to hit were the wrists. However, James had no way of getting to those either. What should he do?

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