Another new story. I'm writing this cause I want to. I've given up on Path to Freedom. I recently re-read it and am not too proud. I don't mind Fire Inside, and may update it on occasion, but for now, this is my regular story. I hope you all enjoy!
A twelve-year old boy stood outside of his family's house chopping wood. He and his family didn't have much in life. They all knew it. Yet at the same time, they knew that they didn't need any of it.
The boy was very happy for his life in fact, for if it were not for the way his family lived, if they were higher up in the social ladder, he would probably be lazy and fat. But because he had to work for his place in the world, he was solidly built, and in better physical condition than most royalty could ever hope to achieve.
And not only did he get to hear all of the tales and legends from traveling merchants, but sometimes he told a few of his own. Albeit they never got much attention, and those who did listen thought the tales to be stupid, he knew he would get better.
He put an other piece of wood onto the chopping log, and brought the woodcutter's axe he was holding down on the dry former tree with a loud thunk. The sound was followed by the sound of horse's hooves and carriage wheels off to the distance. The boy stuck the blade of the axe in the ground and gazed down the road, bringing a hand above his eyes to shield them from the mid day sun.
Sure enough, a small carriage, drawn by only one horse was making its way to their house. He figured that it was a merchant that had gotten lost on their way to the main city, so he ran to tell his mother and father, figuring that they would give the merchant directions if they got to hear a story.
He flung the door open with great enthusiasm. "Father! Father! A merchant is coming!"
His father was sitting at the table, whittling a block of wood. It was only half done, and you could barely tell that it would end up taking the shape of a great bear. But when it was finished, it would bring in a good price, as did all of the man's work.
The boy's father placed both hands down on the table for support and hoisted himself up. He was huge. Around six feet tall, and heavily muscled from years of working the land. His black beard grown out long, more than making up for the hairlessness of his head. "Well, let's go have a talk with him, my boy."
The two walked out of the house and waited for the merchant to come to the door. As it came to a stop, the man driving it jumped down to the ground, and pulled a scroll out of a pocket of his robe and unrolled it vertically, "By order of the king of Farlaan, you are to assist in the coming war with the neighboring kingdom of Alsarath."
A look of surprise came to the father's face, but soon it left, for he knew his responsibilities.
"Let me fight too!" the young boy said jumping up and down with excitement.
"War is not a game, nor is it fun, son. Stay here and look after your mother. Go tell her right now where I am going."
"Yes, father," the boy mumbled, his head now turned to the ground as he kicked up a bit of dirt.
His father knelt down in front of him and put a hand on his shoulder. "Look son," he said, "there's a chance that I might not come back. You hear me? I need you to make sure that everything is going to be okay here while I'm gone."
The boy looked up with a smile. "You'll come back father, I know it!"
"Get in," the man said, opening the door to the carriage, revealing about ten other men who had already been recruited. The father patted his son on the shoulder and steped up and in with the others.
As the carriage made it's way from his house, the boy ran after it and hopped on the back, balancing on the wooden bumper, not saying a word of farewell to his mother.
* * * * *
He had done it. The boy had made it to the battlefield. And without his parents knowing. He was too young to fight, but he could be an arrow runner. He stood ready, the night that the enemy kingdom's forces were said to attack, two quivers of arrows over each shoulder.
He wondered for a moment if his mother might be worried. It had been weeks since he had left. He would have sent a letter, but he didn't know how to read or write. The thought was banished when he heard a yell of "ARCHERS READY!" Every archers' bow raised up. "DRAW ARROWS!" the sound of all the bowstrings rang loud.
The boy could hardly control his excitement. But then he saw something he didn't expect. Up high on the wall, his father stood, eyes on the apparently incoming enemy. At least he wouldn't be delivering arrows to him. He was supplying for the ground archers. But what if his father was hit, out in the open like that? The boy shook the fears away when he heard the final command. "FIRE!"
The archers let fly their arrows at once, and not an ally was hit. But the sound of enemy screams rang loud. "FIRE!" Another volley let fly, as the commanders picked up their own bows and withdrew arrows from quivers on their own backs. "FIRE AT WILL!" they yelled, and the archers began to let fly arrows as fast as they could. The boy saw a man run out of arrows and ran to re-supply him.
He pulled a quiver off his back and replaced it with the empty one that the main was previously wearing. Before he ran up, the boy wanted to see one shot, close up. An arrow came up and over the wall, nicking the ground at the boy's feet. The boy jumped and hit the archer, knocking the man off of balance, drawing a curse from the archer's mouth.
The boy watched as the arrow flew low. He watched in horror as it sank into a bald man's back. He saw the man fall backwards, saw the man's long beard trailing. He knew at that moment that it was his father.
He didn't think about what he did next. He removed an arrow from one of the three full quivers on his back and ran the man who killed his father through the chest with it. He then took up the dying man's bow and ran.
* * * * *
Rok'tu ran down the back alley of the city he was currently. He couldn't remember it, all he cared about was escaping. He pulled a small black disk out of an enchanted pouch that hung from his belt. The pouch could hold as much as he desired. He threw the disc on the ground and jumped in, re-appearing on a rooftop just above where he was, his clothes and skin solid black.
He withdrew a black bow from his pouch next, and after that two black arrows. He bit off one of the rows of feathers from one of the arrows, so that both would fit evenly on the bow. He pulled back the string and let go, seeing two of the many guards chasing him go down.
He heard the scrape of a sword being drawn from his sheath. He pulled the hole out of his pouch once more, for it had magically returned, threw it onto the ground and jumped, making it seem as though he killed himself. He let the portal magically close and return as he came out on top of yet another roof. The problem was, this one was even further from the exit of the city.
"Damn," he whispered under his breath. He pulled the hole out again. This time it landed him right at the border of the city. Right at the tips of too many arrows to count.
One man stepped from behind two archers. "Well, well, well. So you've finally run out of tricks?"
Rok'tu stood there, one hand inside the pouch, fingering an glass object only he knew was there, the look on his face calm.
"You know I expected better from you," the man said, raising his arm in the air and bringing it down, the archers lowered their bows, "I had expected more of a challenge." He drew his sword.
"You really are a fool," Rok'tu said in a cold, venomous voice, "If you had your men keep their weapons up, we might have been even. But now..." Rok'tu pulled the item out in the blink of an eye and threw it on the ground, shattering it, engulfing the area in a blinding light.
When the light came back, there seemed to be a Rok'tu for every shard of glass. "Well?" They all said at once, withdrawing a sword from their pouches, "Who's the real one?" Two Rok'tus rushed on, and attacked, both blades drawing thin lines of blood from the man's arm, as others killed off the archers. "All of our blades seem real enough."
The man smiled. He muttered something in an ancient tongue, and a light emitted from the blade of his sword, lighting the area substantially. Only one Rok'tu cast a shadow. The move had caught Rok'tu off guard, and gave the man enough time to come in, and hit him in the head with the flat of his blade, rendering the mercenary unconscious.