I've finally managed to update. Sorry it took me so long, but my life has been pretty crazy lately. On a plus side I have much more free time now, so if you'll only review, I trust the updates will be more frequent from now on.

Thanks to everyone who did sacrifice their time to review this story up till now. Hope you'll like the newest installment!

Chapter #6: Knight of Valios

Title Page: Sasho and young Arkin are sitting around the fire with the adventurer already eating his meat off the stick, while the boy seems to have trouble with cooking his correctly

"You're faster then I have anticipated" Karan noted as his blade pressed against Eldos' sword. "But that doesn't really matter, coz starting now… all hell breaks lose!" and with those words he swung his other hand horizontally in an attempt to cut his adversary in two.

The old paladin acted immediately and ducked under the assault, thrusting his weapon forward and thus forcing the bandit to jump back in order to avoid getting pierced. This left an opening the knight needed and speeding off into a charge, Eldos rammed his opponent with an elbow, making Karan gasp for air.

As the bandit was send rolling on the ground, he came to a sudden stop with fury burning in his eyes. In a flash he bend down, thus dodging a slash of electricity send at him by the knight and charged forward himself, his blades ready. Closing the distance between himself and the paladin, he reached under his cloak only to toss a handful of shuriken at his adversary from short range.

Eldos reacted immediately, blocking most of the incoming, sharp stars with his broadsword and deflecting the rest with the metal protectors on his arms and legs. That however left him wide open for Karan to commence his attack. Running past the old knight, he slashed back in the attempt to pierce the paladin's back.

Eldos was quick to react however and flipping his sword back, he used its flat side as a shield, stopping the attack, while his back was still turned towards the goon. As the two blades collide, the knight rested his hands on the handle and using it to prop himself, he put his body into a spin, delivering a knee to Karan's face, this time sending him sliding through the ground.

In a flash the bandit flipped back to his feet, angered even further and threw a knife at his opponent and resumed his charge, reaching for his cloak once more. The old paladin easily dodged the first assault he bending to the left, while he engulfed his sword in electricity. Electrocuted metal worked as a magnet, attracting the knife and as Eldos swung his blade, the projectile immediately turned against its master, going straight at Karan's head.

Shocked at the sudden turn of events, the goon ducked under the attack, which left him wide open long enough for the knight to beat the distance between them and cut from above. With no, other alternative, the bandit threw his hand down, instantly lifting up tons of dust that covered the paladin's view.

A smoke bomb! Eldos realized as he jumped back to avoid possible slashes.

Zartan, who observed the whole fight from the nearby roof, narrowed his eyes at the sight: That old fart… Karan can't take him. Seems as though I'll need to handle things he added, reaching to his pocket, but before his hand even get to its destination, the bandit jumped to the side as a sword got swung right at him.

"It's not nice to interrupt other people fights" Arkin stated with a smirk, pointing the tip of his sword at the man. "You should let them finish. But I'll be more then happy to kick your butt around myself in the meantime…"

Zartan didn't respond. He just narrowed his eyes again and then, without warning, charged forward, swinging his right saber at the teen. The young adventurer managed to block the assault, but as the two weapons collided with a 'clang', the bandit put his other blade into motion, this time cutting from below.

Seeing this, Arkin instantly broke their deadlock and jumped back, which turned out to be a bad move as at that very time his feet left toe rooftop: "Shi…" he cursed while his body began dropping to the ground, head first. To his surprise however, Zartan was not done and dive right after him, his sabers placed in a cross.

With a wild swing, the bandit made an attempt to split the boy open, yet the teen managed to block also that assault, using the moment of the clash to flip his body and thus safely land on his feet, while his opponent landed few meters away, narrowing his eyes as he set them on the young adventurer.

Meanwhile Karan resumed his fight with Eldos, charging at the old knight and aiming a kick to his head. To the paladin's surprise, a blade suddenly popped out from the goon's boot, ready to pierce him from the side. The old knight quickly ducked under the assault and swung his sword at his opponent's other leg, forcing the bandit to jump up.

As the weapon whistled through the air, Karan flipped and now unleashed a dropkick, which too went straight for Eldos' head, another blade appearing from the boot. The old paladin blocked the attack with his metal protector and in a flash thrust his hand to the side, making the bandit's body flip again, right before delivering a punch to his stomach that blasted him back.

Without a second waste, the knight of Valios swung his sword, releasing a whip of electricity at the goon that went sliding on the ground, but as the charge came closer, Karan suddenly threw his hand to the side and instantly his blade detached, flying towards the building with a chain following it.

As the blade stuck into the wall, the bandit pulled himself towards it, making the incoming whip only scourge the ground, while he safely landed on his feet. But the moment he did so Eldos flipped his sword once more, changing the course of the attack and having it smack the goon right in the side.

A little stunned, Karan tried to regain his balance, while the paladin charged forward, putting his sword into motion. The bandit came through just in time to roll under the horizontal swing and throw an uppercut to his adversary's chin, his blade ready to split the old knight's gut. Eldos however saw that coming and unleashed another surge of electricity, this time making it fall from his blade right onto the goon.

The attack didn't do as much damage as the paladin hoped though, since Karan managed to pull himself together quickly this time around and rising to his feet, he went into a spin, throwing a kick to his opponent's face.

The old knight managed to dodged in time by leaning right and in a flash thrust his left arm to the side, hitting the bandit right in the face with his elbow and forcing him to take a few steps back, just to remain standing. The goon grabbed his face, blood dripping from his nose, his eye twitching like crazy.

"Stupid, old fart" Karan cursed, clenching his teeth as he glared at Eldos with fury burning in his eyes. "I can't allow myself to lose to a rusty sack of bones! Valios, Credos, I don't give a damn which is it! A religion worshiping a God of Light who has two names is ridiculous enough!" he yelled, unleashing a barrage of shuriken straight at the old paladin.

"The God of Light is not a single entity" the knight replied simple, easily blocking all the projectiles while the bandit charged at him at top speed. "The two are brothers, each standing for a different aspect of the light. Credos enlightens his followers, while Valios chases the darkness away. This is why the first has priests, while other – paladins. But I wouldn't count on someone like you to understand that subtle difference…"

Of course he won't understand Arkin said, nodding his head lightly. Coz what you just said is one load of senseless blabber! He added with a sweat drop, while Eldos prepared himself to block Karan's assault. To his surprise however the bandit suddenly turned, passing the old knight from the right and with a wide smirk crossing his face, he went straight for Philia, leaving the shocked paladin behind.

The girl only let out a scream as horror made her paralyzed. She covered her head, awaiting the blow, while the young adventurer ran in her direction: Damn you, geezer! I'm not gonna make it…

Before the attack connected however, Eldos appeared besides Philia and pushed the girl out of the way, receiving deep slashes from Karan's blades in her stead. As pain shoot through his body, crimson escaped from between his armor plates. But as his body began collapsing, the old paladin broke the fall with his foot and quickly spinning on it, he cut from below, his sword engulfed in electricity again.

In a flash the bandit's chest got scourged, followed by his body receiving a powerful, electric shock. The goon's eyes became pupiless as a surprised expression rested on his face. He didn't scream. He wasn't fast enough to do so. Paralyzed for a split second, his legs finally gave in, making him fall to the ground, unconscious, while the knight propped his body against his weapon, now struck in the ground, panting heavily.

"Master Eldos!" Giza began to run towards the man, yet froze at the sight of another bandit.

"You're actually quite good, old fart" Zartan concluded simply, walking towards the older man, as his underling collapsed. "Sure enough, if Karan wouldn't use that dirty trick just now, you would be left without a scratch. A troublesome fellow indeed… at your fullest, even I might've got beaten. But I suppose I should thank you, since just now you did save my bride. Sadly, it'd appear you're out of strength and I don't intend to let you rest. Time to end this" he added, rising his saber before bringing it down on Eldos' head.

The blade never reached its target however as a loud 'clang' suddenly filled the air, while the bandit glanced to his left where Arkin stood, holding his huge sword above the old paladin's body. The young adventurer send a death glare at the man, speaking calmly, yet Philia managed to sense a note of anger in his voice: "Sir Eldos seems to be a bit tired at the moment, so I say we let him regain his strength. Besides, we have a duel to finish anyway…"

"So, you're the brat that caused trouble in the first place?" the leader more stated then asked, retreating his weapon and getting into a fighting stance with both sabers in his grip. "I suppose I can sacrifice some time for you. Before I'm done, you'll be begging for me to finish you off…"

"Before I'm done with you," the teen responded with his expression and voice indifferent. "You'll be begging sir Eldos, Philia and every, single villager for forgiveness…"

---volume $01 end---

And that concludes this chapter (as well as "volume 1"). Hope you found this chappie worth waiting for and that you'll like what's still in stored. Please leave me a review once you're done and until next ime!

Bard is out!