One to Defend

The villagers were in a deep sleep on a cold and drenched night. It was the night of the full moon. It was high in the sky amongst the dark clouds of night. There was a subtle howl from the dark clouds. Wind whistled through the tall spruce trees and swept up the leaves, branches, and twigs along the ground.

Drops of water dripped from the trees and onto the wet ground. It was the only sound that rang in the air as dark figures crept in the shadows. Moved ever closer to their prey, the dark figures did. Finely polished steel of dual scimitars gleamed in the moonlight. Pairs of faint violet orbs peered through the heavy brush to gaze upon a small farming village south of Vincraw in the kingdom of Tenrok, the land of Lijtriel.

A dark figure stepped out of the shadows and under the moonlight. The moonlight revealed the dark figure to be a short slender warrior in armour, but his skin remained ebony with long white hair that hid his face in a shroud of darkness. He appeared to have long pointy ears that couldn't be hidden underneath his long hair. He was gripping dual scimitars in both hands.

He continued to stand still as eleven other dark warriors loomed in the shadows behind him. All eleven were as sinister and fierce as the one before them, their leader. And all twelve were thirsting for a swift and silent slaughter for the village…

In the center of the village was an outlook tower with two guards on watch. They watched all corners of the village. They were vigil and alert. Their eyes were sharp.

One blinked as he saw a shadow move. Before he could utter a letter, a blade had slit his throat as a hand grabbed him at the collar and pulled over the edge. The other guard panicked as he turned and looked down. He saw his friend's body being pulled into the shadows. He turned and reached for the horn to alert the village soldiers.

As he pulled the horn to his mouth, a hand covered his mouth. He felt a cold sharp pain in his back that ripped out of his stomach. Specs of flesh and drops of blood were scattered in the air and fell to the ground. The guard tried to scream out in pain, but it was only muzzled with a hand over his mouth.

The leader jumped down from the outlook tower and landed silently. His warriors gathered around him as they finished all guards on patrol. All already had blood stained on their scimitars. They all looked to their leader for their next order. He motioned to the barracks where all the village soldiers were asleep…

In the shadows, behind the spruce trees was a lone warrior watching it all. As the dark warriors in the village, he too was ebony, short, and slender with pointy ears, but his hair was a long black. Tied onto his back were two swords, one long, one short.

He took a deep breath to lighten his heavy heart. There was anger and disgust in his eyes as he watched those dark warriors spill innocent blood. The lone warrior's nature, his code urged him to slay such dishonourable warriors. In his code, judgement had befallen the dark warriors and their lives were forfeit. And the lone warrior was given the privilege to carry out their sentence.

Though it was in the nature of his nemesis, to plunge, slaughter, and plunder. As they wrecked havoc, so shall the lone warrior make it right.

Then—he reached for his long sword…

When all the soldiers were killed in their sleep. The twelve deadly warriors turned their sights on the village asleep in their houses.

The leader entered a house closest to him. He calmly and silently moved through the house and into the rooms. He slightly opened the doors to have a glimpse inside. He saw two sleeping children. Then he moved to the next room. He always saved the children for last.

The door creaked badly. The creaking door waked one of the children.

In the next room was a large bed and in the bed were the farmer and his wife. He walked into the room and to the bedside. Out came his fine scimitar from the sheath. He raised it high, and plunged it into heart of the farmer. He raised it again and plunged his scimitar into the woman's body.

The floor creaked quietly. The dark warrior heard the floor and turned around fast. He saw a child gasping in fright.

"D-d-drow…" the child strummed breathlessly in fear.

He stared coldly at the boy that was frozen in fright. Behind the boy, a shadow dropped from the ceiling, stood up looming behind the boy. The dark warrior's comrade quickly covered the boy's mouth as he thrust his scimitar into the back of the boy. The blade ripped out of the boy's stomach.

The boy was released and fell to his knees, crying. The drow warriors watched the child bleed as he crawled on the floor. And the dark warriors simply—left the boy to bleed out and die.

In another house, a drow moved silently and swiftly through it. He went directly for the farmer lying alone in the only room. There, he had put great care in each slow step as he pulled forth his fine scimitar.

A black blur ran across the window. The drow's keen eye saw it. He was suddenly on edge and wary for any enemy.

A black blur fell from the ceiling. Without hesitation and without turning, the drow thrust his scimitar behind him. His heart stopped for a moment with his eyes wide with shock and surprise. He took two deep breaths as he turned to take a hard look at who he had killed.

As he turned, a floorboard was carefully lifted and set aside as the lone warrior emerged from the cellar.

He took one glimpse and stumbled backwards in shock. It was a dead ally, hanging from the ceiling by the neck with his throat cut wide open. But there was no blood running down his neck, for his veins ran dry and empty.

Before he could do anything else, he was kicked down onto his knees. A hand grabbed him by the hair and forced him to bow his head. He heard the sound of steel cut through the still wind. He knew he was dead. A second passed and he was…

Minutes have passed, and the drow leader was impatiently standing in the center of the village. He was waiting for his warriors to return with the villagers all slain and carrying the precious spoils of war, plunder.

He became tired of waiting and cut his men short of their pleasure of slaughter. He called them with a high pitched whistle that only drow ears can hear.

The very second the call ended, exactly eleven bodies fell from the outlook tower behind the drow leader. Instinctively, he had his scimitar out and turned fast around to see the eleven dead bodies, his eleven drow warriors.

Some dozen feet in the distance, a black figure landed silently on the ground. The drow's powerful ears heard the landing. Then—he knew. He knew from how his warriors were killed. Their throats were cut wide open and some with severed heads. There was only one kind of warrior that was so skilled in the art of stealth to so easily slay a drow warrior.

"Only a trow…" the last drow cursed. "Only a damned trow warrior!"

When the last drow turned to gaze upon his nemesis, the archenemy of the drow race, he was certain it was a trow. The black hair, the pointy ears, the ebony skin, and the two swords against his back known as the daisho.

But this one, the drow recognized. His eyes looked straight at the scar under the trow's bottom lip. A scar that ran down his bottom lip, over his chin, and disappeared under his chin.

"Duishi Mishen," the drow said in pure hatred.

"My nemesis," the trow replied. "Anzai Shudai. I had a feeling and now I am certain."

Duishi looked at his nemesis's right hand and saw and remembered him slicing off Anzai's middle finger. Duishi removed it in a battle years ago and was scarred below his lip. It was a fight both warriors would never forget.

Angry Anzai pulled forth his two fine scimitars and gripped them so hard, his knuckles whitened. Calm Duishi reached for his long sword.

As they were about to begin, first light shined down on the young earth. Anzai cringed and he shielded his eyes from the terrible light. The rays of the sun blinded the drow warrior.

Duishi knew, there would be no fight today as he dropped his long sword back into its sheath. As much as he wanted to kill Anzai, the trow code had forbid it.

"You're day will come, mark my words, drow," Duishi said coldly.

"And when it does," Anzai was forced to pause from the pain in his eyes. "You will be nothing but blood on my blades."

And Anzai darted into the shadows.

Duishi sighed as he gazed blankly at the ground before him. He tried to let go of the thirst for revenge. No matter how hard he tried, he knew he wouldn't be able to let go of revenge till it was settled.

In the red sun at the horizon, he turned back to walk back home; across the sea to his native land of Soledon, land of the elves.