13- Ax the Blade II
"That'll teach 'em!" Ax bellowed with fire in his belly and pride in his voice as he and Lydia led a group of villagers facing an onslaught of putrid goblins and bandits.
"At least give us a challenge!" Lydia mocked their enemies, as she swung her flaming blade Ignis around, with such control that even with the amount of fiery flourishes she was doing, no house or property at all was damaged other than that of her foes. Ax marvelled at her control over that blade. He had gifted it to her the first day they met, but he hadn't imagined that she would take to this blade so much, or rather that it would take to her.
I knew when I met her that she was something beyond the ordinary…
"So, you must be Ax the Blade," a voice called.
Even past the many enemies still coming at them, Ax could see this huge, hulking figure.
A tall, pale green humanlike being was at the back of the approaching crowd. He wasn't a goblin. Ax couldn't believe it. The figure was muscular, but not bulbous like the bigger goblins were. He wore leather armour and carried a magnificent spear. There was only one thing he could be.
"Shit… Lydia, that's an orc."
"An orc? But they've been extinct for years."
"Maybe they just haven't been seen. They might look stupid, but they're wily. I fought them ages ago, you know…"
Someone overheard, "But sir, if you've fought orcs, then you must be in your fifties or more! You only look about thirty…"
"Yes, that is true. But, believe me when I say it, I have battled orcs before. I'm going to lure him away from the rest of you, or else you'll all get killed."
"Ax… You have to take me with you to fight him." Lydia stopped him, grabbing him with her free hand.
"You and I both know that that's too dangerous, even for you. Don't worry, Lydia. I haven't slowed down a bit since then."
"You'd better come back to me, alright?"
He began cutting down goblins to make a pathway through them. He ignored the feeble cries the goblins made in death. He addressed the orc.
"Yes, orc, I am Ax the Blade."
The orc laughed at this. "Very well. I have been sent here to… Take care of you."
Ax's eyes narrowed. "By Dice?"
Could he possibly know?
"Yes," the orc said, "He has a certain interest in you, and wants to see if what he's heard is correct."
"What has he heard?"
"You'll have to beat that out of me."
And then Ax was sent into a wall by a single punch from the orc's meaty fist.
"That… Hurt." He said calmly, "But don't worry, Ax the Blade always pays debts back in full!"
He charged at the orc, his axe held in two hands. He whacked it on the beast's chest, and he was sent reeling, even when he blocked it with the hilt of his spear.
"You are as powerful as they say," the orc said, full of genuine respect, "my people loved a battle. I will relish in this opportunity."
"Do what you want," Ax slammed him with the blunt of his axe against the head, and the orc went down. Ax used this time to kick him, and he went flying, further back from where Lydia and the townspeople were fighting.
"Good move," the orc said, "But I feel like you're distracted by your lovely wife over there. You want me away from her so I won't hurt her."
"Yes," Ax said, "You were sent for me."
"This battle is a free-for-all, you naïve fool," the orc barrelled towards him again.
Ax dropped his weapon and caught the charging orc with his hands, one on the orc's sweaty, disgusting palm, the other gripping the hilt of his spear.
"You aren't going anywhere."
Then he threw the orc backwards, his foe crashing into a pillar, causing blood to immediately splatter from his head. The pillar crumbled, some of the rock falling onto the orc's unmoving body.
"You'll have to get more serious if you want to fulfil your duty," Ax mocked, "You can't be distracted by trying to get at those civilians back there."
The orc nodded.
"I never introduced myself, how rude of me…" He began, "I am Ork."
"Ork the orc?" Ax laughed, "That's like me naming my kid Human the human!"
"Shut up, cretin!" Ork roared, clutching his head wound and starting to get up, "Your name is Ax, and you use an axe! That's even stupider!"
"Um, not really," Ax said, "It's kind of just coincidence, actually."
"Silence!" Ork bellowed, and rushed at him again, this time with the point of his spear in line with Ax's chest.
Ax just stood there, his axe still on the ground next to him.
Ork continued charging, but Ax still just stood there.
He got closer…
Ax moved again with that same speed he had against Dice, speed you wouldn't think of a man of his size and weight. He got behind Ork and, somehow in that one swift movement he had also picked up his axe and had it to Ork's throat.
"I told you, you have to get serious."
"There it is! A glimpse of that power from your heritage."
"My heritage?" Ax said, "Oh, so you know, then… How'd Dice find out?"
"I knew before he did…" then he said it, the word that both filled Ax with confidence, but also insecurity and shame.
A/N: Hi, everyone, and Happy New Year! I hope 2018 has been good to everyone so far. This is my first upload of the New Year, and I'm glad it's this Chapter, because I felt until now that Ax needed something special about him because going forward he's going to be one of the most powerful and focused-on characters in the story. And for any Lydia fans out there, rest assured that I have stuff planned for her, too. This third arc, while against the backdrop of the battle at Ramiden, is going to be about change and progression, so keep an eye out for stuff relating to that. This will probably take us up to about Chapter 20. Anyways, I hope everyone has an awesome year! Please make sure to Review, Favourite and Follow going forward! By the way, thanks to everyone for over 200 views on this story over the past couple of weeks since it's been published!