Chapter 4: Red Eye

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 370

Aylwin, Tharen and Silverblade the Merchant take turns keeping watch throughout the night without any problems. The morning sun rises over the mountains during Aylwins turn.

 

“Alright guys it's time to get up,” announced Aylwin.

 

Tharen, being the light sleeper he is,  shoots his eyes open immediately. Silverblade the merchant on the other hand didn't wake so easily. His snoring only got louder. Tharen nudges Silverblade with his foot with to no avail.

 

“I got this,” said Aylwin walking over to the Perimeter alarm that they set up around the camp last night.

 

Aylwin grabs the string and shakes it aggressively, causing the attached rocks and metal pieces to make noise. Silverblade jumps up from the ground in a daze and looks around for intruders only to see Aylwin and Tharen laughing at him. Silverblade shakes his head and chuckles with the boys.

 

“This really is a neat contraption,” said Tharen humorously.

 

“Just help me pack it up, so we can get movin’,” smiled Silverblade.

 

Tharen, Aylwin and Silverblade get to work packing up the perimeter.

 

“Sleep well you two?” asked Silverblade.

 

“Indeed,” replied Aylwin. “The three of us taking shifts worked much better than just me and Tharen.”

 

“It's a nice change, thats for sure,” agreed Tharen.

 

“Good to hear.” Said Silverblade, “hopefully we won't need to use the extra energy.”

 

“Do you expect the bandits to still be up the road?” asked Aylwin.

 

“Ya. They rarely leave once they are set up on the road,” explained Silverblade.

 

“Is there any question that we will need our extra energy in that case?” asked Aylwin.

 

“It's hard to say,” stated Silverblade. “Sometimes just not being alone is enough to keep bandits away, around here anyways.”

 

“I suppose you're right,” said Tharen. “What is the path like ahead?”

 

“It's pretty smooth ridin’ for about an hour. After that it gets really rocky and hilly. You can’t see more than 100 yards in any driection due to it,” said Silverblade. “The most dangerous of these parts.”

 

“We better get moving then,” said Tharen. “Don't want to keep the dangers waiting.”

 

Silverblade climbs to the top of the carriage to steer while Tharen and Aylwin sit on each side of him and they head off.

 

“That bird on the mountain,” pointed out Aylwin to a bird sitting on a nest resting high up on mountain. “It must be a regional species. I have never seen a bird with a blue mark around its neck.”

 

“You have a good eye,” complemented Silverblade squinting to see if he can match it.

 

“Aylwin has always had great eyes. I’d say comparable to an elf. Though I am yet to meet an elf, myself,” said Tharen.

 

“I have met elves, and let me tell you. Their eyes that you hear about in the stories is hardly exaggerated,” claimed Silverblade.

 

“You’ve met elves?” asked Aylwin excitedly, “what are they like?”

 

“I did, and in short, they make great customers and friends,” Said Silverblade. “as a merchant who travels far and wide, I've had the honour of doin’ business with almost every livin’ thing.”

 

“What has business been like since the fall of Brayssia?” asked Tharen.

 

“Dangerous,” said Silverblade. “yes demand for my merchandise is boomin’, but at the cost of what? Being a weapons merchant before the fall of Brayssia, had no pressures. People wanted weapons just for the sake of having them. I never had to worry about who I was selling to. People would give me weeks to custom make their goods, now they give me days.”

 

Aylwin and Tharen could sense the growing stress in Silverblade.

 

“Continue Silverblade,” said Tharen. “you will feel better afterwards.”

 

“Look at me. I’m bout to rant to a couple of strangers,” said Silverblade in an attempt to change the tone.

 

Tharen and Aylwin patiently wait for Silverblade to finish his rant.

 

“It's just,” continued Silverblade, “I used to love being a merchant. The traveling, the different people I got to meet. Now I have the burden of being an arms dealer in a time a murder. I try not to sell weapons to people who have bad intentions, and it's not as easy as it seems. If I refuse to sell swords to a few towns men because they seem sketchy  to me. Then when orcs or bandits come by they have no means of defence and their blood is on my hands. If I just give weapons to everyone, and it turn out I supply bandits like Godfree, more blood on my hands.”

 

“That is a heavy burden to bare,” said Aylwin.

 

“It's not just that,” continued Silverblade. “the amount of large orders we get from towns across Zanova is overwhelming. Henry and a handful of hard working men can't make 20 swords a day, and I'm one of three travelin’ merchants who can deliver the weapons. The day Brayssia fell…” Silverblade paused and looked Tharen in the eye.

 

“43 villages, 316 weapons, and they needed them NOW! Three times I arrived late to a village of rubble and burning bodies! Once I arrived during an attack! People were screaming as the orcs slayed everyone. I could have raced down and helped, if they had weapons they could have lived. But no, I was a coward and I fled,” raged Silverblade.

 

Tharen put his hand on Silverblades shoulder for comfort and says, “you're strong Silverblade. Most people would have gave up, but you didn't. You took on that burden and you put your ass on the line to save lives. You’re a hero Silverblade, don't you forget that.”

 

“Henry is the hero. I am just the merchant,” said Silverblade who seemed to have calmed down.

 

“YOU put your ass on the line to deliver his work. YOU travel alone to this day, through these orc infested land and YOU give people a fighting chance. Henry can hammer out ten thousand weapons a second, but if you didn't take on this burden, then no one gets a fighting chance,” cheered Tharen firmly.

 

Silverblade deeply exhales through his mouth and follows up with softly asking, “can I ask you boys something?”

 

“Of course,” confirmed Aylwin.

 

“You believe in the gods right?” assumed Silverblade.

 

Reminded of how they came across the unique weapons, Tharen and Aylwin look at each other to see whether one or the other will mention the temple. It wasn't long before Silverblade broke the moment of silence and answered for them.

 

“Yeah, I'm not sure as well,” Revealed Silverblade. “if there are Gods, why haven't they helped us. Have our Gods lost hope in us? Have we failed them? Or have they failed us?”

 

“Tell me Silverblade. What would you do? If you were a God what would you do differently?” asked Tharen.

 

“If I was god, and created a nation. I would defend my creation with all my godly powers. I can't imagine what it takes to create all of this. You bet your ass I’d protect it,” said Silverblade. “And what about you boys? If you were one of the gods. What would you do?”

 

“We are in a high danger area now,” said Aylwin noticing the already rough terrain around them get even more so. “I would like to tell you, but I have too much to say and we need to be weary.”

 

Up the road, only 100 feet is visible do to the uphill view, and beside the road is even shorter. There are boulders, cliffs, steep hill and all sorts of places to set up an ambush.

 

“You may be right,” said Silverblade. “But we can talk and keep our eyes open at the same time can't we? You know, to pass the time.”

 

“Look,” interrupted Aylwin as he spots a girl running towards them over the hill straight ahead. The girl’s hair is long straight and dark brown in color. She is short and thin but has a good amount of muscles. She is about eighteen years old by the look of her mature figure yet young face. Despite her age and admirable body, she doesn't wear flattering young women clothes. Rather than a dress she wears a man’s shirt and pants but with a tighter fit and lighter material.

 

Tharen glances at her and gets an unfamiliar feeling deep in his chest.

 

“Wow, shes a pretty one,” nudged Aylwin.

 

Behind the young girl follows three men wearing leather armour suits and wield bows. Tharen, Aylwin and Silverblade fly off the carriage and run to the girl. Tharen, being the fastest is ahead of Aylwin who is just trailing and Silverblade who is falling behind.  As they get closer, Tharen notices that each of the three men have an eye painted onto the chest of their leather armour, in red.  

 

“No! Turn back!” screams the girl now that she is only ten feet from Tharen.

 

The three men in leather armour stop chasing the girl and line their bows to the girl. One man shoots, and another does the same a couple seconds after.

 

“Fuck! I won't make it in time,” cursed Tharen to himself just five feet away from the girl.

 

The young girl's’ chest jerks forward from the force of the first arrow hitting her back. Her eyes widen and she loses her footing. Tharen catches her with his right arm and shields her from the second arrow with his left. The second arrow pierces Tharens left bicep but didn't go all the way through. He then wraps both arms around the girl and turns his back to the archers, shielding her totally. Then he crouches to make himself a smaller target.

 

“Why would you save a girl who’s going to die anyways,” whispered the girl.

 

With his right hand, Tharen reaches behind her to feel that the arrow nicked her heart slightly. The girl's pretty face flinches from the pain.

 

“Sorry,” apologised Tharen for causing her more pain.

 

Tharen feels an arrow wiz by his ear, and sees it plunge into the ground in front of him. He refuses to move due to the risk that he might expose the girl, who may or may not already be dead. He expects to feel an arrow in his back any second now.

 

Just as Aylwin catches up to Tharen, a voice comes from behind the three men.

 

“You fools!” said the voice in a hoarse and evil tone.

 

The three men turn around and kneel to the terrifying being wearing the same armour. The being looks a mix of half dead human and half demon. Medium length hair, black like a moonless night. The scarred face pale as snow. Its eyes are bright yellow, one wide open and the other mostly shut. Holding a very long and bulky sword thats tip drags on the ground as he slowly sways towards the men. Head tilted to favor his more open eye which he glares at the men. This person or whatever it is, looks straight out of a nightmare.

 

“Kyper, sir.” wavered the three men.

 

“What are you doing?” demanded the being.

 

“We were told to make sure no one leaves city,” said one of the men who grips a knife hidden from Kyper’s sight.

 

The blade that Kyper was dragging is lifted off the ground and cuts down all three men in a single movement. Blood sprays wildly from their chests, as each of the bodies collapse and their hidden blades are revealed.

 

Kyper’s large eye locks on to the girl in Tharens arms. He begins to speed sway towards Tharen, Aylwin and the girl.

 

“Tharen!” warned Aylwin.

 

Tharen peaks over his blood stained arm and gets his first look at Kyper. He and Kyper both look deep into eachother's eyes and evaluate each other.

 

“I have never seen so much pain in one's eyes,” commented Tharen to himself.

 

“Tharen, is she alive?” asked Aylwin firmly as Kyper gets closer.

 

Tharen attempts to check the girl's’ pulse but finds that his right arm, the one that is not harmed; is locking up. In fact he seems to be losing mobility in his entire body.

 

Due to the lack of response Aylwin glances down at Tharen. He quickly glances back to Kyper who is much closer than he expected and already guiding his long blade at Aylwin.

 

Suddenly Silverblade jumps in front of Aylwin with a shield and blocks Kyper’s attack.

 

“Sorry I took so long,” said Silverblade. “I thought a shield would be a good thing to have considering the archers.”

 

“Fool's!” shouted Kyper. “Drop your weapons!”

 

“You first.” demanded Aylwin in fighting stance.

 

“Aylwin” choked Tharen who is struggling to talk. “I'm losing consciousness.”

 

On the verge of passing out, Tharen drops the girl on her side,  falls over, and blinks rapidly as he notices his vision is blurring.

 

“What did you do to him!” yelled Aylwin at Kyper.

 

“Turn around fool’s!” hollered Kyper as his large eye looks past them.

 

“Don't Silverblade!” commanded Aylwin, with his eyes locked on Kyper, “he moves faster when you’re not looking.”

 

Suddenly Aylwin feels a sharp sting on the back of his neck. He reaches back and feels a short and light object and removes it.

 

“Blowgun darts,” said Aylwin immediately feeling weakened with blurred vision.

 

Aylwin looks behind him and sees more men bearing the eye on their chest. He tries to warn Silverblade but his mouth won't move. He looks over to him and all he sees is a blur of where Silverblade was; on the ground. Then everything goes black and his body goes numb.

 

Unable to move, see, speak or feel. Aylwin is left with only his hearing. The sound of metal on metal, metal on flesh and bone, and bodies crashing to the soil; all too familiar to Aylwin and Tharen.

 

After a few minutes Aylwin, Silverblade and Tharen have lost all consciousness.

 

---------------------------------------------END OF CHAPTER---------------------------------------------------


 

AUTHORS NOTE:

Hey guys. This is a rather rough version and i’d appreciate if you leave Icomments to point out any errors or suggestions. Thanks for reading.

 

-Dylan

 


Submitted: February 21, 2017

© Copyright 2021 Dylan Henlisia and Marche Taylor. All rights reserved.

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