Mourn of the Sword Chapter 8. First lesson


Chapter 7.

                            Chapter 8. First lesson 

Genius. Prodigy. One of the kind. rare talent… These words always seemed pointless and empty to me. Just another excuse for the one saying them. At times I was called by those words. I still don't see why. To reach all what I am I needed many years. So I would probably describe myself as a stubborn…or maybe crazy. But one time I also met someone who I can’t describe without using those words. Genius? Prodigy? Supreme talent? I can’t find a better word so these will have to do.

Most of guards and citizens were very drunk. This and cover of the night helped prisoners to steal a few horses and weapons. After that sneaking out of the city was quite easy. A few guards in their way were half asleep. But that didn't even matter. A few words from Grifel made them forget few travelers passing by.

So morning sun found the three fugitives far away from the city walls. Tolg was still crying at the sight of his injured hand. Griferl seemed to be very tired and now was just lying next to the fire. Only Cercor who was most injured already forgot about his battle with a mage. He was already looking for a new even more thrilling challenge.

After fighting for so long mercenary’s body adjusted to this lifestyle. So Cercor healed faster than normal. Even his nearly deadly injuries would heal in no more than a week. This time was no different. Damage done by the mage was almost completely gone. All that remained were a few burn marks.

Cercor felt good enough to once again train with his heavy sword. His blade was blitzing like a lightning it made various forms in the air. Warrior’s movements were getting faster and faster. Soon it reached the point where his movements were no longer visible for the ordinary eye. Difference between Cersor and most other humans was as great as the gap between earth and the sun. But even this was just a glimpse of what Cercor was truly capable of. Each day he stepped further and further beyond the realm of normal humans.

In the middle of his training session Cercor felt something strange. It seemed like someone was watching his every move. Cercor trusted his intuition. So he quickly turned back. Quickly enough to notice Griferl’s glance. No doubt about it. Half-elf was capable of following his movements. Even more surprisingly it seemed like Griferl was predicting his moves.

Warrior went to the half-elf and asked him:

’'It seems like you are getting better. Are you feeling well enough to answer a few questions?’’

’Yes, I think so.’’

‘’In that case can you explain how you managed to make multiple guards fall asleep without talking to them? I thought that you can only convince people with your voice?’’

‘’Until now that was true. This was the first time when I tried this on multiple people without looking at their eyes or speaking to them. For a while now I was trying to come up with new ways to make my tricks more versatile. Finally I decided to use a mediator. As such medium I had to use something that was already mesmerizing on its own. Something that would affect humans senses. Why did I choose music as my medium? During my travels at times I had to beg for food or shelter. So I was already familiar with music. Besides trying to manipulate other senses would be hard and situational. It might even turn against me. Music on the other hand only requires very simple tools and preparation.’’ he showed ear plugs and a simple fife that could be bought from most merchants.

’I see.’’ Noded Cercor. ‘’Indeed this is simple but effective method. But don’t you think that you too quick to share your magic secrets?’’

‘’Like I said in the past I am not a mage.’’ insisted Griferl. ‘’I think you to never heard about beggar who is also a mage. My talents are so small that they would make any decent mage yawn. Besides I see no need to hide how my tricks work. We are traveling companions so it is unlikely that you will use this knowledge against me.’’ he slightly smiled. And then threw fife into the fire. ‘’And one more thing. I have no intention of using the same trick again. At least not in battle. Even the most marvelous and grandiose magic would become boring if it would be used every day. My tricks are simple so I have even less time before they lose their value.’’

This mindset was beyond understanding of Cercor. Mercenary cared about his weapons as if they would be his best( and only?) friends. He felt no need to change their kind or his techniques. In each fight Cercor simply believed in himself. In his power, speed and countless times repeated movements. Usually that was more than enough. In the rare cases that required more he would simply improvise in the heat of battle and still gain victory. Preparation for battle seemed a bit unfair and Cercor was not going to use them… Still he felt some respect to Griferl’s way of fighting.

‘’I understand that steel is not your weapon of choice.’’ said Cercor. ‘’But perhaps you would like to consider using a sword? To truly master it you would need a lot of time and effort. But even if you would learn just the basics they could still save your life. Or at least give you more options.’’

‘’Your offer is indeed interesting.’’ Griferl spoke after thinking about it for a moment. ‘’It is true that having another tool I could rely on would be a good thing. But where are a few things that are keeping me from accepting this. First of all I lack the strength to even lift a sword. Let alone swinging it.’’

’Training would grant you the strength…’’

‘’And most importantly’’ half-elf suddenly became very serious. His faint smile disappeared. Eyes sparkled with a blue light.’’ I am afraid of blood. Not the blood in my own veins. I am afraid of getting my hands bloody with someone’s else blood. I don't want to grease my hands with that ugly messy liquid. With my… tricks I can control what I do. I don't have to harm anyone. With a blade in my hand I would no longer have this luxury. I would be forced to use it. To claim lives and to bloody my hands.’’

‘’You are talking nonsense,’’ mercenary got angry. ‘’Instead of worrying so much about sparing the lives of your opponents you should focus on achieving victory…’’ he stopped to remind himself that Euphoria achieved great results despite not caring about victory. Memories of that marvelous woman calmed warrior down and even created a smile. ‘’If you truly desire to spare your enemies then fine. So be it. Just use a wooden sword. It will not bloody your hands but will create more chances of using your powers.’’

He went to a nearby tree and cut a smooth branch. After that returned and gave it to half-elf.

‘’Here you go kid. You can practice with this.’’

Griferl took the branch into his hand. Lifted it a few times. Tried swinging it while just listening to its sound. Stopped for a few moments. And then did something beyond Cercor’s wildest dreams…Each of his swings and strikes were identical copies of moves that mercenary did during his training. They all were simply perfect. Nearly better than original. Half-elf was lacking enormous power of the warrior. But he replaced it with deadly speed and precision. It seemed like he combined Euphoria’s joy of life with Cersor's savage instincts and created a new dance. This was something beyond words or imagination. Natural talent that forced Cercor to doubt his own eyes. First time in his life Cercor was completely speechless. He saw miraculous unlimited potential right in front of him. This was the rival he was looking for all his life. Not today. But in the future Griferl will become a true monster far surpassing any swordsman or magical being. Cercor knew this for certain. He was trembling with excitement. He was already waiting for that legendary duel.


The three fugitives must have really been surprised that they were found early in the morning

I am really enjoying every bit of this story. So interesting 😎

Thank you very much.