Mourn of the Sword Chapter 1. Fateful meeting. Repost

in #writing4 months ago (edited)

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From what I remember I already posted this a few years ago. And normally I try not to to repost content but this time I decided to make an exception because I might decide to change some parts of my book in the future. If you have time to read this I would really appreciate your opinions about my book.

Prologue

Cercor is a warrior who seems to have no equal. So far his overwhelming might was enough to overcome all obstacles in his path. At some point even the greatest of dangers began looking trivial in his eyes. But then life decided to grant a warrior’s wish gave him plenty of challenges that were beyond even his imagination.

Chapter 1. Fateful meeting

What was it? Irony of Fate? A curse of the Gods? Or maybe just a sinister incident? One thing is certain- that mistake made my life real hell.

For a while in the cold morning mist the only sound was the thud of a horse's hooves. But after a while Cercor heard some other noises as well:

''Come on, snot. Give us your coin scrotum and you might leave alive.''

This scene was not surprising for Cercor. The roads were full of various bandits and murderers. They looted and burned entire villages. But the nobles cared about the local peasants less than about some beast. The reason for this was simple- tribute that nobles received from bandits was much bigger than taxes from the peasants. But to be honest the fate of the peasants was of little interest for Cercor as well. He saw this as a insignificant problems of the locals and paid no attention to them. At least as long as the thugs weren't after him. But this happened very rarely. Cercor was armed and something in his demeanor and appearance said that he was not carrying a weapon for fun. So most of the time thugs would leave a lonely warrior in peace. This mutual non-interference in the affairs of others suited both the assassins and Cercor. But the motives for such behavior were quite different. Bandits were motivated by a simple fear. And Cercor's hand was stopped by disdain. Many times he saw the results of thugs actions. But the sight of robbed and burned villages in his heart raised not compassion but instead disgust. For bandits and their victims. Warrior believed that life is a battle. Those who cannot protect their property should lose it. Those who die do not deserve to live. Cercor often had such thoughts while riding through a burning village.

For some reason this time was different. He was about to ride away but then unexpected something caught his attention. Victim responded to bandits demands in most bizarre way:

''Go away, you bastards! You won't get even a single coin from me'' claimed a calm, melodic voice.

This simple answer made impression to the stern wanderer. He had heard people in similar situations crying and begging for their lives. Way too many times. Of course ending is always the same. This defiant stranger will die just like the beggars. Still his death was going to be more dignified. Cercor desired to see this man who seemed to know how to die. Besides the speaker's voice was filled with weird power and it also increased curiosity. Warrior rushed to bandits location. Why? To help someone who was in trouble? Or just to observe his final moments? Perhaps so. But in his heart Cercor already knew that he will get into some kind of mess. And by doing so will be forced to disobey his own rule and way of life. To only care about himself. Warrior’s mind was full of curses for himself. And yet he kept on riding forward. Soon destination was reached. Then stopped his horse and cursed more. This time in far more nasty way. Because this was not what he expected to see. In a small clearing of the woods a victim was surrounded by five bandits. Scums were wearing surprisingly good armor. Far too good for regular hobos. So maybe a deserters? Their leader was a middle sized man with small penetrating eyes. His glance constantly moved from subordinates to target and back. Next to the ringleader stood another distinctive person. Most likely his right-hand man. But undoubtedly nature’s mistake. Gigantic creature with more resemblance to cave troll and not a human. Huge eyes, trembling body, open mouth with waves of saliva dripping out… All these sings lead to believe that giant was too fond of narcotic called zigzag. The rest of the gang seemed like ordinary bandits. Their victim was far more interesting. It was not a human. Well not entirely. Most likely one of his parents was a human and other the elf. Half-breed was still very young. Long white hair wrapped into hundreds of thin ponytails. Bottomless grey/blue eyes. He looked at his attackers without fear. In fact looked like he barely even cared about them. And most bizarre thing was that half-elf noticed Cercor before bandits but did not ask for his help. Just like he didn't ask the gang to spare him. Instead of asking he gave the order. As if he was in complete control of situation. Bottomless eyes for a brief moment met with Cersor's gaze. Staring right into his soul. And giving a short order,,Fight’’. Mercenary did not understand what happened. It seemed like someone else pulled out the sword. It seemed like a different horseman rushed forward and in a blink of eye killed one of the bandits. Cercor recognized himself as this horseman only after dead body hit the ground. Warrior once again became master of himself. And in the right moment to. Two other bandits were already attacking him. Gang boss didn't move from the spot. He simply shouted at his underlings: -Come on guys! Kill this one and then focus on the freak! One bandit attempted to stab mercenary with a dagger. But that ended in huge failure. Mercenary hit his face. Scum grabbed remains of his nose. That was his last mistake. Another swing of a sharp blade not only cut bastard’s hands but also his neck. Cercor did not notice fountain of blood rising before him. That was already the past. The present required more attention. Giant was coming closer waving an enormous axe. And another bandit was already raising his bow. Cercor was not generous enough to let archer have a chance. Sudden move and throwing knife pierced bowman’s eye. At the same time mercenary jumped from his horse.

''Svan, enough messing around. Finish him now!'' Leader still didn’t move. Merely observed the fight.

Giant attacked with insane ferocity. In his hands monstrous axe looked like a light toy. Few times it barely missed the mark. These attacks toppled several trees and but were unable to draw any blood. Cercor jumped around, rolled on the ground and evaded every single strike. Mercenary moved so fast that Svan saw triple images. Maybe this occurred due to adrenaline rush? Or maybe this was after effect of zigzag? He did increase his dose recently… Maybe Cercor noticed this. Or maybe he acted purely on a instinct. Either way the longer battle continued the more Svan’s consciousness faded away into the darkness. He was never a genius. Now remaining bits and pieces of his mind were quickly sinking into the ocean of dizziness. Bizarre images were changing in front of his eyes. Svan saw himself on the top of countless women. Drinking finest beers and wines. And then marching the heavens. His face smiling from the moon… After that he kinda remembered that he is fighting. But that moment of enlightenment only lasted a few seconds. After that his eyes were covered and blinded by red mass. Giant’s body tensed up one final time. And then he landed in a pile of his own blood. Svan was not killed by a blade. His brain simply boiled from pleasure overdose.

''Well at least that fool managed to die in an amusing way.'' said chieftain. It was unclear if he was talking to Cercor or to himself. ''I should thank you for entertainment. But I am naturally ungrateful. Besides that my profession is not very suitable for nice people. But it gives me joy so I can't complain.''

''As I thought you are not doing this for gold.'' remarked Cercor.

''Not gonna argue about that.'' grined the bandit. ''Gold, silver. Servants ready to jump into fire at command…These trifles have little to no value for me. I had it all long time ago. And I gave it all away. You know why? Killing gives me more delight than any woman, hunts, drinks, drugs, cards or dice.''

''I see. So I was mistaken when I thought that you might be something more.'' Mercenary seemed to be very disappointed. ''But I guess you are just another shiteater. You claim that killing gives you joy? I say that you are lying. You are killing because you actualy fear death. So you kill others with naive hopes that these sacrifices will satisfy death and it will leave you alone a while longer. But in doing so you are only making a fool of yourself.''

''Quite sharp observation, mister.'' bloodsucker’s voice slightly trembled. ''Perhaps your words have a grain of truth. But couldn't I say the same about you? Or do you believe yourself to be some kind of saint? But that doesn't matter. I want to know only one thing. What is your name, you damn piece of shit? What is the name of a single bastard who dares to judge me?''

''Cercor.''

''And my name is Midzvirn.''

Until this moment both warriors stood few steps apart. Neither of them moved. Neither attacked. Simply watched the opponent. Both were looking for any weakness. Waited for the smallest mistakes. Sole purpose of their conversation was to catch enemy off guard. But both of them were true professionals. So word games ended without any victor. Time for eloquence was over. Now was the time for serious talk. Blades rang after clashing with each other. For a brief moment Cercor had a wolfish smile. The clash lasted for only a fraction of a second. But that was enough to know. This was without a doubt strongest opponent he had faced in a long time. Midzvirn was a first class killer and a true swordmaster. He moved swiftly and unpredictably. Slower and faster. Circling around. Not taking any risk. Focusing on his own survival. Cercor disliked this way of fighting. So he jumped in the air attempting to strike from above. Cutthroat squatted and tried to stab his victim in the air. Luckily Cercor was hot-headed but not a fool. He knew his own abilities very well. Mercenary rolled in the air and safely landed few steps away.

''Not a bad reflex.'' Midzvirn commented to himself. After that he leaned forward and took a defensive stance. ''And damn impressive acrobatics. It seems like you intend to entertain me till the very end.''

Cercor walked forward at the same time using blade to draw some strange jaws in the air. He pretended to strike from the left only to charge right in the last moment and srike from below. Even still Midzvirn was able to predict this. Killer might had even succeed avoiding the strike. But he chose to attack as well. Both blades drew blood. But both warriors were barely injured and continued to fight with even greater ferocity. At this point it seemed like not two but twenty men were clashing in that battle. They were leaving many afterimages but their blades couldn't reach the target. This fight gave great joy to Cercor. This was the most fun he had in last couple years. And yet the thrill soon disappeared. Experienced warrior felt that his opponent has already reached his current limits. But for mercenary this was merely a game. A good warm up… It was time to finish this. After successfully avoiding another strike Cersor suddenly tossed sword and caught it with his other hand and stabbed it near his opponent’s heart. Then he stepped back and said:

''You did quite well. If you will manage to heal these injuries try to find me for a rematch. If your illness will not claim your life first.''

Midzvirn fell on the ground. He was badly injured. But these words still made him lough. He looked up. His gaze was strange mixture of respect, fear, hatred and surprise. With his remaining strength killer removed one of his gloves and revealed signs of leprosy.

''Damn you bastard… When did you notice?''

''I was not sure about exact type of illness. But I guessed this before the fight.''

Midzvirn had a faint smile and then lost his consciousness. Cercor was about to leave the battlefield without even looking back. But then he was stopped by a melodious voice:

''Kind sir, thank you for saving me.'' Only now did the warrior had time take a closer look at the one who got him into this mess. Half-elf was ten maybe twelve years old. He was trembling. His eyes were sharp and clever but now they didn't have even a glimpse of that strange power that ordered Cercor to fight this battle. In front of the mercenary now stood a simple, scared and tired kid. -Sir could you please help me a little more?

''Go away, snot.'' uttered Cercor. ''About four miles to the west is a village. Go look for help there.'' Mercenary left half-elf alone and went to his horse.