Mourn of the Sword Chapter 2. Griferl. Repost

in #writing4 months ago (edited)


Chapter 1

                               Chapter 2. Griferl

I had to listen to my common sense. Instinct that has saved my life numerous times. But I this time I was both deaf and blind. Blaming magic for this would be an obvious answer. But also a lie. The truth is that I simply wanted to have a friend.

Cercor was still thinking about his battle with Midzvirn. But even more so he was wondering why he got in to that battle. For the first time in many years he held a sword not to defend himself. Not to make a living. Not for the thrill of fighting. At least not just for that. According to mercenary’s point of view simply helping others was a weakness. It went against his way of life. His beliefs. His very essence. Those who are not able to protect themselves or they property should just die. Cercor kept repeating this to himself many years. At some point he finally began believing it. Sure at times he still helped others. If they could afford his help. He called himself a mercenary but his job was different from others who shared this profession. He did the usual work as well- fought in wars, protected the caravans, acted as a bodyguard. But he was also willing to search for magical relics. Or to kill monsters. As long as job complied with Cercor’s rules he did without question. These rules were simple. It had to be risky job. And job could not tie warrior to one place for a long time. He preferred to travel and very rarely stayed in one city for more than a week or two. During the years of his career Cercor had spilled a sea of blood. Both his own and that of his enemies. He earned nicknames like The bringer of hell, Herald of death and The Unrivaled One. Even in the distant lands where he never set a foot those names were feared greatly. But to him they were meaningless. The coin that mercenary earned with his blade was nearly as worthless in his eyes. After completing some tasks Cercor gained enough money to happily live a three of four years. But such comfortable way of living was not his goal. Mercenary would at times party for a day or two. But after that he would always pick up his sword and once again return to his bloody path.

But after many years even that path became less and less exciting. Before it was a calling. Life’s mission. But it later turned into nothing more than entertainment. A hobby. And finally simply a taxing duty. Routine. Now most of the time Cercor just wandered the world. To the cliffs, forests and the plains. Mercenary craved to find an adversary who could be called his equal. But at this point it seemed impossible. No matter if he was faced with strongest warriors or wildest of animals… None of them were able to push Cercor to the end of his limits. None of them could make him uncertain of his victory. At best they were like mosquitoes to a tiger. Annoying? Perhaps. But at the same time still very harmless. Entire Cercor’s life was dedicated to two things. Constant improvement of his fighting skills. And search for a worthy enemies. Sadly these goals were colliding with each other. Even the tiniest advancement in art of battle made made the naturally enormous gap between him and others even wider. This in turn made him frustrated and caused training even harder. Never ending circle. At this point he no longer even had any hope. But he still continued to search even without hope. Until this morning. Half-elf saved by Cercor was clearly not a mighty warrior. Far from it. He was just another ordinary weakling. But at the same time he had weird power that forced Cercor join a fight. In the past mercenary slew a few mages and sorcerers so he had some experience with magic wielders. But that half-breed still did something outside of realm of the common sense. Cercor always believed that he was the sole master of his fate. That his will is stronger than steel and that it cannot be affected by any magic… But this time this belief was wrong. Someone else did break into his mind. That was a clear undeniable fact. But even more than that warrior was surprised that after the battle he could no longer feel any magic or strange will. All that was left in front of him was scared half-elf. No different from any other of his kind.

Cercor’s thoughts were interrupted by rustling leafs. After turning to the source of the noice warrior saw the person he was thinking about. Strange half-elf made a few steps forward and then said:

''Greetings again, kind sir. Forgive for bothering you again but could you please help me a little more. I don’t have the strength to reach the village you mentioned earlier. Could you please allow me to rest by your bonfire? And maybe spare something to eat?''

''I would prefer not suffer your company for long,'' Cercor remarked with a slight disdain in his voice. ''But so be it.''

''Thank you kind sir. My name is Griferl.''

''You can call me Cercor.''

''It is my pleasure to meet you.''

''Enough with those pleasantries.'' Mercenary was little irritated.'' Instead you should tell me a real reason why you are here. You not as tired as you claim to be.''

''I wanted to ask if I could travel with you. I saw your fighting skills and…''

''And you would like to join me to get some protection? Not gonna happen. Besides traveling with me would not make you any safer because you would still have to be the one to defend yourself.''

''I could pay you.'' Griferl tried to argue.

''Listen kid.'' uttered warrior. ''I quite clearly told you that I do not desire to travel with you. And you could never afford to hire me as your guard anyway.''

"Will a hundred gold coins be enough?" Half-elf responded in completely serious tone.

Cercor could not believe these words. A hundred gold coins was a huge fortune. Many people would have sold their souls for tiny portion of this sum. Other than quality of his weapons and armor Cercor had little to no interest in material things. But after hearing this even he became curious. Not about the money itself but about how this hybrid got it.
Grifel slightly smiled and took a little bag from his sleeve. It contained a handful of tiny stones. Not precious gems but ordinary stones picked on the roud. Half-elf extended his hand to Cercor:
''These are worth a bit more than the sum I mentioned.'' He spoke in a melodic, self certain voice. It seemed like he himself believed that his hand was holding pearls. And then suddenly Cercor felt the same immence power from before. He clearly saw that stones are worthless. This was obvious. But desire to believe in this lie was nearly blinding. Still Carcor gathered his will and repelled strange force:
''I don’t know what kind of magic this is but it will not work on me. If you will attempt this trickery again it will be your death sentence.''

For a brief moment Griferl seemed to be truly surprised. He regained his original composure so quickly that no normal human would had been able to notice his shadow of shock or slightly expanded eyes. But mercenary was far from a normal human.

''Please sir. I assure you, no violence will be necessary. I am no mage. I don't have any real special powers. My humble talents would only make a true wizard laugh. Anyway it is clear that my tricks are of no use. So let’s try again. I want to travel together and be protected from dangers we might encounter. I have no money to offer you. But I could still prove to be useful. Even my humble talents can convince normal people to give us shelter or food and drink. At times some coins as well.''

''I can already get it all by simply using my blade. I dare to say that I wield it well enough to not have to worry about being hungry, thirsty or having a shelter. So protecting a weakling like you would still be a waste. All I want is to face and overcome the strongest opponents I can find. And that is not something that you or your tricks can give me.''

''If all you want is a challenge then maybe I could help.'' Grifel once again smiled. ''It is true that I am no fighter.- But I know where you might find what you looking for. I heard your name before. Stories about a mighty warrior who stopped participating in the tournaments after winning several of them in a row. Perhaps you gave up on your search too soon. Perhaps you will succeed in finding what you seek by returning there?''