Warriors and Champions16

A Weird Feeling

As we rode back to Norshire I just couldn’t shake a feeling like I was being watched. However, the arms wrapped around me brought me back to the present. And another feeling replaced the old one. My thoughts went back to the last few hours I had spent with Lizeth. I never thought that I could feel the way I did about her.

Yes she was very beautiful, smart, witty, had dignity and honor. But yet there was still more about her I yearned to know. And I wanted to know those things slowly, ever slowly, so that it would take a very long time. My heart couldn’t deny what it felt and I wondered if Lizeth felt the same. I had only wanted to help Lizeth rediscover her childhood and I ended up falling in love.

“How are you doing Lizeth?” I asked.

“I’m good Ray; today has been one of the best days I have ever had. I hope one day I can repay you for all the things you have given me. But for now all I have to give is my gratitude. I wish I could give you more but I don’t have anything else right now. I hope one day I can give you more but for now I ask that you be content with my gratitude.”

“I will Lizeth and you are very welcome.”

“I can understand why you love the woods Lizeth. There is peace and beauty here that isn’t found anywhere else, the light filtering through the trees, the rustling of the leaves on the wind, and the life of the forest itself. Spending time with you has really opened my eyes to the beauty of the world. So in a way you have given me more than your gratitude only.”

“I guess we both have shared a part of ourselves, but more than that we have given a part of ourselves that we cherish most – friendship. Neither one of us gives that part of us easily and yet we both have made this friendship easily, almost as if it was meant to be. And we have grown from this experience and learned to trust again. One day Ray I want to show you more about me but right now the time just isn’t right. I hope you understand.” As Lizeth spoke that last part her head rested on my back and her arms wrapped tighter around me then they loosened. And I knew exactly what she meant.

“Don’t worry Lizeth when the time is right everything will work out. But for now let us enjoy what we have right now.”

Her head lifted, “yes Ray let us enjoy the time right now.” I took my right hand and reached backwards and patted Lizeth on the head sympathetically. And as I brought my hand back to the reins the forest opened up and we saw the outskirts of Norshire.

“Thank you Lizeth for going with me.”

“You are welcome and thank you for taking me.” We rode to the stables and after Lizeth got off the horse she started for home. “I will see you later Lizeth,” I said after her.

Lizeth turned, “see you later Ray.” The stableman helped me undo the saddle and bridle and I took the raft and pulled it to the blacksmith shop.

“I want to thank you for your hard work sir. The raft was everything I thought it would be and more.”

The blacksmith stood up from his chair, “I am glad to hear Ray. How did it go with Lizeth?”

“She enjoyed every minute of it. It did wonders for her and helped her rekindle her hope.”

The blacksmith listened and smiled at my report but he was not done. “I am glad to hear she enjoyed herself Ray but how did it go?”

“What do you mean?” I stammered being flustered in my questioning.

“Ray everyone knows that you two have been spending a lot of time together whenever you have free time. Not to mention you both are the same age and it is natural for a boy and girl to get together.”

“Alright you win. Yes I do love her and I am pretty sure she likes me. But on the way back she made it clear that she is not ready to go beyond friendship. Deep down I’m sure that she wants to be more than friends. However, there is something holding her back and she is sad because of it. Lizeth wants to show her love but there is something that is not allowing her to. At this moment in time we have both agreed to just being friends. And deep down I know that I don’t belong here.

“This is not my world and I am sure that my own family misses me. No matter how much I love Lizeth and she loves me we are not meant to be. I am from one world and she from another.” The smith listened patiently and then spoke, “son, I have lived a lot longer than you and there is one thing I am going to teach you. Love is a powerful thing and love transcends everything. If you both love each other nothing, and I mean nothing, can keep you apart. If two people truly love each other than everything else falls behind and love will flourish and grow. It is that simple Ray, just remember that.” The blacksmith than went back to his forge and started his work again.

I went outside and thought about what I heard. I knew that I loved Lizeth however I didn’t know what kind of love it was. I really wanted it to be more than just puppy love but didn’t know how to make it real love. I remembered that there were many times back in school that the ‘dream couples’ didn’t even last a semester. I had seen that kind of love too many times and I didn’t want to be part of that. I then thought about my own parents and then I realized that their love wasn’t created in one day. But it was a slow and steady cultivation of love and understanding that took years to blossom into the tree of love that they shared. And even now they still were nurturing that tree. I then made a silent vow that given the chance I would do the same with Lizeth.

I continued walking towards home when I suddenly felt my hair stand up and chills running up and down my spine. That disturbing feeling of being watched came back. Part of me felt that it was Astoroth. But if it was him why not just come to Norshire and kill me? I closed my eyes and tried to calm myself. There was no way that Astoroth could be that aware of me. I shook off the feeling and turned myself to think about all things I had learned since I came to Norshire.

All my training had taught me how to defend myself and mainly how to attack but more than that it taught me that sometimes one needs to attack. If one allows evil attack without resistance than evil will spread, kill, rule, and dominate ruthlessly and without mercy. If no one is willing to stand against such things goodness and peace would disappear forever.

Lizeth had her world ripped from her and her peace almost destroyed by the threat of Astoroth and then I came along. I was able to help her rekindle her hope and I was the person that had to follow through with it. I had to make sure that I did not fail her or anyone else.

Then another thought popped up in my head almost of its own accord. I thought of Neal and what he did to me. But not only that I thought about how I treated myself like a victim. I chose to allow the evil of the bullying continue and treated the situation like it was my own fault. Like somehow I was responsible for what Neal did to me. Of course I knew that he alone was responsible and I had no fault, in that regard, but how I handled the bullying showed that I was being a victim.

‘There is one that seems like he wants to harm you but is really trying to reach out for a helping hand. Will you be able to see his sadness?’ Those words suddenly came flooding back to my memory and then I started to realize what they meant. When I first heard them I was very confused and scared. But now I knew that somehow the Oracle knew about me and Neal. Bullying was a way for people that think small about themselves feel big by picking on others that cannot or will not fight back.

Those words were not an excuse for Neal’s actions but rather they were words of counsel. I had a way to stand up and face my problem. I had a way to end the bullying once and for all but would I take it? Would I be able to stand against my fear of my monster and face Neal and stop the bullying? Or would I simply ignore everything I had been taught and learned?

‘As you stand now you cannot beat the enemy that holds you captive nor can you heal the wounds in your heart. Come Hero, come and meet your destiny.’ As I was right now I could never stand up to Neal but once I faced my destiny and tamed my monster I would be able to stop the bullying and hopefully become better acquainted with Neal if not friends. He and I shared many hobbies and I knew that we could share them. And once I stood up to Neal my days of being a victim would be over and the healing process could begin.

As I thought about Neal I realized that Astoroth was another story. He would never see the error of his ways and would never back down. Astoroth was a person that truly enjoyed making other people miserable and enjoyed creating chaos and destruction. I had to find a way to tame my monster and tap into my Righteous Fury with control and direction. And the day I could do that would be the day that I could stand up against all evil and fight against it.

In that day I would be able to face Astoroth without hesitation and I would be able to face Neal with understanding. My mind would be one with desires and I would be able to fight against all evil. But first I had to find a way to tame my monster. The thought of unleashing him again terrified me to no end but I knew that I had to do it. I was charged with tipping the scale of war in the right way. My destiny and path were set before my feet and yet I still dared not enter the path for it was darkened and I could not see more than a step or two on the path.

The sky turned to night as I finished my way back home. I had spent the rest of the day thinking and trying to figure out all the feelings I had. I opened the door and went into the loft and got into bed. As I lay on my bed I thought more about what I knew about this world. I recalled mostly all of the conversations my character had and what I had seen and heard in the world.

I wanted to go through everything I knew about Astoroth and find ways to beat him. I knew that I would have to kill him but I wanted to know if I had heard if he had any weakness any way I could exploit that weakness. Try as I might I could not think of anything that would help me. Since it was a video game the NPC’s wouldn’t be that helpful since my character could level up and grow stronger. But in real life I was outclassed in both skill and strength.

As I closed my eyes to go to sleep I hoped that my training coupled with my Righteous Fury would be enough to end Astoroth. My mind was taken to a faraway place a huge blackened mountain loomed. Razor sharp rocks and jagged edges that would slice open anything that was unlucky enough to touch them covered the mountain. And near the top was an opening that looked like gaping jaws that was ready to tear apart anything that dared enter into it.

As I stared at the cave everything thing left me except coldness and darkness. My entire body shivered uncontrollably as I took a few steps toward the mountain. Although I was terrified of what I might find I continued to walk toward that evil place. Suddenly a shriek left the cave, my blood became ran more cold as the shriek continued. It was filled with an immense pain and misery it was a shriek of Astoroth himself. The entire land shook with the force of his shriek it seemed like the mountain itself would fall upon him.

He was growing impatient and wanted to kill more and more innocents. He wanted to completely cover the land in his darkness but was being held back by the forces of the King. Soon Astoroth would enter the battle himself and would personally take control of his armies until everything was destroyed and he ruled supreme. And it seemed like I was the only one that could stop him. He must be stopped, he must be stopped. Those were the last things I thought before I fell asleep.

© 2014 RichardBBenson

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