Warriors and Champions4

Old Friends, New Allies Part Two

I waited for the fatal blow but it didn’t come I opened my eyes to see a stranger between me and the bandit being dead. I just stood there not knowing what was going on when the stranger attacked the other bandits. He then spoke to me, “Come on lad help me fight!” I just stood there in a daze not knowing what was happening.

The stranger easily defeated the other five bandits and then he turned to me. “Dash it all I needed help and all you do is just stand there!” He sheathed his sword and walked towards me. “The least you could do was help a bit. Now tell me where you got that bow. Come on spit it out I need to know. Tell me stranger.” I felt very dizzy from hunger and my wound and collapsed on the ground.

When I came to I heard a fire and smelled food cooking. I opened my eyes and saw the stranger looking at me intently. My hand went to my left arm and I saw that it was wrapped up. “I did what I could for the wound,” the stranger started, “however taking care of wounds isn’t a specialty so you will need to get a better treatment for it. Have some food.” He threw me some food and I ate it.

While eating I got a better look at the man that saved me. He wore a leather jerkin with metal pieces sewed on for protection. His arms were very muscular his hair was black and very thick hanging loose behind his back with red fabric wrapped around the top of his head to hold his hair back. He had a beard that was braided and went halfway down his chest. And his sword was strapped behind him, with the hilt behind his right shoulder, instead of his hip.

“Now that your wound is taken care of and your belly is filled answer my questions. Where did you get that bow?”

“I don’t know. I don’t where I am, I don’t why I am wearing these clothes, I don’t know why I am even wearing these weapons. I was at home playing a video game when all the sudden something happened and I ended up here. I don’t even know where I am.”

“You speak very confusing things stranger but it seems like you are telling the truth for if you really did get that bow you would know how you did it. Many people have tried to get that bow and all have failed. You must at least know your name.”

“My name is Ray.”

“And mine is Rayner.”

“Wait Rayner as in Rayner from Norshire? And the Governor of Norshire is Byron?”

“How do you know of Norshire? I thought you didn’t know anything of this land yet you know of Norshire and Byron.” Rayner asked suspiciously.

“I know of them because I played the video game this is based off. I know this clearing this is where I had my first fight in the game it was against a pack of wolves. And if we continue northwest and go east once we hit the river it will take us right to Norshire.” I looked at Rayner and his left hand was hovering over his hilt.

“Alright Ray, if that is really your name, you first claim that you have no idea where you are then you say the directions of getting to Norshire as if you had already been there. I don’t know what sorcery this is but I do know that you do not have a fighting spirit at all. Your eyes cannot hide the truth from me and yet there is something that is hidden from my view. But Byron knows more about this stuff than me so I will take you to him and he will be able to sift out the hidden truth from you.” He lowered his hand and we left the campsite to travel to Norshire.

I was strangely surprised at how familiar this place felt to me. I had traveled all along this area for many hours during my game play and yet here I stood physically walking where my character had walked. As I walked behind Rayner I wondered why his hair was loose and not in a ponytail. Surely it would be easier to take out his sword with his hair bundled and not hanging loose. But what did I know about fighting? I was just a sixteen year old boy that only played video games and knew nothing about fighting.

My feet started to hurt from the walking we had done. “Hey Rayner can we stop and take a break?”

“We only have twenty miles left to Norshire and I am not stopping until we get there.”

“But my feet are hurting and I may start getting blisters soon.”

“Tough it out,” he said coldly.

I knew that Rayner would not stop so I trudged on sullenly and tried to ignore the pain.

I was really jealous of my character he never had a hard time walking and it never took this long to travel to a place. But of course I would always have him run to the different places. As I watched Rayner move I noticed how much like an animal he moved. He was always light on his feet and moved with a dangerous grace. I also noticed how his left hand was never tangled up or held something for very long. He was always ready to grab his sword at a moment’s notice.

The sun was beginning to set when I first glanced with my own eyes the town of Norshire. It was a very serene and peaceful setting. I really felt like there was no war and no danger awaiting the town. Even though I was a stranger in a strange land and I didn’t know what would happen to me I felt calm and at peace.

As we entered the town a guard ran up to Rayner and it sounded like it was a report or something and Rayner nodded his head in affirmation and dismissed the guard. My head kept turning this way and that looking at the buildings I had only previously had seen in my game. I we turned left up the hill and the Governor’s home popped into view. Rayner knocked on the door and Byron opened the door and led us in.

“Governor I saved this person from a group of bandits.”

“You did good Rayner.”

“My Lord Byron I have reason to believe that he carries her bow.” From the way Rayner said ‘her’ I knew that it meant something to them.

“Are you sure Rayner? No one has heard of her in many years as if she was never real.”

Rayner was not going to be dismissed so easily, “I know Byron but that bow has a strange feel about it.

“But not only does he carry a strange bow and sword he is no warrior. He was trying to negotiate with bandits he allowed himself to be injured and would not lift a finger to fight alongside me. How can one with such a rare and legendary bow not be a warrior? This is why I brought him here I need to know what secrets he is hiding from my eyes. And to make matters worse he knew all about Norshire and where it was located although he claims that he has never before set foot upon our lands.”

Byron was quite for a moment pondering the words that Rayner had said. He was trying to figure out what all it meant and what he should say. “You have brought most troubling news with you Rayner indeed you have. Now lad, tell me you story.”

I was given the chance to speak but what could I say? I did not know what I could say that would make since to him.

“I am not quite sure what to say,” I stammered, “Rayner has told you the truth. He saved me from some bandits and took care of my wound. However, I have no idea how I got here. You see I am not from here I am from a place far away from here. I come from a place where all this, the land, the people, the war with Astoroth is all just fantasy and not real. You see where I come from we have video games or moving pictures that we can control where all this is not real. I was doing some testing for the people that created the game and I did get a legendary bow from a strange woman in fact it does resemble a lot the one I carry now. After I was given the bow I was going back to Norshire when I came across a strange ruin where there was a glowing orb in the middle of the ruin sitting on a pedestal. I went to it and activated the orb. It said it was an Oracle and started speaking stuff that didn’t make sense. Then somehow I ended up here.”

Byron was lost in thought as he was going over my strange tale. I looked over at Rayner and he looked at me with disdain for what I assume he thought were lies of which I told. After a few minutes Byron spoke, “I am completely at a loss of what to think about you lad. I have never before heard such a tale moving pictures that can be controlled by some sort of sorcery, our lands and strives not real where you come from. And yet I look around me and see death and destruction at the hands of Astoroth. But yet there must be some truth to it since you knew about my town and how to get here even though you have never before been here. Until at such time when I know what to do with you, you will be kept in prison and of course your wound will be taken care of as well.”

Byron turned away from me and Rayner stepped next to me and pointed at the door. I walked out and I was led to the jail. I was on the edge of tears but I knew that Byron was making sure his people were safe. Not to mention that my injury would be seen by a doctor and I was not tied up like a prisoner. The sound of the iron door closing sounded like death to my soul. I was locked up in a strange town with no real hope of release. Nor was there any comfort in knowing I would be released I didn’t even know what would happen to me.

After about an hour had passed the door was opened and I was allowed out to let the doctor care for my wound. He unwrapped the bandage on my arm and put a cold poultice on it that started to sting. “Don’t worry son the pain will soon pass. I am making sure that you don’t get an infection.” I eased my body up a bit and the doctor continued on with my arm. He put on a new bandage and left and I was put back into my cell and was given some food and water to drink. Even though I was a prisoner I was being treated decently.

I closed my eyes and started to sleep all of the excitement I went through was a lot for me to bear. My dream continued on with that same excitement as well. I was in a dark forest and knew I was being hunted. I could feel a dark, evil presence around me toying with me. I had my bow out waiting for the right time to strike. I fired behind me and all I heard was a merciless laugh. I would never be able to forget that laugh. It was a bone-chilling taunting laugh that knew he had won and would take a long time finishing me off. He would make sure that I would suffer greatly for trying to interfere with him. I knew that this laugh belonged to Astoroth only he could be so cold.

I knew then why everyone feared him and why Rayner kept the truth from the people he protected. Astoroth enjoyed pain and making people suffer to the fullest extent. Everything he did was to press pain into the lives of innocents. Even those who served him he cared nothing for them to him they were nothing and once they served their purpose he dismissed them quickly and horribly. Astoroth knew that I was here and even though I did not how or why I posed a great threat to him and he would not let me oppose him. I knew and understood all this during that laugh in my dream.

I awoke in a start and knew someone was sitting outside my cell. “Who’s there?” I asked.

The voice spoke in a gentle and almost caring way, “My name is Lizeth I am the daughter of Byron.”

“My name is Ray and if my character could see me now he would be the jealous one.”

“You do talk strangely Ray. What do you mean by your character?”

“It will take awhile to explain everything and even if I did it still won’t make sense to you. Please do me a favor and step into the light so I can see you.”

Lizeth got out of the chair she was in and walked over to me. I couldn’t believe my eyes she was absolutely beautiful. Her hair was a deep red and her eyes were indeed blue like the Caribbean when it is calm. I couldn’t help but stare at her and she knew it. “It seems you haven’t seen many girls have you?”

I was shook out of my trance, “No I have but you are truly beautiful I am sorry for being rude.”

“It is alright I am used to it. I don’t know what people see but they seem to like it. What brought you here? You must be something if Rayner is worried about what brought you here. Even my father doesn’t know what to do about you.”

She was very worried about what all this meant and it almost seemed like she was worried for me. “I don’t know what to tell you Lizeth I don’t even know how I got here. I am just confused as all of you. I just hope that I can be released from this prison.”

Lizeth was silent for a moment, “Is it true that you have the Sorceress’s bow?” She blurted out all at once.

I didn’t know what to say or what she was talking about. “What Sorceress?”

“The Sorceress don’t you know her? They say that she wears a white cloak and you will only see her if she wants you to. She has a bow of untold power that can defeat hundreds of enemies all at once. I overheard Rayner and my father talking about you bow and they were very confused about it. It matches the descriptions of what people say her bow looks like.” Lizeth wanted to know more about me and it seemed like she was hoping that somehow I could save her town from Astoroth. I was going to say more when Rayner opened the door to the prison and walked over to my cell and opened the door.

“Come on we have work to do.” I followed him out and wondered at what he meant by work. Without turning around Rayner spoke to Lizeth, “You know your father would not like his daughter disobeying his express command,” he said matter of factly and we walked out.

© 2014 RichardBBenson

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