Warmongers - Short Story
Blood, war, anger, hate; not some of the things that usual beings strived for. Exactly, “usual beings”. However, just because something is not the same as everything else does not mean that it is not a being. Nonetheless, surrounded by a ring of forlorn mountains, the Czloy dwelled silently but not necessarily peacefully. Their hate had been harvested for what seemed to be an age, and now this was all about to end. The Czloy would unleash their infinite rage and they would soak their lands with crimson blood in the final battle.
Zubar wandered around the town with his sword sheathed but his usual grim expression was present. He twisted his head to look around at the daily Czloyan activities: martial arts, archery practice, sparring... The Czloy were quite a proud race, thinking highly of their combat skills. When he looked at his surroundings, he strangely thought of what others thought was a utopia: a place where everything was perfect, where everyone lived in harmony. A Czloyan utopia was hell itself.
His breath emitted a temporary fog in the atmosphere that quickly diminished and collided with the cold. Everything in a Czloy’s mind revolved about fighting, crushing someone’s skull, and making pure ashes out of their enemies. These beings had no need for intelligence; they were loyal and patriotic mercenaries. Their definition of feeling was not precisely what everyone else imagined: the only feeling that they felt was the powerful rush of adrenaline.
An unbearable ache strangely throbbed in Zubar’s head but he thought that a walk in the forest would clear his spirit. The persisting pain pulsed from Zubar’s head into his veins and spread like a plague inside his very body. His instinct urged him to just push through the crowd as he possessed the strength to knock the people in front of him with a simple gesture of the hand. The strength and potential of a Czloy truly was impressive, and its short temper combined perfectly to form a persistent and deadly assassin.
Zubar breathed in deeply, attempting to gain more air, feeling as if he was trapped. He appeared to limp forward with such effort, and the gates didn’t seem to approach. The atmosphere thickened as hammer hit anvil and as the mercenaries poured out of the numerous dwellings and pounded either towards the weapon smith, the tool smith, or the training areas or to the inner stronghold. Armed guards patrolled the barricaded and impenetrable gates, but potential executioners walked around the street.
Zubar’s throat tightened and his adrenaline rose to his head. His head boiled and lusted for violence, to be able to overheat and unleash his inner animal soul. His pupils dilated and he wanted to hear the crack of bone and the satisfaction of someone groaning. He needed the sight and taste of blood, he longed for it. He was ready to fight and win, and whether the others were or were not, Zubar could not care less. The pain seared until the breaking point and Zubar trembled. His breaths quickened and his pulse exploded. The gate finally drew nearer, and he was moments away. A malevolent smile curled on his scaly face, and Zubar was ready.
He bounded shortly in the air and gave a small scream. With his crude smile still present, he charged into Krag, the nearest Czloy who also happened to be Zubar’s most hated acquaintance. He dived into him like a rampaging bull. Krag, taken by surprise, was launched backwards and all the air was released from his lungs. Everyone else around looked outraged and began to reach for their weapons cautiously. However, Zubar was quicker than all of them, and swooped out his sword in an elegant and rapid movement, sending any assailants flying back. Zubar’s face seemed to be twisted in a mental fury and he snarled at the gathering crowd. A scream erupted from behind and someone charged at Zubar. Without even looking, Zubar swung his sword in an exquisite fashion and parried the strike. When he turned around, he saw that Uthag was preparing to strike again but Zubar swiftly jumped and performed a strange double kick; a small jolt from his left leg that kicked away Uthag’s sword leading to an overwhelming slam from the right leg that sent Uthag flying into a group of attacking Czloy. Then another hopeful Czloy sprinted at Zubar, yelling with all of his might. Zubar stood there and spun around at the last moment to duck and throw the attacker over his head. Zubar laughed a vexatious cheer, taunting his opponents. Now, the attackers grunted loudly and several began charging with various weapons held high. Zubar’s grim widened and he ducked, swept at the legs of the assaulters and sent them flying onto their backs. The crowd began to somewhat retreat, calling for guards and prepared warriors. A deep drum sounded and it could only mean some extreme response.
Zubar’s bloodlust was partly quenched, and he slowly began to realize what he had done. No, he could not lose focus. He held his sword upright, and glanced quickly at the direction of the gate, and took off towards it. Once again, he swung his arm in a deranged frenzy and his sword met other pieces of steel. He sluggishly parried a blow from the left but jumped over a low, stealthy attack, succeeding in doing a flip and knocking the Czloy in front of him several feet away. Zubar lashed out at the two previous attackers and bounded for the gates. It was no more a question of amusement but a question of survival. Now only a single sentry stood in his way. Zubar rushed forward and swung his blade to disarm the guard. Overwhelmed, the guard fell backwards and attempted to crawl away. A sigh of relief escaped Zubar’s mouth and he accelerated his pace to leave forever.
Unable to believe everything, Zubar lifted his head with his mouth wide open, gasping for air and hanging in disbelief, and walked forward. To where he walked, he had no idea; into nothing most likely. Suddenly his yellow eyes pierced through the grey mist in the forest and he suddenly clenched his fists as he gazed at the cause of his banishment. Zubar stormed towards a man with bright red skin who possessed such a malevolent smile that it could destabilise you.
“You! You forced me to do this! I simply wanted to have the power to prove my worth in the final battle, and you demolished my existence! I gave you my very own soul for this simple thing, and you had the indecency to beguile me. You are about to find out the consequences of your mistake!” raged Zubar.
The stranger simply chuckled and then looked straight into Zubar’s eyes, keeping that repulsing smile whilst saying: ”Haven’t you ever heard of the saying “Never make a deal with the devil”? I gave you the power that you wanted, and you just couldn’t handle it”.
The furious Czloy roared and charged at the fiend, who simply vanished into thin air. Zubar breathed in deeply and then winced as a demonic laugh rang inside his head.