The Crippled Sword part 2
He pushed his heavy legs deeper into the forest. The earth darker and wetter the farther he went inside. Banar stopped. He closed his eyes and focused his ears again to the sound of the running water. Not so far, he thought to himself upon hearing the louder call of the river. He pushed his body again towards the source of the sound. He heart race. His head began to imagine revitalization. Even his body somehow reacted to his thoughts, churning out more energy to his legs.
He fought his way through the thickening forest until finally, he reached his goal. He knelt near the roaring river. His shoulder relieved. His pain gone. His mind blank. He smiled and buries his head into the running water. His broadsword slammed to the ground next to him.
Banar sat near the banks of the river revitalized. The pain he felt before had slipped to the back of his head, no longer a nuisance. He pumped his fingers slowly, clenching and unclenching it. His skin felt tight. He could feel the pull of each fingers' muscles. He took a deep breath and exhaled long. Though his heart heavy from the lost of his friends, he must go back to warn his home of the impending invasion. They need to know.
He pushed himself back to his feet and plucks his broadsword from the rock next to him. Once again powerful enough to walk, he slings his broadsword to his back and made his way across the river saying goodbye to the water that had saved his life.
Banar walked through the forest without pause. The long years of survival and army training had given his body the ability to function without much food. Though it still growled at him at times, he had learned to ignore them until he could no longer contain the hunger. Crossing the forest and the mountain range is his priority and he needs to cross them fast.
Banar walked fast. The sun had already hid itself behind the empty plains in the west and the dark forest floor had already turned to night. Banar stopped. He eyed his surroundings and decides it is no longer safe to travel. So he quickly deviates from his path towards a grove of small trees. He pulled his broadsword free from its sheath and began hacking the trees.
After downing several of the thicker bark trees, he chopped several vines crawling up older trees and gathered everything into a thick bundle tied with the vines. He returned to the spot where he stopped earlier and unbundled the whole thing to the ground. "A tent and fire" he used the thicker bark trees he cut down earlier as the frame of his tent and its smaller branches as walls. He dug his hands into the pile of wet leaves on the ground and piled them on his tent, insulating it from the cold night wind.
Banar sat cross legged in front of his rough made teepee. He gathered unused branches from the trees he used to make his teepee and sat them on the ground in front of him. He held his palm opened towards the bundle of branches in front of him and whispered "Fira". A bright yellow spark erupted and engulfed the bundle in yellow red flame.
The sight and the warmth from the fire completed Banar's feeling of relief. He sat shoulder sagged facing the fire. The darkness spread fast in the forest especially when the trees are shoulder width apart. Out around him howls of wolves roll all over the air. Banar unslung his broadsword from his back and sticks the sharp end of the sheath into the ground. He retreats into his teepee and sat in wait for dawn to arrive.
Banar sat deeper into his teepee. His ears caught the howls of wolves and the sound of interrupted leaves all around him. He bends his knees and wrapped his arms around it. He buried his head down.
Banar woke up with a startle. The darkness had engulfed him and the forest fell into an eery silence. The howl he had heard earlier had gone as did the sound of critters around him. He frowned. Something was wrong. He looked up to his sword, its blade buried in the ground. He inched closer towards it and extends his hand for it when out of the blue his teepee came crashing around him followed by the sound of the wolves again. This time it was next to his ears.
Banar cursed. He pushed himself up throwing the broken teepee into the air. A couple of wolves stomping on the destroyed tent flew ten feet into the air and fell on their sides. They whimpered and ran away, cowered at the show of strength Banar had shown them. Banar’s chest rise and fall, his breathing short and it was spouting out white smokes. His eyes jumped around, looking through the darkness—though he could not see anything—for a marble sized glitter. His heart race. His hand reached for the hilt of his broadsword. He let his fingers lightly touched the leather grip of the steel hilt.
Damn it, where are they. Banar pulled his broadsword free and took a fighting pose. His bends one leg outwards to his back and straightened the other, his body slightly lowered. An arm sat underneath the cold blade of the sword while the hilt came leveled to his eyes. He let the darkness consume him as he focused his senses on his surroundings. Nothing, still nothing. He tightened his grip around the hilt of the blade and took a slow deep breath.
All of a sudden his surroundings erupted. All around him wolves charged and jumped at him with their fangs barred and claws extended. Banar grits his teeth and lowered his body even more. The wolves, as if directed, slashed their claws at Banar but the swordsman had already prepared for it. His broadsword threw a silver circle in the air as it arc around Banar. He came back to his original pose and sat the blade back on top of his arm.
Around him, wolves fell to the ground, their bodies cleaved.
Banar closed his eyes. His arm felt warm against the cold night. His blade sticky, pulling the skin of his arm like diluted glue. A growl, he heard. It was low, almost inaudible had he not closed his eyes. He frowned. This is no ordinary wolf. Still in his fighting pose, Banar slides his front feet slowly towards the source of the growl. He stopped and stood like a statue. Still and calm.
You should be dead, Banar!