The Crippled Sword part 4

            Banar pulled his head back and said nothing. 

            The carriage came to a silent once again. 

            The carriage’s sudden stop had almost pushed Banar off his seat. Shouting erupted around him and from the rock formations appeared men in thick wool clothing with weird helm sporting bird beaks and horns. A man amongst them walked near the carriage beaming with smile. His had no helm on him and on his hand he held a small axe.  

            “Nice carriage” said the man. Banar winced behind his hood. He watched the man smiled, revealing a set of yellow teeth. The putrid smell from the man’s mouth felt like a choke to his throat. Banar got off the carriage and made his way towards the man with his sword still wrapped. 

            “Please go away” he said. He was only a few more hours away from seeing his home city again and he won’t let a petty thief stalls him any longer. 

            The man laughed, spitting bile spit all over the place. “Too bad, brave man” he raised his axe high above his head slashed downward.

            The axe flew into the air with a chopped hand still holding its hilt tight. Banar spins his broadsword and placed it on his back. “I warned you” he said. He watched the man, his eyes bulging in surprise, took several steps backwards and fell on his back. Blood gushed into the air like fountain, smearing the green ground red. 

            The man screamed and his accomplices rushed forward with axes and swords in hand towards Banar. 

            Banar sidestepped the first man and slashed his broadsword down, splitting the six feet tall muscular robber into two. He winced. Damn. He stabbed his sword to the ground and ducks the blow from the second man. He punched the man in the guts and pulled his sword up, slashing the man’s chest all the way to his face. Banar grits his teeth. Sweat began to form on his forehead. He spins his body, slapping the back of his robe to the third man before using his momentum to pull his sword from the ground and severed the man’s neck.

            Banar knelt to the ground heaving. He ran his hand down his right leg and squeezed hard, numbing it. 

            You should be dead, Banar!

            You left us to die!

            Banar groaned. The headache forced him to squeeze his temple hard. 

            The sound of a man charging with his voice all over the air opened Banar’s eyes to his mistake. He had left one more alive. He clenched his fist and prepared to dodge the attack yet as the man nears him, he realized his feet could no longer move. Shit. He grabbed hold of the blade of broadsword and was prepared to pull it from the ground when suddenly the man gurgled. 

            Banar’s eyes widened. He wondered what had happened. He turned his head to face the man charging at him and saw his feet right in front of his face. Banar quickly turned to the other side and saw a muscular man wearing a large white robe standing beside him. His hand grips hold a beautiful hilt of a sword carved to the shape of a woman’s head. The two gems, ruby and turquoise sat at each of the woman’s eyes. Banar felt something trickled behind his neck and his body was lifted by a couple of men from behind. 

            “You did great, for a crippled man” said the man who had saved him. Banar watched the man pulled his white sword from the thief and wiped it clean with several blades of grass on the ground. The two men who hoisted him up thanked Banar for saving their carriage and gave him a loaf of bread and a bag of coins as a token of appreciation. Banar took them without saying a word, opting instead with a quick nod.

            Banar limped his way towards his sword. He picked it up and hid it back inside the cloth he used earlier. He held his head down and makes his way back to the carriage. He placed his sword down and pushed himself up before turning around and sat with his legs dangling over the edge of the carriage.

            The man in white robe walks away. Banar could not see the man’s face hidden behind his white hood. He wondered for awhile but left it aside upon the thoughts of finally seeing his home city again. 

            The carriage arrived at the peak of the mountain range when the sun was right in front of Banar’s eyes. He threw himself down on the snow and limbed his way around the carriage.
            What he saw, he could not believe. 

            Down the valley from where he stood, the proud city of the Imperial of Kaheim had turned into a patch of black earth. Its great gray walls, impregnable by siege weapons lay in ruins. Houses toppled and the center tower, the palace where the great Emperor resides had fallen, destroyed along with the city. Dark black smokes rises into the sky. Fires had razed the city, but something else had brought its ruin.

            Banar fell to the ground. His power eludes him. His hope dashed. 

He was too late.