3: Ruins

3: Ruins

A Chapter by Karlong

Ancep wielded his sword, unconsciously slicing at the huge hounds leaping at him. To his side, many pike-wielding soldiers were falling down, victims of the ferocious hounds. All of the men were wearing black uniforms, with three blue stripes down the centre. Next to Ancep fought another soldier, but this one seemed much more experienced than the others. As Ancep glanced across at his comrade, he gasped in surprise and bewilderment. His grey eyes concentrated heavily on the hounds, and his long brown hair flew about, seemingly going everywhere but in his eyes. His features were deeply similar to Reder Kïle's features, the man they had met the other day. No, it can't be him, Ancep reminded himself, because he doesn't have the scar on his cheek! Ancep turned away from his comrade just in time to repel the leaping attack of a particularly large hound. Just as he turned, a scream sounded to his side. Turning, Ancep saw a hound leap at his comrades face. Just dodging to the side, the soldier avoided the worst but failed to avoid the flailing claw, which had caught him heavily on the side of the face, creating a deep claw mark on the left side of his face, and his ear had been ripped off. Falling to the ground in pain, Ancep's comrade lay on the hard flagstones, ignored by the hounds. Just as he was about to turn and run, a voice from right in front of Ancep shouted,
"Hey, Ancep! Wake up! We're going to the ruins." Slowly, Rewilh's face materialised in front of his, before Ancep's eyes snapped open. The dream was over.

Reder was already at the North Gate by the time the two friends arrived. The sun was just cresting over the distant eastern horizon, bathing the town of Rewood in a soft golden light. Reder was sitting on a large snow-covered boulder when the two friends saw him. Both were wearing black leather armour, just visible underneath their black tunics and trousers. Along the taller ones belt rested two thin Karlonian swords , accompanied by several knives. The Karlonian swords were designed like machetes, but adapted for the thick Karlonian forests and the many vines and monkeys that lay there - the boy was obviously a dual-weilder.Over his back was slung a bulging quiver of arrows, with blue-feathered shafts protruding into the sim morning light. In his hand was a magnificent short-bow, with pointed metal tips so it could double as a close-quarters weapon. The shorter one was equipped with a finely made broadsword which had several deep and intricate twirls covering the blade. In his hand was a small battle-axe. The two were obviously prepared, and a look of surprise filled their faces as they noticed Reder with no visible weapons. Walking up to him, the shorter one got straight to the point;
"Hey, Reder! Why haven't you got weapons? It's not just flowers up their!" he grinned. Reder laughed heartily, then in one fluid movement, grabbed two concealed knives from his secreted belt, threw them to the sides of the shorter ones head, then leapt towards the boy, drawing another small knife. When he reached the boy, Reder stood up, the knife poised against the boys throat.
"I like the unarmed look." he said simply, before sheathing the three knives and turning to the taller boy. Both were dumbstruck by the display, and now regarded Reder with something akin to awe. "Now I don't recall being properly introduced; you are...?" Reder said to the boy.
"I'm Rewilh, and this is Ancep." Rewilh said, indicating the still staring shorter boy by his side.
"Pleasure to meet you Rewilh. Now do you know your way up to the ruins? No? Well that's a shame, so I'll have to lead." the man answered his own question, and merrily started walking up a small path leading up the snowy mountain. Ancep and Rewilh were thoroughly overwhelmed. One minute they were going up a mountain on an illegal journey with an old unarmed man. Now they were following a seemingly skilled warrior up a mountain, and instead of leading, the two were being led. They shrugged their shoulders at each other and started up the mountain after Reder.

After about an hour, judging from the sun, Reder stopped and gazed back over the land. When the boys reached him, they saw the truly breathtaking view of the land. They could see for miles, and just to the bustling trade city of Bydale to the south-east. The town Market had made the city well known and wealthy, and was in control of Rewood and two other hamlets in the area. The three were about two-thirds of the way up, and Reder had decided to stop for breakfast. Producing some bread and cheese from his bag, Reder and Rewilh preceded to talk about the area, while Rewilh wandered off to hunt for a mountain goat. When Rewilh was about fifty metres from camp, he spotted a goat. Taking careful aim with the short-bow, he loosed an arrow at the goat. Hearing a solid thud, Rewilh shouted to the others. "Hey guys! I think I got one!" the two others ran forwards, and they rushed to where the hunter had killed the goat. However, to their horror, the dead mountain goat was not the only corpse at the site. The mountain goat had a blue arrow sticking deep into it's head, but the three were concentrating on the corpse of a young man that lay next to it. The body was cold, but not frozen, so the kill was relatively recent. From his chest, protruded three black arrows. Reder swore under his breath. Hearing it, Ancep questioned,
"What is it? Do you know this guy?" he asked, but Reder simply walked off, and said,
"Follow me." following him, the three hurriedly ascended the rest of the mountain. By the time they reached the top, it was mid-morning, and the sun's rays shone brightly upon the ruins. The three approached the front entrance, two in awe of the part destroyed walls.
"Erm, Reder? Did this place fall in battle?" Rewilh asked nervously, his dual swords at the ready.
"No, it was abandoned after the Great War 20 years ago. It has since fallen into decay." Reder replied, although even he was sure of the falseness in his statement. Decay doesn't cause holes shaped like cannonballs, and chambers blackened from explosions.

As they walked through the remains of the great door, they entered a large stone courtyard which was surrounded on all sides by buildings. In the middle lay the keep of the fort, and the wooden door to that also seemed blown off of it's hinges. The three cautiously approached the door, all paranoid in this enclosed environment, while also disturbed by the dead body half way up. As they reached the door, they relaxed a moment too soon. Several arrows suddenly leaped from the black inside of the keep, narrowly missing the three. Suddenly, six black-clad warriors leapt down from the roofs of the surrounding buildings. All six wielded heavy swords with a hook on the end so that it would be hell to wrench out of a body. Reder's face suddenly paled. "Orc's..." he whispered. And soon the two boys faces were also white as the snow they stood on. Orc's were notoriously strong and agile, and were very tough. But the fact that Orc's were not extinct like all believed terrified the three. Soon, they were engaged in a fierce 2 on 1 battle for survival, and Reder was being driven to his limits. His sword was good, but against two enemies it was useless. Dropping it, he leapt up into the air, deftly avoiding the swipes of the Orc's swords. Getting behind them, Reder drove his knife into the back of one, manoeuvring the knife in-between the heavy armour plates. As the first orc fell, the second one narrowly missed slicing Reder's head off as he ran at the Orc. Sliding along the ground, Reder threw the knife up under the helmet of the Orc, killing it instantly as the knife punctured his windpipe. Straightening, Reder saw Rewilh fighting a losing battle against his two Orc's. Grabbing the sword of a fallen Orc, Reder threw it at the first Orc, catching him in the back of the knee. Stumbling, the Orcs face fell onto one of Rewilh's outstretched swords. The other one hesitated, allowing Rewilh to slice his head clean off. However, as the two looked around, they realised they could not see Ancep. But hearing sounds of clashing steel, the two followed the sound of steel on steel, they ran into one of the buildings surrounding the courtyard. The building had once been part of the forts walls and apparently a blacksmith, so the thick outside wall of the building was missing, alongside several beams of flooring. If one were to fall, they faced a 1000 foot fall onto solid rock. Ancep was standing on the edge, fighting off the two Orc's. Sneaking carefully up behind the Orc's, the two men got ready to kill the two Orc's. However, Rewilh was spotted by one of the orcs who did not hesitate to throw his knife straight at Rewilh. With power and accuracy, the knife smacked Rewilh in the stomach, causing him to double over, and then fall narrowly missing falling further off the platform. Reder still managed to drive his knife into an Orc though, and Ancep finished off Rewilh's Orc. Rushing over to the huddled form of Rewilh, the two looked at the knife. It was completely embedded into the stomach up to the hilt. Reder swore as he noticed the knife had a hook as a well. He has two options: rip it out, as well as about half his patients intestines, or to carefully make the hole bigger and remove it without the guts. He chose the second option, and slowly used the knife to make the hole longer, and moved the knife slightly to the side.
"You sure you know what your doing?" Ancep asked, to no reply. As the main part of the knife came out of the new hole, the hook came out the previous one. With the knife removed, the two hoisted the unconscious Rewilh up, and slowly trekked down back to the village.

© 2013 Karlong

Author's Note

The second last old chapter before we get to the new(ish) ones.

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Added on February 18, 2013
Last Updated on February 18, 2013



London, Surrey, United Kingdom

I'm a junior writer who really has nothing better to do and likes to write stories to pass my time :-) more..

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