“Don’t let that boar escape, boy!” the older man leading the hunting group shouted.
Deveon grabbed the boar by the tusk and tackled it to the ground successfully, slitting its throat with one sweep of his sharp knife.
“Nice job, Deveon. Are you even human!” the older man jokes. “Of course not, what other twelve year old child do you know can outrun a boar on an empty plain.” another member of the hunting sarcastically responded.
When night fell the group in charge of the day's hunting met up with the rest of their peers at camp after a successful hunt.
“Boss, what’s the plan for tomorrow?” the watchman for the night asked as he sharpened his short sword, rugged looking sword. He had a stone cold face built from countless encounters with danger. His sheath laid on the floor next to him, the sheath worn out and rugged condition matched his attire.
The man known as the Boss looked to be in his late thirties with blond hair and blue eyes filled with maturity and experience. He was sitting by the fire, his shadow looming over the young boy who sat next to him. He prodded at the flame in front of him with a stick before responding, “Tomorrow will be a bit more difficult than what we usually deal with, but it’s nothing we can’t handle. Seems like the village has a veteran who has some skill but he won’t pose a huge threat to us. I can assure tomorrow's raid will be successful.”
It was clear he had his fair share of battles. All the scratches on his chest plate portrayed the number of battles he’s been through.
“As expected of Eon. Always making sure all bases are covered before proceeding with anything; that cautious attitude of yours is really a lifesaver”, the older man remarked.
“As long as the Boss is here, the Gestas will prosper”, they all chanted. The atmosphere at the camp was merry but some individuals kept their edge, as if they were watching for danger.
After hours later, the fire from the camp still illuminated the immediate area, and their gleeful chatter of the men filled the silent forest. As Eon retreated from camp, Deveon followed his every footstep closely. “That was a nice hunt, Deveon. I wasn’t expecting you to overpower a wild boar like that.” Eon praised him while making sure he knew of his presence.
“I wasn’t either, but when I strain myself I feel power within me grow and I can suddenly perform better than I normally could.” he responded.
Eon let out a brazen chuckle, “You sure are an abnormal one, you know that? You learn far quicker than normal children; your motor skills and combat sense is above anyone of your age. Even your mana control is abnormal.” he continued.
“Really?” Deveon asked surprisingly.
“Yes, it usually takes most people lots of formal training to be able to sense mana, but you were able to do it without any training, not only that but your use of mana resembles that of a practitioner in school. Maybe you're the son of some high class noble.” Eon responded assuredly.
“You’re definitely exaggerating Eon, I don’t know how to do the things I’ve seen some villagers doing. You're just trying to inflate my ego to keep me from doing anything reckless.” Deveon responded.
“Look at the young man wising up” Eon remarked as he chuckled.
“I’m not a joke old man. You take every chance you get to prod at me, there’s no way I can be a noble child. What kind of noble would abandon their newborn baby, leaving him for dead in the middle of a desolate village.” Deveon shrugged off Eon's hand and turned towards camp.
Eon's face instantly straightened, “Deveon, tomorrow I don’t want you to keep watch during the next raaid. Nothing more, don’t get involved.” He sternly told Deveon
“I heard old man, I won’t do anything reckless. If there’s one thing you taught me it’s to be cautious.” Eon responded as he walked away but he suddenly halted his steps. “Make sure you tread with caution too”
Eon's face laxed, “Why don’t you grow some more before you try to advise me”, he heartedly responded as they both returned to the group and the curtains of night came down on the camp.
At the dawn of the day the Gestas started moving. Every member was fashioned with his weapon of choice and in old armor which consisted of solely a chest plate. After marching for some hours they came across a settlement. The settlement was on an open field, with the only form of defence being a shabby six foot barbed wall made of wood. The settlement had around twenty aged cottages made of mostly wood, strays and mud. A few men from the settlement woke up early to start working but the rest of the settlement was resting. Delirious, one of Eon's trusted aids set two of his arrows on fire and shot them at two houses. The livestock started startled and all the villagers awoke. The Gestas immediately charged in and started slaughtering the panicked villagers.
Eon engaged in combat with an older man. The villager thrusted his sword at Eon. Eon dodged to the right kicking dirt into the villagers eye. He then proceeded to take a horizontal slash at the villagers neck. The villager stepped back avoiding the slash then immediately took a step forward planting his foot on top of Eon’s and hacked at Eons left shoulder. Eon dropped his sword and quickly wrapped his arm around the villagers arm then placed his hand behind the villagers head and kneed him in the stomach. The villager dropped to the ground grimacing in pain.
“You’re the group of bandits that’ve been raiding all the neighboring villages aren’t you? What have we done to warrant death? I don’t have anything left in this world, I beg if my life is enough please just kill me and let everyone else live.”The villager bit his lip, his body seizing in pain, but willed himself to speak on the behalf of everyone.
Eon picked his sword and answered the villager's question with cold eyes. He slit the villagers throat and sheathed his sword. Eon surveyed his surroundings and found everything was going as expected; the Gestas was wrapping up the battle. (Plunder)
Deveon was keenly observing everything unfolding from the entrance of the village. The fire had spread to some of the surrounding crops, blood already dirtied the walls of the homes and the livestalks' cries were getting louder. Deveon suddenly noticed a Gestas member struggling with his opponent. Deveon suddenly sprinted to the aid of his comrade. The Gestas member fell to the ground as the villager brought his sword down. Deveon's speed suddenly increased as he felt a burst of strength swell in his legs. Eon drew his knife and slashed the ligaments behind the villager's knee but felt like his blade collided with steel. Eon's fingers were stinging from the recoil of his earlier clash. He looked at the place he just slashed to find the villager wasn’t hiding any metal there and the slash did no damage to his legs. The villager turned around and kicked Deveon.
“Damn brat” The villager yelled in anger as he thrusted his sword at Deveon.
Before his blade could reach Deveon, Eon blocked it with his bare hands. Eon followed up with a right hook on the villagers' jaws.
“Damn, I didn’t think that geezer had a successor in this crap hole” Eon was wincing in pain as he muttered under his breath.
All the Gestas members finished cleaning up and surrounded the last villager.
“All of you back off, he's not someone you can beat; even with your numbers.” Eon waved away all the Gestas members.
The villager was sitting on the floor not even bothering to wipe the blood off his mouth. His face was seething with rage. “You must be the leader of this group of trash.” The villager glaring at Eon as if his gaze could pierce through Eon's heart.
“Of what matter is it to you” Eon responded placidly as he wrapped bandages around his wounded hand.
“Do you beasts not have a shred of human consciousness in you?” The villagers face was red and his body was shivering from the rage he was currently feeling. “The amount of innocent lives you stealjust to..”
“I’m gonna have to stop you right there. I’ve already been through this scenario too many times. I just do what I have to do to survive. The same way you serve your lords in order to survive”
The villagers face contorted fury but before he could utter a sound Eon slit his throat faster than the eye could blink.
“All of you stop staring, we don’t have much time before guards reach this village. Pack everything we need quickly and let's get out of here. Don’t bother pickpocketing the bodies, they most likely don’t have anything valuable on them.”
One of the Gestas members dragged a young boy towards Eon. “Boss, I found this kid hiding. I don’t think he’s part of this village, he’s probably a bastard who wandered in before we started our raid.”
The boy's face and eyes were shaking and his body was shaking in fear.
“He looks to be the same age as me” Deveon popped from behind Eon's back. Eon grabbed Deveon’s head and pushed him behind him again. “You shut up. I’ll have a talk with you later.”
“Scary, Eon is being strict with me again.” Deveon shivered as he muttered.
Eon stared at the boy for a few seconds with an expressionless face. “Let the kid go.”
“Boss, if he was to come across some guards or a garrison and tell them about our location it can cause problems for that”
Eon gave the man who just spoke out a sharp look laced with malice. “You think I don’t know that. I said let the kid go. Don’t question my authority, and no one should stop him from grabbing what he wants on his way out.” Eon turned around and left with Deveon following behind him. The Gestas member holding the boy hostage let go of him and the boy immediately fled.
“What's wrong with boss?.”
“I don’t know. I’ve never seen him take that long to make a decision nor have I ever seen him make an unnecessary decision with risk.”
One of Eons trusted aids spoke up. “Y’all better quit this chatter and finish looting. We may have less time on our hands now.”