The Flight of The Draykes
I expected him to begin our training right on the spot.
But surprisingly, he led us through the corridors of the palace, straight into the vast private practice field meant for the palace guards and knights.
“This field is a kilometer long and a kilometer wide, making for a round of 4 kilometers in total. Your training is simple. Extremely simple,” Our Teacher said, with a wide smile on his face.
Seeing that smile gave me a bad feeling and it was realized a moment later when our teacher said,
“8 rounds. That’s all I want you to run. After that, just keep moving at the fastest pace you can till 8:00 a.m”
“You can start now, you know,” he looked bemusedly at me as I stood there slack-jawed while Sia had already started running as soon as the instructions were delivered.
Now the reason I was slack-jawed was that I was aware that newly minted soldiers of the regular army, men who had gone through rigorous training and were in the prime of their lives, had to run the 32 kilometers as their daily run, a run which often left them cramped and gasping for breath at the end of it.
Plus, he had to do it at the same time as they did it and then some!
Teacher is Evil.
I would have cried but I had no tears left to spare and so I ran onto the track with gritted teeth and sprinted till I caught up to Sia, who was surprisingly not that far ahead.
Giving her a quizzical glance only to see her so focussed that she was in a different world entirely. Her skin was also alternating between shades of dark and white.
That was a sign that she was circulating her warforce.
I wish I had warforce too, I bitterly cried out in my heart!
But alas, t’’was not so.
In 5 minutes, my tunic was soaked.
At 30 minutes, my feet became heavy as lead.
At 40 minutes, I threw away my tunic and kept running bare-chested, proudly displaying my heaving ribs openly.
At 41 minutes, I would have cast away my trousers too but modesty prevailed since Sia was running alongside me
At 45 minutes, modesty be damned, I’m ready to strip at a moment’s notice but bal, my conscience. I can’t scar the heart of a beautiful maiden this early in her life, can I?
1 hour, 16 kilometers done. I have just realized that perhaps keeping pace with Sia was a bad choice. She’s faster than I thought and I’m an idiot for not noticing this before.
Pulling away from Sia slowly to the back, I mustered up a smile and shook my head to her concerned look, and tucking my head in like a turtle, I began running - okay, crawling vigorously through the track
2 hours in, I managed to make it 24 kilometers
3 hours in, I can’t feel my body or breath. Thoughts are hard. 28 kilometers done.
3 hours 48 minutes in. 30 kilometers.
I’m done. I can’t move a single step. I can’t twitch a single finger. I’ve vomited more times than I had food in my stomach.
I can’t do this.
But I’m so close.
How can I give up?
Sia has been running beside me constantly ever since she finished her laps and she’s been splattered by specks of my vomit so many times.
How can I let her see me give up?
I’ve been through pain before.
So Come on.
Ignite my body, Ignite my Heart, Ignite my blood!
Thump. Thump. Bathump. Thump.
My broken body slowly straightened up inch by inch, as though I was shouldering the weight of the world.
My vision was tinged with red and my breath was suddenly deep as a blacksmith’s bellows.
The next step flattened the ground very very slightly.
The next to next step indented the ground very very slightly,
The third step though, almost broke apart the hard-packed soil as I flew like an arrow from a bow.
Caught by surprise, Sia stared dumbfoundedly as I sprinted as though I did not know what fatigue was.
She hurriedly activated her warforce but found she could not catch up to the streak of paleness that was rushing ahead.
Hit by the sweat that was streaming in the boy’s wake, something in the girl’s heart twinged yet again and her nostrils felt itchy.
As for the boy?
Faustus could not feel anything but the fire in his body, threatening to explode out of him.
He could not see anything but the end of the lap that was right in front of him.
But his power was running out.
Burn my soul, burn!
And I collapsed with a dull pain spreading from my neck. As I fell, I saw black boots before my vision darkened and I was caught in strong arms.
Of course, It was Leonidas who caught him. Leonidas who had sent him into oblivion temporarily instead of allowing the boy’s warforce from blowing him apart. Leonidas who wore a gratified smile on his face.
Leonidas, whose gratified smile disappeared in the very next second as the unconscious boy unloaded the last of the contents of his stomach on his very expensive doublet.
Looking up at the bright sky and the sparsely gathered soldiers who were all looking in awe at the skinny boy, the count’s boy, he nodded to them in acknowledgment, before gazing down at the boy.
“Seems as though I’ll have to move up their time in the morning to 3:00 a.m,” murmured Leonidas with a glint in his eye before striding off with the boy in his arms.
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