Chapter 3:

The Ersham Village

One Step To Hell [Short]

“Minori!!!” Bookmark here

“Attention!” said the Captain as he turned around to see the man attacking me. Bookmark here

The man came towards me. I noticed that he was aiming a knife and I quickly dodged it and put all my strength in my fist, thus hitting him squarely in the face. The Captain, Kin and Yumi were just surprised. The Captain wasted no time in picking up the knife the man had dropped and pointed it at him as he said: Bookmark here

“Looks like you took a lesson from one of my students.” Bookmark here

*Guffaws* Bookmark here

“Captain, I don't think this is the best time to laugh.” said Kin. Bookmark here

“You're right.” said the Captain. Bookmark here

“If I were you, I wouldn't be so happy.” said the man, laughing. Bookmark here

“Hey! Looks like you're causing trouble for one of my men.” said a man who was on top of one of the houses that was still in some condition. Bookmark here

“Bring the brat.” he said. Bookmark here

When we noticed, another man appeared with a child. The man who appeared to be the leader of the group quickly grabbed the child, pointed a knife at him and said: Bookmark here

“You'd better give up everything you have and get out of here, unless you want me to kill the brat.” Bookmark here

We were all in a very complicated situation, but I was somehow angry. I wanted to do something for that child, but what? The Captain must have noticed how I was feeling and said: Bookmark here

“Calm down, Minori. I solve it.” Bookmark here

“You want me to kill the brat, eh?” said the man pointing the knife closer to the child. Bookmark here

“I can see I can't even light a cigarette... Anyway, let's go!” Bookmark here

“Plan 3: Offering of Darkness.” Bookmark here

Without even realizing it, the Captain and the three men had disappeared. I asked Kin a little distressed what had happened. Bookmark here

“Didn't the Captain tell you to take it easy? He always has this sort of thing under control, just when he feels like it. This is a “Plan” spell that only Special Class can use. “Plan 3” is the Captain’s weakest, but it's still enough to finish off those men.” Bookmark here

I asked Kin how the “Plan” worked, to which Yumi replied: Bookmark here

“The “Plan” is a place that doesn't exist in our world. It's created by its wearer and the accompanying spirits.” Bookmark here

I thanked the two for the explanation and behold, at the same time, the Captain appeared coming from a kind of portal with the men all finished. Bookmark here

“I've done the cleaning, how are you here?” Bookmark here

We replied that everything was fine with us. Bookmark here

“Very well, fortunately. Now, what's your name boy?” the captain asked the child who had been taken hostage and at the same time lit a cigarette. Bookmark here

“My name is Peter.” said the child, still a little scared. Bookmark here

“Pleased to meet you, I'm Michio. We won't hurt you, we just wanted a place to spend the night.” Bookmark here

“I think I can help with that.” said the child less frightened. Bookmark here

“Thanks, we're counting on you Peter.” Bookmark here

Peter takes us to a camp still inside Ersham village. That camp seemed less developed than my village. The few people present there looked at us with contempt. However, Peter said: Bookmark here

“I'll take you to the camp leader.” Bookmark here

We appreciate. Bookmark here

We arrived at a tent that was a little bigger than the others. Inside it was a single person, about fifty years old. That person said: Bookmark here

“Who are they, Peter?” Bookmark here

“I was caught by some men, but they helped me back. They are Knights of Redon.” Bookmark here

“Oh… But what an honor to have Knights of Redon here. Let me introduce myself, I'm Rancis. I'm the leader of this little camp in Ersham village.” Bookmark here

“It's our pleasure. I'm the Captain of this squad, Michio, and these are my students, Minori, Kin and Yumi.” Bookmark here

We greeted the camp leader. Bookmark here

“Thanks for bringing back Peter safe and sound. Unfortunately, I can't repay you, forgive me.” Bookmark here

“If you can find a place for us to spend the night, that's more than enough.” said the Captain. Bookmark here

“Of course, that I can arrange. Peter, do you think they can stay in your tent?” Bookmark here

“Yes, it's the least I can do for being saved.” Bookmark here

We appreciate once more. Bookmark here

“You can go out just for a second, it's just that I have to talk to Peter about a personal matter.” Bookmark here

We left the leader's tent and waited for Peter to take us to his tent. Bookmark here

“Peter…” Bookmark here

“Yes, Mr. Rancis.” Bookmark here

“Are they really Knights of Redon?” Bookmark here

“Yes, they're.” Bookmark here

“Then I will give you a mission.” Bookmark here

“What mission?” Bookmark here

“I want you to steal everything from them, after all they must have a lot of valuable things with them.” Bookmark here

“But... They saved me and they are good people.” Bookmark here

“Peter, you want your mother to get well, don't you?” Bookmark here

“Yes, but...” Bookmark here

“Peter… if necessary, don't hesitate to kill them. Remember, it's for your mother's sake.” Bookmark here

“Okay, Mr. Rancis.” Bookmark here

Peter came out of the leader's tent, but he didn't look good. I asked him if everything was okay. Bookmark here

“Yes, it's all okay. Thank you for asking, Mr. Minori.” Bookmark here

I told him he could just call me Minori. Bookmark here

“Okay, Minori!” said Peter more happily. Bookmark here

We walked a bit until we reached Peter's tent. When we arrived he invited us in. There was a woman who was bedridden and looking exhausted. Bookmark here

“Mother, they're Knights of Redon. I was almost taken by some men, but they saved me.” Bookmark here

“Thank you for helping my son.” said the woman in a slightly strained voice. Bookmark here

“No need to say thank you. My students and I just did what we thought was right.” Bookmark here

“They're staying here tonight, mother.” Bookmark here

“Okay, Peter. It's the least I can do to thank you for bringing my son to safety. My name is Rose, may I know yours?” Bookmark here

We all introduced ourselves to Ms. Rose. The Captain asked why Ms. Rose was bedridden. She said she had been terminally ill for some time and didn't have much time left. The only way for her to cure herself was to buy a recent medicine they had created, but as it was only sold in the most technologically developed towns and cities she had no way of obtaining it. Bookmark here

I started to think what would become of Peter if he lost his mother. That village wasn't the best place to live, after all. Bookmark here

The night came, Peter cooked something for us. The soup he had made for us was very good. The Captain started to tell some jokes to brighten the atmosphere a little. Ms. Rose looked happy to see her son happy to have company. Bookmark here

It was getting late and we needed to leave early the next day. We all went to bed. Everyone was asleep except me. I couldn't stop thinking about what could happen to poor Peter. My life had stopped being so boring since I went on the journey, I managed to make friends more easily than I expected and no one made fun of me or insulted me. But I thought, my life and family weren't like Peter's. Peter had a worse life than I had, his family despite being just his mother, was a point of shelter for him, while my family and I didn't have much connection. I started to realize that people's lives can be completely different. A good child like Peter could suffer immensely, while a bad person could've a peaceful life. I wondered why things were this way. Bookmark here

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Suddenly, I thought I heard someone's footsteps. I stayed quiet, pretending to be asleep, waiting to see who was walking around. I felt that someone was next to me and I started to hear crying. Bookmark here

I got up and walked towards a flashlight to get a better look at who it was. When I turned on the flashlight, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Bookmark here

“Sorry, Minori. Sorry...” Bookmark here

It was nothing more, nothing less, than Peter with a knife in his hand. What would this mean? Bookmark here

“Minori, please…” Bookmark here

I didn't understand what Peter was up to, but with a knife in his hand I just wanted to say one thing, he wanted to kill me. But why? And that would be exactly what he wanted, because he cried a lot, as if he was in a lot of anguish. Bookmark here

“What's up?” said the Captain when he woke up with the noise. Bookmark here

While Peter was distracted looking at the Captain, I immediately took the knife out of his hand. Peter started to cry even more. Bookmark here

“I need to kill you... for my mother.” Bookmark here

“Peter, how killing us will help your mother.” said the Captain. Bookmark here

“Mr. Rancis told me to steal everything from you, as you must have things of value. He said that if necessary I should kill you to get your values. That way I could help my mother. Sorry...” Bookmark here

The others woke up, including Peter's mother. The Captain and I explained the situation to everyone. Bookmark here

“Peter, why?” said Peter's mother with tears in her eyes. Bookmark here

“It was to help you, mother.” said Peter with a few tears still. Bookmark here

“Do you think killing good people will help me, Peter?” Bookmark here

Peter looked thoughtful. Bookmark here

“Son, I just want to see you happy and I thank you for wanting to help me, but as I told you, killing good people will not help me, it will only bring more sadness to me and you.” Bookmark here

“I... I apologize to everyone.” Bookmark here

“We have to deal with the camp leader.” said Kin. Bookmark here

“Yes, he dares to use a child to steal for him?” said Yumi. Bookmark here

We decided to meet Rancis at dawn. We asked Peter to stay with Ms. Rose while we went to see Rancis. Bookmark here

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As soon as dawn came, we went to Rancis's tent. Bookmark here

When we were getting to the leader's tent we realized that they had already surrounded us. Bookmark here

“Guys, we're going to have to take this seriously.” said the Captain. Bookmark here

“Go ahead, boys.” said Rancis, who had appeared from an alley. Bookmark here

“Me and my students are going to show you that you can't use people as you wish, especially children.” Bookmark here

“I want to see it.” said Rancis, laughing. Bookmark here

We began a hand-to-hand fight against the men of Rancis, the leader of the camp, who turned out to be just another bandit from Ersham village. I decided to give it my all, especially since I still didn't know how to use magic, much less spells. Bookmark here

What will happen during this confrontation? Bookmark here

Taylor Victoria
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