Chapter 3:

Chapter 3

Endscape - Journey on the Seas

A town, once filled with life, now lays in ruins. Not a single thing was moving, everyone within having been killed, men, women, children, even infants, no one was safe from the destruction. All that was once houses, stores, even the town hall, was now a pile of rubble. If there was anyone, or anything, left alive, they would be buried under the pile of rubble. Whatever monster caused this damage must be one of terrifying power, and a being of no heart. In the middle of this destroyed town stood a man, completely alone.

His hair was long, reaching down to his knees, and green in colour. He only wears a full suit of armour, simple cloth handing around his loin. His face, heavily scarred, yet old wounds, one of them going down his right eye, making it covered with an eye patch. Another scar stretched from one side of his face to the other, going across his nose. A third one was on his right cheek, he looked young, at least in his early twenties, at best guess. His eye told of a different age, looking into it, one would see that he was a man within his forties, as though he stopped aging when he reached his twentieth birthday. On his back was sheathed a single sword, the size of his body, seeming rusted from years of use, pieces of it missing here and there. The blade still looked sharp, as though rust wouldn't stop it from slicing through anything. His left arm was missing, making one think that he could not possibly wield a sword of that size. His ears were above his head, those of a foxes ears, twitching to sounds made around the town, mostly rubble settling.

A bit of rubble moved, but it was an unnatural movement of the rubble. His ears flicked behind him, the man turning around and drawing out his sword. His single eye scanned the area, looking for whatever made the rubble moved. He knew he was too late to catch up with the two people he was after, so wanton destruction is what he needed to do at the moment. As he kept scanning, he would pick up on the sounds of children whispering, smirking a little bit as his ears flicked in the direction of the sounds. His arm pulled back, black electricity starting to surround his blade. A single swipe of his blade and the rubble was cleared, blowing the children out of their hiding spots.

There was only two of them, the number he expected to see, one of them landing on their back. He sheathed his blade and approached the one on their back, reaching out and grabbing them by the colour. His eyes scanned the child, a boy, with medium length, black, shaggy hair. He seemed to be unkempt as he was in the man's arms, his body in pain as he was pulled towards the green haired man. He'd take a sniff of the child, pulling the boy away from him and smirking a little bit. He tossed boy to the ground, drawing his sword once more and aiming it, directly, at the child's chest.

“Come out or the boy dies!” He shouted out, keeping the sword on the boy, to make sure he doesn't try to flee.

A couple of seconds passed, when a girl with the same colour, and length, of hair walked out from the rubble. The two seemed to have survived the destruction of the city, unsure of how it happened, perhaps the man knew. She seemed to be shaking a little bit as she looked between the man and her brother, taking in a big gulp.

“W-What do you... w-w-want with us?” She asked.

“Me? I just want answers, that's all, and you two seem to hold some of them. Now, there are two more of you, a boy with white hair and a girl with dark hair, where are they?” He demanded.

“I... I don't know who you're talking about.” She answered.

He didn't like the answer, his blade slowly moving towards the boy's chest, drawing blood from it. The boy would simply tremble in fear, seeming to relieve himself as the blade drew closer and made him bleed. The one armed man smirked a little bit as he smelled the blood in the air, the scent of iron, something he liked so much. The terrified look on the girl's face was enough for him to know he was getting to her, that she was hiding a secret of some kind. His gaze moved up and down her body, trying to figure out what it was that she might have been trying to hide, spotting her hands messing with a bracelet she wore. It was fashioned from gold, something too expensive for a girl like her to own. His gaze switched to the boy, trying to see if he had something gold on him, only to spot a necklace around his neck. That's what ties these two to the others he searches for.

His blade was removed from the boy's chest as he looked between the two, stepping over the boy. He sheathed his blade, leaving the two alive, for what reason, only he would know.

“You're free to live, for now, but get in my way again, and I'll make sure this blade strikes you down faster than you can blink.” He said.

He didn't look back towards them, hearing the girl already moving towards the boy. He needs to get off this island, like the children had, but how? The only boats left would be on the other side, a good month, or two, worth of travelling. Going alone would be too boring, but he could bring others with him. His gaze turned towards the two children for a moment, an idea popping into his mind in that moment.

“You two, come with me, or I'll kill you.” He commanded.

The two jumped right away, what he expected to see of them, smirking a little bit at the sight. They didn't want to die, that was obvious, so they complied, approaching him with their heads hung low. He glanced around the town once more, thinking it best to gear the two children up, unsure why he should even care about them. Something deep down told him that they were important, not only to the two children he was after, but to himself somehow.

He approached where the weapon and armour shop once stood, glancing back towards the two. He dug through the rubble with his gauntlet covered hand, pulling out three weapons and tossing them to the ground. One of them was a scythe, dangerous for a child to wield, but he had confidence in them. The other two were sickles, smaller versions of the scythe he pulled from the ground. After a bit more digging, he would find the two armour, incomplete, but wearable. They pulled on the armour given, one of them having a chest guard, the other having a cod piece. They both wore grieves and gauntlets, to protect their arms and legs, but that was it.

“There, you two are to stay at my side, until we find the kids I'm looking for. Go too far from me, and I kill you, try to kill me when you think my guard is down, and I kill you. Now, let's go, before I change my mind about keeping you two alive. From henceforth, you two are to be referred to as my slaves.” He said.

He would lead the two away from the town, into the wilds of the forestry that awaits them. As
soon as they entered the forest, the howling of wolves were heard right away, the scent of death drawing them close to the city. The two children seemed startled by the howling, as though they were looking around to see where it came from. The one armed man only listened, seeming to be waiting for them to come closer and they did. As soon as they were close enough, he would notice they were all surrounding them. A pack of twenty wolves, the one armed man only smirking a little bit.

“Heh, I'll take the ten in front of me, you two take the ten behind us.” He commanded.

Without wasting time, he charged at the wolves, wanting to actually fight them. His blade remained sheathed as he kicked one of them in the face, enough force behind it to make the wolf's neck snap back. The rest of the wolves started to jump into the fight, five of them going after the boy with the scythe, the other five going after the girl with the sickles. This seemed to be their first fight, slicing at the wolves, their eyes closed with each swipe.

The one armed man kept punching and kicking at the ones that came after him, making sure none of them got in close enough to touch him. His laughter with each punch, kick, elbow, and knee that connected with the wolves was heard throughout the forest. It was a maniacal laughter that brought chills to the bones of the children. It took him two minutes to do what was taking the children a long time. He sat back, watching them as they made their swipes at the wild animals. He was simply relaxing as he watched the two fighting, a pair of amateurs. After a bit of time, he couldn't handles it anymore, rushing in and smashing a couple of wolves in their faces and kicking the final one, sending them all flying on to nearby branches.

“You need to learn to defend yourselves, or else you will die before reuniting with your friends.” He said.

He wasn't going to tell them his plan to kill them both as soon as they got to their friends, as well as the other two children. His plan was a simple one, to kill the two children he sought and be rid of those that might hold the power to, one day, stop him. After that, he could work on killing others of the world, terrorizing it without fear of anyone getting in his way. He turned away from the two, heading towards the north, leaving them there, panting and sweating at the moment. He never said anything, not even seeing the two share glances with each other. All he needs now, is to find a way to send a message across to the troublesome duo, so they will try to save their friends. How he will get this message across, he doesn't know, but he will find a way and tell them where they can find him.

The journey for these two children, and himself, are just beginning.

Gerry Hines
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