Chapter 6:

...I can't drown my demons, they know how to swim... (Part 1)


"...I woke up the next day to the sound of rumbling in Riverstone Valley. The fear inside me kept growing, I felt paralyzed. To this day I still don't understand why… Was it because I didn't want to die? No, it's definitely not that…" 

The smaller houses in the city were crumbling piece by piece, the bigger ones were engulfed in a never-ending inferno and the blue sky was hidden from the dark smoke coming out of it, which turned the day into night. The people unfortunate enough to not escape the fire screamed in agony as the skin on their face slowly melted until their bones were visible. 

The husband helped his pregnant wife slowly get to the evacuation exit. The poor woman was weak due to the very late stage of the pregnancy. The sound of a falling boulder reached the woman's ears, it was heading right towards her husband. 

Pregnant Woman: "GET AWAY!" 

The woman pushed her husband away, but at what cost? The blood from the wife and the child inside her splashed all over the man, painting his clothes and face in red. 

Husband: "Lilya… Lilya… LILYAAAAAAA!!!!" 


Scorch quickly entered the main room in the military headquarters. The faces on the soldiers were grim, they all stared into nothing, they didn't move at all, just stared. But all of the sudden… the attack stopped. A wave of relief hit the people when the rumbling disappeared, unfortunately it only lasted for a mere second when a deep, male voice spoke via telepathy in the minds of every citizen and soldier in the city.

???: "Hello, citizens of Riverstone Valley! I'm sending this message because I want everyone to know about the crimes your army has committed. Just yesterday a group of soldiers invaded one of our fortresses and assassinated a member of the royal family, who they thought was the overseer, a crime which our kingdom cannot overlook! We do not know who killed William Gates, the uncle of King Isaac Gates. You have exactly half an hour to turn the killers in, if you resist however… There will be consequences!" 

Everyone listened to this terrifying message carefully, but no one dared to say anything about it. A single tear fell from the eye of every soldier in the division, knowing that their life would come to an end soon. Varis opened a bottle of whiskey and drank the whole thing in one breath. 

Varis: "So… If we turn ourselves in, would they let the citizens live?" 

Scorch: "They will… but the people will be enslaved." 

Varis: "How do you know that?" 

Scorch: "The king wouldn't send an army just for a few soldiers, with us out of the way, he plans to take over the city and avenge his uncle in the process." 

Varis: "So either way we die?"

Scorch: "There's a chance some of us might live, if we face them!" 

Soldier 1: "And what's the point?! We stand no chance against an enemy like this one!"

Ragnar: "Or maybe we can run away, we have a slim chance of escaping." 

David: "I think we should beg for mercy, at least they might spare the citizens!" 

Soldier 2: "I have a daughter without a mother, if I die, who's going to take care of her?!" 

Samuel: "I told my wife I would retire once the mission is over, so that we can buy a farm and live the rest of our days happily…" 

Soldier 3: "I just wish I could see the sun one more time before I go…" 

Scorch: "PATHETIC!!!" - Scorch slammed the desk, his eyes filled with bloodlust, his crazy smile spreaded from ear to ear. 

David: "Excuse me?!" 

Scorch: "You heard me, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU IS PATHETIC! Is that how you want your families to remember you?! Do you really want your sons and daughters to think their dad died like a coward?! ANSWER ME!!" 

Samuel: "I think you are the pathetic one! Just what are you going to do by going out there?! YOU WILL DIE LIKE THE IDIOT YOU ARE!" 


Samuel: "What's so funny?" 

Scorch: "HAHAHA Is that who will protect the innocent?! IS THAT THE FATHER WHO WOULD PROTECT HIS FAMILY?!... Hey!" 

Scorch swung his leg right at Samuel's face, a kick so powerful and aggressive. The poor man fell on the ground with blood coming out of his nose from the kick. 

Samuel: "You son of a bitch…" 

Scorch: "Hey!" 


Scorch: "Hey…" 


*At that moment no one dared to stop him, after every single kick we closed our eyes out of fear, I can't even begin to imagine how Samuel felt. I'm not sure if it was the right thing to do, there are other ways to motivate a person to fight. What's gotten into him?!* - Bear said to himself.




As Scorch's kick was about to meet Samuel's face once again, Samuel avoided it by moving to the side, with blood dripping down from his hand he punched Scorch in the face one time, then followed with a series of punches to the face until blood was coming out of his mouth. 

Scorch: "Heh…" - a thin smug appeared on Scorch's face.

Samuel: "Want me to beat that smug out of your face?!"

Scorch: "...Humans are the most dangerous creatures on this planet once their life is in danger, that is where our true power hides. That is the sole meaning of our existence… survival! Are you going to die knowing that you wasted your life?!" 

Samuel: "Tch…" 

Scorch: "Are you going into the afterlife like a coward, who didn't accomplish anything, or a hero, who risked his life to save others?!! Long ago I wasn't strong enough to save someone very important to me, a person who taught me the meaning of family. That person is long gone now, but I REFUSE TO LET MORE INNOCENT PEOPLE DIE BECAUSE I'M A COWARD! You either come and fight with me or die like a pathetic rat, the choice is yours!" 

Samuel: "I-I want to fight!" 

David: "I wanna fight too!" 

Ragnar: "Count me in!" 

Scorch opened the window, the light from the burning fire reflected from his green eyes, as he turned around to look at his comrades, they felt as if they could illuminate the whole room. 

Scorch: "Then fight because your life depends on you, that is when you are the most powerful." - The young man said right before he jumped out of the window into the nearby roofs.


The big gates of the city opened, from them a single person emerged. He walked slowly, his face as cold as ice, a katana attached to his back that reached a little above the back of his knees, a dagger attached to his belt, together with a pistol. 

???: "Is that all? We came here just for a single person?" - the same voice that sent the message from earlier, spoke. 

The person who said those words was a commander in the Gates Army, he stood high above the ground on a white horseback, a middle-length, silver hair going down his head, with some strands covering his crimson red eyes. As for clothing he wore a long, white trench coat over a white jacket with black trim, together with a pair of black pants and boots. 

Scorch unsheathed the katana from his back and pointed it directly at the enemy, even though he was very far ahead. 

Scorch: "You must be the leader of this attack, am I right?" 

???: "Correct, and you must be the person I'm supposed to kill?" 

Scorch: "...I'm the person who's going to kick your ass!" 

With his free hand Scorch swiftly pulled the gun out of its holster, without much time to aim he fired a shot directly at the enemy's head. The bullet flew through the air with an incredible speed, but just as it was about to meet the commander's head a sword appeared in front of his face and with a gust of wind the sword sliced the bullet in half. 

???: "It's fascinating, how even though you are about to fight an army of two thousand soldiers and a mage all by yourself, you are still not giving up. Fascinating… and foolish." 

Scorch: "All foolish people are remembered by history… Then I guess I will be forgotten…" 

As he said those words, an army of five hundred soldiers emerged from the city, they all wore green bomber jackets and with a burning fire in their eyes they stood behind Scorch with Bear standing right beside him. 

Scorch: "... Because I'm not alone!" 

???: "You made the right choice by choosing to fight, despite the differences in our power, you still might have a chance of coming out victorious. I'm impressed, I really thought you were going to surrender… What is your name, soldier?" 

Scorch: "It's Scorch!"  

???: "Really? Well then Scorch, I believe we have a score to settle!" 

Scorch: "Go right ahead!" 

The armies rushed towards each other and clashed in the middle. Meanwhile with the wind blowing in their faces, the two warriors just stared at each other until Scorch decided to move ahead. 

He sliced through the enemy soldier's chest with the katana, like a paper, then with the momentum of his quick movement he used the dead man's corpse to jump high into the air, land on another man's body and gently cut his throat. Two enemy soldiers approached him, one of which made an attempt to stab him with a dagger, but he wasn't aware that if he missed the target, he would kill his comrade and lose his head in the process. Scorch was surrounded in a circle full of enemies as they pointed their guns at him.

Scorch: "Guess I will be here for a while…" 


Bear stood in the middle of a pond filled with the blood of the ten enemies he slayed. He heard the stomping sounds coming from behind him that got closer and closer. A man approached him, or at least he looked like a man, in reality he was a giant, who stood three meters above the ground, a big black axe rested on his shoulder, right next to his bald head. Bear who used to be considered "tall" looked like a toddler compared to him. 

"Are you the person who killed those men? You must be pretty strong!" - the giant said. 

Bear: "You want revenge?" 

"Revenge? I'm just looking for a good fight, the people you killed simply died because they were weaker than you, that's just the natural order." 

Bear: "I've never fought an opponent of your size, this might be interesting. Well then, shall we dance?" 

The giant pointed towards himself with his thumb. 

"The name's Agony, I'm the person who's going to kill you and set you free!" 

Bear: "I'm afraid that's impossible, buddy!" 

With the incredible force of his arms, Agony swung his axe right for Bear's puny body, which crushed the ground beneath after he dodged it. The giant grunted and violently began to swing his axe around in a desperate attempt to strike his opponent, but it all felt like he was fighting the air. He was getting tired after a few tries, due to the fact that he was used to killing all of his opponents with one strike. Bear hopped on his shoulder and stood there like a cat with his hands placed on the ground between his legs, then he spoke in his ear.

Bear: "You seem to be having a hard time. Wanna slow down?" 

Agony: "What are you talking about? You haven't even touched me!" 

Bear: "A fight is not simply throwing punches at your opponent, I've killed many people because they didn't follow that golden rule."

Agony: "I agree…" 

Before he could even realize it, Bear was grabbed by the torso and slammed against the ground, a large amount of blood came from his mouth upon impact, it's incredible how he didn't break his spine. He was then thrown far in the distance, but somehow managed to find the strength to land on his feet and stop the sliding with his arm. With blood covering his forehead he looked at Agony with a smile. 

Bear: "I really don't like pain. I was too passive before, but now you are going to pay for this!" 

Agony: "Ohohohoho now it's getting fun!" 

Bear cracked his neck and put both of his hands in his pockets, he charged at Agony with jumping moves while trying to avoid his attacks, as he closed the distance, Agony aimed his punch directly for his head, but missed. Bear slided between his legs, an attack which at first looked like it didn't do anything, but after a second the giant lost balance in his legs and fell on the ground, he looked down only to find the muscles above his heel were cut. As Agony was lying on the ground Bear placed his foot on the enemy's forehead and said playfully.

Bear: "If you surrender I will let you live." 

Agony: "Hahahaha you really are something else, kid! Fine, I surrender so that we can fight again next time!" 

Bear: "Hmph!" 

Bear turned around and walked away, he closed his eyes to relax for a second. After a few seconds he felt as if the ground beneath him was shaking, followed by the sounds of crumbling, he turned around towards the direction of Agony's body, but immediately received a blow to the face, he was sent flying towards the river. Agony grabbed his throat and pushed it under the water, only letting him out for a second to take a quick breath. 

Agony: "Let this be a lesson for you kid! Never turn your back on a breathing enemy because you might be the one to lose it first!" 

Agony submerged Bear's head multiple times, but eventually grew bored of it, so he decided to let him drown and be done with it. Bear desperately reached out for the knife in his pocket, his body was shaking, his breath was fading, as his eyes rolled on their back, he grabbed the knife and in a quick motion he stabbed Agony in the throat. The blood from the giant's throat squired all over Bear's clothes, Agony's hand went numb and he let go. Bear gasped for air and thanked god for being alive.

Bear: "You… (gasp) I really hope you received the fight you were looking for…" 

Agony: "It's all I could've… asked for. But before I go, what Is your name… warrior?" 

Bear: "Bear… It's Bear!" 

Agony: "I will make sure to tell everyone in the afterlife about the man who took my life. Goodbye, Bear!" 

Bear looked towards the sky, hidden behind the dark smoke of burning fire, wishing he could see the sun. In that moment a tear of empathy rolled down from his eye.