An Old Friend (SSS Submission 2018)

_(Disclaimer: couldn't think of a cool name for the main character, feel free to put what you wish :P_) “I accept”, he said with a haughty grin plastered onto his {{champion:91}} stupid face, did he not listen to everything I’ve tried to warn him about? Making this decision against all that I’ve ever guided. Does he not see the greater threat here? He began to rise, the air aggravated by his pressure but I quickly stilled it resting my hand on his shoulder. Facing his glare I pressed on, “My Liege, I highly advise you to reconsider”, there was a moment of confusion on his face before it changed to a familiar snarl. “Are you questioning my decision #####?” His tone on the edge of a threat, I met his eyes with a pleading look which seemed to cool his head for a moment, still, his pride won over. Brushing my hand off he stood regally. Positioning myself in his way I made a subservient bow, again attempting to get him to see reason. “Please my King, no good will come from this”, I added in a much quieter way “Talon, I need you to trust me here”. I expected him to listen….. to at least have some semblance of reason, instead his face contorted at the mention of his name, “I Will decide on what is good #####, your advisement is unnecessary”. The tension was almost palpable, my rage at his idiocy near visible but I stood down, not because of a sudden change of opinion but an influx of pity for him and what he was causing. I gritted my teeth, “You’re right as always sire, my advisement isn’t necessary….not anymore”, Making a small bow I turned and began moving towards the door all the while taking in the features of the surrounding courtroom, there were few who were innocent and they would surely pay, all of these people not understanding how they were manipulated blinded by their own greed and their self-assumed intellect. My gaze eventually came to rest on her {{champion:39}} , the one who served as the lynchpin for all of our struggle. Even now I couldn’t feel anger towards her, I knew that truly she wouldn’t do these things knowingly, or at least willingly, those who were behind her were no mystery and they would be the ones to be brought to reckoning, then again who am I to say what she would or would not do. Our eyes met….but I saw no sliver of recognition. I ignored the disappointment brewing, my feelings for her were better left untouched. I exited the hall, the ritualistic sounds of the duel behind me. **** The fire flickered precariously close to extinguishing as the dull rhythmic thuds came off the mountain side. My fist ached slightly as I made one final strike towards the irregular surface of the granite cliff face, the moonlight reflecting off of the many minerals. Ironspike Mountains, once know for its abundance of natural resources it was slowly sucked dry till no one thought it to be valuable. I went back to the small encampment, the flames regaining their former strength now properly roasting the pot. Inhaling deeply I looked up, gazing at the stars always brought me peace, no matter what changed they would always be there. My emotions settled I began stirring the pot, reminiscing while all the while enjoying the pleasant aroma. It was strange, to think that the place that I found the most comfort in was a place that I hated for a good portion of my life. My body almost subconsciously shuddered thinking about the old geezer that put me up to the “training”. I once thought of him as an arrogant, cruel and terrifying individual…not much has changed, I thought back to one of his earliest tasks for me “Break this mountain #####, with your fists”, that made me chuckle, how foolish I thought he was being at the time… ”I’m glad you're still able to laugh”, My head snapped to the direction of the sound and I prepared for a sudden attack, worry struck me knowing there were very few who could sneak up on me. A hooded figure stepped into the light with a bindle, I took in his figure, his cowl covered his face but his aura was unhindered…..golden…I recognised him then. His figure disappeared reappearing with his muscled fist a nails thickness away from my eyes. “These Fists have crushed mountains…yet you didn’t even blink, damned monster.”, his voice resounded unnecessarily. “I would call it Vision worthy for a God no, much like your voice?”, he began chuckling at this, I joined him as we hugged, he held my shoulders and I saw him hesitating for…something. “Come let’s eat, talk can come later”, I gave him a relaxed smile, “or do you not even need to eat anymore?”, he returned the smile and removed his cowl “Lee”. {{champion:64}} **** A contented sigh escaped him as a took a stretch, “Delicious…at least for a simple broth”, he grinned, I knew his jest was to comfort me and felt warmed with this knowledge, however the time had come, already half knowing the answer I asked, perhaps more for his sake than mine. “So what brings the Immortal God Fist to this humble traveller?”, he straightened up causing the relaxed atmosphere to dissipate, “Why so serious, does the blindfold really not allow you to see me?”, he smiled again albeit more grimly, taking off the fabric revealing a radiant glow within his eyes, “No, more to blend in with the people, they more readily accept a blind man than one who can pierce through to their soul”, “ A wise choice as ever….I always thought how it would be with the God Fist in hand, I swear between the two of us brother there’s not a day that goes by where I don’t wonder whether or not I drew the short straw, the old…” “How are you.”, I looked up seeing him staring at me intently, I sat up as well returning him a cold gaze. It seemed… that I couldn’t be carefree. “Are you asking because of your worry for me…..or them”, “#### I…”, “the fact you even ask tells me that he lost” He grew silent for a moment “….yes”, I exhaled, “what happened?”, “I’m told she took victory from him rather easily… and….”, “and?, “he lashed out at her after the duel was decided…he’s being heralded as the haughty dragon king who was unable to accept defeat with his hubris, his attempt failed, and he was banished to the mortal realm with his power sealed.”. There was a brief moment of silence but it seemed to stretch tenfold with the cold atmosphere being exuded. Exhaling, I decided to continue the talk, no point in stopping now, “ He lashed out not because of his excessive pride, he’s not one to not be able to accept, especially when there was something to learn, no…those final moments he probably realised what he had lost. Why he had lost. It was the only way he thought of saving it…..killing her”. “Do you hate her?”, I was slightly surprised by this, he wasn’t usually so inquisitive. “Hate her? No…I could never hate her…not truly, men cannot be judged by their looks, seas cannot be measured by cup, I cannot judge her for her actions, whatever the reason…I still care for her even now…with a little luck maybe she’ll see the truth”, I smiled as I remembered her tending to the injuries I obtained from training, our idle embraces by the lake, the bliss of our youth. “What will you do?”, “….I don’t know, maybe nothing, perhaps I would do better to work in a small village by the coast idling myself till death... “, “You waste my time.”, Now I was surprised, he was not never one to blatantly insult someone. He rose to his full height, “Even a blind-man can see your weakness”, he jabbed a finger towards my chest, “Your soul has already given up” “Can I be blamed?” “Can he?, what do you think he’s doing in the mortal realm? Revelling in his own sadness wondering about different ways to settle down?” I knew the answer, he was stubborn, he would fight on till his last breath regardless of hardship. I rose and looked at him, I couldn’t find the appropriate words, he seemed to understand, “Go, do what you must, I’ll consider retreat an insult” Nodding I turned and began striding into the forest my motivation renewed, I turned back one last time and called out “Lee…thank you”, he gave a final wave before I was too far away. **** Lee finished off the last of the broth, enjoying the lingering taste on his mouth. About to leave he heard a large rumbling behind, as he turned he witnessed the cliff-face collapsing. It seemed, due to the inside being hollowed out making it impossible to hold it up, Lee grinned “Damned Monster”.

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