Slayer's Awakening by H. L. Nguyen - HTML preview
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The Past, 1953 AD
With a quick glance at the date Jacob Sands thought, Hey, today’s my birthday. If you knew him, he was 24. If you didn't, he was 43.
Jacob sat and enjoyed the rest of his newspaper at the local café. He took a moment to watch the compact cars pass by the immaculate gray stone fountain. He counted how many times the water streams leaped from rock to rock. He looked dazed, lost in a moment where no one else existed.
“Will that be all for you today?” The waiter said.
“Excuse me sir,” The waiter said in an Italian accent.
Jacob shook off his daydreaming look.
“Sir...” The waiter said again.
“Yes. I’m sorry what did you say?” Jacob said.
“Oh, yes, that will be all for me. Wait, can I just have one more cup.”
“Very well sir.”
The waiter filled his cup one last time before giving him his change. Jacob took his final sips and continued staring at the streams, finishing his thought process. Feeling satisfied, he got up and threw the change into the relaxing fountain. The nostalgic flopping of the water reflected to his younger days of skipping rocks at the lake.
Just before Jacob walked down the busy street, away from the green and white striped awning, he briefly stared into the sun and continued to walk. He waved his hat for an instant, just to feel the cool air across his neck.
He headed down towards the nearby church wanting to meet someone he had never seen before, but would recognize instantly. If he were a local there, they would recognize his black case with the silver handle he always carried. When he reached the white stone church, he read the sign on wall: SAN PIETRO. He gently pushed against the dark brown wooden church door. He noticed a man dressed in white with a glowing aura outlining his body as if a four-year-old child colored him in yellow.
“Hello Bishop,” Jacob said.
“Hello, what can I do for you today?” The Bishop said.
“It is not what you can do for me, but what can I do for you?” Jacob said while setting down the case on the table. “I heard you been having some trouble of late. I am here to make it all better. Just have a seat.”
“I don’t understand. What troubles am I having? What are you going to do? Who are you?” The Bishop said.
Without answering, Jacob opened his case and after a couple of seconds, a bright white light filled the room. When the blinding light dimmer to the normal setting, the Bishop was standing alone.
“Master Sands, I don’t think they are here. We must be going the wrong way,” Said a pudgy elf with pointy ears and dark hair. Many people knew him as Jacob but it seemed as though in this world he was given the title of “Master” A title fit for a hero.
“I don’t know Jelly; I have a feeling this has to be the right way,” Master Sands said.
As they walked along the path, the tranquillity of the moon’s reflection in the darkened lake gleamed beneath the rippling surface. It was a cold night, and Master Sands felt the light breeze tightening his face, but the weather was mostly gloomy there. He tried to swat away the trails of golden streams glittering nearby. They bothered his brown eyes, which his shaggy, dark red hair slightly covered as it grew covering the tops of his ears.
Master Sands marched along the path in his silver armor adorned with a black trim border and silky white cape. One would think the clunky armor would make a maddening clatter, but the well-fitted suit did not make a sound. The only sounds they heard were the operatic sounds of insects telling their story for anybody that wants to hear it. Master Sands looked ahead and became aware of the tall white stone churches. There were several of them standing throughout the long pathway.
“Ah Master, I still don’t believe this is the right way. We must turn...” Suddenly, a black shiny arrow, passed through Jelly’s body sporting a brown tunic and green sleeves, hitting Master Sands in the left shoulder. Then, a slow rush of blood dripped down the silver and black metal shell.
“Arrgggg! I guess they found us,” Master Sands said as a large transparent bubble covered up the entire area.
The intense pain trickled up and down his arm. He gripped the wound knowing it would reduce the damage. His training was extensive. Then, he heard the twine of the bow and another black arrow zipped across the night’s air. Judging by the trajectory of the flight, it looked like it came from the church bell tower. As the arrow approached him, his eyes dilated giving him a slight visualization advantage. Then in an instinctive shift, he swung his sword cutting the second arrow in half.
“I guess it’s time to party. I love it when I crash one,” Master Sands said while running for the gap between the rocks. The dive proved to be painful reminder. With his back against the rock, he grimaced out his next step.
Jelly ran towards his Master, rustling through his black bag and picked the golden ball from his entire collection. He hurried over and smashed it on the injured shoulder. When the golden ball shattered into several pieces, it released a dark maroon liquid, which then percolated into the armor. He watched as the unorthodox arrow popped out and hovered in the air for a moment. It suddenly flipped around and shot back. At that moment, the blood moved in a reverse direction trickling up the arm and back into the Master Sand’s body as if someone hits the rewind button. After a couple of seconds, there was a loud thud in the background; it looked like a man that was dressed all in white fell from the towering trees in the distance.
“You have any more of those in your bag of tricks?” Master Sands said.
“Yes master, just one more,” Jelly said.
“Great, keep it handy as I take care of the other one.”
Feeling like a new man, Master Sands peeked over the rock and found an outsized individual dressed in all smoldering black. From what he could see, the large man had chaotic black hair and a gray deranged face. He held a heavy sledgehammer, with a sharp blade behind the hammer’s head and had every intent of using its destructive capabilities.
“You killed brother! Come you coward,” The large man’s spinning head made the some of his words fade out.
“So this is what Bipolar Disorder looks like. I would have figured for something different. Man, they get uglier as they mature. Don’t they?” Master Sands said. Master Sands summoned his helmet and jumped out confronting the man in black.
“You pay for killing brother.” The large man said.
“Oh stop with your whining. If we are going to fight, then let’s fight,” Master Sands said.
Amidst the spoken words, the large man grinded his yellow teeth and charged. The swings of the sledgehammer came brisk and hard. Master Sands veered up blocking the overhead attack. Though the defense was standard, the powerful attack almost broke through the defensive hold. Nevertheless, the large man missed on his first attempt at Master Sands’ head. However, the instant second attempt, a swift upswing, caught Master Sands in the leg. Master Sands grabbed his bloody mess and hobbled away. With no time to recover, the large man charged him again. As he again mirrored his first attack, Master Sands had the foresight to use a patent defensive parry, a baseball power swing. It effectively collided with the sledgehammer, leaving it flying into a tree. Feeling anguish, the large man decided to try a hand-to-hand combat technique. The right-hand haymaker connected with Master Sands’ face sending him stunned and crashing to the ground. The large man stormed towards his lying opponent and went for a swift kick to the gut.
In the background, Jelly trembled with each blow to the body. He felt horrible because there was nothing he could do. After several kicks, Master Sands finally grabbed his foot and swept the other leg. The large man went down with a thud. Master Sands hobbled along the side pouncing with purpose. Gaining the ground advantage, he fiercely struck his opponent’s face. With his sword in his right hand, he pummeled the large man with his left fist. However, the large man just laughed and smiled with each crash of the fist. It was apparent that they had no effect. Master Sands stared and wondered what to do next. Then, the large man lifted him and tossed Master Sands several feet into the trees. Master Sands staggered got up and found the large man charging him again.
Man, he just doesn’t want to quit, what is he on? Master Sands wonder.
As the large man ventured closer at great speed, Master Sands yelled “Plantar Fastis!” A light beam emerged from the base of his sword and shot out of the tip. The beam struck the large man accelerating his legs. His legs kept pumping looking like he did not have the capacity to stop. Then with such great velocity, the large man later found himself stuck splitting a tree in half. To add insult, Master Sands cut his right arm creating a much more painful experience. This gave Master Sands sufficient time to regroup and run back to Jelly.
“I hope you have what I need,” Master Sands said.
Jelly, with the red vial ready, threw it towards the waiting hands of Master Sands. With a quick drink, he felt the course of energy run through his veins resulting in the healing of his leg.
Master Sands looked back and found the large man missing. He turned to the left to find the large man still in his angered state, but this time, with his misplaced weapon. Master Sands was again surprised at the large man hasty stealthiness, after his successful weapon’s “search and rescue” efforts.
Then with another charge from the large man, he continued his rampage. Master Sands anticipated the show of aggression and waited for the right moment. Next, Master Sands spun counterclockwise with his sword catching the blade of the sledgehammer and pulling the large man forward. With a quick counterattack, he spun the other way cutting off his head. The large black-dressed man fell to his knees and turned into ashes. Feeling proud, Master Sands strutted over to his assistant.
“Did you see that? Did you see how well I took care of the Teck? I learned that from Archer. What number is that for me? I should be in the top three, right? You know I always say this, but we make a great team.” As Master Sands continued to boast about his victory, a white-dressed man hurtled his pike from behind.
“Master Sands, behind you!” Jelly said.
Master Sands instinctually knelt. He saw the small spearhead slide off his shoulder nearly missing his cheek. Then in one motion, he flipped his sword up reversing his grip and thrust it through the large man’s heart. The large white-dressed man collapsed on his back, took one last breathe, and turned into ashes.
“Does that count as three?”