Shortcut to Paradise...

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Chapter 2.

Stan and his men scale the high battlements of the Castle. Unchallenged they make it into the main section of the building.

First coming to a large hall in the center of the building are five swordsmen. They wear armor from head to toe, Stan is at full sprint before they recognized any size of an attack, half of the men were dead in the blink of an eye.

One of the guards parries Stan’s attack only to be caught in the head with the scabbard of the sword, the hard wood knocks off the man’s helmet! Leaving an opening, Stan slides his sword into a weak spot of the armor underneath his opponent's arm, piercing his heart he slumps to the ground!

“Nine of you go left and nine go right, we meet at the apartments, spare nobody and stop for nothing.” orders Stan while he continues into the next room with 7 of his men trailing him.

Inside Stan and his entourage encounter a man nearly seven feet, with a bald head. In his hand is a massive doubled edged axe.

“This where you get no further, I am Gordon, front gate guard of the Emperor's Castle.” Stan looks around to his men, Stan about to take a step forward until his second in command Levi moves toward Gordon.

“I will take him” Stan taps him on the shoulder.

“I will help you” Levi pulls his shoulder out of the way.

“Where is the honor in that, I am going to slay this giant.” Without another word Levi looks only to his enemy.

Levi's long hair is tied in a ponytail and his, he pulls away his assassin mask, to reveal a scarred and battered face.

His left foot steps back and he crutches into his stance his right-hand tickles the handle of his short sword. The large man bounds forward, his heavy steps echoing off the hardwood floor.

Gordon raises the axe high above his head and brings it down in hard strike. Calmly moving to the left at the last second, Levi lands on his feet still in stance.

As Gordon pulls his axe out of the splintered floor, Levi pushes off and catches him with a full speed strike on his left leg hamstring.

The slash comes with a cost as Levi his caught in the face with a full backswing. The strike from the 400 pound man sends 150 pound Levi flying, landing with a hard thud on the wooden floor!!

Levi is quick to recover just as the axe is brought down again, causing yet again another hole in the floor! Levi rolls losing his short sword...

Drawing his dagger, Levi opens Gordon’s forearm from wrist to elbow. Cutting down the tracks instead of across the road causes blood to pore out.

The injured giant bullrushes Levi and runs him into the wall, Levi spits out blood from the impact, with no reprieve, he takes two brutal strikes to the mid-section. Limp he is tossed back onto the wooden floor... Levi pushes himself from his knees as the man picks up the axe, blood runs down his arm.

Levi grips his longsword, his last remaining weapon... As Gordon brings the axe down as he charges forward, moving out of the way of the strike leaves Gorgon’s head open, Levi moves his arm as fast as he can, his sharp blade matched with his strength slips through Gordons temple as if he used a hot knife on butter.

Levi lays on his back, his opponent dead at his side, he coughs as Stan holds out a hand for him. “Can you continue” Levi nods his head and gets to his feet. “We will handle any other fights from here on out you deserve a break.” Reassured Leon nods and Stan presses forward with his men at his heels.

They continue running at the end of a hallway they enter a large dining room one of the men remark that they are in the great hall.

A dozen men enter the hall. The fight is easy enough until two newcomers enter the fray, both of short stature, and held only short swords. Stan watches as two of his men are cut down. As he pulls his short sword out of the gut of his enemy, he turns to face Tin-Tin a legendary swordsman. No wordy banter or insults are exchanged.

Both men went blade to blade, he lost sight of the other swordsman, Stan had to focus on what was in front of him. Tin-Tin countered every strike that Stan sent at him, stepping back after another unsuccessful sword exchange, Stan reached in his back pouch and found them, pulling out two stars he ran at Tin Tin.

Stan mid sprint tosses the stars down range, Tin Tin blocked one with his sword but missed the second as weapon buried itself deeply into Tin Tin’s shoulder. Stan lashed forward, slashing 7 times, five of his cuts hit their marks.

Stan gets up from his knees, his enemy is dead, faced down in a pool of his own blood. The second sword fighter is also dead the group finally come to the top of the castle.

A large brick courtyard separates them from a tall tower. His other groups of men meet them in the courtyard from other entrances, each squad has five men left. With the men left for the attack he barks orders. “You seven with me, you four there is an armory near the stairs, pack the muskets and pop anyone the comes up, make sure you hold down the rear. The rest of you push forward we are going to have to cut our way out of here.”

As the press forward the last of their challengers wait...

Several samurai stood tall, all armored, these were the last real line of defense m

“Black armor, these are his most elite soldiers, I will take them, Bill fight with me the rest of you stay here.” barks Stan. The two men charged forward, Stan tried his move with the throwing stars, the Samurai simply moved. With all his stars stopped, the only thing he could do was stop mid attack, on stay on defense.

Stan struggles to keep up, barley keeping his defensive guard up... his hands start to become numb from the power of his opponents strikes.

It was hard for Stan to keep fighting, these men were extremely skilled it took all he could not to be cut down.

He saw it, seizing the opportunity he tossed sand from his pouch, catching his opponent in the eyes, he slips his short sword into the man’s body, a weak spot in his armor between his collarbone and shoulder. Leaving the blade inside the dead man he moves to his next opponent. He used his longsword, repelling strike after strike.

Using his superior speed, Stan wore the heavy Samurai down. He had sliced him over a dozen times. Finally, the Samurai made a final charge, Stan was faster and was able to drive his sword into the torso, taking armor, skin and bone all in one stab!

Drawing his blade from the dead man he pushes up the stairs leaving his men to guard the tower below. With two men trailing behind they enter the bed chamber.

“Halt, you will not go any further!” Stan blinked once taking in his surroundings. His enemy already had his weapon drawn, Stan gripped the scabbard of his sword ready to draw, hiding in the corner are two women.

Pushing off his back foot Stan dodges the longsword, to his luck it gets stuck in the wooden bedpost, with her defenders arm outstretched, it was easy for Stan to slip his longsword into the man’s chest cavity, provided by the weak spots under his armor. Stan orders his men to grab the girl.

The men look confused. “Which one?” Stan walks over there are two women, one older woman covering a younger woman. Stan taps the younger blonde haired woman using the tip of his bloodied sword. “This one” the men grab her and head down the stairs.

Stan does not come across anymore guards. The men he sent ahead hacked a bloody path through the Castle Guards. Littered with corpses they had to watch where they were running incase they tripped. Making it to the stables they found two dozen horses saddled by Stan’s advance squad... “Let’s get out of here lads, we got the prize.”

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