Aiden and the Scroll of No Man's Land

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Chapter 3

Each one of the thugs wore a gangster jacket which was sizes way too smaller than them and they also wore cameo shorts of different colors. With this, each of the four thugs had at least two necklaces that had some kind of animal’s tooth on it. Their leader Hrosskel Ogurrsson also had two of his teeth, the incisors to be precise, from the jawline grow out of his mouth upwards almost reaching his upper lip. Villagers here did have this, more pronounced in the males than with the females but most of them tend to shorten them to a size that would not make them an obstacle. It was another of the lesser-known features of the people that lived here and something, for once, I was glad not to have.

“Took you about seven minutes this time.” my sister expressed in an annoying tone. “Let me guess.” she continued as I opened my mouth for the explanation. “Sleeping?” she asked and I nodded almost ashamed, but thankfully the Gurzal gang brawn as they might have had, had no brain. This meant they knew only Gorse and that too was limited due to them dropping off their education for thug life.

I knowing my sister was glad she was keeping this part of the conversation in the language that left the Gurzal gang scratching their head. “I did not know about the trouble until Vare came up to me.” I switched tongues as I glanced over my shoulder to look at a petrified Vare. He took this opportunity to barely mutter out the following sentence. “I….just remembered I have some work to do.” He said and just one look at him would say he was utterly terrified of the Gurzal gang. Of course, looking at his thin frame one could easily make out he was not the fighting type. “Do go.” I said sensing he did not want to be there. He instantly took to his heels as he headed back the direction he had come without a doubt feeling safer with each step.

My sister was just a couple of years older than Vare and even though she was just two years younger to me she had almost beat me in height. She did not have the lean masculine build I had but instead had a thin frame, much like Vare’s but unlike him, she was not scared one bit of the gang or any danger for that matter, in fact, the complete opposite of him, even when everyone else was tensed up. She called it ‘keeping a cool head’. I, on the other hand, preferred to call it overconfidence.

I reeled back into reality as I asked “So what did they do this time?” to my sister. This time the leader Hrosskel Ogurrsson answered in his limited Gorse. “I tell what she did this time you voule. She stole eyden seeds from Derof’s shop just a few minutes ago!!” he said the last line almost shouting. “Did not!!” retorted Xaya, in an agitated voice as she looked at me for reassurance. “I don’t think she did,” I said knowing even though my sister was a little crazy and reckless she wouldn’t lie to me in such things. “Oh, what do you know voule?” Snorted Ondottr Ogurrsson the right-hand man and younger brother of Hrosskel Ogurrsson.

Even though I had been called many names by now I knew what most of them meant mostly because I was really curious about what people were calling me and for what deed I had done to be on the eternal list of people who had to be insulted.

Till now my sister had the utmost pleasure of explaining the meanings of the insulting words. Since I had learned Gorse from my Mom and not by the school like everyone else I, of course, did not know the meanings but when my sister explained the words the inhabitants of this place were calling me it shed some kind of light into the otherwise completely dark room. She said that most of them were calling me an invader, alien and someone who should have been sent away like I should be exiled. However, there was one word that I had never learned the meaning of and it was the very word that Hrosskel Ogurrsson and Ondottr Ogurrsson had used and no amount of pestering of my sister, revealed the meaning of that word.

Over time, I assumed that it was some kind of insult and maybe something my sister could not speak about. One of the main reasons I had lost interest in the meaning of the word was mainly because it was not one of the most frequently used words by those who used to throw insults at me. Thinking about it now I felt like it was only the Gurzal gang that used this insult. In my knowledge, I considered this the highest in my insults and it was mostly because I did not know the meaning of that word. As a consequence, I took it personally and this just took me to the next level of anger.

So now with new anger within me, I spoke trying hard to restrain it. “Sister do tell honestly, did you steal from Derof’s shop?” I asked just for confirmation. “Brother, you for real? You know me better than anyone.” She replied looking at me square at the face with a dead-serious expression. Now that was more than enough for me and so I spoke, not restraining my voice. “Why lie Hrosskel? Don’t you have better work to do other than going about falsely accusing my sister?” I asked my voice clear and loud in anger.

Hrosskel who must have recognized his poorly thought out plan had failed and so he spoke looking like he was searching his entire mind for the appropriate words. “Hey, how would you know? You were not there.” said the third ruffian whose name I had still hadn’t caught till now. “I take my sister’s word for it.” I said and although I knew it was a laughable proof as my sister had mentioned before I knew her better than anyone in the village and that is why I had to rarely second guess my sister’s decisions.

As expected and mentioned, the ruffians did suddenly break into a burst of big and rather loud laughter and even went as far as to go about rolling on the ground to express how lightly they took my assessment of the situation. This was my limit. At this moment my sister spoke one word and then I knew that the Gurzal gang was going to be regret laughing for a long time. “Kizal?” she asked and I responded with a nod and then within a flash both me and my sister were running headfirst towards the laughter stricken Gurzal gang.

They were so in laughter about my assessment that I felt bad that within seconds all of that laughter was going to change into whining like that of a little child. However, that did not stop me from running towards their leader who was taking the support of a wall, like as though all that laughter had made him weak in the knees. “Oh, I’ll make sure those knees get a lot of rest.” I said as I neared him. Seconds later I was right in front of him and although he was at least two feet higher than me, that did not intimidate me. His eyes were closed in laughter and his left hand was on his mouth covering it like he was trying to constrain his laughter, while his other hand took the support of the wall.

I then took a quick scan of him and assessed his weak points. For a being like him, one might think he was really strong but in fact, he was the real opposite. Years of unhealthy diets and unexercised fat had left him with sluggish movements and not-so-powerful strikes which only made my job much easier. I then took my first blow first jumping up into the air and then balling my hand tightly in the form of a punch. I then wounded my right hand behind left shoulder the back of my hand ready to face anything in its path. When I thought I was at the highest point of my jump I then unwounded my hand and swung it across my chest in an outward arc building momentum with every moment. Hrosskel never saw it coming.

As the back of my hand met his cheek I heard a resounding ‘slap’. I knew this type of attack was something short and sharp bringing along with it a sharp pain like that of a bite of a snake. I then retrieved my hand and felt it hot like red hot iron but the pain I felt was nothing compared to what the leader of the gang had experienced. His hand had gone instantly to his cheek to soothe it but I knew that this type of attack was one that only grew with time. Although now I was feeling some empathy settling in into me I knew I was not done.

‘Just one more’ I promised myself as I risked a glance to my sister who was having it head-on with the Hrosskel’s brother, the fatter and weaker knee of the two. My sister was doing great as far as I could see. She was blocking those heavy blows with both her hands crossed and even counter striking whenever possible.

It was hard to tell who had started the fight first but judging from the visible blood clotting that Ondottr had on his hand it was quite clear that my sister had started off the fight with one of her signature kicks that allowed her to raise her kicking leg to a height almost as high as her own body. Just as I noticed that I saw her block one more of Ondottr’s kick before landing a kick of her own to his stomach that left him gasping for air as he staggered back holding his affected area with both hands while he screamed. My sister then turned to me and gave me a smirk and I replied. “Wow! that was a spot on kick!” I spoke as I focused my eyes on the rest of the gang. The third thug was off to the corner fallen on the ground his face to the sky while the fourth, the youngest and scared of them all was nowhere in sight, before my sister could answer though I felt the heavy breathing of the Hrosskel as he recovered from my blow and so I know decided to finish him.

Hrosskel was still on his feet and his hands were still on his cheek and so I decided to test out one of the least used moves I have tried before. I wasn’t sure whether it would work because of how heavy Hrosskel was but I thought it was worth a try, and so I got to my knees just as Hrosskel threw a powerful punch right where I had been and then used my momentum to swing my outspread my leg along with my body into a twirl and brought in my leg with full force towards Hrosskel’s right leg. Again I made solid contact and I felt the familiar leg on leg contact noise. For a second though I thought I had broken the bones in my leg because Hrosskel’s one leg was double the width of my own. I had initially planned to get both his legs with one swipe of my own but I knew that was far-fetched and would probably leave me with major fractures. Thankfully I now realized I had not broken any bones as I did not feel any intense pain like the last time. Instead what I had done was made Hrosskel cry out in pain for the second time as his hands rushed from his cheek to his right shin.

Within seconds he was hopping around clearly in pain and I took advantage once again as I aimed a punch right at the center of his stomach and made him topple over his poor buddy as he too went in back first as his open eyes gazed the afternoon sky.

Making sure Hrosskel was not waking up any time soon, I for one last time looked at my sister hoping she had not ended up like the gangsters, but in fact looking at her general direction I saw her, her back against me and in front of her lay Ondottr lying in the rubble of an already broken concrete pillar which was now over a hundred several pieces over him like the pillar had collapsed over him. I would have been shocked but by now it was kind of something I had expected out of my rage-filled sister. She now turned around and whisked away from the concrete dust that had filled the air and said. “Give or take a few more weeks before any other trouble starts to show up.” she said and I could not help but smile at her as I put my hand over her shoulder. “Yes, that’s for sure.” I said as I felt a tiny body climb out of my shirt pocket, which was his hiding spot, and onto my shoulder.

“Oh, I see you got Ms. Littlefire to the show today!” She said as she reached over to take Nibbles from my shoulder. “Call him what you want but his name is Nibbles cause I found him.” “But I named her first” countered my sister as we headed back towards the house. “That’s because I was still searching for a good name you know and as I have told you a hundred times. Also, he’s a guy, not a girl.” I said and I knew even though my sister knew this, it was one her many ways of irritating me. “Sure, sure,” she replied as she tried to think of something to continue the pestering. But then all of a sudden her expression became serious like she had just remembered something very important as she asked. “Aiden you do have the gem right?” she asked and I put my hand over my chest and felt the green gem on the end of the necklace. “Yes for sure.” I replied, “You don’t need to ask every time.” I continued feeling like I could handle the responsibility myself. “I ask for it every time because mom said to me so. You know how she says how important it is.” I nodded in agreement. Important it was and I knew. For what though was another big mystery. I had pestered my sister a lot to give some details about why this was so important but later realized she did not know anything. My mom, however, would start up with another of her stories to sway my mind off the jewel.

We now proceeded back the way we came following the path I had taken. Soon we had arrived back at our house where, with no hesitation, we entered. Our fight even tough single-sided had left us famished but our mom had us covered. Except that we had to answer a well thought out quiz our mom had prepared for us. “So it took you more than half an hour to bring me just a few Eyden seeds?” she asked suspiciously and we knew we had to act quick or else there would be trouble.

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