We stand bravely before the forest, well… I would not say bravely, but with some courage, “Okay, let’s do this,” He shock face examines me, “Are you sure, princess?” The sun slowly passes us beyond the forest line.
“You said so yourself, Cardio, we have no choice,” “Right then…” I cling to his bicep, I pin my eyes in whimper and slowly open them toward, gloomy, frightening warrior trees, “We’re okay, it’s okay, we’ll be okay…”
“J-just run, Cardio,” He scans the surrounding area bravely, clinging to my hand, “No, we will be fine, princess, I’ll protect you,” I glance at him twitching his lips as he does when he’s serious, “Yes, but who's protecting you?”
He doesn’t bother a reaction… a shadow rises before us and before we can run… something slams against the ground and we separate different directions, sand and leaves tangles in my hair whilst I scramble to my feet, “Cardio…”
I pull on his bicep to stand, his heavy strength does not help my weakness, “We need to run,” I pull him through the forest as quickly as I can, “There is no hiding from me minor humans…” Our eyes search the voice ringing through the forest.
“Who’s there?” His bravery stands tall whilst he pulls me closer to him, “The one everyone fears…” We glance at each other and search again.
The voice jumps behind us, and we spin toward it… a leaf-creature bends forward glancing between us, “Who are you? What are you doing in my forest?”
His accent vibrates through the forest, I step forward with Cardio clinging to my hand, “Forgive us for i-intruding, we just need to pass through please, we’re in desperate seek of farming lands,”
We focus on the leaf-creature shrinking our length, his broad grin shows a few missing teeth, “I am Sir, Nark, defender of this forest, no one enters through my forest without my approval, what is it that you seek here?”
I glance at Cardio swallowing the knot in his throat, “We’re in need of your guidance, Sir, Nark, to pass through to reach the farming lands,” Nark nods scanning the surrounding area whilst plugging a few leaves from his arms.
“I was lost a long time ago too, until I became king of this forest…” We heel Nark tightly through the gloomy forest, eyes peers on us… every movement we make awakens new creatures, Cardio pulls me closer to him, “No need to fear, this is my forest, with me you are safe, they would not dare to attack.”
Nark talks about dangers in the forest, stories of hunters going missing, men seeking revenge and never leaving… on the outside, he’s a stone-hearted creature but on the inside, he’s as soft as a rose.
“Well, there is the road you seek, good luck on your journey minor humans,” We both thank him…
It’s been a few hours since we started our road journey, the dry air drains every moisture it can find from us whilst we waddle further.
“Are we in any way close to where we need to be?” Cardio block the sun and point toward a farm industry, “There… I see them, come on,”
“it looks abandoned, are you sure this is even safe?” He shrugs his shoulders, “Not sure, we have to rest,” Minor wooden houses with minor yards and minor fencing surrounding it. Orange straw roofs and only dirt tracks showing no sign of life.
A pinned board above us swings in annoyance, we both look upward at the rusty name, “The Abounded town, I presume?”
“Let’s just go in, this rain is starting to stick to my everything…” I follow him inside the farmhouse, he closes the door, “Dawn there’s something… I should tell you this,”
I turn to him, “Yes? What’s wrong?” My concern looks sets him off course; he scratches the back of his neck, “Your parents… they’re alive,” My expression drops, “Excuse me, what?”
He creeps toward me, his palms warm mine, “Forgive me, Dawn, this is a shock, I know… they um send me to find you,”
What in the world is happening now? Is it real? Am I dreaming perhaps? “But how? They passed in the fire… our minor house, you saved me…”
He lets go of me and rubs his face, resting against the wooden wall, “Yes, there was a fire, and yes… I also thought they passed…”
“Come on, minor brat, you are only making this harder for yourself,” These years dragging children into a certain lifestyle, was not forbidden, when a certain age arrived, you were permitted to join whatever the parents agreed upon.
In year: 1968, they forced me to join the war program, and according to the law, it was not my voice to fight against them.
I battle against their grip, but it’s no use, even if I could fight, I was too weak to fight against their demanding palms, “Come… on,” The immense wooden doors open slightly, and before I know it, they push me inside and slam it shut.
My minor fist slams against the door, “Let me out,” “Another child joins the fight,” I snap at the demanding low-key voice behind me.
I turn toward the long man standing before me, “Where am I? Where is my friend? What kind of place is this?” I had an idea where I could be, I was unsure… “Quiet down, boy, I can’t think with your chattering,”
His immense hands rest weight on my shoulders, “Yes, you will do perfect, I have seen this kind of spirit before, a borne warrior… a true spirit to fighting… Desmond Scott,”
My expression drops, “M-my father?” He nods firmly, “Yes boy, he was a warrior on his own, a true king warrior,”
I was forced into this lifestyle which frightened me utterly, I might be like my father but some things are not meant for children.
As the years pass on, I became my own warrior I always dreamt of becoming, I have fought battles and lived through tales that no man should live through.
I was the ultimate warrior that every general could dream of having…
My eyelids flutters to waves slamming against my legs, sore and crushed from the fight I somewhat remember, I peek at the sun blinding me whilst I push on all four.
The same around me covered in red liquid and fatal soldiers, not a soul moves beside my own.
What the heck happened?
I take my stand slowly… glancing at the scars slowly closing, “What happened?” I scratch my messy hair… two figures in the distance distracts my thoughts, “Cardio… is that you? C-Cardio?”
“Cardio, thank goodness,” The dirty female pulls me into a hug, I somewhat remember her warmth… she looks exactly like… “Wait, Dawn, where is she? Did you find her?”
She pulls away clinging to her husband, “No, sweetie, she is not with us,” My knees cave in, for some reason my strength has not returned yet…
“I thought you found her by now… did you not?” Her mother, Iris shakes her head, causing the watering works to run sideways, “No dear, we have been searching for years now, we got word in town that the war was on this beach, it took us a few days to reach here…”
I glance at their dirty skins blinking in the sunlight, their clothing ripped in some parts, and their hair grimy from the survival.
I bend my head, pinned eyes, “We got separated the day of the fire,” Their eyes stretch at me as soon as I look up, “Separated? But… who could have taken her?” Her father, Dwight questions in fear.
“I do not know Sir; I know nothing of what happened to Dawn,” Her mother seeks her father desperately… “Cardio, please help us, son, please find her, she needs to come home, if something happens to our minor girl…”
I sigh scanning the beach around me, surrounded by swords and guns and dead soldiers, “I-I do not even…” His palm squeezes on my shoulder… enough to motivate me, enough to remember my promise I made to her… before this all happened, before the war, before the kidnapping, before the dangerous journey we both took…
I inhale the stingy air and exhale in a look… I take my stand uneasily, my hands rest on my hips in a turn…
“I will find her… a promise is a promise,” They glance at each other… as I turn around, “Thank you, son,” “Where will we find you…” Her mother, Irish hugs my cheekbones, her warm palms reminds me of Dawn, “When the time comes, dear, you will remember…”
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