The Ancients

The Ancients

This Story stars long, long ago when the ancients were half man and half bird. This is about one ancient in particular. His name is Blaze. Blaze lived in a poor part in the large Kingdom ruled by a cruel and mean tyrant named Voren. Blaze had been left with a family when he was a small child. The family loved him and did the best they could for him. When blaze was 17 he had taken to exploring his world more and more when his chores were done. He explored the country side and the town that he lived in. Blaze came to a part of town he had never been to. Things were much nicer in this part of the kingdom. Blaze was unaware that it was against the law for a person of his stature to be in this part of town.
One day Blaze ran into a fighter who was indentured to a very wealthy family whose son wanted to be a fighter as well. The family was against the son, Nowe, fighting in the arena. Blaze ran into Nowe and the fighter running from the constable. Nowe offered to hide Blaze because he felt the law of keeping the Lower class out of this part of the kingdom, a foolish one. After the constable went on by still searching for blaze, Nowe made sure the coast was clear. “You can come out now.” Nowe said to Blaze. “Thank you very much for all your help. If there is anything I could do for you, just ask.” Blaze said to Nowe with a sly smile. “Well there is a favor I would like to ask of you.” Nowe said. “But my family mustn’t know. They would never approve.” Blaze looked at him questioningly. “What is it?” Nowe took a deep breath and said. “I want you to teach me to fight. But it must be away from prying eyes.” Blaze blushed and said with down cast eyes. “I don’t know how to fight.” Blaze looked at Nowe and the fighter. “Hasn’t your fighter taught you?” Nowe’s expression went blank. “As I said, my family is against my learning the ways of a fighter.” Bruno, who had been listening to the two young men, made a decision. After making sure that no one else was around he spoke. “May I speak Master Nowe?” Surprised, Nowe nodded. Bruno continued, “I would be honored to teach both of you the art of combat. By teaching both of you, you can also learn from each other.” Blaze and Nowe looked at each other in surprise. “I know of a place where we can practice and not be disturbed or observed.” Blaze said excitedly. After quickly describing where the place was they left each other.
The next afternoon Blaze, Nowe and Bruno met in the forest glen at the appointed time. Nowe looked around in wonder. “How did you ever find this place? I thought for sure we were lost!” Nowe asked Blaze. Blaze chucked, “Well, a couple of years ago I was hunting near by when I had shot my arrow into a deer. The deer ran off and I followed. This is where I found the deer. I noticed that it was almost impossible to see form the air and definitely impossible to see from the ground.” Bruno said “Good! lets get started. First you must warm up and get limber.” Blaze who stood 6’2” walked into the clearing to get started. he started by stretching his lean body from side to side with his arms raised over his head. His wings, which attached to his shoulder blades also were stretching. His long black hair was so straight that parts of it actually spiked out at odd angles from his head at times. Giving him a wild look. Blaze’s color was black and red. His ebony skin shone brightly in the sun. Blaze’s wings were red on top with black in the lower parts and the underside. Blaze looked over at Nowe to see what he was doing to loosen up. Nowe stood 6’ tall. His wings were white. Though shorter in stature he made up for it in muscle. His skin shone white in the afternoon sun. Nowe’s wings were thicker and longer than Blaze’s. The two were night and day in difference but of the same mind. They both wanted to learn to fight. Nowe and Blaze both worked on different stretches for another fifteen minutes before they went over to stand in front of their teacher. Bruno looked at his two young pupils and remembered two other young pupils from long ago and in another life. “Now, we begin.” Bruno said in all seriousness. “First I must teach you the basics. You must know how to stand and balance before you learn to defend yourself.” Nowe looked rather impatient as he said, “But what about fighting?” “you need to learn to crawl before you can walk” Bruno said calmly as he walked by and put Nowe on his butt with a simple flick of his hand. The rest of the afternoon was spent learning to stand and move from one position to the next. By the end of the evening both Blaze and Nowe were very tired but also very pleased to know they were finally learning to fight.
Blaze and Nowe were very apt students. Bruno was very surprised and pleased at how quickly both of them were picking up the knowledge. The weeks flew by surprisingly fast in a flurry of afternoons and evenings learning the art of combat.
After more than 2 months of training Nowe thought of a very good idea. To get the trunk of Bruno’s weapons to practice with. Unfortunately his parents the ones in possession of the trunk. Nowe talked with Blaze to try and come up with the best way to get it. Both boys thought about it for awhile trying to come up with a good plan. Bruno was not aware at this time of what the boys were plotting. The next day when the boys were under a tree talking rather animatedly, Bruno came over to ask them what they were discussing. The boys hesitated, wondering if they should tell their teacher. After a few moments consideration, Blaze nodded to Nowe and Nowe told Bruno that they were trying to come up with a plan to try and get the trunk so they could practice with real weapons. “I really do appreciate everything you are doing for us, but we want to learn with real weapons, not just sticks.” Blaze quickly told him. Hoping they had not offended Bruno. Bruno turned from the boys for a moment deep in thought. “I know of a way we can get the trunk.” Nowe brightened instantly. “Really? how?” he asked. “Never mind how, right now the important thing is your training and right now you two need practice!” Bruno gruffly told the two young men. “Yes Sir!” they both said in unison. “So what would you like to practice on this afternoon?” Bruno asked Blaze. “I would like to practice with the wooden swords.” Blaze said excitedly. Nowe said he wanted to learn more of the hand to hand combat. So Bruno divided their remaining time practicing both. Three days later Bruno showed up to practice with the trunk. Blaze spotted him first walking towards them from the edge of the forest. “You got it!” Blaze shouted excitedly. Nowe spun around in surprise and hurried over to Bruno. “How?” Was the only thing he could say. “I will explain, for you will know soon enough.” Bruno stated solemnly. “Over here under the tree.” After they were all seated Bruno began. “I went to your parents and informed them that I am to report to the front and will need my weapons to practice with before I leave in 2 weeks.” Both boys sat in stunned silence. No one said anything for a bit. The wind was softly ruffling their hair and feathers. The afternoon sun still shone warmly down on them. Birds were still happily singing in the air and the trees. Instead of time stopping at such a shocking news, it went on. It was as if nothing had happened. Bruno cleared his throat and started to let them know more about the war. “I don’t know how much you know about the war, but let me shed some truth on it. Most people would have you believe that the humans attacked us without any provocation.” here, Bruno Paused. “That is a lie.” Bruno said emphasizing every word. “The humans we thought were no more than animals. They were sub ancients. We thought nothing of using them for sport, our labor or what ever we needed. That is the way it was. Finally, when the humans had had enough they fought back. I make no excuses for either side. But, if we are to be in this war, you need to know the truth.” Nowe and Blaze were silent for a bit. Finally Nowe spoke. “And still you will fight?” Blaze looked at him and asked, “Why?” Bruno sighed. “Because I am chosen to . Now we will train.” Bruno could see the questions in both of the boys’ eyes. Bruno knew he could never tell them the reason he was to go to war. He was going instead of Nowe. Nowe’s parents had come to the servants and asked them what they should do. Nowe’s father had told them that they had received a summons for a member of the house hold to go to the war to fight. John, Nowe’s father, was in no shape to go to the front. His leg had been injured long ago in an old hunting accident. The only one left to go was Nowe. John said that someone must go. He looked at his servants. most of them young women and children really. The old gardener was too old and worn down to send. Bruno knew that it was a choice between him and Danny. Danny was only 14 but already a tall and sturdy young man. But still he was only a boy. Bruno could see he was struggling with his choice. Does he send his seasoned fighter who could win many battles. But then who would stay here and help defend the home? Or does he send Danny, who is young and willing to learn? Bruno stepped forward. “I will go.” Nowe’s mother, Betty, silently cried. Bruno remembered seeing the pain and gratefulness on John’s face. He couldn’t tell Nowe yet. For the next two weeks they learned about the weapons in the trunk. Bruno also taught them about ones they didn’t have. Over the next two weeks Nowe and Blaze discovered which weapons they were best with. Blaze found that he was exceptionally good with a weapon called the Tiger’s fury. It was a weapon that was strapped to his wrist and fore arm. There were 3 very long and curved blades on top. The blades over his fore arm curved up and away from his arm. The blades extended a foot and a half past his hand. They curved at the end under. The blades were sharp on both the top and bottom. Nowe’s weapon was a sword that looked as light as a feather but had the strength of unbreakable steel. The metal was of a natural pale blue the color of a summer sky. The sword was named Sky Wing. Nowe and Blaze were very adept with all the weapons but chose these two above all to use the most and to carry with them. Bruno watched the two young men practice all afternoon with a heavy heart Knowing that tonight was to be the last time they would all be together here with this freedom.

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