December 7, 2008
Cloaked in both cloth and shadows, Drago walked hastily down the abandoned side alley, kicking the beggars that dotted his path out of his way. Moonlight shone down on him brightly, and Drago pulled the hood tighter around his head, hoping to keep his identity hidden from those around him, at least until he had completed the following confrontation. One of the more gutsy beggars hobbled towards him and held out a nearly empty wooden bowl, wordlessly asking for any coins. Irritated and unimpressed by the fool, he shoved him away and walked past. The hand that he had not used drifted casually towards his belt and gripped the hilt of his sword.
Soon, the alley came to an end and he emerged into a larger main street that was deserted. As he stepped into the street, a cat ran across the dirt street, its eyes glinting menacingly in the near-darkness. His eyes darted towards the animal when it first appeared, but then he looked away and focused on analyzing his surroundings.
“Come out, come out! You cannot hide from me!” In the silence of the night, his voice reverberated around loudly. For several long minutes, nothing happened, but he was prepared to wait. After fifteen minutes, he prepared himself to walk away, turning his back on the wide road. “Fools!” He cried, “You think to surprise me by hiding in the shadows like the cowards you are, but you fool no one!”
Hatred coated every word he said, thicker and more deadly than poison. Laughing, Drago prepared himself to disappear, wishing that this fight had been more straightforward, or at least fought. Suddenly, a burst of flames filled the night like an explosion. Quickly, Drago spun around in time to feel his cloak being roughly grabbed by another man who was garbed in a long robe similar to his own that disguised his identity. A trail of flames followed behind the man.
Behind this flaming man was a third, who was also hiding his identity behind a cloak, apparently unaware that Drago already knew their identities. An ornate broadsword that looked unfit for combat rested in the third man’s hand, and he was tapping the jagged edge of the blade against the ground restlessly. “Now tell us,” the man who had grabbed him growled, “Who you are. Maybe then, I will consider sparing you.”
“Consider it? I believe that my identity is my last bargaining chip,” he replied. “Who knows? It might just help me out a bit for once.”
“Does this have any connection to your ‘god-like’ abilities?” The third man asked sarcastically, “Because god or not, your identity isn’t going to save you here! It’s time to answer my questions!” The man who had a grip on his cloak shoved him forward and a sword appeared from nowhere in his hand. With deliberate slowness, Drago leaped back and pulled the sword from his own side. Gleaming slightly in the moonlight, Drago raised his twisted sword and pointed it at the two men. Instantly, the man who had grabbed him rushed forward, and the two of them exchanged a brief volley of blows.
Then, he knocked the man backwards and kicked him over before stepping over him to the third man, who had now prepared himself for battle. “You’re still not as foolish as the other one, but that won’t save either of you. As soon as you’re both down…” Smiling wickedly, he drew a single finger from his spare hand across his neck to signify death. The man who stood across from him seemed unfazed by the claim. He merely tightened his grip on the ornate blade and jumped forward. The duo exchanged a much shorter duel, and then he knocked this man to the ground as well. “Damn, does your group have any strong fighters in it? I must say, I really am not impressed with you two, I had hoped that you had improved since our last few fights…”
The first man to fall raised himself, though, and brought his sword back up. “Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard this line from you before,” he coldly stated, “Now come on, let’s finish this!” By now, the second man he had knocked down, who he thought had been knocked unconscious, stood up and raised his blade, pointing its elegant tip at him.
“Very well, but be prepared. You are going to your death.” The two men both attacked him simultaneously, but he was expecting this. Try as he might, though, he could not knock both of the fighters back at once. Metal met metal continuously, and then separated, leaving showers of sparks in the night. From their last fight, the two had definitely increased in their abilities. Figures, I did defeat them easily. Now it looks like they might be an interesting challenge!
This challenge dragged on much longer than he had hoped. Soon, the duo began to overpower him, and they showed no signs of weakening in their assault. If it continued… Then he, Drago, would have to call upon magic to defeat them.
There was a noise of metal scraping against the ground, almost unable to be heard, but all three of them seemed to have heard it, cutting their fight off instantly; it was unmistakable that there was a large group heading their way, most likely from the castle. There was a strange splashing noise, like water striking the rock roads, and he spun around. Walking towards them was a woman who was wearing a sleeveless shirt and had shoulder-length hair that had its color hidden by the darkness.
“Why are you still here, Drago?”
“…You? Why are you here? You should be gone! I captured you again already and sent you back, damn you!” Drago spun around towards the woman and raised his blade, but she raised her own hand and a sword appeared in her hand, looking from a distance like it was made of ice. Drago exchanged a few swings with her, and then he was knocked back, his sword clattering away from him.
“Don’t you see or has he already blinded you, Drago? You are going to be killed!” She placed one of her feet onto his chest to hold him down, and Drago looked up at her, wishing that things could have turned out differently. If only she did not keep getting into his way and interfering with the workings of their group…
“I’m not going to be killed, I can just get out of here.” As he had expected, she had not seen the obvious answer to this question. His ability to disappear and reappear at will was equal to even that of his leader’s, or nearly was.
“You really don’t see anything, do you? He brought you into our group as a pawn! He thinks you’ve outlived your purpose and sent you here to be killed; he didn’t think you’d stand a chance! To make sure you didn’t get out, he even tipped off the guard to your presence and told them that you’re dangerous, they’re coming here now!” Drago looked up at her with surprise, and then back at his two enemies who were looking at him with their weapons drawn and held at the ready.
Pushing himself up from the ground, he allowed his hood to fall off and was delighted when he heard both of the men gasp, and one of them call out angrily, “You!”
“Come on, Drago, we don’t have time!”
Drago looked between the two, unable to choose what to do. Should he follow the woman he had so often chased down and flee the group that he owed his allegiance to, or fight his two enemies to the death and be captured by the guards of the town?
The metal footsteps got ever closer, making irritating ringing noises in his ears. The first of the soldiers walked into his vision, and he made up his mind, turning towards his companion. “Okay, let’s get the hell out of here!”
A third companion for his enemies walked into the alley as well, a woman wearing a white dress with a drawn blade. One of the cloaked men raised his arms and pointed it at the other, a ball of flames shooting out of his palm and striking the other on the chest as he spluttered incoherent words with unknown meanings. Drago, on the other hand turned towards the woman who stood not far from him and slowly felt himself being pulled bodily away from the place, still wondering what had happened and what had gone wrong…
Why had he been betrayed by his own superior?