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Index
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN
Insight

<<   Page 29   >>
      Blind smiled inwardly at Raven. He had fought, and won, that battle extremely well. And now even though he was still injured internally he was making the effort to walk by himself to the eastern portal. His sword fighting training had gone better than expected. Raven could already counter all of Blinds attacks, and was coming up with innovative maneuvers of his own during each training session fought.

      "The next few lessons weren't going to be as easy," Blind thought to himself. He had already come up with some new ideas that should push Raven to his limit. Blind looked down at Raven as he slipped on a rock, and winced in pain. The force from Raven turned a darker shade of red briefly.

      "We can stop if you like," Blind said watching his life stream color return to its normal shade of red.

      "No," Raven said, continuing to look forward," I'm fine." Blind sighed and reached inside his bag. He found the bottle he was looking for and pulled it out.

      "At least take one of these to help ease the pain." Raven blinked in surprise at the Aspirin bottle in Blind's hand. "You really do have everything in that bag of your don't you?"

      "Probably, anything else you need?"

      "Yea," Raven said opening the bottle, "You have any water?" Blind stopped for a moment.

      "Erm..no I, I don't," Blind stammered. Emmelyne and Raven both chuckled at this while Raven borrowed Emmelyne's canteen and swallowed one of the pills. Even Blind found this highly ironic and smiled at it himself. Raven looked at him and stopped.

      "What?" Blind asked, still smiling.

      "You smiled, that's what."

      "Oh," Blind said thinking about that. He had smiled. "What's so strange about that?"

      "You never smile, that's what," Raven replied holding out the Aspirin bottle.

      "Oh" Blind said reaching for the bottle. Thoughts passed through his head.. he had smiled, he had found that funny even. Up until now he had only thought of himself as a teacher and nothing more; maybe the three of them were becoming friends. Questions now passed through Blind's mind: Could he stay here once his task was completed was he more human than he originally thought.. and if so where was he from?

      "Thank you," Blind said taking the bottle. He looked down at it and stopped.. a flash of light and he was looking at himself from another point of view. Someone was hiding in the trees behind them. The world spun once and returned to his normal sight. He calmly put the bottle backing its place. "Well let's continue on, we have a while to go."

      The next hour passed by slowly. Towards the end, Emmelyne started to point out all of the types of plants around them, describing them all from memory. Which ones healed and which ones hurt. Raven and Blind walked in silence listening to her and absorbing all of her knowledge.

      "That one there is Poison Ivy. You have to watch out for that one. But see that plant growing on it, that's the cure for it."

      "An interesting mix of harmful and helpful," Blind noted. Emmelyne nodded in agreement.

      "We should make camp soon, its getting dark and there's a nice clearing over there," she said pointing. Raven and Blind had no objections for stopping for the night and were soon sitting around a warm fire. Raven and Emmelyne were talking about the elves or something.. Blind wasn't paying a lot of attention to them. He was thinking. But moreover he was worried.

      Who was he? He couldn't remember anything before waking up in the forest, and was doing his best to stay one step ahead of everyone else therebut he was finding everything difficult. He didn't know where to go next and what was going to be waiting for him. There was a large task at hand but how could he possibly finish in time, would everyone even be ready for the future? And what about him? He didn't feel normal, and by all means he possessed power and strength beyond any human on the planet.. but Blind kept doubting. He smiled and bled like everyone else, but he wasn't like them. Something was making him human and not human at the same time and it got to Blind. He wanted to know what it was. All of a sudden he wanted to be like everyone else around him. Of course he hadn't known many people in his short lifespan so he couldn't really put his finger on what he wanted. He did know for sure the he wanted to be like more of a friend to those with him and less of a teacher.

      Blind's thoughts were cut short when he noticed a trail of white life stream flow slowly through the camp. Whatever it was that had been following them was waiting for them. Blind turned to Raven.

      "Raven," Blind said getting his attention," I believe when you're well enough your ready to move onto your next lesson."

      "Really?" Raven asked arching his eyebrows, "Getting worried that I'll throw you again?"

      "Not at all. I just felt that you were as good an honest swordsman that you could be. Now were going to work on being an UN-honest swordsman." Raven looked puzzled.

      "Unhonest fighting? I prefer to fight fair, but it might be wise for me to pick up some new attacks.. just in case."

      "I know that, but I'll bet that not everyone you meet is going to fight fair as honestly as you though, so I'm going to practice with you for a while on wining an unfair fight, when the opponent pulls some nasty trick like hitting you with an energy force or throwing sand in your eyes." Raven nodded slightly.

      "You see your enemy won't always be as nice to you as I have," Blind said adding a smile to let them know that he was making a joke. Raven chuckled slightly and looked into the fire, "No your enemy will sneak up from behind and pull some cheap trick the moment that they see that they aren't winning anymore, then you STRIKE!"

      On the work "strike" Blind turned and fired his rope grappling hook into the trees where the foreign life stream was coming from. The resulting squeak of surprise let him know that he had gotten something and pulled hard on the rope. He was surprised at what popped out.

Temptation

      "LET ME GO!" she shouted, "I wasn't dong anything wrong!" Blind was quite surprised that something that small could make that much noise. It was a young woman about four and a half feet tall, with blond hair, and Blind had noticed small wings on her back. Her life stream glowed a bright white color.

      "Tell me why you were following us," Blind said trying to keep his patience.

      "I wasn't following you, honest!" She shouted back.

      "That's a lie and you know it.. tell me and I'll let you go. That's all I need."

      "Oh well if that's all, I just wanted to see who you guys were.. and maybe walk with you for a while. You can't get mad at me for wanting to be nice, can you?"

      Blind spread his fingers and the rope uncoiled from around her hands. He made a fist and it wound back into the grappler on his wrist. Blind turned and stared at the fire again. The young girl made a sort of a "humph" noise and sat on the opposite side of the fire between Emmelyne and Raven, as far from Blind as possible.

      "Nice of you to let me stay with you for a while," she said shooting Blind a nasty look, "Anyway my name is Raine. Who are you guys?"

      "I'm Raven," Raven spoke up quickly.

      "My name's Emmelyne," Emmelyne said quickly after glancing over at Raven who was running his fingers through his hair.

      Raine looked at Blind.

      "Devil. Chaos Devil, call me Blind," Blind met her with a stare and an expressionless face. He had noticed that most of Raine's life stream was intertwining with Raven's.

      "When do you think that Raven will be strong enough to train again Lady Emmelyne?" Blind asked still staring into the fire.

      "I say at least another week or so to let everything heal. We don't want the wounds to-"

      "Oh my goodness," Raine interrupted, "Your were hurt fighting? What happened? You must be a strong fighter. It must have been a big fight to have injured you any." Raine scooted closer to Raven. stared into his eyes while putting her blond hair over her shoulder. Raven scooted away from her a few inches.

      "Uh-oh," Blind thought looking at Raven who was slightly red and trying not to meet Raines stare.

      "Don't worry Raven, I'll take care of you," Raine said reaching out her hand to put it on Ravens arm. Blind sighed and slowed down time to a near stop. In his new black and white vision he could see Emmelyne clearly glaring at Raine and Raven.

      Blind stood up and drawing his sword walked over to where Raven and Raine were. He then drove his sword 4 feet into the ground directly in from in Raine, and returned everything to normal time. Blind didn't know who was more surprised out of all the three. Emmelyne breathed in slightly, and Raven leaned back. Raine seemed to just freeze up staring at the sword in front of her. Blind slowly pulled the 4 feet of blade out of the ground and replaced the sword in its place on his back.

      "Raven can take care of himself," Blind said to Raine calmly. Raine seemed to go from complete shock to complete anger in moments. Glaring at Blind she got up and made her way to the edge of the camp and disappeared into the forest.

      Blind walked back over to where he was sitting. The colors of the life stream coming from Raven and Emmelyne were returning to normal. Raven leaned back and fell asleep almost instantly. Emmelyne held her pendant close to the fire examining it closely before she finally rolled onto her back and fell asleep still holding her pendant.

      Blind started felling drowsy as well. His slowing down time to a near stop had made him more tired than ever. He was also getting hungry..very hungry. Silently, the world turned to black, as sleep closed in.

Revelation

      Emmelyne opened her eyes. The entire world was filled with colors, from the trees and bushes came shades of green, and yellows. She looked down at her own hands and could almost see through them. She was even more surprised to see her sleeping form lying on the ground no more than a foot away from her.

      "The moon looks beautiful from here."

      Emmelyne looked up quickly to see a black-cloaked man standing by Blind with his back to her, "Don't you agree?"

      "Who are you?" Emmelyne asked cautiously. The man didn't look all that trustworthy. He leaned down face to face to Blinds sleeping form.

      "Ah, Devil. Fate has your strings tied in knots by now, but don't worry," he said putting his hand on Blinds shoulder, "I'm here to help now." The man stood and faced Emmelyne. It was Blind. Or it was close enough. This Blind wore a dark black cloak. He also spoke more freely and didn't seem to be held in by anything. Emmelyne saw something else different but she couldn't put her finger on it.

      "Hello Emmelyne. I'll bet your pretty confused right now," the dark cloaked Blind said stepping towards her. Then she saw it. This Blind didn't wear a blindfold over his eyes, but in the darkness she couldn't see then very clearly.

      "Don't worry Emmelyne. I'm here to help. I have to, as a matter of fact. Contracts, binding rules and the like. You know what I'm talking about, right?" Dark cloaked Blind said with a wave of his hand. Emmelyne got a puzzled look on her face and stared at this strange new Blind. "Good," Blind said with a smile, "Before we start the lesson any questions?"

      "Yes," Emmelyne said, "lots! First-"

      "Well they'll have to wait," Blind said crossing his arms. Emmelyne stared at him blankly for a second.

      "I'm joking!" Blind said laughing, "Just cause he's so serious doesn't mean that I am. Hmmm.. questions eh? I could guess the first one. You're in my world now, the world of the life stream. All those colors that you see around you are the streams of energy coming to and from people to Dragons Breath. A more intricate circle of life, if you will. You used your pendant to get here, I led it the first time, but it knows the way now. You can come back whenever you like." Blind sat by the still burning fire and motioned for Emmelyne to join him.

      "So," he said cracking his knuckles, "What else do you want to know?"

      "Who are you?" Emmelyne asked, "I mean, you look like Blind but you aren't quite the same..."

      "I, Lady Emmelyne, am none other than Chaos Devil, the original Chaos Devil of course. Well I'm more like his soul than anything else. Seriously, where do YOU think that his personality went? No, what they needed for the job was a bland drone, so they broke us in half and I ended up here. Funny how it works out that I'm the only one who can really train you."

      "How do you plan to train me? As a fighter? I could never be as good as Raven or you."

      "No, no," Blind said with an evil grin, "My trainings more of the mental sort. Here, you're a healer right?" Emmelyne nodded head.

      "Take a look at Raven." Emmelyne looked over at the sleeping form of Raven and saw almost immediately what he was talking about. The life-force coming out of him was a dark red with spots of black. "Lets get a bit closer," Blind said moving over to Raven. From that distance Emmelyne could almost see through Raven. So, the spot of black eating away at his insides wasn't very hard to miss.

      "Place your hands on his shoulders," Blind told Emmelyne. Emmelyne did so and instantly had complete healing control over Raven's body. Usually she felt limited when she healed someone.. but this time she felt as if she could do anything. Within ten minutes Raven was healed to almost perfect health.

      "I think that you got that first lesson down pretty well. Keep practicing out of here in order to get stronger, and come back if you have any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them and could use the company. Speaking of which, are there any more questions?"

      "Just one more," Emmelyne said, "What color are your eyes?" Blind leaned closer and Emmelyne could clearly see his dark green eyes.

      "Now," Blind said pointing at the sleeping form of Emmelyne, "I think its time to wake up." Emmelyne looked over and saw herself roll over the pendant she was clutching fall from her hands. Dark cloaked Blind pulled his hand under his cloak and took a step back. The world faded out.

      Emmelyne sat up with a start. She was quite obviously awake again. She looked at the sleeping form of Raven then over at Blind. He was sitting cross-legged with his cloak hanging from his sword behind him. Blind looked up at the moon still high in the night sky.

      "It always looked so beautiful from here," he said quietly.

      "Blind," Blind looked up at Emmelyne, "What are you going to do after your done training us? Any plans for the future?" Blind looked back into the fire.

      "I'm not sure. I was given a job, and once the job is over I feel that everything will be over. I can't be sure what any of this means though. I like it here, and I want to stay here, but everything I know says that some big changes are in the future," Blind looked over at Emmelyne, "And on top of that I'm getting hungry..very hungry."

      Emmelyne laughed quietly and leaned back.

      "I think that you're a lot more human than you give yourself credit for Blind, good night."

      Blind gave some serious thought to weather or not Emmelyne could read his mind before falling asleep again.

Blind Devil
Character © Zap Rowsdower
Art © Matthew Handy


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