Then no one comes into the narrow passage – and Robert thinks that A’bong has already realized this tactic too. And it’s getting brighter inside – the torches are lit again. Well, playtime is over, Robert thinks. Now it’s the real showdown between a human, an orc and two kobold mongrels. Robert takes out his healing potion and drinks the whole dose from the container.
Then he boldy walks into the wide caverns again, clutching his bleeding left hand.
I should’ve worn my robe and cloak tonight – and brought a healing salve, Robert thinks.
A sarcastic voice greets him as he comes out of the narrow pass.
‘Well, well, the rat finally comes out. Still have the guts, huh?
You got bigheaded after killing my six mongrels, huh?’
Robert sees A’bong standing at a distance, staring mockingly at him. Robert approaches him.
‘Gharh, not very good at all, you still got wounded by my mutts. You two, now stay away! It’s now a matter between two warriors. C’mon, take me down now! Show me what you got!’
The two kobolds back away. And Robert has already arrived in front of A’bong. Apparently A’bong has underestimated him because of his arm wound and several minor wounds on his body. And A’bong thinks that the blood on Robert’s right is Robert’s, so Robert must be in front of the death’s door and A’bong can finish him with ease.
Robert says, ‘You know what your problem is?’
‘You talk too much!’
Without warning, Robert attacks A’bong with his kiliji. A’bong is shocked with Robert’s fast moves – for a dying man. He gets overwhelmed at first, but he successfully repels Robert’s blows with his great axe. Then Robert increases the strength and speed of his attacks.
Swordsmen usually use the balanced measure between strength and speed and have adequate constitution to bear heavy wounds before using healing potions.
Robert uses his skill – Power Bash and inflicts a deep wound on A’bong, but A’bong shows the Orcs’ great constitution by counter-attacking Robert with his great axe. Had Robert slowed down a little, he would have been split in two with the simple axe slash – Land and Sea Divide from A’bong.
Robert backs away staggering from the shock vibration from the effect of A’bong’s strike, then he gathers his strength again quickly and launches his combo move – Ten Point Chain Slash, slashing ten times on ten different weak point possibilities in split seconds. It’s a devastating combo. A’bong can’t match his speed with Robert’s and gets slashed in seven points and can only block or avoid three. Blood gushes out from the wounds, and A’bong falls on his knees on the ground.
But as Robert is going to deliver his killing blow, the two kobolds charge to save their master and attack Robert from the front and left. The large kobold seizes Robert’s left foot, gnaws on Robert’s armored left side. At the same time the female kobold locks Robert’s sword and kicks Robert right at his cheek. The blows throw Robert backwards, and now he’s completely helpless – sprawling on the ground – seized by the two kobolds.
Boy he wishes that he complied with Hulferd’s advice to bring a party along – and his stubbornness will lead to his death. And once again he gets the feeling he hates most: fear, as A’bong rises up again with glee. He raises his axe high – ready to deliver the Land and Sea Divide Slash to divide Robert in two.
‘Now, you die! And my mongrels will gorge your gut!’
In that critical moment a flash of a beautiful lady’s face comes in Robert’s mind and Robert quickly regains his resolve and wit.
He thinks, NO, I can’t die now!
He screams, ‘YAAAAAAHHH!!!’
The slash goes down. Robert lets out his spirited glare, and in split seconds, with his remaining strength rolls to the right, dragging the large kobold with him with his free left hand and the blow from A’bong slashes the large kobold instead and splits it in two – the large kobold has served as Robert’s shield now.
The female kobold gets shocked and its grip is loosened. Robert gets up and thrusts his kiliji into the orc’s throat – his unarmored part and also the orcs’ common weak point. A’bong spills out blood and he dies with wide-opened eyes before he can say ‘Impossible!’ – His last thought.
Robert retracts his sword from A’bong’s throat, and the dead orc falls on the ground. The female kobold howls at the top of its voice, enraged by the loss of its mates and master. Robert’s physical strength has depleted, but a newfound strength is growing inside him. It’s fire, the element of Robert’s inner strength. It has been triggered when Robert avoided A’bong’s last attack and now it’s growing out from his hand then covers his kiliji. From now on, he can use fire property in his sword skills. The female kobold whimpers at Robert’s display of strength – He’s stronger and more deadly than A’bong is and ever be. Its canine instinct takes over – it flees.
But Robert is now determined to finish his job completely and slashes his sword from afar, horizontally. A crescent-shaped fire emerges from the slash and flies in high speed towards the kobold. The kobold feels a hot wind behind it and turns its head back – and it howls in terror as the fiery crescent splits its torso in two.
It was one of the sword skills that originally utilize air – The Dragon Wings Air Slash. Now with fire property its name is The Crescent Fire Slash. Robert and Hulferd can do multiple air slashes, but in this case one is enough to finish the job.
Realizing that his job is finished, Robert sighs in relief. Tears start rolling from his eyes, as though he is sad and dissatisfied, but in fact the true reason is different. And his expression is somewhat indifferent. One may think that this is just a daily routine for Robert, or a mere trifle.
It’s another job well done.
But before he can move to decapitate his target or collect the proofs of his work, his failing physical strength, wounds all over his body, and loss of blood makes him staggering, lolling and then he collapses on the ground, unconscious. His condition is critical, and sometimes when a man goes into that state, flashes of the past and his entire life may come to him…
End of Chapter One
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Posted By Andry Chang to FireHeart Saga at 11/03/2009 03:29:00 AM