“Take their weapons!” Lorfedil commanded, to which the rest of the Falath’Nakan obeyed. He was pretty ugly, even for tree hugging standards; he had red tattoos and a big body. Not as big as mine though!
About an hour ago I woke up to find several arrows pointing at my face, I suppose I would have done something, but the others were being held hostage too. Valak looked really ticked off, but he played it cool and marched with the others as our ambushers led us away.
They were making a fuss about Zahkon for some reason; he was very quiet… well, quieter than usual.
Anyways, the Falath’Nakan took us into a tree hut and we found Yara and Destran tied up looking like idiots there. They then followed their superior’s orders and disarmed us, except for me.
I was playing a game; I held out my sword in front of then and jerked it away at the last second, causing them to miss, and me to laugh.
They did not appreciate it, and threatened to kill me. I threatened to kill myself just to upset their plans, they seemed very confused. It was only when their leader who introduced himself as Lorfedil stepped forward and put a rusty knife to Brena’s throat that I realised it was time to stop playing.
“Jack! Just give him your sword!” Lyra called.
“Do it or she dies!” Lorfedil announced.
“I suppose I don’t have much of a choice then, do I?” I said with a shrug.
The Falath’Nakan I had been playing with stepped forward again to take my sword. I took out my boomerang first and threw it to him, and I have to stress I threw it TO him, not AT him. It was his fault he was hit in the face.
They looked at me and seemed like they were going to kill me, the others gave me that why-the-hell-did-you-just-do-that look. I decided to stop playing around and give them my sword to avoid any more aggro.
“Hey, I just met you… and this is crazy. But here’s my sword, so kill me maybe?” I said cheerily whilst passing the Falath’Nakan, who was rubbing his head, my sword.
“Human, you are treading on thin water” he growled at me.
“Don’t you mean thin bark? Cos’ you know… you love trees, and you’re not so fond of water. Just saying…” I laughed.
Two of them came up to me and shoved me into the back wall and began to beat me. I chuckled throughout the whole experience. The others fell silent, until Lorfedil ordered them to stop. The two of them stepped away, and I looked up to them and grinned. They were quite shocked to see my black eye and bleeding mouth disappear.
“Come on lovelies, you can do better than that” I said with my lips puckered up.
“What are you?” One of the guards said.
“I'm amazing, and perfect, and awesome, and special, and handsome, and pretty, and masculine, and lots of other things” I bragged.
“Take him! Leave the others!” Lorfedil commanded.
The same two tried to grab me, but this time I resisted. I didn’t want to be separated from the group, that way I couldn’t look after them. Lorfedil renewed his knife press into Brena’s throat with a snarl.
“Come with us, or she dies” he said.
“Go ahead, I don’t even like her!” I said, trying to find a quick way out of the situation.
“I mean it!” He said surprised, Brena looked mortally offended.
“Hey Prince Prick, remember the time I made a distraction and you guys were able to escape?” I called out to Destran.
“No?” Destran said confused.
“Oh… well I guess we better make that memory” I said.
I jumped past the guards, took my weapons as I did, and rammed into Lorfedil before he could react. We went smashing outside of the tree house wall, and I quickly grabbed onto a vine and swung across to another tree.
The Falath’Nakan were hot on my heels, Lorfedil was the closest. Every vine I used was swiftly taken by him as he chased me.
I climbed and ran along tree branches to get away, but not going too fast so that they would lose sight of me. In the corner of my eye, I could swear I saw Valak knock out the one guard left behind in the hut I had just left.
A few minutes later, I had reached the highest tree and climbed all the way to the top. A wooden platform had been constructed at the top, allowing me to stand quite easily, and it was here I waited for my pursuers.
Soon enough, at least fifty Falath’Nakan burst from the leaves and surrounded me, all with arrows tightened and ready to fire. Lorfedil approached me with a curious look about him, and raised his hand to signal his followers to hold fire.
“No human can traverse the trees. You move like one of us” he said quietly.
“Maybe I am one of you! I found you at last! For so many years I’ve been searching, but I’ve finally found my father! You!” I roared with laughter.
“Why do you treat everything as a joke, human?” Lorfedil said with a splutter.
“Because everything is a joke! You gotta lighten up!” I proclaimed.
“You still haven’t answered my question” he said.
“You still haven’t told me why you captured us” I said.
“Because you are trespassing on sacred ground” he said.
“Because I was trained by the Leader of the People” I said.
“What?” He cried in shock.
“You answered my question, I answered yours” I chuckled.
“Our beloved father of all trained you?! Lies!” He snarled.
“Yeah well I didn’t know we were on sacred ground anyways, besides, we’ll be moving along so we won’t desecrate anything” I tried to reason.
“Fool! You do not know what you speak of!” He insulted me.
“Look buddy, we’re just here to find the hiding place of that stone thingy, I know it’s around here. The Leader showed me once” I explained.
“FIRE!!” Lorfedil shouted, to which every Falath’Nakan loosed their arrows.
I can tell you now that being riddled with fifty arrows is not a pleasant experience, and was rooted on the spot for a moment. Lorfedil explained something about all those that mention the stone must be stopped or some crap like that. I wasn’t paying attention.
I flexed my muscles, and a few of the arrows fell out of my body. My pursuers stood in awe and fear as they watched the many puncture holes in me heal up, and before they could react again, and punched the platform we all stood on as hard as possible.
It shattered down the middle, and collapsed in on itself, in the resulting confusion as everyone fell through the tree, I ran and bolted as hard as I could off of the side of the tree.
It looked like I was flying for a second, before I plummeted to the ground. I went straight through branches, twigs, sticks, and got impaled several times on the way down.
When I hit the bottom, I made a big hole where I landed, I groaned, and took the sticks out of me. I got to my feet, and made my way deeper into the forest.
About an hour later, I found the rest. They had escaped, retrieved their weapons, and ran away as quickly as possible. I approached them, and I could see they were all (except Valak) having a heartfelt greeting as Destran was back. I knew it was only a matter of time.
I approached them, and Zahkon shot an arrow in my direction in impulse. I grabbed the arrow in the air, and looked at him with an annoyed look. He was very jumpy; clearly he did not like being here. And the cheek of him, he didn’t even say sorry!
“Gee thanks for saving us Jack; we would still be prisoners if it weren’t for you Jack, where would we be without you Jack?” I said sarcastically as I walked up to them and they all fell silent.
“Don’t mind him, we’re all alert at the moment” Lyra excused Zahkon.
“Still, a little recognition goes a long way! I think you guys don’t respect me enough! And I do so much for you guys!” I complained.
“We consider it all paid for, you do stuff like that for us, and we don’t try and kill you for your stupid, immature actions on a constant basis” Yara said.
“But you do try to kill me on a regular basis!” I moaned.
“Yeah but you can’t die, so it doesn’t matter” Destran murmured, causing the others to laugh, and me get in a huff.
“You! What did you do to piss them off so much?” I shouted at him.
“Nothing, I was marching along with a ponce, minding my own royal business, when they turned up” Destran said half-heartedly.
“You were in their sacred grounds, that’s what you were… wait… did you just made a light hearted crack at your royal status?” I said confused, the others looked at him in disbelief too.
“Yeah I guess I did” he said with a smile and looking at Yara.
“Well I’ll be, Prince Prick, realising what a royal butthead he is!” I said in shock.
“Better royal butthead than regular butthead like you” he wisecracked.
“ALRIGHT ENOUGH!!” Brena shouted.
We all jumped at her raised voice. Even me, never expected that this young, fragile girl could create such a noise. She marched up to me and put a finger on my chest, with a look of anger in her eyes. I gulped.
“Jack, did you lead those Falath’Nakan to us?” She accused me.
“What? If I did, why did I help you escape?” I said confused.
“Back in the tree house, you said you didn’t care if I died” she went on.
“Oh that… I was joking” I smiled.
“Didn’t look like a joke from where I was!” She said with growing passion.
“Well it was, so there” I declared and walked past her, I didn’t particularly want to deal with that.
“Was it you who led them to us?” She asked again.
“No, for the last time, no” I sighed.
“Brena, why would Jack lead them to us?” Yara asked.
“Because… he… he’s… not who he says he is” Brena mumbled. I turned around instantly.
“Oh, so this is it huh? Now is when you want to bring this up?” I said angrily.
“What are you two talking about?” Destran asked.
“Jack is… I heard with my own ears… Jack’s…” Brena struggled to find the words.
“Brena… don’t” I warned her.
“Or what? You’ll kill me? Like you did with those other people?” Brena said bravely.
“Just. Leave. It.” I said through clenched teeth, I was getting really angry now.
“Listen everyone! Jack is… Jack is a murderer! He’s working for Sethos!” Brena shouted.
Everyone gasped, and looked at me. I lost my cool. I went straight up to a tree and smashed a hole in it with my fist that buckled it, it fell down and I picked up the biggest branch and used it as a club to whack the ground.
“I heard it from Valak, AND Urysus! They both told me, Jack killed his entire family to test his strength, and he’s working for Sethos! The only reason he’s been travelling with us is so that he could kill us when he wanted to!” Brena went on, to the increasing gasps of the group.
The mention of both Urysus, and my family, sent me into a rage I had not entered for some time. I unsheathed my sword, to which everyone else automatically drew their weapons too. I ran between the trees and cut them down, roaring with anger at each strike. Everyone kept their eye on me, preparing to strike back if they needed.
“Admit it Jack! You’re a murderer! You even told me yourself, back in my village! You killed everyone close to you, and you enjoyed it! The only reason you’re with us is so that you could become attached and do it again to experience it again. Urysus told me, I can’t believe he was telling the truth! But after overhearing you and Valak, I know for certain now! You mean to murder us like you did with your family!” Brena said with a quaking voice, it wasn’t easy for her.
I turned to her, and launched at her, grabbing her shoulders. Everyone went to attack me, and I took the brunt of everyone’s blades first-hand, I didn’t react, I continued to look at her with anger and guilt in my heart.
“You believe him? Urysus? Over me?” I asked her with a gurgled voice.
“Why shouldn’t I? Time and time again you’ve shown yourself to be an enemy Jack, you’ve done things only somebody evil and twisted would do. Urysus has never attacked me, never hurt me, and never lied to me” Brena said, he eyes narrowing at the sight of everyone’s weapons sticking out of me.
“Oh yes! That’s right! Urysus is so believable over me! I guess that’s the only logical explanation!” I shouted.
“Why do you even hate him? Did he try and stop you from murdering your family?” She said with what I could have sworn to be a sneer but maybe my anger just expected to see that.
“You listen to me! Urysus is a man I will destroy because of what he did to me!” I said with shaking hands.
“Explain! You never tell us anything about yourself; you always avoid the topic, and now that we all know the truth, you don’t even try to deny it! He was telling the truth wasn’t he?!” Brena accused.
“YOU WANT THE TRUTH?! FINE!! YES! I AM A MURDERER! I KILLED THEM! I KILLED MY FRIENDS, MY FAMILY, EVERYONE I ONCE KNEW! WITH MY OWN HANDS!!” I shouted, and collapsed to my knees as I said so. The pain in my heart was exceptionally strong at this time.
“I knew it!! And you’re working for Sethos!” Brena went on.
“NO!! I…! I… I'm not… no…” I struggled to say, as images of countless dead people entered my mind.
“Admit it!” Brena said.
“I'm not working for Sethos! I'm not! I… I found the stone for him once… but ever since then I have had no contact with him!” I admitted.
“You what? Traitor!” Destran yelled.
“Jack?! This isn’t true! It can’t be!” Lyra said shocked.
“I can’t believe this is happening” Yara said with big eyes.
“We should tie him up now before he kills us!” Zahkon shouted.
“Heh” Valak muttered to himself.
“FINE!! If you all want to know so much about me! I’ll tell you!” I roared.
I stood up, shook all of the weapons out of me, and looked around at the group. They all had mistrusting and hateful eyes. I hated it, and it just intensified the pain I was experiencing.
“Yes, I killed my family. But if you think for one second I wanted to, YOU’RE WRONG!! I’ve felt pain and guilt every day since then! I didn’t realise what I was doing!!” I took a deep breath and continued. “16 years ago, I was discovered in my village by the king’s men, and I was brought before him. They wanted to turn me into a weapon to fight in the war, and that’s what they did. That’s right Destran, I was trained in the very palace you call home. I was a national guarded secret, only a few knew of my existence. They trained me in all fighting styles, and taught me how to control my healing and strength, and it was Urysus who was my trainer! 4 years later I was ready, and for my final test they blindfolded me and told me to attack magic targets to simulate killing, as I wasn’t used to it! I thought they weren't real! I was too stupid to realise otherwise! I swear! I… I… I… slaughtered my village… killed everyone… my mother… my father… my sister… everyone… ever since then I’ve had an undying pain in my heart. And ever since then I’ve tried to kill myself! But I can’t die! I can’t die… its hell… I didn’t want to do it… if I had known I would have… I… killed them… and Urysus was the one who tricked me… when I found out, I broke away from the army, and began to hunt Urysus, who sought refuge with Sethos. Sethos and I made a deal, I would find him the stone, he would give me Urysus. I found it, but did not give it to him, and he did not give me Urysus. Ever since then, I’ve been on the run from everyone. The ultimate weapon of war. Super strong, regenerative abilities… and no allegiance… Everyone either wanted me to fight for them or kill me, I was too dangerous. So yes everyone. I killed my family, I worked for Sethos, and I’m a killing machine, created to singlehandedly end wars. That’s who I am! That is why I’ve spent every day trying to get people to kill me, why I didn’t fight back against that swamp monster! Why I never take my own safety into consideration! I want to die so much… so much… I don’t deserve to live… not after what I have done… I'm a murderer… a murderer… do you get that? I’ve taken lives that were not meant to be taken. This is who I am! Is this what you wanted to hear?! Is this what you wanted?? You finally know my past, but don’t you wish you didn’t? I don’t want to kill you people… you’re the closest thing I have to friends… I don’t want anything to happen to you… because… I couldn’t lose everyone closest to me again… alright? Just… just... leave me alone” I finished, with a long sigh.
I stood up, didn’t even look at anyone and walked ahead, aiming to lead them to the next hiding place for the stone. Silence followed what I had said. I didn’t even know how they were feeling, I didn’t see their faces. One thing I did see however; was a group of Falath’Nakan coming out from a clasp of trees. Being led by Lorfedil.
“I have orders to take you into imprisonment Jack Valenstar! Weapon of mass destruction! And you as well, Zahkon of the People! Future bringer of Destruction to the People!” Lorfedil shouted.
I was in no mood for this. I unsheathed my sword, and looked at them. “When are you gonna learn…?"