Chapter 20: Max

That afternoon, like those before, Val had gone out hunting for the night's food while Max and Reks sparred. It has been like that for the last couple of days now. It was a routine difficult to get used to for a gamer boy. Reks' lessons hadn't been kind to Max either. Max felt sore, his body was full of cuts and bruises with mild pain pulsing through his every muscle with each movement. There were nights where he was lucky to get a few hours of sleep and riding the horse didn't make things easier either.

That particular after noon, Max wasn't able to properly swing the sword without flinching from the pain in his arm. "Perhaps is best if we rest for tonight." Reks offered, noticing Max's wincing.

Max agreed without hesitation. "Good idea." He set the sword aside and took a sit next to the fire. "How far are we from reaching the Seer anyways?"

Reks pointed towards the large mountain looming over the trees to the north. "See that mountain?" Max and spotted the silhouette of a large mountain in the distance. "We'll find the Seer there."

"Awesome."

Val arrived a few hours later with the animals. Max helped with the skinning of it. Thanks to Reks, he had actually learned a thing or two about surviving in the wild. Aside from the sword lessons, which were at times more than he could handle, Reks also taught Max how to hunt and skin small animals to eat. He also taught him how to pick the right spot to sleep the night, and how to ride a horse for long travels across Altia's terrains. Actually, now that Max thought about it, Reks had helped him quite a lot with almost nothing in return. Max had wondered why on so many occasions, but never had the guts to ask. Tonight though, while they ate, he decided to finally break the question; "Why are you helping me, Reks?"

The question seemed to  have caught the mercenary by surprised. He nearly shocked on his food. "Because I believe you're special." He said simply.

"Is that why there's a Judge after me?"

"No," Reks looked up and smiled, that same smile that showed he knew something but wouldn't tell. "It's because he hasn't captured you yet."

"I don't understand." Actually, Max barely understand anything that was going on around him - around Altia - aside from the tips and lessons Reks had been nice enough to give.

"Escaping a Judge is not easy, Max." Reks explained after a long silence. "If not, impossible. If the Judge really wanted to chain you, he would've done it in Vahall. He might just be bored, which is often how it is with the Judges, or...he's waiting for you to meet the Seer first. Either way, once we reach Scintio, many things will be made clear."

"I've been wondering the same about Dyus" Val interjected.

"Dyus caught up to us in Vahall." Reks told her. " Unlike this Judge, he is simply waiting for the opportune  moment to reveal himself."

Val looked up at Reks wide-eyed, a bit of fear showing on her expression. "You're saying he knows of our position?"

Reks nodded, calmly taking a bite off of his piece of meat. "The bandit attack was not a coincidence."

"What!?" Val snapped.

"We'll deal with Dyus in due time." Reks assured her. "Let just get to the Seer first."

It looked like Val had something to say, but withheld the impulse. She probably realized she wont be changing Reks mind. She had tried many times before, but Reks was hellbent on helping Max.

"Who's Dyus?" Maxed asked.

"He's the person we're running from." Reks said. "You'll be meeting him tomorrow."

"If you're running from him, I'm not sure I'd like to meet the guy." That statement caused Reks to laugh a little. "You'll be aright."

The next day, the trio left camp early, mounting their horses and heading towards the huge mountain. Towards Scintio.

The End

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