For hours we walked. The sun no longer shone. It was dark and cold. It felt as if the breeze pierced my skin with it's icy touch. I hugged myself to try to stop the violent shivers. The barbarien behind me took off his furs and put them over my shoulders. I threw them to the ground and spat on them. I turned to look at the man who had insulted me so harshley.

"No matter how cold, how helpless, or how in need I am I will never wear a dead body over my shoulders! Never should another life be taken unless ABSOLOUTLY necessary. Those who take lives shall have their own taken and shall suffer in the eternal prison of Ema!"

 I gave a scathing look to the infuriated savage before turning back and continuing my guided walk. It must have been at least midnight when I saw the pinprick of light that was a campfire. I heard voices. There were at least seven other men.

I stood taller and staightened out my clothes, I did up my jacket and shook my pin straight hair out of my face. The light grew larger slowly but surely and the voices became clearer.  I heard talk of hunting and discussions on who would be on watch when. Warriors? Surely not. After only a few minutes we were passing tents. They were in two rows facing each other. They were not the largest nor smallest and though they had been stuck together side-by-side there was enough space between the two rows for six or seven men to walk, shoulder to shoulder. The flaps of almost half of the tents were open, and curious faces peered out. In the middle of all of this was the fire. It was the only familiar thing in the bizzare, unruly grounds.

The orange-yellow light gave me comfort as I became mesmerised by the golden tounges of dancing flame. The smoke curled into the black night. It created shapes and told stories that I was sure could not be seen by the unintelligent men whose presence I was in. The fluid masquerade of light and the crackling that is the song of the blaze captured my conscience. It was all I saw. I could feel it's warmth. Her warmth. Her spirit. Her being. I felt the connection to the earth and the Heaven. I closed my eyes and breathed in the smell.

 "What's this?" The harsh voice hurt my ears after the soothing whisper of the flames. A hand shoved me, and I stumbled forwards and fell to my knees.

 "We found him yesterday. We followed him for a while. We thought he could be ... useful." I lifted my head. The man who was clearly in charge looked at me curiousley. Like most others, he was taken aback by the intensity of my electric blue eyes. He seemed not much older then myself. Maybe 20 or 22.

 He quickly got over himself. "Who are you boy! An what are you doing in my woods?" As angry as he seemed, I was even more enraged. I balled my fists, but kept myself from hitting him.

 "I am Simmian Raevukas. And if I were you,whoever you are, I would refrain yourself from the insults. Poison dripped from my words. "And these forests are not yours nor are they mine. This is free territory. It is for animals and refuge!"

As I talked, the men around me grew rigid. I knew then that this was not someone who they talked back to. He was their leader. At least they showed some respect for authority ... or at least fear of this man.

 "Free territory?" He gave a stark laugh. "This land is unclaimed and therefore is it mine, Richard Savage, as are the animals in these forests. Never before have I met a boy as young as you who challenges me. I don't know whether to be enraged or delighted. You better be able to back up your words." A roar swept through the men, most of whom had come out of their tents to watch the show that was me. Their leader circled me viciousley, tutting and laughing at the kneeling form who was involentarily bowing to him. Twice his boot stuck my ribcage. Once he struck the back of my head.

 "Get up. Fight me. My men say that you could be useful. If you win then you'll be free to go," his men chuckled and I wondered how many others had heard that line "if you don't then we do what we will with you. Whether it be set you free ... or kill you. Do you accept?"


"None but those you are already equipt with."

"Then yes, I accept." This resulted in a howling that resonated throughout the camp. The crowd became a circle. Savage smirked slightly. I stood up.

 I unfastened my jacket and threw it onto the floor. The cheers were quickly hushed as they all stared. My tattoos no longer covered by my long sleeved jacket.

 I looked to the fire on my right, absorbing it's energy. "Aratada." The fire blazed brighter and grew larger.The serpents on my arms began to hiss and slither. The dragon on my neck climbed it's way onto my face and sat there. The runes shifted and moved. They arranged and re-arranged themselves. I lifted my left hand to see my scorpion there. The barbariens backed away in fear. "Magama." My tattoos froze. The lively forms turned into the harmless ink that they most defiately were not.

 "I am well equipt."

The End

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