The world was clear around me. The sun was up, but only just enough to have its brilliance staring straight into my face. I was suffering from an overwhelming headache.
“Are you ok?” Hawke said from behind me. Thank god, I thought he may have perished in the attack. “Hey Felless, are you ok? I had to knock you out so ya didn’t get yourself killed last night.”
Turning my head out of the glare of the sun I answered “Yeah, I’m doing all right. What happened last night?”
“We were attacked by a rival tribe. They have been trying to get at our leader for a while now. Claim he’s evil or some nonsense.”
“Hey, trust me our men are the best fighters in this part of the world.” Hawke pulled a stick out of his bag and began to fiddle with it. The stick was treated and very old.
“What’s that?” I inquired.
“Memory of my past life. Long story, I don’t want to bore you with the details.”
“Fair enough. Where are we heading now?”
“To an old ruined city. Jehmundi, the leader of our tribe was able to interrogate one of our attackers. Apparently there is some sort of artifact in the underground chambers.”
“What? Like a magical artifact?” I couldn’t hold in my disbelief. Magic was just something that was told in stories to spice them up. Make people more legendary than they really were.
“You never heard of magic?”
“Yeah, but, it’s not real.”
“Are you sure? There are things in this world that are unexplainable. Things that should not be able to happen yet they have been witnessed by many. Take life for example. How do you create life?”
“What you mean like babies?”
“Well yes, that is one example.”
Feeling like being a smart ass I said “Hmm well it starts out with a mommy and daddy then they-“
“Yes that is how it starts, but how is it created. Why sometimes is life not given? How do YOU create life? How does it start?”
“I don’t know. It just does.”
“Like magic, it just does. Why would it be hard to believe that magic exists? If you can’t disprove it then there is a chance it exists.”
Under my breath too low for him to hear I muttered “magic is stupid.”
The conversation ended with that. Hawke disappeared somewhere again. For the next few hours we walked. The scenery never changed. Sand was once again my nemesis as my legs began to burn. It sapped the strength from me. The terrible heat did nothing to help. It continuously pounded and brought drought to my body as it drew the fluids from it.
Thankfully the water supply seemed to be endless. Every hour or two I would go to one of the distribution areas among the caravan and get my canteen filled up. A while later we stopped and made camp.
“Hey Felless! Come over here!” I heard Hawke yell from the far side of the camp. Making my way over I wondered what he wanted.
“Hey, what do ya want?” I asked. The journey had worn me out and the sand, that devil sand had tired me profusely.
“Here.” He threw a scabbard at me. A good throw, practically landed itself in my hand. “Draw your weapon.” I pulled the sword out of its sheath. The sword was dazzling, high quality, fit for a prince. In fact it had at one point belonged to a prince. This weapon was the very weapon that had gotten me into this mess.
“Prepare yourself.” Hawke then smiled and ran towards me. In each hand there was a dagger where previously empty. His arms were crossed right over left. I thrust the sword straight forward catching both blades in the middle stopping the initial strike.
My legs almost gave out on me. Thankfully they did not because Hawke bounced backwards then lunged forward. He struck for my gut with his left hand. I parried the blow but something cold was at my throat. His other hand had evaded my detection and was now waiting to cut my jugular.
“You have to remember that both arms can have weapons on them.” He said as he backed away.
“Why does it matter if I know how to fight?” I had never had any formal training in my life, just some playful stuff with wooden swords when I was a kid.
“Because out here its kill or be killed, I would rather not have you die.”
“Touché, I would like that as well.”
“Good, then your training starts now.” With that damned smile on his face he attacked me again.
Hours later and close to death from exhaustion I was finally able to retire. Sadly I still had to set up my tent. So tired, I couldn’t bring myself to set it up so I decided to lay down on the sand and within seconds I was in the world of my own mind.