Chapter Two: The Adventurous Type

Karlin had given birth to their first child only a year after they had been married, and already Jonrah was missing the years of his son, Jodar, being only a baby.

Already seven years old, he was the key tool in Jonrah remembering how long King Lito III had been on the throne; the years were equal.

Jonrah found his son to be the most wonderful thing he had ever done; a marvel that he beamed with pride over every time he looked upon him.

Now that Jodar was growing up, he was craving the hustle and bustle of the real world - of the adventure that Litana promised him, and he would not stop talking about swords and axes. This was typical of any boy his age, and Jonrah could not be surprised, as he himself had already had two years of experience with a weapon when he was his son's age.

But Jonrah was worried about his son. He wanted to savour his youth, as did Karlin. After the ordeal they had been through together, both whilst fairly young, it was understandable that they did not relish the thought of their son wielding a weapon.

Pretending that not all boys were interested in such notions, Jonrah allowed his son to roam free in the area, adventuring and make-believing, but he could not bring himself to allow training to overwhelm him.

The neighbours did not seem to judge the couple for their decisions regarding their son, but some concern did seem to be present: 'Won't the boy live a very sheltered life if not allowed to venture elsewhere?'

It seemed to be a very common question, a question to which neither parent had an answer. But their silence was justified, as was their choice.

They had to be happy letting Jodar adventure without the violence. Surely that was acceptable.

Today, Jodar was running alone through the trees that surrounded the small house that was his home.

Letting himself get lost in the maze of fauna, Jodar held his hand to his face to shield his eyes from the rays of blinding light that streaked through the trees.

Hiding in the shadow of several branches, the young adventurer surveyed the landscape, taking in the area and scouting for enemy swordsmen.

Jodar himself was wielding a shortsword which to others may have only appeared to be a stick, but to him was the finest weapon in the land.

Diving and rolling, he came across the first intruder, a great hulk of a man, which to any onlookers was but a tree.

Taking a stab and a slash to the chest, the invader was felled, and Jodar moved onto his next target - the demon he had heard so many stories about.

'If you leave the city, you'll get attacked by a big red demon with a thousand eyes and a thousand arms!' This was a story he was familiar with, as it seemed to be a hit among the youths of the city.

Few understood the truth behind the story, but to children and adults alike, it was fictitious; merely a ghost story used to keep children out of the forest.

But today, Jodar would slay the beast that had killed the men and raped the women of the city. And he would be a hero.

With one smooth spin and a small jump, Jodar lopped a mighty arm from the demon, which fell to the floor with a thud. And another. And another.

Jodar could cut off arms all day, stab out eyes until nightfall, and there was nothing that could sway him otherwise.

He was about to make his triumphant blow to the demon's chest when something caught his eye.

The red demon suddenly transformed into its disguise - a tree with a tinge of red in its bark stood before him, awaiting the distraction to pass and for the battle to resume.

But it never did.

Inside the tree lay a small hole, as can be found in many trees throughout the forest, and throughout the world. But few holes which can be found would hold something quite like this.

Jodar dropped his weapon without thinking about it, and reached to the hole in the tree, towards the item that stuck out so it was barely visible. It blended in with the tree very well, and if Jodar hadn't been concentrating so much on this tree, he would have been unlikely to notice it.

But notice it he did, and as he pulled it free from the tree, he examined it curiously, unable to figure out the meaning of the hidden strip of leather. For that's what it was; a small piece of tanned leather with nothing but a simple symbol printed clearly on it. But it was not a symbol of which Jodar knew the origin.

He once again looked around the area, checking for onlookers, and then pocketed his finding. He made the decision to continue slaying the beast, then return home.

His father would know what it meant, if not him.

The End

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