The Flat of a Blade

Dionysus is a teenager training to be a warrior. His trainer starts to tell a story to him and the other trainees, but thinks they are not ready to hear it.
He gives them research to do.

He ducked. He blocked. He parried. Two quick stabs in the stomach and a duck below the opponent's sword. One more lunge, a slash, a few more parries. He swore as his opponent nicked him on the shoulder and swung hard at his thigh. The opponent caught it by the flat of his blade, swung his word up and slammed down on his breastplate. He screamed a war cry and paid back for the chest hit with a hack at his stomach. He smirked in satisfaction as his opponent fell back.

"Enough boys!!! Enough for today," the coach yelled. "You guys are gonna kill eachother. That passion is necessary though. But calm down. It's just practice."

"You're doing good," said his friend, Acheron. "You had that guy."

"Not good enough. I only had him down thrice," said Dionysus.

"Shut up Dion. He didn't have you down even once. You packed quite a punch in the last blow."

"You shut up. Didja see that blow on my chest?I shouldn't have let that happen. And stop calling me Dion. I'm proud of my name."

"Mm-hm. You're telling me you're proud of being named after a drunk dude who never worked, just partied all day long, Dionysus?"

"It's a god's name, hello?"

"Whatever."

Dionysus was training melee fighting. He was looked down upon since all of his ancestors and relatives had trained in ranged. He had only his mother. His father had died before his birth. His mother had named him Dionysus after his father, because he had been "fond of the good stuff".

"Come here guys," called the coach. Acheron and Dionysus made their way to the middle of the field. The rest of the batch was sitting in a square, still clad in armor and cleaning their swords. They joined the square in the remaining corner and started polishing their own blades. They were silent as the coach spoke.

"Now when I asked you to join, I told you that I would tell you many storied on our heritage, which one needs to know to be an expert warrior." Many of the boys groaned. "Don't do that," the trainer snapped. "It's isn't all fighting and physical work that a warrior needs to know. They need to know honor, respect, chivalry, responsibility, courage, wisdom, and much more," the trainer said emotionally.

"Shut up," a trainee muttered. "He sounds like my dad."

"I heard that," said the trainer, turning his head to the adolescent. "A warrior has sharp ears too." He turned to the rest of the group. "Today you will hear the first legend. Remember this especially, because it will probably be the most important one." He changed his tone from instructional to that of a story-teller("He's probably going to tell us at the end that a warrior has to be able to tell stories well too. What does he expect of us?" a guy said to Dionysus).

"Legend tells us of an ancient force. Someone learned. Someone wise. Someone old. Someone even older than time("Typical start for fables and myths. Doesn't he have an imagination?" whispered the person next to Dionysus. "Shut up," was his reply). This was not a god. It was not a person. It was not a physical being. It was a force. The most powerful force in the universe." He paused dramatically. "Anyone who could harness this force and make it bend to their will would be the most powerful being in the universe.

"For a long time though, no one tried to harness its power. No one even dared to even think about it, for no one knew the consequence of failing. Everyone was afraid. Nobody, neither humans, nor regular animals, nor super animals, nor the hybrids, had the courage. Even the Gods and Titans were too scared. That is, until Zeus was born."

"How could he," asked an apprentice. "Didn't Zeus' dad eat his kids?" Trainer made a sound of displeasure.

"This shows your lack of knowledge of important things like these. Kronos did swallow four of his kids, but Rhea, Zeus' mother, hid Zeus from him when he was born, and gave him a rock instead."

"OK fine then. Zeus. What did he do. He tried to harness the power of this force. Then what?"

"There's no point telling you. You don't know your history well enough. There are many references to our heritage and the Gods and Titans and the Heroes. And you take things too lightly."

He paused and looked at the offender. "You must write a research paper for me. About Zeus' life and the life of his brothers Poseidon and Hades. If I'm satisfied, I'll tell you the rest." The whole group sniggered. "As for you," he said, turning to the rest of them. "You have to write a research paper on the lives of Artemis and Apollo." They stopped laughing.

 

The End

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