Chapter One: Smoke

"One of the nearby villages has been attacked. The mayor said to get your weapons together as we may be next." The boy continued.

"Right well done boy. Go and hide somewhere safe. Now." Sejus replied. "Sorry Amora, you need to do the same."

"I know." She replied, her tone was determined but her voice still retained its sweetness. She tied back her long silky black hair as she turned to leave. Kanji stared after her, not saying a word.

"She'll be fine. She can look after herself better than you can!" Sejus laughed. This comment annoyed Kanji, Sejus had always been superior to him. In looks, in intelligence, making friends and by far the superior in battle. Nevertheless he nodded and huffed. The two began to run in opposite directions.

Kanji's house was not far from the main gate, it was small, made of wood and fairly plain. He still liked the house, it was big enough for him and Amora so he didn't care. He rushed in and grabbed his crude broadsword and his breast plate, then rushed to the front of the village.

When he got there he found Sejus already there, prepared for battle. The village had mustered a defence force of around twenty. The Mayor and Sejus were in mid conversation when Kanji appeared.

"If that happens we retreat surely?" Sejus asked, he obviously didn't agree with whatever plan the Mayor had in mind.

"Sejus, I know how you feel. We cannot however let any attack get through." The Mayor's voice was full of confidence as he spoke again. "I'm sure you could hold the barrier single handedly."

"He can walk on water too." Kanji added ignorantly. Sejus ignored the comment, he was used to it. Kanji however was clearly very pleased with his sarcastic jab.

"Right well I can take over now Mayor. Get yourself a good hiding place." Sejus nodded humbly as he spoke. Then he turned to Kanji. He drew a short blade that was so thin it was invisible when laid flat. "Been a while since I have had to use this."

Kanji nodded with grudging recognition. It was a paper sword, very few people could use them as if you blocked with it or swung it awkwardly against the wind it would snap. However it could easily cut through anything, agility and skill were needed to use it and Sejus had those by the bucket load.

"Right, well my lord. I'm ready." Kanji said. His tone still sarcastic, Sejus always took Kanji's jabs as harmless banter. The truth was Kanji had been looked down on since he could remember. He was often bullied as a child, never grew to be particularly good at anything and would always let his emotions get the better of him. Sejus was totally opposite, this perhaps was what made him the most popular man in the province and the target of Kanji's anger. He had, however always respected that Sejus was a great man and loved the fact that he was always there for him. He was a true friend.

The men guarding the barricade mumbled amongst themselves. The smoke was thick and easily visible in the distant night, it raised like a malevolent spirit, pointing to Pike as the next target. A ripple of fear spread through the men.

"I look forward to fighting alongside you again old friend." Sejus smiled to Kanji as he spoke. Kanji grew in confidence from the simple remark and now was itching to fight. The other men didn't feel the same, the scared chatterings still rippled through.

Sejus stepped onto the barricade, clearly preparing to make a speech when a sharp series of bangs rapped in the distance. Sejus' face twisted into shock, the enemy, whoever they were, had almost got here. Sejus stammered a moment, turning to Kanji he muttered.

"Gun shots?"

The End

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