Chapter 13

We had set up camp behind a fallen tree, so as not to be so much in the open.  Strange creatures had been emitting from the darkened ground, rustles could be heard from within bushes..

“We’ll have to start a fire,” I said as I tossed some sticks in a pile.

“It mights helps to keeps aways those noises…” Ghoun said as I searched around for a good rock to start a spark with.  Rather than helping, Ghoun and Thawl just stared at me.

“Come on… can you help me out?  All these rocks seemed crushed and shattered.  What are you guys doing??” I stopped my search and waited for an answer.  “No… what are YOU doing?” Thawl stared at me like I was as crazy as a coocoo bird.

“I’m searching for something to make fire with, why won’t you…” I started before Ghoun cut me off.  “Somethings to makes fires withs?  YOU’RE the ‘somethings to makes fires with’!”

“So now you want to burn me?  Is that it?” I was growing angry now at their childish games.

“You know what we mean, and for some reason you deny it.  Syth was right when he said you should be using and practicing your powers… otherwise you’ll lose them!  There’s nothing wrong with using…”

“Shuttup, Thawl, just shuttup!  I want anything to do with magic!  This magic has torn me from my family and homes, soon it’ll tear me apart!  It’s evil, it’s what THEY use!” I said, pointing in the direction where Drako’s castle should lay.

“It’s onlys evil whens used fors evil!” Ghoun grabbed my tunic and pulled me down so I was eye-level with him.  His small, yet intense eyes seemed to have seen more than one could possibly imagine.  Though he seemed to be humorous at times, I doubted he meant to be.  He was very serious, and though he seemed to be able to control his tempers unlike me, at moments he showed his rage without holding back.  At these times he was incredibly fearsome with renewed strength.  A perfect ally to have!  Unless, of course, his anger was focused on you.

“Don’t yous understands?  You musts use yours magic, this land mays depends ons it!  Yous stills are so selfish ats times!  You’res a Kir’Draz!  The first in centuries!  Such powers aren’ts meant tos be sables to go to wastes!  My family ands home was taken froms me as yours was!  But I watched its happens with my very eyes.  My wife’s screamses… my children’s… cries… blood everywhere as the Dran Lord’s alongs with his first formed cult crumbled my city!  Smaller rocks knocked down the youngsters, bringing intants deaths to their softs bodies, the large rocks crushed mys friends, killing somes and leaving somes to die slowlys from being crippled.  The fews weaks survivors were captured, for the Dran’s to tortures and kills later, for their sick form of entertainments.  I as wells was captureds and was instantly sent tos an arena in a Dran tavern, being forced tos fights a young centaur, hardly even an adults yets.”

I had no clue of Ghoun’s hidden past!  Indeed I had made myself think that I was the only one who had escaped such as fate as my loved ones!  But his situation seemed a thousand times worse on his behalf; so then how had he escaped?  I was about to ask but he quickly went on with his story, as if to get it over with.

“Wes each hads a leg toeds up, so as nots to lets us escapes.  Thoughs cheaply done withs ropes, it was not somethings we’d be able to escapes from alones, for each of us were forced to fights.  Wes each weres equipped withs average weapons.  Mes, with a blunts axe, and hes with a sturdy buts woodens staff.” With this, Ghoun pulled out his old axe staring it over.

“We foughts, weaks from hunger.  I thoughts of attemptings tos chop the rope which helds mes, but knews it was toos thick and the Drans hads three sharpshootings archers watching my every moves.  Mes and the Centaur boths seemed equals, and wes only grews tired as we gave eachothers bruises and cuts, buts nones which were quites lethal.  The Drans laughing ceased as they grew bored and grabbed more to drink.  Evens a couples archers left as thes other released a new creature into the arena.  A small baby dragon, mature enough to breathe fire and dangerous enough to kmills mes and the centaur.  Outs of fear for our lives, the centaur and mes made a silent truce to teams ups on thes dragon.  The fight was longs and painfuls.  Alls mes and the centaur would dos was dodge the dragon’s attacks.  The centaur, howevers, noticed that’s the dragon was slow tos let outs his fire.  He thens came ups with thes plan which saved ours lives.  Though I knews not what it was, when he told me to runs across the arena as he rans from the other direction, I dids as told.  Our ropes crossed as wes crossed paths.  Withs the dragons slow reaction he lets outs his fire right after we crossed, setting our ropes in flames.  Thoughs it burned our ropes quickly, it also burned towards our legs.  As the flames neared the centaur, its burned his precious tail giving him enough time for his rope to break him free.  What a brave centaur it must have been to let it’s tail burn to have more time for his rope to snap.  Though I had never seen a centaur, I had learned, as had my schoolmates, that a centaur’s tail was its pride, and that some would sacrifice their lives rather than being rejected for their damaged tail.

“I, howevers, wasn’t as fortunates.  The flame hads made its ways to my leg before it snapped, burning the thin cloth I had worn, painfully consuming my leg.  The crowd, too drunk to notice the centaur being freed, laughed as the flames picked aways at mes foreleg.  Evens thes archers were drunkened and gurgling and laughing on the ground.  In a final painful attempt, I brought my axe down on the thinning rope, barely missing my own foot.  The rope snapped and the flames on my clothing died as a strong, bloody hand reached out and pulled me off my feet.  I warily held out my axe ready to attack before I was killed.  I barely realized in time that it was the centaur, whom I was now holding on to the back of.  With his left over energy he had leaped the arena wall, knocking down the laughing Drans, whom were now angry and fumbling for their weapons.  The centaur took advantage of their drowziness and leaped out an already broken window, easily dodging their attacks.  One dagger slashed my arm as I had been trying to protect the centaur’s back with my axe.”

He said this as he absentmindedly pulled up his sleeve and showed a long, jagged scar.  I cringed.

“We, of course, escaped, but were eventually seperated again when wh had stopped to rest after a few days running into this very forest.  They had been on our trail waiting for such a moment.  I had grabbed some campfire, returning to see him being slidden across the forest floor, unconscious, by the three Dran archers who had pursued us on horseback.  They must have shot him with a sleeping arrow.  I could have attempted to rescue him, but knowing I could do nothing, I turned coward on the creature I owed my life to, backed up before they had sen me, and have been hiding ever since, making my way to the slightly safer southern side.”  Me and Thawl stared in amazement, at nothing but space, thinking about Ghoun’s whole story which we had picturing in our heads.

“I would do anything to go back in time and attempt to rescue him while he was still in view.  Anything.  He was a noble centaur who had given up so much for me, and yet I couldn’t go after him when he became in danger...”

“There would have been nothing you could have done...” I said, trying to reassure him, but he became silent

“May I ask... what the centaur’s name was?” Thawl asked quietly.

“Algon.”  I had never heard Ghoun so quiet before.  Thawl and I both knew that it was time to stop questioning.  So we laid down and, with too much to think about, pretended to sleep.

The End

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