Categories > Original > Fantasy > Wrath of the Dragon King: The Twin Scrolls

Into the Darkness

by Gammer 1 review

Scouts, Rin and Harada get more than they bargained for as they try to report back to headquarters

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy,Humor - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2008-11-01 - Updated: 2008-11-02 - 2605 words

Chapter 1: Into the Darkness

The night was distorted by a foul roar. The beastly noise tore through the trees as if it was alive, looking for something. The creature roared again, but was accompanied by a series of similar cries that annihilated the peaceful night. The instincts of the awakened animals screamed for them to escape or hide as the ground shook with the movement of the creatures. Another thunder like roar sounded. It was one of warning. No one was safe. As the creatures of the forest moved to safeguard themselves against the onslaught of the beasts, they were disturbed by two swift blurs.

“Did you hear that?” the first blur asked, its voice that of a young human male.
“The more important question is who else did?” the second blur replied, a female.
“I didn't think they'd catch on so fast,” the male muttered.
“It was only a matter of time,” the woman said. “I'm more surprised at the numbers we saw tonight.”
“Yeah, I didn't think there could be so many in one place. What do you think Master Kaiza will do with this information?”
“That isn't our primary concern,” the female hissed. “We should be more worried about getting out of this forsaken province by at least tomorrow. The Legion needs this information quickly!”
“Right. Sorry.” Silence passed over the two blurs as they continued their path down the thick forest. “I gotta piss,” the male announced after a few moments. The female let out an irritated grunt.
“Can't you wait until we at least get to a village?”
“We've been running for hours!” the male shot back. “Do you have any idea what that feels like?!”
“Fine,” the woman sighed. “But only five seconds, understand.” The male chuckled.
“Yes ma'am.” The two made a sharp left, and ran into a large clearing that exposed the wide fast moving river that had been running alongside of them. The two stopped on the riverbank and allowed themselves a brief moment of rest.
The male was a head taller than the woman, but could still be considered short amongst average sized men. He was dressed in an all-black jacket and pants that was topped off by a cowl that hid all his features save his hazel eyes. The male raised his gangly arms over his head and let out a pleasurable grunt as he felt the muscles stretch.
“Will you just go already, we've probably lost enough time as is!” the woman barked, who was dressed in similar fashion.
“All right, all right, jeez.” The young man turned to the river exposing the straight sword that was fastened onto his back, and a bright red scroll that was situated on his belt. The woman groaned again as she watched her colleague pull at the cloth that held his pants.”
“No peeking....unless you see something you like of course,” the male said with a sly smile.
“Please,” the woman scoffed. “As if I’d be interested in something so small.”
“What’d you say! I’ll have you know I’m famous around the brothels! The women can’t take their hands off of me! They always say I’m the biggest they’ve seen!”
“You and I both know those women will say anything to their money,” she shot back. “And what the hell are you doing at the brothels when you should be training?”
“Let’s see practice grappling with sweaty men in a cramped room, or spend hours with beautiful women. Tough choice,” the young man said with heavy sarcasm.
“Sometimes I wonder just how in all the hells did you become a scout Harada.”
“And I'm beginning to see why Kensuke bitches about his little sister all the time,” Harada shot back. “You have no relaxed bone in your body Rin.”
A scowl crossed Rin's lips before giving way to a smug smirk.
“You know it's been five seconds, and you still haven't gone yet.” Harada let out a growl as he turned to face Rin with a retort on his tongue, when his eyes widened in fear. Rin cocked her head to the side in confusion.
“What?” Harada gave no time to reply. In a flash he drew his sword, and leaped behind Rin, catching a large spiked club with his sword.
“They’re here!” he exclaimed, and pushed the attacking creature back. The monster roared before Harada silenced it with a thrust through its chest.
“Let’s go!” Rin yelled, already sprinting into the woods. Harada dashed after her.
“Damn it how did they find us?” Harada scowled.
“That isn’t import! We just need to get the hell out of here now!” A loud roar caught their attention. Within moments two more monsters dove out of the darkness with their shark like teeth blazed. Harada lost no momentum as he cut them down, but three more replaced them in their path.
“Rin heads up!” he warned. Rin drew her weapon, twin sais, and made short work of the new obstacles. She looked over her shoulder and saw Harada dispatch two more monsters before stabbing another that was on his flank.
“Damn it!” she spat, killing another. “There’s no end to them!”
“I think they have us surrounded!” Harada’s thought was proven true when countless more seemed to sprout from the darkness, and approached the two scouts in slow tightening circle.
“Now what!”
“I’m thinking damn it!” Rin hissed.
“Hate to be a bitch, but could you think faster!”
“You’re so not helping.” The monsters, armed with thick spiked oaken clubs, let out a series of smug grunts as they watched their trapped prey tremble. Rin gritted her teeth. It was only a matter of time before they closed in. She knew the monsters were savoring and basking in her and Harada’s helplessness. If they got caught, the entire mission would be for naught, and the empire would have no idea what kind of storm was coming their way. The ring of monsters became larger as more of the odd creatures joined. Rin could not get a clear look at their exact features, but she knew they were not of this world. She bit her lip and tightened her hold on her weapons. There was only one way out. Harada would have a better chance than her anyway. He was lazy but he was still faster than she was, and based on the situation, speed was all that mattered.
“Harada,” she whispered. “As soon as you see fire, I want you to run like a mad demon out of hell got it?”
“Yeah, but what about you? There’s no way in all the hells you can beat all these hell spawn!”
“That doesn’t matter. As long as the enemy doesn’t get both of us, Kaiza and the empire will have a chance.”
“This is crazy. I’m not leaving you behind.” Rin saw the creatures begin to close in. She even thought she saw one lick its lips in anticipation.
“We don’t have time to argue idiot, just do it.”
“Now isn’t the time to be noble you bastard!” Rin snapped. “I’m ordering you to get the hell out of here!” Harada let out an agreeing but reluctant grunt. Rin stepped back, and her foot snapped a dry stick. That was all the monsters needed.
They charged like wild elephants. Their very steps making the very earth crumble and shake with fear. Rin closed her eyes just seconds before they were upon them, and thrust her sais into the ground with a loud yell. Fire erupted from the earth creating a wall that halted the monsters.
“GO NOW!!” she bellowed.
“I’ll be back for you it’s a promise!” Harada swore, and dashed through the fire, past the demons, and into the darkness of the woods.
“I-Idiot,” Rin muttered. “Making promises like that, at a time like this…..”
Her lips curved to form a small smile.
The flame wall dropped.
The creatures closed in.
And the world went black.

Harada ran like he had never run before in his life. He felt his legs move across the ground like slithering snakes. His arms pumping up and down in a practiced fashion, and his breath going in and out with trained timing. The dark forest became nothing but a blur as he dodged the trees left and right as if they were adversaries. He leapt yards across the ground to gain more ground and time, and changed direction often throw off possible pursuers. His heart pounded harder and harder in chest until he was sure that it would burst if he didn’t rest. He made a quick left, and arrived at a narrow cliff-side that over looked the wide flowing river below.
Harada hunched over with fatigue. His breaths fast and heavy and his legs pulsing from overuse. He took several deep breaths to calm his heart. He looked up and saw that without the obstruction of the trees, the pale silver light of the moon shone clearly illuminating the cliff-side. He saw that he was a good two to three yards from the river below, and that the river was flowing downstream. If he went upstream there was a chance that there was a village where he could get help for Rin. The empire may have been in danger, but that wasn’t enough of an excuse for Harada to escape, and leave her with their attackers.
“Hang on Rin. I’ll be back for you,” he whispered to the pale gray rocks before him.
“My, my isn’t that noble,” a soft yet menacing voice said from behind him. Harada drew his sword, and turned to face his new opponent. He felt his heart stop.
Before him was a creature that could only be described as a creature from hell itself. Its skin was deathly pale. Paler than even snow. Its hair long and pure white. Harada looked into the creatures eyes and saw cold cobalt stare back at him, freezing away any courage or will that he had left in his heart. Its body was that of a human’s, but Harada was not fooled when he saw the long claws on the creature’s large hands. It grinned, exposing its triangular teeth, and tongue. It wore light metallic chest armor that was made from small metal scales that were linked together. The legs, arms, and neck were covered by odd leather clothing that was underneath the armor. On its hip was the hilt of a sheathed short sword, and no other weapons. The monster moved its head side to side with a loud snapping sound accompanying the motion before letting out a smug smile.
“Stay back demon!” Harada yelled. Despite his words, his foot was inching back.
“Oh I’m so scared,” the monster scoffed. “Give me what you stole, and I will promise you a quick death.”
“I’d rather die first!” It rolled its eyes.
“Well either way you end up dead. All that matters is what order we go in.” Harada tightened his grip. Rin sacrificed herself to allow him to get his far; there was no way he would allow himself to die here.
His breath became rapid and sharp. His heart pounded faster than when he was running. A beat of sweat rolled down his brow, and his throat gave way to a gulp. He felt his foot shake, and the sword became harder to hold still. The creature took a step forward. He took a step back. His shoulders were tight and stiff as if some great weight was pushing down on him. His mind went blank, his will vanished. All he could see was the monster before him, and the sheer look of superiority on its face. It was going to kill him no matter he did.
He had been taught that it was an honor to die in the service of the empire. That it was better to die with the information that you had learned than to allow it to fall in the hands of the enemy. He was always told that dieing for the empire was a glorious event, and he should have nothing but pride in his heart if it happened.
Harada felt no pride at all.
All he felt was the feeling that certain death lied behind the monster before him. He didn’t want to die. He wasn’t ready to die. The monster took another step forward, Harada stepped back again. Now there was only two ways out, fall or face the creature. His time was up, and there was nothing he could do.
He lowered his sword. The monster smiled.
“So we’ll go in that order then.” He held out his hand. “Give to me.”
Harada’s hand passed over the scroll on his belt, and made a fist as realization struck him. There was another way after all. He only prayed that whatever happened after this, happened for the empire’s benefit.
He slowly took the scroll from his belt, and presented it to the smiling monster.
“Hand it over to me now,” the creature said as if talking to a scared animal. Harada made his way towards the monster, and held out the scroll placing it inches away from its hand.
“It’s too bad….” Harada muttered.
“I know,” the creature said with a chuckle. “So many people were counting on you, and yet you failed.”
“No. It’s too bad you have to find it again yourself!” With that Harada spun on the balls of his feet and hurled the scroll over the cliff into the river.
“I might die but I’m taking you with me!” Harada swung his sword with a savage yell at the creature’s neck determined to sever it.
The monster caught his blade like it was wood. Its other hand thrust out and grabbed Harada by the neck, and squeezed with a grip greater than iron. Harada let out a gurgled cry as he felt his windpipe slowly crush.
“You….will…..regret that.” In a matter of seconds the sound of Harada’s crushed neck reached the creature’s ear. The creature hurled the body over the cliff-side and let out a demonic roar of both frustration, and calling that echoed through the darkness of the forest.
Within moments the other monsters gathered, with two holding an unconscious Rin by her arms. The monsters formed around the young woman, their teeth were bared, and hunger in their eyes. The pale monster snarled, stopping their advances. The monster awoke Rin with a hard slap, and grabbed her by the neck, careful not to crush it.
“Now tell me my dear, which one of the feudal lords sent you?” Rin spat at the creature, which increased its grip in response. “Not a wise choice,” he turned to seven creatures that were on his left. “Take her to Lord Idai. Perhaps his famous torture methods will get her to talk. And make sure you take her weapons! The last thing we want is for her to take her own life. The rest of you, find that scroll! I don’t care if you have search this entire province just find it NOW!” A chorus of snarls sounded, and the creatures vanished into the darkness the carry out their orders.
The pale creature took one last look over the cliff at the flowing river below, and growled before following the others into the darkness.
It was only beginning.
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