Akira sat on the ground, staring at the closed door, stunned at what had just happened.
Movement from the corner of the room caught his attention. He turned his head to see that it was a rat scurrying away from him, it escaped through a small hole into the room next to his.
Akira thought to himself, 'There’s nothing I can do right now. I guess I'll just sleep for now.'
The next morning he was woken up by the sound of the door being slammed open.
Akira looked to see who it was that came to see him.
It was Rodger standing in the doorway, along with two guards that had troubled looks on their faces.
Rodger threw two thick blankets at Akira before talking.
“I heard the news only a few minutes ago. I brought some extra blankets to keep you warm. You shouldn't worry about staying here in the brig, at least it’s better than the prison cells. I know you wouldn't have killed someone without a reason. So I'll go and talk to father as soon as he's awake. I'll try to get him to see reason. Well, I have to get back to my daily duties. Don't worry, you'll be out soon after I talk to father,” said Rodger in a cheerful voice.
“Thanks, Rodger, as always you're a big help,” said Akira with a sad smile.
Rodger left the brig as quickly as he had entered.
The rest of the morning was uneventful unless you count eating some weird slop that was called food for breakfast.
The hours passed as he waited for Rodger to come back and get him out of the Brig.
The door opened just after he had finished eating the mystery food he had received for lunch.
Instead of Rodger showing up, it was a guard escorting Grand., who was shoved into the room, with the door closing behind him.
“Hello, Akira, we meet again. Sadly it's in such a bad situation,” greeted Grand, as if he was out for a stroll in the city market and not locked up in the brig.
“What are you doing here?” asked the Akira, puzzled at his appearance instead of Rodger showing up.
“Unfortunately, I angered the commander when I disagreed with all of the things that he was doing. I think it was just some minor disagreements, but he disagreed and ordered me to spend some time in the brig. From what I've heard from the gossip of other soldiers, it seems you are in deep trouble. What happened?” Grand asked Akira.
“I was almost killed by an assassin, but he was killed by someone else with some sort of ice daggers. I'm being blamed for his murder,” lamented Akira.
“Ah, now I see. Well, it really doesn't matter as we will both be out of here tonight,” said Grand confidently as if it were a matter of fact.
“So that means Rodger was able to get the commander to agree to let me out, right?” asked Akira.
Grand shook his head, “No, Rodger was sent out to lead one of the border patrols. It seems the commander didn't want him here constantly nagging him.”
“This is just too weird, what's going on? Wait a second, you said that we would both be out of the brig tonight, but if not with the help of Rodger then how?”
“With the help of an acquaintance of mine. That is if you want to escape with us. You’re more than welcome to say here, but don't try to fool yourself. You will be tried, found guilty, and executed tomorrow. I suggest that if you want to keep your head, you should come with us.”
“Brutus wouldn't do that. How do you know all this? Just who are you?” asked Akira.
“Don't forget I was acting as the commander’s scribe, so I was able to see important documents. While he was making all the plans on what to do with you, I was able to overhear it all. As to who I am, that's not important right now. Although I will tell you that the clan chief I work for heard some astonishing rumors a year ago from my acquaintance who you will be able to meet tonight. After hearing the rumor, I was ordered to go along with them and see if the rumor was true or not,” said Grand.
“So did you figure out if it was true?” asked Akira.
“That's still unknown, but if I had to guess from what I have seen and heard while on my journey I would say it's leaning towards being true,” said Grand.
“Why would you want to help me?” asked Akira.
“Because it's beneficial for both of us. You seem like you can fight so you should join us. Don't worry, you have all day to think about it. But I will be leaving tonight so you should make up your mind before then. I'm going to get some rest so I can be fully awake tonight. You might want to do it too,” replied Grand.
Grand quickly fell asleep on one of the cots near the wall with his back turned towards Akira. A few hours passed as Akira wrestled with the thoughts and new information he had received.
In the end, he couldn't decide so he laid down on one of the cots with the extra blankets to sleep as there was nothing else to do inside the room, plus if he was going to escape he might as well be alert.
Akira woke up to a soft female voice calling Grand's name. The room had grown even darker as it was now nighttime.
“Ah, you’re here right on time. I'm inside here with another person named Akira,” said Grand.
Akira stood up and shook himself to get rid of his sleepiness. He was curious to see who it was that had come to rescue them.
“Okay, I'm opening the door so you better get out of the way,” said the female voice.
Grand threw some of the blankets onto the floor by the door and joined Akira to stand next to the wall where they waited for the door to be opened.
The temperature in the room became colder for some reason. The sound of ice freezing metal could be heard coming from the door. The sound of metal cracking followed after a few seconds and the door fell forward onto the blankets, which slightly muffled the sound.
The hallway torch was not lit but Akira was still able to see the female in the dim light that came from a window. After seeing her face, he was reminded of the girl he had met some years ago at the river.
She sleepily rubbed her eyes. While yawning, she bowed to Akira and said, “Hello, I am Yuki, nice to meet you.”
“Ah, so you're that girl from four years ago!” shouted Akira in surprise.
“Yeah, I am,” yawned Yuki.
“So you two know each other?” Grand asked.
“I only met her once years ago,” replied Akira.
“Did you talk to him about coming with us?” asked Yuki.
“Yes, I believe he wants to come. Am I right?” Grand asked while looking at Akira.
“I have decided to go with you,” Akira confirmed.
“Well, now's not the time to be dilly-dallying, let’s escape,” said Grand, urging them to get moving.
They quietly sneaked through the dark and eerily empty hallways.
Before they reached the door leading outside, they heard the unexpected sound of keys jingling on the other side as a guard was sorting through his keys to get to the one that would open the door.
The old man pointed to an opened window next to them, gesturing for them to escape out of it. Both Yuki and Grand jumped out the window before Akira.
Just as Akira jumped down from the window onto the ground, the door to the hallway opened.
Grand tapped Akira's shoulder and pointed to Yuki, who was already moving, suggesting that they follow her.
They stuck to the dark alleyways and shadows created by the buildings and the moon, making sure to avoid the areas lit by torches and candles. They were able to quickly sneak their way over to one of the castle's walls.
They quickly ran up the stairs and crouched down when they reached the top of the wall that was empty of guards for the moment.
Yuki grabbed onto a rope that was secured to the wall by a hook and quickly climbed down. Akira and Grand followed after her.
When they reached the ground, Yuki retrieved the rope and pointed to a clump of trees a short distance away. They ran to the destination.
Three horses were waiting for them. There was a set of armor and weapons for both Akira and Grand. In the pile for Akira, there was also a shield as if they already knew Akira used a shield.
“Let’s get as far away as we can. We have to meet up with our allies before the commander decides to start sending a search party outside of the castle,” said Grand while putting on the armor and placing his sword in its sheath on his belt.
Akira put his armor on as well and got onto his horse.
Without another word, Akira followed Yuki as they urged their horses to go as fast as they could in the direction of the Frul mountains.
As they galloped away, the sound of the alarm bell ringing could be heard coming from the castle, informing everyone inside that something had happened.
The guards who had informed Brutus of Akira's escape bore the brunt of his rage and were badly beaten in a fit of rage.
After ten minutes of searching, they were unable to find him anywhere inside or near the castle.
Roaring with anger, Brutus commandeered a border patrol unit that was getting ready to head out for a night patrol. He ordered them to search for any sign or trail and to find and capture him.
Before Brutus left the castle, he had multiple message birds sent to the border patrol units that were already out on patrol, warning them to be on the lookout for Akira and anyone he might be with.
After thirty minutes of riding on the open plains, Yuki led them into a densely packed wooded area. They had their horses carefully walk for a short time through the trees for a short distance.
Yuki motioned for them to stop when a small group of people walked out from behind the trees with their weapons drawn.
The people stared at them for a few seconds, but upon recognizing Yuki and Grand, they relaxed.
“It's all clear, just Yuki and Grand returning,” shouted a large muscular man wearing leather armor. He was holding a large two-handed sword that was wider than most men's arms and almost as tall.
A larger group of rugged-looking people, some of which had a few fresh wounds on their bodies and faces, started to come out of hiding behind the trees and gathered around Akira and the others. They all had smiles on their faces.
Akira noticed that they all had tattoos on their faces and the parts of their arms that he could see.
“Welcome back Yuki, Grand, and who is this person with you?” asked the muscular man in a loud and gruff voice.
“More importantly, can he be trusted?” asked a female, who was looking just as wild as the male warrior.
“I believe we can trust him. Now is not the time to talk, we can test him later. We need to leave immediately. The enemy will be looking for us by now, and if we are unlucky they are already on our trail,” said Grand worriedly.
“Well, I can't doubt what you say, elder, we will test him later. I suggest we not bother our little friends in the mountains and quickly go through the mountain pass,” suggested the gruff male.
“Agreed. Let us be off then. The sooner we leave this kingdom the better. Do not let your guard down,” said Grand.
The gruff man offered Akira his hand to shake, which he took. His hand felt like it was going to break from the gruff man's grasp.
“My name’s Erok. If you betray us, I will kill you,” said Erok with a smile.
It took only a few minutes for everyone to pack up their gear and get onto their horses.
They left the trees in double file with Yuki and Erok both in the front leading the group, while Akira and Grand were in the middle.
They rode for most of the night while taking measures to avoid the rare small villages. It was nearing dawn when they were able to finally reach the border of Beorin, which stopped at the Frul mountains.
They stopped their movement and hid in the trees at the base of the mountains while scouts were sent ahead to see if the mountain pass was blocked or not.
They came back and signaled the path was clear.
“Everyone, be careful. The path ahead may be clear but the enemy will most likely be chasing us from behind. Let’s move out,” shouted Erok.
The small group began moving, they ate and slept while riding and only stopped for a short while to water and feed the horses. Some people took that time to take care of the call of nature.
Like so, two days passed with no sight of the enemy chasing after them, they were a little over halfway through the mountain pass.
Like the days before, a scout was sent ahead to make sure there were no enemies in an ambush ahead of them.
This time, when the scout came back and reported his findings, Akira could hear the curses coming from Erok.
A moment later Erok galloped up to Grand and Akira.
“The enemy somehow has a small group of twelve or more soldiers blocking the path ahead of us. I have no clue how they were able to get ahead of us. Unfortunately, the scout was noticed and the enemy sent a messenger bird that flew in this direction. Most likely it has already reached their allies behind us, requesting backup. We need to smash through them now before help arrives,” said Erok quickly.
“I had hoped we would be able to escape without fighting, wishful thinking I know. Very well, let's carve our way through them and get out of this mess,” said Grand with a sigh.
Everyone had been waiting on their horses and at the order from Erok they drew their weapons and rode forward until a short while later when they saw the enemy blocking the road.
“I thought you said it was only 12 people,” said Grand, as they looked at the enemy that numbered over twenty people. There was a makeshift fence that had been erected to hinder anyone from getting past.
“It doesn't matter, we'll just break through them. Everyone, charge!” commanded Erok with a shout.
Akira urged his horse forward, matching the speed of the others as they charged towards the enemy blocking their path.
The enemy soldiers met them halfway with a charge of their own.
The fight raged on as each side stabbed and hacked at the other. Akira and his allies tried to break through but the enemy kept blocking their escape.
The battle was harder than they had thought it would be. They were not losing as they were able to kill the enemies, but the enemy was stalling for time by using their own lives to block them.
A battle horn was sounded a short distance behind Akira. More enemies would be arriving soon.
“Push harder, men!” shouted Grand.
Everyone fought even harder. They were able to push the enemy back as more and more of them were killed or received a mortal wound.
Within a few minutes, the sound of enemy reinforcements could be heard as the cavalry charged at them from behind. There were still a few soldiers blocking their path in front.
“AKIRA, YOU WRETCH GET BACK OVER HERE!” shouted Brutus, his voice coming from behind Akira.
“Keep the enemy off in the rear!” ordered Erok.
Akira and a portion of the soldiers fighting the enemy in the front turned around to face Brutus and his group of ten horsemen.
Brutus and Akira clashed with each other trading blow after blow. Akira blocked the attacks with his shield, while Brutus blocked any attack with his sword.
Akira and his allies had the numerical advantage but it would most likely not last that long if fresh enemy reinforcements kept showing up.
Akira was having a hard time dealing any damage to Brutus, he was by no means weak but Brutus did not get the position as the commander of the border castle by being weak and fat.
His attacks hammered down on Akira's shield, the force and skillful swordsmanship used was evidence of his countless years of experience on the battlefield.
“Why are you trying to escape, boy!?” asked Brutus, shouting to be heard over the sound of battle.
Without waiting for a reply, his sword slashed at Akira's left side.
“Why are you trying to kill me!” Akira shouted back, blocking the attack with his shield. His arm that held the shield was beginning to go numb from blocking the powerful attacks.
“HA! You're my hostage, why would I want to kill you? You're no use to me dead,” said Brutus.
“Hostage?” asked the Akira, confused at the direction the conversation was going. He counterattacked by stabbing at Brutus’s head.
“Fifteen years ago when the second great war had just finished, the demigods were slowly disappearing. Before they left, I contracted a small but powerful guild to kill the leaders of the rebel demihuman army that had formed. To my surprise, Alan came back with great news. Not only were the leaders killed, but their young son had also been captured,” shouted Brutus with a wicked grin on his face.
“You're the reason my parents were killed?” asked the stunned Akira.
“Ha, it was easy for the demigods or so I was told. Compared to the demigods, your parents weren't that strong,” said Brutus.
Time slowed for Akira as memories flooded back of when he was four years old, of him being hidden in bushes by his mother whose face he couldn't recall, who had told him to be a good boy and not to make any sound.
He had watched as they fought for their lives, killing a few of the attackers before dying at the hands of a nameless demigod who wore a black half-face mask, which only showed his mouth.
Brutus seized the chance to attack the stunned Akira, swinging his sword at his chest.
Akira's leather armor received a large hole where the sword had hit. The attack did not reach deep enough to cut his skin.
Akira was jerked from his memory, he saw the necklace Brutus had given him when they first met flying into the air from the string being cut and flung away by the sword.
With the bright moon shining down on him, his mind went blank.
Implementing class job change.
-You will keep your current stats but your current level will be reset.
- You can no longer receive free EXP level growth.
Multiple windows of information popped up in Akira’s view. Before he could look at them and understand what was going on, a dark light began to emit from his body.
Thanks for reading.