Eiji trudged on the road through the cold, misty forest, his feet aching with every step. The trees loomed around him, their gnarled branches reaching out like twisted fingers. He had been walking for days, and his stomach was growling with hunger. He needed to find food, and he needed to find it soon.
He kept his eyes fixed on the road ahead, determined to push on. The air was crisp and cold, and he could see his breath in the air. He pulled his coat tighter around himself, trying to keep out the chill.
As he walked for another few hours, the mist began to clear, and he saw the outline of a town in the distance. His heart raced with excitement and hope. He quickened his pace, his feet pounding against the road as he ran towards the town.
As he approached the gates, he saw a long line of people waiting to get in. Most of them were rough-looking men and women, their faces hard and weathered, their clothes worn and patched. They seemed to be chatting excitedly amongst themselves, their voices carrying on the cold, misty air.
Eiji took his place in line, trying to blend in as best he could. He glanced around at the other people in line. Over the time more and more seemed to come, many looked more like bandits than honest citizens, with scars and tattoos covering their faces and arms. They were heavily armed, with swords and daggers strapped to their belts. He couldn help but overhear their conversations. They seemed excited to be working for the baron, talking about the various jobs that he had available.
”I heard hes looking for some muscle to get him some fresh meat, ” one of the bandits said, his voice low and conspiratorial. ”They say the barons got a thing for for these dirty demon brute, if you know what I mean and requires constant supply. ”
Another bandit chuckled. ”Well, Im not one to turn down easy money, ” he said. ”Ive heard that the baron pays well. Im in. ”
But a third bandit hesitated, a worried look on his face. ”I don know, ” he said, shaking his head. ”I heard the last group he hired didn come back. Im not sure its worth the risk boss. ”
The first bandit shrugged. ”Ah, they probably just made off with the pay ” he said.
As the time passed, the line became smaller and smaller, but only few got into the town.
Eijis eyes wandered to the people infront of him, a group of ragged-looking maybe refugees or wanderers like him, trying to plead their case with the guards.
e just trying to find a place to stay, ” one of the refugees said, her voice desperate and pleading. ”Weve been on the road for weeks, and we have nowhere else to go. Can you let us in? ”
But the guards were unmoved, their expressions hard and unfeeling. ”We can let just anyone in, ” one of them said gruffly. ”The baron doesn want dirty beggars like you inside the town. You reek and you look like you haven had a bath in weeks. Get out of here before I loose my temper. ”
The group looked devastated, their shoulders sagging with defeat. They knew that they had no other choice but to leave. Eiji watched as they turned and trudged back down the road, their heads hanging low. It seemed like his chances to get in without signing up for a job were close to zero.
Finally, it was Eijis turn to approach the gates. He stepped forward and faced the two guards standing there.
”Who goes there? ” one of the guards called out, his voice gruff and suspicious.
The guard standing in front of Eiji was a muscular man with a stern expression on his face. He wore a suit of armor that looked cheap and poorly maintained, with rust spots visible on the metal plates. His right hand on his sword.
Despite his intimidating appearance, Eiji could tell that the guard was not well-trained or experienced. His armor was ill-fittingy. It was clear to Eiji that this man was not a seasoned warrior.
”My name is Eiji, ” he replied, his voice strong and steady.
The guard looked at Eiji with a mixture of suspicion and distrust. ”What brings you to our town? ” he asked, his voice gruff and direct. ”You dont seem like the type that would be here to work for the baron, are you also a beggar? ”
”Beggar? ” he asked, his voice strong and confident. ”Im a skilled fighter. Ive heard that the baron is hiring and paying well. So here iam. ” He tried to sound as snarky and confident as possible.
The guard raised an eyebrow, a skeptical look on his face. ”Is that so? ” he said, his voice dripping with disbelief. ”You don look like youve ever held a sword in your life. ”
Eiji let out a laugh, ”Never held a sword? ” he asked sarcasticly ”I could probably beat everyone of these in line. ” he pointed with his thumb behind him, right at the three bandits that he listened to earlier ”I am more then capable to handle a sword. ”
The rough-looking bandits started to laugh and mock Eiji, their jeers and insults echoing through the air. The biggest one, stepped forward.
”You think you can take me on, boy? ” he sneered, towering over Eiji, he was a tall, burly man with a thick beard that seemed to have grown wild and untamed. His hair was a matted mess, and his eyes were cold and ruthless. His muscles bulging beneath his armor as he brandished his axe. ”Prove it. Or are you not as skilled as you say you are ”
Eiji stood tall and squared his shoulders, his eyes blazing with determination staring right back into the cold eyes of the burly man.
”I don have a sword,
” he said, his voice firm and confident.
”But if you
e willing to lend me one, Ill happily take you on. ”
The big bandit sneered at Eiji, clearly not expecting this response. The guard with the badly maintained armor, however, seemed to be amused by the idea of a little fight. He gestured to the other guard, who tossed his sword to Eiji.
”All right, ” the guard said, a grin on his face. ”You two can have at it. Whoever wins gets in. Try not to end it with one swing big one. ”
Eiji picked up the sword that had been tossed to him, getting into a ready stance. The big bandit had drawn his axe, and the two men circled each other warily, sizing each other up.
The line infront of the gate has turned into a circle, in the middle Eiji and the burly bandit circling. It was the bandit that took the initiative and rushed at Eiji.
The fight began in a blur of steel and sweat. The bandit swung his axe with all his might, trying to throw Eiji off guard and finish it with one swing, but Eiji was ready. He deflected the blow, his sword ringing out as it met the axes edge.
The two men exchanged blows, their weapons clashing and scraping against each other. It was clear that the bandit was taller and much stronger than Eiji , but Eiji s quick ripposte and nimble movements kept him on the defensive.
Eiji saw his opportunity and took it. With a quick step to the side, he managed to get behind the bandit, dodging another incoming swing from above, and deliver a swift, precise strike. His sword sliced through the air, and as it connected with the bandits neck, a spray of blood splattered out in all directions. The big mans head fell to the ground with a thud, and his body crumpled to the ground moments later.
The other bandits looked on in shock, their jeers and insults silenced. Eiji stood tall, his sword at the ready.
The guards watched the fight with a mixture of surprise and admiration. They had clearly not expected Eiji to be able to take down the burly bandit so easily, and they seemed impressed by his skill and determination.
The other bandits, on the other hand, looked on in shock and disbelief. They had clearly underestimated Eiji , but their eyes were filling with rage about the loss of their boss.
They stepped forward, a sly look in their eyes. ”Well make you pay, ” one of them said, drawing his sword. He was a slim, agile man with a sly grin on his face. ”We ain afraid of no boy. ” Said the one with a tatoo over his left eye.
The guard looked at Eiji, a curious expression on his face. ”Do you want to keep fighting? ” he asked. ”Or are you satisfied with your victory? ”
Eiji considered his options. He was tired and hungry from his travel, and he just wanted to get inside the town and find some food. But he also knew that he couldn back down now. Who knew what these two cutthroats would do if he would not deal with them now.
”Ill fight, ” he said, his voice firm and confident. ”But I won let this go on forever. I just want to get inside and find some food. ”
The guard nodded, a satisfied look on his face. ”Very well, ” he said.
Eiji turned around to face the two bandits, they were already rushing towards him.
As they came closer, Eiji made a step forward and kicked the slim one against the leg, he stumbled and fell the ground while Eiji was avoiding the other ones club.
He spun around, his sword slicing through the air as he stepped forward and then backward. Pulling the sword down and slicing the back of the poor slim one, as he was trying to get back up again. He cried out in pain and fell back to the ground.
The other bandit turned to face Eiji, trying to take another swing. But it was too late. Eiji was already ready for the next strike, and with a quick thrust of his sword, he plunged it into the the bandits head.
As the fight came to an end, a loud clapping echoed through the air and it became silent. Eiji turned towards the sound.
He saw a tall, muscular man walking through the gates, his armor shining in the sunlight. The guards at the gates bowed low as the man approached, their faces filled with respect.
”Greetings, Baron, ” one of the guards said, his voice filled with reverence.
The baron chuckled, a deep, rumbling sound that echoed through the air. ”I was wondering what all this ruckus was about, ” he said, his voice deep and commanding. ”And it seems that I have found an interesting newcomer. ”
He walked towards Eiji, his eyes studying him carefully. ”Who are you? ” he asked, his voice filled with curiosity. ”I don believe weve met before. ”
”My name is Eiji , ” he replied, his voice strong and confident. ”I heard that you were looking for some new recruits, and I thought I would see if I could join your team. ”
The baron nodded, a satisfied look on his face. ”Well, Eiji, ” he said. ”You have proven yourself to be a skilled fighter. And I have a feeling that you will be a valuable addition to my team. Why don we discuss the specifics over dinner? I would like to get to know you a bit better before we finalize the deal. ”
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