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The Valley of Humanity – Part 19

September 14, 2016

‘I think I can hear fighting!’ said Kele, peering at the direction Drala had gone. ‘She want us to stay here, Kele,’ said Drath, ‘if she’s in a fight then there isn’t much we can do’. Kele knew the inventor was right. Whilst Kele may have killed someone himself a short time ago, he was hardly skilled enough to fight a group of hunters, or whatever opponents Drala could be facing at this very moment. ‘I want to fight with her, not hide from these traitors,’ he said, before falling silent. They sat side by side against a young Corren tree, between two of its many trunks. The rain pattered about them, only some of which made it through the leaves and branches to splash upon their heads. Drath patted Kele’s shoulder. ‘You’ll get your chance Kele, but for now be thankful you have someone like Drala fighting for you. Not many can claim they have such a loyal friend right now!’ Drath’s words echoed in Kele’s mind for some time; the only thing he could do was wait. He took another look around the tree and began once again searching for movement and listening for sound. If there had been any fighting it had stopped now, but something hung in the air still and Kele grew more impatient with each passing moment. I hope she’s alright…

Drala swept and jerked her body dodging Hyde’s heavy punches. She sliced and swiped her blade at him but the skilled warrior was fast. He was unarmed and fighting one of the best hunters of the village, yet Drala felt exhaustion begin to take her. He was good, really good. She had a weapon and he used only his fists. She should naturally have had the advantage against this opponent, but she was losing. Hyde grinned joyfully as he avoided Drala’s attacks whilst attempting to land his own blows and keeping to the sides of Drala’s vision. Drala thought about running, just for a moment but it was a logical thought; Hyde was just too skilled to handle in her state. As Hyde slipped sideways to avoid a downward strike he stepped in close and Drala suddenly felt the wind knocked out of her chest. It was like her inner self had been forced out of her body leaving a stunned and exposed shell. She fell to her knees. Hyde chuckled, a dry, wheezing giggle. ‘Yes, I really am enjoying this,’ he said as he walked away. Then he turned and Drala had no time to avoid the heavy kick to her face, jerking her head to the side; she could have sworn she heard her neck crack. There was darkness, only for a moment, then the cold and wet ground sent its chill through the side of her face and she felt relieved when she could still breathe and move her head.
But Hyde could do whatever he wanted now, so long as she lay there in pain. Kele!
Hyde circled her and prodded her side with his foot. ‘Surely not?!’ Surely that’s not all from the great hunter?’ Hyde walked slowly away once more. He continued: ‘Then again, it won’t be the first time you left someone to die,’ then he turned and smiled at her, the same nasty smile as before and ran up for another kick. With every remaining drive and strength within her, Drala forced her upper body to the side and clamped both arms around Hyde’s armoured leg as it swung into the place her head should have been. The contact of the metal armour plating from both his leg and her right forearm sent a numbing shock through her entire arm, but still she held on tighter with her left, lifting it high and with a pain filled roar pushed herself from the wet ground and threw the shocked hunter onto the ground.
Drala wasted no time in picking up her blade and moved to stand above Hyde who, seeing Drala standing tall above him, decided that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to get up.
Drala held the blade at his neck, pushing the tip lightly into the flesh. Hyde moaned in pain. He wouldn’t be fighting for a while, thought Drala.
‘You wouldn’t kill an unarmed opponent Drala, you don’t have it in you,’ he snarled.
The female hunter stood there for a few moments. She wanted to finish it, there and then, but he was beaten and clearly in pain with a blade to his throat. ‘You’re right, Hyde. I can’t do it,’ and with that, she walked away, only to turn and kick him hard in the side of his head. Hyde yelped and spat some blood. The red fluid ran down his cheek, its flow increased with each drop of rain. ‘Of course,’ said Drala smiling down at him, ‘I did owe you that one,’ and she walked away for the last time.

Kele and Drath sat in silence. The noise had fully stopped and they began to fear they were now alone in their escape from Lycian and their homeland.
Kele continuously watched from behind the tree trying to make out if any figures stood behind the foliage and rainfall.
‘Kele!’
Kele jumped twenty feet out of his skin before he managed to return and see who had half whispered, half shouted his name.
Drala stood a short way away. It was the first time he’d been truly happy to see anyone since Nelco had saved him from the East Crater.
‘Drath, Kele, let’s go!’ she whispered. Drath got to his feet quickly and Kele followed him, then the two of them snuck over to her.
‘What happened?’ asked Kele, looking into warrior’s green eyes, trying not to pay attention to the blood on her armour and the cuts upon her worn face. Drala held up a hand and silently scanned the forest; a few moments past before she finally relaxed. ‘Hunters,’ she said matter-of-fact-ly. ‘They wanted me to hand you over,’ she looked into Kele’s eyes and smiled. ‘Don’t worry though, I’ve taken care of them.’
All this for me, all because of a birth right, he thought sadly to himself, wandering if Drala was reading his thoughts.
‘Let’s get moving,’ said Drala, and the small company disappeared together into Corren Wood.

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