They moved swiftly through the forest. Their feet made barely a sound over the dead leaves on the ground from the fall season. They were trained protectors who spent their entire lives preparing for days like this. None the less, the could not help but to feel the blood rushing through their veins with excitement. Their target was in sight. The man who would take his head would be praised and sung about in the clans history.
Standing in the forest was a lone figure. Tall, unflinching with a cold uncaring stare in the face of 16 battle monks encircling him. Their red robes blended in with falling leafs around them. He paid them no mind and looked up to the sky to admire the sun. It was a radiant sight that he truly loved to gaze at day in and day out.
The monks circled around their opponent. Even though the man they were facing was Zubari the Edge, they still believed him foolish to come into their territory alone. They would make quick work of him.
They charged in, coming from all sides. Zubari looked down at them as they came in at him. In the blink of an eye, there was a silver flash. Several of the monks jumped back as they watched three heads dance in the air with the fall leaves. Their blood performed a ballet around Zubari as if his will was twisting it in the air on display and all the while, not a single drop remained on his sword.
The monks looked around at each other. They weren’t as anxious this time around to get close to Zubari and that blade. They slowly edged closer to him. Zubari took a step forward and they all jumped back.
The monks were well trained in combat, the best of the best. They had spent their entire lives in isolation training their mental and physical. They refused to lose for they knew their duty was an important one to the clan.
The remaining 13 monks look around at each other and nodded. They charged in all at once, hoping to take him with overwhelming numbers. As they charged in, Zubari smiled and lifted his blade to welcome the monks misguided attempt.
Ankar ran through the forest as quickly as he could. He had left the village without waiting for his back up once he had heard the sacred forest had been penetrated by the enemy. He was surprised and angered at the fact that the enemy would have the audacity to enter holy ground.
But, it wasn’t just the simple fact that someone had entered the forest though. He was confident that his brother, the head of the Battle Monks most advanced squad, could handle any intruder. What worried him were the reports of who was leading the charge. If they were correct and it was Zubari in the clans sacred forest, then even the tested Battle Monks would be in serious trouble.
With that thought, Ankar picked up his pace. He moved through the trees as to get a better grasp of the landscape and make it harder for enemies to notice his arrival.
As he moved through the falling leaves, he came to a halt. He could clearly see the end results of a battle that had taken place in the clearing.
He peered down from the tree, cautious not to come down in case their was still an enemy presence in the area. He could tell from the carnage that the monks were not on the winning side of this battle.
What disturbed him most was that there were only monks littered around the glade. There was no sign of any enemy combatants. As he studied the scene, his eyes went wide. He jumped down from the tree and raced across the clearing to the body of one of the battle monks sitting up against a tree.
As he approached the limp body, he prayed to the goddess that that growing knot in his stomach was just nerves. He knelt in front of the body and removed the warriors facial mask.
He looked away as his greatest fear was confirmed. There laid his brother, slain. Ankar did not need to examine the large cut across his brothers body. There was only one warrior who could wreck this kind of carnage across a battle field and take on the clans most trusted monks alone, Zubari the Edge.
As Ankar continued to make his way through the forest, he could make out the path up a head that lead to his clans holy shrine.
As he exited the forest, he became sick at the sight he saw laid out before him. Bodies sewn about the shrine. Battle Monks and Priestess split apart and cut open. Ankar looked up the stairs leading into Auset’s shrine and there looking back down him was Zubari.
Without saying a word, Zubari turned back around and began walking into the shrine. As he did, a knife blew past his head, just missing. Zubari paused, just for a second before he disappeared into the darkness of the Shrine.
Ankar unsheathed his Dragon headed daggers and charged up the stairs into the shrine after Zubari.
As he entered the shrine where the sacred statue was held, a statue given to them handed to the clan by the Goddess Auset herself, he saw Zubari standing before it with sword in hand. Zubari smiled and lifted his sword in the air in preparation for a strike.
Ankar charged and launched one of his daggers forward, knocking the statue off of its holder before Zubari’s sword came crashing down. Ankar slide past Zubari, grabbing the Goddesses gift before it could hit the ground.
Zubari, now clearly frustrated, spins around bringing his sword full 360. It barely gives Ankar time to react. Ankar kicks off the wall, using it to propel himself over Zubari’s blade.
Landing on his feet, Ankar quickly sprinted out of the shrine. It was more important to secure the statue than to settle the score with Zubari.
As he exited, he was quickly greeted by Zubari’s men, armed to the teeth. Without hesitation, Ankar charged right through their ranks. Blocking and redirecting shots just as much as he dodged. He took more than a few hits.
If he had the use of both his hands and still held his other dagger, he could of easily cut through them. But, with one hand clutching the clans precise statue, he had the bull his way through.
While deflecting a attack meant for his head, Ankar felt a sharp stab penetrate his bare shoulder. He clinched his teeth, grabbing ahold of the spear that was now imbedded in him, he swung it around, its wielder still in tow.
Knocking back his attackers, Ankar released his hold on the spear sending it flying along with its wielder into the remaining attackers.
Those surrounding him, jumped back when their ally came flying. Ankar took advantage of the brief opening and sprinted off towards the forest. As he entered into the forest, he glanced back to see Zubari coming down from the stairs of the shrine.
The thought of such of vile creature inside the clans holy shrine disgusted Ankar, but he had no time to worry about that. He had the Goddesses gift to the clan in his hands and he had to escape with it before Zubari and his men caught up to him.
Ankar moved as quickly as he could, but he was bleeding badly from his shoulder wound. He would need to somehow stop the bleeding and soon before he passed out from blood loss. So focused on his wound, he almost didn’t notice the arrow coming straight for his head.
Moving to fast to immediately stop and duck it, he used his momentum to fall and roll forward as the arrow passed overhead. He hopped back up to find his escape path cut off by enemy reinforcements.
They blocked his path, iron clad warriors directly under the command of Zubari. They weren’t like the ones he had tangled with back at the shrine. He could tell by the bat wing tattoo’s on their necks that they were part of Zubari’s Shadow Core; a group of warriors personally selected and trained by Zubari himself. They must of been left behind to slow down any reinforcements.
Looking around for another escape route, he could hear the troops he left back at the shrine approaching his location. There was only one path open, he knew it had to be a trap. He had no other options though. He was wounded and bleeding all over, badly outnumbered and he knew that Zubari would be approaching with the forces from the shrine.
Ankar took the enemy bait, not that he had any other options open to him.
Moving through the forest has quickly as his legs could carry him, he nearly stumbled. He was feeling light headed, his vision blurred. The wound was starting to effect him. And if that was not bad enough, he found out why they had opened this path up to him.
Ankar came to a complete halt. There he was, standing near the edge of a cliff over looking the Kaian River. As he turned around, he saw Zubari exiting the forest. They both knew that Ankar had no where left to go. It was either fight and die or fall and die.
Zubari pulled something from his back pouch and tossed it at Ankar’s feet. It was Ankar Dragon Headed dagger which he had left at the shrine. He looked down at it and then back up at Zubair. Zubari wore a smile on his face, as if daring Ankar to try and fight his way out of the impossible situation he was facing.
As much as he wanted to avenge his bothers fall and the disrespect shown to his clan, he knew any fight would end ultimately in his death alone.
Zubari waved his hand forward, signaling his men to approach Ankar and take back the Goddess Auset’s gift..
The cautiously approached, weapons in hand. They had been well trained. Despite Ankar’s handicap, they knew him to be a dangerous warrior who had taken down many foolish warriors in his time.
Ankar looked around desperately for a way out. He looked toward Zubari’s direction. Did he dare try to charge right through the middle of the enemy. He could see the smirk on Zubari’s face daring him to.
There were more important things other than his life. He could not let the enemy gain ahold of the clans most prized possession.
He took one step back towards the cliff. Looking back at Zubari, he smiled. Even if he died, he would not give Zubari the satisfaction of victory this day.
He closed his eyes and fell backwards off of the cliff towards the flowing Zaian River below. As he fell, he opened his eyes and looked back up to see Zubari standing at the edge of the cliff, looking down on him with a glare that could penetrate the very heart of a God.
Watching his rival fall and splash down in the river below, despite his anger he could not help but to admire his opponent. He turned and signaled his men to disappear. He could do nothing but smile as he disappeared back into the depths of the forest. He knew that despite the fall, he would be seeing Ankar of the Dragon Clan again soon enough and there, he would finally split him into two with his Dragons Roar.