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Thursday, September 14, 2006 The Call of Heroes (Part 1) - Hernan's Call

Somewhere in a forest, a man is standing in front of a band of gnolls, brutal half-human monsters with heads like horses. The man is tall, handsome, with a neatly trimmed moustache, beard and ponytail. He’s wearing a fine blue tunic, making his appearance more like a flamboyant nobleman than a traveler. The gnolls snarl fiercely, and without a word, the man rushes swiftly towards them with a rapier on his hand.

One gnoll throws a boomerang at him, and he deflects it almost lazily with his rapier. Then another gnoll leaps high, and darts towards the man, rolling its body, making a spiraling move with its short sword held in front of it. But before the short sword reaches the man, it stops in mid-air. Apparently, the rapier already went into the gnoll’s throat, a superbly accurate thrust from the man.

More gnolls rush closer to attack the man together. Now it’s impossible for the man to attack the gnolls one-by-one, so with a word, ‘Tchah!’ he launches his killing blow, Requiem of the Tides, a multiple high-precision lunges to the fatal spots the opponents with no unnecessary moves. With water elemental property in that blow, it creates visual effect as though a huge ocean wave that can wreck large ships and even sever rocks during a hurricane. The blow’s sound effect is so melodious, like a requiem for the ones it sent off this world, sometimes accompanied by the screams of death from the victims of this deadly tune – these gnolls for instance.

Soon the path is filled with dead gnolls laying scattered, hanging on the trees, some with severed heads and body parts. The single blow alone slew six gnolls, leaving one survivor. The surviving gnoll is obviously terrified and immediately turns and runs away, screaming, to save its life. But the man who has killed all its comrades in no more than a blink of an eye doesn’t intend to spare any mercy to this half-human, horse-headed monster. No mercy for those who don’t give mercy.

With that thought the man springs forward, turning his body, making the spiraling move and lunges his rapier forward. And the rapier finds its target on the gnoll’s back, and the tip of it sticks out from its chest. The gnoll is still a gnoll, except now it’s dead.

The man immediately pulls his rapier out, and wipes the bloody tip with a cloth he brings with him at all times, thinking, this trick I just learned is not quite accurate and waste lots of energy but the power of the thrust is amplified threefold. I think I’ll refine this move and name it… Whirlpool Polonaise Thrust. Yeah, that’s it for the moment. Then he moves towards someone standing by a tree there, apparently it’s the damsel he saved just now. The damsel wears a green riding hood, and she instantly removes her hood to show her fair face and long pointy ears – an elf.

The man is surprised, but the elf instantly tries to calm him by saying, ‘Thank you for saving me, Don Hernan y Parvaez. Pretty impressive display with your Albatross Rapier, I daresay. And before you say anything else, let me explain first by this letter for you here.’

And she hands Hernan a red envelope.

‘You can consider this your reward, wearer of the Mythril Armor of Eil’thanath. I’ll accompany and guide you if you agree to do this mission.’

Without further ado, Hernan opens his envelope and reads the letter inside it. The letter is the same as Robert’s, except of the recipient’s name.

‘Very well, I’ll do it.’

‘May Enia’s blessings be with you.’

‘Haha. With a divinely beautiful elf like you to accompany me, I’ll go even to the hell and fight Sodomos himself.’

Having known Hernan’s reputation for flirting any pretty girl he encounters although he’s married, and preferring male elves than men, the elf responds with a cold smile, and starts to walk away, saying, ‘This way then. Follow me.’

Hernan follows her eagerly. Then he sees his own tunic and finds some more rips on it, revealing parts of the impenetrable, yet lightweight and cloth-like armor, the Escudo (Mythril) Armor of Eil’thanath.

‘But first I need a new tunic. This one is ruined,’ says Hernan.

‘Suit yourself,’ the elf responds coldly, avoiding Hernan’s flirting gaze upon her.

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