Fate has a weird way of bringing people together to be in the right place at the right time. I can tell of one such story I know, of a boy and a sword. Now, this boy (whose name is Keven) is an orphan in the care of an Elder of a village called Potos, in the land of Mana. No one knew of Keven's parents or of his background. But Fate... well, you read for yourself.
A Daring Game
"C'mon!" yelled Timothy, "Hurry across the log, if you dare!"
The big slow boy looked at the small shrimp. "OK," replied Elliot, "Here goes!"
They were at the Great Falls, near the Village of Potos. The Great Falls were a series of waterfalls that came down from the highlands and finally joined as one, falling with a roar that could be heard for miles around. It was a forbidden area, for the Elder of the Potos had said that doom would fall on anyone who walked the paths near and on the Falls.
But Grandma had told them of a 'shiny treasure' that could be found near the Falls, and would bring luck, supposedly, to anyone who managed to find it. So the three friends went looking for the treasure to discover whether or not the treasure and the cursed object were one in the same, and to see what the treasure was, if there was any.
Timothy was a small and, in the opinion of most, an obnoxious boy with blond hair brown eyes and freckles. Grandma had always given him a cone cap to wear because he always acted 'immature' for his age, but he didn't agree with her. He was only thirteen years old, and still testing his limits.
Elliot was the exact opposite. A short, overweigh, quiet fourteen year old with gray eyes and blond crew-cut hair always did what others wanted him to do, but he detested the rules that the Elder had set for the boys in the Village. Whenever he got the chance, he broke them. And since his mother ran the local tavern, he knew how to deal with the travellers that were a constant threat to the village.
It seemed that these travellers believed that the Potoans were 'hiding a great thing of value' and that 'they should give it to someone who could take care of it better.' No one believed them, mainly because they came to the village drunk or disillusioned. But since so many of these travellers had come through the area, the three boys decided that there might be some truth to their stories.
When his two friends were across, Keven decided to join them. The tallest of the three, he was orphaned by his mother when he was just a few weeks old. And then she suddenly disappeared one day. Everyone knew he was from another land, and it was very profound since he was the only one in Potos with brown hair and brown eyes.
The Elder had taken him and had raised him like his own son, so Keven knew how to be a diplomat and handle tough situations, and there were enough of these because of all the people looking for the 'hidden prize.' He had never gotten into trouble before, and now no matter what he did, the Elder would be angry, for he trusted him to be obedient and he had complied. Keven ran across. The bridge was slippery from all the water falling on it.
"Watch yourself!" said Timothy.
Elliot walked a bit onto the bridge before stopping. "Look, do you want help?" his voice reflected his grumpiness.
Trying to keep his balance, Keven restrained his anger. "Hey! I said I'd come with you guys, and I intend to keep my word! Just wait up!"
Keven was having a hard time getting across the log. The falling water seemed to weigh him down, and his feet began to lose their footing.
Timothy and Elliot looked at each other impatiently. "Um, Kev... " Timothy started, "We can't wait all day, ya know." He gestured to himself and Elliot, "We got across, so we'll just go on ahead, kay?" and the two started off away from the Falls.
"Wait!... Woah! Heeeeellllllp!" As he tried to run after them, Keven lost his footing and screamed as he fell from the log bridge.
Timothy and Elliot ran to the middle of the bridge and looked down. The falling water didn't seem to bother them. The distance to the ground was about 100 feet from the water bridge. "Ain't no one can survive that fall!" exclaimed Elliot.
Scared, Timothy looked at him. "I know. We'd better tell the Elder. He isn't going to like this! It's bad enough we broke the rules, now Kev's gone... " And the two boys ran towards the village.
They raced as fast as they could, and almost tripped a couple of times. The ground was uneven, and the trail they used was almost overgrown. Soon they reached the main path. The two boys stopped to catch their breath.
"I wonder if he's gonna be OK... " wondered Timothy.
Elliot shook his head. "How could anyone survive a fall like that?! I just wonder how the village's going to take this!"
They continued on towards Potos. When they reached the village they tried to hide the fact they were panting and wheezing from the running. They had silently agreed to go straight to the Elder of the village.
The Elder was the leader of the village, and Keven was like his own son. They found him in front of his house, tending to his garden. Seeing the two boys approach, he worried over their expressions.
Timothy was the first to speak. "Um.. we have to tell you something... "
"What happened to you both? Where's Keven?" Elder asked.
The two boys looked at each other in fright. Elliot turned to Elder and said, "Well, you see, it all happened like this... "
Ghost and the Sword
"Ouch!" Keven exclaimed as he landed with a thud in a stream. His fall was greatly softened by the large amounts of lilypads and moss that grew at the bottom of the Falls. He looked up and realized he would have to find another way home. There was no way to get back up to where the bridge was, and the scenery was unfamiliar to him. He was now at the base of the Falls, and the stream was blocked by lilypads.
Keven noticed, after a few seconds glancing around, a path that led towards the direction of the village. It seemed odd to him to have a path in this area, especially one so well-maintained. He knew of no one who went to this area for any reason. I need to get back to Potos before dark. These are dangerous times, and even more dangerous if I'm home late! Since the strange path seemed like the only way to get home, he started to walk.
The path let Keven walk between some trees and the stream. He took time to think about his future, for the area was whisper quiet. The air was still and silent, if he listened closely could he hear the rush of running water cascading from the Falls and then flowing down the rivers. He had always loved to travel and explore. The trees seemed to watch his every move.
The unusual path came across a wooden bridge spanning the small stream. As he crossed it, a strange feeling grew within him. Something's not right. I'd better get home before something awful happens. Dismissing the idea, he continued to follow the path north. The stream was still to his left, and the trees to his right.
He then reached a point in the path where it branched out into two separate paths. One led to the edge of the stream, the other towards the village. The latter was blocked by many low-level bushes which couldn't be penetrated by human hands alone. After trying many different ways to get pass, Keven got very frustrated and almost screamed.
"How am I suppose to get home if the path's blocked?" He wondered aloud, "I wish I had a something with a sharp edge, then maybe I could cut through this and get home before I get killed!" Some trees to his left rustled, and seemed to part at Keven's cry.
With his interest peaked, Keven observed what was at first blocked from his view. In the stream beside him a shiny object seemed to jet out of a rock. I wonder what that is? This little trip is getting stranger by the minute!
Now using the other branch of the path, Keven stepped into the stream. The water was cool and clean. Turning south-west he came closer to the shiny object with every step. When he was two paces away he realized what caught his eye - a rusty sword, stuck blade-down in a rock. A sword might help me with those bushes back there. he thought as he examined the blade. I wonder if this was the treasure we were looking for?...
Keven examined the sword further. It did indeed look rusted and well-worn, as though it had seen many battles. Yet there were signs of years of care and elaborate decoration. Now he was beside the rock, inches away from pulling it free. I do need to get home soon... and if that is the Sword, then Timothy and Elliot will want to see it. With that in mind, and a few good tugs later, he pulled out the sword.
A brilliant flash of light followed that blinded Keven for a few seconds. When Keven could see again he saw a knight standing behind the rock. It was all dressed for battle, and the face reminded Keven of someone who had been through much pain, and not enough joy. Its expression was sad, as one holding a great secret that is troubling him, and yet one with a flame of hope burning inside him.
"W... who.. who are you?" asked a frightened Keven.
"Keven..." The ghost seemed to say in Keven's head, "It is I... who ask... the Sword.." Another flash of light followed and the ghost knight disappeared.
"WAIT!!" yelled Keven, but it was too late. The ghost had disappeared, and the light it had generated was dissipating quickly.
"That was really weird..." Shaking his head, Keven lifted up the sword to examine it. It looked no different than before he had pulled it out, except that now he could see the blade's rusted end.
Keven then walked back to where the original path branched out. Putting some faith in his new sword, he made sure he had a good grip on the sword and swung it at the bushes. The bushes disappeared without a problem. He continued on the continuing well-worn path that kept on puzzling him.
A few moments later, walking on in the quiet peace of the path, not seeing or hearing anything, Keven met up with a Rabite. What's a Rabite doing here? he wondered. Rabites look like inflated yellowish-white marshmallows with eyes. They had never been reported to attack humans. So Keven was taken aback when the Rabite pounced on him.
It took a few seconds to respond, but when he did it only took one swing of the sword to kill the Rabite. Never having killed anything in his life, Keven realized that the world outside the village was much more dangerous than he had realized. He looked down to find that the Rabite hadn't bled, and he was grateful it had died instantly. In addition, the creature had left some candy and money behind. It must have thought I was after his stash... He looked around, wondering and hoping that no one saw him kill the adorable animal, then bent down and quickly took the prizes.
A shiver shot through Keven. I'm starting to believe all those wild tales the traveling merchants tell us. Of looting and murder... It was then that Keven decided that if he were to travel after he got back to the village, that he would buy some armor.
There were no other Rabites for the rest of his journey to the village. I am going to have to ask Elder why there is a path here. He'll get mad at me, but I it won't matter as much as the original plan me, Timothy and Elliot came up with. As he said this to himself he passed the point of where the three friends had scaled the cliffs of the Great Falls and had tried to cross the log bridge.
We didn't know where the bridge came from. It seemed like a big thrill to see what was outside the village. I hope the both got home OK... wondered a worried Keven. Finally, he reached the village gates.