The Legend of Artill Chapter 7: Trouble


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On the morning of Artill's sixteenth birthday, Artill was running along roads near the mountains, as part of his daily routine. Except, on this particular day he decided to take a detour through the forest near the mountains to reminisce, before leaving his village for adventure, but he saw something very unusual. He spotted, from the side of the mountain, a small black patch of land. He recognized that specific place as the location that he had been "revived". His curiosity took the better of him and ran towards the unusual phenomenon.
Artill swiftly sprinted towards the small crater, which he had created. After an hour of running he spotted a group of people encompassing the crash site. He quickly lied down on the ground and squinted his eyes to identify the group. They were very well equipped with shiny steel plated armor, covering their whole bodies, and each person had a bow, shield and sword. He was able to discern the symbols on their armor, that indicated that they were the government soldiers of Gadrann. It was obvious to Artill that they were no ordinary soldiers, as their equipment and calm demeanor spoke volumes about their professionalism. Particularly, there was a male soldier, who was on the only horse in the group, and wore gold gilded steel plated armor, but had no helmet. A dark brown-haired man with large brown eyes and a large muscular body, yet had the aura of an intelligent.
Unfortunately, the same time Artill had seen these soldiers they had also noticed him. By the time Artill had finished his analysis of the group, they had him surrounded. Their leader had quickly rode his horse towards Artill and instantly confirmed the situation. He firmly approached Artill and spoke in a gruff voice.
"Who are you? Identify yourself."
Artill shakily responded,
"My name is Artill."
The leader, in an even sterner voice, asked,
"Do you know what happened here?"
Artill was at a loss on what to say. He knew what had happened here, but what reasonable person could believe such a thing? He had to think quick, so he lied and said,
"It was a meteor sir. It crashed down from the sky."
The leader smirked and replied, in a haughty voice,
"Really!? You are not a very good liar, boy. This piece of land is ripe with chaotic fluctuations of magic, you can see the ground blackening. Obviously, some sort of unorthodox ritual took place here and I will find the root cause of it. Men, take him away and check the surrounding area for a village, he must of come from somewhere."
As the soldiers approached Artill he panicked and tried to run away, but then he felt a pain sting his left leg and he tripped, landing face down onto the dirt. Artill could hear the soldiers laughing, but managed to flip himself upside up and examine his left leg, only to see that there was an arrow pinned in his thigh. He also saw soldiers slowly moving towards him, to apprehend him. He was flush with pain, especially in his left leg, but he tried crawling away from them.
The soldiers, again, laughed at his pitiful attempt to escape. Artill's body and mind were in turmoil, trying to struggle for his life, thinking of ways to warn the village and his parents, but it was futile. The soldiers picked him up and carried him back to their leader. The leader began to smile wickedly, and said,
"Show us to your village and we will do them no harm. Or better yet, tell us what happened here."
Artill responded, feebly,
"It was a meteor, it disappeared into the ground, please believe me."
The leader replied back, in a harsh voice,
"LIES! Where is the meteor? There is also obvious signs of black magic here. Why do you refuse to tell us what happened here? You must be involved somehow!"
The leader then got off his horse and grabbed Artill by his hair, dragging him to the crash site. Artill tried to struggle and resist, but he was in no shape to defend himself. The leader rubbed the right side of Artill's head into the ground and said,
"Do you feel that tingling sensation against your face. It is the magic corroding your skin. That is how volatile this magic is."
The leader then pulled Artill's head near to him. He stared straight into Artill's eyes, but could see the burn marks on Artill's right side. He grinned sadistically as he saw how scarred Artill's face was. Artill was in an enormous amounts of pain, from the wounds on his face and his leg. He was in despair, but still tried one final escape attempt. He spat straight into the leader's eyes, which caused the leader to loosen his grip, and pushed the leader away from him. Artill, now unrestrained, jumped towards the leader's horse and miraculously managed to grab one of the saddle straps on the side of the horse. With his right leg he kicked the horse's behind with all his might, which caused the horse to gallop fiercely away from the encampment. He had already wrapped the leather strap around his left arm and was being dragged away by the horse. This all happened so suddenly that it left the soldiers perplexed and shocked, it was unthinkable to them that someone could do that to their leader. By the time the leader had recovered from Artill's attack, Artill had already distanced himself a half a kilometer between them.
The leader then ordered the soldiers to stand in archer position. He nearly screamed at them to hastily form their ranks. Artill was watching this happen and began to sweat intensely. He was too injured to try and climb onto the horse in order to steer. The horse itself was only sprinting in a semi-straight line away from the group of soldiers towards the mountains. The soldiers were in a two-row formation, one line kneeling and the other line standing tall, both lines of soldiers holding bows nocked with arrows. The leader gave the order to fire and a cloud of arrows flew into the sky. Like birds, the arrows pierced through the air reaching speeds akin to eagles.
Artill had thought that he had already reached a far distance away from the soldiers, nearing one kilometer. He thought he was at safe position because to make such a shot would be inhuman, but was painfully disappointed. As he had earlier analyzed, these were no ordinary soldiers. The first few arrows landed merely meters away from his feet, but the later ones were devastating. Artill knew that he was about to be skewered, so he was again forced into action.
Artill was already near the forest at the foot of the mountains and he knew the terrain much better than any of the soldiers. He had to act quickly, so he unwrapped the straps binding his left arm and at the same time kicked the ground with his right leg. With the running speed from the horse, he already was moving very fast, but since he kicked the ground it momentarily propelled him further towards the forest. He was rolling diagonally forward, while the horse was heading just straight forward. Artill was put safely out of the range of the arrows, but the horse was impaled with many of them.
Artill was at the edge of the forest and knew exactly where he had to go. He had an intimate knowledge of his surroundings, so he made his way towards a secure location. He was also familiar with the natural herbs and plants in the area, so he picked a few on his trip. He managed to get to a safe space, a hollow tree covered by bushes. Luckily, with no interference from the soldiers, he began to apply first aid to himself. He first broke the shaft arrow the in his left leg, taking both pieces out from his leg and then applied a herbal remedy. He also smeared the herbs onto his face and began making a splint for his leg. After he had taken care of his immediate wounds, he ate one of the plants he picked up, for nutrition and healing properties, and felt very drowsy. Artill's eyes began wandering and then he fainted.
Artill had done the best he could in such a situation, but an even worse one had presented itself in his village.
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