Become a Fan
Chapter 12: Arazel
By Roland D Brown
Thursday, December 12, 2002
Arazel itself was much smaller than Dante imagined. It was not a big city like he thought it would be, but instead a small village with maybe only about ten wooden houses and a small farm in the back of the village. The village did contain one thing that caught Dante's eye. Around the city was a large wooden gate, making the city inside look like a small fortress. On top of the gates, four soldiers patrolled around the gate looking out from the village. Dante couldn't see what kingdom the soldiers were from.
Kermaan sniffed the air from the hill they were standing on, "Alexandrian."
"Are you sure?" The captain asked, showing no shock to the silent hunter's talking. Maybe Dante wasn't the only one the blue warrior had spoken to.
"Kermaan no mistake sight and smell of Alexandrian people."
"Kermaan, can you contain your anger in the city until we find Aria?" Dante asked.
"Kermaan try." Dante could see the anger blazing in Kermaan's eyes.
"Well then let's go," the captain seemed anxious to get inside of the city.
The three walked up to a pair of large doors that led into the village.
"State your name and business," a loud voice said from the other side. Up above the doors, an archer waited with his bow and arrow drawn at the travelers.
"We are three travelers who are in much need of rest. We come to Arazel to rest our weary spirits and hopefully spend some of our large gold stash on anything you might have."
"Well why didn't you say so? Come in! Come in!"
The large doors opened slowly and the captain smiled at Dante. If it was as easy as that to enter the city, anyone could just come in here and take whatever they wanted.
The man the captain was talking to came out from a room directly next to the doors, "Welcome to the small village of Arazel. My name is Tet. Now, before we go on, is there anything that I can do for you?" The man eyed the captain up and down and licked his lips.
"Yes, Tet, there is something you can do for me. You want to know what it is?"
"Oh, yes I do."
The man got closer to the captain.
The man stood right next to the captain.
The man brought his ear near captain's mouth.
"GO AWAY!" the captain yelled as loud as she could in the man's ear. The man backed away from the captain and held his ear in pain. "Alright, we have to search for Aria quickly before anyone finds out who we really are. Dante, you search the inn and the shops, Kermaan, you patrol the town and listen in on anyone that says anything about my sister, I will try to sweet-talk some of the soldiers." The captain wanted to leave quickly because she could see the hate and rage burning inside Kermaan and knew it was only a matter of time before he did something about it.
"What do we do if one of us finds her?" Dante asked.
"Find the other two of us as fast as you can."
"Alright, meet back here when the sun is about to go down and report any information."
The three people went their separate ways. Dante walked into the inn which was not far away from where they had come in. He walked up the cobblestone path to the inn and pushed the flimsy, creaky door open. The innkeeper had laid his head down on the table and gone to sleep. A large puddle of drool came from his mouth and dripped on the record book.
Dante knocked on the table once. Still the innkeeper kept his head in the same spot. Dante knocked louder three more times, but still to no prevail. Finally, he balled his fist up and banged on the table as hard as he could.
The innkeeper's head rose instantly, "I'm sorry! I wasn't sleeping! Just resting my eyes!"
Dante ignored the eccentric man's comments, "Has a girl with long brown hair come in here?"
"You're not my master. What do you want?"
"Has a young woman with long brown hair come in here today?" Dante repeated.
"Eh? You mean Aria? Is she your wife?"
"Good, that means I still have a chance to marry her! Well then, good night." The innkeeper laid his head back down on the book.
Dante slammed his fist down on a book next to the man's head, making the innkeeper raise his head again, "You never answered my question. Did Aria come here."
"What's she to you?"
Dante grabbed the back of the man's head and slammed it down on the book and the man's nose started to bleed, "That's what she is to me. Now where did she go?"
"The general in this town has specifically asked me not to tell you," the innkeeper looked frightened.
"Where did she go? I need you to tell me right now."
"I ain't gonna tell you and there's nothing you can do about it."
"Is that so?" Dante slammed the man's head down on the book again and the man's lip began to bleed, "Well I can do that. And I can keep on doing that until you tell me what I wanna hear. Now, where did Aria go?"
"I told you before and I'll tell you again. You ain't my master, so I am not-" Dante went to slam the man's head down again, "Alright! Alright! I'll tell you!"
"Aria, your girlfriend, or whatever. She came through here earlier asking for some people."
"Some fools named Dante, Amelie, and Kermaan. Personally, if I had a girl like that looking for me, I'd never let her out of my sight!"
Dante pushed the innkeeper's head back down on the book.
"If you're going to keep hitting me, I'm not going to tell you anything!" He took a deep breath, wiped his nose and lip, and continued, "She came through here earlier asking for them. I told her I hadn't seen or heard of anyone by that name, and then she left. Are you happy now? Go antagonize someone who gives a damn."
"This is going to sound strange coming from a man who just slammed your head down on a book three times, but thank you." Dante turned around and left the inn.
"Bastard!" He heard the innkeeper call after him.
Dante didn't know why he reacted so violently to the innkeeper bad-mouthing Aria. He hadn't ever attacked someone else for something like that before. Maybe it was the sound of his companion being slandered behind her back. Or could it be something else? Was Dante in love with this girl who seemed to know a lot about him even though he knew nothing of her? Was the feeling Dante had in his stomach love for Aria?
No, he thought to himself, just hungry. Got to find somewhere to eat around here.
Kermaan wandered the small town of Arazel alone. He tried to keep his ears open to anything that anyone might say about the captain's sister. Once or twice he thought he heard loud thuds coming from the inn, but he paid no attention to it. He watched the people of the town move in and out of houses and shops and saw that some of the people stopped and stared at him. He didn't blame them. A large blue fighter with two humans doesn't just stroll into town and start looking around everyday. He watched the boy children throw rocks at the other boys, and he saw the girls telling both sides of the boys they were stupid and had some life-threatening disease called "cooties". He was sure to stay away from them to avoid being infected with the disease.
Kermaan stopped suddenly. He was losing focus on what he was told to do. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath.
"Hey! Wait for me! That's not funny!" a small voice rang out, interrupting Kermaan's concentration.
Kermaan opened his opened his eyes and saw a small blonde-haired girl running with a doll down the cobblestone path. Her foot got suddenly caught on a large stone sticking out of the ground and she tripped and fell to the ground and her doll skidded to Kermaan's feet. Kermaan thought this little girl must be strong, because instead of crying like Kermaan had seen most girls do at her age, this little girl stood up, dusted herself off and ran to pick up her doll. She picked the doll up and looked straight up into Kermaan's face.
Again she surprised by not screaming, but instead by smiling to him and saying, "Hi, my name is Catalina and I'm only four and a half years old. What's your name?"
Kermaan couldn't believe the niceness and innocence of a child from an Alexandrian colony. For now, his anger was suppressed, "My name Kermaan."
"What are you doing here Kermaan? I never seen you before."
"Looking for someone."
"Wow! Are you looking for a princess? Did you already slay the evil dragon? Did you already see the evil sorcerer who took her to his far away palace?"
"Something like that."
"Wow! You're just like the hero in the stories mommy tells us!"
"Don't you have friends to be with?"
"No one wants to be my friend. They always run away and say I too young to go with them."
Kermaan thought about what she said for a minute, "Kermaan be Catalina's friend."
"Really!" Catalina was ecstatic.
Kermaan nodded his head.
She put her doll down and put her and in Kermaan's, "Well first I gotta ask my mommy if we can go to the-"
"CATALINA!" Kermaan heard a woman cry from near a shop.
Catalina and Kermaan instantly looked over to a crowd standing in front of a weapon shop. The woman who called Catalina's name darted over to where the small child and the giant blue fighter were standing. She knelt down by Catalina and examined her, "Are you okay, child?" She looked at Catalina's wounds on her knees and hands from her falling, "Oh my goodness, what did this big man do to you?"
"It's okay mommy! I tripped and Kermaan said he be my friend," Catalina said in a manner that didn't make any sense.
"Come now, child! You don't have to lie for him!"
"But, mommy I'm not-"
"Catalina, go home!"
Catalina complied and walked back towards her house. She turned around to Kermaan, "Goodbye, Kermaan." With that, she resumed walking to her home.
Catalina's mother watched her go in the house and instantly turned her glare to Kermaan, "So, you have fun raping small children and then having them lie to their parents do you? Well, we'll see what the guards have to say about this! Guards!" Almost instantly, at least a score of soldiers and people left their posts and houses to come to the lady. "THIS-THIS BEAST HAS ATTACKED AND RAPED MY CATALINA! I WANT HIS HEAD ON A STICK!"
Kermaan couldn't believe that this lady had formed such a biased opinion on such a limited amount of information. Still, he noticed the crowd had surrounded him and prepared himself to kill them all if he had to.
Dante sat near the doorway of a tavern, eating a large piece of chicken. He didn't know how he was going to pay for it. He had told the bartender if he found nothing wrong with the chicken he would pay. The bartender, after much convincing, finally agreed to let the young man have the chicken.
Suddenly, a man burst into the tavern and told the bartender, "Marin's just called everyone to arms. She said some blue beast attacked and raped her child! Come one, we have to see this!"
The bartender reached behind the bar and pulled out a sword, "Let's go!"
Dante sat eating his chicken before he realized what the man said. He spit his chicken out on the floor, "Kermaan!" He picked his own sword up from the seat next to him and ran out the door.
Dante noticed the crowd immediately and started in a sprint towards them, knowing Kermaan must be somewhere in the middle.
"Dante!" He heard a very familiar voice call for him.
He stopped running and turned around to see Aria and the captain running towards him. "Aria! Amelie! Let's go we gotta help Kermaan!"
"What's going on?" The captain demanded.
"No time to explain. Come on, we have to help him!" Dante wasn't waiting up. He instantly began running again.
The crowd drew closer to Kermaan. Suddenly, someone jumped at him. Kermaan grabbed the man in midair and slammed him as hard as he could down on the ground. Another man jumped at Kermaan. And another and another and another. And soon Kermaan could hold them off. Men jumped at him from all angles trying to bring him to the ground. He knocked off what ones were easiest and then tried to get the ones on his back. All of a sudden, someone landed hard kicks to the backs of Kermaan's knees and the blue warrior was taken down. He laid down with his stomach on the ground as the men kicked him all over his body.
"Get off of him!" Kermaan was relieved to hear Dante's voice and felt some of the feet stop kicking him as Dante landed punches to their heads and they fell to the ground.
Kermaan was finally able to stand up again and he saw the captain and Aria also fighting against the men. He could tell Aria didn't have much battle experience with her unorthodox slaps, but she got the job done. And anyway that wasn't important right now.
Kermaan lifted a man up by his feet and flung him into a group of his friends that were crowding around Aria. He squeezed the sides of another man's head until the man got down on both knees and cried.
Finally, beaten up and defeated, the remaining men that could stand got up and scattered in different directions.
"And don't you come back or you'll get more of the same!" Dante called after them all. He turned around and faced his friends, "Is everyone okay?" Everyone said yes except for Kermaan, who simply nodded his head. "We need to get out of here before they call reinforcements." No sooner had he said that than a large arrow buzzed through the air and inserted itself into Dante's right shoulder. Dante fell to the ground and gritted his teeth in pain.
A large man dressed in Alexandriaâ€™s best armor stood one of the houses, "I'd say it's a little late for that." The man jumped down from the house and walked over to where Dante had fallen on the ground. He put his foot on Dante's left arm and placed his hand on top of the arrow. "This," he said to Aria, the captain, and Kermaan, "is what happens when you mess with Alexandria." He pushed the arrow farther into Dante's shoulder and smiled with great pleasure at Dante's pain. Suddenly he stopped smiling and pulled the arrow slowly out of Dante's shoulder. Blood seeped out all over Dante's white shirt and the man licked the tip of the arrow. "Colonel Chase!"
Colonel Chase came out from behind a house to see what his superior's orders were, "Yes, general?"
"I want you to take these four and lock them up in the town's prison. Do not release them no matter what they say. They will be transported to Alexandria tomorrow when the airship home arrives."
"Yes sir!" the colonel motioned for Dante's companionâ€™s to come along.
"Oh, and colonel, get this boy someone that can heal his wounds."
"Yes, sir." Colonel Chase picked Dante up off the ground and led the other three to the Arazel prison.
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