Chapter Six Of “The Elementals” By Martins Aniagbaoso


Stay down” were the first words she heard as soon as she regained consciousness. The kick earlier had knocked her unconscious and Aaron sat by her bed. He looked guilty. She could tell with one look at him what he was thinking, he reached for his hands and squeezed them gently telling him indirectly that it wasn’t his fault. She was the one who pushed him and she wouldn’t blame herself either. He never took her seriously during training and she was just fed up. She made to sit up only for her stomach to embarrass her. She hadn’t eaten since morning and it was already past noon by now. It was her idea to eat after training because she felt eating before fighting slowed her down, but for a brief moment now, she regretted making that decision. Aaron had probably heard her stomach growl because he smiled and left the room, and soon enough he was back with a tray of food. She felt a little bad, but she was mostly disappointed at herself. She was supposed to be the one taking care of him not the other way round. He had already done too much for her these past years, the least she could do was at least spare him the stress of some home chores. She wanted to stop him from serving her but her stomach was rather unwilling. It growled the more and she knew that any effort made to stop him would be futile.

In brief minutes, she had already snarfed up half of the food.”Eat slowly or you will get a stomach ache” Aaron warned trying to restrain himself from laughing at her puerile behavior. She didn’t seem to listen until she had had her fill. She looked up at him and smiled sheepishly now realizing how immature she had been with her food. She cleaned up after eating and went to her room. Days were rather boring with no one to talk to. She would sit in her room all day long reading books on history about her people, and when she got bored of reading, she would go out into the field and train a little. Aaron was almost out most of the hours of the day time and she hadn’t still figured out where he went to. He would return few hours just before midnight and would sleep till he couldn’t no more.

Her books and her staff were more or less her best friends. Sometimes she wandered back into her past as a child. She remembered how happy she had been before her life was made a nightmare. The thoughts of their deaths drove her thirst for vengeance but Aaron had always chained down her bloodlust. Her life was once again worth living since she met him. He was a father and more to her. He had saved her twice from herself and if it wasn’t for him, she would have taken an atrocious path in life.

Nightfall was quick. She had prepared supper and had already had hers. Aaron wasn’t yet home and she wasn’t worried for him. He was a powerful fighter who wielded the elemental of fire. She would rather worry for anyone who crossed his path. He had told her of his past, an innocent child who had set his house ablaze by mistake and lost his whole family to his mistake. People had cursed at him and he swore never to use his powers again. She stared out of her window, bored as usual. Light from the moon gave the environment a calm atmosphere. The only sound in the environment was that of mating crickets and wild rats which roamed the field and forest at night. Peering further into the poorly illuminated forest, she could see a figure approaching the cottage. They lived further from the towns civilization and weren’t very expectant of visitors. The approaching figure wasn’t familiar and soon as it was close enough to the light, she knew it’s wasn’t a friend in sight. He wore an all black attire and wore a mask that covered his face leaving out only his eyes. He had a blade in his grip and was rather fast for a normal swordsmen. She made a prompt move for her staff and bolted towards the door to make sure it was locked. Aaron wasn’t yet back and all she could pray for was for her opponent to not over power her. Her prayers were short lived because a kick was powerful enough to shatter the door. She made her stance trying not to show her fear. His aura was enfeebling and she could feel her hands shaking. She was trembling by just being in his presence, she could tell right away that she was no match for him but she wasn’t going to be a recreant and just back away. “What do you want?” She managed to ask after swallowing all the fear in her. Her voice was still shaky but she managed to finish before it was noticeable.

“Isn’t it obvious? I came for you” He replied while making advances towards her. She took a step backwards for every step he made towards her. She couldn’t see his face but she could tell he was Laughing at her. “I have not come to fight. Resisting is meaningless.” His voice was calm and appealing that it almost made her loosen her guard and it made him more formidable. “I was told to bring you back unharmed so please do not make this difficult for me”. She took another step backwards. Something about him doesn’t feel right. He was probably insane if he thought she would willingly give herself up. Picking up a plate from the nearby table, she threw it at him but he caught it and gently placed it down. “That is no way to treat a guest. And you shouldn’t throw good items away either.” ‘what the hell was wrong with this stranger” she thought making slow backward movement towards to back door. Fighting him would be meaningless. She would definitely loose at her current level. She felt the cold metal on her palms. The door handle. Slowly she turned it so it wouldn’t make any sound and when it seemed the door was open enough for her to slip past she felt a cold hand on her shoulder. He was standing next to her, his hands on her shoulder.’How? When?’ she made a swift retreat from his clutches until there was a reasonable distance between them. “I think we’ve had enough chit chat for now, time to go.” He said stretching out his hands for her to take.

She rushed at him, she didn’t care if he was stronger or not, besides she wasn’t even sure he was. She swung her staff at him but he dodged effortlessly. ‘His reflexes were on par with Aarons’ she thought as she continued her unyielding attacks. Her plan was to stall him until Aaron returned and then he would finish him off. He said he wasn’t going to hurt her, if so, she was going to use it to her advantage. He was probably telling the truth because he stayed on the defensive even though she had intentionally left herself open for attacks. He didn’t even counter attack all he did was block and dodge.

He realized what she was doing, trying to stall time. He had studied them for weeks now. He knew when her father was out and when he returned. He always watched their training sessions and he could tell her father was a very skilled fighter even though he never went all out on her. He had to end this quickly and leave before her father returned. He wasn’t afraid of him or anything related to that. He was just not in the mood of getting into a serious fight so he needed to leave before he returned from wherever he goes to. He dodged a swing from her and held onto her staff. She tried to pull back but her strength was no match for him. He pulled backwards on the staff and it came off her grip and he was now unusually close to her.

Her heart was racing faster than normal, he was now so close to her and her back was already against the wall. ” I told you resi……” He was cut short by an incoming dagger that flew right over his head and into the wall.