Hoffman strode through the milling crowds of elves as if they were nothing when the two arrived downstairs. Lucas followed his old trainer passivly, internally mulling over the womans statement. "Amana is no loss." He has assumed the elf had been at least partially important if he was sent to not only threaten but collect him. But, Lucas supposed, I might be over estimating my own importance.
The barracks they first went to were crowded when they arrived. Elves sitting, talking, practiicng, unpacking. The flurry of movement heated the air making the room unbearable inside. Lucas glanced over the mass of men and women then looked out towards the training fields. "I need to see them in action." The nearest elves looked up in curiosity when they heard him talk, Hoffman nodded and beckoned a Guardian over. "You, are you in charge here?" The smaller man nodded. "Good, get everyone on the field." Confused the lesser Guardian turned and started shouting, Lucas slipped outside to wait unwilling to be inside the building any longer.
It took a while for the Guardian to organize all the soon to be soldiers, but it was still faster than Lucas expected. Confusion seemed to be a common emotion on all the faces passing by him towards the fields, though Lucas noted a few bored expressions as well as some knowing on the faces of those that had heard him. Hoffman leaned over, "Their all yours." Staring at the mass Lucas leaned back, "You address them, if I don't take them I don't want them remembering me."
"Why?" there was a sligh accusation hidded under the confusion in Hoffman's tone but Lucas didn't rise to it. "I have my reasons. Just put them through their paces." Hoffman sighed then jogged over to the smaller Guardian, his heavy steps practically shaking the earth. Lucas followed unobtrusivly, attempting to remain unnoticed.
The two Guardians soon had their recruits running drills, Lucas watched frustrated. He had no way to judge skills if all they did was follow a pattern they barely learned. Growling he noted that all the elves carried a sword of one kind of another. However a quick survey of the surrounding area revealed no rack of weapons, so Lucas took the next best thing. Silently he approached Hoffman and drew the great elf's blade in the blink of an eye. He had retreated several feet towards the trainees before the trainer realized what had happened, Lucas ignored the shout that followed him and attack the nearest elf.
Surprise and confusion errupted as he smacked the elf on the arm with the flat of the blade. The injured man fell backwards onto the elf beside him causing a domino affect. soon a fan of elves were laying on the ground, Lucas looked over them. Not a single one had drawn his/her sword, instead they were either on the ground staring at him with wide eyes or standing staring at him with wide eyes. Lucas didn't have the chance to examine them further as a weight tackled him from behind, he barely escaped from impaling himself and others as he hit the ground.
Moving quickly Lucas released his blade and flipped over, simultaniously kicking out at the attacking weight. Hoffman went flying as Lucas's feet impacted his chest. Breathing heavily Lucas scrambled to his feet and hefted the sword. "Do you have any other recruits?" He asked passing the blade over. Hoffman huffed, pushing himself up. "Of course. Though I suppose that means you don't want any of these?" Lucas snorted and started walking away, leaving the Guardian in charge to clean up the mess of injured recruits.
"This way first." Lucas sighed and followed Hoffman away from the next group of barracks. "Assuming you will be attempting the same trick I'm going to give you your own weapon so you don't need to steal mine again." Lucas grinned, Hoffman apparently didn't appreciate being made to look like a fool in front of recruits. "Of course." He agreed, relieved to have a weapon no matter the reason.
Though his enthusiasm dimmed quite a bit when he saw the sword Hoffman tried to give him. "That toad sticker?" Pouring as much disgust in his voice as he dared Lucas refused to accept the light rapier. Instead he looked around the armory, a bright hand-and-a-half sword rested on a simple pedestal. Grinning Lucas strode over to it, lifting it easily. "Now this, this is a sword." Hoffman sighed and walked over the the blacksmith, who was watching the whole proceedings with little interest. There was a whispered conversation before Hoffman returned, "Very well, the sheath is over there." Lucas followed Hoffman's finger towards a corner and picked up the sheath.
Fastening the sword to his belt Lucas followed Hoffman out of the building and began backtracking to return to the various groups of barracks. Ahead of him Hoffman snickered slightly, "What?" Lucas demanded. Hoffman laughed again, "Oh just thinking, you didn't want to remembered by elves you didn't choose then you go and attack them all." Lucas sighed, "My plans changed."
Someone must have been sent ahead to warn the next group of novices as they were waiting on the lawn when Hoffman and Lucas arrived. Without pausing Lucas drew his blade and headed directly towards the group, only a few drew their own blade. The rest watched him waiting for orders. "Everyone with their blade in their hand come here now!" Lucas roared angrily. Several elves sheathed their sword and remained standing, apparently trying to avoid the coming punishment. But several came forward as well their blades held tightly in one hand.
Four of them made it to the front of the group, Lucas didn't say anything. He just attacked. There was immediate surprise, but they reacted. A sword met his first parry, thrusting it away. The motion was clumsy, but there was strength behind it. Whirling in circles Lucas continued to thrust and slash at the four elves around him and for a while they simply parried or stepped back as individuals. But as time passed they started to work together. When Lucas attacked one, another attacked him from behind forcing him to defend himself. At last all four were coordinated, working together to keep Lucas on the defensive.
"Enough." The swords slowed and Lucas stepped away. "You have no skills, but you have potential." Motioning to Hoffman Lucas pointed at the small group beside him, "These ones. Where's the next one?" Hoffman nodded approvingly and muttered something in the ear of the Guardian beside him. "This way." Lucas sheathed his sword and jogged up to the older elf following him to the next group. Behind him the elves were dismissed while the situation was explained to the chosen four.
At each barrack Lucas used a different method to choose recruits, and each yielded varying numbers. Some were ready to attack, and some thought things through, however by the time he had reached the last group Lucas only had nine, with Amana and Hobien he was short one. Hoffman sighed when he did the math, "Do you want to go back through?" Lucas shook his head, "How long do I have before I have to have a final decision?" Hoffman looked up considering, "We were going to give you a month." Lucas jumped in, inturrupting, "Good I want the month, these are just first picks." Hoffman shrugged, "Alright, but hurry."
Lucas nodded and started heading away, "Oi! Where are you going?" Lucas waved the question away, "I have to choose one more." Hoffman didn't say anything else, and Lucas didn't turn to look at his reaction. Instead he started walking towards the training grounds, to observe how the soldiers did under more conventional circumstances.
YOU ARE READING
Lucas (Book Two of The Guardians series)Fantasy
After his escape from his home village Lucas must now train with the Guardians and hide his murderous nature. While in the academy he meets a woman who helps him change his very nature and complete the training. However when faced with a choice betw...