Azura The Key
Chapter Three: Home Training
The market is filled with people walking around, haggling prices and making dubious exchanges. There was a time before I was born that there used to be all types of meat and fish sold here from goat to the rarest type of tilapia. But now things are different, there are still stalls with men and women but instead of luscious leafy greens, meat and fresh fish, they are now selling different goods from sad looking vegetables to slightly above threadbare wrappers and weapons.
Every now again when I hear people talk about what life was before I came, I cannot help but think of the stories as tales of distant made-up lands. It has been ten years since my existence plunged the world into a dystopian nightmare and a lot has changed since then. My guilt over my existence gradually lessened until it disappeared, it is not my fault I was born so I have nothing to feel bad about. Animals are now a myth; they are still yet to return and have now been reduced to fictional characters in the midnight tales told to children, with yours truly as the monster that scared them all away. Mortals have devised means of saving water from the scarce rain and have found a way to milk the clouds which now puts rain makers at the top of the food chain.
The upside to being an unwanted mix of two worlds that is constantly has been hunted from the day I was born is that I aged rapidly but ever since I physically grew past the period of puberty, I seemed to have stopped aging.
The sun is beating down heavily upon my skin, almost like as if it too had a bone to pick with me just like the rest of the world. Everything feels sticky and I am almost tempted to take off my mask and hood. The light layer of mud underneath the mask that I used to cover the markings on my face has started cracking from the build-up of sweat underneath it. I have to apply a thin layer of mud on my face every time I go out in public; it is quite hard to blend in when you have very distinctive tattoo like markings on your face.
I swipe a bag of fruit from a woman intensely haggling with a vegetable seller over a tiny bunch of sad looking vegetables that seem to be close to death.
Lesson four: you are neither a thief nor a killer, you are a survivor.
As I reach the end of the market, I stop abruptly and smirk; someone, has been following me since I stepped foot into the market. A blade flies past me and catches the sun in its flight, I take a step to the left and watch it embed itself in the hard earth. The whistling sound of a blade flying through the air would have been lost to me had I been an average human or almost lost if I were still surrounded by the sounds of the market and once again, I find myself being grateful for the part of me that is not human. The slight shift to the left is what enables me to narrowly escaping getting stabbed by a dagger.
”That is a funny way of saying hello or do not you think so? ” I say whilst turning around to see who it was this time. The person throws another dagger at me again, causing me to lean backwards to avoid getting hit which in turn makes my hood fall off thus exposing my face as I stand erect again.
I take in my attackers appearance and he also does the same.
He is a lean fellow but slightly muscular but I know better than to underestimate someone based on their physical appearance. Something flashes in his eyes as he stares at me almost like he has seen a ghost. This only lasts for a few seconds before his face is twisted up in disgust. Well, that was very offensive.
I look like I am five years old but in reality, I have only been on this earth for two years. I am lying on the forest floor; blue blood seeps from a large cut on my side. My mother just caught off guard. She stands over me with blue blood smeared on a sharpened stick. She is dressed in dark green; she abandoned her white wrappers the moment she went into hiding.
She stares at me and delivers my lesson for the day while I am writhing in pain on the floor and my body repairs the injury.
”Lesson number seven; never underestimate or make assumptions about anyone. Now get up and fight Azura. ”
”I have no place for pleasantries in my book for scum. ” He speaks.
”Ouch that was rude. We just met and I have not done anything wrong to offend you. ” I say whilst rubbing my daggers that are concealed by my skirt. As I silently access him, lesson number seven keeps ringing in my head.
”Your mere existence is an offence. I was not sure it was you until I saw your eyes. The girl whose eyes glow gold and bleeds blue. Your outfit and what I can only assume is mud did a good job of concealing your true identity but too bad you could not change the colour of your eyes. Is it true you heal and move just as fast as I blink Azura? He asks and I smirk.
”I did not know I was such a legend and for a moment there you sounded like you were in awe of me. As for the healing part, why don we find out. ” I say with smirk and unsheathe my blades. He charges forward and our blades clash against each other. He kicks my thigh and cuts my cheek, causing blue blood to seep out; I push him off me.
”Well, I guess you can strike the blood part off the list as true ” I said as I point at my cheek with a smile ”You are fast, what do you do for a living? ” I ask.
”A number of things but my true passion is hunting animals and Im currently close to ending this one before me. ”
He stares at me as I wipe the blood off the cheeks and the place is left without a scar not even a tiny scratch.
”I guess now you are eager to find out if everything they said about me is true. ” I said and laughed at the look on his face. ”But honestly, this is getting really boring. Don you people have a hobby? ”
”I do and its hunting just like my father before me. He hunted animals and now so do I ” he said whilst brandishing a machete.
”Animals? Ha! I don think you got the news but there are no animals ” I replied whilst watching his every move and him doing the same as well.
”Well, Im staring at one right now. Today is the day you die, you half bred abomination! ” he said replied with anger coating his words.
”Don you think I should at least know the name of the person that is about to kill me? ” I ask with a smirk firmly planted on my face; I could see that I was getting to him. I know should not be asking him his name because names make it harder to forget; without a name he is just another drop in the ocean.
”My name is Zizire, remember that name when you stand before the gods to receive your punishment in the afterlife! ” he screamed before charging towards me. He jumps on me and we fall on the ground. The instant headache I get feels like my skull was cracked open.
My marks start to glow lightly; I draw upon my strength and push him off me, he lands about three feet away which buys me enough time to stumble to my feet. I ready my blade and stand in a defensive pose, waiting for him to get up and attack me. He gets up after some time and charges at me again; he is even more crazed than before. Our blades clash again and we are in each other faces. I stick out my leg to kick him but he anticipates it stabs me in the thigh and grins. I head butt him with full force which causes him to stumble back.
I stare at the dagger sticking out of my thigh and my anger causes my marks to glow brightly. I take out my daggers and proceed to make multiple cuts on his body all within the blink of an eye then I stand back to admire my work. He is dazed and confused; I can feel the ground below us gently rumbling, eager for blood. If someone was present and watching us but decided at that moment to blink again, they might have missed the way the markings on my skin glowed an even brighter shade of blue and how rays of sunlight reflected on my blade shortly before it was covered in blood. They would have only caught the ending which was the sight of his severed head in the air before dropping to the floor and parts of my exposed torso, face and arms being covered with splotches of blood from the fountain that sprung up on his neck at the site where his head was supposed to be.
”Too bad your quest for knowledge has caused you your life. ” I say. The ground and the markings on my body greedily soak up the spilled blood. I take out his dagger that was still embedded in my thigh, then I procced to wipe my face and my blades before sheathing them. Black might be impractical in such hot temperatures but it makes up for the discomfort in other ways; It doesn show stains and I have not had to wash my clothes for a week. If my mother were here, she would pull and twist my ears till they felt like they were set aflame.
Staring at the severed head, I can help but wonder how greedy or pious people can be to make them constantly chase after me in attempts of killing me or capturing me even though it is basically a suicide mission for them.
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