• [Roger]

    “Come and eat your breakfast already!” Jen came from behind a big tree.
    “Not…hungry…!” I shouted, panting. I was holding a long, thick wooden sword with three heavy weights strapped on it. Two of the same sized weights were on each of my forearm, one weight, three times heavier than the others, were strapped on each of my ankles. I was training like I always did. I do it in the forest, away from the village.
    “Dude, you’ve been at this all night, literally!” Jen sighed. “You’re already the strongest in the whole village, including me, and I’m no weakling”
    I didn’t say anything, just continued what I did.
    “It’s already been four years of non-stop training, twelve hours a day for four years of non-stop training! Roger you—“
    “I’m not good enough…not good enough!” I huffed. “I couldn’t…protect her then, so how…am I supposed to protect…her now?!”
    “You cant!” he snapped. “She’s not here anymore, Roger!”
    I stopped halfway through a strike and glared at him. “That’s why I decided to save her and I am going to take her back, no matter what” I said coolly.
    He sighed. “Your going to get yourself killed, I guess that’s why we’ve chosen to go with you, huh? To make sure she wouldn’t have to visit your grave” he grinned.
    I smiled back, then a jolt of burning pain shot through my entire body and I collapsed forward. Jen didn’t do anything for awhile then he slowly took his time walking over to me.
    “Told you that you needed a break” he laughed. “What a big dope”
    I groaned. “Shut up…”
    He helped me up. “Can you walk?”
    I grunted. “Sort of…”
    “Don’t worry; I’ll help the big bad kitty walk. Make sure you don’t trip over them petals!” he laughed.
    I wanted to punch him, to kick him to the ends of the earth, but my body could barely move. I tried my hardest to ignore all of his insults as he carried me to Kert’s cottage. Once we got inside, Jen tossed me onto the ground, which hurt, bad.
    “Think of it as training for ignoring pain” he laughed as he poured hot fresh soup into a bowl then placed it on the floor right in front of me.
    “What kind is it this time?” I asked.
    “Spinach with broccoli galore” Kert replied from outside the window.
    My stomach churned at the sound of that. “Yumm”
    Kert grinned. “Yah, it’s yum alright. Just wait till you eat it”
    I do not want to put that thing into my system. I could smell the awful stench of the radio active soup. “I…I wish I could but too bad I can’t move my arms”
    “Don’t worry” he nodded to Jen. “He can feed you, wont you?”
    “Anything to help a buddy” he picked up a spoon and scooped up some of the food.
    I think I’m about to gag! The soup seemed to bubble and churn, there’s little bumps sticking out on it too! “Wait!” I stopped Jen from shoving that thing in my mouth.
    “What is it?” he asked, even though he new the answer.
    “Its…It’s um…” I thought for a moment, trying to think of a stealthy escape “Eating while laying down is bad!” what a stupid thing to say! I cursed myself for even thinking it would work.
    Seeing the soup close to my mouth as he moved it closer made me gape and at that moment, he pushed the spoon inside and forced my jaws shut so I couldn’t spit it out. Just to make it worse, he slapped my back hard, forcing me to swallow it. My stomach gurgled and cringed, I can feel my vision fading. This is it, it’s coming sooner than I expected.
    “I’m die—“
    “Inconsiderate fool!” Kert shouted as he grabbed my arm and flipped me outside.
    I hit the ground with a thud but the force kept me rolling backwards till I hit the lake. I thrashed my arms around then finally got hold of the fallen log. Coughing, I said, “You... why did you do that for?!”
    Kert pushed up his glasses as he walked out the door. “You insulted my cooking”
    I stuck my tongue out at him. “Cause your cooking is nasty!”
    “It’s healthy!” he said instantly. “You’re moving about, aren’t you?”
    Now that I thought about it, I am! I laughed, forgetting about the stingy taste still in my mouth. “Kert, if you were a girl, I’d kiss you!”
    “Save your lips for someone special” he smiled warmly. I knew what he was referring to when he said ‘someone’.
    “Roger, Roger!” Trek called out as Jen lifted me out of the lake.
    “What is—“ I paused as I saw a slim, black haired girl who looked about my age following behind him. “Who’s…” I noticed that her cheeks flushed when she saw me. “Oh no, Trek, please don’t tell me that—“
    “Yup!” he grinned.
    “Ah, it’s yet another one” Kert said.
    I groaned, “Why, Trek, why?”
    He puffed his cheeks, “It’s not my fault she saw me sneaking around in the village and decided to follow me”
    “That’s why you tell them to not follow you!”
    “Well! She threatened to reveal my identity”
    I sighed. We weren’t allowed into the village anymore ever since the incident. At first, they wanted our heads but our parents pleaded and begged for a different punishment. Oh our parents, our hero’s, but they still despise us, not greatly though. They hated that we befriended a demon, Anysa, but deep, deep down, they forgave us. So now we live like beasts and sort of behave like one too. I mean, with all this freedom, it’s hard not too!
    “Phili!” A girl with curly brunette hair and freckles which is almost unnoticeable came out from behind a big tree, followed by another girl with short black hair that looked dark blue.
    “Oi…why didn’t you tell me there was more?” I muttered.
    Trek looked at the other girls, shocked, “Who’re you?”
    “Great” Kert sighed, “He fails at stealth and at awareness”
    “Give Phili back, you bandits!” The brown haired girl shouted as she pushed Trek, barely budging him. “You monsters!” She screamed as she punched him with all her might. He didn’t move, just stood there and took all her blows. I’m guessing that her punches were weak.
    Trek grabbed both her wrists, he was getting annoyed. “What do you want?!”
    “Don’t hurt her!” The short haired girl cried out.
    Me, Kert, Jen, and Trek exchanged glances, and then burst out laughing. We’ve never realized it till now! I mean, four eighteen year old guys, strong build, out in the forest away from the village, seen with a helpless looking girl, we look like a bunch of evil thieves who kidnap girls to use as slaves or to sell them of for money! The brown haired girl was freed as Trek stumbled towards us who were still laughing hysterically, including Kert!
    “And what’s so funny?” the brunette pursed her lip.
    We calmed down a bit, gasping for air.
    “We should take Phili while they’re not paying attention!” the short haired girl said.
    We burst out laughing again.
    “You…don’t…even know…what’s going on…!” I wheezed.
    “Oh, you think we’re stupid enough to not know the situation here?!” the brunette came stomping over to where I sat and knelt down, her forehead pressed onto mine. “Don’t mess with me” she said through gritted teeth.
    I gulped; she has this ‘I’m going to pummel you down to hell’ kind of glare. “You’re really…aggressive” right when I said that, she punched me, right on my left cheek. I stared at her, baffled. That was a weak punch! No wonder Trek didn’t even flinch.
    “Scared now, huh?” she said it so seriously that I had to bite the bottom of my lip to stop my self from laughing but the others weren’t trying at all, their laughing like there’s no tomorrow! “Stop making fun of me!” she roared, readying her fist for another blow and then, before she striked, the girl, Phili, came and pounced onto her, both plunged into the lake.

    Mika (that’s what the short haired girl called brunette by) almost bit off Jens finger as he wrapped a blanket over her.
    “Whoa, man, we need to put a muzzle on her!” Jen said, holding his almost bitten off finger.
    “It’s your fault the village went into flames four years ago!” she hissed.
    My stomach churned.
    “You helped a demon! It was her fault”
    I can feel the blood rush to my head. My hand starts to bleed as I clench it, trying to control my anger. I mean, who does this girl think she is?
    “She killed Boa!”
    Okay. Now that made me snap, I knew it made them snap too because they all glare at her, eyes full of threat. A couple minutes ago we were laughing but now, now its different. I took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. “How do you know this, exactly?” I managed to say without yelling.
    She smirked, “My mother told me, and everyone in the village talks about it from time to time”
    “And what makes you think that what they say is true?” Kert asked.
    “What they say about you is already true, you filthy bandits! Why don’t you leave us alone and go kill some other villagers with your demon friend?! Maybe Mr. Smartass here will be the next victim, right next to Boa—“
    “Shut up!” I roared, birds quickly escaping the trees in flocks. Everyone flinched at the tone of my voice.
    “W—well it’s true! My mom s—“
    “To hell with your mom! She knows nothing, nothing at all!” I held her chin between my thumb and my index finger so that I could look her straight in the eye.
    “Roger yo—“ Trek began to say.
    “Be quiet” I ordered, not taking my eyes off her. “You want to hear the truth? Well here it is. That demon girl that you’re referring to, she happens to be our friend, a good one at that! People said she was evil from the start but no, she wasn’t. They talked bad about her, made her an outcast, they even punished her for her own existence! Well I saved her from prison, and we had all great fun together, just me, her, Trek, Kert, Jen, and Boa” I paused for a moment once I said his name, “Boa…he was so great…always positive and kind…friendly…” I shook my head, trying to ignore the fond memories that came rushing in then gulped, “He was murdered. Not by Anysa, but by a dark knight, the same one that raided the village. So don’t go around and use his name so freely as if he was a mere tool for your petty excuse of tuff talk” I gave her a long cold glare before I let go of her chin and walked away, somewhere where I couldn’t be bothered by anyone.

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