The Mystic Strikes Back Chapter 2
The ground was still damp the next morning after the long day of rain. But the sun was full and its heat slowly dried the green grass around the gray stone hut. Birds again resumed their quick chirps in the new spring weather. Tata emerged from the small housing with a leather saddle. It was not an expensive piece of equipment; it was not the prettiest piece of equipment either. It was cracked along the surface from too much exposure to the sun and water spots from many rides in the rain. But it did its job in comfort and efficiency admirably, and Tata could not have wished for a better saddle.
Thou ventures to thy fathers? Glenn said stepping out of the door way to the light outside. Tata nodded and resumed fitting the horse. Thou hast acquired breakfast.
Yes. Tata replied to his mentor and teacher.
A dear friend makes his way to us presently. I would wish thou meet him, a great many lessons he could teach thou, of course only if thy shoulder is mended.
Good as new. Tata said flexing his shoulder up and down, it still hurt to move but he was not about to let his master know and tune the workouts down. He had to be in the best shape if he was to survive in these days of fear and superstition. With a quick jump he mounted his horse, using mostly his unharmed hand and allowing his other shoulder to rest.
Sometimes I feelest thy hides truth from me. Glenn clasped his hands behind his back and stood on his tiptoes for a second before returning his weight to his whole foot. Tata smiled to his mentor but remained silent hoping his actions had not betrayed his secret.
Ill be back before nightfall. Tata said whipping his horse around towards the forest path. The horse galloped happily, free from its damp housing and in the open morning air.
Boy! Glenn quickly called out. Tata turned the horse around to receive any new instructions. Remember cheese would thou. He called out. Tata nodded and turned the horse back around. Tata! His masters voice once again shot out. He turned around again ever patient. Tata Glenn sighed and looked to the ground. Mayhaps be careful, mind thy lessons. Something feels amiss. He said. Tata dutifully nodded again and quickly placed his wounded hand on the grip of his sword. He then turned and galloped off into the woods.
He rode hard until he was out of the cursed woods and into the city of his upbringing. Within an hour he was at his front door.
Father. Tata said bringing his horse to a halt in front of the two-story red brick house. Silence took over the air around him. The windows were shut, the blinds drawn closed. Father. He called again louder. Tata continually returned to this house even though he loathed every second he was here. Again the bitter silence escalated around the house.
How can someone be calling me father when my only son is dead! A low voice cried out behind the closed windows. It did not surprise Tata to hear this, only reinforced his loathing of the house.
Wont you open the door? Tata again called out.
Not to strangers. Now go away! Again the disgusted voice called out of the muffling windows.
Tata jumped off his horse and moved towards the door of his once dwelling. He bent over doorstep and reached into his pocket. I said no trespassers, now get the hell out of here now! The muffled voice screamed out behind the thick wooden door.
Happy birthday anyway old man. Tata said faintly as he placed a leather pouch on the ground. He turned away quickly and remounted his horse and galloped around the structure towards the back of the house. He followed a short earthen path to a small stream and let his horse drink from the cool water as he walked over the creek to the other side. There was a single tombstone, the place his younger brother had asked to be buried when they were children. He knelt down and put his hand on the dark stone. His eyes were dry, but his heart aching. He knew the inscription by heart but read it again out of habit.
HERE LIES THE BEST OF SONS, A HERO AMONG MEN.
His father had chosen the inscription for his beloved son. But Tata had stood firm in where his brother would rest for eternity. It was only a few weeks later his father had disowned him. Tata remembered with bittersweet memories the chance meeting of the hermit in the woods. He had chased a wolf carrying a lone chicken into the haunted woods. His father had already lost twelve hens to the thief and Tata would see it ended after the thirteenth.
That was when it happened. Everything in his memory was a complete blur. He tried many times to slow it down, to understand what exactly had happened, but he failed every time. He remembered the chase, the wolf dropping the hen and growling at the intruder. The yelps of the confused pups behind the mother wolf. The indecision to kill the thief or spare a mother. Then the blinding pain through his body. The war scream of the two, four, eight? He couldnt even remember how many assailants there were. The intense hatred flowing from the gargoyle, the quick attacks of blue mystics. The fury of the lead Orc in his shining armor.
And then the awful yells of the beasts turned to complete silence and a single green haired man standing where a group of mystics once stood. Then the darkness, he concluded he had blacked out after this with no other explanation available.
I thought I would find you here. The sweetest voice in the world tore Tata from his memories. He stood up quickly and turned to see her. She had brown hair with streaks of blonde running down it as rivers on a mountain. Her body full and developed, but her face still holding a youthful look. Why are you sweating? She asked.
Tata then was aware of the perspiration on his brow. Have you already seen your father? She asked another question. Tata nodded in reply. Finally I get a response out of you, She said laughing. I dont think I like your father in a beard.
He opened the door for you? Tata said.
Yes. She replied quickly. He didnt for you?
I suppose he is afraid Im going to bring him another family member on a wooden plank. Tata said sighing. Im sure it was one hell of a birthday present, a dead son.
Give him time. She said putting her hand on his shoulder. Madness can leave a man just as it can enter.
Chrono Trigger Fanfic