The Hero and the Golden Age (part 1)
At the weapon shop, I bought a pointy, long spear.
It was pitch-black, and the rhombus shaped tip seemed to give off a gold light. The spear was covered in little nicks. It was not a new product, but a veteran that had seen many years on the battlefield.
I moved the spear and traced an elegant circle. It was good enough for now. Stability, sharpness, weight, and it was full of explosive potential.
The price was two silver coins, which was an acceptable price for me. Moreover, since the black sword that Zhai He had made was torn into pieces, I didn’t have a weapon to use.
A sword technique that primarily focused on speed was the “Moon God Style”. Sword techniques that balanced defense and attack was called the “Peaceful Style”. The sword technique that utilized greatswords was the “Break Rock Style”.
Speaking of which, I could use all three styles. You’d normally use the Moon God Style with a taichi. Zhai He’s previous battle style was probably influenced by this school.
For spears, the main schools were the “Fast Pierce Style”, “Point Kill Style” and “Great Wave Style”. The first style draws on high arm strength to deliver fatal attacks. It utilized the superior length of the spear to deliver kills in an instant and was normally used in a duel. The Point Kill Style draws on a variety of techniques and flexibility, as to freely choose which form to use to face an opponent. The final style, Great Wave Style, is a school that specializes in long spear wielders charging and breaking through enemy lines. It is said that the experts from the Expedition Regiment could totally annihilate the enemy.
I can use the first two kinds of spear techniques, but it was enough to face an enemy.
Since it was a necessary expense, I am quite satisfied with this spear.
I used cloth to bind up the spear and slung it on my back.
Spear users were the most recognizable among heroes. Swords and taichi’s could be hidden within cloaks, but long spears definitely had to be exposed.
The reason I wanted to buy a spear wasn’t because I specialized in a long spear, but for a different reason.
The first time I met Ailee, I was an unremarkable spear soldier.
At that time, I was eleven years old.
Now that I think about it, it feels just like yesterday.
The round moon hung in the starry expanse of sky.
I was in the rearguard of the Expedition Regiment. Everyday I would practice at the city walls until night. I craved sleep and overslept so I missed night practice, so I was made to stand still as punishment until midnight. Bored out of my mind, I counted stars in the sky while internally blaming the strictness of the Expedition Regiment military instructor.
The night wind blew and I sneezed, causing my whole body to shiver.
It was around April when it had happened, the weather still kind of cold.
My heart was not satisfied, so I planned to slink off. I saw that there was no one around the city walls, so I secretly used some rope to slide down the walls and out of the city. I pulled down my long spear with me and strolled through the outskirts.
I lived near the mountain in the Twelve Cities, which was basically the outskirts beneath the city. The royal family of Yi Quan lived in this city. Because Yi Quan was a small country, the royal family’s living conditions were very poor. The city walls were not high, there was no mount, and they were near the inner mountains.
No one with any talent would condescend to live here. But I wasn’t thinking that kind of thing at that time. I just felt happy that I had made it out and somewhat nervous.
The moisture in the night sky had condensed into a faint mountain mist. As I walked slowly, I could feel the refreshing chill.
Bored to death, I wandered into the forest, looking into the deep of the woods.
The eleven-year-old me started to feel afraid. It was said that the mountain had wild beasts. Even in the daytime, adults did not dare to go in.
I wanted to leave there, but the mist was everywhere. Every direction looked the same, just trees upon tress. There wasn’t any sort of distinguishing characteristics.
My breathing became chaotic.
I gripped the iron spear in my hands and vigilantly watched my surroundings. Even if it was just the wind blowing through the tree leaves that made a sound, I would attack, probably signalling to the enemies. The spear in my hands started to tremble, and the clothes on my back were moistened by my cold sweat.
An owl hooted into the night. Every time, it caused the chill around me to spike.
Even if I continued to comfort myself by saying I was a hero, it was no use.
I was a coward, a coward trembling in the darkness.
I swallowed a mouthful of saliva and prepared to escape.
At this time, I heard a faint cry for help.
“Someone come! Please, please save me!”
It was sort of funny that they would use polite speech even in the face of danger. In that forest devoid of any people came that soft cry for help.
I squeezed the spear in my grasp and uneasily fixed my eyes on the unknown of the deep forest.