Psychic Chapter 19: Exam Part 14

November 24, 2013
Blake pulled back the bark slowly and looked up to the first branch. “So…we’re really gonna do this?”

“Of course,” said Knox. “Unless you just want to go back home and live a boring life…”

Blake shrugged. “I could make some mad lickity split cheese if I stay home and not risk falling to my death…”

Knox sighed. “Just go. You can thank me later.” Knox boosted himself up the bark, noticing that some teams, including Saga’s, were already much higher up the tree. He pulled Blake up, with Tokar and Keira following him, and they simultaneously started up the tree.

“Let’s take it slow here,” said Tokar. “We need to save our strength for when everyone else is tired so that we can surpass them when it counts.”

“I agree,” claimed Knox. “It’ll also help if any of the natives try to attack us.”

Saga surpassed the highest contestant, taking the lead. He climbed with incredible speed, with Silver and Bain not too far behind him. “We’re stopping for Knox’s team at the first branch no matter what.” He looked down, noting that he was easily a couple hundred feet into the air. The breeze had picked up a fair amount as they climbed. It was no threat to them currently, but they were all aware that it would only get worst.

Silver frowned. “Are you sure? That woul-”

“There’s no exceptions!” yelled Saga. Silver almost stumbled from the loud yell. “I’ve had it with waiting around. I could care less if we win this damn thing or not! If I‘m forced to wait any longer, I‘ll have to take you out instead!”

Bain chuckled, saying, “Woah, little man. Don’t s*** the bed over it!”

Saga looked down and glared at Bain. “Talk all you want, pathetic Neanderthal, because I will rip off every last person’s head who comes between me. You shouldn’t f*** around with me.”

“I have no reason to be scared of some midget who thinks he’s living in the samurai era.”

“Keep talking, I dare you! I swear to god, Bain, people like-”

“Enough!” yelled Silver. His scream echoed loudly, piercing both of their ears. “You two need to focus on our objective instead of fighting with each other, no? I believe we have our reasons to pass this exam, so go and rip each other apart AFTER we get this done.”

Knox’s team were placed midway between the examinees, but they were moving at a fast pace. They passed another team with ease, and in their sight they were approaching another team.

Blake started to breath heavily, with his arms shaking. “Damn, how high do you think we’ve gotten?”

Knox looked to the ground and spit. After the spit hit the ground, he said, “Probably 500 feet high. Another 1500 until we get to the first branch.”

Blake’s jaw dropped. “No way, dude…we’re only a quarter way there? Shi----t, I’m gonna be dead by the time we’re only half way there.”

Keira rolled her eyes. “Stop complaining, you little girl. You’re in the best psychical shape of your life and you’re complaining? I’m a 32 year old woman and you don’t see me complaining.”

“Yeah…” said Blake, in a readdressing tone. “But I bet you were one of those gym bitches back in high school.”

“Gym bitches? Jesus, I thought you said you came from a smart family…”

“I do, I’m just not an organic whale ovary…”

“So are you calling me a whale ovary?”

“10-4, calling stupid gym b**** a whale ovary, be advised.”

Keira tightened her grip, yelling, “Honestly, you worthless piece of trash, just freaking jump head first from right here and kill yourself!”

The examinees around them all looked simultaneously, confused. Knox and Tokar exchanged looks, both looking embarrassed. Blake glanced over to her fiercely. “No joke, I’ll kill you right here right now.”

Tokar’s eyes started to twitch. “Have you guys been listening?” They both looked over, but said nothing. “Have you guys heard what Saga’s team have been saying? They’ve been arguing practically the whole time. They’re on the verge of splitting up, so please, just keep peace for right now…”

Blake rolled his eyes. “We can argue all we want, but as long as you and Knox are around, you’ll keep us together.”

Tokar shrugged, pulling himself up to another piece of bark. “I’m just saying.”

Knox stopped for a moment, thinking about what Blake said. The three of them stopped and stared at him curiously for a moment. Knox mumbled to himself, “Blake is Saga, Tokar is Silver, Keira is Bain…” Knox glanced at Blake and smiled. “Good thinking!” he yelled out. “I know how we can stop them.”

Tokar’s eyes widened. “Really? Do you have a plan?”

“No, not yet, but I’ve got the basics down. Here’s the deal, in our team, Blake is Saga, Tokar is Silver, and Keira is Bain. Blake and Keira always fight, just like Saga and Bain. Tokar is always the one to resolve the fight, just like Silver does for them.”

“So?” asked Blake. “What’s the point?”

“The point is that if I wasn’t part of the team and for some reason Tokar left or was eliminated, what’s most likely to happen is that you and Keira would get sick of each other after a while and split up. To make it simple, if we take Silver out of their group, they’re bound to not work together, and then we can take them on, 2 to 1.”

Tokar smiled gleefully. “Wonderful thinking, kid. I would have never even thought about it, but it really works. All we need now is a strategy, and we’ll be good.”

Silver looked down after examining the first branch. “We’re very close,” he claimed. “Only another 500 feet.”

Saga grinned viciously and sped up his rate. “Good, maybe only one more hour…” Saga looked towards the sun, which was just barely seeable over the trees. “Damn, the sun’s going down, and the breeze will only keep getting stronger. This isn‘t going to be a warm night. How much longer will we have sunlight for?”

“I’d have to say maybe another half an hour. Either way, there will be no sunlight if you want to fight Knox.”

“Well, I would have preferred it, but I guess-” Saga stopped talking, instantly leaning back as far as he could go. Penetrating the air smoothly, an arrow glided past him, falling quickly. Saga looked towards the direction it came, spotting 2 men standing on a large stump that came from the tree, no more than 30 feet away from Saga. They both were green haired, one with his hair slicked back, and the other one’s hair being messy. They wore identical clothing, which were dark green, torn togas. They wore a satchel that held their arrows for their wooden bow. Saga thought to himself, Those must be Siira-whatever guys that Mia was talking about…They came much quicker than I thought.

“You three, halt immediately!” yelled the Siiragondi on the left. “What do you think you’re doing, climbing our holy living grounds.”

Silver climbed to Saga’s area and responded. “We apologize, but we need to get something from the top of the tree. You wouldn’t mind if you just allowed us this one time, would you?”

The man’s eyes widened. “What do you speak of, demon?” Silver thought to himself, Demon? “How dare you try to take something from the tree, as if it were scum.”

“We never said it was scum. This is a beautiful tree, but we have some very important business to take care of.”

Saga gritted his teeth back and forth. “This is ridiculous. I’m not gonna wait here all day for you to reason with them. Can we go?”

The man readied his arrow and with still hands, aimed it towards Saga. “You have 1 minute to climb over here, or offensive action will be necessary.”

Saga looked over to them and smiled. “Eat my feces, you green haired imbeciles.” The man hesitated for a second. The tone of Saga’s voice frightened him. It took him a second the realize that Saga had already started to climb again. He lined up the arrow with Saga’s head, now with shaky hands. He nervously let go of the string.

Saga looked down at the flying arrow, which was too close to dodge. The arrow penetrated into the back of his calf. His eyes widened from the pain, but that was the only reaction. The man smiled, no longer nervous, and yelled out to Saga, “You should have listened, trespasser. Now get down here before I pierce your heart next!”

The other Siiragondi started to laugh and glanced over to Silver, who was frowning and staring directly at the bark in front of him. “Look!” yelled out the man. “His friend is so frightened that he looks like he’s about to cry! How pathetic.”

Silver looked over to them with sad eyes. “It’s just…” he started. “I’m not easy with seeing innocent people dying.”

“Don’t be ridiculous! Your friend doesn’t look innocent to me, not by any means.”

“Of course, but you see…it’s just…you don’t know Saga. When I was talking about the innocent, I meant you two.” The two of them instantly stopped laughing and looked up at Saga’s last position. He was gone.

“Down here, buffoons.” The first Siiragondi looked down, and right in front of him stood Saga, with the bloody arrow gripped tightly in his hand. His eyebrows arched down and he made small groans of anger. The Siiragondi jumped back, startled from Saga’s quick appearance.

He startled crawling backwards, shaking his head in disbelief. “H-h-h-how did you get here so fast?”

Saga started laughing to himself quietly, and quickly it turned hysterical. “You just don’t understand me. It’s a shame, really, because everyone who has ever understood me is still somewhere in this world, still breathing. The ones who didn’t weren’t so lucky…” The man crawled to the edge, whimpering in fear. He looked down at the frightening fall, only praying that he could escape this.

“Please don’t…” Saga looked him in the eyes, and without hesitation, he kicked him in the chest, sending him rocketing off of the stump. His screams filled the quiet noises of the night. Saga quickly glanced over to the other man, who was also making whimpers of fear.

Smoothly, Saga unsheathed his sword, and in the same action, sliced the other man’s chest vertically. The man fell to the floor, absorbing the blood with his hand. Saga picked him up by his toga, and swung him in a circle before chucking him off the stump. Saga wiped his hands lightly on the bark. “Well, that’s that.”

Silver watched the man falling at an incredible speed. “Oh, my, you really love to go overboard.”

Bain laughed. “Overboard? That wasn’t overboard. You should see ME go overboard. It ain’t a pretty site, kid.”

“I’m sure of that…”

Knox looked up instantly after hearing the high pitched scream. He pulled himself close to the bark, and out of the darkness, he just barely saw the Siiragondi fly right past him, heading for the ground. Not soon after, the other man followed his tracks. “What the hell…” mumbled Knox.

Tokar looked down at the falling men. “I’m sure they didn’t just fall. It must be the work of Saga and Silver.”

Knox tightened his grip on the bark, only shedding blood from the pointy bark piercing his hand. “Those bastards, what the hell is wrong with them?”

“Don’t take it to badly. They’re certainly not friendly, but from what I’ve seen of them, they won’t attack someone for no reason unless they were on the defensive. Well, at least Silver and Saga wouldn’t. Bain may be a different story.”

Knox took a deep breath and continued climbing, with his team not too far behind him. “I guess you’re right, but still…”

Two Siiragondi men made their way through the thick brush, pushing through the overgrown vines and bushes. They made it to a small opening that was slightly lit up by the crescent moon. They examined a large, thick crater in the ground that was painted in thick puddles of blood. In the crater, the two soldiers lay freshly dead. “In the name of mother nature,” whispered one man, “what the hell has happened.”

The other man got to his knees and looked at the displaced bones. “They must’ve fallen, but the chances of both of them accidentally falling is too absurd.” He brushed his fingers down the thick gash in one of the men’s chest. “This was done by trespassers, no exception.”

“Do you believe so?”

“Of course. We can’t take any risks, these trespassers are not normal humans, they are far stronger. I say we call in the air forces.”

Several minutes later, Blake tensed up at the sound of a sudden scream. “Holy crap, you guys hear that?”

Knox looked below. “Yeah…someone must’ve fallen. I can’t tell, though, it’s too dark.”

“Man, I can’t blame them, though…this tree is just too damn big!”

Knox shrugged. He looked to his left, looking at the large stump that Saga and Silver were just at. He just barely noticed a small line of blood glimmer in the moon light. “Geez, even the tree stumps are big enough to stand on. You could easily fit 50 people on there, no problem. I-”

To Knox’s surprise, an arrow zoomed right past his head, landing between his middle and ring fingers. He gasped suddenly and tensed up. He turned his head around and stared at 2 oversized crows with glimmering black pupils in front of him. Their wings were so big that each flap almost made Knox lose his grip. Riding the birds were two Siiragondi soldiers.

The Siiragondi soldier readied his bow. “Halt, trespasser! The air forces have you surrounded! You have guts, evil being, not only for disrespecting our native homeland, but also attack our fellow man!”

Knox gave them a confused look. “What are you talking about?” he yelled out. “We never-” Knox instantly stopped and looked over to the line of blood. Wait a second, he thought to himself. That blood line, it was from a sword, so it’s most likely Saga who attacked the soldiers…S***, they’ve been mistaken. Since they were in the same general area, they think we attacked their soldiers!

Another arrow rocketed past his head, penetrating deep into the bark. Knox stood completely still. He yelled out to his teammates below him, “Don’t come up here, guys! Go down to where they can’t see you!”

Blake tilted his head. “What’s the big deal, man? What’s going on?” He watched Tokar and Keira both start to descend into the darkness.

“Just go down!” yelled out Keira. “Knox will be fine, just do as he says!”

Blake looked back up as he started to descend. He just barely noticed the gigantic birds flying above him. “H-h-holy beans, I didn’t see those things. Where the hell did they come from?” He gulped and looked at Knox. “I’d help you, but s***, I don’t want to die! Good luck, man.”

With one great leap, Knox jumped to the stump and turned around. Another 2 arrows came, which he dodged with ease. Good, he thought. There’s only two of them, and it takes a while for them to reload. After their next shot, that’ll be my- In the middle of thinking, another arrow flew between his legs. He fell back, shocked by their reloading speed. “Crap,” he said to himself. “These guys are freaking fast!”

The bird on the right flew to the side, positioning himself with Knox. “Fire, now!” he yelled out. They both shot simultaneously, throwing Knox off. Knox focused only on one, just barely noticing the one from the side until the last second. Without hesitation, the blue aura lit up around him.

“Good,” he said. “That should protect me from the-” Knox stopped talking as the arrow went right through the aura and pierced his side. He fell to the ground, wiping some blood off of the wound. He broke the arrow, sending an unbearable pain through his side. He coughed up a small amount of blood and tried to stand, but he struggled greatly. W-what happened! he thought. S***, these arrows…they’re strong enough to go through my defense aura!

The soldier in front of him laughed and yelled out, “This is what you get, murderer! Prepare to suffer, fool!” He shot another arrow, going right for Knox’s forehead. Knox looked up at the arrow as he stood on one knee. His vision was blurry and his reflexes off. Crap, he thought, this can’t be it, can it?

The arrow grew closer, only 10 feet from him now, and coming in quickly. Despite his hand shaking, he rose it slowly. 5 feet away now, Knox stared the arrow down. In a second, the arrow pierced his forehead. He fell to the ground and lay in a small puddle of blood. Everything went quiet for a second. Nothing could be heard.

The two soldiers yelled out in victory! “Yes, the trespasser is defeated! We must feast like champions tonight, friend!”

The man replied, “Absolutely! I’m sure we’ll be considered heroes now!”

Keira listened to the cheers nervously. “What do you think they’re cheering about?” She turned to Tokar, who stared speechless. “You don’t think…you don’t think they killed him, right. Tokar?”

Tokar said nothing for a second. He gulped harshly before saying, “Well, I mean…it’s…I…I just…it can‘t…Knox…”

“He ain’t dead.” Tokar and Keira looked towards Blake simultaneously, who didn’t look nervous at all. “He ain’t gonna die to a bunch of green haired sissies like them. I may be an idiot, but you guys need to have more hope in our leader. If he’s gonna die, it’s gonna be fighting for what he came here for. That‘s what the dude‘s all about.” They looked back at each other, confused. Their depression quickly faded away.

The two Siiragondi looked down at Knox, who’s eyes were closed. His hand was loosely gripped around the arrow. “Ah, how unfortunate! The child almost deflected it, but he was just too late, was he not?”

“Yes, so sad. He can’t be any older than 15 or 16, maybe even younger. A shame that he couldn’t listen to us.” The man placed his hand over his arm. “I suppose we can talk to the chief about what we’re going to do with his corpse. Possibly salvage it on the market? A boy like him can get us quite a bit of cash…”

“He looks pretty delicious. The young ones are always the tastiest.”

“Oh, shut up, you cannibalistic fool. I’m in no mood for your games.”

“Neither am I.” The two of them instantly went quiet and quickly grew pale. They slowly turned towards Knox, who’s eyes were wide opened, and his expression gave them a feeling of pure fear. They both jumped back, screaming in horror.

“He rose from the dead!” yelled out the first man.

Knox wiggled the arrow in his head several times before pulling it out. A small stream of blood ran slowly down his face. “I’m really lucky, I guess. That blue aura that was around me enhances my defense. The arrow would’ve still killed me, but it slowed down the time that it would’ve pierced my skull, so I was just barely able to grab the arrow before I died.”

The second soldier shook his head rapidly. “I don’t believe it! I wouldn’t for a second, there’s no way that you just did that!”

Knox looked down at the arrow. “Well, I guess you just witnessed the impossible, then.” He threw the arrow at the man at full speed right over his shoulder. “Before you guys bounce, I just want to say that I didn’t kill your men. You’ve got the wrong guy. I’m upset, thought, ‘cuz you guys did slow me down, and I need to pass this exam no matter what. I’ll let you go, but how about you stay away from us from no on, understand?”

Both soldiers nodded simultaneously. After bowing nervously, they jumped off of the stump and landed on the birds. They flew around the tree until Knox couldn’t see ]they disappeared into the darkness. His body was still slightly in pain, but Knox knew he would be fine until he reached the first branch. He leaned over the stump and yelled out, “Hey, guys! The coast’s clear, you can come up now.”

Blake yelled out, “See, I told you guys! Who’s the retard now, huh?”

Keira smiled slightly, “Knox!” she yelled out.

Blake and Tokar laughed at the same time. “Does someone got a crush?” asked Blake. “He’s still 4 years too young.”

“Not in that way, pervert. I’m just not…fond of watching…uh…young kids die! Yeah, that’s what I meant.”

Knox waited patiently until the three of them climbed onto the stump. “Alright,” he said. “We got about another 500 feet until the next branch, so let’s not waste any more time.” They all nodded. “Good, now let’s move. We’re already behind, and we got a lot of work to be done if we want to pass this phase.” The 4 of them started up the tree, going at a fast pace towards the first branch.

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