The Warrior Awakens
The Warrior Awakens

Sky H Ainsworth

After a long night's sleep, Lady Paladin awoke and wondered how her patient was doing.
She went to his room and gently opened the door. As she peered in, she saw Bacca sitting up in bed, slowly stretching his neck in different directions.
"How are you doing?" Lady asked with a smile.
"Very well," said Bacca. He returned her smile. "Those healing medicines did the trick." Bacca examined his arms and torso. "Practically all the wounds are healed up or gone. Thank you."
"You are very welcome," said Lady Paladin as she walked into the room and took a seat at the foot of Bacca's bed. "How do you feel? Any soreness anywhere?"
"Yes, a little all over," said Bacca. "I just need to do some mantra and stretching and I'll be back to rights." He smiled again.
Bacca threw his legs over the side of the bed and stretched and yawned.
"Tell me, Bacca," said Lady Paladin, "how did you get all those scars on your body?"
"Oh, these," said Bacca, looking down at his body. "Well, it would take a little while to tell you all of it and right now, I am hungry. I did the work of ten men yesterday and have their appetite."
"Okay," said Lady Paladin. "How about you change and I will turn my back, that way you can tell me your story."
"Okay," said Bacca. "By the way, how long did I sleep?"
"Twelve hours," said Lady Paladin, pulling a chair out and facing it away from Bacca. She then took a seat.
"Whoa!" said Bacca. "That is too long. I have to hurry and tell the Dark Lord what I know."
"Don't worry," said Lady. "You had to rest and recover, and nothing happened while you slept."
"Ah, but Lady, what if something had and because I didn't tell the Dark Lord any little piece of info I knew? Then it would be my fault and people would die because of that."
Lady Paladin was silent a moment. "I did not think of it that way." She paused. "I am sorry."
"That is okay. Just do not let it happen again."
Lady shook her head in scorn.
"So tell me your stories."
"Oh," said Bacca, "that's right. Well, I go chronologically.
"These scars on my arms I got when I was a young lad. I and my comrades were hunting squirrels in the forest when we came upon a small party of imps. We wanted to prove ourselves so we attacked them. I grabbed one orc from around the neck and drove my hunting knife into his abdomen with my other hand. I held it in a death grip and the creature could do nothing but claw at my arms, but that only weakened him and we soon finished off the beasts.
"A lot of these smaller scars and marks are from my training as I grew up. The bigger ones are from battles I have engaged in and opponents I have fought."
"One of them looked pretty serious," interrupted Lady.
"Yeah," said Bacca, his voice a little low. "That guy was tough. He slew my friend and I chased after him in revenge. Unfortunately, I was not that good enough and took quite a beating. I escaped before he could finish me off, though, and managed to heal myself. I trained myself more and prepared for the battle and managed to stop the guy before he could take another persons life."
Bacca paused and was silent.
"And those three big scars across your chest?" asked Lady Paladin. "Did you get those from Brutus or his clan?"
"Oh no," said Bacca with his voice lightening. "In fact, quite a different clan. I was traveling through the mountains one day and saw a dragon routing through a hole in the ground. A dead dragon lay near by and I saw that the dragon was a little injured, so I decided to take him on and earn myself some extra glory.
"That was a hard fight, but I managed to take out the beast by opening a big cut in his tail and then slicing open it's chest. The critter got me before I could get away, though, and I had trouble making my way off to heal myself. The residents of the nest, as it latter turned out to be, returned and found me and the bodies of the two dragons and filled in the story that I was helping defend their nest. So I become a clan friend.
"I am ready."
Bacca stood next to Lady Paladin and smiled down at her. Lady looked up at the warrior and took in his appearance.
Bacca wore his dark leather boots and long steel greaves that came up close to his knees. He had changed his leather pants to a lighter color. Around his waist, Bacca wore his sword belt, one sheath hanging empty on his right side. Over his torso, Bacca wore his mithril chain mail shirt and his cape around his neck. His short brown hair was wet and brushed back on his head.
"Oh, I have something for you," said Lady.
Bacca raised an eyebrow.
"Because of your brave actions at the battle," said the healer, "I decided that you had to be repaid."
Bacca looked at Lady Paladin, not totally comprehending. The cleric reached behind her back and played around with what seemed to be some strings. She then quickly brought her hands forward with a bunch of fabric covering them.
When she tossed her cape aside, she held a sword in her hands. It was of a dark shade and short.
Bacca reached over and took the hilt. He held the blade and tested it.
"Why, this is the same as my old blade," said Bacca in astonishment. "It even has the dark magic properties of the other one."
"I got together with Jaana and Kaitlin and we made this sword for you, to replace the one you lost."
"Oh thank you, Lady Paladin," said Bacca with his biggest smile yet. "This sword even has the right weight and balance. Oh, thank you very much." Bacca reached forward quickly and threw a bear hug around Lady, holding her tight.
Lady, momentarily stunned, began to relax and was about to wrap her own arms around Bacca when the warrior released her and went past her to the door.
"I am hungry, let's go eat," said Bacca with relish.
Lady sighed. She then followed the warrior out.
Later, Bacca approached the Dark Lord.
"I am ready to serve you again, Dark Lord. What has changed?"