The man in the leather vest takes a swing at Ecks only to have his weapon knocked aside. Ecks defends against another set of strikes with ease. He parries and takes out both his attacks with a well-placed kick. The red tunic man rushes in for another opportunity, but he is denied when his attack is evaded and then he is tossed to the ground.
Afterward, Ecks blocks a strike from the white shirt man who follows up with two more strikes, both of which are defended against. The man has Ecks locked in a parry move.
“Ecks, could you hurry this up? We have to report back,” the young lady says with a sigh.
Ecks ignores her long enough to shove the white shirt man away. “What’s your hurry, Willow?” he replies before parrying another strike. “We’ll be alright.” Then he blocks and counters another strike.
“I’m just saying. Bea’s gonna be awful mad,” the young lady named Willow says before taking another swig of ale.
Ecks deflects the red bandanna man’s blade and bats him away with a kick. “You worry too much,” he says while blocking the dual attack two men. After a bit of struggle, he manages to shove both men back. Then he looks back at Willow just she finishes drinking more ale. “So how many of those have you had already?” Ecks asks.
“This is only my third one,” Willow answered.
“Uh huh, guess I better wrap this up before she has a fifth one. Knowing her that mug’s probably almost gone,” said Ecks. Almost on cue, Willow, having finished her mug, turns around and helps herself to a fourth fill, once again giving the middle aged bartender an eye full of her ample bosom. After she turns back around, the stout woman next to him bats him in the head again.
Ecks looks across the four men before him. He then settles his eyes on Cleetus, the man who initiated this fight and wonders why he hasn’t entered the fray. He smiles once he figures out why the large man is staying back. “He’s just waiting to show off. Guess I better not keep him waiting,” said Ecks.
“What’s he smilin’ about?” the man in the red bandanna asked.
“Who the hell is this kid?” the white shirt man wondered.
“I don’t give a damn who he is! He’s dead meat!” the red tunic man spouted angrily. Then he, along with his comrades, charges Ecks with their swords raised and a killer gleam in their eyes.
Cleetus is not the only one watching from the sidelines. The beige tunic man who was slammed through a table by Ecks has since regained consciousness and has been carefully observing the fight, keeping a close eye on Ecks. The moment did pass where he thought about assisting his comrades but something held him back. At first, he wasn’t sure what it was. It was only after watching Ecks did the reason come to him. He recalls the murmurs of village folk about an Arcana Knight who uses his guns like swords which he keeps crossed on his back that signify his name. The beige tunic man, after careful observation, believes Ecks to be that Knight.
Ecks deflects the red bandanna man’s repeated strikes before knocking his sword out the man’s hand. Then he fires a shot, sending the sword sailing across the dining hall and into a wall. The red bandanna man was stunned. He stood mouth agape in disbelief. Before he can try to make sense of what just happened, he is kicked in the gut hard by Ecks and sent tumbling across the floor. Seeing their comrade go down, the man in the white shirt and the man in the leather vest charge at Ecks with their swords raised high. With a bright smile, Ecks casually deflects their anger filled attacks. He soon dislodges the swords from the men’s hands and blasts the blades to pieces with a single shot from each gun. The loss of their weapons doesn’t deter the men however. They go after Ecks bare handed. Ecks grabs the white shirt man’s arm as he threw a punch and throws him to the floor. The leather vest man is felled by a fast spinning back kick.
Only the man in the red tunic remains. He stares in disbelief at the young man who effortlessly disarmed his men. He takes a look at his men who are slow to get to their feet. Then he turns his eyes back on Ecks. The man is at odds with himself. His pride makes him want to fight Ecks on the whim of the young man being fatigued. However, his fear compels him to flee. The red tunic man usually follows his pride. He might have a chance if he had an extra sword, but he noticed a while ago that Cleetus is not intent on joining in since he and his men were hired by him. Then he hears a set of footsteps come onto the floor. It was the man in the beige tunic. The red tunic man’s fear begins to waver now that he sees he is yet to be alone.
The man in the beige tunic, who appears to be younger than the men he came in with, stands before Ecks. Then suddenly, he discards his weapon and drops to his knees, drawing reactions from the man in the red tunic and Cleetus. “Please, spare us Sir Knight,” he begs.
“Johan, what the hell are you doin’?!” yelled the red tunic man. Then he stomps over to Johan and pulls him to his feet. “You idiot, what the hell do you think you’re doin’, kneeling before this punk?!”
“Cool it, Mangus. He won’t arrest us if you beg for forgiveness,” Johan, the young man in the beige tunic, said.
“What the…? What’re you talkin’ about?!” the red tunic man named Mangus hollered.
“That kid…is an Arcana Knight,” said Johan.
“Wha…?” Mangus turns his eyes on Ecks with a questionable look. There was no way this boy is a knight, he thought. The Knights he’s run into were older, not a young whelp such as the one before him. “This little punk?! An Arcana Knight?! Are you trying to welch out of this deal?!” Mangus yelled in Johan’s face, gripping the young man tighter by his tunic.
“He’s…He’s got the symbol on his coat,” Johan cried.
Mangus’s anger boiled. He blatantly refused to believe that Ecks is a Knight of Arcana, elite guards of the White Sage, Ruler of Arcana. A fresh faced fool like him an elite soldier of the Mystic Father? Him? The thought burned Mangus like hot iron. However, he can’t denounce the young lad’s abilities. The small set of skills Ecks displayed was in deed suited for someone with combat experience. But how can someone his age have that kind of experience. Mangus pondered the question as he looked Ecks over. And then he sees it. Half hidden by Ecks’s coat attached to his waist is the Symbol of Arcana. The markings were unmistakable though only half of it can be seen. The other men stood in shock. Regaining consciousness, the ruffian men had finally seen the reason why this young lad was so well adept at fighting. On the back of Ecks’s coat, is the sacred Symbol of Arcana–a ruby star cross surrounded by black and blue highlights. Astonishment washed over the men. They had been fighting Ecks and failed to notice this familiar marking. Had they known he was a Knight of Arcana they never would’ve taken up arms against him.
“Th-This punk kid, an Arcana Knight? It can’t be…” Mangus was so taken aback that he loosened his grip on Johan’s tunic.
“He’s not just a Knight of Arcana.” Mangus, curious, asked Johan with a shaky voice what he meant. “He’s the Knight who uses his guns as skillfully as any sword. Crossed on his back, they signify his name,” Johan says. He has heard the tale amongst villagers. So did his comrades.
Disbelief, shock, and dread began to wash over the other men as they start to realize who they were up against. The young man in the deep grey trench coat with the Symbol of Arcana embroidered on his back with spiky blonde hair took a look at all the men, seeing their shocked expressions. He flashes a smile, gives his guns a twirl and methodically slides them into the holsters on his back. Mangus and the other men are thunderstruck. With the guns on his back, they finally see what Johan said about Ecks is true.
“N-No way. H-He can’t be,” the man in the white shirt said. His friend in the leather vest is speechless.
“Oh man, he is,” Mangus said with the awful truth coming to fruition. No matter how much he wanted to, he can’t deny the truth. “This punk kid…is Arcana X: The Gunslinger Swordsman?!”
(Click HERE to check out my first fan fiction “Dante vs. Bayonetta!!” And have a look at my novel Defenders!! Volume 1 is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Xlibris!! Volume 2 coming soon!!* Also check out my other fan fiction “Kratos vs. Asura!!”)
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