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Valhalla - III

This is an ongoing story between the wonderful Anuradha and myself. You can read the previous parts here:
Valhalla - I
Aurora - II

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There was something to be said of the warrior blood that ran in his clan. From the time he had been a boy, his father, a veteran-at-war had taught him the art of Earth-Shifting. It all fascinated him at first, trying to focus his energies into the palms of his hands until they started tingling and quivering, and then pushing it from his fingers into the small rock, trying to melt and mold it into a nice, round shape. 
"You should be able to command your energy so well that neither your hand nor your mind waivers when you release it.", he remembered his father's voice speaking it a hundred times over, as he touched the rock and stepped back to see it rumble, crumble and reform itself into a giant winged hammer.
"Remember son, strong as a hammer, and twice as hard."

Endless days and some more nights of parrying with his friends, wrestling each other into the mud and using the same soil to their advantage, he enjoyed it all! They said he was gifted with an imagination that set him apart from most of his clan. While others built up immense pillars of stone with a single punch to the ground, he would raise a column of spiked turrets, not unlike a giant mace, and bend the stone over with a touch to pound whatever was unfortunate enough to be in its way.

He had practiced, beaten, got beaten, bruised, even broken and held down by the veterans of the art. Yet he would get up and strike again. And again. He had some big shoes to fill in his father's prowess and there was neither time nor room for error. How could he have known that the very blood he spilled would be what raised him above everyone else. He had soon grown faster and stronger than the others, and more skilled than most. 

As he peered into the darkness, the control of the years of practice steadying his mind, the cool wind wove through his hair. The word had come as if carried by the wind, bringing a warning that was directed to him, and him alone.

No, it could not end here. He could not end.

The war had started in his family's name, and in his name it had ended. Hundreds had given up their families, their livelihood and their lives to make right the wrong that was done unto him.
He could not buckle now, when peace had finally set in.

He looked upon the horizon that seemed to sink into the darkness of the sea, broken only by the moonlight reflecting off the waves like chinks of diamond skimming the surface of the water. As the clouds cleared off like floating mists along the valleys in the distance, silhouetted against the moonlight, he saw a lone figure standing by the beach, her lithe figure broken only by the wind billowing through her robe, defiant and powerful.

He drew a whiff of energy from within, his eyes aglow with the green-gold power he drew from the earth and tapped his foot where he stood. A cloud of dust flew several feet into the sky. A show of power, and a reminder of who had won the war.

"Damned Wind Keepers", he muttered under his breath and turned around.


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