The hero of prophecy

“It has been almost a decade of training for you my young apprentice. You were brought to this farm as a small child, so little you do not even remember your parents. I have taught you the use of the bow, the sword, your hands, and even a little magic. You have learned speech-craft and the artistry of words so that you can employ them to sway your fellow man and inspire him to deeds of incalculable heroism. Now is the time to depart. Go now, and seek your destiny.”

With a bow, and a full kit of combat and wilderness survival gear, the hero departed, entering the woods surrounding the farm. It was his time, the hour of fate, now he was to go forth and… hang, on were those wolves? Yep, those were certainly wolves. Like, a lot of wolves, and rapidly approaching.

Our hero drew his sword, readied his shield, mentally rehearsed the incantation for a fireball, and braced himself for the drawing of his first blood.

He had a bit of a start when a girl, a girl about his age, burst through the underbrush.

“Oh thank goodness.” She said, tears in her eyes, as she caught site of our hero. “They’ve got my scent and I’m unarmed, please will you help me?”

Our hero knew what to do. He produced a pair of knives from his pack and placed them in the girl’s hands.

“I’ve got you covered, stay behind me, keep your back against mine, and yell if you’re about to be overwhelmed. I’ve got this covered.” Without another word he placed himself in front of her, and with renewed purpose stepped in front of the maiden to use himself as human shield against the tide of teeth and claws.

No sooner had he done so then a score of wolves lunged from the surrounding bushes, and quickly encircled our hero. Good, he should be able to pick a few off with fireballs this way. He twirled his sword hand and began reciting the spell accurately. Midway through the incantation he felt the girl begin to shake at his back. He paused his spell to comfort her.

“Hey, I’ve been trained for way worse than this. You’ll see. A little fire and these guys are going to turn tail and run.” Having said this, another man, on horseback burst through the brush and began calling down lightning to fell the wolves. In less than three heartbeats half of the beasts were put down, and the rest were running for the woods.

The horsemen turned to our surprised hero and called out. “Huzzah! And well met my good man, come, help me give chase to the vile things. There is a farm a mile hence which they are no doubt making for with all speed. Quickly now! While the scent is fresh.” Our hero looked at the man, then at the spot where the wolves departed. This is what he trained for, chasing wolves, defending the helpless, but shouldn’t he be better than this guy? He had almost half a minute, and hadn’t killed any wolves, this guy had killed most of them in just a few seconds.

Still, he might learn from him. Who said his training was done. He could follow this man and fulfill his destiny.

Then he felt the girl quivering with his back to him, and he knew what to do.

“Sorry mate, you have a good run at those wolves. I’m going to stay here and make sure she’s alright.” The horsemen nodded, understanding.

“Suit yourself. Good travel to you strangers.” And with that, his horse dove into the woods. Our hero dropped his sword and shield, turned towards the girl who was still staring at the ground as if she expected a wolf to take shape and leap from the earth. He wrapped his arms around her, and pulled her in.

“It’s going to be alright. I won’t let anything happen to you. It’s going to be alright.”

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