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Fangs of Faith Fangs of Faith original

Fangs of Faith

Author: Quarial_1

© WebNovel

Chapter 1: Veil of Chaos

"Know your place, you dirty slave!"

A loud shout was heard throughout a small forest opening, followed by the pained groan of a young boy. The youngster squirmed in pain as the kick sent him to the ground, embracing his abdomen area with his arms in futile attempts to dissipate the suffering.

The burly man had a disgusted expression decorating his rough face, he cursed under his nose and turned away, walking back to another group of men with the same type of clothes as him.

The shining light of the campfire illuminated the small clearing of the forest, depicting a band of dangerous looking people, with swords and daggers tied to their waists, they drinked and laughed together, enjoying the atmosphere of the night.

"He's right you know... Our fates have been decided already, we should be thankful they are feeding us with the leftovers..."

An older man spoke to the young child sprawled on the ground, trying to explain to him there was no sense in fighting back now.

His eyes were hollow, as if they lost all hope, he couldn't be blamed though, they were going to be sold as slaves once they reached the nearest town.

The slave caravan consisted of 15 people in total, they all looked disheveled and weakened, malnourished by the days they spent walking and walking, following the brutes that put those shackles on them, their only hope being to be bought by a more considerate master.

The young boy that has been kicked, Levi, was also a part of this group, despite the pain permeating his weakened body, his eyes were full of hatred and precision, glaring at the 6 mercenaries that turned his life upside down and brought him into this situation.

He was peacefully living in a small village in the north of the kingdom, although he had no family members alive he was still enjoying his life to the fullest, he wanted to survive and open up a small barrack for adventurers. It was a silly dream of his, and would only come to life after years of hard work.

But it was not meant to be....

This group of mercenaries were hired by a slave trader, and seems like he fell in their visor as an easy target. Truth be told, he was an easy target, he was not physically strong and neither had any essence. A lonely child, truly the best choice for those vile people.

Still, his stubbornness did not allow himself to give up even in those moments, he tried to steal more food from the supplies the mercenaries stored in the wooden carriage, alas, he was caught and given a harsh lesson.

"Maybe we can try and run..."

The boy suggested, he did not want to live this kind of life, being a slave was the worst status one could hold, it was inhumane, usually only traitors and enemy forces were taken as slaves so it was obvious he wanted to revolt since he was not part of either of them.

"Don't be foolish, you will only get yourself killed and drag the rest of us with you."

The older man said and leaned on the cold ground, looking up at the night stars, he was enjoying the beautiful expanse of the sky while he still could.

"There is an essence bearer among them, you might be young but i believe you know what that means."

He added, hoping to make the boy realize his actions would be futile and would only make things worse.

Levi leaned his back on the wheel of the carriage to support himself, he lowered his head and gritted his teeth, was there really no way out of this nightmare? Would he really have to live as a slave? There was only a day left till they reached the town, would his fate change during this short time? Low likely, he's been walking hopelessly for 4 days, he did not find any opportunity to run away in this period either.

'If it had not been for those damned shackles.'

Every slave's hands were tied with metal shackles, they were heavy and uncomfortable, impaling the movement of each of them.

Levi was confident in his speed but just as the man said, there was no reason to even try running away, not only because of the shackles but also the essence bearer. Those people possessed powerful abilities and a better constitution compared to a normal human, they were gifted with the power of a deity that they chose to follow.

Levi closed his eyes, he was tired, it was a blessing to be able to rest like this, despite the dire situation he was in, his mind went blank and the boy fell asleep.

.

.

.

The sun was slowly rising and illuminating the whole forest, alerting everyone a new day has started.

"Wake up you useless bunch!"

The caravan of slaves woke up and rose to their feet tiredly under the loud shout of a burly mercenary. They all seemed lifeless, as if only the recipient of their being was left while their mind and soul were wandering through vague illusions of a distant dream.

Levi stood up as well, his body was stiff and weakened, his black hair was dirty and messy, he had no way to take care of it after all.

The carriage started moving forward, carried by 2 horses owned by the mercenaries, behind the carriage the caravan of slaves was forced to follow, sometimes one of the mercenaries would kick the slaves and curse at them, making them speed up their pace.

"What's so scary about an essence bearer anyways...?"

Levi whispered, asking the man beside him for an answer, he knew that essence bearers held great powers given by gods but had never seen one in action, he still thought that there was a chance one of the 15 slaves could escape if they all tried.

The man kept silent for a moment then glanced at the boy, an indifferent expression decorating his dried face.

"I know what you want to do, but don't try... Even if the shackles weren't in the picture, he alone would be enough to kill each of us in less than a minute."

Levi shuddered and gulped a mouthful of saliva, his eyes darted to a lean figure of a middle aged man that was steadily walking at the front of the group. His presence was indeed more intimidating compared to the others, what made him even scarier was the intricate tattoo imprinted on the right side of his neck, a detailed axe in blackwork style.

He did not know a lot about essence bearers but he knew that was a mark of divinity, it represented the deity they served, the axe was a symbol of ruthlessness and power, a call for battle and shed for blood.

'Maybe the War God...'

"Aren't there different levels between essence bearers? How do we know he's not just slightly stronger than a normal person?"

Levi continued to push questions to the man beside him, it was obvious he knew more about essence bearers than himself so it was logical to ask him about such matters.

"Each of the other mercenaries are in the silver ranks, they are elite warriors even without essence, but... they follow his orders without uttering a word back. Do you think they would do such a thing if this guy was only slightly stronger than them? No... he must be at least at the Mystic Luminary level."

The man explained silently, he saw the boy's eyes had a glint of doubt in them but he did not care enough to make him understand those concepts.

"But-"

Just before Levi could speak again, he got interrupted by a mercenary that was walking on his left.

"Quit mumbling and walk you shits!"

He raised his hand, threatening to hit the boy's head and silence him.

Just before his palm could hit Levi's head, the man's head got pierced by a metal arrow, he died instantly and his lifeless body got pushed back by the impact of the projectile.

A thud echoed through the mortal silence of the slave caravan, everyone stopped and widened their eyes at what just happened, and were only brought back by a loud shout from the front.

"Enemies! Prepare for battle!"

The essence bearer from before signaled the start of the battle, and soon enough chaos ensued all around the forest road. Groups of hooded men rushed from upfront, fom the sides and from above, circling the mercenaries and the slave caravan.

The slaves did not know what to do, they had no escaping route so they only watched in fright as the mercenaries strenghtened their formation to meet the assailants.

Although they were only 5 now, the mercenaries did not get overwhelmed by the mysterious attackers, they showed that they were worthy of their rank.

They managed to block the first wave, although they suffered minor wounds as well, at least 10 hooded men died.

Metalic sounds started to ring in Levi's ears, each mercenary used their weapon to deflect the opponents swords, delivering deadly strikes of their own as counterattacks while dodging as many strikes as they could.

Even though the battle started mere seconds ago, Levi understood that there would have been no chance for them to run away, the mercenaries were too fast and strong, they dodged, paried and attacked the hooded men with practiced precision, the battle was so chaotic but the 5 mercenaries were holding on quite well, especially the essence bearer, the man was killing his opponents with brute force, instantly moving from one to another as if they were small ants before his crushing power.

At one point, it seemed as if the mercenaries held the upper hand, but... a swift metalic arrow split the air, whistling violently before striking the burly mercenary straight in the head, another body fell to the ground.

"Shit! It's another essence bearer Marcus!"

The closest mercenary to the burly man which just died shouted to the lean essence bearer, Marcus.

Marcus clicked his tongue and slashed horizontally, reaping the life of 2 more enemies, he then turned around and dashed towards the direction from where the arrow came, disappearing in the deep forest.

Now there were only 3 mercenaries against a dozen of hooded figures. 

With the disappearence of the essence bearers the battle fell into a stalement, nobody made a decisive move, the mercenaries did not want to attack first as they would have to face 4 enemies at once while the hooded men already saw what the skilled warriors were capable of, they could not overwhelm them with numbers anymore as most of their allies died.

"Pick up the sword and fight them you useless shits! I'll kill you myself if you don't!"

The man from before looked back at the slaves and shouted in a commanding tone, seemingly annoyed by their mere presence.

Most of the slaves looked sceptical at first, but hearing the threat they strengthened their will and stepped forward. Four skinny men filled in the gaps of the formation, they each held a sword or a dagger in hand, their hands were shaking but they had no other choice but to fight.

The hooded men charged forward and the clash of metal was heard again, the mercenaries could safely block the attack of 2 others but the same couldn't be said for the weak slaves, 2 of them groaned as they hit the ground, a moment later their blood painted the ground.

The mercenaries pushed away their attackers and launched an attack, but the sudden death of 2 slaves caused a wide opening in their lines, the other slaves were facing 4 hooded figures.

The screams of the women and men alike resounded in the forest, the mercenaries looked back and saw the mistake their actions have caused, their products were dying.

'Shit! Shit!'

Levi was stressing out, the mysterious individuals were right in front of him, being weaker and smaller than the rest he was cast forward, being in the first row of the slaves. His heart was racing and his blue eyes locked on the figure of the man in front of him.

He hated to admit it but he was scared, he couldn't move, soon enough the figure of the man reached before him, raised his sword and slashed down.

Out of reflex, Levi raised his hands up and closed his eyes.

Clang, the sword cut through the chains tying the shackles of the boy and a moment later a loud scream escaped his mouth, a deep cut was etched on the boy's body, trailing from his shoulder down to his waist.

Agonizing pain filled Levi's mind, it stinged, he could feel blood dripping down from the huge wound. He fell down and bit his lip while tears filled his eyes.

"No! Please stop!"

"Argh!"

Similar screams were heard as more and more people fell down, some had it easier and died instantly while others had to endure the excruciating pain.

The hooded man who slashed Levi prepared to deliver a fatal attack but he did not get the chance as a sharp sword slashed horizontally and separated his head from his body.

Due to the commotion, the other mercenaries were able to strike down the enemies, even if it costed them to lose a few products.

.

.

.

Marcus returned after a while and looked at his remaining comrades, everyone seemed tired and although they were alive, a defeated expression was adorning their faces.

"Speak." His voice ordered as he looked at another mercenary.

"2 of ours died because of the archer, I am wounded and the other 2 are just exhausted." The man said while holding a white cloth tightened around his bicep, blood was soaking the white fabric, painting it in a bright shade of red.

"What about the products?" Marcus raised his head and looked at the group of remaining slaves.

"6 died, 3 severely wounded, only 6 remained untouched..." The man responded, he spoke with great shame as they lost more than half of the people while the essence bearer was gone.

Marcus shook his head and sighed tiredly, he pondered for a bit before giving an order to the whole camp.

"We will take the healthy ones to the town, the rest... leave them behind."

Marcus ordered and did a strange ritual of grabbing all of the swords of his dead comrades, burying them in front of them.

The others complied and the slave caravan started to move forward once again.

Levi was left behind, he was laying on his back staring at the rustling leaves above, it was a struggle to breath at this point, his vision was getting blurry and he could feel his consciousness slipping away. He's lost too much blood.

His chest rose and fell but it seemed harder to do so the more Levi breathed. The boy's mind was a mess as well, he could not believe that this is how he would meet his end, being left to rot in the middle of a forest...

Before he knew it, it started to rain violently, the cold droplets of water fell on his body, making his wound sting more and more.

Pain.

Dark.

Cold.

Those were all the words needed to descibe what the boy felt.

Unbeknownst to him, a small dark snake slithered through the corpses, ariving beside the boy's body.


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