THE ATTAINER

8. A HARD TASK

Lores and Joanne were out in the wild to hunt. It had been quite some days after the formers initiation as an attainer. He developed a modified mindset that saw him craving to reunite with his father before deciding the next course of action. He was yet to inform anyone about his venturesome aspiration that would see him move away from his village.

While the duo were busy swivelling their heads in wakefulness to espy a quarry, Lores impulsively disclosed his plan to Joanne.

”I plan to go to Liz soon. ” He was expecting her to be astonished at his plan and she didn disappoint him. Joanne freezed. Her eyes widened as she swiftly carried them to locate the source of the utterance. And yes, it unmistakenly came from Lores. He didn requite her gaze. His eyes were lowered in determination, and the bow in his hand was almost screaming from his brutal grip.

It was crystal clear that Lores was hell bent on his decision, and any contradictory opinion would be considered unfriendly.

”Youve made up your mind. I know I can do anything about it. ” She resigned herself to his tenacity. She huffed and unwarily nethered the quiver pocketing the arrows in her grasp.

”Im tired of getting treated like a porcelain. If I don face the dangers myself, they will face me. ” He pressed his lips in. ”Vatmos will forever be engrafted in my heart. I will never forget the hospitality that have been shown to me. As a matter of fact, you all are my benefactors. ” He brought his eyes to meet hers.

”Especially you. I will never forget your sisterhood towards me. No matter where I go, in my heart, youll always be my adored sister. ” Joannes eyes were becoming dewy. Her mind was impelled to reminisce about their blossomed childhood. Mariana would teach them how to read and write together. One time they were learning, Lores complained that reading and writing were serious activities meant for adults, and that kids were meant to eat and play. Mariana playfully grimaced at his flighty idea and advised him.

She sniffed and gulped noiselessly. ”You
e one of us and we treated you wholeheartedly. Since you have decided, I will leave with you. ” Her voice was unsteady. Her words caught Lores by surprise.

”Joanne, Im already indebted to you. I don wish to drag you into this path that Im about to take. ”

”It is my wish to accompany you on this path. It has nothing to do with your debts. Moreover, we can stay here forever. Theres nothing wrong in going for an adventure. ” She persisted, hoping to share his burden. Lores sighed in defeat.

”This is what you get when someone is as stubborn as you. ” He was calm with a tittle of regret. Maybe he was wrong about disclosing his intention to her.

”Everyone in Vatmos is safe but your are hasty to expose yourself to danger. You
e part of my family. How can I fold my arms and do nothing? ” She asked when she understood the message passed by his calmness.

”You have to tell Vicksen about this if you haven . ” She advised. It was duck soup to know Vicksens next step for he was just as stubborn as the both of them.

”Vicksen will definitely make the same the same decision as you. ” Lores pointed out effortlessly.

Amid their discussion, Joanne observantly drew Lores attention to an innocent antelope, ambling unsuspectingly along the thicket aloof from them. A smirk of excitement popped on Lores lips as he stealthily took an arrow from Joannes quiver to avoid making a sound. He inserted the arrow and strained the string with optical precision.

His mind was already booming with glee when a shank suddenly jetted through the air in a fwoosh and straight at the quarry. And to the happiness of the shooter, the quarry fell uncontrollably. It obviously wasn the handwork of Joanne as she had no bow. Lores snapped his head to the angle the projectile flew from to find a boy clothed in a dirty tunic. A bow was in his grasp and a quiver of arrows towered from his back.

He bounced nonchalantly towards Joanne and Lores, a joyful grin dazzling on his face.

”Speed is vital when it comes to professional archery. ” He was obviously gloating on Lores inability to kill the quarry. Lores was taken by surprise that he couldn read meaning into the boys words. Instead, him and Joanne gaped at the boy as though he had two or three horns bulging from his head.

The boy disregarded their expressions and continued with his unrelenting grin.

”Oh! My fortune! ” He suddenly squeaked and ran off to get the quarry, leaving the two to exchange glances in disbelief at the seemingly demented fellow.

He flung the quarry over his shoulder and instead of him to leave, he walked on air back to Joanne and Lores, displaying his fortune like a golden trophy. Still grinning from ear to ear, he began to lecture.

”Sorry for leaving immediately. I had to get my fortune before someone else steals it. ” He began. Lores averted his gaze, turning a blind eyes at the boys unsolicited apology. This is not sociality. This is silliness at work.

”Do you know what I hate most? It is wasted effort. Its better not to work than to work and not eat. Its all about winner takes it all. If you don want to win, then don bother to contest…. ”

It was becoming annoying to the listeners. Was this boy too dumb to notice the lack of interest from his listeners? It was beyond doubt that this fellow had no bone for seriousness in him.

”Who are you? ” Lores manage to ask haven gotten enough of his lectures. The boys next word got stuck in his throat. His eyes brightened as if he had an idea that would bring about a colossal invention.

”Oh, is that why the both of you have been making faces like confused philosophers? You could have told me earlier that you wanted to know my name…. ” Lores exhaled audibly while Joanne rolled her eyes. He was asked a simple question that required a simple answer. Why was it so difficult for him to understand?

”Well, Im Jerman, Jerman Westerod. ” He finally cut to the chase. Lores felt it was necessary and benevolent to introduce himself.

”Im Lores Taptallen. ” He gave Joanne a gaze and she understood his non-verbal cue.

”Joanne Keslin. ” Her faint tone blended with a trace of reluctance.

”Can I call you Jo Jo? ” He asked with that light-hearted, annoying grin of his. Joanne furrowed her eyebrows.

”Don call me that or Ill have to call you jerky. ” She taunted back. Jermans face amusingly darkened.

”Im sorry. Im sorry. My bad. ” He apologized with a rather hearty grin that showed that he took delight in her agitation. His eyes fell on Lores sword and that glint of mischief sparkled in his eyes. He was untiringly ready to talk about just anything.

”You play the sword. Does it have a name? ” Lores stole a glance at the weapon aslant his waist as if he was seeing it for the first time.

”No it doesn . ” He faced Jerman unenthused.

”And what if it doesn have a name? Are you going to name my sword for me? ”

”Say you were to name your sword. What would you name it? ” Lores thought for a while, then he gave up thinking. Why would he stress his brain over a question thrown by an unserious fellow who habitually grinned at virtually anything.

”Destiny. ” He blurted out. Jerman was startled and then bursted into a rasp of laughter. Lores and Joanne exchanged glances again.

”You
e not talented at that at all. ” He waved his hand, manifesting his strong opposition to Lores idea. ”I thought youd call names like, slayer, legend, and suchlike. I find that name too pitiful for the eye-catching sword. ”

”A sword must not have an ostentatious name. ” Lores said in defense.

”Thats true. But destiny…do you mean that your destiny is tied to the sword? ”

Strangely, and for the first time, Lores found the reason to laugh.

”Even gods have no say in my destiny. How can it be tied to a mere sword? I just hope this sword can be a lucky charm that leads me to where I want to be. ”

To the relief of Joanne and Lores, Jerman called an end to their discussion.

”Alright. Nice to meet you two. I hope we meet again. ” He turned to leave. But then without thinking, he faced them with that light-hearted grin once more, revealing his enamels.

”Im afraid I may not be able to share this fortune with you. I hope you can be understanding and not see me as a stingy person. ” He finally disappeared into the thicket.

”What a crazy fellow. ” Joanne let out her disbelief.

”Judging from his appearance, he should a fugitive. ” Lores deduced. It was very rare to view people around that area. Thus, the boy must have been walking a great deal.

He was about to leave the home he had known since his birth, and the thought of breaking this news to his mother seemed like a difficult task.

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