In the Eyes of Atticus Chapter 1

By Zachary Balloch

“Heh! Come on Cindus! Hurry up or you’ll miss it!!” Atticus shouted back to his tired friend as he continued up the large hill. “Come on, it’s nearly sundown! You know the plains are famous for their beautiful sunsets!” he called out as he made it to the top.

“Atticus, why are we here?” His panting friend asked, using his axe as a leaning post. “I mean, the troops of Altaris are on the move, and you are thinking of sunsets? I have never understood your reasoning…”

“Come now Cindus, you know we must travel through the plains to reach Merick anyways! Why not mix a little pleasure with business?” the blonde haired squire said as he sat in the grass. He placed his backpack beside him and started to rifle through it. Finally, he pulled out a large pad of paper, and a stick of charcoal.

“You are drawing!? People are out there dying on the fields, and you are thinking of your art!? You are mad Atti!” Cindus hollered at him.

“Silence Cindus! Never disturb an artist at work!” He said as he put the pen to paper. His hand moved slowly and gracefully over the bleached paper.

“But I..”

“Shut it Cindus!” Atticus said cutting him off.

“Ah whatever… I am going to go train.” Cindus said as he stormed off.

“You do whatever you want, I’ll be right here drawing away!!” Atticus called out to him. “Blood crazed fool…”

He sat there for awhile, in his own little world, drawing away. He gazed of into the fiery skies of Ivalice. Again, he thought, this land would be swept up in war. Again, the blood of the innocent would be spilt, and everyone, everywhere will be swept up in it some how. First, the 50-year war, quickly followed by the Lion War… and now, not even ten years later, the war of the sword would begin. Kind Delita, the ruler of Ivalice, controlled the blade of Aegis, the legendary holy sword. And with this, he would strike down the horrid Black Dagger clan, the group which had plagued this land for years now. They have had to long to keep going with their affairs, and they gained too much power in such a short amount of time. Now, they have a military power equal to the Knights of the Rose, Delita’s trained fighters and mages.

The sun set in the western sky as Atticus rose to his feet. He looked over his fresh drawing and smiled with satisfaction. “Not to shabby..” he said to himself as he pushed it into his backpack. “Now, where is Cindus?” he gazed over the plains, yet saw nothing. “Ah where is that knave now?” he said as he began to walk down the hill, into the plains. The air grew dry, and cold, as night slowly approached. The two said they would never leave eyesight as long as they were travelling together. And Atticus began to have an unsettling feeling. He kept his sword close to his side as he continued to walk. He had her strange tales about these plains, beautiful and gentle during the day, but treacherous and unforgiving by night. Cloaked in the shadows, strange things roamed.

“There is only one place he could be… The sword grave… Where else would any other warrior go in these plains.” He said as he drew out his map case. He stood pulled out the old map and began to skim over it. “Now where would I be right now?” He asked himself. Suddenly, he heard the sound of footsteps from behind him.

“Do you always talk to yourself?” He heard a voice say behind him. Atticus put the map away and sighed.

“Cindus, there you are, I was looking for you!” he said as he spun around. But he did not see who he thought was there. He dropped the map and placed his hand on his sword. There in front of him, stood four men, swords drawn, wearing the black sashes of the dagger. “What do you want?”

“Well, it has been a long journey across the plains, and well, we are guessing you are on of the knights.” The rugged man said as he stepped forward. The man was of a slim build, dirty, and had a stench to go along with it.

“Knight in training…” Atticus spoke. The men had surrounded him now. Atticus knew not to make any sudden movements, for these men are jumpy, and blood crazed. “So be it, I am a squire, what do you want from me.”

“Well, Stylick here is a fat one, and ate all the rations for the trip.” The dirty man said as he looked to his counterpart to the right. The chubby man laughed as he spun a dagger in his hand. “And, we now how King Delita likes to keep his men in good health, and gives them more then enough food for a trip. So… In short, pass it over, small fry.” The man said. The 3 others chuckled as Atticus heard the sound of blades being unsheathed.

“Well, I am sorry, I have no rations, for, I am not on a journey, I just came here to relax, but I guess that is not going to happen now, is it?” Atticus spoke softly.

“Come on now, don’t lie to a liar! Give it up, or I will give you an even nastier scar then the one on your face.” The man said as he exposed a jagged short sword at his side. Atticus gripped his sword tighter. The comment about the scar seemed to anger him. “Ha ha ha!” The man chuckled. “What did you do, fall on your sword!?” the men were swept in an uproar of laughter.

“No, that wasn’t it. Your mother, the whore she is, has a reputation for her long nails, and well, in her cries of passion, I got the mark to show it…” Atticus said with a devilish smirk on his face. The man became furious as he drew his sword. The rest of the group engaged. “Hmph…” Atticus, snickered. “Oh did I anger you?”

“You wretched boy. Boys! Let’s tear him apart!” he screamed as he lunged at Atticus. Atticus took a step to the side and stretched out his foot. The man tumbled over as crumbled to the ground. With that, Atticus drew a dagger and threw it at the chubby man. The dagger, with a blinding speed, embedded into the skull of the man, lifelessly, he dropped to the ground. The two other men rushed at Atticus, blades drawn. The first swiped upwards with a great force. Atticus leaped back and drew out his sword. The finely crafted Katana shone in the moonlight.

“An oriental blade?” The dirty man asked. “Those are incredibly rare among the people of Ivalice… Men, get that sword, the blade alone is worth over a weeks worth of food!” He bellowed at them. Once again they engaged Atticus. The first came again at him, and thrusted forwards. Gracefully, Atticus with a single motion unarmed the man. The short sword went spiraling off into the distance. Atticus, spun elegantly and cleaved into the man’s side. The man let out a yelp as Atticus tore his blade from the man. The second man stood there for a moment, frightened. Atticus smirked at the man. Without warning Atticus screamed and sprung at the man. With a flash of the blade, and a spurt of blood, the rogue was finished. His body fell with a sickening thud. All that was left was the dirty rogue, cowardly scrambling backwards. The thief unsheathed the toothed blade. “Come boy! And I will send you to St.Ajora!!” the man hollered as he dashed at Atticus. The man took a swipe at Atticus, but did not connect. Atticus dropped to his knees avoiding the blade. He rose up to the man, using the butt of his sword, he struck the man in the stomach. The man hurled over as Atticus came down upon him with the end of the sword again. The hilt of the sword collided with the back of the man’s skull. The man crumbled to the ground, screaming in pain. The man felt a hand on the back of his collar as Atticus turn him over. He stood over him, holding the serrated blade.

“What’s wrong!?” Atticus asked. “Fell on your blade!!?” he cried as he dug the sword into the man's chest. The man jerked as it dug deep. But then life escaped him, as he lay motionless. Atticus stumbled backwards and caught his breath. “Fools, why’d you have to end your own lives for a pointless cause?” Atticus pulled out a rag, and gently wiped the blood from his katana. Abruptly he heard the sound of footsteps again. He whirled around to see the end of his sword staring into the eyes of his black haired friend. “Cindus… Sorry my friend.” He said as he put the sword away.

“Atticus, what happened? I heard the clashing of swords and I can as quickly as I could.” Cindus stood there looking over the bodies, axe in hand. “Well, you certainly didn’t need my help! Atticus, that was amazing, you just took out the four of them by yourself!” Cindus said amazed. Atticus didn’t say anything. He pulled the serrated sword from the man and looked it over. His eyes turned to Cindus as he nodded and placed the toothed blade on his back.

“Could come in use you know?” Atticus said as he started to walk off. “Come on Cindus, we should set up camp for the night.”

“But wait! Is there anymore of them!? I always miss out on the action!!” Cindus cried as he scurried after him.

“There will be plenty of battle when we reach Merick…”

Zachary Balloch's Fanfiction