It had been five days since Willard was unwillingly forced to join the two ladies on their journey. Since the trio were passing through familiar routes, Willard felt somewhat at peace. Willard couldn’t help but think about his present predicament. For one of the few times in his mortal life, he felt truly powerless whenever he faced Aorah. This was a lack of complete control over his own life. Sitting beside Nana, as she steered the horses on their journey. Willard thought about the events that transpired two days earlier and sighed with great depression. Two nights earlier, the three of them had stopped and rested by a burn fire for the night. Willard pretended to be asleep, but quickly run off when the others were sleeping. He ran for hours before he got tired and decided to rest on a tree. Willard was certain, he had escaped the clutches of his oppressor, but to his surprise when he woke up the next morning, he noticed he was in the carriage with Aorah. Willard couldn’t understand what had happened, he was so sure he had made a clean breakaway, only to find himself waking up to the same carriage. What drove Willard more crazy was the fact that no one even spoke about his attempted escape. It was almost as if he had dreamt the whole thing up. Thanks to the various stains on his outfit that supported his memory of his attempted escape, Willard finally accepted his fate for the moment.
“How long have you been training under miss Aorah?” Willard asked out of boredom.
“Since I was six,” Nana responded with her usual expression.
After spending these past couple days with Nana and Aorah, Willard had begun to understand their personalities. Although Aorah was only fourteen years of age, she was quite mature mentally for her age. She was basically the one that took care of Aorah. Thanks to the weird upbringing Nana must have had with Aorah, she developed a weird personality for someone her age. She was too honest and quick to react. She was neither apathetic nor inconsiderate, essentially Willard concluded she was a different type of nut case like her teacher.
“When last did you see your family?” Willard asked again.
Nana turned and stared at Willard for a couple of seconds before she moved her gaze to the road.
“My entire family died when I was six. My teacher is my only family.” She responded without a slight change in her expression. Willard was shocked with her response and mannerism. He couldn’t believe she had responded without even a slight emotional outburst. ‘What on earth has this woman been teaching this girl?’ Willard thought to himself, he also couldn’t help but praise the state of mind Nana had cultivated.
“What happened to your family?”
Nana remained silent for some time before she responded, “Do you always talk this much? It’s a bit bothersome.”
Willard did not even have the time to respond before he noticed some people hiding in the bushes up ahead.
“Nana stopped the carriage, there are some bandits up ahead. Go get miss Aorah.”
“Teacher left the carriage a while ago. She said you will be able to solve any problems we encounter.” Nana said as she pulled the carriage to a complete stop.
“I am going to lay down inside the carriage. Come get me when you are done with the bandits.” Nana said jumping down from the front section.
Willard was stunned with what he had just heard. Willard was proud of his observations skill, but somehow, Aorah had left the carriage without his notice. To top it off, Aorah had left him with babysitting her student or the other way around. Willard thought of using this situation to escape, but he quickly remembered Aorah’s strange capability in finding him. Willard jumped off the carriage with a clearly vexed expression. He couldn’t believe this was what he was left with doing.
“I will only give you all five seconds to run away, or I shall kill every single one of you.” Willard angrily shouted.
Above the scene within the clouds, Aorah oversaw the entire event as it transpired. “Let’s see how this plays out.” She said
“Hahahaha” The bandits all broke into laughter one after the other. This might have been the first time someone had ever said such a thing to them.
“You brat think you can kill my brothers and I by yourself? No matter what academy genius you are, what can you do when faced with twenty people?” A bulky bandit said as he strolled forward.
Without even counting, Willard used his movement technique to get close the distance between him and the bulky bandit. The bulky bandit was startled by Willard’s action, he quickly tried to strike Willard with his blade but was surprised to see Willard catch the blade in its movement. Willard disarmed the bandit with the same motion and immediately severed the bandit’s head.
The other bandits were too shocked to react. They never expected things to take such a swift turn. They had fought several geniuses on this same road countless times, but they never experienced anything like what had just happened. Willard appeared before the next bandit and sliced his body diagonally. This second move made the bandits realize they had stepped on a hornet’s nest.
“Escape.” Another yelled as he turned tails to run. Within ten seconds, they had lost their leader, the bulky bandit. The bandits all scattered and ran in different directions. Willard wasn’t satisfied with killing just two of them, as he followed one of them that was running.
“This duckling is too vicious,” Aorah said as she watched.
As Willard caught up to the person he was chasing, he slashed the blade aiming for the head. To Willard’s surprise, the bandit he was about to decapitate had disappeared. Willard turned to chase the others but discovered he couldn’t find a single one of the escaping bandits.
“What in the world just happened?” Willard exclaimed in surprise. He couldn’t believe the bandits had just disappeared just like that. Willard walked back to the carriage frowning. He wanted to take out all his frustrations on those bandits, but somehow they had escaped. Willard got Nana out of the carriage and they continued their journey.
Up in the skies above Willard, Aorah stood with eighteen unconscious bandits floating. She nodded her head and disappeared from the sky with the bandits.
Willard looked depressed as he watched the endless trees pass by for hours. By this time, the day was already giving way to the darkness of the night. Nana took a quick glance at Willard and said, “My village was raided by a neighboring village. The villagers, including my parents, were all killed during the raid. I was luckily saved by my teacher, and ever since then I have been traveling and living with her.”
Willard was shocked to hear what Nana had said. He wasn’t shocked because of the story, he was more surprised that Nana took the initiative to talk to him.
“Did she take revenge on your behalf?”
“Teacher said revenge breeds a vicious circle, and that I shouldn’t be too quick to think of it.”
Willard made a grunting sound and said, “What utter crap. They started the circle, why shouldn’t you think of revenge?”
Immediately after Willard finished his statement, a loud banging sound was heard from within the carriage. Aorah poked her head out and said, “let’s stop here and camp for the night.”