A note from Philip Read

I confess the timeline is confusing me a bit. I should have kept more thorough notes but sadly my PC is busted. Enjoy




Om, Asger, Caden, Victor, Justin, Teà and I are exceptional warriors. We are experienced veterans of combat both in bush ambush tactics and all-out melee battles. I'm even an exceptional duelist dure to my time with the Hito. We have superior strength, reach and endurance in comparison to the other races of human beings on Gaia.

We have been born and bred in a culture that exalts martial strength above all other virtues and appreciates a death on the battlefield with a weapon in hand. Being born natural warriors hasn't been enough for any of us and we have sort out the exotic teaching of other peoples the tribes are friendly with in order to master as much of combat as we can.

Om specializing in the Dawn Dwarves' way of the war hammer and destructive unarmed combat discipline known as krav maga. Asger and Caden learning the spear from a fae warrior that took on half the tribe in the Never Ending Battle and came out alive at the end of it. Victor learning the longsword from a Highlander Sword Master and that title speak for itself among those people. Teà, after recovering from childbirth and weaning her child immediately joined a class of young warrior women taught by the recently Awakened Sytar the Awakened. A Viking warrior woman and the youngest person to ever Awaken in the history of the tribes at 37 years old. Dustin training with his father Village Chief Dean and his Awakened grandfather Norse Chief Storm in a drooling training program that is a result of my defeating Victor in a duel.

And me, I spent over two years in the mountains with Asriel and half that time I spent among the followers of the way, the samurai. Oh and I have a legendary quality artefact o-katana made by the Master Sword Smiths of the Hito in the Hidden Valleys, and I have a 'fucken' zanpakutō of grade A legendary quality with the potential of becoming mythical or even divine some day.

We all have legendary quality weapons because we all have superior grade weapons or above made by master smiths with celestial ore and every single well made scalable weapon moves up a grade in quality. Moving from rare to legendary just because of the material it's made out of and becoming a boon for smiths who want to increase their skill in smithing by consistently making weapons of such a high-grade quality.

And yeah, we've all had our personal weapons magically appraised once we got here. I'm not sure why this wasn't done before but we all now know the exact quality and grade of our artefacts. But that hasn't been the extent of our training since the end of The War With The South four years ago.

Om and I are even a step above the rest of our peers because we have had the advantage of visualization training, something that started as an experiment from our teacher but became so effective that he had to go into the deep Dawn Forest in order to find a teacher himself lest we catch up to him in some skills. And yes through visualization and aura Om has acquired skills, so have I through visualization and chakra.

Yet through all that we stand before the Volvocale siblings panting after each of us has had an individual defeat in single combat with one of them. After everything I've been through till reaching this point, I thought myself well above the par of anyone who isn't an Awakened in skill and power, what stupid pride. The world is just too big and filled with people that far surpass me still.

We travelled a long way leaving our children and families behind to get here because Ava and the others said it was a great experience, but mostly because they managed to beat everyone they came up against who didn't go into the rage to win.

I also came because I wanted to see Asriel again but I didn't expect to learn much that he or my other sensei hadn't already touched on. And initially I was right as we stayed the first month with everyone else that made the trip onto Pangaea from the Tundra but the seven of us went through their first two month's training regiment in a single month and a few days, eight of us actually when you include Gaia. I had never heard of Gaia before meeting him at the beginning of the trip south but he always stays quiet.

I look up at my opponent and slowly get up again, the rage for off as my zanpukutō lies against the wall with the other weapons. But our connection so intimate that I don't even need to be touching her to bring our connection up fully and delve deep into the cold rage. But I refrain from that, this is an exhibition fight to prove ourselves to these conclave masters, or at least I assume it is.

The others have already lost their matches both in unarmed combat and with their chosen weapon types, a very surprising outcome for Om to lose with a hammer in his hand with his cheat aura skills. But it is what it is. 

I spit out some blood from the cut on my tongue, I'm still on my hand to hand fight and I'm getting the crap beaten out of me by Volvex who is lightly bouncing on his toes waiting for me to get up. I don't like the grin on his face but he is a definitely more accomplished unarmed fighter. 

Almost the sum of my entire unarmed arsenal is aikido and a little brawling from when I was a kid or in a tight spot in battle. Aikido is mainly unarmed fighting against an opponent with a bladed weapon for disarming said opponent or saving myself from getting cut. It has very little efficiency against another unarmed opponent that is trained in fighting other unarmed opponents. And brawling just doesn't take into consideration all the openings that appear to the keen eye of a trained fighter.

"I forfeit," I say as I move far out of his legs reach and off the mats.

The adjudicator nods and indicates that we can take a break and have our injuries seen to. I look at the Volvocale siblings one last time before limping to the healers. I wave away a worried Teà and frown at the amused grin Ava has on her stupid face from the sidelines.

Chlomidomonas and Gonium are siblings from the same parents. Pandorina, Eudorina and Pleodorina are from another set of parents and cousins to the first two, then Volvox is from another parent. Their parents are all siblings and they have been trained by their grandfather who is apparently one of the founders of the conclave if rumour has it right.

The cousins aren't Awakened, in fact, they are quite young only being in their 20's with only Volvox in his 30's. But they are almost without equal in skill with their chosen weapon, unarmed combat isn't even their speciality. But of course neither is it mine.







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About the author

Philip Read

  • South Africa

Bio: Who knew that writing could be almost as addictive as reading?

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