A quest of Heroes - S01 E46

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Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 46

“Mine?” Thor asked, perplexed.

“It is your obligation,” Kendrick added. “You found it. Or, I should say, it found you.”

Thor was baffled. He had tended sheep, but he had never raised an animal in his life, and he had no idea what to do.

But at the same time, he already felt a strong kinship with the animal. Its small, light blue eyes opened and seemed to stare only at him.

He approached it, bent down, and picked it up in his arms. The animal reached up and licked his cheek.

“How does one care for a leopard cub?” Thor asked, overwhelmed.

“I suppose the same way one cares for anything else,” Erec said. “Feed it when it’s hungry.”

“You must name it,” Kendrick said.

Thor pondered, amazed that this was his second time to name an animal in as many days. He remembered a story from his childhood, about a lion that terrorized a village.

“Krohn,” Thor said.

The others nodded back in approval.

“Like the legend,” Reece said.

“I like it,” O’Connor said.

“Krohn it is,” Erec said.

As Krohn lowered its head into Thor’s chest, Thor felt a stronger connection to it than to anything he’d ever had. He couldn’t help but feel as if he’d already known Krohn for lifetimes as the animal squirmed and squealed at him.Suddenly there came a distinct sound, one that raised the hair on the back of Thor’s neck, and made him turn quickly and stare up at the sky.

High above, was Estopheles. It suddenly dove down low, right for Thor’s head, screeching as it did, before lifting at the last second.

At first Thor wondered if it was jealous of Krohn. But then, with a split second to spare, Thor realized: his falcon was warning him.

A moment later there came a distinct noise from the other side of the wood. It was a rustling, followed by a charging—and it all happened too fast.

Because of the warning, Thor had an advantage—he saw it coming and leapt out of the way with a second to spare, as a massive boar charged right for him. It missed him by a hair.

The clearing broke into chaos. The boar charged the others, ferocious, swinging its tusks every which way. In one swipe, it managed to slice O’Connor’s arm, and blood burst out as he clutched it, screaming.

It was like trying to fight a bull, but without the proper weapons. Elden tried to jab it with his long spear, but the boar merely turned its head, clamped down on it with its enormous mouth, and in one clean motion bit it in two. Then the boar turned and charged Elden, hitting him in the ribs; luckily for Elden, he narrowly missed being torn apart by its tusks.

This boar was unstoppable. It was out for blood, and it would clearly not leave them alone until it had it.

The others rallied and broke into action. Erec and Kendrick drew their swords, as did Thor, Reece, and the others.

They all encircled the beast, but it was hard to hit, especially with its three-foot-long tusks that kept them from getting anywhere close to it. It ran in circles, chasing them around the clearing. As they each took turns attacking, Erec scored a direct hit, slashing it on its side; but this boar must have been made of steel, because it just kept going.

That was when everything changed. For a brief moment, something caught Thor’s eyes, and he turned and looked into the forest. In the distance, hidden behind the trees, he could have sworn he saw a man with a black, hooded cloak; he saw him raise a bow and arrow and aim it right for the clearing. He seemed to be aiming not at the boar, but at the men.

Thor wondered if he were seeing things. Could they be under attack? Here? In the middle of nowhere? By whom?

Thor allowed his instincts to take over. He sensed that the others were in danger, and he raced for them. He saw the man aiming his bow for Kendrick.

Thor dove for Kendrick. He tackled him hard, knocking him to the ground, and as he did so, a moment later the arrow flew by, just missing him.

Thor immediately looked back to the forest, looking for signs of the attacker. But he was gone.

But he had no time to think; the boar was still sprinting madly about the clearing, only feet away from them. Now it turned in their direction, and Thor had no time to react. He braced himself for the impact as the long, sharp tusks bore down directly for him.

A moment later there came a high-pitched squeal; Thor turned to see Erec leaping onto the beast’s back, raising his sword high with both hands, and plunging it into the back of its neck. The beast roared, blood squirting from its mouth as it buckled to its knees, then crashed down to the ground, Erec on top of it. It came to a halt just feet away from Thor.

Everyone stood frozen in place, looking at each other—and wondering what on earth just happened.

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A Quest Of Heroes - S01 E45

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