[Leave it at a cliffhanger shortly with Jin’s story, which I will get back to very soon]
Light blinded my eyes as I woke up in an empty forest meadow. It wasn’t particularly bright but for a ray of sunshine directly at me. Sitting up, I moved out of its blinding effect to look around me. There were trees all around with a light wind whistling through them. On one side of the meadow was a rock cliff with a cave of sort etched into the surface. I moved toward it, it felt familiar, and somehow, on some level, I knew I needed to go there.
Curiously torches were lighting my way inside, deeper and deeper. While this should have been strange, it didn’t register for me as I followed them to the back of the cave which opened into a massive chasm. On the edge of which, stood a figured, hooded and cloaked. He was surrounded by candles and torches with an altar before him. A sword rested there that I could see shining in the candlelight.
I said nothing, somehow knowing he would turn around and face me. He was an old man, wrinkled and gray. His eyes were sunken, and he looked like he had seen me here a thousand times.
“Take this,” he said holding out the sword in his hands. His voice sounded like air through parchment. “It’s dangerous to be alone without it.”
I took it wordlessly, knowing not what to say. He nodded, a sad, resigned expression on his face, his form shifting and fading like dust on the wind. My time here was done, I knew. Sounds of winds shifting and blowing from the surface, outside the cave, broke the silence and I made my way back to the meadow. It was not so empty now.
Standing at the far edge was a dark shape. That like a man, but also like a beast. It stood double my hight and had elongated arms and legs. If at least, I were to call shadows arms and legs. What I could see were its claws shining in the fading sunlight and eyes staring right at me.
My hands gripped the sword tight ready as a cloud passed over the sun, drowning the light and the creature charged me. I was ready and dodged to the side as it slashed were I had been, impacting against the rock entrance to the cave and sending it crumbling down. I quickly counter lunged and sunk the sword deep into its side.
The monster let out a rasping scream and slashed back with its claws. One of them connected on my side as I jumped back, sending blood spraying across the grass. I winced at the pain and ducked under another swing of its claws. Forcibly I swung again to block a third strike with my blade and lunged back in a follow-up strike. I could hear it scream from the impact, but it too was fast, and dodged away, leaving only a glancing blow.
Circling each other, I stared into its eyes, dark and full of hatred it leaped into the air and came at me, with claws and now gleaming teeth. I hadn’t expected this move I only just got out of its way.
Wincing from blood loss of the first strike and getting back on balance I turned to face it again as it raked it’s claws across the ground and slashed at me from both sides. Reacting instinctually I rolled back but not fast enough as they dug into on my side. I recovered from my roll but looked down to see my ribs showing through the gash. The only thing keeping me standing was pure adrenaline. The best, however, did not slow and rushed me.
Using all of my strength, I dodged again and slashed at it’s underside as it came past me. The monster let forth a cry of pain but turned unexpectedly in mid-air digging its claws into my chest. As my vision faded, I could smell its rotten breath and then, all was dark.