I woke up again. I had sat and awaited the monster many times, but this time I would try something I hadn’t. Standing up I waited for what I knew would only be a little over a minute. Right on cue, the shadow-like beast stepped out from behind the trees.
“Why do we have to fight?” I asked, “You’ve beaten me every time. I know I can’t defeat you.” I paused, it hadn’t charged me yet. Normally by now, it would have. Maybe it was working. “Let’s just-” Never mind, I was interrupted by its sudden charge, its claws dug into me.
A woke up again. So much for that, I thought at first… but had its pause been my imagination? Did it seem to be learning from each time just like me? I waited for it again. When it appeared, I yelled at it, “You don’t scare me! I don’t want to fight you anymore! We can end this!” It paused again, I was sure I didn’t imagine it this time, but, yet again it still killed me.
Once more I woke up. Maybe I was missing something? I looked back at the cave. Maybe… making my way again to the old man I accepted his sword wordlessly as he disappeared and returned to the clearing. The monster was there of course, but instead of attacking it I offered the sword to it.
“I don’t want to fight you,” I said, this time it paused for much longer before it charged. I didn’t let it kill me though and deflected its claws. “Let’s both end this,” I continued as it followed up its attack at a speed which I noted was remarkably slower. “What is it that you want?” I asked it a final time before it stopped. I could see it’s glowing eyes shimmer in the shadows. The sword? But it didn’t take it when I offered it…
I tried to offer it again to the beast and it attacked again. Still slower this time. What, what? My hope had turned into frustration and I lashed out again. Why can’t I understand?! No matter how good I get I fail! Over and over! I had hoped this would end it, but this isn’t working! What? WHAT WHAT!!?
I began to attack back in my frustration, channeling my anger and pain into the blows I dealt to the monster. The sword impacted on its claws, chipping them both. I didn’t care. “DIE! Your turn to DIE!” I yelled loudly. “I don’t know what you want!!!!”
Swinging down with all my range I found it were head and jammed the sword into it between its eyes. A loud moan came from the beast and it clasped to the ground fading much like the old man had when he gave me the sword.
Sinking to my knees, I watched. What did this all mean? How could it? I wasn’t dead. I was sitting alone in the forest, I didn’t know where, or why, or any of it. I held the chipped sword in my hand. What was the point? Who would I even ask?
I rose to my feet. I might as well find out for myself, I thought and made my way deeper into the forest.