FF: Journey

Ch 5

As the party continued their journey Alan and Chrissie decided to play rock-paper-scissors due to the extreme boredom of walking. "Paper covers rock," Chrissie declared racking up her 43rd victory in a row.

Kit, who was watching them play, said, "You cheat and we all know it."

"How do I cheat?"

"You're the fastest member here with the ability to move faster than we can see. All you have to do is watch his hand right as he decides and you can change your hand right before the results part."

"It is called skill."

"No cheating."

"I call it training," Alan interrupted their argument. "I already know she does it. I'm playing in order to improve my speed and perception."

Birdgette, ignoring the happenings of those three, decided to ask Scott a question. "So what's it like using darkness?"

"Nothing special. It's pretty much just like using my sword. It works just like magic."

"So your able to channel any spell through your sword."

"Yeah but it wouldn't be as powerful."

Katelyn stayed out of the conversations by reading one of the books she brought with her. The conversation with the first three ended with kit pouting while Alan and Chrissie laughing. The other one kept going with Scott and Bridgette just getting to know each other a little better.

The party started to see the small town of Garge off in the distance. As they got closer they noticed a group of villagers crowded together waving in their direction. "Did anybody know about the welcome party?"

Kit began, "Obviously they knew that I, the great red mage Kit Parcey, was coming and they are all here to worship me and pay tribute." Upon finishing that statement Katelyn grabbed her hammer and smacked him over the head with it.

They finally reached the village where an older woman stepped out of the group. "You must be the warriors of light."

Scott responded, "How did you know that?"

"I am Fuko the village chief. Sorry to trouble you but our village magic instructor is sick and today is the day that he was to tell all the children their specialty school of magic so that they can start practicing the use of magic. We sent word to Destiny Academy and they responded that you all were going to come through this town anyway so have you guys do it."

"Who was the one that responded?"

"It was Issui the monk instructor."

Kit looked at Alan. "Next time I see that old man I'm going to beat him to death."

"Come now the children are this way. We will be providing you with hospitality in return."

It was a pretty small town with barely 70 people living in it. The school they were headed off to was to the west about half a mile away from the rest of the village. There were only 19 students and they all seemed to be about 11-13 years old.

When they arrived at the small school house the children where playing around outside it. It was still early in the morning. Since Alan couldn't use magic he decided to just take a nap at under a tree at the edge of the surrounding forest. An hour and a half went by. All the students had their energy read and were informed about what they had and their specialties.

Fuko walked up to them after they read the last child. "Thank you all for your assistance. We just have one small favor to ask before you go."

Chrissie answered, "What is that?"

"We would appreciate if you could also teach the children the basics of magic."

"That's okay with us."

They heard one of the kids cry and when they looked they saw a small black haired, tan wearing a white tang top and yellow being bullied by a handful of others. Fuko, Chrissie, and Katelyn ran over to stop them. The bullies dispersed quickly when they saw the three coming.

Fuko crouched down to talk to him. "What's wrong Timmy? Why were they picking on you?"

"They said I couldn't go to school anymore because I don't have any magic and then they started calling me names and making fun of me." Timmy huffed and puffed his way through the words.

"Oh my! Is this true girls?"

Katelyn replied, "It's true he doesn't have magic. He has chakra instead."

"What are we going to do about this?"

Chrissie took her turn to speak. "Don't worry we got this." She leaned over to the boy. "Timmy do you see that man over there sleeping under the tree?"

"Uh huh."

"Go wake him up and tell him your ready for some training."

"Okay." Timmy got up and started toward Alan.

Fuko looked at Chrissie. "You mean he can use chakra. I just thought he was a lazy bum."

"He's far from that actually. Now let's deal with these other kids."

A cool breeze blew by when Alan woke up. It wasn't the breeze that woke him up but the new presence that stood next to him. "Um... Excuse me mister."

"What can I do for you?"

"I'm supposed to spend today's lessons with you." Alan stared into Timmy's eyes intensely. Timmy grew really nervous. After some time passed Alan just got up and started walking while Timmy followed closely behind. "Shouldn't we stay with everyone else?"

"If I'm going to train you on how to use chakra in one day then we need privacy." After an hour or so of walking Alan finally decided on a spot. "Go ahead and sit down."

"What am I gonna learn first?" Timmy sat down Indian style. Alan quickly turned around and flicked the boy in the head. Timmy's eyes teared up and he was on the verge of crying. "What was that for?"

"It's a secret monk technique which makes it easier for a monk to control his or her chakra. Now that I've done that you're going to learn how to detect your own chakra."

"How do I do that?"

"Just hold your hand in front of your face and stare at it. It'll come to you eventually."

"When will I know that I can detect my own chakra."

"When you see a transparent looking fire on your hand and you start feeling really loose." Alan sat off to Timmy's right and watched him. He saw Timmy's chakra flowing out, but less and less of it flowed out until it stopped. "Can you see it yet?"

"Yeah but how did you know?"

"That is the next step. Once you can you're able to see your own chakra you can see the chakra and magic of others. In order to do that though you have to project your own chakra outward toward that person or object. Now I want you to focus on giving your chakra shape and moving it around."

Timmy continued to stare at his hand concentrating on the task. At first it seemed easy to him but it slowly got harder and harder. "Can you do that finger flick thing again?"

"Nope."

"How come?"

"It only works once on every person."

Timmy pouted and complained. After another 2 hours He finally started getting it down. "What's next?"

"Close your eyes. Take your chakra and thin it out through the area as much as you can. When you have it as far as it can go open your eyes." For Timmy this was a little hard because he was still getting the hang of it. Though he struggled he had done it. He opened his eyes and instead of seeing Alan he saw what seemed like a monster. Timmy got scared and was about to cry. "Timmy don't lose focus keep this up. You have to learn stand up and face the things that scare you. If you can stand up to what you see before yourself now I promise nothing will seem as bad."

Timmy thought about the kids at school who picked on him and Fuko. "I don't want to cry and make everyone worry." He stood up.

"The only thing left for you to do is practice your manipulation. Then I'll teach you a technique."

Back at the school everyone was calling it a day. It was about five o'clock. The kids were tired due to their lack of energy. Fuko and the other villagers were thanking the party for the help and congratulating the kids on how much they learned. Fuko approached Chrissie with a hint of unease, "When will Alan get back with Timmy? The class day was over two hours ago."

"I have no idea. I really don't know anything about monks or even chakra users in general."

Fuko's unease turned became a mixture of anger and concern. "You don't know? How could you let Timmy go out in the wild like that? Your superiors will hear about this."

"Ma'am just calm down. He couldn't be any safer than with Alan."

The ground began to tremble knocking people off their feet. Five large Basilisks mounted by ogres emerged from the nearby forest surrounding the people gathered at the school pointing arrows at them.. More ogres swarmed in after them with one especially fat and muscular, wearing a necklace of randomly assorted bones, and wielding the only broadsword in his left hand.

"We got ourselves some more slaves, boys!" The big one said as the others waved their clubs in the air in excitement.

"It's about time something fun happened." Kit unsheathed his rapier pointing it at one of the mounted ogres. The ogres responded by pulling the the strings on their bows readying to fire.

Scott smacked Kit on the head. "We can't just start a fight with them. We have to protect the villagers."

"You take the fun out of everything." Kit sheathed his sword and slumped over in disappointment.

Katelyn waved her staff around casting a spell. "Protect!" A dome of green energy enveloped the villagers.

The party huddled together in the middle of the crowd. Scott took the initiative, "So does anyone have a plan?" Kit rose his hand. "Except for him."

Fuko approached them. "Do something."

"That's easier said than done." Bridgette responded.

"Why don't you all just fire off some spells?"

"We can't without harming any of the villagers. This barrier only protects from physical attacks. Even if we confronted them with no magic there are too many to of them to hold off with just the five of us," Bridgette explained.

One of the ogres next to the barrier ran off to the big one. "Chief we can't break through this light."

"Let's wait. It'll come down eventually."

"Yes chieftain." The ogre ran around spreading the order.

The party looked around the outside of the barrier. Dusk was quickly upon them as Chrissie, Bridgette, and Scott were trying to come up with their own plans. This was interrupted when they heard Kit shout, "Hey, Alan's back with Timmy." A majority of the villagers and party member looked.

Fuko inspected them the best she could from her position. "Timmy's okay."

Chrissie replied, "See. He couldn't be any safer."

Timmy and Alan also caught the attention of the ogres as they got closer. When they got close to the horde of ogres the chieftain got in their way. He grinned very widely as he spoke, "More slaves for us."

Alan opened his hand signaling Timmy to stop. "Let me ask you something big guy. Do you have a code of honor or do you run around destroying things as you go."

"Are you comparing us to those savages? You could be the first blood my tastes today."

"No. No. I was just wondering if you'd accept a duel for the freedom of these humans."

"Fine. Let's hope you don't die too quickly."

"Not me," Alan said as he pushed Timmy forward. "My pupil Timmy."

Fuko glared at Chrissie with the intensity of a thousand suns. Chrissie just covered her face with her right hand while her left arm bent across her stomach to hold onto her right elbow not believing in Alan's seemingly sheer stupidity.

The chieftain began laughing. "Are you kidding me? Tiny human is shorter than even my sword."

"Well then you should have no problem beating him."

"So all the villagers will go willingly if I crush him?" He inspected Timmy and looked back at Alan. "I have no problem with that. I'll even leave my sword out of it."

Timmy readied himself by getting into the same fighting stance Alan used. The chieftain stabbed his sword into the ground til it was the same height as Timmy. Alan took a couple steps back. "Don't take too long."

The ogre ran toward Timmy with both his arms in the air, fists clenched. He brought his arms down on Timmy. Timmy side stepped to his right. The chieftain lifted his left arm diagonal-right and swung it at the boy. Timmy bent his left knee toward the arm, stretched his right leg away from it, and elbowed it hitting the back of his forearm. The ogre's arm bounced back after the collision. His arm went numb til he shook it off.

The chieftain lifted his left leg and tried to stomp Timmy but Timmy just rolled under it and punched him in the back. The chieftain lost his footing, falling to his right knee. He grew angry turning to his right, swinging his right arm at Timmy. The boy retaliated by jump kicking the ogre in the face. The ogre fell back having very little balance to begin with. He went into a stupor while blood flew out of his mouth.

The chieftain quickly regained consciousness. He stood up furious about the shame he was experiencing. He ran over grabbing his sword and pulling it out. "Men, slaughter them all!" After a few seconds of silence he looked around and saw his people laying on the ground either dead or about to.

"See what happens when your temper gets the better of you. You obsess about what made you angry and can even go back on your word," Alan explained as he and the rest of the party walked over all the bodies.

The chieftain dropped his arms looking around. He blew up with rage turning around ready to charge Timmy. However when he finished turning Timmy was already in his face launching a punch. "Spring's First Dance." As soon as his blow connected the chieftain felt as if all his insides burst. No one could see it but Alan and Timmy knew that the ogre's insides had shut down due to the trauma the attack caused. His now lifeless body fell over crashing into the ground.

The villagers crowded the party thanking them for what they did. Fuko ran up and hugged Timmy. She then turned and slapped Alan across the face. Alan just said, "Glad to see everyone is okay."

"How could you just throw a little boy into a fight like that."

"Because I had faith in him."

Timmy butted in, "Ms. Fuko I asked him to let me fight."

"Timmy I don't wanna..." she was caught off guard from what he said. "You volunteered to fight the ogre?"

"Yeah," Timmy said as if it was nothing.

Fuko looked back at Alan. "Thank you for everything."

"Your welcome. There should be someone here in about a week to pick up Timmy."

"Pick up Timmy? Why?"

"Well, I was told that the original teacher used magic. So I am going to send a message to my old dojo requesting that they teach him until he is able to go to Destiny Academy."

Katelyn walked over to Alan. "I finished checking over everyone. We're all pretty tired so we think it's time to get some rest."

Fuko smiled. "Well the villagers will show you to the INN."

"Thank you for your hospitality." Alan bowed as a show of respect.

Timmy bowed too. "I hope to see you again."

"Make sure you don't tell them about that punch. I'll be in big trouble if they find out."

"I promise."

"Now let's go." Alan turned and walked toward the party with Katelyn following shortly behind him.

When they caught up with everyone else Kit just shouted, "What the hell did you teach that kid! Is there something we should know about you."

"It's not really that important." Alan just kept walking while Kit walked backwards staring at him.

Bridgette, who was to the right of Alan, put her hand on his shoulder. "After spending a day with you that kid was able to defeat an over grown ogre. That alone makes it qualify for the important category."

Alan looked into her eyes and saw a little concern. "Fine. My family has been filled with nothing but pure chakra users for centuries. A long time ago back when my family was a part of a larger clan, a powerful being showed up and passed down the secrets of wielding chakra to the head of the clan. In return the head and the families gave this being housing and protection. After looking over these secrets the head decided to split it between the families."

Scott interrupted, "You mean to tell us that you are from one of those crazy pure chakra families. Which one?"

"The Vaines."

"How come none of us figured this out sooner."

"Chrissie already knew that and none of you guys ever asked my last name so it never came up."

Kit also joined the exchange. "So that's the part you would have told us. Now let's get to the part you should be telling us."

Alan continued, "After each one of the families learned their secret they set up a bunch of rules about how these techniques would be passed down so that one family couldn't become more powerful than another. Everything was all good until a couple years ago. One of the families was being terrorized by a demon dragon. A non successor approached the current head in private asking for all the secrets of chakra. The head agreed to teach them to him as long as a non successor from the other families was also taught them. He did this because he didn't want to see neither the family wiped out nor a shift in the power balance. He ended up picking me for my family."

"After several years of training the four of us each mastered the secrets. However this was done in private so no one else from any of our families knows about it. Since I'm not the successor for my family I shouldn't know my own family technique let alone teaching some random kid a technique from another family."

Kit just commented after hearing everything, "Anyone else have any secrets? I'm thinking now would be a good time to put them on the table. I'm pretty sure we won't top his though."

"I'm engaged to be married in the next couple months," Bridgette spoke up. Everyone wide eyed her. Alan also jaw dropped.

Kit looked back and forth between the two. "Looks like I was wrong."

The rest of the walk back was filled with awkward silence. Eventually everyone just kinda ignored it. Alan though couldn't just ignore it. He didn't speak to anybody and spent his time pondering about Bridgette and his relationship and whether or not it would last. Bridgette felt down every time she looked at Alan.

The next morning the party left the village continuing down the list of places. It wasn't til about noon that Bridgette finally spoke to Alan, "I'm sorry for not telling you about it."

"It's okay I'm sure your reason was good."

"I didn't want it to affect any relationships I would have. Let's be honest. Would you have asked me to the dance if you knew about it."

"No I wouldn't."

"I just wanted to explore my feelings and give things a chance before giving up hope about my future."

"Does this mean we're still together."

"As far as I know." She approached him and they hugged and kissed. "I want this to last as long as possible."

"So do I." Everyone else stayed out of this and left them alone for the rest of the day. Kit tried several times to mess with them but was stopped by Chrissie every time he came up with something.

For now their journey was as normal as usual to them. They didn't know that their next stop was Ju-Gang, Bridgette's home.