"Get outta the Cart ya' free-loading roach!"
That's what he had screamed at him, as the foot of the man came slamming into Ederick's stomach, kicking him off the back of the cart he had stowed away on.
Ever since his meeting with the sword master, he had travelled far and wide in search for anyone who'd teach him. He'd knocked on every door, begged every merchant he'd come across for information, but to no avail. Every master he'd met either asked for an insurmountable fee to be trained, or simply pushed him out for having no previous experience or heritage.
He had one more lead; an eastern martial arts master, who fought off raiders and criminals in the mountain villages of the Spine. Considering he was in Vel Anir at the time, he had a long, long trek ahead of him.
A three month trek.
He'd sneaked onto any sort of cart or carriage he could find, taking a beating every now and then to get to where he needed to be. This was his last chance to find someone who would teach him. If the information he was given turned out to be a dead end, he'd have to go back to working at a blacksmith. He didn't look forward to that.
He wanted to become a warrior.
He was lucky enough to hear fantastic stories whilst he travelled. Many mercenaries had heard of these 'Eastern Masters', capable of breaking through hard-wood with their bare hands, slicing through bone with well honed steel, jumping great heights and with finesse greater than any warrior. It excited him to hear such stories. Then again, he'd never actually seen any of these masters. Every teacher he'd seen thus far wouldn't even let him get a word in edge-ways before they booted him out of their temple.
__________________________________________Finally, he'd reached a village.
He was hungry, under-fed, tired, in ragged, thread-bare clothes, with a backpack full of mushrooms and plants he'd foraged on his journey, most of which he was sure were dangerous to eat. He hadn't bathed in the longest time, and could smell himself, like a reeking mud-soaked rag. His hair had over-grown, falling onto his shoulders, more ash than brown. He'd gotten odd looks from the villagers as he passed by, all probably wondering where his parents were, and why he'd ran away.
The only thing that was contrary to this image was the sword hanging from his waist. Such a beautiful thing, and the only item his father had left him. It's slightly curved blade hidden by a long black sheathe, covered in markings, the hilt tied with some sort of rope. He certainly didn't know, but the warrior he'd met in Vel Anir said it was of value, so he wasn't going to argue.
Until he was approached by three men.
They were large, unkempt brutes, clad in leather armour, their hair unusually long and braided. They all carried short swords on their side, and were almost double the height of Ederick.
"Excuse me... I'm trying to-"
"Awful nice piece of steel you've got there. Mind I take a look?" The middle-man said, taking a step closer.
"I-I'd rather you didn't." Ed said, a hint of fear threaded in his clumsy words. His hand resting on the hilt.
"Oh- you tryna threaten me Boy?" The man's hand rested on his short sword also, giving Ed a cold, hard stare.
But before Ederick could get another word, the man sweeped his legs out, and kicked Ed away with his other, sending him rolling across the floor, the air spat out of Ed's lungs, a spat of blood on the floor. The hilt moved from his sword, the gorgeous steel gleaming in the sun, it's edge never tested, perfectly maintained.