One day in the evening, in a grassy plain, where the winds are blowing smoothly,
“The old gunner syndrome…why I’m fall into such a condition? After the years I’ve been fighting, I feel like I’m been push to the limits and my performance starts to fall. Will I keep falling? Or I’ll stand up and reverse the flow?” Kenalphi Razion wearing platinum armor, was resting at a tree near the outskirts of Dugras. Then, a knight wearing stainless steel armor walked towards him.
“Oh, it’s you, Syrfan. So, how were your days in Dlig? Is it fine?” Kenalphi asked him. His sight was depressed, perhaps suffering from emotional depression. His took a long sigh.
“Fine as usual. The mountain explorers are very careful in their expedition, making our jobs easy,” Syrfan put his stainless steel sword, which was mounted to his armor belt aside. The day was sunny and windy. They were just simply watching the grassy plain and the sky.
“Syrfan, how can you become so powerful that you do not have any limits?” Kenalphi asked him while drawn out his sword. The rusts on his iron sword was scattered around its blades.
“Because I know I have limits so I try to extend the limit myself. Knowledge in fighting is limitless, but there are limits on how much we can gain. I do not remove it, but I extend it. Remember that and you won’t be trapped into the mindset of wanting something limitless. Find a path and walk on it. You will not reach the dead end,” Syrfan stood up, picked his sword and walked across the plains. His movements were steady. The mounted sword remained static.
“But I don’t know how to do that!” Kenalphi yelled at him. He ran towards Syrfan. His movements were rather abrupt.
“I’ll teach you,” He drew out his sword and dashed towards him. He quickly blocked his slash by holding his sword horizontally. He swung his sword to his left and sweat was formed around his head. “Is this what you called fighting?”
“Then, show it to me!” He ran while holding his sword upwards. His burst of energy was brutal and reckless. As the result, he was kicked at the stomach and he was thrown away. He smashed the ground but he was unharmed. He was spiritless and did not feel to wake up.
“Pathetic. Think for yourselves!” Syrfan kept his sword in its scabbard and continued walking. The wind blows harder, echoes Kenalphi’s wound of his heart.
“Why? Why?” He sighed, while still lying on the ground as it is. A few minutes later, it was raining cats and dogs. He slowly stood up, took his rusted sword and walked back to his house, located near the west gate. He was in complete despair; don’t know what to do next. The house was wooden, with nothing but a bed, a table and a chair, which are also wooden.
“Perhaps this is the only thing which understands me,” He saw an almost empty liquor bottle, only a few drops left. He opened the bottle and drank the last drops of them. Then, he walked outside, wandering around the capital searching any blacksmith shops that will allow him to repair his rusted sword. After a few minutes, he reached a shop and went inside. The shop was black, perhaps due to the dusts formed when the owner trying to forge swords.
“You looked inspirited, old gunner. Hand me the sword and I’ll repair it for you,” The owner who was wearing broken and ripped clothes and having baldhead told him. He handed the sword and sat on a black metal bench.
“Old gunner?” He heard the phrase repeatedly in his mind. A few seconds later, he fell asleep lying against the wall.
“Where am I?” He “woke” up and found out he was surrounded in darkness. Then, he saw his shadow appeared in front of him.
“How pathetic. What happened to you? Wake up of your falling slumber!” It drew out his stainless steel sword and dashed towards him. He quickly dashed towards it, stretched his arm and stabbed it. It was unharmed and attempted to stab him but he quickly dashed backwards.
“Your fears have infected you as you become too defensive,” It dashed towards his back and kicked him. He was pushed away. He started to lose his focus. “Are you going to continue like this?” It dashed towards him and finished him off. Then, he woke up out of his horror.
“Are you okay?” Suddenly a girl appeared in front of him. Her pink robe, gloves and shoes made him felt some sort of hallucination. He felt dizzy shortly afterwards.
“He must be drinking liquor. His old gunner syndrome is too chronic. Just leave him alone,” The shop owner, who is her father, told her. She took out a bottle of tea and left it on the bench before left the shop.
“Why she give me that drink?” He wondered why the tea was there. He drank a bit of the tea and felt refreshed. His focus was regained.
“That drink is specialized for the ones who afflicted with old gunner syndrome. Consider this a gift of mine,” The shop owner told him while reforging the rusted sword. The light from the flames was intense, but his light of his mind are a lot brighter.
“I need to find her. Only she can teach me how to deal with this,” He waited patiently while dreaming about the girl just now. He discharged his aura.
“He must have a crush on her. Hopefully his old gunner syndrome will be cured,” He finished reforging his sword and hand it to Kenalphi. He paid the money and took out his sword along with his bottle of tea. The dark roads were brightened by the lamps around the capital.
“Usually a girl won’t help a man with the old gunner syndrome. There must be a reason why,” He ran around capital, and became more and more anxious, hoping that she does not disappear. After half an hour, he couldn’t found her and walked out the capital, back to the tree he laid on that evening.
“I know you’ll come here. That’s why I waited for you, Kenalphi.” She talked to him using a lower tone. Her emotions were too stable as if she was in official occasions.
“You know my name?” He was surprised.
“I heard it from your captain. My name is Ephane Radlior,” She introduced himself.
“Since that you can give me the medicine, why don’t you heal me in one go?” He told her using a sarcastic tone. She did not reply, but changed into magnalium equipment using magic and dashed towards him. He quickly woke up and strafed away from her.
“I think you know the answer now,” She pointed her sword on him.
“Bring it on!” He dashed away and spun around her. Then, he jumped towards her but she quickly blocked his attack and their swords were cracked. They jumped away from each other.
“Your skills are as cheap as before,” She started her “recovery strategy”.
“But yours aren’t too expensive to me!” Kenalphi dashed to her back and kicked her. She quickly spun around and ran back towards him. Ehpane slid on the ground while holding her sword upwards. He jumped to his right and avoided the attack.
“Why are you avoiding this attack?” She woke up and jumped towards him.
“Because I don’t want to deal heavy damage on you,” He swung her sword away and they suddenly kissed. They both fell onto the ground and blushed. She quickly jumped away and avoid from looking at him.
“I’m not finished with you yet!” He dashed towards her, trying to choosing his style of fighting. Perhaps he started to regain the confidence and ability he has lost and wanted to prove that to her.
“I am finished with you. But if you wished to continue, bring it on. Prove to me that you love me!” She stabbed her sword onto the ground and a shockwave was formed. He blocked it by pointing his sword to his front. She slid towards him again, but this time he strafed to his right and swung his sword as if it was a golf club. She was smashed away. She quickly stood up and rolled on the ground, attempting to slash his leg, but he quickly jumped backwards.
“This is the proof!” He dashed towards her and slashed the ground. She was thrown away by the shockwave formed, but he quickly pulled her and hugged her. She punched his chest and kicked his stomach. He was thrown away.
“Let’s enjoy the sword dance!” She took out her second magnalium sword and threw it towards him.
“Or should I say, the battle date?” He bicycle kicked the sword while she was sliding towards him. She slid past him and the attack missed her. She quickly stood up and dashed to take back her sword. They stared each other sharply. The wind was blowing harder.
“Date?” She wondered why he said something like that. Perhaps her intention that time was discovered.
“What are you waiting for?” He stepped a few meters backwards, waiting for her next move. She kept her magnalium sword into her dimensional storage. He pointed his sword onto the ground.
“What is he doing?” She dashed towards him, but this time she pointed her sword towards him. He ducked and swung his sword upwards. Her sword was thrown away.
“You lose the fight, but you win my heart,” He walked and picked up the sword. The winds were getting calmer.
“I lose my sword, but gain your love,” She walked towards him and took her sword. They avoided each other’s sight and became blushed. Their hearts were beating fast.
“I know you’ll come. I’ll prove to you that I’m cured,” He walked towards the tree and rested there. He put his sword aside, looking at an unknown planet. Perhaps the night is too long for him.
“Why I’m afraid that he will return to his old state? Why should I worry about a pathetic soldier who gets afflicted with the old gunner syndrome? Is…this…love?” She ran back to the capital, back to the blacksmith shop. Back to the tree,
“Are you ready?” The shadow appeared again when he fell asleep. It dashed towards him, running faster than before. He ducked and stabbed it. Then, he dashed backwards and jumped towards it. It dashed backwards and swung its sword downwards, but he quickly stabbed its sword and it was thrown away.
“Get lost, my pride,” He kicked it and he woke up shocked. He realized that he have to let go of his successes in his past in order to continue his path. A few minutes later, Syrfan walked towards him.
“Cured already? I heard from the blacksmith,” He sat down and checked his sword. He was satisfied of the blacksmith’s work, perhaps he even heard of what happened to Kenalphi. Kenalphi blushed and picked his sword. He looked at its blade and thought about that girl.
“What are you waiting for? Go,” Syrfan stood up and walked away. His steps were like marching steps. Kenalphi just simply looked him while thinking of what he said just now.
“Is she really loves me, or just act as a stray doctor?” He walked back towards the capital, but along his way, he saw Ephane was carried away by a man wearing a black cape. She seemed to be sealed and unable to fight back. He quickly ran towards her.
“Let go of her!” He shouted out of his anger. Perhaps his love towards her fueled his fighting spirit. He took out a brass sword from his dimensional storage. The man threw her away and dashed towards him. He dashed away from the man and managed to catch her, preventing her from crashing the ground.
“Don’t you know that this is very dangerous?” She stood up and unsealed herself. “Stay back. He is very powerful,” She charged herself with thunder aura and cast thunder astraea on the man.
“No. I will fight alongside with you, my love,” He dashed towards the man when he was dodging the spell. He cross slashed the man when the man ran away from the magic circles formed on his head and legs. The man was injured, but he cast spell shift on Kenalphi and Kenalphi was hit by the spell instead. Kenalphi fell onto the ground, unable to move as he was paralyzed. The man healed himself and took out his sword.
“What a foolish lover,” He attempted to stab Kenalphi, but he was hit by thunder ignalial spell and paralyzed. Kenalphi quickly recovered himself; cross slashed him again and dashed towards her. He was injured, but he recovered from paralysis and dashed towards them.
“Let’s do this together,” Ephane took out her magnalium sword. They dashed towards his back and performed the half cross fusion attack (an attack which two person cross slash a single target and form exactly one cross). He fell onto the ground unconsciously. They brought him to a nearby guard and had him arrested.
“Well, thanks for recovering my old gunner syndrome,” He smiled at her and gave a warmth eye stare. She blushed and ran away.
“Catch my heart with your own hands, my dear,” She ran as quickly as she can. He quickly dashed towards her and caught her. They started to blush again.
“Don’t run away from me again, okay?” He approached her for a kiss. Suddenly, she pushed him away.
“I won’t,” She hugged him and kissed his lips, perhaps she was not prepared at that time. The starry skies witness their pure love. “Promise to me, you won’t get afflicted with the old gunner syndrome again,”
“I promise, by the name of our love,” They wandered around the capital. They were holding hands and looked at the starry sky together. This is their romantic day which they won’t forget forever….