Divine Warrior Part 7 by Rin Phoenix
“Yeah. Oh! That means we might be able to see Ponpo practicing this morning!” Sarah-Jane exclaims.
“He’s the best fighter in Alari town. He always practices at dawn with Vian playing music.”
Sarah-Jane walks over to the boardwalks and sits down on a cold and slightly mouldy sack of sand. She pats the other end of the sack, gesturing for me to sit down.
Once I do, she asks, “Can I see your sword?”
I nod and unsheathe it. The blade lights up a soft glow and reflects the early sun rays.
“Wow… It’s so pretty,” she breathes, leaning in to touch it but deciding against it.
“Heya, Sarah-Jane! How you doin’ this fine mornin’? And who’s this ya got ‘ere?” A man says, eyeing me. He has strangely large grey eyes and black hair slicked back. His face also seems strangely large and unmoving. He has a prominent nose ridge and thin lips that are stretched into an oily smile.
“This is Xen. I fished her out of the water this morning,” she smiles, pointing at me with her thumb over her shoulder. Ponpo doesn’t question the fact that I was just fished out of the water.
“Nice to meet ya, Xen. I’m Ponpo, and Sarah-Jane here is my good friend. She’s eleven. Pretty strong kid, if I were to say. Weird that she fished ya out of the water this mornin’. What were ya doin’ in the ocean?”
“Swimming,” I reply, putting my sword away.
“Interesting. Anyways, I’mma get started. You can watch, if ya want,” Ponpo opens a little shack and drags out a training dummy. It’s really a bunch of sacks, but it looks pretty sturdy. He begins throwing some basic punches and kicks. Soon he picks up the pace, and starts living daylight out of the target with more advanced hits. He brings his fist back and begins to charge it up for a large hit.
“Ooh, he’s going to do the charged hit!” Sarah-Jane whisper shouts to me. Almost on cue, Ponpo’s fist begins glowing a dark purple. It pulses to his heartbeat, glowing brighter each time. It almost combusts into a black flame.
“He’s never done it this much before. I think a new spectator is motivating him!” she says to me.
Ponpo unleashes the punch with a loud cry and ends up breaking the target. Once the dust that was packed inside the target settles, Sarah-Jane cheers.
“That was amazing, Ponpo!” She cries, throwing her arms around him. I stand up clapping. I think I might speak to Ponpo afterwards. Something about him seems off about him. “You ain’t the head guard of the town for nothing!” Ponpo is head guard?
A few minutes pass and Sarah-Jane left back to her house. Now it’s just Ponpo and I sitting on the dock.
“How’re ya, Xen? You got a question?” He asks. I notice the whole time his mouth hasn’t moved.
“Can I take a look at your real face?” I ask. I don’t think this is how he actually looks.
“What’re ya sayin’? This is my real face,” he says with a slightly nervous tone. His ‘accent’ wavers a little bit.
“Mind if I take off this mask?” I ask, fingering at the supposed hairline of his face.
“What on Cythrawl are you talking abou—,” he starts, but before he can finish, I tear the mask off his face. Ponpo’s true face is actually quite… dare I say good looking.
Elven ears pop out of the side of his head, as though they were pinned back. I notice a sort of tassel hanging from the tip of his left ear. Shiny black hair falls on to his face, framing it. He has symmetrical, large grey eyes, soft lips and a straight, pointed nose. His skin is smooth, but what catches my attention are the purple markings under his eyes.
“Who are you?” I ask, dropping the mask at my side.
“Please don’t tell anyone, but my name isn’t actually Ponpo,” he says in a quiet voice. His false accent is completely gone. He hunches his shoulders over in a defensive pose, as though I may attack him.
“Then what is your name?”
“I’m not telling you. I just ran away from home,” he says, not meeting my gaze. I watch the dark markings underneath his eyes. They seem to be changing colour slightly.
“Fine. I respect your privacy but I’m gonna have to find out one day,” I say, picking up the mask and handing it back to the mysterious guy under the guise of Ponpo.
“Alright. When I know I can trust you, I’ll tell you…” he replies. He quickly snaps the mask back over his face and resumes his false accent.
“The fishermen’ll come on out soon, so I best be goin’. See ya later, Xen,” he waves to me as though nothing out of the ordinary just happened.