Susanoo - Chapter 3: Departure
Grabbing one end of the strap, and biting down on the other, Blake pulled tight his sleeping bag against the top of his backpack. Inside was some food, a flask of water, a book of matches and some paper, and a couple sets of clothes; one for training, one for traveling in warm conditions, one for traveling in cold conditions, and a cloak which he wore on his back. It wasn't much, but he didn't have much. Standing in his room, where he had lived and grown up for sixteen years, Blake sighed. It was his time to leave. Walking down the stairs to the main floor of his house, a loud commotion met his ears; he was sure he wouldn't be missed. Because he was so sure, he tried to simply walk out the door without saying anything.
"Blake!" Reluctantly, Blake turned around and faced his mother, the door open and one foot outside. "What do you think you're doing?"
"I'm just going out, mother," Blake responded.
"I heard you were fighting today."
"Not a lot; just some more training with Master Kong. Nothing to worry about."
"Oh really?" At those words, Blake's heart stopped. She knew. "I heard you were fighting with Rodren."
"Who's fighting with Rodren!?" The owner of the angry voice stepped into the entrance hall, staring down at Blake. His father, a giant of a man standing nearly a full foot taller than Blake himself, crossed his arms as cigar smoke floated up to the ceiling. "Like, arguing?"
"I punched him."
"No he didn't!" Now the entrance hall was starting to get full. All of Blake, his parents, and two of his younger brothers were already in the hall, and his other siblings were coming to see the commotion. "Didn't lay a finger on Mr. Rodren."
"I was hoping he'd attack me; I had some counter-strikes ready!" Blake was starting to feel crowded, which did not help his already-frustrated and stressed demeanor. By now, his entire family was at the entrance hall, spilling into the living room beyond.
"You wouldn't want Rodren attacking you," Blake's next-youngest sibling, Kathy who was fourteen, said. "He'd kill you. But then I'd get your stuff, so it's all good."
"She's right, sport." Just as Blake was wondering "What stuff?", his only older sibling, Fredrick at nineteen, had pushed his way to the front of the crowd. "If Rodren had wanted to attack you, there wouldn't be anymore you."
"You don't know that for sure!"
"Not quite, but I have seen him fight off a group of bandits before..." Fredrick had already entered the work-force, and had been working for a local merchant since he was younger than Blake. Right now, he was trying to start selling his own wears on his own, though every now and then he was forced to return to his old mentor. "He's ruthless if you're an enemy."
"Bet I could have beat them away." Though Blake was interested, and wished he could have seen that fight, there was no way he would let anyone who actually liked Rodren know that.
Fredrick only sighed, shaking his head as he pushed his way past Blake to get into town.
"Just remember, kid!" He called back to Blake, still standing in the doorway. "You're only one man. And while one man can do a lot, he can't do everything." Then Fredrick was out of the yard, and became swallowed up by the crowds of people filling the streets of Mysaro.
"So are you really going to go!?" Blake's youngest brother, Tyson, asked. He was only eight, half Blake's age, and for a second Blake questioned his leaving; what would his little brother do without him? He'd become a lame business-man like Fredrick, or start doing whatever father did; Blake was never quite sure what his father's occupation entitled. However, Blake had to go; this was what he always wanted.
"Go?" his mother asked. Now she was starting to figure it out. "Go where?"
"Rodren told him to go into the world and become stronger. And I think he's going to do it!" Michael was twelve, and the last of Blake's siblings. He idolized Blake, and did some light training to be just like his older brother. He was the one who first showed up at the hall after his parents.
"No, you're not going," his father said. There was a small cough, from which a cloud of smoke came, and then he continued. "The world's a dangerous place, Blake; Mysaro isn't exactly the strongest village on the map."
"What about Fredrick? He deals with people from the outside world all the time; who's to say that one day one of them won't be an assassin in disguise!?"
"Rodren's to say that-"
"-he's not here all the time! I'm going, weather you want me to or not!" As he turned, Blake was nearly out the door when his father spoke one more time.
"If you step out that door, you will no longer be my son." For a second, Blake hesitated But then, without turning back or saying a word, he continued, walking out of the house, then the yard, getting himself lost in the crowds of people. With his family standing in the doorway, looking after him, Blake continued through Mysaro towards his old training grounds.
Looking over his old training grounds, Blake took in a deep breath. This would be the last time he would see this sight for a long time... Then a voice came out from behind him.
"I thought you'd be here..." Turning around and walking towards the log Master Kong was sitting on, Blake sat next to him, looking out over where he had been training for years upon years. "Are you sure you're ready."
"I've been ready for a long time..."
"If you were ready then, you would have left. I'll ask again; are you ready?"
For a moment, Blake was silent. Then he put his hands on his knees and pushed himself to his feet. "Guess there's only one way to find out. I'll be leaving now; no looking back."
Then Blake began to walk away from his old master, memories of all he taught him flooding back at once. Then, just as Blake was about to disappear behind a hill against the evening sun, he stopped for a moment. "Thanks for everything, Master Kong." Then Blake disappeared without another word, or a response.
Here he was. Blake stood, his back to the gates of Mysaro. He had glanced back, but Rodren's face obstructed his view of his old town; he had to leave Mysaro alone until he could grow strong enough to defend it himself. Taking in a deep breath, Blake began to walk out towards the open world. However, as Blake's foot touched the sand, denoting the start of the desert, there was a sound behind him.
"Hey! Take us with you!" Turning around, Blake saw a group of kids, and not a small one, either. There were at least thirteen young kids, none older than eight or nine, walking towards him. Some had knives, some had bandages wrapped around their knuckles, and all of them looked like they were playing make-believe. "We want to fight and get strong, too!"
Sighing, Blake put his head in his hand. "Who's the 'leader' of you kids?"
"You are!" they all cried together. "You beat up Rodren!"
"I didn't beat him up!! I'm not strong enough; now, who's the leader?"
Once again, all of the kids insisted that Blake himself led them, and he once again sighed exhaustedly. Then he decided on a new approach.
"Who's the oldest?" A kid, quite obviously not the tallest, stepped forward. "How old are you, pip-squeak?"
"Twelve." "There's no way he's as old as Michael... Not as threatening, anyways," Blake thought.
"You're now the leader of this group of kids." Then, quickly, before the kids could argue, Blake continued. "You are all too young and small to go out into the real world. You all have to stay in Mysaro and train; train as if your life depends on it, and if you want to follow me to the real world, they will. When you're stronger, and can fight properly and are bigger, maybe you can go to the real world. However, right now, there's no way you'll survive. It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, and I'm not going to protect you if you're attacked. It's best if you all stay here and get stronger; one day even you can protect Mysaro."
With the kids excited about one day being able to defend Mysaro, Blake noticed a small breeze and used it to escaped. As the breeze passed by, Blake ran away in a burst of speed, his feet kicking up a great deal of sand which was picked up with the breeze, created a smoke-screen of sorts to block the kids' vision of him leaving. And with that, Blake had begun his long journey into the real world. Pulling his hood up and adjusting the straps on his backpack, Blake continued walking, hoping the kids would stay at home so that he wouldn't have one more thing to worry about asides from himself.