Hidden Hill Temple

君の闇私の光 (Your Dark My Light) © 2015

Chapter 9: Hidden Hill Temple

We set out early in the morning, just after the break of dawn. Agost and my uncle had designated a rendezvous point outside of town that they spotted before settling in last night. A minor surveyance of the surrounding areas was not only necessary, but vital for a tactical escape plan if we encountered any trouble. This was routine by now. My father and uncle have drilled the importance of knowing your surroundings, just like the back of your eyelids. That’s right. I said eyelids–the feel, the sound, and the sense of something closing in to touch them. You may call it a sixth sense, but I call it a heightened perception, which has been growing stronger ever since I’ve met my uncle.

It seemed Agost was running rather late, but we gathered it had something to do with him being accompanied by his female companion. He did have a keen eye for beautiful women. I just didn’t understand why he paid so much attention to them. Maybe I’ll figure it out someday.

~ ~ ~

Isaac and Vincencio grew agitated, waiting. They’ve decided on a little training exercise to test Isaac’s skills since the last time they’ve sparred.
“I’m not going to go easy on you anymore, my boy. Be prepared for anything.” Vincencio said sternly.
“I wouldn’t want you to be getting soft on me. We may be blood-related, but that doesn’t mean you still aren’t a threat.” Isaac responded confidently.
“I see your confidence has grown, but don’t mistake it for arrogance.” Vincencio warned.
“I understand, but I’ve been meaning to test out a new technique I’ve just developed recently.” Isaac replied.
“Huh? This, I gotta see!” Vincencio smiled excitedly.

Isaac made the first move. Vincencio was struck with a roundabout kick to his chest, though as soon as he was hit, he shook it off. Isaac threw a fist combination assault, but Vincencio countered with a short forward kick. Isaac was struck in the abdomen and gasped for air, but quickly recovered and released a combination of kicks and punches. Vincencio blocked each strike.
“You’ve definitely improved, my boy. It’s almost getting hard to predict your movements, but this old man still has a trick or two up his sleeve.” Vincencio teased.
“You haven’t seen anything yet, pops!” Isaac retaliated.
“Even your insults have improved!” Vincencio said as he laughs.
Just then, Isaac was knocked down by a flying wheel kick. It was Agost. “Sorry I’m late. I had a bit of a delay. Care if I join in the fun?” Agost said snidely.
“I think you just invited yourself in!” Isaac replied angrily as his eyes narrowed.
“That wasn’t a sporty thing to do Mauricio! We are in a middle of something here!” Vincencio shouted.
“My apologies comrades, but when a fight is brewing, it’s hard for me to stay out of it.” Agost replied with a bit of sarcasm.
“Then you’ve picked the perfect time to interrupt!” Isaac exclaimed.

Isaac has been waiting for a moment to spar with Agost. Ever since the first encounter, Isaac knew he seemed to be very agile, and knows that he can only improve his own speed and agility by fighting him. He gauged Agost carefully. He knew that he may be able to counter before he can complete his own motions, but he promised his uncle to show a technique he just discovered. They stood warily of each other.

Almost instantaneously, Agost drew first blood with a left cross hook to Isaac’s head. He followed it up with a right jab and right rising knee. Isaac blocked the subsequent hits but that left strike stung him a bit. As Agost’s knee was blocked, Isaac himself followed it up by a right knee to the exposed thigh, followed by a left jab, right hook and right elbow combination. Agost winced as he was struck by all four strikes. He seemed amused.
“There hasn’t been anyone who could spar with me this well, since your father. Vinny is no slouch himself, but I usually win 3 out of 5.” Agost said respectably as he wiped his mouth of blood.
“It’s not over.” Isaac said hastily.
“Agreed. I’m going to go my normal speed now. This is going to be more fun than I thought.” Agost smugly replied. “Let’s see what else you’ve got.” he said as he threw a slew of punches and kicks in random but accurate succession. Isaac was hit by nearly all of the strikes, he could hardly see his movements. Agost finished his attack with a dashing sideways thrust kick. Isaac flew back into a thick plume of bushes. There wasn’t any movement.
“Are you done already? I thought you had more fight in you.” Agost scoffed.
“That’s enough Mauricio!” demanded Vincencio.
“I was merely seeing what the boy is capable of Vinny. We need to know how reliable he will be later on.” Agost said abruptly.
“I’m not finished just yet!” Isaac shouted as he jumped up out from the bushes. “Take this! FIERY STONE BARRAGE!!”
Agost dodged the attack and countered yelling, “SWIRLING WIND FIST!!!”
Isaac was instantly struck and flew up into the air. As he was falling he kept thinking about how he can catch Agost off guard. Although his body ached all over, he knew he had one more move yet to unleash. Isaac flipped out of his fall and began his final attack motion.
Isaac twisted around and screamed, “SHADOW FORCE KNUCKLE!!!”
Agost was certainly caught by surprise. The attack wasn’t a physical attack, it was psychokinetic. Agost was thrown from where he stood and flung into the side of a hill. The impact broke through to what seemed to be a hidden passageway.

Both Isaac and Vincencio ran to Agost’s aide. They searched the opening and found Agost crouching in a dazed, yet painful look. They both reached for their medical supplies. Agost waived them off.
“Are you all right?” Vincencio inquired.
“Yes… I think. Luckily for that hillside… being hollow, otherwise I’d be in worse shape.” Agost said thankfully and asked Isaac as he winced, “Just what was that? I… I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“I’m not actually sure. I just started becoming more aware of some newly found strengths developing as we drew nearer to the first artifact.” Isaac stated in bewilderment.
“Was that the technique you meant to show me, my boy?” asked Vincencio.
“It wasn’t supposed to be that strong, but I started noticing I could push things with some concentration. I just decided to use it as an attack.” Isaac revealed.
“That’s amazing! I’ve only heard stories of this, but I never new I would meet one.” Vincencio admitted.
“One what?” asked both Isaac and Agost.
“It’s not written in any scrolls, but it was rumored or so I was told, that there are people that possess strong psycho abilities. Aside from their talents in combat, spell casting and weaponry, they were the people that eradicated the first demon invasion long ago. By why now? Why you?” Vincencio explained as he looked at Isaac.
“Maybe that’s something my father and that Damiano character knew about.” Isaac speculated as he shrugged.
“Perhaps.” said Vincencio, “But I don’t think he’d keep something like that from me.”
“Listen. I’m still pretty hurt. I suggest you check this corridor to see where it leads.” uttered Agost. “There may be some answers here. Obviously this place was hidden for a good reason.” he added.
“We’ll make a quick sweep of the area, as usual. We’ll come back here in a bit.” Vincencio agreed.
“Don’t bother. I’ll just use these healing spices to aid my recovery. Besides, I don’t believe I’m in any danger.” Agost said bravely.
“Even when you’re injured you don’t let up.” Isaac said.
“Just get out of here before I heal up and give you something to cry about!” Agost replied irritatedly.
“Ha Ha! I finally got you to react.” Isaac smiled.
“Be careful.” Vincencio told Agost.
“See ya.” said Agost.

As they walked through the corridor they stumbled upon what looked like a tomb. It’s a hidden temple underneath the ground. It looked ancient, as if no one has inhabited this place for thousands of years. The two of them decide to press on further. They discover another opening along the side of the wall. Another entrance?
“Let’s make this quick, my boy! I’m starting to get a bad feeling about this.” urged Vincencio.
“You and me both!” Isaac replied.

~ ~ ~

Could this be the place we’re looking for? As we get deeper, I could feel the air grow colder. I wonder if my uncle notices the slight change. I can’t truly explain any of this, but now I’m positive it has something to do with these six artifacts and the guild that protects them. Just how twisted is my family and ancestors into all of this?

This power I’m feeling, it’s intoxicating. It’s taking over me. I can feel myself growing darker and the fact that I don’t know the answer to my family’s demise isn’t helping. I just want to burst out into a vengeful cry and attack everything! AAAGGGGHHHH!! I’m not sure what’s coming over me, but this isn’t a good sign. I must find the answers before it’s too late.

Just as Isaac finishes that thought, a shadowy figure appears and speaks. “I’ve been expecting you. Welcome to the Hidden Hill Temple.”

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