So unusual were my actions during those days since, after all, what is expected when performing combat training is to increase the force exerted in the attacks. However, I strove to achieve the opposite.
My training was divided in two ways. The first was the attack.
At the beginning, I focused on slowly moving one of my arms forward. Calmly, without haste, I would stretch it just as I would when throwing a punch, and the movement was completed when I felt the roughness of the tree bark on my fist. After that, I would repeat the same with the other.
I repeated the same movements over and over again for hours. I did it to get used to controlling the force I used with each of my strokes. Therefore, I started from the lowest and easiest to gradually climb the difficulty scale.
The slow and weak punches that I practiced for so long the next day became a little faster, and when I was about to spend a week since I started, I could do them while moving, running, and jumping all over the place.
I didn’t even care where I put my feet while training. I didn’t do it despite that sometimes I almost fell due to tree roots, as I wanted to learn to keep myself under control no matter what situation I was in.
All this I did for half of each day because the rest of the time, I trained myself to be able to dodge without hesitation.
Many were the methods I tried in order to improve, but since I was alone in it, I could not find a truly useful one. So, in the end, I had to settle for doing it the rough way. That is, I started to train myself by throwing dozens of small stones upwards and, after waiting for them to be a few centimeters away from hitting me in the head, dodging them.
Needless to say, it was evidently not possible for me to control the trajectory of all of those, which is why many of them fell far away from me, and few were the ones that really helped me to practice. Moreover, I was also aware that even if I learned to dodge such stones blindfolded, I would not be able to do the same with those blows coming from the front.
However, I still went ahead with it because I had a goal.
My objective was not to become more adept at dodging what I threw. No, what I wanted was to create a balance between my instincts and my thoughts. After all, since I possessed a similar or even better body than the other boys, it was clear that I also had as much talent as they did.
Therefore, the motive, because I could not or did not even dare to dodge attacks, was due to my mind, for the logic I brought from my past life with me prevented my movements from being made with complete freedom.
In short, I was training to overcome the fear of missing a dodge…
Anyway, it is worth noting that my efforts not only met my expectations but exceeded them, as in my next fight, which occurred eight days after the previous one, my victory was overwhelming.
The beginning of such a fight, contrary to the second one, took place in the morning, minutes before the sun rose, because the giant showed up at that time, perhaps not wanting to wait for my return from my practice on the hill. Fortunately, the darkness was not an obstacle for us, as our eyes could see through it.
Walking, I arrived at the clearing while my new opponent, again, came after me flying through the air.
Undistracted by other thoughts, I fixed my gaze on him, waiting for him to stand up. Then, when he did, I immediately saw him running toward me.
As he came to my side, as usual, hook punches were thrown at me. That was, in fact, a bit unexpected, as I thought they would have learned to fight differently by then. In the end, they had seen my moves on two occasions.
However, unlike previous occasions, that time, I did not cover myself from the blows but dodged them. I didn’t even raise my arms, even though the ideal was to place them in the same position as boxers do, for at the cost of taking some damage, I used that opportunity to grow.
All the punches aimed at my head were dodged, and only a couple hit my arms, which were lying on my sides.
They hurt, as expected they did, but the gain I got from it far outweighed the suffering.
For a few minutes, I kept dodging incessantly, without doing anything more than that, but when I saw that he, who with his deep breaths seemed to be tired, was about to pounce on me to grab me, I used that other thing that I had perfected with so much effort.
With my left fist, I threw a blow to his chin.
He dodged it and, with his hand on the same side, he tried to grab my arm.
I wouldn’t let him. I couldn’t let him hold me, so I threw another punch at him.
Again, he dodged it, and then, full of annoyance, with a blow, he attacked me.
Then, moving my body backward, I avoided it.
Guiltily, I must admit that at the time, during that confrontation, I was very excited. At the end of the day, that was, without a doubt, the first genuine fight I had ever experienced in both of my two lives.
Like a wild dance, attack after attack was launched, and likewise, they were dodged. A few blows connected, but due to his fatigue and my holding back, none of them brought much damage to us. Gradually, however, his bruises and exertions took their toll.
After a while, he no longer had the same energy he had shown in the beginning. He looked exhausted, worn out, and about to fall at any moment. Moreover, his attacks no longer had any weight behind them, and his body no had the agility to dodge my punches. So, in a gesture of kindness from my side, I decided to end the fight right then and there.
After increasing, without exaggerating, the force in my left fist, I hit him in the chin with it, which caused him to roll his eyes and knocked him to the ground.
I won. I easily defeated him.
I was happy since, at last, I had not gone too far with my attacks because I had not taken anyone’s life. So much was my joy that small tears were about to come out of my eyes, but before they did, I wiped them with my sweaty palms, for I didn’t want anyone to see me cry.
It was all over, now I could go to breakfast, and then I would go to the hill to train. Besides, in the future, I could gain the respect of the other children and make them follow me without the need to have bloody fights between us. Things would get better… or so I thought briefly before reality spit in my face.
Without having enough time to react, perhaps because I was distracted or the movement was faster than my eyes could see, a heavy blow hit me in the stomach.
The giant that had forced me to fight, who until recently had been under the shadows of the trees, had come to my side.
Dazed, surprised, but mostly sore, I threw up the leftover food, which had been left in my stomach from yesterday’s meal, covered with blood, before falling to my knees on the ground, face to face with the boy who had fainted due to my punch.
In a state of semi-consciousness, when I was about to faint from the damage I had received, I began to ask myself why. Why had he attacked me? However, before delving into my memories in search of an answer, something happened that, to this day, I have not been able to forget, even in my dreams.
The giant, my aggressor, approached where we both lay and, after placing his foot covered by a metal boot a few centimeters from my head, he dropped his large, heavy sword in front of him with the tip pointing downward
Then, a neck was cut, a head was severed from its body, and blood splattered on the floor, as well as my face, up to my mouth, which was slightly open so I could breathe.
Once more, the one against whom I had fought died. Although, on that occasion, it was not my fault.
I should say that, fortunately, I didn’t throw up when I suffered such a terrible experience, but I don’t want to, as I don’t think it’s fair to say that I was lucky during that event.
To make matters worse, he didn’t let things end like that, for without letting me lose consciousness, he took one of my arms with his hand, and while walking towards the cave, he dragged me along the floor.
I was forcibly carried down the corridor. When I thought I was about to faint, the pain I felt from the wounds suffered in my legs and stomach woke me up. With my eyes, I saw a blurry landscape, one where the most remarkable thing in it was the thin red line that was slowly getting further and longer with each yard I advanced.
The trip ended in two different ways when we arrived at the meat and soup buffet. After throwing myself forward, until I crashed my back on one of the stone tables where the food was served, the giant left. Then, when I was finally released, my body could not take it anymore, so, having coughed up a little blood, my eyes closed and did not open again until the next day.
However, even in unconsciousness, I can remember being fed by soft, slender hands.
Who was it? I don’t know, but I would like to believe that the one who did it was that girl with whom I have tried so hard to befriend.