The Halo Breed
THE HALO BREED
A WEEKEND STORY
Sena’s face could barely be seen.
He was a bundle of red blood and deep bruises as he lay in the corner unmoving. The ten fighters that formed the Horde moved towards the end of the arena and stood with their backs to the brutalized baby, and their cudgels in their right hands as they bowed with grim superiority to the Sage.
King Gus Kukah slowly sank to his knees and pressed his face against the upper walls of the arena so that he would not see the bloodied body of his son.
Queen Derbie saw the agony of her husband, and noticed how strongly he was weeping, and this shot through her heart. Halowan kings who saw their children beaten in the Duel would have nothing but disdain for their sons. They would quickly disown such a son and try to have a new son that would redeem them.
But not so King Gus Kukah, the human Halowan king.
He was in deep distress for his son, and this touched the heart of the queen. She stood up and rushed towards the king and bent to wrap her arms around him.
She saw Sage Simpson pointing his rod, and her heart screamed with fear because that would mean Sena was an outcast prince and not fit for the throne.
But, the Sage did not point down with his rod in the manner that suggested failure of the prince, but he was pointed beyond the Horde, as if telling them something was happening behind them.
Indeed, the watching crowd was now buzzing with sounds of wonder, not like the stunned sadness that had gripped them a few minutes previously.
Heart beating with fear, Queen Derbie turned and looked into the arena, and then she gasped with shock!
Baby Sena was on his feet, and his chin was low on his chest, but his eyes glowed a horrible red!
His baby clothes were bloodied, and there were horrible gashes on his body, but he was standing and looked mad indeed.
The Queen’s hands beat desperately on her husband’s shoulders.
“Gussy, Gussy, look!” she cried desperately.
Gus Kukah raised his tear-streaked face and peered over the edge of the arena, and when he saw his son standing up, he gasped with shock and got to his feet instantly.
“Stop this duel at once, Sage!” he cried grimly. “He’s not dead, damn it! Fail him, if you must, but let him come to me! If you kill him, I swear to you that I will tear you limb by limb with my own hands!”
The Sage paid no attention to him as his narrowed eyes remained fixed on the spectacle below. The ten attackers had turned and seen the prince standing.
With cold faces they began to spread out as they readied their cudgels.
Sena Kukah suddenly made a stunning circular movement as he swung his arms, and then he ended with his right foot smashing the ground and his left foot raised. His arms were spread wide, and his forefingers were pointing down.
“The Pika Stance!” the Sage murmured with wonder. “But…how possible! Who taught the prince the battle stance?”
“Shut up, you old fool!” Queen Derbie shouted angrily at the Sage. “He does not even walk! He crawls on the ground like a crab! Who can teach him a thing?”
“Galin!” the Sage whispered with great shock. “The Spirits move in him! The Scrolls speak of the spirit-taught warrior! I never believed I would live to see this day! Ah, he is the one!”
One of the attackers screamed and jumped into the air with his cudgel swinging downwards to smash into the little prince’s head.
Almost in slow motion Sena spun once to the side, and the cudgel smashed harmlessly into the ground. Sena was still spinning, and the edge of his pudgy hand smashed into the shoulder blade of his attacker in a chopping manner.
The attacker screeched as his shoulder dislocated.
Sena stepped across the young boy’s body with a yell and jumped into the air as two attackers came down towards him. His leg smashed into the ribs of the attacker in the lead, cracking up the boy’s ribs. The edge of his hand smashed into the throat of the second attacker, and the boy fell down hard and began to retch.
“Gods of Densua!” King Gus Kukah whispered as he stood up fully, awed and absolutely flummoxed at what he was seeing.
“Our son!” Queen Derbie said proudly and wiped tears from her eyes. “We thought he was a weakling, but he is reflecting the strength of the spirits, the only prince ever to do so! All of them, included my father, were man-taught!”
King Gus Kukah could only watch with disbelief as the baby – a mere baby – moved in that arena like a spirit. He was barely discernible now as he moved with lithe grace and fluid mastery, evading attacks and stepping inside with wicked counter attacks.
His fists moved with precision, landing horrible blows on the attackers as their cudgels flew harmlessly around him. And then Gus Kukah noticed something else too…
Sena was not hitting them to kill!
The Horde had attacked to kill, but the prince was smashing debilitating blows and attack thrusts that caused them great pain and rendered them incapable of fighting.
Finally, it was left with the bald-headed leader of the Horde whose face was painted with white calico chalk. He screamed and rushed at Sena. He leaped high and swung the cudgel around with sheer power.
Sena waited until the cudgel was almost on his head, and then he slid forward under the arc of the cudgel and slammed his foot down on the side of the attacker’s knee, effectively dislocating the knee. He pivoted and slammed his little fist into the boy’s solar plexus with such devastating force that the attacker crashed down with a great scream of pain.
And there he stood, the Halo Breed, all bloodied and panting with his chin down on top of his chest, his fists hard and round, his eyes red with sheer fury as he glared up at the Sage.
And around him, lying and moaning and unable to move, were ten trained assassins!
“Heavens!” Gus Kukah said softly. “What have you bastards turned my son into?”
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