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   Chapter 14 No.14

The Book of Deacon By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 4971

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:03

"Now, clearly those were not the most ideal years one could hope for, but after I turned ten, things found a way to become remarkably worse. The old man who had protected me for so long died. His body was not even in the ground when the others proved once and for all that he had indeed been my savior for all of those years. They showed me what they thought of my kind in no uncertain terms.

"I was forced to run away and go into hiding. As much as my differences had seemed a curse before, they began to show their blessing side when I was faced with life in the forest for months at a time. This nose may not win me any friends, but it can sniff out a rabbit half a forest away, that is for sure. It was years before I set foot in a town again--at least, during the day. I had managed to sneak into farmhouses and such to steal an easy meal on occasion, but I never let anyone see me.

"To this day I wonder what made me decide to return to the world that had chased me away. I suppose the human in me has as much say in what I do as the fox, because one day I wandered into a small town. What was it named?. . . Bero. Well, I looked about as you would expect after years in the woods. I was wearing barely a shred of clothes, absolutely filthy. My hair was about so long, " he remarked, indicating shoulder-length with his hand. "and a knotty, matted mess. As a matter of fact, I have yet to cut it since that day, so somewhere among these tresses are the very same locks I wore on

easure as it is a matter of combating the enemy. Here and there, particularly in the north, arenas can be found. People gather there to watch various fighters clash in the name of entertainment, " he said.

"I have heard of those places, " Myranda said with a sneer.

"Well, it is in those places that I earn a living, " he said.

"You earn a wage by beating others to death?" Myranda said, shocked.

"No, no. Not to death. We would run short of fresh talent rather quickly if that was the case, what with the army offering the same opportunities for far greater prestige. No, our matches last until the other fighter, or fighters, either submit or are unable to continue. When I fight, I wear a helmet with a face mask that completely conceals my face. Needless to say, a faceplate with a snout draws a bit of attention, but I have led the crowd to believe I am a man pretending to be a beast to gain a psychological edge over my opponents, " Leo explained.

"Clever, " she said.

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