Bloodied katana in hand and wounds all across his body, Ryan fell to his knees. In all of the kingdom there was no one who could defeat him. Not a single enemy he has ever faced beaten him in combat, and somehow he managed to stay unknown except for the special few who he could call, friends. He did not have different alias', nor did he hide the fact that he was a warrior. There were just no survivors. Every time he was challenged, he ultimately ended up killing them, except, of course, for the times he would go training with his friends, and another trainee would come up to challenge the “weakling” that stood before them. Ryan was not small, but he certainly did not look the strongest either. He was clumsy, air headed at times, and all together seemingly oblivious, but with all these things that should make a horrid warrior, Ryan, was one of the best, and had never been defeated except by the one who trained him, the one who had the patience to teach the unteachable creature, humanity. Today however was different, because today he battled himself. His wants, desires, and emotions formed itself into a perfect copy of himself, and it hit him hard.
The two had parried, sliced, jumped, ducked, and hit all at the same time, there was no way to avoid the attacks that left him open, and those attacks created the scars he would soon wear. For every slash that hit his ghostly double took, he received one as well. It was as if his body and his soul were fighting each other, here in the very depths of the dark forest that was oftentimes his favorite place to sit and think in reclusion from society. At one point, Ryan shot what could be called shards of ice at his clone from the palm of his hand, to which his misty image replied by sending a ball of fire, the very fire that fueled his passions, into the shards causing an explosive amount of energy to push both of them back in opposite directions. If anyone had been watching, they would have thought that it became a battle of good and evil, but if dreams, desires, and emotions, are good, then was the clone the good guy?
Ryan fell onto the dirtied earth and dropped his sword, blood now flowing over his eyes making it hard see. The fight had been long. So often the warrior is told to harness their anger, to allow no emotion in battle because it affects judgment, but these very same disciplines seem to have limited him from defeating himself. He could see it in the ghostly eyes of his clone. The double raised his sword, turned it upside down, and stabbed downwards. Ryan closed his eyes preparing for the strike, but none came. When he ventured to open his eyes again he was surprised by what he saw. The very sword he had dropped when he fell in defeat, was sticking strait out of the ground, and the double was nowhere to be seen. The only true evidence of his battle were the stripes of red painted all across his body, which were now soaking the soft floor where he lay. And there he laid for what seemed like an eternity, unwilling to move, unable to think, just weeping incessantly, unable to stop, sobbing wretchedly; and he let the tears come. For too long had he held them in, too long had he hidden his sadness and his pain; and then, he screamed. He screamed so loud and long that his voice became scratchy, and his energy was completely wasted, and it was there, drained as he was, that the only woman he had ever loved so deeply and passionately as he did, found him.
Without saying a word she came alongside him, helped him stand, and took him to a natural made bench where they sat in silence. Her care for him was so moving to the observer that it would bring anyone to tears. She never said a word to him, but merely put her arms around him, kissing him gently, and humming quietly. Ryan had never told her, but the very song she always hummed was the one he loved the most since his childhood, and it always soothed the giant he felt resided inside him. Today the giant had reared his head, and Ryan had lost.
The return journey would seem like an eternity, and many more battles would await Ryan as he walked the path known as life. The double would reappear from time to time, and each time Ryan's love, his passion, his “Angel” would come alongside him, and help him up. The life of Ryan has many more stories that could be told, but this particular tale is at an end, the rest must be saved for another chapter, another day, another moment in life, when things sometimes make the least sense. That is when tales of Ryan come around again, and that is when courage is instilled in the hearts of men.