Rise of Dorn
Rise of an Emperor Series
This is the tale of Dorn Bruce. He will later become the father of Caleb Bruce and Captain of the President's Elite Guard. This prequel will follow this legends rise from the bottom, to become the most famous and feared warrior of his time.
No matter how hard he tried, William Defoe could not get his sequences right. He had memorized most of them over the many days of toil within the dojo confines.
It irked him to see the others grow in ability and confidence, as they all slowly mastered the six hundred movements that would make them the ultimate weapons.
‘Hey William, if you carry on like that you will injure someone.’
Fin laughed at his own jest. He had been watching Defoe practice and could not resist the barb that he knew would get his back up. To Defoe's credit he ignored the remark and carried on with attack sequence number sixty two.
It could have been his concentration being broken, or the fact that he was struggling to keep up with the others, which made him fall out of the intended jump. To his everlasting shame he fell flat on his face, landing hard on the training matt with a thud that made the others turn to see what had happened.
That was all too much for Fin, who was rolling up with laughter at his rival's misfortune. He had tried and tried to befriend Defoe at first. As he got to his feet with a rage that was colder than a winter's frost, he was truly glad he had not accepted that friendship. Defoe would only mix with people after all, if they were of a high birth family like himself. Or if someone could do something for him. Fin Donnelly fitted in neither category, and would now become the focus of his wrath.
‘You think that's funny do you peasant. The likes of you should not be sharing the same air as someone of my class breaths.’
Defoe had landed on his nose and blood covered his toned bare chest. It made his hateful features seem demonic. It did not worry Fin, who came back with his usual fast response.
‘In that case, If you would like a hanky or a tissue for your nose William, I’m afraid you will have to accommodate yourself. I don't think they have any silk ones in the infirmary. I have one I could have lent you, but it is just a mere rag for a nose as regal as yours.’
Defoe was fuming. He found in that moment he did not just dislike Fin. He hated him. The next words out of his mouth were spat with so much venom, even the jovial Donnelly became suddenly serious.
‘Me and you right now you lowborn scum.’
Kam and Dorn walked swiftly over to calm things down. Kam intervened, always the diplomat.
‘William, you will get kicked out if you fight without one of the Masters say so. Go and have a break, I’m sure Fin was just horsing around.’
Defoe spat a gob of blood at Fin’s feet. He did not even acknowledge what Kam had said, and ran at Fin with a murderous fury. The attack had happened with so much suddenness that Fin couldn't react in time, as Defoe dropped his shoulder and smashed him to the ground. Both were able fighters. But Defoe had cast away technique for spite and frenzy. He straddled Fin and rained down powerful blows to his face that burst into a crimson mask of blood.
Dorn was quick to intervene, and tried to grab the windmilling arms that were pounding into his friend with reckless abandon. Defoe was not quite finished with the object of his hatred. He had despised this joker beneath him. Fin would be sorry he dared get a rise out of him again.
He managed to shake off Dorn's vice like grip, his hands both free, groping for Fins exposed neck. Dorn placed his own arm around Defoe's throat, in an attempt to choke the attacker out, before he went too far.
Unfortunately, Fin was losing consciousness quickly, and was beginning to stop struggling, when a sudden kick came out of nowhere, landing square on Defoe’s already bleeding nose. The strike was so powerful, even Dorn was dazed by its force, and all three went tumbling into a heap. Defoe had his eyes closed but was breathing heavily from his exertion. Dorn had rolled backwards and was back on his feet with a slight bump rising on his forehead.
Kam stood over them all after delivering the blow that ended the fray. The sudden shock and violence was shocking. But all snapped to attention when they heard the commanding boom of their Master, who would surly punish them all for this complete breakdown of discipline.
‘What is the meaning of this Cadets!’
Shouted Tong from the upper gallery of the dojo. His pale robes made him stand out from the mahogany beams and uprights of the buildings construction. He did not bother to take the stairs. Instead he sprang over the banister falling two stories, and landed with a gentle bounce.
He said to no one in particular.
Only Kam and Dorn were physically able to answer the Master. Dorn portrayed what had happened. Tong listened, with an element of disgust on his face, as he told his tale. Once Dorn had finished he turned to Kam.
‘Is this true?’
‘Yes Master. It is true.’
Tong moved over to Fin then who had begun to stir and rise from his beating.
‘William; clean yourself up and then clean this floor of your blood. After that come and see me.
Well done to you two for your intervention in this sorry matter. It is by no means the way of a guardsmen. Now help Fin up and take him to the infirmary.’
They all did as they were told. Defoe’s features had lost the hatefulness that had boiled up so quickly within him. The only thing he was feeling now was concern. Concern not of what he had done. never that. It had felt wonderful to teach that low born a lesson in class. The concern he was feeling, was for his own hide and place within the guard. Tong looked away from him dismissively.
‘Dorn; when you and Kam have delivered young Donnelly. Return here and continue your sequences.’
Dorn was not surprised with Tong's command. He was even mildly relieved that He had been believed without question. Even after this mad incident, they would still have to work for their right to be called elite. They both bowed in understanding. Excepting that this was not a punishment. Kam, like himself were developing greatly. The sequences were becoming easier and easier with each day they drilled them. It was clear that after what had just happened, Defoe would not be joining them for the rest of the session.
Defoe scurried off, not looking back at the scene he had created. There would be no visit to the infirmary for him. Slinking back to his room to clean himself up, he should have been preparing to grovel at the feet of Tong and beg forgiveness for his rash behavior. But truth be told, all he could think about was how he would finish what he had started. After all, enemies needed to be finished off. Dorn and Kam had shown their hand in the confrontation, both siding with Donnelly. They would all pay for his humiliation, no matter what happened with Tong.
They would be sorry for crossing him. All of them.