First draft. Would love to hear some critique! Dialouge is very rough, and will be changed soon- i kinda just wanted to get out the rough draft. Not sure if it's okay that the story isn't told from Yasuo's pov.
The afternoon sun beat down from high above the Ionian countryside. It was a hot summer’s day, and the only sound that permeated the fields was the wind in the crops, and the soft pitter-pat of young feet. Katu had decided: he was running away from home. He had taken his homemade wooden sword, a mighty weapon (at least to him), and a light lunch which felt heavier every minute he walked. He was thinking that it might be time to release his burden when a voice pierced the quiet. “Aren’t you a little young to be out on the road?” Katu jumped in surprise, then made what he imagined a tough face would look like. He turned to face the voice, and the wind changed. “Hey, watch your tone! I'm going to become a great hero, and save Ionia from the dirty Noxians!” The man wore blue robes, and carried a long blade by his side. Under a cowl, he had a warrior’s hairstyle, albeit an overgrown one. “Wait, are you a soldier?”
“A soldier?” The man chuckled. “No, not quite. Where are your parents, little one? What’s your name?”
“I’m Katu, and my parents- well... my father says we’re farmers, and we shouldn’t try to change that. That’s stupid, right? I think that--”
“Your father is a wise man- the sword’s poor company for a long road.”
What did that mean?
“To belong is a precious thing. If you truly think your place is with the army, I’ll help you along.” His voice hardened. “Just know that it may not be a happy journey.”
Katu devoured the vegetables and meat the man had bought for him. It was no great meal, but the mushy gruel that his mother usually prepared was no substitute for this. Despite his oddities, the man had sort of grown on Katu- mostly because of the free food. As the pair left, a group of soldiers, imbibed with weapons and liquor walked by. The man stepped out of their way, bowing low out of respect. One of the soldiers spoke in a drunken outburst, “Hey you! We're looking for an outlaw- and you look like the kind of person who would supplant us with knowledge.” His compatriots all roared with laughter, and Katu had faith his new friend would beat them senseless for that disrespect. He waited smugly.
“I’m sorry, I cannot help. I wish you luck finding him.” The man apologized, of all things! Katu wanted to yell at them for him, but the man put a firm hand on his shoulder and lead him outside. Maybe the man was a bandit- or worse, a coward! After all, a true warrior would surely have stood up for his honor. Katu decided to leave the coward he had been traveling with, and ran back inside the inn.
Two lunches in one day, and katu still had the one he packed! This was great! The soldiers asked him where he came from, but Katu was sure he could make them believe his father had actually let him off to join the army. They drank and sang, and drank more. They talked almost endlessly of their bravery, and feats in battle against the Noxians, and Katu knew they had to be telling the truth. They asked Katu who his friend was and where he was going, and Katu replied that he was some coward who he barely knew. He gave the soldiers a direction, and they staggered to their feet and rushed out of the inn. ‘What nice people!’ Katu thought.
But… what if they were going to hurt his friend? He might be a coward, but he did buy lunch. Katu knew the man would need his help, so he hurried off after the soldiers. They had left only 10 minutes before Katu, so he knew he would catch up. As he ran, the gentle breeze became more and more rough.
Until it wasn’t.
Katu stopped, staring, unable to comprehend the scene before him. The soldiers’ mangled bodies were strewn across the field, limbs and blades as cleanly separated from their owners as a crop might be harvested. Seemingly untouched by the chaos, one man was standing in the center. His tattered blue robes sharply contrasted the blood surrounding him. The coward. The man turned and spoke, eyes as hard as steel. Katu could not hear what he said. The cold fingers of fear had already grasped his heart. If the man would do that to his own country’s soldiers, what would he do to Katu?
Yasuo asked the wind to clean his blade, and it answered, as always. Every kill was another burden upon his soul, and these unnecessary deaths didn’t help. He had even lost the child he was trying to guide. His brows furrowed. It was shaping up to be a bad day. Suddenly, he heard a rustle behind him. Another soldier? He twisted around fast as lightning, ready to strike, and saw only Katu, wide eyed and slack jawed. Yasuo relaxed. “I was getting worried without my backup-” he started, but the boy had already dropped his sword, running back the way he came, towards his assuredly boring fate.
It appeared as if a peasant’s life was not so bad after all.
- Telling the story from someone else’s POV is okay, but you change the focus from one person (Katu) to another (Yasuo). I suggest you stay loyal to one of them. If you want the readers to know what your characters are thinking, you can still use third-person narration and achieve your goal.
- I think you should at least give a hint that ‘the man’ is Yasuo (he could introduce himself to Katu at the beginning). Because his name appears randomly at the beginning of a paragraph, we need to read the rest of it in order to understand that ‘the man’ and Yasuo are in fact the same person.
- I liked it when Katu got scared and left the scene at the end, considering he was the one who called Yasuo a coward.
- I think you did a good job with the characters. We can see what kind of people they are. Nothing weird stands out.
- Question: Why did Yasuo decide to help Katu all of a sudden? Did Yasuo remember his childhood?