Synopsis: A fast-paced story about a youngster who loses everything and everyone he holds dear. Through the only family that still remains with him, his uncle, he gets to choose to dedicate his focus and attention to blacksmithing rather than to fall into depression and street life...
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“Welcome!” King Aled said with a smile and open arms. Before him were the two knights that had made their bet on siding with him after Duke Rotleach had died. As soon as they had met up with Rotleach’s army, all of the nobles travelling with their troops gathered to watch things unfold.
Braydon himself stood beside Rhydian and Cinar watching how things would go. Before the pair of knights had entered the tent, he could hear slightly uneasy murmurs from the northeastern lords. They would have much less influence on who things were done if Duke Rotleach’s army was to be added to the equation. By now it was common knowledge among their faction that Duke Rotleach had died, and Braydon was sure that if it was not known by the other factions already then it soon would be.
“We thank you for accepting our offer.” Both knights saluted as one of them spoke. They were clearly still highly strung, if they had any disagreements with the men before them, then it was likely that things would fall apart for them. Now that they were there, it was much harder for them to back out.
“No, no, your offer helped me much more than it helps you. It is a shame that Duke Rotleach died such an ignominious death.” The King responded, clearly taking silent jabs. To those that knew him, it was obvious that he was enjoying this situation. Braydon was almost certain that King Aled was trying to anger the two men before him.
“Sire, we only ask that you keep your end of the bargain.” The knight who had yet to speak spoke through gritted teeth, his companion holding a similarly upset expression. They had understood the King’s intention all too well but they were not really in any position to do otherwise. If King Aled refused to help them, it was only a matter of time before somebody else tried to attack them. And Duke Tetland was blocking the way home.
“Oh I make sure to uphold my alliances.” Aled responded with a grim smile. With that he nodded to his own knights that had been standing nearby. They immediately took the signal and started to surround the pair, swords drawn.
“What is the meaning of this?!” “You traitor!” If they had been angry about the King’s comments before, then they were absolutely livid now. As soon as they had been surrounded they had drawn their own swords but they were clearly outnumbered.
“Oh, you can hardly call me a traitor. If I recall correctly it was your liege who agreed to help Duke Burn in his efforts to usurp my throne. And whom did you ask to save you?” The King was quite frankly amazed that they had not thought of this when they were asking for his allegiance. If he had been in their position, he would have gone to Duke Ryder.
Before they could express their anger any further, the King’s knights moved in to subdue them. The pair stood back to back ready to take on their opponents in a last ditch effort. They knew that even if they somehow managed to defeat all of the nights surrounding them, there were more than enough nobles who could move in to attack them as well. But that did not mean that they would go down without a fight.
“Hurry up with it, we are expecting an important guest tomorrow. I want to prepare for his arrival.” The King commented as he watched their futile struggle. Duke Tetland would arrive and he wanted to have the army that had been dropped onto his lap in order before then.
The first of the King’s knights took a swipe at the pair but was easily blocked. That did not deter the several knights behind him who took turns swinging at them, giving them no chance to make attacks of their own.
“You are all scum!” The second knight shouted in the general direction of the King and the lords who stood watching the show. His momentary distraction only gained him a blow to the side that almost knocked him off of his feet. Had he not been wearing armour, he was sure that it would have killed him outright.
“Ha Ha, maybe you should have persuaded your precious master to not get involved then. He would have been able to keep his life at the least.” King Aled did not take their words very seriously. He was not exactly going to take moral advice from the knights of an enemy. Not when they had been acting entirely out of self interest themselves.
“Hrgh!” The first knight did not speak but he was equally as infuriated as his companion, having grown tired of just defending, he took a momentary lull in the onslaught to make an attack of his own. After the last man swung, instead of blocking, he parried and sent his sword at the throat of his opponent.
“ARgh…” Just as he was about to piece the man’s throat, an attack came from behind. He looked down to see a bloody blade piercing through his stomach. He slowly turned his head to see that his compatriot lay on the ground unconscious having taken a blow to the head. Instead place was one of the King’s men, holding the sword that had just run him through.
He felt himself losing the strength to hold his sword dropping it on the grass. Not long after, the sword that had ended the fight was withdrawn from his stomach, letting him fall to the ground alongside his companion.
“Well they did not disappoint. Make sure that he lives long enough for Duke Tetland to remove his head. That is part of the agreement.” The King looked down at the crumpled knights shaking his head. They could have saved themselves but they had delivered themselves to him instead. And he was not about to miss out on the opportunity that was provided.