Chapter 2 CheckmateWho can say how I will face the many trials to come? The blood of Conand’s body has been painted on Bernard’s hands, subtracting one more knight that could stand in my way Frederyk thought to himself as he walked into the courtyard. There stood King Jacob’s statue, another example of his vanity.
Frederyk went over the events of the morning, which he received from one of his spies. The King arose from his chambers seething with unbridled fury. He marched into Bernard’s prison and had him beheaded without trial. This was the king’s last mistake; the one that would make his death acceptable.
He entered the king’s chambers with the usual quiet steps. Frederyk took in the colors: his robes were crimson silk, and were lined with a golden border. His eyes blended with the color of his robes. The demon in him was now shown upon his face.
“Frederyk, my last faithful knight, your protection is needed. Last night Bernard slaughtered Conand, I had him executed early this morning. Today I need to knight their apprentices in order to keep the knights at three in central Adenia.”
“It would seem you are busy this morning, I hear you did not even let Bernard speak before you executed him.”
“You are correct Frederyk. What are you getting at?”
“His family was the last one I needed to join my side before I could successfully venture to overthrow you Jacob,”
“You will address your king with respect, first of all. And overthrow me? I do believe that is a very bad decision. I must ask you to reconsider. My family has had the throne for seven generations, who will allow this to happen?” Jacob replied calmly.
“You are not my king. You have not been my king since Julie died. You killed her, because she wouldn’t love you the way she loved me. She had a sense of morals, she had a sense of faith. You painted her image as a sorcerer of the Devil in the minds of the Pope, and got permission to kill her. I was the one with “sorcerers” powers, I was the one who could kill you with my mind. The people who have seen your wrongs are the people who will rise against you; trust me there are plenty.” Frederyk raised his hand in the direction of his statue busts; it levitated a foot off the ground, emitting a black aura. Frederyk proceeded to drop it, with a resounding crash. ”But in this case you are the demon and you will be ended, Jacob. Your tyranny is over. I will avenge my wife and I will turn the people who matter against you. Your death is imminent.”
“So why don’t you kill me now and take the crown, like you so dream?” Jacob inquired, voice cool and measured.
“You are not very smart are you Jacob?” Frederyk raised his voice. “I don’t want your filthy crown, in fact I don’t care if I drop dead the second the day comes. I want you to face the pain I did, but you don’t have a heart, so I will take away the only thing you love: your kingdom. I will keep taking away from you until you beg for death, and it will come to you nice and slow.”
“Well if we are playing this game I swear I will win. My position is undesirable and my opponent is swift, but I am glad you told me I was actually playing.”
“Well said, Jacob. I shall now leave you to think of your next move.”
He was distracted from his reading by a knock on the door. This was the king’s move and it was not a good one. The door busted in and Frederyk knelt to the king’s new men.
“What is the need for your presence in my house?
“We are here on behalf of the king—he has sent us for your arrest.”
“I don’t think you should take me in,” said Frederyk, his eyes once again red, voice mesmerizing. “You do know that the king will betray you. Look how Bernard and Conand ended up.” Frederyk then noticed that the knights were intentionally avoiding his gaze
“I told them of your ability given to you by the Devil. They will not be hypnotized,” the king announced as he entered the room. “Checkmate, Frederyk.”
“On the contrary. This game is not over.”
“I am meeting with the Pope and I swear you will be executed within a fortnight! I swear you will die!”
“Don’t lose your head too early Jacob; I would hate to not be able to kill you myself.”
“Take him away. Now!” Jacob barked. “I do not to share the company of this demon any longer.” Two of the new knights grabbed Frederyk as he was whipped by another one. Every fiery blow that connected intensified his hatred, but he knew he must contain it, for Julie’s sake.
A period of twelve days had passed since Frederyk was arrested, and Isabella knew that the time had come to help lead the rebellion. She moved like a spirit, as she had seen Frederyk do many times before. Frederyk’s house was ordered not to be entered until after his trial. Not even guards could enter, making it the most obvious place to hide his armor and blade. She could now understand why Frederyk had chosen her brother. He was strong, having fought in the Crusades. John and Frederyk had been planning this for a year and half, and now it was time to actually execute it. She departed the cold, empty house, knowing that if all went well this house would never be used again. Isabella moved swiftly, understanding that if she were caught she would be beaten and arrested, and Frederyk stressed that he did not want her to be imprisoned. In about an hour, John was suited in the finest armor in all of Europe and he was ready to rise against the king.
The fire started in the largest farmland, as serfs gathered up there scythes and knives. The men towards the middle had swords that were brought home from battle, and on the front lines archers stood with stolen cross bows, all led by John. The king’s men rode in on alabaster horses and at the far end there was a catapult being loaded. The archers drew their crossbows with the skill of the knights and fired. The knights’ deaths were clean and painless, the arrows connecting with their throats, stomachs, or eyes. John approached the statue of King Jacob that stood directly below the king’s window and swung his gauntlet in the direction of the statues head, knocking it off into the hands of the serfs who were all screaming “Death to the king!”, then to the hands of the king’s servants who tossed the head into the great lake below.
The king stood and watched his seemingly loyal servants causing anarchy; they were being led by Frederyk. The demon was again ravishing the land. But how? He was still in prison!
“Jared, James! Go down to Frederyk’s chamber, if he is there kill him.” King Jacob shouted at his new knights.
“It shall be done.” The knights rushed off, swords in hand, to their destination of death.
The door to his chamber creaked open. Frederyk always expected light to blind him, and make his escape that much harder. But it was still dark, as Frederyk had gotten used to in the past twelve nights. Two people walked forward, pawns of the king.
“Jacob does not want to witness my execution.” Frederyk spoke. His eyes were still closed; he did not even examine his enemies. He did not have the strength to think, just kill.
“King Jacob is busy dealing with the riot happening in the courtyard,” one knight explained. As they moved closer, the other knight pondered something that even the king could not figure out.
“If you are here, how are you causing anarchy in the courtyard?” They moved closer, poised to kill.
“Ask God, when you see him in heaven.” Still blind, he lashed out with his feet. His first blow collided with the ear of one of his executioners. The blood loss soon knocked him unconscious. Jared, now afraid of Frederyk, thrust his blade at him. Sensing the blow, Frederyk swung his foot around Jared’s neck and slammed his head into the unforgiving wall that stood behind him.
The rusted chains snapped from all of the movement, as Frederyk knew they would. His last moments under Jacob’s rule were coming to an end.
Time was running long, and his knights had yet to return. Jacob approached his throne. Hanging above it was a blade. Grabbing it, he began to wonder if the time really had come. Was death really unavoidable? He glanced out of his window for one final look at his kingdom. Within minutes he looked up once more, right as the door opened. Death had arrived.
“Good afternoon Frederyk, I’ve been expecting you for quite some time.” King Jacob spoke in complete monotone.
“I can see that Jacob. The blade you are holding means you believe in some sort of mystical sorcery. Or maybe you have unraveled my byzantine plot; you have a right to believe it either way.
“You are a sorcerer just like your wife, evil flows through your pores and you are able to do things that no man of God can possibly do.”
“You are correct in some ways Jacob; I can do things that you cannot even dream of…” He paused as he laid his blade upon the ground. “I do have power, but I tell you I am no Pagan.” He raised his hand up in a slow steady motion; as he did so Jacob rose off the ground.
“Your wife deserved to die; you are both spawns of the Devil.” Jacob ranted in fear.
“Don’t you ever say such a thing about Julie.” He flung Jacob into the wall. As he connected Jacob let out a cry.
“Evilness is upon me; Lord spare me my life, please.” Jacob prayed.
“No, you are the evil one,” Frederyk snarled. “You had men and women executed without reason. Your days as king have been corrupt and unjust, and today you will receive judgment before God.” With a slight movement of Frederyk’s fingers, the hand that wielded Jacob’s blade was now upon his throat. “I could kill you right now Jacob, but here is a show of mercy. I shall fight you, without the aid of my powers.” He lowered Jacob to his feet and looked him in the eyes.
“I will win,” Jacob said softly, as Frederyk retrieved his blade from the ground. Frederyk nodded.
“Your move.” Jacob swiped the blade quickly at Frederyk’s throat. Stepping back, Frederyk quickly examined his opponent’s fighting style along with body dimensions and lunged forward, knowing he would miss. As Jacob made an attempt to parry Frederyk brought his knee up into Jacob’s diaphragm. He took several steps back, colliding with the window. Frederyk took several punches at Jacob, connecting every time. With one instinctive movement he avoided the next blow. Frederyk’s gauntlet shattered the window behind Jacob. Frederyk was suddenly hit with a severe blow to the face that nearly broke his nose. Looking down, he saw Isabella standing under the rain of glass, away from the riot.
“Isabella, no, move out of the way!” Frederyk yelled to his beloved. Isabella dived, not knowing what was happening, and barely managed to avoid the downpour of glass. She looked up at the window to see Frederyk and a bloody Jacob. It was almost over. During the time that Frederyk was distracted by Isabella, Jacob unsheathed the poison knife that he had slept with for the past twelve days, fearing that Frederyk would kill him in his sleep. Frederyk turned back to prepare for any blows that Jacob would land. Jacob threw his knife, hitting the mark point blank. Frederyk gazed around, confused, not knowing where the knife had hit. Jacob walked to the window and turned around slowly to face Frederyk.
“Checkmate.” He leaned back falling out of the shattered window to the cold ground below.