Knights of Lygaia

February 29, 2012
By Kenrichi, Jacksonville, Florida
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Kenrichi, Jacksonville, Florida
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Favorite Quote:
Living is not breathing, but doing.
Life is a miracle, but to waste it is a curse.
Good and evil doesn't exist without a creator.

Author's note: The thing that inspired me to write this was the adventures that most knights had in medieval times; although an exaggerated story I'm sure it will be interesting.

Knights of Lygaia

My ancestors were created by god and they named the land that god created them on Lygaia, or at least that’s what the legend says. The legend also tells how my ancestors fought over land; thus creating war. The ones who still controlled there land called them fiefdoms, since all of them acknowledged that god gave them their kingdom only to be a steward. People protecting these fiefs are known as knights, and that is the only part of the story I particularly like.
Ever since I was a kid I admired one thing and that is being a knight. From the shiny army to the way they walk. When I get enough money I’m going to buy a sword, and with that I'm going to help everyone I see. Thinking of all these things my uncle walks by in a snooping manner.
"Tristen what are you doing?" He asked with a worried tone.
"I'm thinking about how badly I want to be a knight."
"Well you know some things just aren't possible in this world. I think you should give up that unrealistic dream." He said with a very firm tone.

"I don't want to here that crap!" I screamed. "I know it's going to be tough, but I will be one!" Not being able to hold back my emotions I said all that without thinking. Now that I look at my Uncle's face I realize that he's on the verge of crying. He isn't the type to do something so emotional, so now I'm feeling guilty.

"If this is what you truly want, then I won't stop
you." He said while turning around to leave the door.

I couldn't take the atmosphere he left inside the room, like a snake choking it's prey, I couldn't even breath stably. So I ran out the small hut we lived in. I ran all the way to the town’s square. The village we lived in was small and a very uneventful place. But in the Town Square there are a lot of shops where they sell different items like, food clothing, and my personal favorite swords. Walking inside the blacksmith’s shop, hanging from the wall I see a large inventory of swords, axes, spears, and bows. Behind the counter stood the tall, burly, barbarian, Orca the blacksmith. “What can I do for you, boy with no money?” he said sarcastically, but with painful truth behind it.
Approaching him I said, “Maybe if you didn’t say such things I might buy something.”
“If you bought something I would give you an extra weapon of your choice!” he exclaimed while laughing.
“If that happened I definitely would be set to be a knight.” I said feeling bad.
With a serious look in his eye he said, “Being a knight is more about weapons, it’s about looking after your loved ones, and protecting your fief.”
“I know that Orca, but without a sword I can’t protect anyone. But I won’t give up on being a knight.” I said, but every time I come in here I feel as though my chances of being a knight become less and less.
“It’s good that you won’t give up, if only more young people like you existed, there wouldn’t be so many beggars that exist.”
“Sorry, but I have to go earlier than usual.”
“Alright make sure you become a knight soon, it’s about time Lygaia had a change.” He said while waving me goodbye. I hope to make that change one day. Exiting the blacksmith’s shop, I notice a man I’ve never seen before walk aimlessly around the Town Square.
“Can I help you?” I asked as casually as I could.
With one quick glance he made a devilish grin, but maybe it’s my imagination. “You can, do you know of any knights in this place?” He must be in dire need if he needs a knight.
“We don’t have any…” I admitted “but if you can use me I will be more than willing to help.”
“Excellent!” he said. “When can you leave the village?” he asked as if people leave villages with strangers on a daily basis.
“I don’t know I have to check with my Uncle. Where will we be going?”
“Unsettled land of course. If you come with me you can be a knight of the round table for our new fief.” When he said that I couldn’t believe my ears. God must be looking out for me now. All these years that’s all I ever wanted to be, and now someones asking me not just to be a knight, but a round table knight. Round table knights are the highest knights, and they serve directly under the ruler.
“Where should I meet you at, and when?”
“Now since my caravan and I caravan are leaving very soon, we will meet on the outskirts of town.”
“Ok I will tell my Uncle, see you in a few.”
I see my Uncle doing his carpenter work. I approach him, tapping him on his shoulder; I interrupt him from his “precious” work. “Uncle I’ve decided to leave the village.”
As soon as he heard that he flipped (no surprise). “What would make you want to do something as crazy as that! Without protection you could get robbed or worse killed!”
“Well I’m leaving with someone to become a knight…”
“A knight! Do you even know the person you’re leaving with?” He said interrupting me.
“No, but to become a knight I will take my chances and go with him.”
“Tristen if you do go, how do you plan to protect yourself?”
“I don’t know, but it’s something I need to do.”
“Then follow me.” He said as if the world is soon coming to an end. Leading the way inside of the hut he looks inside a drawer. Turning around he said, “It’s been awhile since someone needed to use this. Take this with you.”
My eyes widened from the sight of a sword having a blade with a black hue to it. Its pommel bears a single topaz. “How did you get this Uncle!?” I exclaimed.
“You are not the only fool in our family that wanted to be a knight.” Your Father Accalon left you with me, and took his wife on a ‘knight’s journey’. You are very impulsive just like your name and Father.” To think that my Father is a knight is like seeing the light for the first time.
“Why didn’t you ever tell me this Uncle?”
“Because I didn’t want you to make a rash decision like now.” Even though I understand, not telling me is a little cold. I wonder if my Father is a good knight, and I wonder if mom is doing well.
“This might be the last time we see each other. Thank you Uncle for looking after me so long.” With tearts coming from his eyes he approaches me to give me a farewell hug. I never thought how painful it would be to leave, but I have to in order to be a knight. Then turning my back I advanced out the door, with my sword sheathed. Now I walk till I exit my birthplace for the first time.
On the outskirts of town I see the man that invited me from a far, “how are you doing friend?” he asked me from a long distance.
I approach him as swiftly as possible, but to my dismay, I was hit from behind
As a bird of prey gets it's unexpected victim, I am on a caravan with my hands bonded in strong rope. Looking to my right I see a man in cheap bronze armor, including a helmet, driving the caravan, it appears to be the guy that recruited me. Two knights with the same armor encircle the caravan, I'm guessing for defensive purposes. There are three people with me in this crappy situation. Two men don't appear special, but a boy sitting in front of me is dressed with a black fur coat and pants to match, his blonde hair is in a spiky fashion, with his arms folded he seems like he's in paradise, since he’s so calm and comfortable. Catching my stare, I feel a murderous intent coming from him; however, he broke it with a smile "Your weapon is on the horse moving the caravan." He said whispering.
"Thanks for telling but I can't do anything with these soldiers on the side of me."
"Don't be afraid of them there pushovers. We will take them down first." I looked as if he was serious with that smile on his face, but as sure as the sun shines he was.
"Alright what are we going to do?"
"If I were you boy I wouldn't listen to him. He was captured without putting up a fight." The man to my right said.
"He's right these knights will certainly kill you without second thought." The man to my left said.
"Well then looks like you're in a dilemma, either you can be sold as a slave or you can die for your freedom." Dang I really don't know what to do; I don't even have my sword so this will be hard. But if I don't do anything then I'll be sold a slave; thus abruptly ending my short lived journey. More thoughts run through my mind, but I must end all of them to make the best choice. After a few minutes of thinking I know what decision I want to make.
With a serious face, "Tell me what I have to do." I said.
The two were shocked to hear my answer; however it did not phase the boy. "I knew you would say that, no one can bind a true knight. Now all you have to do is untie yourself." As soon as he said that he cut the ropes that were binding his arms and legs. Then he slid the knife towards me. "Your turn, and once you finish I'll give the signal to jump on the horse behind you." I'm so nervous, as if the whole world is looking at me to see whether or not I screw up. Taking a deep breath I cut the ropes binding me, without any noticeable movement. The two men's stare is so hard, till it's like they can see my soul. "Are you ready?" He asked with his weird smile.
"Always." I said with uncertainty, and the moment he heard that word he rose from his sitting position, and jumped to the horseman while he was in motion. Surprised, I stood up and jumped to the horseman behind me. The horseman couldn't keep hold of the horse so we both fell off the saddle. When I hit the ground on top of him I heard his neck snap. Feeling exhausted I turn in awe to see that a similar happening occurred with the boy; however he didn't rest on the knight's body like I am. He quickly took a crossbow from the dead corpse, and with great precision he shot a bolt at the escaping caravan; consequently it hit the horse to the right, and the horse to the left tried to keep running, but got jerked back by the friction, from the caravan's abrupt stop. To make matters worse for the caravan, it's driver was ejected out of his seat from the friction.
"Ohhhhhhh boy, I have a better shot than I thought!" The boy exclaimed. The two men that were onboard apparently jumped off before the mishap happened.
"You're a freak!" The man shouted while running away. The boy is kind of queer since after all that, he's still smiling.
The other man approached our position. "Thank you so much. Now it would be wise to stick together, or something else bad could happen. We should make our way to the nearest fief." The man said with fear in his voice.
"Stick together with someone I don’t know? I travel alone." After he said that he walked away in an unknown direction.

"What about you. Please don't leave me!" He said scared out of his mind. As a knight I can't just leave someone in distress.
“Alright I won’t leave you, but I need to get my sword from the dead knight over there.” With a satisfied look in his eye, he shook his head in compliance.
We started walking in the direction of the destroyed caravan. The boy that did this sure was a lunatic, but very skilled.
Examining the remains I see the corpse of the dead knight. Without any hesitation I jog over to loot him for my sword. Taking it from his hip, I unsheathe it, and just like when my Uncle first gave it to me, it shines like gold being touched by the sun. Unexpectedly ending my day dream, a knife is looking at my throat ready to end my life. “I’m surprised you let your guard down so easily. But since you’re still green at being a knight it’s to be expected.” The man had betrayed me, I feel like a fool for letting my guard down.
“Where did you get the knife from? They took your weapons didn’t they” I asked, since I’m about to die anyway might as well let my curiosity be known.
“It’s simple; I got it when you jumped off the caravan.” S***! I should have brought the knife with me. I guess mistakes can kill. “Sorry, but since I’m a long way from home, I need that ring of yours to sell.” Now I’m pissed, do I really have to die over something like a ring; although the answer would have been “no” why not attempt to ask first? My Uncle told me this ring was given to me by my Father, so quite naturally I would never give it away.
“You’re too slow.” Once I heard that the knife dropped from my throat. I didn’t notice what happened since I was facing the opposite direction, but when I turned I notice the boy standing triumphantly over my traitor. “How careless of you.” He said with his usual smile.
“How should I have known that he would do that?” I asked trying to defend myself.
“You didn’t know, and that’s why you should have left him.”
“But a knight never leaves someone in need, we are supposed to save them.” After I said that comment he burst out laughing.
“We’re knights, not heroes. We do what we have to do in order to survive.” He said while recovering from his laugh.
“Listen if you want to be a real knight then follow me, and I promise you, we will have fun adventure.” He proposed.
I don’t know anything about him, but I know he saved my life, and that’s enough to convince me to follow him. “Alright I’ll join you. My name’s Tristen.”
“Such a feminine name,” he remarked. “but I’m Owen, and together we will have fun in Lygaia.” Then extending his right hand in a friendly manner, we shook his hand.

The author's comments:
This chapter is mostly introducing most of the other unique characters in the story, and also showing off Owen, but i know you will enjoy.

Chapter 2

It’s been almost two weeks and Owen and I have not made it to any fief. With surviving on nothing but berries picked from the wild, and some small animals. I’m afraid that if this keeps up, we will die before we do anything commendable. In these two weeks I’ve noticed a few things about Owen: he is very talkative, he’s very good at hunting, and he always keeps a smile on his face. While leading the way he turns his head, “Why do you look so glum?” he asked with a sarcastic tone.
“Because we’ve been wandering aimlessly for two weeks.” I retaliated with a pissed tone.
“Don’t worry about it, as long as we keep moving at this pace we can make it to an interesting fief.” He said with his head turned; thus ending the conversation.
The scenery of this forest is like that of a funeral, the trees stand still as if frozen in time. The trees are taller than two bears standing on top of each other, and there leaves are so broad that they block most of the sunlight, but the shifting patterns of light make a dazzling image to the eye, like sprites bringing adventurers to a place of paradise. Since the forest is so motionless, you can hear the wind rustle through the leaves, and in the very far distance I felt as if I heard the faint sound of a bell. Owen paused and froze like a statue “Tristen did you hear that?” he said with an expression like he discovered gold. “I heard the sound of a bell from afar.”
“I heard it too, but it’s a lot of paths that it could’ve have come from.”
“Don’t worry about that minor detail; as long as we know we’re by a fief or village we can finally start our adventures.” After hearing him say “adventure” I couldn’t help but put a big smile on my face. So without saying a word I knew what he was thinking by the look in his eye “I’ll race you there.” So we both started running as far as our stamina would take us.
Getting out the woods after two weeks is a nice change of scenery. In the distance there’s a village, but the buildings look pretty high but incomplete. “I told you we would find a fief!” Owen exclaimed while running.
“Yeah, just a little more running!” I said excitedly. Upon reaching the entrance of the farm like wooden fence that encircled the whole fief, we see two knights being attacked by men. Seeing two knights dressed in cheap brown bronze armor including a helmet, I see them quarreling with three men dressed in dear skins and armed with swords.
Without me noticing Owen gets closer to the group. "Why might everyone be arguing?" Owen asked while I was just catching up to his side.
"These bandits are trying to get inside our fief." The knight said, but I'm sure that if these bandits were smart they would just jump the very small fence.
"All we want is to check out the fief, and see who the leader is." One of the bandits said looking like a wolf in sheep's clothing. "But if you won't let us in then I'm afraid we will have to fight through." Another bandit said while unsheathing his sword.
"Stop, we won't let you overpower them, we have business here too." I said feeling heroic. But one of them didn't like what I said very much, he charges at me with his sword unsheathed, so I quickly unsheathed my sword and parried his upward slash, and pushed him back with the hilt of my sword. "I don't want to kill you." I said trying to calm him down. Even though I'm a knight I don't want to kill since it could take away a special person in someone's life. But if it comes down to it, I will do it, and pray that his soul be lifted to heaven.
Shocked at how easily I parried his attack. He reluctantly backs away to his group. “When did you get so good with your sword?” Owen asked looking at me with a shocked expression.”
“All that hunting helped me out.” I said while loving the praise.
Owen turned his head from me and approached the bandit in the front, but his smile was different than it usually is, this time it looks like he’s ready to kill them on sight. “As my friend just said…” Owen said, while grabbing his shirt and putting the bandit in the air, “he doesn’t want to kill you, but I love the adrenaline of a good fight. Now get out of here before you die.” After saying that Owen through him towards me, and he got up quickly, with his friends running to him, they ran back together to wherever it is they came from.
“Thank you for the assistance.” One of the knights said with a relieved tone. “What is it that you came here for?”
“We came to take up residence here and hopefully become knights of this land.” Owen said.
“Please let me escort you to the kingdom.” That being said one of the knights walked us inside. There are not a lot of buildings here, and most of them are incomplete. Most of the peasants living here seem very poor; however they appear content with their lives. It reminds me of the village I left behind. Seeing me spaced out Owen is looking at me with a bothered face. “Keep your head in the game, you never know what this king is like, he could have us killed on the spot.” Owen said while making sure the guard couldn’t hear him. After hearing that a chill went down my spine, it almost stopped me from walking, but I kept moving making sure Owen couldn’t see my fear.
“It will be okay.” I said with an assuring smile.
“You’re changing Tristen, I remember when you couldn’t fight or even have confidence, but now you’re a real knight.” Those were the most inspiring words someone has ever said to me. We finally approached the “palace” which is just the tallest building in the fief, but it really isn’t special. It’s a two story building with two barrel vaults in the front which were about forty feet high. The knight opened the double doors and gestured us to come in. A male servant about 5’8 greeted us, and told us to follow him. Walking down the wide hall of the palace we are taken to what appears to be a throne room with a broad red carpet leading to the throne. Sitting on the throne is a beautiful girl with black long hair, and she’s 5’7 in height, also she is around the same age as me. Her light skin complexion is that of the flower hellebore, with blue eyes she scrutinizes us with a gentle expression.
“What brings you two here.” She said.
“We are to take up residence on this appealing fief.” Owen said with sarcasm in his tone. Most of the officials in the room looked displeased with his “colorful” response. But looking at the Queen she seems to be holding back her laugh.
“You are a very funny person, what are your names?”
“I’m Owen.”
“And I’m Tristen.” Seeing her makes me calm in this situation, even with all these people staring. “Would your Highness grace us with your name?” I said in a mannerly tone.
"My name is Alice and I'm leader of this place we call Heraldia. We are a developing fief, and we plan to bring peace to Lygaia."
"Well if you need knights for this developing fief, then allow us to serve you, until our life ends." Owen said while kneeled on the ground. Seeing him bow is probably a once in a life time occurrence, so taking his lead I do the same.
"Aren't you two kind of young to be knights?" One knight by her side said with a skeptical tone.
Before I could say anything Alice gave him a displeased look, "Aren't I a little young to be Queen?" She asked him, but he stayed quiet. "Sorry about him, but to gain respect as a knight why don't you two accompany the rest of the knights on their mission to get rid of the bandits tomorrow." Feeling a little surprised to hear that, I jump from my kneeling position, and stand tall.
"Of course we will!" I said excitedly, but I don't think I should've been too eager, since Owen is looking at me with a displeased glare.

"Well, then that's good to know..." she said while giving me a smile that lit up the room, turning towards a servant, “please escort them to a vacant dwelling place." After she said that, the servant bowed his head and came to us.
"Thank you for your gracious hospitality." Owen said, and then we were escorted out to a small size cottage, not too far from the castle. The cottage is small but surprisingly well kept, with two beds, dusty wooden floors. Unfortunately I don’t think the best furniture could make this place look good, but it’s livable.

"That went well." I said.

"Yeah, and the queen Alice looks so good, I have to get her."

Even though I never thought about it, I would love to have her. "But I might want her." I said without too much thought.

But then he gave me a look that got me nervous. "Then I guess we will have to fight for her..." he said with a devious smile." may the best man win."
"I agree, may the best man win." I won't lose to Owen at anything starting this day forward, he's my friend but he's also my biggest rival. Upon saying that, I retired to my bed to rest for the quest tomorrow.
Waking up to the song of a bird is like hearing a goddess tell me good morning. Getting from my uncomfortable bed, I see Owen gearing up to take down the bandits. “Good morning.” I said.
With a bright smile, “Morning, today is a big day for us.” He said, and he is correct the adrenaline is running through me, like a horse being ridden to its destination. After finishing my hygiene we left our small cottage.
Heading towards the “palace” (I still don’t think of it as one) we see about fifty knights in there bronze armor, with shields on their backs, and swords on their waist, circling someone. Feeling curious Owen and I struggle our way through the crowd of knights. In the center of everyone is Alice facing a tall knight about 6’10 with his face showing he resembled a gorilla, with his black hair that isn’t groomed covering is a rough face. “I entrust the quest to you Faraldrin.” Alice said. Apparently we got here too late to hear the whole speech, that sucks, and to make matters worse I have to take orders from a guy that can eat a town.
“If he’s the captain than we’re gonna have a hard time Tristen. I’m sure his brain is as small as a pea.” Owen said while sighing. But focusing my attention back on Alice I realize she noticed me, and she signaled for Owen and me to come out of the crowd.
“These two are new knights; they will be assisting all you on the quest today. Please treat them with respect, and I pray all of you safe travel. After she said that everyone gave a warcry and dissolved the crowd. “Do you two need armor?” Alice asked looking very concerned.
“All I need is your love to shield me.” Owen said while gently holding her hand and kneeling on one knee. Alice’s face lit up, like the sun coming up for the morning.
“Thanks for the flattery Owen, but you should worry about staying safe. What about you Tristen?” Alice asked.
“I... I’m fine…” I said feeling panicky because of her gaze; I’m shocked Owen could say something like that without being nervous. I feel too ashamed to look up so I drop my heads to the ground, but before my head could look at the ground for two seconds, Alice grabbed it.
“Never hold your head down, girls don’t like that Tristen.” She said with compassionate eyes; she is the personification of any man’s dream girl. Even though I have messed up I will do better.
“I’ll see you later Alice.” I said with a smile. Then Owen dragged me by the back of my collar.
“Don’t worry about us Alice we’re stronger then we look.” Owen said, and all of us exchanged smiles with one another.
Walking towards the armory, we go inside and see everyone listening to a speech from Faraldrin. “I want everyone to surround the bandit camp, and then charge in once you get the signal!” He exclaimed.
But Owen didn’t like what he said so much, so he walked inside Faraldrin’s face (more like his stomach). “That plan just now was the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. I’m guessing Alice chose you to be captain since you’re a muscle brain.” Owen said with no fear present in his eyes.
“Little boy I will kill you!” Faraldrin retorted, pulling out his sword he swung it in the attempt to slice Owen in two, but Owen leaped backwards and dodged it with no difficulty. With his back against a rack with spears Owen arms himself with one.
“I’ve never used a spear before, but don’t worry I will still go easy on you.” Owen said with a taunting smile. With anger in his eyes Faraldrin put both hands on his sword and horizontally slashed at Owen’s stomach, but Owen firmly held his spear across his body; thus blocking the blade with ease. “If you keep this up, you will die muscle brain.” Shoving Faraldrin’s sword aside, Owen spun his spear around so that the blade touched Faraldrin’s neck. “This was fun, but I’m kind of bored of this skirmish. But since I’m the superior fighter I claim full leadership on this quest.” Owen said while taking the spear away from Faraldrin’s neck.
Looking traumatized Faraldrin only murmured, “Yes sir.”
“Owen wasn’t that a little extreme? We all are on the same team.” I said.
But Owen started laughing, “You are correct Tristen, but you should at least congratulate me, I didn’t harm him.” Owen said with a pleased expression.
“Yeah congrats, now let’s start moving out.” I said.
“Alright Tristen. Everyone move out, upon reaching the outskirts of the bandit’s camp, we will camp there and form a plan.” Owen commanded, he really is strong, and he has a unique trait that lets him use any weapon skillfully. But I wonder how well he does leading a large group.
Leaving the armory with everyone else, we saddle up on the nearby horses, and start moving out. When we get to the camp I have to be ready to kill. It’s the worst thing I think I could ever do, and yet I know in my mind it’s unavoidable. The incident on the caravan was just an accident, but can I really use my sword to take someone’s life?

The author's comments:
Tristen finally gets to show off his knight skills.

Chapter 3

I wonder how the camp will be, since this is my first quest I can’t help but feel anxious. The sun showing its brilliant light along the forest, we will apparently be fighting during the day. The trees spread far apart making it easy to ride at top speed, they are swaying back and forth, as if to tell us good luck, but then again I might just be trying to make the ride there a bit more entertaining. This is my first time riding on a horse, my horse would be taller than me if he stood on his back legs, with his white fur and black mane waving in the wind, and he takes me faster than the others. Seeing Owen behind me I turn my head, "Hey leader." I said.
"You don't have to say that Tristen." he said while laughing. "How do you feel right now?" he asked.

"I'm alright, but why do you have all those weapons?" I asked because I realized he had a spear on his back along with two swords on each of his waist, and a crossbow over the sword on his right side.
With a surprised look, "I forgot I brought this many, but I love using different weapons, and since the armory had so many, I got them all without thinking." he said as if holding four weapons wasn't noticeable. "I'll be moving ahead we're almost at the destination." he said while making his horse gallop at a greater speed.
Faraldrin seeing Owen leave me, caught up to me on his horse, “What is your name?” he asked.
“I’m Tristen.”
“You two are very young knights where did you come from?”
“I’m from a village far east from here, but I don’t know where Owen came from.” Now that I think about it I really don’t know too much about Owen.
“A village boy coming to fight,” he laughed. “Why is it that you wanted to be a knight?
“So that I could help people in need.” After I said that he only laughed more intensely.
“I hope you live long enough, with that weak reason, I fight for myself only.” He said while riding away, I notice that everyone speaks there mind, maybe I should start doing the same.
Riding next to me is a guy with a face that resembles a fox, his goatee makes him look mature, and his height is 5’8, with a dark complexion that resembles a black baccarat rose. Catching my stare with hate in his eyes, “What do you want?” he asked grimly.
“Nothing just looking at all the knights, what’s your name?” I asked trying to avoid conflict.
“My name is Hawke.” He said trying to end the conversation.
He seems like he hates to talk, so I just watch him ride past me.
After one hour of riding we see Owen off his horse in a crouched position. With a stick in his hand he draws a poor diagram of what appears to be the camp’s layout. "Now everyone we will divide everyone into two teams, and myself as a squad leader. Tristen will be the other any objections?" Owen said, I'm surprised he chose me.
Faraldrin stepped forward, "We know what you can do, but can he really fight good enough to lead a squad?" Faraldrin inquired.
"Not a bad question muscle brain, but yes he can lead, it’s his naturally born gift. And you muscle brain will be with me as my officer.” Owen said. Apparently he trusts me more than I thought, and I see he changed Faraldrin's name but Faraldrin had no complaint surprisingly. "Will you accept the position Tristen?" Owen asked with a serious expression.
"I accept, now what's the rest of the plan?" I said with great confidence.
"Now from what scouts have briefed me there's a tall wooden gate fortifying the camp, he pointed at it with his stick. The gate is sturdy so my squad will do our best to break through it, and fight off the enemy bandits. Owen you and your men will go in the back and use your rope to scale the wooden walls, upon entrance you are to eliminate all enemy bandits." Owen said, that was such a good plan, but now I know that I will have to kill.
“Alright Owen my group will start going to the back, make sure you stay safe.” I said, while gesturing for everyone that wanted to be with me to follow. Leaving our horses with two soldiers, we start moving towards the rear of the camp. Now that I think about it, Owen selected Faraldrin as his officer, so I should select one too. “Everyone I know I’m new, but I ask for your full cooperation on this mission. Will someone willing to serve there squad please step forward.” I asked with a commanding tone. Then Hawke steps out of the crowd, and bows on one knee, he stands out more than all the other knights.
“My name is Hawke as you already know; I’m willing to serve my squad, Captain. I’m a superb archer, but I lack in my swordsmanship, so please forgive this weakness.” He said while appearing to look right through me.
“An archer is excellent; I’m honored to have you in my squad.” I said, while extending my hand to shake his.
"You're different from other knights." he said while shaking my hand. I looked puzzled but he only shrugged it off. "Captain lets start the quest." Once he said that we heard a loud sound from the front. Taking our ropes we all threw them to hook it on the top part of the wall, and we scaled the wall while holding on to it. Jumping to the other side we unsheathed our sword in preparation for attack.
"Everyone stay safe, take out all bandits. And rendezvous with the other team at the entrance." I commanded, and they gave an intimidating warcry while running towards the enemy. I run in my own direction to find any bandits that might be hiding.
Seeing two enemies a few inches taller than me, and like myself not dressed in armor, they approach me with their spears. It appears to be two of the bandits I saw at the castle the other day. “We meet again.” I said while pulling out my sword.
“You’re a fool for coming all the way here just to die.” One of them snarled. Charging at full speed with his spear extended in front of him, he lunges it at my stomach, but I sidestep out the way and grab the wooden part of the spear with my unarmed hand. His eyes widened, and he never took his eyes off my sword in the opposite hand.
“I can’t kill you.” I murmured, which was the truth, I haven’t readied myself to kill just yet. Extending my head backwards, I head butted him with full force in the head by the nose, in order to knock him out. His body quickly plummeted to the ground, which would make anyone who saw it feel the pain. The other bandit charged at me in a similar manner with his spear, but aiming it at my leg with a quick motion. The attack scraped my leg, but without showing pain I charge at him, and hit him in the jaw with the hilt of my sword. He drops to the ground as fast as a rain drop coming down from the sky; looking down at both of them I feel remorse for harming them, so I won’t kill them. I can’t stay here I need to find more bandits; running as fast as I can I decide to check all the huts.
Closing in on a hut I kick the door down, but to my surprise, inside is a woman and her kids cuddled together scared, “Please don’t harm us!” the woman yelled.
“Why are you all in a bandit camp?” I asked with a dumbfounded look on my face.
“We are not bandits! We are villagers!” she exclaimed then I realized they had these people misunderstood. Dashing out of there I quickly try to get to my team; however it’s too late since everyone is fighting. A bandit comes to me with his dagger ready to kill me. He runs towards me and jabs the hand with the dagger at my chest, I quickly evade to my right, and grab the hand with the dagger. "Please stay down." I said, and quickly elbowed him in the face with my free arm. Remembering what happened to me at the caravan I took the dagger and concealed it in my boot, it’s best not to make the same mistake more than once.
What should I do some of these people are innocent. Running towards the center of the conflict a bandit with a sword tried to slice me in two, but I roll to the ground by reflex. "I don't want to hurt you." I said but to no surprise he comes at me with great speed, taking out my sword I parry his slash. Retaliating with superb speed, but he slashed again; consequently his sword grazed my chest, putting a cut in my shirt and skin, and blood starts slowly coming out. So this is a real battle, but I can't kill him, he's probably someone innocent trying to defend his family. Catching his breath he is in readiness to attack, but before he could even move an arrow goes through the temple of his head, falling to the ground, as if a burden had just overpowered him, I stand there motionless. Going over to see whether or not he’s dead or not, but the moment that the arrow hit him he had no chance to survive. Looking in the direction that the arrow came in I see Hawke in the distance standing at the very top of the tallest hut, he really is a superb archer to shoot from that distance. He saved me, but I feel guilty for this man's death. Seeing everyone fighting over something that only a few bad men had done is this a catastrophe. But now that I think about it there is one person I know that can stop this from progressing, and that person is Owen. I have to avoid every fight so that I can find him. Starting to run I notice that there are a lot of dead bandits or should I say villagers. Looking at the front entrance to the camp I see Owen swinging his spear at a few enemies.
"Owen!" I screamed he looked at me but quickly pulled out his sword piercing through a villager's stomach that tried to come behind him.
"I see you all have gotten tired of the raids that I sent at your fief." A deep voice said from behind me, quickly I turned around and pulled out my sword. "You look like you've noticed that only a few of us are guilty for the raids." he said with a triumphant smile.
"I have, now tell me who you are." I said while extending my sword in his direction.
"My name is Luther, and I am the leader of this village." He said while taking an ax from a dead corpse’s skull.
"Why did you raid the village, the Queen would have gladly listened to any of your request." I asked him.
Laughing hysterically he glared at me as if that was the dumbest question ever thought of, "I raided it because I was king, but her Father my friend usurped the throne and overthrew me. I left the fief along with a few of my loyal followers, and together we made this village. He died a while back; thus starting my raids on the village. You see in this life young knight many of your friends will betray you just so that they can advance in life. Now I'm only a bandit that seeks to devour his prey. I can never let my daughter see me like this either, or it would probably break her heart. But now enough talk, today you will die." After he said that I could tell he was finished talking, and came at me with the ax high up in the air. Bringing it down like a boulder falling from the sky it cut my left leg, but I'm still able to move so it's good. Even though the ax is strong I can tell it was hard for him to lift it in the air, so that means I can strike right now while he's vulnerable. Dashing toward him I aim at his predominant hand which is his right, pushing my sword forward I realize he releases the ax and steps forward to me, while in my motion I can't switch my direction, so he knees me in my stomach, then elbows me on the left part of my face. Falling to the ground I realize how strong he really is.
"Nice moves; however you telegraphed your hit. Also in battles you cannot injure your opponent, you must fight to kill. Too bad you're about to die, you were a good knight." he said, he read right through me, and I guess it's over. He grabs my sword from the ground and walks toward me.
Looking in the distance Owen runs towards me "Tristen!" he yelled. Then I remembered that we still have adventures to go on. With Luther kneeling over me I recall that I still have an ace in the hole. Putting my hand inside my boot I quickly jab the dagger through his heart, while he has my sword raised in the air.
Looking at me with a surprised face, "Good job, you will be a great knight one day." He said, then he dropped the sword, but I rolled out of its falling direction. His body fell sideways, with all life leaving his body. I almost can't believe it, it's like a dream. I really didn't want to kill him, and now his daughter can never see him again. With warm tears coming down my cheek, this is the true meaning of being a knight; you have to kill others.
Owen comes to me while I'm resting on the ground, "Tristen you good?" he asked probably shocked from all the blood on me.
"I've been looking for you Owen, tell everyone to stop fighting it’s not everyone in this villages fault." I said.
"Tristen you're so stupid, you're oozing out blood, and you're still worried about everyone else."
After hearing that I began to laugh, "I don't deserve any pity or treatment I took a life today, and that’s something I cannot replace."

"You're right, but the moment you pick up a sword and put on luxurious armor its kill or be killed. We don’t kill for nothing; we kill for the betterment of our fief." Once Owen said that more tears came out of my eyes because I realized what I had to do. Everything appears to be blurry, probably from the loss of blood. Closing my eyes I let my consciousness drift into a bliss moment of euphoria.

The author's comments:
A new character is introduced.

Chapter 4

Drifting in darkness for what seems like an eternity, I finally open up my eyes with a blur in my sight. Someone hovering over me, but I can't tell who it is. With my eyes focusing my vision I can see everything vividly again, I'm so glad I almost thought I was blind, the person hovering over me is a beautiful girl with eyes of sapphire, and skin the color of a daisy's petal.
"Hey there." she said while putting her forehead against mine, taking her head back, "You don't have a fever that's good."
"How long was I knocked out?" I asked.
"Three days," getting up from her chair, she's 5'6 in height, and wearing a pink long dress, "Alice wants to meet with you, so stay here." she said while walking away.
I never knew there would be a girl that looks as good as Alice, and I don't even know her name.
Waiting in bed is so boring the only good scenery is the blue sky with clouds that fly with no care in the world. Hearing footsteps approaching the door, I turn my head to see Alice, Owen, and the new girl. "Tristen I was so worried." Alice said. Never thought she cared, it brings a smile to my face.
"Tristen good job on coming back to us, but you should have done it sooner, I was bored without you?" Owen said while tapping me on the shoulder.
"Sir Owen please be careful not to tap him to hard, you might injure him." The nameless girl said.
"Yes mam." he said while laughing. Looking with a confused face on who she is.
"She's my childhood friend Sophie." Alice said.
"It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance Sir Tristen." she said with her head bowed.
"You don't have to bow to me, I'm no one important." I said.
"But Sir Tristen you are one of Heraldia’s Round Table knights." she said, and when I heard that I held my body up in bed, ignoring the pain.
"Really?" I asked with a surprised expression, tone, and manner. Right now I need to make sure that she's not joking.
"She's being serious Tristen, you and I are the Round Table knights, since we led the quest that could have destroyed a village, but thanks to your efforts specifically it was avoided." he said with a serious face because he knew it was so shocking.
"What became of the village?" I asked.
"We are letting all the villagers migrate to our fief. It is the least we owe them for the misfortune that we brought among them." Alice said. I'm glad that they are ok.
"Yeah, and now that you remind me, they should be coming today, now I can finally see my Father again." Sophie said, looking joyful.
"Why was he dwelling in that village?" I asked.
"No reason." she said.
"We’re going to let you rest now Tristen, I'm sure that you're tired still." Owen said while playfully flicking me on the forehead.
"Bye Owen, we should all hang out when you fully recover." Alice said, while waving her hand goodbye and exiting with Owen.
"Sir Tristen, what made you want to be a knight at such an early age." she asked while taking a seat.
"Everything about being a knight was exciting to me, but the main thing is I want help people."
Her face seemed troubled, "Sorry but I just don't believe knights can really help, they only kill." she said while looking down.
"I know that it's my job to kill, but I like to think it through before I act upon it."
"Maybe you can change my mind about it Sir Tristen, but at the moment I can't think otherwise."
"I understand, and you don't have to call me Sir anymore." Hearing her say Sir all the time makes the conversation sound so formal so I had to say it.
"Ok Tristen." she said with a smile.
The door opened and in came Hawke looking at me in relief. “I’m glad you’ve awaken Captain.” He said, but his emotionless demeanor makes me think he isn’t sincerely worried.
“Yeah, thank you for your assistance on the quest.”
“I’m here to serve my fief so there’s no need to thank me, but please rest up, because as a Round Table knight you have more obligations then the average knight.” He remarked.
“Such as what?” I asked puzzled.
“Train students, fortify the fief, be an ambassador, explore…” the list of things he is saying so long till I have to zone out.
“I think he’s heard enough.” Sophie said while cutting him off, “he’s still suffering from fatigue at the moment Sir Hawke.”
“I understand, I wish you an expedient recovery Captain.” He said, and then he walked out the room.
"Thanks, I would be here forever if it wasn't for you."
"No problem, how about we go for a walk." she said. I have no problem with that, but if Hawke sees me I'm dead.
"Sure." I said while jumping out the bed, I put on my boots and put my sword on my waist. "Let's go." then we walked out.
"We should go to the garden by the palace; I want to pick some flowers for my Father."
"Ok, but I won't help pick any." then dragging me by the arm we make it to the palace, we go inside the back where there is an unexpectedly large array of flowers.
"This used to be a church, but now it's the temporary palace." she said while kneeling down to pick flowers.
"Why did you become a nurse?" I asked trying to start a conversation.
"I'm not really a nurse, I'm actually an ambassador. Alice told me that I should meet the new boys, and that's why I was in the infirmary." she said, I guess girls like observing boys, just like boys like observing girls. In Lygaia seventeen through eighteen year olds usually marry someone around there age, but if they don't you are probably cursed with ugliness.
"So where's my doctor?"
"Who knows, you're not a sick patient so he probably thought you weren't a top priority." she said, "Do you think these look good?” she asked, holding out a different assortment of flowers.
Seeing her holding those flowers makes her look more beautiful. Taking a rose from the flowers she was holding I gently put it in her hair. "They look good, but they don't compare to you."
Blushing she covers her face with the flowers, as if to conceal her presence. "Sorry I didn't mean to make you feel awkward." turning in the opposite direction of her, "I'm getting tired so I'll see you later." I said, but she was still recovering from the shock, so she just waved goodbye with her free hand while I was walking back to the infirmary.
I can't believe I did something stupid like that, I'm supposed to be trying to get Alice. She was so beautiful though I just couldn't help myself. Owen in the distance sees me walking in my depression. "Hey Tristen. Why are you looking so down?" he asked.
"I did something stupid just now."
"What did you do?"
"I told Sophie that she was beautiful."
"Are you stupid?" he asked with a displeased look on his face. "So what if you told her that, she's perfect."
"True… but she's not Alice."
"Listen Tristen, Alice isn't the real girl you want."
"What are you talking about!? Of course I do, how could you even say that?"
“This isn’t some fairy tale when you can become a knight and get the Queen.”
“I never expected it to be.”
“Well we both can’t chase after the same girl, why don’t we duel for her.” Owen said, but I could only look at him in aw, I’ve never thought about fighting Owen. But to get Alice, I will fight anyone.
“I accept your dual request Owen.”
“Good to know, we will make it a public display. That way everyone will know who the Queen’s man is.” Owen said with a frown, this is the first time I’ve seen him frown; so I know he will be fighting me seriously. “See you later Tristen.” He said while walking past me.
Going to the infirmary I rest in a comfortable bed; although today has been the worst of my whole knight career I feel like it can get better since Alice isn’t mad at me. I should really start thinking about how I will handle my knight duties. Since I’m a Round Table knight I need to make sure I stay on top of things… after an hour of thinking of strategies and training sessions, Sophie barges in my room. “Tristen the villagers have arrived!” she said, gasping for air.
“Why should I come?” I asked, although I might have said it a bit too coldly.
“So you can meet my Father, so let’s hurry I want to be the first to see him.”
“Alright.” I said, sluggishly getting out of bed.
We walked out the building, and traveled to the entrance. Many villagers traveled past while we waited for her Father to come. To no avail after all the people pasted us; no one she saw appeared to be her Father. But she still sat there drawing in the dirt with a stick, her gloominess rubbed off on anyone that looked in her direction, but one man came to her. “Are you Sophie.” The man asked.
“Yes I am sir, do you know where my father Luther is?” she asked, when I heard that my body trembled on the inside.
“You didn’t know?” he continued “Luther is dead; in fact, this young lad standing next to you killed him.” When he said that I wanted to crawl in a small dark hole and die there. Her innocent eyes only glared at me, as if to ask me why. I couldn’t even find words to come out of my mouth, but tears started to run down her face. This is why I never wanted to take someone’s life, by some twist of fate I just happened to be connected to the victim and that makes it worse.
“I hate knights.” She murmured, and then she knelt down and let the tears flow like a river coming downstream.
As I extended my arm the man pushed me aside, “You caused enough trouble, just leave.” He said.
Running away with tears in my eyes someone firmly grabs my arm. Turning around to face the person, I see that its Hawke, “Are you ok Captain?” he asked with a slightly concerned face.
“It’s nothing Hawke.”
“Captain, as your officer let me give you some quick advice. If you did something wrong then don’t run from the problem; you should face it head on, if not, you will surely regret it.” Hawke said, but I don’t even know what to do; I can’t just apologize for killing someone’s father.
Looking Hawke in the eye, “Thanks Hawke, please go back to your duties.” I said. With a bow he left in the opposite direction. Thanks to him, I think I can face Sophie and tell her what happened.
Walking back to the entrance of the village I notice that Sophie and the man are gone. Looking around I might as well ask one of the villagers if they’ve seen either of them. I approach a woman, “Have you seen a teenage girl and middle-aged man anywhere?” I asked.
“Yes, they actually already left the village not too long ago.” She said
“For what?”
“I don’t know, but it looked like they had to talk about something serious.” Bowing my head I thank the woman for her time. I’m not really sure how I feel about the situation. Sophie went outside the village and even worse she went with a stranger. Should I go get back-up? Nah, I think I will be ok; it’s probably nothing anyway.
Running out of the village looking for all traces of where they could’ve gone; however so many people walked out here today, till it made tracking nearly impossible. The trees didn’t help out either, they were broad and their sturdy roots arose from the ground. But by some strange chance of luck I find the rose that I put in her hair on the ground. Picking the rose up I run in the direction feeling assured of my path. As I run I can hear the voice of a grown man, hiding behind a tree I see Sophie tied up and the man holding a dagger in his right hand. “Sophie daughter of the ex-king Luther, it’s your father’s fault that so many people in the village died; although he’s dead you should also suffer for what he did.” The man said.
“But my Father did nothing.” Sophie said with tears in her eyes.
“Of course he did, he raided Heraldia, and Heraldia nearly destroyed the village.”
“My Father could never do that!” Sophie screamed.
“He did, and he fought that boy, but ended up dying. It’s not even the boy’s fault; Luther just wanted his own life to end, so he forced the boy’s hand.”
Sophie couldn’t say anything after that; she only held her head down in discontent. Now’s the time for me to save her, I won’t let anyone hurt her. Running from my spot I draw my sword, “Stop!” I exclaimed. Then once he turned his head I slashed at him, but he quickly evaded backwards away from Sophie. “I am Tristen, a Round Table knight of Heraldia, and I order you to lower your weapon.”
With a displeased looked on his face, “You are protecting the daughter of the one that raided your fief? How foolish, I will make sure I kill you quickly.” He said
“I’ll kill anyone that tries to harm her.” When I said that, he staggered backwards from the intensity of those words.
Dashing toward me he readies his dagger for a straight attack. Daggers are hard to parry since there so small, and the y are too fast not to take seriously. While jabbing the dagger at my throat, I move my head to the right, and roll on the ground behind him. With courage in my eyes, I pounce off the ground, and with my sword raised in the air I slash his back. Tumbling to the ground, he rest there while the blood drains from his back; although I hate killing, I’ve been prepared ever since Owen told me it was for the betterment of the fief.
“Are you ok?” I asked, while running towards Sophie I untie her.
“Tristen, I heard what happened when you killed my Father you had no choice. I’m so relieved I thought you were just a murderer.”
“I’m glad that you’re ok Sophie. By the way you dropped this.” I said while putting the flower back in her hair.
“Thanks, I would have felt sad if I lost my special gift from you.” She said with a big smile on her face.
Helping her up from the ground, “Let’s get back to the fief, everyone’s probably missing us.” I said, and we both laughed and walked through the woods talking merrily.

The author's comments:
The long awaited fight has begun. Who will win, the talented knight Tristen or the aggressive knight Owen? This will decide who will date Alice.

Chapter 5

After a week has passed since I saved Sophie things have been getting a little hectic. One day I had to help builders complete a house, another day I had to kill a few bears that entered the fief, I even retrieved a lost heirloom for a citizen. But on tomorrow something more important is taking place and that is the duel between me and Owen. Most of the fief knows about it, but people are still being informed. I’ve been training with a lot of my knights just to make sure my skills are up to par.
Ever since we became knights I’ve been staying in a separate hut from Owen. It’s kind of lonely without him, but I want Alice to replace the loneliness. Arming myself with my sword I step out the hut, I do daily walks on the fief to ensure that everyone is content. Usually Sophie accompanies me on my walks and makes it more interesting and thrilling, but sometimes she’s stuck debating with scholars. Without her it’s usually just a quiet walk. Walking to what is known as the quest board I see Hawke looking intensely at it. “Good morning Hawke.” I said.
“Good morning Captain. I don’t usually see you by the quest board.” He said, switching his attention to me.
“Yeah, but I’ve got nothing better to do. I’m surprised it’s taking you so long to decide on a task to do.”
“Well, there aren’t any tasks. Everyone is preparing for the fight on tomorrow.” He said while pointing at the blank quest board.
“But it’s just a duel between knights. Why is that so important?”
“It’s the most important event that this fief has ever seen Captain. Not only are the first two Round Table knights about to duel, but it will also decide who will take the Queen. I doubt anyone would want to miss this.” He said. I never thought about how significant this duel was. If the entire fief is going to observe then that means I have to win. But still, since Owen is my opponent it will be difficult. Seeing my overwhelmed look, “Do you want to train with me Captain?” he asked.
“Sure I will, but since you aren’t very good with swords, would it even be worth it?”
“Don’t worry I will do my best to make sure you can beat Sir Owen.” He said, then he walked in the direction of the knights ground. Walking on the training ground, all the knights immediately stopped training and bowed there heads to us. “Give me a sword.” Hawke commanded, a knight ran to give Hawke his sword. “Now Captain, let us begin.”
He grasped his sword with both his hand and extended it slightly upward but towards me. I drew my sword and did a similar stance, and we approached each other slowly. Slashing his sword downward I parry his sword down to the ground, but he still keeps a firm grasp on it. Taking his left hand off the sword he pushes me backwards and charges at me with great speed, while I’m off balance he grabs me by the collar and puts his sword against my neck. “In a fight your resolve is a factor in winning. Since you didn’t take me seriously you lost fast. Also you need to take time to study your opponent; you didn’t even know I was that quick. Sir Owen will fight you relentlessly make sure too stay focused.” He said, all the knights looked in amazement and whispered to one another, having him tell me that is blow to my pride. He’s my Officer and yet he beat me within seconds. Taking his hand off me and throwing down his sword. “Captain, I know you will do your best tomorrow. See you later.” He said while walking away.
Walking away from the training ground feeling defeated. Walking around the fief trying to clear my head, I see Sophie rushing toward me. “Tristen are you really fighting Owen tomorrow!” she said in astonishment.
“Yes, I am.”
“But why? You two are the best of friends.”
“We’re fighting over Alice since both of us like her.” I said, but for some strange reason she froze. She held her head down and tears that resembled tear drops dropped from her face slowly. “Why are you crying?” I asked.
“Tristen you’re so stupid.” She said while wiping her eyes. “Sorry, I have some paper work I forgot to do. Good luck on your duel.” She said running away before I could say anything.
That was weird, she cried for no reason. I guess there’s nothing better to do so I might as well get rested for the duel tomorrow. Walking back to my cottage to my surprise Alice is sitting by my door step waiting for me. “I’ve been waiting for you Tristen.” She said.
“Why were you waiting for me?”
“Because, tomorrow you’re fighting for me, so I wanted to wish you the best of luck. Make sure you get lots of rest tonight.”
“Thank you Alice, I’m going to win for you.”
“We shall see.” She said with a smile on her face. Then she stood up and hugged me goodbye. Entering my cottage I put my sword away changed clothes, and then I retire to my uncomfortable bed.
Waking up, it’s now time for my duel with Owen. Equipping my sword and putting on my clothes I leave the cottage. Standing outside of my door is Hawke and Sophie, “Good morning Captain.” Hawke greeted.
“Good morning.” I said, looking at Sophie I wait for her to say good morning, but she only turned her head.
“Hawke can we start going?” she said with an agitated tone.
“Yeah, let’s go Captain.” We all started walking together.
“Hawke did I make Sophie mad?” I asked whispering to Hawke.
“Being stupid is the only thing I can think of.” He said
“What have I done that was stupid?”
“Hopefully you find out later, but for now focus on the match, because we’re here.” The anxiety builds up in me as I see all the spectators gathered around. “Captain don’t look so nervous, I’m here with you.”
“I’ll be sitting by Alice. Good luck Tristen.” Sophie said, going towards a very high stand, set off for important people. The area me and Owen are fighting in is land that was lowered by 6 feet and has stairs on both sides for people to walk in and out of it, and it’s a square so that a lot of people can look down at fighters. Looking down in the arena I see Owen sitting down with his eyes closed, focusing for our fight. Faraldrin is also next to him with his arms folded. Owen has one spear on his back, two swords on his waist, and a shield strapped on his left arm. Stepping down to the arena a drop of sweat comes down from my forehead.
Opening his eyes with a frown on his face, “Tristen, I’m not going to hold back.” Owen said.
“I won’t either.” I said, sitting in the same crisscrossed sitting style as him.
“The Boss won’t lose to you.” Faraldrin remarked.
“Captain will walk away the victor.” Hawke retorted.
At the very top of us is the stand that Sophie went to, and we see Alice coming to the edge of it. “Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here to watch these two knights battle for my hand. Young knights the rules are simple, fight until your opponent drops or you render him unable to fight. Officers will not be able to fight alongside you; they are only there to ensure that if you lose you are cared for. Now let the match began.” She finished.
Owen and I stood up and I unsheathed my sword while he took his spear from his back. The crowd starts screaming as if two animals are fighting just for entertainment. We walk towards each other cautiously, now we are within striking distance of each other. Owen lunges his spear at my chest, but I easily parry it with my sword. Charging in while he’s vulnerable I slash at his chest; however he blocks it with his shield. Pushing me off with his shield I stagger backwards and he charges in faster than before, he jabs his spear at my face but I move my head to the right and he does it again for better results so I just repeat my the dodge in the opposite direction. Grabbing his spear’s wooden part while it’s at my face, I pull it downwards and slash at his waist; to no avail he blocks using his shield. Letting go of the spear he whips out one of his sword in an attempt to sever my arm, I evaded it but he still grazed my arm. “You’ve really improved Tristen, but there’s one thing you’re still lacking that I’m not.” He said.
“There’s nothing I lack. I will beat you Owen!” I exclaimed.
Dashing toward him I place my sword horizontally in front of me, and he holds his shield out to block the impact. Pushing him backwards I mess up his balance, and then I move my sword from his shield and slash at his feet. With amazing speed he leaps backwards as if never off balance. How did he do that? “You almost got me. I will take you seriously now.” He said.
Cutting the straps from his shield, the shield falls to his feet. Grabbing his second sword with his unarmed hand he now is dual wielding two swords. Only the greatest knights can do something like this, I’m almost sure he’s not one of them. “Stop playing around Owen, you won’t beat me like that.” I remarked
He finally took the frown off his face and smiled, “I’ve been practicing this stance the entire week Tristen, I’m sure it will beat you.”
With our skills evenly matched I’m sure I can win now that he’s using a stance that he’s never used in a real battle before. He said there’s something I was lacking, but I haven’t noticed it.
Moving closer to each other we prepare ourselves to attack. Owen jumps forward, which is an abnormal way to move to an enemy. He slashes at my chest with the sword in his left hand, but I block it using my sword, with unbelievable speed he slashes with his opposite hand, thankfully I stepped backwards before it cut me. Before I could even plant my other foot on the ground and gain full balance, Owen jumps toward me diagonally slashing with his right sword, I block it; consequently falling to the ground on my butt.
I see how Owen is able to use multiple weapons now. His hands are abnormally fast and to make matters worse, he’s extremely dexterous. Using two swords with those traits is a deadly combination, but I can’t let that stop me.
Getting up off my butt, I ready myself. “Owen I’m going to win this fight.”
“The fight is the only thing you care about Tristen, you don’t want Alice.”
“I do!” I yelled.
“It’s sad that you have confused your own feelings. As your friend I will win this match so that you will realize what you truly want.” He said while preparing himself to attack.
Jumping forward Owen slashes at me with a barrage of slashes from all angles, and all I can do is dodge them; yet they still lacerate my skin. Kicking me in my stomach I let go of my sword and slide on the ground. Owen puts the handle of the sword in his right hand in his mouth sideways, and picks up my sword. Staring at him with helpless eyes I don’t know what to do. He walks towards me slowly; my body has frozen and even I have given up in my own head. Standing over me he holds out his sword, “You lose.” He said in a barely audible tone, because of the sword in his mouth. He bends down and puts my sword across from my face. Standing back upright he takes the sword out of his mouth, “The thing that you lacked was love for Alice. You only liked her because you thought you had to since you were a knight. But there is someone you like; you just have to think about who that person is.” Owen said, afterwards he walked away in the opposite direction with Faraldrin. There’s no one I like, only Alice. How could he even say that, as if he knew my feelings.
Laying on the ground it just dawned on me that I lost the duel, now there’s no hope for me getting Alice. Tears start pouring out of my eyes.
I hear above me, the crowd chanting “Weapon Master Owen” while screaming because of the match. Hawke standing over me looks pleased, “Great job Captain. You fought with proficiency, don’t feel down there’s still someone that you’re forgetting about.” Hawk said, trying to encourage me.
“Hawke please leave me for awhile, I need to sulk.” I commanded.
“As you command Captain.” He said, bowing his head and walking away.
The crowd seems to be disbanding, and there right for leaving trash like me behind. Someone running towards me, almost smothers me with a long hug, it appears to be a girl with my face being blocked by her chest. “You did excellent Tristen, I’m glad you didn’t get too badly injured.” The voice undoubtedly belongs to Sophie. Taking my head away from her chest she helps me get off my back.
“I lost; you should be off celebrating with Owen and Alice.”
She hugs me, “There’s no one I would want to be with more than you Tristen.” She said. Something inside me feels warm, I’ve never felt this feeling before… well actually the first time I met her and we went to the garden I felt this. I’ve never felt this way toward any girl, not even Alice. How could I be so blind? I’ve finally realized it after this whole time. The thing that Owen was trying tell me this whole time, even Hawke with his lack of emotion tried to hint it to me; however I only turned a blind eye and still pursued Alice. The thing that I didn’t realize is that I love Sophie.
“Sophie I’m glad I didn’t win today.”
“What… what are you saying?” she asked, letting go of me
“I’ve realized something that I was blinded to. I love you Sophie.” Her face lit up scarlet red, and she put her face to my chest.
“I thought I would never hear those words from you. I love you too Tristen.” Taking her head from my chest we gaze at each other. Her sapphire eyes stare into my soul; they are so beautiful I feel as though I’m looking at the real gem. Leaning towards her face we kiss.

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