All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Separation: Part Two
Each night, for two straight weeks, we stopped to set up camp after a long day of marching. Food and hydration were not an issue, as we stocked up on our supplies before we left Pyritia. Finally, after nine months and 15 days of our campaign, we returned home to Euretheyum, and were greeted to a hero’s welcome. The familiarity of our castle walls and the security which they provided was a welcome feature, and we were hastened to the King’s palace for a debriefing.
The Royal Palace was decorated on the exterior with elaborate statues of our kingdom’s former great rulers, along with many beautiful gardens throughout its perimeter. The stone which mainly formed the structure was hued a light grey, and had a line of red clay bricks running around the entire palace, which met at the top of the large silver-plated palace doors.
The interior of the palace was covered in extensive engravings, which told the history of Euretheyum. Gold trimmings on the ceiling and finished wooden floors decorated the palace, and at the centre of the room which we had entered, sat the Royal Throne, and more importantly, the King inside of it.
“Sir Elijah Richardson, come forth.” The request of the King was made with the softest of mannerisms, and his voice seemed to radiate in the palace.
As I walked toward his throne, I dropped to one knee and said, “Your Highness,” in as polite of a tone as possible. King Deliuse had ruled our kingdom since I was a child, some thirty-odd years ago, and had done a remarkable job to build Euretheyum to such a high status.
“Sir Richardson, lead knight of Euretheyum, it is my honour to bestow our utmost thanks upon you, and your men, for your victorious conquest of the surrounding lands. For your leadership, I give to you the blade in which I too, used to defeat many enemies in my day.” The king then placed his sword into my hands, and I was enchanted by its elegant markings and scriptures, golden handle, and ruby-centered hilt.
“Thank you, your Highness.” I replied. “But I must make certain that it is known, that my men, both living and deceased, fought very gallantly in the face of danger, to secure victory for our kingdom. Living men like Sir Arthur Demoy, Sir Edrick Valagio and footman Christoph Euchenko, and the deceased such as archer William Loughtne, footman Mikael Zodobenev, and Sir Lysander McDyre, gave us the edge in battle that we needed to emerge victorious time and time again. It is therefore to my men, which I feel humbled to.” As I concluded, I rose to my feet and bowed to the king in respect.
“You are dismissed, Sir Richardson. Thank you.” Just as the King finished, I sharply turned 180 degrees and made for the door, with only one thing on my mind. “Evelyn.”
As I emerged from the palace’s doors, a sea of red roses overtook to the sky, as the people of Euretheyum celebrated our victorious return. With the large amount of casualties which we endured, it was evident to see that many family members of the deceased were overwhelmed with sorrow, as was expected. However, the festivities still continued, as our kingdom had been brought pride with these deaths, which was the way that most people looked at the sacrifice made by many of our own in battle.
Once I passed through the mob of exuberant citizens, I quickly raced to my modest home on the outer portion of the kingdom, which was in fact quite close to the castle walls. As I came within sight of my stone- composed house, I noticed a woman standing in front of the wooden-layered door, wearing an elegant blue gown, and a large smile on her thin red lips. “Evelyn.” I sprinted to her, opened my arms and grasped her in a giant hug when we met.
“Elijah. Oh, how I’ve missed you so much. It feels as if we’ve been apart for eternity.” Evelyn began, as a single tear dripped from her hazel eyes onto her left cheek. Her sweet voice soothed my mind, and the warmth of the hug we shared enlightened my soul.
“I too, have missed my wife so.” I continued. “But what matters most, is that I am back, alive and healthy, and ready to spend forever with you.”
She slowly shifted her glance towards the ground and said “People told me that you were dead, and that-“
“-Do not listen to what people say dear.” I interrupted. “Put all of those bad thoughts behind, and let us live in the moment, together, now.”
“You’re right,” she sighed. A bright smile lit up her face, as her expression changed from sorrow to joy. “Now come. I’ve made a fresh meal for you, of only your favourite.”
“Baked lamb and potatoes, with apple pie for dessert?” I sheepishly inquired.
“Yes dear. Only for you.” Evelyn grinned as she said this, and gave me a gentle kiss on the cheek.
“I love you so much…” I said in a gentle tone. We then went into the house and dined for the evening. After a delicious meal, we told stories to each other from our nine month absence before falling asleep in each others’ arms.
A loud knock on our door in the morning forced us to wake earlier than we had hoped to, and to my dismay, Sir Arthur Demoy stood at my doorstep. If he showed up so suddenly, without any warning at all, it could only mean one thing. “Sir Richardson,” he started, as he struggled to gain his breath. “A force of Gyroophian knights has gathered beyond our gates, and the King requests that you lead a matching force of men to dispose of them.” The look in Demoy’s eyes showed his concern for the situation, so I quickly ran inside to grab my armour, told Evelyn that I would return soon, and followed Demoy to the knights’ stables. “I haven’t even had the chance to eat or bathe… bloody Gyroophians.” The thought seemed selfish of me, but after having been away from home for nine months, breakfast on my first day back seemed earned along with a nice hot bath.
Upon our arrival, I found that Heremeus was already saddled, armoured and awaiting my presence. The other knights were also preparing themselves and their steeds for a skirmish, and I could sense an uneasy feeling amongst the men.
I quickly dressed myself in my armour, all except for my helmet, due to the fact that I wished for the men to clearly see my face. I then mounted up upon Heremeus, sheathed the King’s blade, and spoke to my comrades.
“Fellow knights. I too, am sorry to have to be forced into battle within just a day of returning home, but these Gyroophians are just outside our kingdom’s gates, and must be stopped. We estimate that they number to 850, a small strike force indeed, so we will meet them with 1,000 of our own knights, and leave the remaining 500 knights, and other footmen and archers to defend the castle walls. This skirmish shall not take long at all, so we mustn’t worry. Now mount up, and may God be with you all.” As I concluded my briefing, the men nodded in acknowledgement and quickly got their gear in order, hopped onto their mounts, and quickly trudged to the castle’s gates. Sad onlookers lined the cobbled streets, and as we reached the gate, the gateman gave us a worried salute, before he opened the gates.
“Charge!” My voice pierced the early morning air as Heremeus’ hooves pounded the dew-covered ground. As we galloped forward, our archers situated atop the castle walls rained down a blanket of arrows onto the Gyroophian knights, and many of them slumped on their horses as arrows pierced their thin armour. Then strangely, just when we were about 500 yards away from the Gyroophians, they turned and rode up to Lionidis Hill, a graciously rolling landmark to our people. We steadily gained on them until their 2000 yard excursion came to an end, and my knights and I easily penetrated their lines, hacking and slashing at every Gyroophian knight that we could see.
Suddenly, Sir Arthur Demoy shouted at the top of his lungs to me, “Sir! The castle! We must go back!” As I rotated towards the castle, I noticed smoke coming from inside Euretheyum’s walls, and could hear the faint sounds of screaming. Not just men, but woman and children as well. “Evelyn.”
“Fallback!” I screamed to my fellow knights as Demoy and I started to gallop back to Euretheyum. The little remaining survivors of the Gyroophian spook force quickly retreated as my men followed me in haste. “This was all a decoy. The whole skirmish, merely a distraction. While we were gone, they hit Euretheyum hard. We should have known. But we left a substantial amount of troops and knights behind? What happened?” My mind was racing, and as we came in sight of the castle walls, my heart sank.
Smoke billowed from many houses, and there were bodies of troops scattered across the ground. “Open the gates!” I screamed to the gateman, as I was impatient and desperately needed to get inside. As the gates rose, we knights dispersed to our separate households, in order to see if our family members were okay.
I soon approached my home, and noticed that the door was wide open. “No!” I raced into the house, screaming Evelyn’s name, and checked every single room. There was no sign of her. “It can’t be! No!” My mind was in a hazy state, and I was speechless. Then suddenly, a glimmer of something beneath me feet caught my attention, and I blankly stared down to my wooden floors. “Evelyn’s bracelet.” I had given it to her when we had first met, and she wouldn’t normally leave the house without it. With her whereabouts becoming even more clouded, I hopped on Heremeus and hurried to the royal palace, hoping to get answers there. “I hope you’re alright Evelyn.” I gloomily thought.
I barged past the palace doors, and was surprised to see all the other surviving knights in attendance. The king stood from his throne, and addressed us sadly. “I am sorry to inform you all, that the Gyroophians deceived us. The force which was visible to us outside our gates was only a distraction, designed to lure our knights away from the city. Upon your departure, a strike force of Gyroophian soldiers breached one of our side gates, and entered Euretheyum. They set to pillaging our outlying housing, and intended to make their way to the palace, but our troops which were left behind soon warded them off. The enemy party seemed to take the members of the houses which they raided prisoner, and fought bitterly before retreating. I must warn you all, that these soldiers were like none I have seen in all my many years. Their bodies were fully encased in elaborate black armour, and only their piercing black eyes were visible through their helmets. Our own soldiers were unable to kill any Gyroophians, and yet they seemed at ease in murdering our brothers. These Gyroophians must be stopped, and yet approached with extreme caution, as they are unlike any force we have ever dealt with. I wish you all the best…” With that, the king sat back down in his throne, and exhaled a long, regretting sigh.
“They took prisoners…Evelyn is alive…I must rescue her!” My heart pounded in my chest, and I was enraged at the thought of any wrong being committed to my beloved wife. I stood forward, and addressed the room. “Fellow knights and nobility, it is of great remorse in which we meet during such circumstances. After hearing the king’s briefing, I conclude that the only way for us to save our cherished family members is to attack the fleeing Gyroophian column and recover our loved ones. Those men who do not wish to take part in this escapade will not be labeled cowards, so every man going should be with us for all the right reasons. I will personally lead the force of volunteered men, both knights and foot soldiers, as my own wife was taken by raiders as well. We will leave to pursue the Gyroophians immediately!” As I finished my speech, the room roared in approval and the men quickly exited the palace, yet again readying themselves for the coming confrontation. “Soon darling, soon I will come for you.”
End of Part Two