The air was thick with the smell of blood, the warm liquid coating the wet ground as the storm above rumbled, the dark clouds churning into one another as lightning flashed and thunder rolled through the sky. Over the sounds of the storm above the echoes of battle traveled through the air as sparks of orange sprang off of worn-down blades.
Sweat and blood mixed with rain water coated King Arthur's face as he lifted his sword once again blocking an oncoming attack, his forest green eyes full of rage. “How dare you attack my city!” He growled over the thunder, “Isn’t one kingdom enough?” he kicked out his feet knocking his attacker to the ground mud spraying around them.
The other man jumped to his feet his black eyes narrowed as his weapon was lifted for another attack, the other fighting people seemed to fade away as the two men watched one another beginning to circle like an animal on the hut.
“There is always better land.” The other man growled in response as he charged, his armored shoes churning up the ground.
Arthur sidestepped, almost losing his balance as he moved onto a discarded shield, the metal and mud slippery under his feet. “Just go home Damien, then no one will have to die.” Having to act fast Arthur lifted his sword above his head countering Damien’s attack.
The two exchange attacks in a heated fight, rolling to the left and right, ducking from fateful blows. Thunder rumbled overhead as the two parted for an instant eyeing one another up. Arthur gritted his teeth together as the outcome of this war began to lay heavy on his shoulders. Keeping an iron grip on his weapon Arthur made another lunge for Damien.
Holding his blade with one hand Damien reached into a pouch that was attached to his armor at the hip, removing a small blade. A wicked grin forming on his narrow face, Damien lashed out at Arthur his knife ripping the material between the pieces of armor at his thigh.
A hiss of pain escaped his lips as Arthur jumped back feeling a small trickle of blood seep down his hip. Looking up he saw Damien advance, his intentions clear. Letting out a tired sigh Arthur glared back at him, no longer having the intention to spare his life. If he was going to keep his kingdom safe and his people he had to do what was right and he couldn’t let this man live. His grip on his sword handle only tightened as he got ready to fight for his life once more.
The two charged forward weapons razed for the attack, as Damien’s sword came down Arthur rolled to the right ramming his blade into his knee cutting through the already dented armor.
Roaring out in agony Damien had to stab his weapon into the ground to stop himself from doubling over in pain.
“Do you think I would allow you to take Yhadna, and her people?” Arthur snarled, his eyebrows creased in anger. “Do you realize how many lives you have taken because of what you have done?”
Eyes narrowing into a cold scowl Damien slowly got to his feet sword still in hand, “Do you think I care?”
Arthur had to jump back as Damien made another swipe with his knife at his thigh, a crazed look in his eyes.
The sounds of his men falling around him came crashing into his ears as a stinging sensation ran from Arthur’s thigh and down his right leg, almost like the blood had stopped flowing. For a moment Arthur looked around realization hitting him, Damien had planned this battle for many years, he had trained and prepped how could he have been so blind? His cold gaze turned back to Damien as he lifted his weapon. He stumbled but he made a swing for his head.
As best he could Damien stepped back a sly grin now on his blood coated face. “Feeling the effects are you? Don’t worry it won’t be long until you feel know more pain.”
Those words being said Arthur lost his footing as his other leg gave out, sending him to the ground. Mud and rain coating his body as he lay there unable to move, his vision slowly beginning to fade.
Six years later
The air had a cold chill to it as a tall man paced back and forth in front of the house's wooden door, his arms folded behind his back. His green gaze was hazed with worry when he stopped to look at the door, only to continue pacing a moment later.
Where were they? They should have been back by now. Ryan walked over to the window his pace brisk. Peering out, he scanned the people outside. It was chaos, people screaming while dashing for safety, while there were a few others who fought back, only to be struck down by King Damien’s guards.
Abruptly turning away, he resumed his anxious walking, the noises outside flooding his worried thoughts. He knew it was a bad idea, he had warned them of the outcome, but they refused to listen, they should have waited, planned more, maybe it was too soon.
His dark shadow danced along the wooden walls as worry began to pick away at his mind, should he go out there to look for them? Shaking his head he cleared his mind of those thoughts. No, he had to stay put that was the agreement.
Sitting down in one of the chairs by the window he pushed the curtain aside to look out again, remembering what his brother had said to him before he left.
‘ “ Are you sure you should do this?”
His brother nodded. “Yes, we can’t let him rule this kingdom any longer, people are suffering because of it, and it’s not only our kingdom. The people of Merula aren’t allowed to step foot here anymore.”
“I understand. Where should I take him if you fail?”
“Up into the mountains outside the kingdom's borders, they won’t look for him there.” His brother removed three scrolls out of a bag that was resting on a chair nearby, each scroll closed with his seal and a name on it. If…we don’t come back give one of these scrolls to him when his of age and ready to take on the responsibility.”
“And the other two?”
“You will give them to the others if they make it here.” With that, his brother swung the brown bag over his shoulder making his way to the door. “You know what to do…If all fails you must protect him.” With those last words said he walked out into the street, closing the door behind him. ‘
Ryan sighed, his green gaze landing on the three scrolls he had placed on a table nearby, each one had a name written on the outside in fine inky letters. He didn’t know what his brother was thinking, but if they did succeed everything would go back to normal, they wouldn’t have to live in fear.
Suddenly the loud bang of the door swinging open had Ryan jump to his feet the sword he had kept by him for safekeeping in hand. But what he saw before him only struck fear into his heart as he lowered his weapon.
“What happened?” Ryan hurriedly asked, his gaze roaming over the two people in front of him.
The boy stepped forward, his face covered in blood, his black armor torn and dark with blood. He was shaky on his feet as he stepped forward. He didn’t say a word just shook his head with a sorrowful look. His green eyes brimming with tears.
The girl standing next to him put a trembling hand on his back as she stepped forward pulling down her mask, her face now the same color as her fiery red hair. She too was wearing the same armor as the boy next to her. Letting out a shaky breath she explained. “His force was too great, Tyler and I were the only ones able to get out. Mother…and Father…they…” She didn’t finish her sentence as tears of anguish rolled down her dusty cheeks, leaving white streaks down her cheeks as it picked up the blood.
Ryan stood there, fear, pain, anger, all these emotions ran through him at once as realization hit him like a punch to the stomach. Shaking his head he marched over to the table, grabbing two of the scrolls. Handing them to the other two he explained. “You know what your further orders are. Run, hide stay out of sight until the time is right. He will want your heads if you show your faces again.”
Both teens nodded their heads taking their scroll from Ryan. Opening them up they briefly read through what was written down.
“We understand.” Tyler closed his scroll placing it in his armors pouch. With that both him and the girl turned and ran out of the house, swallowed up by the swarm of people outside.
Wasting no time Ryan quickly gathered the things that were needed, the king would be ordering his guards to every house, if he finds them, he wouldn’t pay them any mercy. Running into one of the bedrooms he quickly picked up the confused and frightened boy.
Rushing out the house's back door he mounted his horse the boy still in his arms. The child cried and screamed for his parents, but Ryan tried to pay him no mind as he nudged his horse’s sides pulling on the rains to get him to run towards the edge of the village towards the mountains his brother had spoken of, it was time to disappear.