“Get up.” The man’s cold voice commanded as he lifted his sword away by a fraction as Richard began to lift himself, the corner of his eye saw his sword laying on the floor a little bit away from him, if he did it now he could grab it, pushing his legs against the wall his body slid towards the sword, gripping the handle, he swung the blade flinging the other man’s swords out of his hands and down the hall somewhere.
Standing, Richard faced the man’s white mask, he could only imagen a cold glare under it as he let out a low grunt as his gaze was fixed on him. Like a viper striking its prey he kicked out a leg hitting Richard’s hand that was holding the sword, a loud crack was heard as the sword from Richard’s hand went flying as a shout of pain escaped his mouth. Clutching his wrists Richard glared at the man backing up a bit.
Though this didn’t seem to make any difference as the other man walked up to Richard, his hands in fists. Gritting his teeth Richard looked around for an escape, but the only way out was either keep running through the hall or get past the other man, though both those options didn’t seem like they would work.
Richard found himself ducking as a fist when flying for his face followed by another. Seeing an opportunity Richard rolled through the other man’s legs, hurriedly jumping to his feet he ran down the hall as shouts of outrage was soon heard from behind him.
Still gripping his aching wrist Richard runs down the hall at top speed. When he was sure he had gained some time he removed the cloth that was wrapped around the Gem, it wasn’t the best solution he had but it would have to work for the moment, using his teeth and other hand he managed to wrap it around his wrist, securing it.
Peering around the corner he could see the dark shadow of the man pursuing him, how was he going to get out of here? As far as he knew there was only one exit, and he had no idea how to get there.
There wasn’t enough time to think this over he had to find a way out and fast. Despite part of him wanting to stay and find out more, Richard willed himself on as he kept running, he heard the skid of shoes behind him and the faint sound of someone yelling, but he couldn’t catch onto what they were saying. Glancing behind him he could see the other man way gaining on him.
Richard gritted his teeth he was running blind through these halls while the other man had the full-on advantage.
This time Richard heard it loud and clear as he could feel the other man right on his tail before he could register what was going on his arm as twisted behind his back he was pinned to the floor. He stopped himself from letting out a shout of pain as his wrist was twisted.
Both Richard and the masked man let out short spurts of breath as they both remained in place. Richard didn’t dare himself to move as he felt the cold tip of a blade at his thigh.
“What do you want with me?” Richard barked before he could stop himself. He felt the grip on his arm loosen as the blade was removed from his thigh.
“I just wanted to talk.” A raspy voice breathed out as he stood up, Richard’s arm still in his grip.
Frowning Richard risked a glance behind him, he was glad he still had his face mask on so the other man couldn’t see the confused look he was giving him. “What?” He asked, his eyes running over the taller man.
“I could tell you aren’t one of the King’s assassins or guards by the way you fight.” The other man began to explain letting go of Richard’s arm. “I…I just wanted to know why those men are after you?”
If Richard said he was taken aback that would be an understatement, “How can I believe you when just a few seconds ago you were trying to kill me?”
“Excuse me? You attacked me first!”
Clenching his fists Richard let out a low sigh. “You knocked me out! How was I supposed to react to that?” He could feel his temper boiling but tried to keep it under control.
Putting a hand up the other man began to explain. “I thought you were with the other men. So it was only right of me to question you.” He paused. “Now that I think about it, what are you doing here?”
Richard could feel the tension in the air thicken as the man’s voice was covered in suspicion. Should he tell him? What was the harm anyway? It wasn’t like things could get any worse. “I got a letter telling me about this place.” He said, his eyes never leaving the other man.
“Hmm, I see.” The man turned and headed away from Richard down the hall. “Follow me.” He said over his shoulder not even bothering to look if Richard was following.
As if an invisible force was pulling him Richard hurried after him, he didn’t know why, but a part of him didn’t want to leave and felt a strong connection to this place. “Where are we going?” He asked peering around.
No reply answered him.
To Richard it felt like hours had passed before they walked into a large room, it looked well maintained, the desks that ran along the walls were free of dust and had shelves on them that was full of scrolls and paper. In the far back corner was a bed, with little around it. The room looked simple.
“You live here?” Richard gaped, his blue eyes moved over to look at one of the scrolls labeled under missions, how did he know about this place? As far as he knew only he and his parents knew about it.
Glancing over his shoulder the man looked at Richard but didn’t say anything as he smacked Richard's hand away from the scroll.
Jerking his hand away Richard scowled at him, “Look I don-” Richard’s eyes widened as a hand clamped over his mouth.
“Stop talking.” A stern hiss left the masked man’s mouth as he pointed to a seat with his other hand. “I need you to answer a few questions for me and truthfully this time.” Slowly he lifted his hand and watched as Richard hesitantly walked over to the seat. “Now I know you’re not working for the king, but no normal villager learns to fight like that. Who trained you? Where are you from, and how did you find me?” he took up a seat in front of Richard his entire body looked like it was ready to strike at any moment.
Richard had no idea what to say, what if this was a trick? Although there wasn’t much he could do now anyway, and he could tell him somethings, but not the entire truth, he could leave out Ryan, Rachel, and Mikel. “I live in the mountains, alone. My trainer died by the King's hand a few years back.”
“I see.” The man stood up placing his swords on the desk. “So then it is true that you’re the boy who killed one of his men in a robbery?”
Richard’s mouth hung open, his eyes wide. “H…How?” he said having a hard time getting his words out.
A low chuckle irrupted from the man, “Because it’s only like you, though I highly doubt Ryan is dead.”
Richard stood up knocking his chair to the ground. “Have you been spying on me?” Clenching his fists his blue eyes ablaze Richard watched as the man only shrugged.
“It was the task given to me by our parents, it was my job to make sure you stayed out of any trouble.” He said plainly.
Richard stood there his eyes wide as the words just spoken filtered through his head, ‘parents’ could that mean… “Tyler?” He could feel the deep emotion he had squished down for many years begin to bubble up like a tsunami.
The mask covering the man’s face was removed revealing a lean jawed blueish green-eyed redhead, his face was lit up with a teary smile as he slowly nodded, “I wanted to tell you I was alive and doing well all those years ago but it-” The wind was knocked out of Tyler as he got tackled in a hug, Richard’s face buried in his neck small tears rolling down his cheeks. Letting out a low chuckle he wrapped his arms around his brother. “I did miss you, Richard.” He mumbled into his blond hair.
Stepping back Richard wiped his face clean. “Wh…why didn’t you tell me you were alive?”
Tyler pulled out a scroll. “Because of this. Father wrote this one to me the day before his mission…I was old enough back then to know the mission was going to cost them their lives and so did they.” Sitting back down his eyes went hard. “So it was only a few days after the mission did Ryan give me the scroll that tolled me to leave the mountain, and look for a Gem that the king was after, and also to keep an eye on you. You were still young at the time so you had a lot of training ahead of you. So Ryan and I knew we couldn’t tell you the truth no matter how much it hurt.”
Flopping back into his seat Richard just blinked as it was all explained to him. “But I don’t understand why you knocked me out earlier and then attacked me?”
A nervous chuckle left Tyler as he rubbed the back of his neck. “Well, you see…Being that I had to look for the Gem I couldn’t watch you all the time heck only half my time was spent making sure you were okay, so I didn’t know what you were getting up to most of the time. Earlier was away for me to make sure it was well, you, and that Ryan hadn’t given in and handed himself and you over to the king to become part of his army or whatever it is he's doing.” His eyes narrowed as the mention of the king.
“Oh.” Richard looked down at the floor.
“And besides I know you Richard and there is no way you would have listened to me if I flat out and said it was me.” Tyler pointed out with a small grin.
Looking over the scrolls and paperwork that was neatly placed on the shelf Richard saw one labeled KING, and next to it GEM. Glancing sideways at Tyler he asked his voice still shaky from all the emotion. “Now what?”
Rubbing his hands together Tyler pointed to the scroll with the label Gem on it. “Well,” He pulled it out. “Our father made it quite clear the king couldn’t get his hands on some or other Gem with the ability to destroy anything it crosses with a simple command. I haven’t found it yet but I can feel I’m close to a breakthrough…” Tyler trailed off as Richard rolled the bright blue jewel in front of him. Picking it up he began to examine it. “This is it, this is the one.” He shot Richard an astonished look.
Folding his arms behind his head Richard gave him a smug look. “The man I killed from the robbery was one of the kings men as you already know, but it looked like the king had already found the location of the Gem and had sent someone after it, and it just so happens as I was doing my round as I checked the village. When I had killed him I found the Jewel.”
“I see, well then just as well. If the king finds this our kingdom could be at stake.” Tyler placed it back on the table pulling out a box that was under one of the shelves. Opening it he placed the Gem inside, a soft cloth covering the bottom. “It should be safe here for the meantime.” Closing the back he slit it under the shelf, he shot Richard a look then continued to speak. “Richard now the King knows the Gem is in this Kingdom and anyone could have it, you have to be very careful, his even sent assassins after you, one step wrong and you could be his next execution.”
Letting out a heavy sigh Richard nodded, “So now that we have it what do we do now?”
Tyler looked up at the rocky ceiling, “Well I train you. You’re the next part of the plan and I need to get you ready otherwise this won’t work.”
“And what is the next part of the plan?” Richard asked leaning forward mildly curious.
“Invade the King’s palace,” Tyler said with a small glint in his eyes.