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 rang out 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 brown eyes narrowed as his weapon was lifted for another attack. The other people fighting seemed to fade away as the two men watching one another beginning to circle each other.
“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 Gregory, then no one will have to die.” Acting fast, Arthur lifted his sword above his head, countering Gregory’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 Gregory.
Holding his blade with one hand Gregory 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, Gregory 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 Gregory 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 the people in it he had to do what was right and put a stop the the war now. His grip on his sword handle only tightened as he got ready to fight for his life once more.
The two charged forward weapons raised for the attack. As Gregory’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 Gregory 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 Gregory slowly got to his feet sword still in hand, “Do you think I care?”
Arthur had to jump back as Gregory 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, Gregory 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 Gregory as he lifted his weapon. He stumbled but he made a swing for his head.
As best he could Gregory 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.
“Come quickly! You must leave now, there isn't much time.” A hushed voice said urgently as she ushered two people out of their beds and into coats. With a worried glance over her shoulder down the hall, she pushed the two people down the corridor, her hands pressed on their backs. “The horses are ready for you, and you have two bags already packed full of the things you will need.”
The young woman turned around her blue eyes filled with worry, “What's happening?” She asked worriedly.
The old lady shook her head, “I’m afraid there isn’t much time to explain, but I have to get you out of here before Gregory gets here, I hear he won the war and is on his way here to kill whoever stands in his way.” She shivered.
Gasping the girl hurriedly whispered “What about you? He will kill you.” Her eyes were clouded over with tears.
Smiling the woman placed her hands on the girl’s cheek. “I’ll be fine Cora, what matters right now is that you and Thomas get out of here.” Again she resumed shoving them down the passageway. “Gregory is not a merciful man, and he will not let you two live.”
Cora glanced behind her. “But where will we go?” She asked her eyes shifting over to Thomas as she tightly wrapped her coat around her.
“I’ve already got that handled. Ryan is waiting for you with the horses, he will take you somewhere far away where Gregory won’t find you, and hopefully, you will live long and happy lives.” She moved in front of them leading them down a flight of stairs.
Cora could see the worried looks Thomas was making as he followed after the woman. She knew Ryan could help them but she was worried about Emma, what will Gregory do to her once he finds out what she did? Surely he wouldn’t torture an old woman, would he? She had heard of the horrid things he had done in his kingdom and it was only a matter of time before he arrived to take over the palace.
“Cora.” Someone called out to her, placing their hand on her shoulder, their voice was dripping with concern. “Are you okay?”
Turning to face Thomas, Cora nodded. “Yes, I’ll be fine.” She lied as a cold chill ran over her, her life would never be the same, she knew Ryan was a good man and would look after them until they got on their feet, but he had suffered so much and it had made him cold and hard to be around.
Emma pushed a wooden door open after getting to the bottom of the flight of stairs. Cora and Thomas followed after her, their gazes moving to the two horses who were being held by the reins by a tall blond man his green eyes moving towards them as they walk into the room.
“What took you so long?” He snapped a glare forming on his face. “Gregory could be here any second and I don’t feel like dying today.” He handed the reins over to them and he got onto his black stallion. “Let’s move.”
Thomas didn’t waste any time and hoisted himself onto his horse, his gaze shifted towards Cora. “Cora, come on we have to leave.” His voice was stern but his face showed the worry and concern he had for their safety.
Reluctantly nodding Cora turned to face Emma, tears flowing down her cheeks. Smiling Emma took Cora’s hands in hers. “This is where we part child, now look after yourself.” She helped Cora onto her horse, her gray locks falling over her shoulders.
Flicking the reins Thomas and Cora made their way out the stables dust left in their wake.
“Look after them.” Emma reluctantly said her eyes meeting Ryan’s.
Letting out a low sigh Ryan nodded. “I will, I’m taking them far into the mountains where no one will even dare look. Now run, if Gregory finds you he will have your head.”
Emma shook her head. “No, this is my home I will stay and help others escape.”
“As you wish.” With that Ryan turned his horse and galloped out the stable his figure turning into a small silhouette against the rising sun the warm colors spreading across the sky.
“I hope they’ll be okay.” Emma breathed as she walked back into the cold halls.