Fiction Friday – 06 Dec 19

‘You dare call me out!? You have no right!’ Spat King Darian. His figure stoic against the silhouette of shields. His army, ten thousand strong, watched on as the deranged king approached his challenger.

‘As leader of the free, I have every right.’ Cilian glared back as the gold of Darian’s crown glinted in the afternoon sun.

‘You are not a leader,’ Darian answered, ‘you are a mercenary. An honorless thug who murders those with the highest reward.’

‘True,’ Cilian conceded, ‘I have killed for money. I have worked for merchants and aristocrats. I have killed for gold and killed for free. I have carried the banners of tyrants and madmen all my life. But no more. Today, I am a free man. I fight for myself. I fight for those behind me.’

Darian snarled, ‘then come meet your death, free man.’

Cilian drew his sword and bore his shield as the King did the same. Those who stood watch began stamping their spears and banging on their shields. They knew the price that would be paid.

Darian stepped, quickly clearing the space between them, and slashed at Cilian’s throat. Backpedaling, Cilian parried the strike before launching one of his own. The king raised his shield taking the blow on his arm. The hit seemed to enrage the mad man and he came on with a furious flurry of blows. Left, right, left, overhead. The last strike hitting Cilian’s own shield on the top edge. Darian’s blade cut through the steel rim of the shield and splintered the wood down to Cilian’s arm. If he wasn’t wearing his bracer the blade would have severed his arm.

Before the free man could react, Darian released his sword and punched Cilian in the face. Stars erupted across Cilian’s vision and he stumbled back. His instincts roared and he released the handle of his shield dropping it as he stumbled back. Falling to one knee he blinked and with his free hand grabbed at the sand. Darian ripped his sword free of the shield and approached, confident in delivering the final blow.

Shields thumped against spears and roars from the soldiers thundered around the pair with anticipation, but Cilian wasn’t done yet. He tossed the sand at Darian and instead of striking, tackled the man. The pair fell backward and Cilian had the advantage. With it, he pressed down on Darian’s shield pinning his arm and stabbed with his sword at the king’s head. Darian moved his head just in time and using his own sword, thrust up at Cilian. Forced to release the sword or lose his fingers, Cilian forced his opponents blade wide before getting his foot up pinning the kings sword arm.

Then with adrenaline pumping through his ears, Cilian gave in to the bloodlust that filled his heart. Tearing his own helmet from his head, the leader of the free people used it to cave King Darian’s skull in.

Once the incessant thumping of Cilian’s ears ceased, he heard silence. Not cheers or roars of anger. Just silence, marred by is own heavy breathing. He looked up at the men around him and saw pride and apprehension in his own men. In Darian’s he saw confusion and relief as whatever spell the mad king had cast over his subjects faded. Fieldon was free now, it’s tyrant leader cut down.

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I had some trouble finding the artist for this one. If anyone finds it let me know.