The Sword’s Vow

My Best Friend Gets Examined

I didn want to go home. I knew it was obvious but how many chances does a guy get to do something this cool? It took everything in me not to ask that guard to pull out his sword, I wanted to see what type it was and if the handle had any engravings. Ian put us on a strict schedule, which I usually would have appreciated, but I wanted to stay for a little longer. It was quiet, there was no annoying chatter, no loud traffic and no people walking too slowly or talking at volumes I didn know were possible to reach.

This place looked like something straight out of a film, something youd see in history books. I wondered whether King Arthur had a castle similar to this one.

While all of this was going through my head, we made it halfway through the room. Right on the far side, on a raised platform were three thrones. One very large one in the middle, occupied by a man wearing a crown. He had pointed ears and short, cropped blue hair, which had a few grey strands in it. His skin was darker than mine, only a little lighter than Ians and he wore a much more elaborate piece of armour than the guards outside. However, the dark blue and silver motifs were still present.

I looked around the room, on either side of the door were two guards again. There were king windows on walls to the left and right, letting the daylight stream in.

There was a slightly smaller throne on his right, and an even smaller one on his left. Probably for his wife and kid. He was talking to someone, the spitting image of him, with long blue hair which was tied back in a braid. They weren wearing armour, instead, they wore loose white linen trousers and a blue top. I was sure Id seen a similar outfit on BBCs Merlin.

The two seemed to be debating about something. I couldn hear them though but they didn notice us for a couple of moments, so I cleared my throat really loudly to get their attention.

They both looked up at the same time. The older of the two straightened up and looked me dead in the eye. ”State your name and your business. ”

”Er…. ” I looked away. ”Rory OConnor, weve got a letter for you sir. ”

”Come forward, ” King Famir said, something about him seemed a little off. Maybe something about royalty in general seemed a bit off.

I gave him the letter. He looked at the envelope, frowning as if it had personally offended him. Then he opened it and actually read it. He stared at the contents of the letter for longer than I ever would have. It took him so long that I started to count the panes in all the windows. Six in each half, twelve altogether in one window.

”How do you know Margaret? ” He asked, his face scrunching up weirdly. His eyebrows knit together and honestly, he looked a little constipated.

I glanced at Ian, not sure what I was supposed to do in this situation. He nodded at me to continue. ”Well, shes my boss, ” I answered truthfully. ”And she asked me to give you this letter. ”

”I see, ” King Famir nodded. ”Guards, take these two away and lock them in the cellars. ”

”Dad! ” The person standing next to the King finally spoke. ”They haven done anything to you, you can just lock them up! Its not right. ”

Unfortunately for us, it was too late for that. The second the King had called on the guards they seized us. I didn even have time to react. Ian wasn resisting at all, he accepted his fate as he always did; with a bitter face and slight frown.

I was never one to go down without a fight though, and I wasn about to make this the first time. I tried to free my arm, and simultaneously find a soft spot in the armor that I could grab or punch with my free arm. Instead my fist hit metal. The guard hit me in the stomach so hard that I could feel my lunch urging me to make an appearance.

This time, I used my foot to kick the guard in the back of the knee. He buckled but got himself together fast than I anticipated.

I vaguely heard Ian shouting stop, the King laughing and the person beside the King shouting at the guards to not hurt me. It was a nice sentiment.

The guard went right for my face, he punched my cheek. I felt the tip of a sword on my other cheek, I was still reeling a little from the punch but out of the corner or my eye, I could see another two guards. One of them had drawn a sword and was now beginning to press it harder against my cheek. I felt the blade cut into my skin, dragging open a small wound. It stung like shit.

”Don hurt him! Stop that! ” Someone shouted, desperately. All eyes travelled to the throne, the person who was standing beside the King was defending me. ”He didn do anything, this isn how our knights are supposed to function. It was self-defense, our knights take a pledge to- ”

”Enough, Eumaeus! ” shouted King Famir. ”Our knights have pledged to defend the crown, that young man posed a threat to us. It is a good thing that we are locking him away, trust me, child. ”

The person, Eumaeus, didn look very happy. I couldn blame them. I mean, they weren the one with a developing black eye but I understood why they would be upset.

They looked desperately at the King. ”At least allow me to tend his cut, please father. It will help

me with my studies. ” They added quickly.

”You may visit the prisoners after an hour, ” King Famir decided. ”Now, guards. ” He nodded, and the guard put away his sword again. Two of them grabbed each of my arms and led both me, and Ian, away.

Ian was silent the entire way down. He wouldn even look at me, I didn understand why. The walk down to the cellars was much shorter than I had anticipated. It was way shorter than the walk to the throne room. We walked down two flights of stairs, they had no banisters. I wondered how many stair related accidents there were in this place. Were there banisters on the stairs leading up?

The three guards put us in a cell together, maybe I could make friends with the rats if Ian still didn want to talk to me. The guards locked the door and left, clearly we weren dangerous enough to warrant being supervised. The cell was damp, the air was stuffy and hot. There was a window with iron bars near the ceiling and torches on the walls. On the ground, there were two large hay blocks covered with a piece of cloth.

Ian took the one on the left, he sat with his legs criss crossed and his arms folded over his chest. ”Im annoyed at you. ” He said, it was the first thing he said to me since we entered the throne room.

Now it all made sense. He wasn talking to me, or even acknowledging me because he was annoyed. ”Im sorry, what did I do? ”

”You got yourself hurt, ” Ian responded, his body relaxing and eyes softening. ”You
e so clever, whyd you have to do something so stupid. You
e going to get a black eye now, its already going purple. ”

”Yeah, I bet I look badass, ” I joked, trying to lighten the situation.

It seemed to work. Ian laughed. ”No, you look terrible. ”

”Kick a man while hes down, ” I said and sat down next to Ian. ”Its gonna be alright though. ”

I don know why I told him it was going to be alright. We both knew it wasn , I think I just told him what he wanted to hear, or maybe what we both wanted to hear. I was only now starting to regret my decision, it was only now that I could really feel the hurt. I wasn sure how Id go about explaining all this to my dad but it wasn like this would be the first time I came home slightly battered.

”Are you alright though? ” Ian asked, then gestured for me to turn to face him.

I did, and he took my chin between his pointer and thumb. He examined my face for a moment, I couldn imagine it looked good. The guy knew how to hit, plus he was absolutely decked out in armour and I wasn . Talk about an unfair fight. ”Whats the verdict, doc? ”

e an idiot, ” he responded, still looking at me rather intensely. ”Not as bad as that time in August though, I reckon youll survive though. ”

”I survived August too, ” I pointed out.

He let go of my face and sighed. ”Yeah, but that doesn mean you have to go around doing shit like this. ”

”I don , ” I argued. ”I just always find myself in a situation where I do shit like this. I promise Ill stay out of trouble now, only for you though. ”

”Alright, fine, ” Ian smiled for the first time since we got here. He threw his hands up in surrender. ”Now go on, tell me all about the sword, I know you
e dying to say something about it. ”

He knew me a little too well. ”It was a xiphos, like think Ancient Greece. I wish I got a look at the handle though, it looked really well made- I bet they have a really good blacksmith. Youd never be able to buy that sort of thing online, not even for like a thousand euro. ”

”Not even for a thousand euros? ”

”No, this is the real deal. ”

”Well, youd hope so, ” Ian said. ”Seems like this is the kind of place with a whole army, it feels like weve gone back in time. ”

”We haven though, have we? ”

Ian shook his head. ”Nah, don think they had a universal postal service in the medieval times. ”

”I hope you
e right, ” I nodded. ”I don want to be late for dinner. ”

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