The Knight of Eborros

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 5 (v.1) - So Starts the Training

Submitted: October 06, 2019

Reads: 28

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Submitted: October 06, 2019

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Chapter 5: So Starts the Training

Riken watched as the carriage came up over the hill and into sight. He began to smirk, seeing the cart excited him. He knew it was time to go. His eyes followed the cart all the way until it was right in front of him. The carriage came to a stop and the driver climbed down. “Heading off to the citadel again?” He asked Riken. “Sure am.” He told the driver gathering up his things to be put into the cart. The driver nodded in understanding. Riken loaded his things in and climbed into the back of the carriage. The driver to the front. Riken sat as close to the windows as he could. He wanted to look out at the town again. Riken could hear the driver mumbling to himself about something that happened earlier on during the day. This caused him to snicker silently to himself. The whip cracked, and the carriage began to move. It looped around along the pathway that ran around the front of the palace. It made its way back onto the main road. The carriage paused at the bottom of the hill for the driver to make sure no one was going by. Despite being so late, he did the out of habit. With two audible clicked from the driver, the carriage turned onto the road and continued. Once again, the dimly lit streets filled with the echoes of steel wheels on the cobblestone roads. As they made their way through the town, Riken placed his arms on the window ledge to rest his head on them and enjoy the cool breeze. Than something caught his eye, it was Seton’s. He thought back to earlier in the day trying to remember what the emperor told him about all the places throughout town. His eyes wandered around looking for the other town monuments. “There’s the Sunset Garden…. now where’s the…there it is.” He mumbled to himself looking at the closed up blacksmith shop. The Tilted Anvil, what a weird name he thought to himself. Soon this too fell out of his view as other taller building and shops took its place. Before too long Riken could see the citadel coming into view. It still looked as dark and brooding as ever. It drew closer and closer until they passed through the outer wall and into the inner courtyard. The driver brought them around to the front gate, standing there waiting was Bayard. He was by himself holding a touch for a little extra light. The carriage came to a complete stop. Riken quickly gathered up his things trying not to hold up Bayard. He stood up with all his things and the driver opened the door after he placed the steps down. Riken departed the carriage, he stopped and shook the hand of the driver and thanked him for bringing him back here. He turned and looked at Bayard. He was smirking. Riken adjusted his bag and made his way over to Bayard. He stopped standing right in front of him and looking up. “You ready for this?” Bayard asked for the last time. Riken nodded his head in confirmation. “Alright, this way...cadet.” Bayard said turning sideways holding his arm out pointing and guiding Riken to the entryway. Riken began walking towards the large open wooden doors. Light was shining out illuminating the way like a guiding light. He could feel the heat of the lit torches coming from inside, almost welcoming him to the citadel. Bayard caught up and walked next to Riken. They made their way through the main entrance and into the first spire of the citadel. They had been in this room earlier in the day but it wasn’t nearly at lit as it is now. Riken looked up and admired the height of the building. The wooden and steel walkways the spiraled up to the top of the spire. The spire glowed with a red and orange hue from the lit torches that ran up the four large pillars that supported the monster stone tower. Riken’s gaze turned back down to his level to try and find Bayard. He was gone. Riken quickly spun around trying to find him. He frantically looked around the room trying to find his new mentor. Then he heard a shout. He turned to see where it was coming from. Bayard was waiting over by one of the doors leading off into another part of the citadel. He waved his hand so Riken could locate him more easily. Riken ran over next to him. “Try and keep up if you don’t mind. You’ll have plenty of time to become acquainted with this place.” Bayard said pushing open the wooden door next to him. “Sorry. Won’t happen again.” Riken responded. They both proceeded through the now open doorway. Bayard began to tell Riken of what is about to happen tonight and then tomorrow. “So, for tonight, you’ll just settle into your room and get some rest. As for tomorrow, we will begin with some light sparring. Mostly to see what kind of skill you have and to help me assess your ability’s. We will use wooden swords for now until I feel you are skilled enough to be trusted with a real sword. Plus, it keeps my hand right where it is, you know…Attached.” “Don’t worry I won’t beat ya that bad.” Riken responded in a sarcastic tone. Bayard looked at the boy with a raised eyebrow. Riken had a large grin on his face. “At any rate, your room is up here.” Bayard said pointing to the staircase at the end of the hall. They began to climb up the step two flights. They entered into another hallway and walked down to the second door. Bayard pushed open the door. “This will be your new room.” Riken peeked around the corner into the room. It was a smaller size room. About the same size as the one he had at Kings-hill. “I can work with this.” Riken said aloud. He rounded the corner into the room, he looked around at the furnishings. The single size bed, the small wooden dresser with a broken handle. The lonely window in the back with a beam of moonlight streaming into the room. The cold dark stone walls didn’t help much. “Well I’ll leave you to it then. I will see you bright and early Riken. Be ready.” Bayard said as he backed away from the door. Riken turned to look at Bayard. “Night.” He said. “Goodnight.” Bayard responded as he turned and walked back towards the stairs. Riken walked over and shut the door. The metal latch clanked into place. He began unpacking his clothes and putting them into the drawer. Soon he finished and walked over and flopped onto the bed. It wasn’t the most comfortable of beds but it was better than a dark alley in a makeshift bed. He laid there staring at the ceiling and thinking about the last week and all the things that have happened. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, he slowly sank deeper into the bed and soon fell asleep. He fell into a deep sleep that night, deeper than anything he could remember in recent memory. He dreamed of becoming the greatest knight in all of Eborros. But also dreamed of fire and he had the ability to control its mighty power. For him the dawn came too soon. It had felt like he had just fallen asleep. Suddenly there was a pounding on his door. “Riken? Riken you awake?” A voice called out. Some mumbling came after, and a rattling of keys. The lock clicked and the door came open and in stepped Bayard. “Thank you for getting the door open.” Bayard told the man in the hallway. “Not an issue Bayard.” The man said walking away. Bayard gaze turned back into the room. “Riken!” He shouted. He laid there sound asleep. Bayard placed his hand over his face and shook his head “Blessed five give me strength.” He muttered to himself. He peeled his hand from his face and walked over to Riken’s bedside. He kicked the frame of the bed shaking and sliding it across the floor a little bit. Riken mumbled a bit and rolled over. “What time is it?” He asked. “Past daybreak.” Bayard answered. Riken sat up quickly in surprise. “Whoa! Why are you in here?” He asked. “Wait.” He paused. “What did you say… daybreak?” He asked Bayard. “Yyyeeeppp.” He said sarcastically. “Been waiting since about dawn for you to show up. Nice of you to let me know you’d be sleeping in today. Would’ve done so myself had I known.” In a joking yet aggravated tone. Riken quickly jumped up out of his bed and scrambled around his room trying to find the rest of his clothes. “Calm down Riken.” Bayard said. “I’m going to head back down to the mess hall. You get dressed and meet me down there for some grub before we really begin training.” He said turning around to face the hallway. Just before he stepped out fully into the hall he stopped and placed his right hand on the wooden frame of his door. “Please… don’t fall back asleep.” “Okay” Riken shouted rummaging through his drawer. Bayard took his hand down and continued into the hallway. Riken kept rummaging around gathering all the things he needed for the day. Bayard sat in the mess hall, several minutes had passed since he got in and sat down. He sat there with both arms on the table. One supporting his head and the other tapping on the table in a steady pattern. Just as he let out a sign the door to the mess hall burst open and in came Riken. He was breathing heavily. He looked around the room trying to find Bayard. One he stopped him he looked down at his clothes and tugged on his shirt pulling it down. Turned and calmly walked over to where he was sitting and sat across from him. Bayard pushed the plate of food and cup towards Riken. “It was warm when I first got it. But eat up. We are already behind schedule.” Bayard told him. Riken nodded and grabbed the silverware near him and began to eat. He was trying to eat quickly trying not to irritate Bayard even more then he was already. He brought the last bite of food up to his mouth when Bayard placed both hands upon the table and stood up. “Good, now that you’re done let's head out to the courtyard.” Riken swallowed the last bit and stood with him as well. One of the servants walked over and gathered up the plate and cup and brushed the crumbs off the table. The two of them walked out of the mess hall and out into the citadel. They made their way down the different hall the lead all over the citadel. They walked past several different training areas Riken thought would be suitable places to being sparing. But they just kept walking past. Then they took an abrupt right turn into a dark passageway that led out into an ill-kempt area. It sat in between two different buildings. The outer wall was the backing to this area. The grass looked like it hasn’t been trimmed in weeks. Weeds grew and the grass was tall. On the far end of the grassy area was a large wooden ring. It had an opening to where you could climb up into it. It had wooden railings running all around it with spots wrapped up by cloth bindings. In the middle stood a straw and burlap covered training dummy. The ring was the best-kept thing in this area. “That’s our training ring” Bayard exclaimed. They both continued to walk up to the ring. As they got closer Riken noticed a barrel sitting just outside the ring. He could make out what looked like handle sticking out of the barrel. He got excited; he thought these were real swords. They stopped at the edge of the ring. “Go ahead and get up in the ring. I’ll be up in a second.” Bayard told Riken. Riken proceeded to climb into the ring and walk over to the dummy. He was assessing it. He was confused, he thought he was going to spar with Bayard himself. He began to get a little frustrated. He turned sideways and brought both of his arms up into a fighting stance. He started hopping around the dummy pretending to duck and dodge incoming attacks. “Oh, you think you can take me do ya? Well you got another thing coming Ivan.” He said to the dummy. Just then he stopped and pulled his right arm back as if to strike the dummy. But then he trusted out his left punching it right in the stomach. “Yeah how you like that huh? Not feeling so good now are ya!” He yelled at it. Just then he noticed Bayard standing off on the side watch everything that he just did. He had forgotten where he was for a second. “You done?” He asked Riken. Riken turned to face him, his face glowed red from embarrassment. “Yes.” He told him. “Good” He said jumping up into the ring. He had what looked like wooden swords tucked up under his arm. “We will be using these for today, it will help you get used to the weight of holding a sword.” Bayard said pulling out one of the swords under his arm and throwing it over to Riken. He reached out to catch the blade but failed and bobbled it around before getting ahold of it. Once getting a grip he quickly regained his composure. “Alright. So, to start off I think we will work on basic stance called the Ready Stance. There are two different forms that we are taught to use. First.” He said shifting into the first stance. His left foot slid forwards and his right back, his body twisted pulling the swords hilt up to his face. The blade ran along the right side of his face pointing at Riken. His left arm was crossing his chest and his right arm sat behind the hilt of the blade. “Now get a good look. This is what we call the Ox Guard stance. It’s good for blocking thrust and for blocking chopping style attacks. Now I want you to try and hit me with a chop. Over the head would be best.” Bayard instructed Riken. He grinned and planted his right foot straight into the ground and leaped at Bayard with a yell. Pushing himself into the air bringing the sword up over his head with both arms. As he came down Bayard pulled his blade down back across his body and had the blade pointing to the left and the hilt at Riken. He trusted his arms upwards until the two blades met with a dull thud of wood on wood. In one swift motion with a push of his blade he bounced it off Riken’s as they collided and pulled it down passing it in front of Riken’s face. Pressed it against his stomach and ribs. Bayard brought his left foot forward and stepped into his attack. He glided past Riken and dragged his sword along his clothes leaving a mark as it slid along. Riken could only attempt to watch what had just transpired before him. After what felt like minutes in the air Riken’s feet finally met the wooden rings floor. When he landed he stumbled a few steps and dropped to his knees and placed his hand on where Bayard’s blade touched him. He was surprised at how fluid the motion was. He turned to see Bayard who was now behind him standing with his back facing him. His right arm was out holding the blade so Riken could see the entire width of the blade. “That, was a kill shot.” He said turning his head to look over his shoulder to see Riken on the ground. Riken stared in awe, before looking down to see the drag marks left behind by Bayard’s sword. He was still trying to process what exactly just happened. He looked back up at Bayard. “How’d you do that? I couldn’t follow your movements.” He asked. “Years of practice.” Bayard told Riken with a grin. Riken brought his right left up and placed his foot on the floor. Using his right arm pressed on it and stood back up. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to keep working on this one. Kind of do a one at a time thing.” Riken asked. Bayard paused before answering. “Why don’t we try this, we will practice some basic blocks. This will help get you accustomed to the weight and your range of movements with it.” Bayard asked. Riken shrugged his shoulders “Sure.” Bayard waved his hand gesturing Riken to come closer. He stepped forward closing the gap between them. “That’s close enough” Bayard said. Riken stopped and gave his full attention to Bayard. “Now we are going to what I call three step drills” Bayard explained “I’m going to tell you whether to block high, middle, or low.” He said waiting to Riken’s confirmation of what was going on. Riken nodded showing his understanding. “You will then block three consecutive strikes, each time you block you’ll take a step back. This will help you not only learn quick blocking, but balance as well. You got all that?” He asked Riken. “I think so…yeah, yeah I can do this!” Riken said confidently. “Okay.” Bayard said “Get into the Ox Guard stance. I’ll attack this time.” He told Riken. Riken quickly mimicked the stance he saw just a few minutes ago. “Good, now remember you need to step back each swing” He reminded Riken. He nodded and took a deep breath in to help calm his nerves. He swallowed the bit of saliva that slowly built in his mouth. He was nervous, he didn’t want to slip up and disappoint Bayard on their first day in training. He realized he was breathing heavily. He closed his eyes and tried to relax and calm himself down, but it just wasn’t doing the trick. “One.” Riken quickly opened his eyes and looked up to see Bayard swinging his sword in a slicing motion towards his left side. Riken trusted his sword down from its resting position to try and block the incoming attack. His sword made it just in time to keep it from smacking into his side. “Good, Two!” Bayard shouted pulling his sword back and moving it into a chopping motion. Riken’s right arm tensed as it pulled the sword back up over his head to block the second attack. They collided with a dull thud of wood on wood. “Again, Three!” He yelled again pulling his sword back for the third and final strike. Bayard pulled the sword back from its chop swinging it out past his left side and twisting it so the blade now was moving in a upward slashing motion. He swung the blade upwards from the ground to around Riken’s stomach. Riken’s blade met this last attack with relative ease. The adrenaline was now coursing through him and his senses seemed sharper than he ever thought possible. Once again, the dull thud could be heard. Riken let out a slight whistle as he exhaled his held breath. He was surprised, it all happened so fast. “Good, good. That wasn’t half bad for your first time” Bayard complimented. Riken thanked him with a smirk. “And you even got in the footwork too. Impressive. There may be hope for you yet.” He followed up. Riken looked down at his feet. He hadn’t even realized he had been stepping back. He was so focused on just blocking. He let out a small smile, he was proud of himself. “Now we will go again.” Bayard said making his way back to the middle of the ring. “We’ll do this until you are comfortable from blocking at all angles. Agreed?” He asked Riken. “Agreed.” Riken responded. “Great!” He said with enthusiasm. “Now, bring your blade up and get ready.” Bayard said raising his sword back up into his ready stance. Riken did the same. “Ready….Go!” Bayard shouted swinging his blade at Riken. Again, the echo could be heard. Time spun by and the day rolled into the late evening. The sun faded and the sky turned into a dull orange and red hue. Both Bayard and Riken were sitting on the edge of the ring, tired and out of breath. Bayard picked up his canister of water and took a drink. He turned and tapped Riken on the shoulder to see if he wanted a drink. Riken turned and saw the canister Bayard held. He shook it gesturing to see if he wanted a drink. Riken grabbed the container and took a drink himself. “You did well today. I can tell you have some…natural skill with a blade.” Bayard told Riken “Thanks, you’re not too bad yourself. You know for an older guy.” Riken said in a humorous tone. Bayard turned to look at Riken. The two made eye contact and there was a brief moment of silence. Then the two broke out into laughter. In that moment Riken felt at home here, as if he had found the place he was meant to be. The laughter came to an end and Riken turned to back to look out at the small grassy area that surrounded the ring. He began thinking about his past, his family and the pain associated with their loss. They would have been proud at how far he had come on his own. At least that’s what he’d like to think. Bayard stood up with a deep breath. “Well, I think we can call it a day here.” He said with a stretch of his arms. “I can keep going, I’m not that tired yet.” Riken said through a yawn pausing a moment after saying that before scrambling to stand up. “Whoa whoa, relax Riken. You don’t want to burn yourself out on the first day. Besides we have years to still to go. We’ll have plenty of time to train.” Bayard said holding out both hands in a calming motion. “Why don’t you take the rest of the night off and …. reflect on what we practiced today. Yeah that’s it. Reflect.” Bayard told Riken with hesitation. “Reflect?” Riken asked in a questioning tone. “Yes…its part of the training. One must always reflect on the day’s activities in order to better themselves. Bayard said with a grin on his face. Riken just rolled his eyes. “Fine, I'll go and reflect on what I learned today.” He said using air quotes for reflect. “Good you go do that and ill be seeing you tomorrow. Bright and early this time please.” Bayard said hopping out of the ring. He took a few steps forward and stopped. “It’s not a crime to take a break now and then. Just remember that okay?” Bayard said turning his head to the side trying to convey his message to Riken. “I will.” Riken said understanding his concern for his wellbeing. Bayard nodded his head and continued on his way out of the training area. Riken waited for him to leave the area before standing up and turning back to the center of ring. He picked up his sword and walked to the middle. He held it up in the stance Bayard trained him in today and began to practice once again. The dull thud was heard once again.


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