Reads: 4

Bells were ringing throughout Efforos, a funeral was planned, and all of the nobles in the land were invited. However, nobody showed up, not even their ally Ulf. This marked the start of the betrayal wars, in which all the pledges were rendered meaningless and vanished into thin air as if they had never been made. The brothers and their sons attended the funeral, and following it, they held a family meeting.

We have no one else but us, in this room and this room alone, so the first rule is unity; we must keep blood pure; no marriages to people from other houses; no relations with strangers; just us. The second rule is reconquest; there is territory we lost and the command is take it back, added Belen.

Leander inquired, "What is the strategy?"

"We begin initially with" Zeo Zendard and Sir Leo interrupted Belen as they entered the room with Niles, while he was unconscious.

"Get the masters now" said Sir Leo as he place Niles on the table

"Zendard don't fucking drink this" said Zeo and took the wine from his hands

"He was fine, but the wound just keep opening again" Zendard replied

Niles was sent to be taken care by the master while Sir Leo, Zeo and Zendard were arrested, and Belen went to Sir Leo to interrogate him.

"Two weeks we have not seen you four, tell me what happened"

"It all started with your fathers last words" said Sir Leo and remembered....

"Find him, Leo, he couldn't be dead." Leo was contemplating the king's final remarks.

Zendard stopped Leo and Zeo as they were leaving the tent to prepare for their search for the missing prince, saying, "He is my brother; I would do whatever he asks just like you."

Good, we need more men, Sir Leo remarked.

Come on then, Zeo urged, "the longer we waste, the more we lose him."

Sir Leo said, "Let's go," and they left since Zeo knew someone who could assist them.

Zendard asked, "who?"

"A woman," Zeo answered.

Zendard remarked, "I don't believe Niles would be playing about with a woman if he were stabbed."

"She isn't that kind of women; she is a witch" Zeo explained

Do you trust her?" questioned Sir Leo.

Zeo answered, "Yes, I wouldn't be leading us somewhere we can't trust. They quickly arrived at the wet lands because they are close to fish town, where they went.

"Is anybody here?" Zeo yelled.

You are the lost prince, right? The witch gestured at Zendard.

Okay, I think I get it now, Zendard said.

Zeo remarked, "We are looking for someone."

She answered, "I don't have him, Zeo."

"I didn't waste my time coming here; whether you like it or not, you're going to help. What do you want so we can find him?" Sir Leo remarked

A finger, she remarked.

Let's go for it, said

As he pulled his left hand, Sir Leo

The witch said, "Not you and not here, come inside," and she turned around to return to her cottage. 

Do not make this too challenging for me, please. said Zeo

I need one of his fingers, so I won't. The witch gestured at Zendard.

Sir Leo, grab me, and you woman, give me that drink. I'll do it for my brother. Zendard gulped some wine while resting his hand on the table.

Sir Leo dragged him to the rear so the witch could do her work after she chopped his finger off with a saw. Zeo was shocked when he saw Niles in bed being cared for by a woman after she burned his finger. After that, the witch stopped communicating with him.

She stated, "Across the river, right north of fish town."

How far north are we? Zeo queried

She said, "Not more than 10 miles north."

Having healed Zendard's hand, she mounted her horses and rode them swiftly through the night, like bolts of lightning. Sir Leo had assumed he could cross the river, but the water was too swift and deep, so they went around it.

All through the night, they didn't stop, and as the dawn came up, Zendard was still drinking and singing a northern war song.

A song from the north! Which is Zendard's side? Zeo queried

Zendard responded, "Songs have nothing to do with politics," and suddenly a crack was audible between the bushes.

Zeo asked Sir Leo, "Food or peril?"

Zendard retorted, "Food doesn't move that loud."

Who visits there, Zeo inquired?

You already forgot about me? Girl questioned Zeo

 Zendard said, "I don't know whether I know here, I'm too intoxicated to tell."

Torris is one of Niles' spies, I believe. Why are you not in the city's seat? Zeo inquired.

Torris said, "I had what you were searching for, but he went off."

Why did you have him, Sir Leo questioned?

She responded, "Like your brother stated, I work for him in the castle; I saved him when he got stabbed but he fled yesterday night." Zendard questioned,

"Why didn't you track him?" Torris responded,

"I am not skilled at that and it rained heavily last night, the footprints were light, I could hardly see much."

Sir Leo questioned, "Which direction did he head in?"

Would you like to join my excursion to the Hillilia Peninsula, which is to the east and a little to the south? Torris answered.

Zeo inquired, "Is it to discover him?"

"Yes," Torris replied.

Do you have faith in her brother? Sir Leo inquired

Zeo retorted, "I did make her prince eyes and ears, indeed I did."

Zendard said, "Let's go, what are we waiting for?"

Zeo responded, "We'll go with you." They left as she had instructed, and although it was difficult to see anything because the footprints were almost lost, they headed to the Hillilia Peninsula.

It was both good and bad news when blood was spotted somewhere close to Efforos Hill's.

We are approaching, Zendard remarked.

That's new, Zeo remarked.

"He's been around. When you found him, did you stitch up his wounds?" Zendard inquired.Torris answered, "Of course I did."

Zeo remarked, "That just means he received new ones or the old ones got opened again."We need to move quickly because otherwise he could pass away at any time. Niles was discovered laying on the ground, according to Sir Leo, when they hurried and ran after the tracks.

Sir Leo yelled, "MY PRINCE, NILES." 

Niles asked, on the edge of passing out, "Sir Leo?"

Take him and catch up with me, Torris commanded. She moved toward Efforos Woods in the north.

When Niles, who was on the edge of passing out, saw his father, he pleaded with him to leave him.

However, Sir Leo promised Alexander years ago and did not want to breach that vow now, so he seized Niles and they followed Torris as Niles cried out "FATHER!"

"Your dad passed away, Niles," Sir Leo retorted, "Leo, I want you to promise me that you will defend my family. It is only loyalty that makes a stranger family," wiping away a tear as he remembered his pledge. "

What you accomplished before you were a Sir is not important to me; this is what matters.

"Kira it's me Torris, I need help for the prince, Niles," Torris yelled.

When they eventually came across a hut, a woman walked out of it and smacked Torris before warning him that men might hear and come after her or him.

Torris stated, "I had to, the prince was stabbed."

Sir Leo whispered, "Stay with me prince, keep your eyes open," as Niles lowered his eyes.

Kira responded, "Last I heard he was dead."

I don't care what you say, but could you please assist him? Sir Leo reacted angrily.

Kira said to Sir Leo, "Put him inside and the rest will wait outside."

She spent the entire day in the cabin. Outside the cottage, they sat under a large tree. He is alive, but you can't take him now, Kira remarked as she emerged from the cottage under the light of the moon.

He has to return or a war would break out, Zendard remarked.

Give him at least two days, she said.

She is more knowledgeable than we are, therefore we will wait, Zeo and his brother concurred.

Sir Leo said, "She's right, we'll wait."

Which men? Torris questioned, "You warned men might hear and come for you or him when we got here.

After King Belen said that he would pay his brother 2 million gold, sale swords came here seeking for him a month earlier, Kira retorted.

Sir Leo inquired, "How many?"

Have you ever heard of the green men?"

F**k, they yelled.

Am I the only one who is unfamiliar with them? Sir Leo remarked

Know the Hillilia clan? Kira queried

The people who were here, fled to the north, and joined the Verioi family, Sir Leo said.

Not all of them, Zeo said, "ran north."

What's left of them, according to Torris, are the green men who sell swords while working for them and living on this peninsula.

"How many?" inquired Sir Leo.

There were hundreds, as far as I know, Torris said.

We won't make a fire tonight; instead, we'll take turns sleeping on the trees. Zendard remarked

They concurred, and men could be heard marching through the woods the following morning.

"The Hills our home, green our blood, and death to the enemy, green men we are, We have never bent we watch our enemies weep, while we gain more victories"

"Hooold!" the man in front said he looked at Sir Leo and he looked back.

"What triumphs do you refer to?" Sir Leo asked

The man retorted, "We are Hillilia's last men, and I tell about each of my enemies' histories."

"Remind me then," Sir Leo responded.

The man declared, "We've chased Elivia out of here."

Zendard retorted, "Yhea yhea, Elivia, how powerful you are, to beat men to new country, and then get beat by some Arrow."

I'm Drago, son of Akmad the tenth, and you are," Drago replied. "We don't appear to know each other."

"I am Leo, a born and raised son of Elivia, and today I lift my sword in front of my long-standing enemy and yell, What the fuck do you want?" declared Sir Leo

Drago responded, "I came to visit my friend in the hut, she's a witch.

She's not here, Sir Leo said.

When we arrived, there was no witch, says Zeo.

When did you arrive here, Drago questioned.

Sir Leo answered, "A day ago."

Drago questioned, "You know my men over here heard the screaming of a woman, did you kill my friend?"

Sir Leo answered, "No, as we said, there was no woman here in the first place.

Drago asked, "Well, could you send my love to her?"

Sir Leo said, "I will be willing if you tell me where she is."

Drago responded, "I will," and attacked Sir Leo with his sword. Zeo, Zendard, and Torris joined after Drago's soldiers joined in an assault.

The battle lasted all day; Drago was just as skilled as Sir Leo. For the first time, Leo felt competition, but he had never feared an opponent. Leo then calmly executed a technique that he had always hated; he deceived Drago into moving so that he would be vulnerable to being stabbed by his dagger.

the fight ended with that, while the green men ran away, Zeo saw that Torris was bleeding, breathing her last breath, he mercifully places his sword through her, ended her life.

"Go check on them, in the tent" said Sir Leo, and Zendard went to see that Kira is dead, and Niles is missing.

They're not here, Zendard yelled.

Zeo said with surprise, "What?!"

Sir Leo said, "Look, there are foot prints coming this way. Grab sh*t, let's chase after them."

They kept running until they noticed a man on a horse and fleeing with Niles unconscious on his back.

Zendard responded, "Give me a day, go after them."

Sir Leo said, "What?"

Zendard retorted, "I know some men who can help."

"No, we can deal with this" said Sir Leo

"No we cant they could be hiding in their their hills in the hundreds" replied Zendard

"He is right brother," said Zeo

"Fuck both of you" said Sir Leo and they separated Zeo went with his brother, while Zendard went West to fish town. The brothers did not stop until a camp fire was seen, a group of men celebrating, drinking and singing.

"That is them brother" said Zeo

"I know" replied Sir Leo

"We cant they are to many" said Zeo

"Did you count them?" Sir Leo asked

"Thirty men" replied Zeo

"Give me your sword, we do as they did to us, i fight them you take Niles and keep running, dont stop" said Sir Leo

"No" replied Zeo

"Shut up and do as i say" said Sir Leo aggressively and went off, he started clashing the swords and howling like a wolf, the men took notice and one of them came from the back, he had an axe.

"Who are you?" asked the man

"Boys what i am about to say is not metaphoric, poetic, rhetoric, or any other fancy way, I am death it self" said Sir Leo

Sir Leo attacked and killed the men all of them on after the other, Zeo was shocked he took Niles and ran as fast as he can, Sir Leo kept one alive and whispered in his ear "I will come after all of you, one after the other, tell that to your people, i am Sir Leo, knight of the land, Angle of death"

Sir Leo went to his brother and they finally slept, the next morning, Sir Leo saw a man from a distance and new danger was in the way, he woke up Zeo and said "Take Niles and the horse i will wait for Zendard to come, and tell him the good news"

"fine take care brother" replied Zeo

"You too" said Sir Leo

He was correct not long after Zeo went, a large force of cavalry came, maybe fifty men if not more, Sir Leo pulled out his swords and waited for them to attack but a man with a Bardiche came and asked "Your the one who killed my son?"

"your son?" asked  Sir Leo

"Drago" replied Akmad

"You are Akmad?" asked Sir Leo

"Yes" replied Akmad

"Then yes i did kill him" said Sir Leo

"Good, you done a good thing, but you have to understand, i must fight you and act as if i had any love or care to that boy"  Akmad said

"I do understand" replied Sir Leo

"How would you like to die?"

"Fighting your men, all at once"

"You shall have what you desire"

Sir Leo stood and got in position, the men ran at him with their horses, and he was unfazed, unhinged as if he was going to win, so he ran towards them and they clashed, Zendard saw the seen from a far with his eight-teen men, he rushed to help and the battle was bloody, only Akmad survived, and Sir Leo slowly stepped up to him, and said "What is wrong? scared?"

He placed his sword through Akmad and went home, with Zendard, they met Zeo in the way, Niles was bleeding again, so they rushed into the castle."

"We have a war to wage, you all are free to go" said Belen

"Thank you, my king"  replied Sir Leo.

 


Submitted: January 25, 2023

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