Metagore, The Battle For

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: House of Ghosts

Darius talks to Ky, while he practices his sword fighting.

Chapter 33 (v.2) - Sword Play

Submitted: July 02, 2016

Reads: 169

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Submitted: July 02, 2016

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Lord Darius and his duchess were in a windowless, confined room---barely lit by just a few candles. The massive demon was examining his many blades resting upon two different wooden sword racks and looked over his bows set upon another.

"How did the new recruits look this morning?" Ky asked as she moved her fingertips across a steel blade on display.

Darius' eyes sparkled as they followed along the claymore in his right hand. "They looked like children," he finally responded, returning the sword to its scabbard. "Like scared children wrapped in iron and steel," he finished while fastening the sheath around his waist.

"When do you think they'll be prepared enough to send into battle, my Lord?"

Darius grabbed a bow off of its rack. "They will never be prepared...not until they go out there and experience a battle." He grabbed a quiver full of arrows, and draped it and the bow over his shoulder.

He turned to his concerned duchess and placed his hand against her tanned cheek as he looked deeply into her worried, green eyes. "They are grown men, and they will be fighting beside the best knights in the six kingdoms. They will be fine...Okay?"

"Yes, my Lord," Ky gently nodded as the large hand left her face.

"What's with you always calling me 'my Lord'?"

Ky's brow furrowed. "You are the Lord of Sentries."

"Aye, I know this, Ky," Darius grumbled. "But you're not a commoner."

"No, but I do respect your position as lord."

"There is no need for formalities between us," the bulky demon responded as they left his armory. "We are more than just lord and duchess; and if some day you bear my seed, I would rather you not call me 'my Lord'. 'Darius' will suffice just fine."

"I understand...Darius," Ky said as she placed her hand over her stomach and rubbed it softly---imagining the feeling of carrying a baby in her womb. Ky smiled in the warmth of her imagination. "Oh, speaking of family," she started back up. "Zerin sent you another letter."

Darius' eyes grew close in anger. "Burn it like all the others," he snarled.

"Do you not wish to see what he has to say?"

"No!" he barked loudly at his duchess. "He's as good as dead to me."

"But he's your brother," Ky reminded him, even though the demon needed no reminders of the past that he had shared with his sibling.

"We may have come from the same womb, but that doesn't make us brothers."

"It's been a long time," Ky continued on. "I think it would do you some good to at least see what he has to say."

Darius' fierce face turned towards the petite succubus. "No, Ky! If you so wished to read his dishonoring filled letters, then go right ahead. But by the gods' mercy, you best burn them afterward."

Ky replied, "I have been reading them, my Lord-"

"Darius," he corrected her as they exited the corridor and entered into a courtyard which housed a combat practice area with armored wooden mannequins and archery targets on opposite sides from the other.

"Whatever," Ky sassed back at her lord. "He writes his apologies and wishes to speak with you. I write him back, stating that you do not want to talk with him, but he keeps pleading that one day you will."

Darius drew his sword from its sheath and looked boldly at Ky. "The next time you write him, tell him to fuck off, or better yet, for him to go get eaten by a death worm or something."

He walked away from her towards one of the mannequins and took position in front of it, spreading his feet apart to keep a better balance with his weapon. He took a step forward with his right foot, bringing his claymore up over his head and down against the collar of the dummy, embedding the blade between the pieces of armor it wore. Darius had a look of concentration on his face, blocking out all the sounds of the courtyard, while he focused on an imaginary battle.

The demon took a breath as he stepped back---his hands on the hilt of his blade, pulling it up and away as he braced his feet again to keep from falling with the weight of his weapon. Though the claymore generally took two hands to fight with, Darius preferred to practice using only one hand at a time as well, in case he became injured in battle. At times the demon lord would also practice with a blindfold to learn how to fight with only sound and feel, as war can lead to bouts at any time of the day or night.

Darius held the claymore in his left hand, putting more pressure on his right foot, and swung it in an upwards arch from the right, impaling the side of the dummy's head, and knocking its helmet off. In one motion he tossed the blade to his right hand, balancing on his left foot, and swiped the sword down to impale its shoulder. He continued his dance, going around the practice mannequin, switching his weapon from one hand to the other, even using both at times.

After some time Darius spun around to the left, and slashed the blade out, knocking off the chest armor of the mannequin, and watched as it flew towards a servant walking around the practice yard. Darius chuckled as the young servant gave a yelp of fear when the armor piece came close to colliding with him.

"You! Boy! If you're going to come through here while I practice, you might as well make yourself useful, put that chest piece on and pick up a sword. I could use a new opponent, seeing as my mannequin can only do so much."

"Aye, of course, m'Lord," the boy stammered out, clumsily putting on the armor before running to the weapons rack; his hair swinging away from his face to reveal his elven ears. After grabbing an armament, the elf nervously walked towards his lord, carrying a light-weight, metal rod used as a practice sword in his trembling hands.

At first, Darius just casually walked circles around his servant, raking his blade across the side of the elf's rounded sword; but occasionally he swung his sword half-speed at his opponent to be able to deflect easily. The two swordsmen continued their movements around the courtyard. With soft clings coming from their weapons, their feet prowled across the ashy ground.

Feeling unthreatened by the elf, Darius took a quick glance at Ky, before returning his eyes back onto the small figure in front of him. "When I become lord over the six kingdoms, I want all the viscounts removed and killed."

"But you need a council," Ky assured her lord as he swung his blade with more force. "The tasks of upholding the laws would be too much for just you and I, my Lord."

Darius---holding his sword in his left hand---swung it at the elf's legs. The servant staggered back as he deflected the mighty swing of Darius' blade. Darius seized the opportunity and stepped forward, ramming his opponent with his shoulder, causing the elf to fall backward from the substantial impact.

Darius stepped over the elf as he walked towards his duchess. "I'll replace them then. I'll replace them with non-elves," he said, emphasizing the final words.

"Is it fair to kill the old viscounts and replace them, just because they are elves?"

Darius glanced back at his downed opponent, who had slipped his right arm under the loose chest plate to rub his abdomen as he tried to catch his breath. The demon looked back at the beautiful succubus as he walked backward toward his elven servant. "It is unfair for them to think they are better than everyone else just because they can live a thousand years---the old selecting the new. Serving their lives to the same shitty order. Growing corrupt in their minds. There has to be a stop to it."

Darius slowly turned back around after hearing the sound of cloth sliding upon dirt, to see the young elf standing to his feet. He placed his claymore into its sheath and reached behind his back to slip his bow off of his black, ashy shoulder. With the silver bow in hand and an arrow in the other, he readied the bow. The demon had a careful look upon his face, while his opponent stood stunned and in fear of his life. In seconds the taught string was released, and the arrow soared past the pale servant's head, impaling itself into the center of a target at the edge of the courtyard.

The demon's eyes shifted to the elf's wide stare. "Fetch me a glass of mead."

"Of course, my Lord," the servant hastily replied as he took off his armor.

Darius readied another arrow, then released it at the target. Slivers of wood separated from the first as it split in two with the arrival of the second arrow.

"That was an excellent shot, my Lord," Ky congratulated him in a soft voice, still unease with his decision of killing the viscounts.

Darius gave her an uninterested look in response to her comment as he readied a third arrow. Still glaring at his duchess, he raised his bow up and released another shot at the target. It took just a split second for the arrow to make its mark, and a few more for Ky to see the outcome and register the sight of the feathered end of the arrow being the only visible part extruding from the target. The third and final arrow had split the second down the middle, as with the first. It had been released with such high velocity that the arrow impaled through the plaque of the wooden target, almost entirely exiting it on the other side.

The demon glanced over at the target, as his servant returned with his drink. He took the glass and chugged the smooth, dry nectar. After he had swallowed the last drop, he handed the glass back to the elf and waved him away. Darius turned back towards his duchess, as he wiped his arm across his mouth. "If the viscounts can do that, then they can live."

***

The next day, Darius made his way to the barracks to meet with his marquess. As he entered the training yard, a thousand new knights were sparring with another. Walking about the group of recruits---barking out commands, trying to prepare the men for war---was Marquess Lucius.

"Lucius, how are the recruits coming along?" Darius asked as he approached the dark demon.

"Their archery skills are insufficient, my Lord, but their physical attributes are compelling," the elder demon responded.

"We need the strength."

"They will be excellent additions to our forces, my Lord," his marquess responded.

"Good!" A sinister smile grew on Darius' face. "Have them suited up and ready for departure at the break of dawn."

"But my Lord, I'm not sure if they will hold up at in the field," Lucius uneasily informed his lord. "They still need plenty of training before they are battle ready."

Darius scowled, "There is no way to completely get them prepared for battle." He paused for a second, then continued, "I want them sent out tomorrow morning. Do I make myself clear?"

Lucius lowered his head. "Aye, my Lord. But what about attire? We don't have near enough chips and pennies to suit them all with armor and weapons."

"Are you saying that Sentries is broke?"

"Aye. Our former treasurer spent all of our purse on whores and expensive wine," Lucius responded as he turned and pointed to an elf on the far side of the yard, sparring with a mannequin.

"Fucking elf," Darius snarled as his nasal cavity flared. "Leave them in their practice attire, and equip them with what we have on hand. If we are short on equipment, send him out bare with a horn of wine. I want to end this war quickly and take my seat as the lord of the six kingdoms."

 


© Copyright 2018 D. L. Stewart. All rights reserved.

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