Crisis

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 36 (v.1) - A Battle Of Wits

Submitted: November 03, 2014

Reads: 276

Comments: 2

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Submitted: November 03, 2014

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A Battle Of Wits:

Hugo—

Percival’s Staff grew thinner, and his armor went from Gold to Silver. He slammed it down onto the ground before letting it go.

Tarot_card__knight_of_staff_by_zionencie

(The Staff Of Percival-Caduceus)

“Let the third battle begin,” said the short man.

“Master Tech,” said Percival. “Shall we get started?”

“Sure thing,” I replied. “What have you got for me?”

“Hugo, whatever happens, don’t die!” yelled Lance.

“Thanks for caring Lance,” I yelled up at him.

“No, Sherona will kill me if I don’t bring you back,” he replied.

“Oh, thanks for the Honesty,” I laughed.

“But I care too,” Lance continued. “So just don’t die…for me and Sherona.”

“Do not meet your end at the hands of this man, Hugo!” yelled Rose. “Oh my, I have not had any speaking lines for quite some time.”

“I know,” said Amberlin. “Your Popularity must be going down!”

"I haven't had any speaking lines lately either," said Lily.

"Nobody cares," said Trinity. "You aren't even supposed to be here!"

"How did you get in the Hover-Jet anyways?" asked Lance.

"Well...I talked to Hugo's Wife Sherona and she told me to go in there to hide...except that I think that she was just blowing me off...hmm."

“Silence!” yelled Percival. “Master Tech, if you would?”

“Indeed,” I replied. “What is the challenge?”

Percival snapped his fingers, and the floor in front of me was replaced by Three Blue Neon Squares.

“Each Square represents a Challenge,” Percival explained. “Each Challenge gets you One Square forward. Complete all 3 Challenges, and you slit my throat. Failure of any Challenge and you die.”

“I see,” I said as I pushed my glasses up the bridge of my nose. “A few dozen ways for me to die, and only one for you; very shrewd, you are in charge of the Challenge after all.”

“Yes indeed,” said Percival. “You are a smart man Master Hugo.”

“I like to think so,” I laughed. “Shall we begin?”

“Of course,” Percival replied. “Challenge Number One is 3 Riddles, amusingly challenging phrases of words with an obviously simple answer which hides in plain sight. Are you prepared?”

“Let’s get started,” I sighed.

“Very well,” Percival began. “Riddle Me This: Sum Sam and Product Pete are given separate tasks, with similar conclusions. Sam is tasked with finding the Sum of two numbers, and Pete must obtain the product of the same two numbers Sam must find the Sum of. Sam says he does not know what the numbers are, but Pete responds that he too does not know the numbers. Sam replies that due to his answer, he now knows the answer. What are the numbers?”

“Tricky,” I said as I shook my head. “The numbers are 3 and 4.”

“Impressive,” Percival said. “You’re correct. Explain to me how you came to the conclusion.”

“Well it’s pretty obvious,” I said simply. “Since Sam knows the Sum of the numbers, he could only know the answer immediately if the Sum was 4, which would be 2+2, or 5, which would be 3+2. When Pete discovers that Sam did not know the answer, the Product must have several numbers that add up to the Sum. It would be 7=3+4, and 7=5+2. Now, when Pete doesn’t know the answer, we must now assume that the Product must have more than one Pair of Viable Factors, which would be 12=3x4 and 12=6x2. At this Point, Sam can only assume that the numbers are 3 and 4 due to the fact that they are the only numbers that meet the criteria.”

Percival nodded impressively, while everyone else gaped at the pair of us.

“Someone…please tell me,” Amberlin began. “What the HELL did he just say?!”

“I…I don’t know,” Lance stammered. “Was that even English?”

“Next one please,” I said.

“Excellent,” Percival continued. “Riddle Me This: If it is information you seek, then come and find me. If it is pairs of letters you require, I have consecutively three. What am I?”

“A Book-Keeper,” I answered swiftly. “Next.”

“Wait, how did he know that?!” Amberlin exclaimed.

“Very well then,” said Percival with a hint of annoyance. “Riddle Me This: Smell me, buy me, and deliver me. I will never change. What am I?”

“You’re getting sloppy now Percival,” I sighed. “It’s Scent, Cent, and Sent.”

“O…okay,” said Percival. “Quick review, how were they?”

“First one was a little bit on the easy side, but you would have to be well versed on mathematics…at least simple mathematics. The last two were…well, sorry Sir, but it was awful.”

“I see,” said Percival. “Now for Challenge Number 2 Hugo, step forward.”

I stepped forward to the First Square and waited for the next Challenge. In front of me, a table formed, with four Vials on top.

“Alright,” I began.

“Four Vials stand before you, one with the key to let you forward, the other three containing a deadly Poison. To proceed, you must find the Cure, which sits to the left of a Poison, but not the right. Select the bottle…and await your fate.”

“Easy,” I sighed as I picked up the farthest left one and downed it.

“What?” asked Percival. “How did you—

“You gave it away! Three are Poison, the Cure sits to the left of Poison but not to the right? Ya could have worded it better! You’re too easy.”

 “Very well, next is a sporting game of Chess,” said Percival as lo and behold, a Chess Set appeared between us.

“Alright,” I sighed as I sat down with him. “I’m a little rusty now, but I hope I can still play well.” I then pulled out my Carton of Cigarettes and my Lighter. “I’m sorry, do you mind?”

“By all means, go ahead,” said Percival.

“Good,” I said as I lit one up. “My Wife got me these last time I saw her. I mean, she disapproves of Smoking, but, you know Women.”

“Indeed,” said Percival. “Shall we?”

“Of course,” I said as I exhaled…

(2 Minutes Later)

“Checkmate,” I sighed.

“I-impossible,” exclaimed Percival. “No one…no one has ever defeated me in Chess!”

“Well I…guess this means you die,” I said simply.

He smirked at me.

“No,” he laughed. “YOU die!”

Percival pulled out a small knife and lunged at me, but without even moving, I pulled out the Pistol I lifted off of Jackson and blasted a shot right through his chest.

“Sir Percival,” I sighed as I ashed my Cigarette. “You make the Title of an Intellectual Knight weep. You tried to fool me into thinking that this was a Battle of Wits when really, your Staff measures the Intelligence of your opponent, and the little Challenges you provide are cheap ways of you luring me closer to you. You’re probably the least Combat Efficient Knight here, so you like to get your opponent to drop their guard. Sure, you MIGHT get away with outsmarting lesser individuals, but with me, it just a poor tatic that doesn't work well. You think I didn't notice the setup?! I’m simply smarter than you.”

“This…this is impossible,” Percival sighed as he fell to the ground.

“To be honest,” I said as I stood up. “I’m a little disappointed in all of this…”

***

Lance—

“Was that…was that really a fight with a Knight?” Lucifer asked.

“You know, I was expecting more out of that, that fight was disappointing,” said Amberlin. "I am SO not entertained right now!"

“This isn’t a TV show Amberlin!” Trinity yelled. "It's not: Prime Time on Crisis, tune in next week to see the next exciting battle!"

“Yeah, we’re down three Knights now Amberlin,” I said. “And Hugo isn’t half dead from fighting him, this is a good thing.”

“Sir Percival of the 9th Seat,” The short man declared. “Is dead. Victory goes to Master Hugo Tech.”

“Yay for me,” said Hugo. “Is someone gonna help me get out of here? I can’t jump incredible heights like some people here.”

“Sure thing buddy,” I said. “I’ll help you out of there.”

“Halt!” yelled the short man to me. “You cannot assist him—

“Hey, shut up!” yelled Amberlin. “The match is over.”

As I helped Hugo out of the Arena, the Knights once again began to brood.

“Sickening,” one of them said.

“They make fools out of us,” another one grunted. He drew his Sword. “We take the fight to them! Let us avenge our fallen brothers!”

“Intermission,” said Lancelot as he turned around. “All Knights, follow me.”

“Jesus, that was easy,” Hugo complained. “I was expecting a bit more out of Percival…lovable oaf. A wee bit full of himself, but he was a likeable guy.”

***

Aurora—

“WHAT?!” I roared. “WHAT?!” I roared again.

“We are down three Knights,” said Lancelot. “Forgive me Your Majesty,” he said with a bow. “We underestimated them—

“You absolute fool!” I roared. “You know what to do don’t you?”

“Yes,” Lancelot replied with a bow. “I will take care of them all…personally…”

***

Lance—

After several minutes, the Knights all returned, with Lancelot leading the way as usual.

“There has been a change,” said Lancelot. “I am next to do battle.”

“What?!” Amberlin roared.

“Damn it,” I muttered. “I thought they were gonna save him for last.”

“Lance,” began Lucifer. “I will go—

“Lucifer,” I replied. “We can’t lose you either. Hunter isn’t around right now to back us up in case you don’t make it—

“Lance, you are the one person we just cannot afford to lose,” said Lucifer.

“No,” I said. “It has to be me. I’m the only one with a shot at taking him down.”

“Lance,” said Trinity. “I don’t mean to come across as rude, and I really would never downplay your Skill but…you couldn’t even keep up with # 5. How do you plan on beating their leader?”

I exhaled.

“Because I’ve still got some tricks up my sleeve Trinity,” I said.

“Exactly,” Hugo added in. “Which is why you SHOULDN’T go in. Think about it, if the other Knights see whatever it is you’re still capable of, the element of surprise will no longer be there. Lucifer is Powerful, he has a fair shot too, but just in case he doesn’t finish him off, he’ll at least be able to force him to show his hand to increase your odds of beating him.”

I looked around at everyone, and saw that they agreed with Hugo’s words. Trinity was nodding at me with that same look in her eyes she always had whenever she didn’t want me to do something.

“It’s for the best,” she told me.

I then shook my own head.

“Fine,” I grunted. “Lucifer just—

“I cannot die,” he said with a smirk. “The battle will either last forever, or I’ll fake death, we can do this—

“Are you all quite done?” Lancelot boasted from below. “I’m waiting. Don’t you have any desire to save your friend? Or…have you forfeited her meaningless life to our hands?”

I turned around and glared at him.

“What did you just say?” I hissed.

“Lance, don’t fall for it,” Trinity said as she grabbed my arm. “He’s baiting you—

“It was me,” said Lancelot with a smirk. “I was the one who kidnapped her. I took your Woman away from you...and there is nothing you can do about it...boy.”

I heard not another word as I drew my blade and jumped down at him.

“Lance, NO,” Trinity screamed.

I swung at Lancelot as hard as I could, but he staved off my attack by blocking with his Bracer.

“I knew it! I KNEW out of all of these guys here, YOU WERE THE ONE THAT TOOK HER AWAY!” I yelled.

“If you are angry, then do something about it,” Lancelot goaded.

He shoved me away and I slid back, glaring at him.

“Sorry guys,” I said. “Change of plan…if I don’t leave this Arena, it means that both of us are dead.”

“Lance, please, be careful,” said Trinity.

I pulled down my left sleeve and clenched my fist as swirls of black light slowly gathered around me.

“I’m going at this guy with everything I’ve got,” I said. “And I’ll finish this in an instant.”

The ground blew up and threw up dust that shrouded me inside of it. Lancelot looked with a blank stare towards my area, not even flinching. From the smoke, I emerged from the top and look at him.

“T-that form” Lancelot stammered as his eyes widened. “It cannot be!"


© Copyright 2018 S.R.B. Gray. All rights reserved.

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