Chapter 9:

Night Games III

Sword Quest

    The wooden spear whizzed just over Cedric’s head, and smacked loudly against the middle pavilion. Cedric remained unperturbed by this, and lunged forward before skidding around the corner of the middle pavilion.

Quentle’s twenty-meter desperation throw had told him the pavilion he was heading toward was the right choice. Sure enough, he threw his arm to the top of the pavilion, and snatched the small green flag pinned to it.

After waiting a moment to allow Mel’s last ditch arrow to fall harmlessly behind him, Cedric stuck the flag out beyond the pavilion, waving it in a showing manner.

“So, you two want to explain the attempts to take my head off?”

Having regrouped at the center of the main pavilion, Cedric stood menacingly before the seated boys, crossed arms and furrowed brow.


They both muttered this, looking away.

“Really? Okay, well since it’s so hard to aim, don’t be upset if I ‘slip’ a few times myself.”

The two boys silently gulped, both too frustrated by their loss to argue.

“Well then, I’m ready for round two. Mel, you’re looking fairly lonely, why don’t you give it a go first?”


“And don’t forget, anything that looks like collusion will result in the guilty teammate being up next by default.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know the rules, Wardric. Let’s go already.”


Second round: Cedric(archer) shoots Mel(attacker) in the chest.

Third round: Cedric(defender) disables Mel(attacker) with blows to both legs.

Fourth round: Cedric(archer) shoots Mel(attacker) in both legs with consecutive shots.

Fifth round: Cedric(defender) disables Quentle(attacker) with a stab to the gut.

Sixth round: Cedric(archer) shoots Quentle(attacker) in the gut.

Seventh round: Cedric(archer) shoots Quentle(attacker) in the gut.

Eighth round: Cedric(defender) holds Quentle(attacker) still while Mel(archer) shoots him in the gut.

Ninth round: Quentle(attacker) collapses in combat with Cedric(defender).


Cedric’s technical precision, along with his anger driven focus, proved to be too much for the other two. It was simply night and day’s difference from battling the impossible Valblin, and his persistent training seemed to be coming together thanks to the differing experiences.

“How the hell did this turn into a game against me half way through?”

The boys collapsed on the table in the pavilion, thoroughly exhausted.

“Well, a spear would have hurt a lot more than an arrow, if you hadn’t thought about that.”

“Yeah, yeah, my bad.”

“Right…well, I’m done for the night, myself,” Cedric groaned.

“Me too, it’s unfair when you get like that,” Mel sneered.

“Hmph, same…not that I wouldn’t win if we started again!”

“Hahh. You two are ridiculous, you know?”

“So, Cedric, if you’re not interested in Tess, who ya got? There’s gotta be someone.”

Chomping loudly into an apple, Quentle began the conversation with his usual no-limit attitude.


“No, no, I’m not letting you off the hook, Wardric!”

“I have nothing to say. Besides, why am I being targeted? What about you two?”

“Ah come on, there’s nothing to say there, that’s a fight for another day!”

“Well then I’ll give you an answer another day, too.”

“Oh, come on! I won’t be satisfied until you give me a name! Or if you want I’ll start subtly throwing you at Tess?”

“Hoh, you know he’ll do it, too.”

Cedric frowned at the chuckling Mel. Since his odd mood seemed to lighten up with the conversation, he figured he might as well take one for the team. He also knew it would be a pain to deal with if Quentle really put his mind into his threat. With an exaggerated sigh, he sat up.

“I don’t have a name to give you, but there’s only been one girl that’s ever stuck in my mind.”

“Oooh? Go on, go on, go on.”

“Hahh. I was only about eight at the time, so I don’t remember that well. I used to wait in the courtyard while my father did business in the castle, and this girl, she was probably our age, had long blonde hair, and…. She knew about all the flowers and plants, and would lead me through all the greenhouses every day and just rave on about all of them. I didn’t have much of a childhood, so that was pretty memorable for me, I guess.”

“Whoa. Sounds super cheesy. I like it.”

“Hmm…Blonde, huh? Could very well be noble, maybe even royal-ha, as if..”

“Wait a minute! Light hair…plants…girl…courtyard…noble…Guys! Isn’t that-

“It’s not Selmy.” Cedric and Mel both cut him off.

“, what happened??”
“Uh, nothing really. Eventually she stopped showing up when the war got worse, and then they stopped allowing kids in the city, much less the castle.”

“Ahh, what a boring ending!”


“This is why I told you I had nothing to say...”

“Hm! Well, I’ll make it one of my missions as Sword Heir to find her and reunite you two perfectly, plants and all!”

Quentle jumped to his feet, sticking his chest toward the dull gray sky.

As he did so, the nearby forest seemed to shudder, a low noise reverberating far in the distance.

“Ah…did I do that?”

“No, you idiot. It’s a battle… we should get back…”

Cedric frowned at the forest, and then at Mel, whose earlier gloominess had returned.

As the boys prepared to leave, Cedric’s thoughts permeated with concern for his friends.

Galgi…Ralin…hang in there.

The horse ran into Galgi at full force, throwing him into an awkward spin. Somehow, he managed to get a hand on the horse’s saddle, and just barely hung on to it. Around him were some fifty more horses racing toward the wall, shaded by the ever-multiplying smoke. If he let go, he would be crushed underfoot by the stampede of the strong cavalry unit.

Desperate, he attempted to reel himself into the horse. The rider, aware of his unwelcome passenger, attempted to cut the piece of saddle Galgi was holding onto, but received a small knife in the top of his hand in response.

Wrenching the horse’s reins over in a fit of pain, the man removed the knife, and before Galgi could throw another, leapt up from the horse.

The horse’s momentum threw Galgi upward, into a position to strike the man had he remained seated. Instead, Galgi caught a glimpse of a silvery rope of some sort, and lost sight of the man after landing a glancing blow on his right hip. His momentum took the knife into the horse’s back, which caused it to flail wildly before throwing itself, along with Galgi, violently into the earth.

Miraculously without serious injury, Galgi used the horse’s thrashing body as cover as the cavalry sped around them. He could see some of the riders more closely as they stomped just inches away from him, and noticed that their golden armor and uniform seemed to be wrapped in a crossing red sash, the same kind that his knife had just gotten a piece of.

Grasping the red sash as the riders passed, Galgi rolled away from the horse, having taken several hooves to the head and back, and regained his composure. The cavalry then fell under heavy archer fire up ahead. Thanks to that, he felt safe returning to his comrades.

Running in a desperate stagger across the beach and through five or six enemy infantrymen, he eventually made it back to the shield-which was now in several pieces.

Spotting his best friend first, he pulled a slab of broken rock off him, to reveal a body that could only be described as one large, bloodied abrasion.



A small cough emitted from the burly man, who then drearily opened his eyes.


“heh…heya Galg. Between a rock and a hard place, aren’t we?”

“Haha… shut up, you fool.”

As a tearful Galgi began tending to Ralin’s worst wounds, Beidin, Peter, and Roz all crawled up to them, nursing moderate wounds.

“Captain…protected us all. He lifted the shield up when you called out, and pointed it upward at the last moment.”

“The initial impact was scattered on either side, so we didn’t take on too much of it. But the tail of that thing, it came in through the middle and destroyed the shield.”

“Captain Ralin took the brunt of it…for our sake.”

“That so, is it...who’s the genius now, Ral…”

“Yep, really used my head on that one…”

“Stop talking, fool. Men-ah, you’re all okay, thank goodness. Everyone form a perimeter while Simon and Jean continue treating Ral. I’m taking Filipe to scout the battlefield. We shouldn’t have to worry about being targeted in this smoke, so just stay defensive for now.”

“But Captain…you don’t look that much better. Shouldn’t-

“I’m fine, Esca. I’m the Captain, let me worry about myself.”

The men all nodded, and Galgi took off with Filipe, the quickest of them, in stride.

Beyond the smoke, they found-

-more despair.

The infantrymen who had been charging earlier numbered few, enemy units tearing through the last of them with ease. One enemy unit continued their advance, in the direction of Galgi and Filipe.

“Ahh..this is bad, Captain. Do we go back and make a stand with the guys?”
A pained grimace froze on Galgi’s face. Deep in thought, he raced through their limited options, failing to come up with anything that would get them out of this alive.

His usual neatly combed hair was disheveled, his face half covered in dirt and blood. His flimsy armor was chipped all over and essentially useless at this point, and his legs verged on giving out.

Regardless, he took a sure step forward, his eyes focused ahead.

At that moment, another bout of pandemonium came from the eastern shores.

It was another stampede of a cavalry, but its number was exponentially larger.

The Wolverine infantrymen had less than half a minute to prepare. The galleys were also unable to adjust in time, their focus having shifted solely to the wall.

The cavalry charged directly into the mouth of the enemy, searing through the infantrymen like jelly. Their armor was thicker, and their weapons sturdier. The man in the lead, covered in wrappings and minimal armor, minced through the soldiers with a curved broad blade as if they were simply tall grass in his way.

The unit, numbering around three thousand, swarmed the beach, taking out the now disorganized Wolverine infantrymen in a complete rout. From the middle of the pack, fire arrows began whistling toward the galleys on the shoreline.

The wall now clear to fire without distraction, ballista arrows began soaring into the ships, doing significant damage.

It took less than three minutes for the galleys to retreat, rallying to cover their flagship, which had taken moderate damage.


Galgi dropped to his knees, letting his blades fall to the earth.

“Captain…this is wonderful!”

“Filipe..go let the guys know…we’ve been saved by 3,000 Man Commander Al.”

“That’s…Al the Bleeder?!”

“That’s right…the poor villager who became the third highest ranking commander stationed on this side of the mountains. He’s an old friend of ours.”

As Filipe ran back to the others, the scattered Teuton army roared in victory.

“We made it…through the night.”

Unable to cheer along, Galgi raised a weak fist, chuckling as he fell to the ground, unconscious.