Chapter 17 (Training)
Adina cursed again as another of her teachers got through her defenses. The way she was going she was going to be nothing but a big bruise when they were done. Swinging wildly she grunted when her sword was stuck in a beam that was beside her. Cursing, frustrated she tried to wrench it loose to no avail.
sudden clapping behind her had her whirling a hiss issuing from her throat her fangs bared. “Think again about teasing me brother!” Adina growled as her brother backed up his paws in the air a wide smile on his face.
“I’ll take my chances for the time being,” he told her as she growled even more.
“I will learn these skills if it kills me!” She yelled as her sword came loose with her falling backwards on her butt. This of course caused another round of laughter from her brother. Adina arose, stalking her brother her sword before her. “Beware brother!” She warned as she issued another hiss.
Drawing back she was about to strike when she felt the sword wrenched from her grasp none too gently. “ADINA!” She heard the growling roar of Ambrose. “It is not above your standing to be executed for attacking your brother! He is a sub-king, attacking him carries a heavy penalty even for you!”
Adina turned her mouth agape; bowing low she begged the forgiveness of Ambrose. Then she turned toward her brother Typree growling trying to apologize. “I’m ... I’m,” she managed to get out.
“You apologize for trying to attack me?” Typree stated with a straight face. When all Adina could do was nod affirmative Typree Sighed. “I also apologize to you my sister. I know you are taking your duties seriously. I have never seen you try as hard as you are now. In actuality I am impressed; a few days ago you couldn’t even hold a sword. Now you were not only holding it, you’re holding it correctly.”
Adina’s eyes got large then narrowed as she stared at her brother. “If all you are going to do is make fun of me then leave!” Adina hissed.
Sighing Typree nodded as he turned to go. “You should take it easier on him Adina. He’s only trying to protect you,” Ambrose told her.
“Protect me? I am not a little cub, I proved that with you. At least I thought I had. What, you think I am a little cub also don’t you?” Adina spit out.
Sighing Ambrose shook his head, “I...”
[I am no weakling I thought I had proved that enough to you.] Adina thought to Ambrose.
Sighing Ambrose knew she wasn’t going to let it go. [I know you are no weakling, what you are, is hardly skilled to protect the queens and the other Paladins. There will be cubs one day and... ]
[Cubs! So you are thinking of children!] Came Adina’s excited reply.
[Yes and if a word of this escapes to their ears there are other forms of punishment we could try. Perhaps going back to Mandria in a type of exile for a while? I know you missed me but this would be worse. So, your answer?]
Adina hung her head, [they won’t hear it from me, cousin.]
Niaco, Glenna, and Twitty were watching shaking their heads. “Alright Mileen, please continue. I have to go train more with your mate though.” Here Ambrose scratched his chin. “I might train a little with all seven of you. In order to injure Thomas like you did, you obviously have a few tricks he is almost defenseless against.” Ambrose said with a grin.
Mileen smiled blushing as she bowed to Ambrose. The praise felt fantastic as did the fact that the King was acknowledging her skills. Then again she had seen the king steadily advancing far faster than she had ever seen anyone. “Thank you sire, though at present you are advancing quickly. I doubt I could defeat you easily now.”
Ambrose’s eyes went wide then he nodded. “I am still not completely trained though I am giving your mate fits.”
Mileen nodded then giggled as did his mates. “Oh yes Sire. He has mentioned you are improving, I believe he said...”
“I think that’s enough mate!” Came the voice of Thomas from the doorway behind them. “We don’t want the king to get killed from a swelled head!”
Again there was quiet giggling from his mates and Mileen. Then suddenly Niaco was laughing full out. When Ambrose stared at them with a fierce look they all started to laugh harder. Niaco suddenly stopped, and walking up to Ambrose whispering in his ear, “I am sorry Sire, there is only one swelled head I am interested in!” She licked the side of his face, purring as she walked away, leaving a shocked and blushing Ambrose.
Looking over at an also blushing Adina, Ambrose growled giving her an intense look. Walking further out into the exercise yard Ambrose stood ready. He had to get better as he was now his uncle could kill him easily.
Thomas had Ambrose stretching before they started. Then suddenly Thomas attacked bearing down on Ambrose giving no quarter. “Come on you pompous little cub! I know you are better than this, are you still trying to hide behind your father’s legs?”
Growling Ambrose started to swing then pulled back feeling the anger trying to overpower him. Blocking a thrust from Thomas, Ambrose smiled as he felt the anger shift, putting the energy into his parries and thrusts. For the first time Ambrose was backing Thomas up as he began to viciously hack away at Thomas’s defenses. Finally Ambrose twisted the sword out of Thomas’s hands.
Dropping to a knee Thomas bowed his head. “I concede Sire, you have finally mastered what I have been trying to teach you. I am forever your knight, my life is yours Sire.”
Ambrose nodded as Thomas retrieved his sword. “Bah! You defeated the easiest of us!” Came a voice from behind him.
Thomas growled, “We can easily put that to a test Gwayne!”
“You would lose as easily as you did against the cub!” Gwayne hissed.
“I think you might find it harder to defeat me than you think Knight.” Ambrose growled feeling his ire rise.
“Oh?” Gwayne laughed wiggling his ears at Ambrose. “We shall see cub!” Gwayne advanced then struck with a ferocity that Ambrose had come to expect. “Ah! So the cub has finally grown claws!”
Again Ambrose felt his ire rise again rechanneling inside. Coming in again Gwayne tried to sweep Ambrose low, at the last bringing his sword straight up. Surprise registered on Gwayne’s face as Ambrose not only blocked it but pushed Gwayne back. Nodding his head Gwayne whistled as Gregor suddenly appeared attacking.
Ambrose’s eyes went wide then he was blocking everything that Gregor and then Gwayne threw. “This cub is only half grown. You asked me to help with one as worthless as it!?” Gregor said a serious look on his face. Ambrose was doing all he could to defend against both assailants. The last comment had pushed his anger quite high though Ambrose himself was surprised he’d managed to use it to fuel his strength and speed.
Suddenly Ambrose felt as if something that had been holding him back broke! Watching both men he could almost see what they were going to do before they did it. It was truly an eye opener then Gwayne’s sword was flying from his hands.
“Ah! Just you and me now big cub!” This time Ambrose smiled causing Gregor to pause then smile also. “I fail to see what there is to smile about big cub, you are about to die!” Again Ambrose could see what Gregor was about to do.
Easily Ambrose parried everything that Gregor threw at him, causing Gregor to smile more. Finally Gregor went for a killing blow leaving himself open as Ambrose caught Gregor’s sword sending it flying past a kneeling Gwayne. Shocked only a moment a huge smile came to Gregor’s face.
Both of the knights knelt before Ambrose as Thomas Knelt behind them. “We concede sire, you have finally mastered what we have been trying to teach you. We are forever your knights, our lives, our swords, our honor are yours Sire.”
“Pitiful!” They all heard behind Ambrose, and then they saw Roth approach in his armor. To think I once thought all three of you were on the same level as me! I could defeat all of you easily!”
“One should hold one’s tongue. As I remember you couldn’t handle your own mate. At least I took mine on to a standstill!” Thomas spit back at Roth.
Roth growled as he drew his sword advancing toward Thomas. “That can be decided easily. I am ready to go anytime you wish Thomas. I suggest after we finish with the old cub!”
Ambrose growled then hissed, “You assume much old one!” Roth’s eyes went wide then a smile slowly crept on his features.
“So, you think you are as good as the a first knight? The general of the Xendran forces? It is you who assume too much cub.” Roth said as his smile grew larger.
Both combatants met with swords drawn the heavy clang of steel ringing out in the air. Ambrose was having a much harder time seeing what Roth was doing though he was holding his own against him. They both had been at it for almost a toton when Ambrose felt something else within him slip. ‘What the hell was going on, ‘ he thought.
Suddenly Ambrose felt a surge of power that he hadn’t felt before. Looking around it appeared as if everything was frozen as he brought his sword down on Roth’s knocking it loose. His mouth open Ambrose could only stare at Roth as Roth did at him.
Dropping to his knees he saw Roth bow his head. “That was the final move of the royal power. I concede Sire. I could not defeat you no matter how fast or good I was. I saw your uncle use it in aid of your father. It almost killed him, Sire are you feeling well?” Ambrose nodded then felt his knees start to buckle. “You are the only other to defeat me Sire. My life, everything I have and am is yours!”
The other Knights came up behind Roth kneeling also. “Thank you my knights. Though at the moment I think I need to go in while I still can.” All four of the knights nodded as they helped Ambrose inside as fast as possible. They were met at the door by Typree who had a worried look on his face.
“Damn it! I was afraid you had that ability. By the Great Feline! If you have father’s, mine, and Adina’s you might possess Aunt Trianna’s! Damn I hope not! Especially as strong as you are.” Ambrose nodded as all five of them were moving as fast as they could.