Chapter 18 (Talandia)
The male was making his way toward the training area. His target was supposed to be there. ‘Ha!’ He thought ‘an untrained female?’ Easy as could be he might even accept half payment for this one. Dressed as a palace guard he thought his plan was fool proof. Well he thought it was ‘til he rounded a corner seeing a well trained female training another.
Looking closer he thought he knew the female from somewhere in the past. Stopping he started to go through his memories of the unification war. Still nothing came to him. Even as he watched he saw that the older female had a skill at sword play that he’d not seen since the era of the knights of the realm.
Shaking his head he’d have to reassess this mission if there was highly trained people within the palace. A moment later a tall Lynx clan male walked to the older female. To the astonishment of the male as he watched he could see that the male had the colors of a first knight! Quickly retreating he shook his head. Yes, this was going to take definite further planning!
Adina was trying her hardest to not get mad or discouraged. True she could now hold a sword correctly. She could swing it without getting it stuck. Hell she was even starting to be able to block several of the blows that were sent at her. Almost panting from the exertion she still couldn’t see that she was any better. To her it felt as if they were wasting their time training her.
Mileen could see the frustration on Adina’s face as they had worked through the exercises. In almost a week now King Ambrose’s cousin could not only hold but yield a sword. The fact that the female’s grip had improved and she hadn’t lost her sword in the last two days was a definite improvement. Still Mileen thought her strength isn’t improving fast enough. Thinking a moment she smiled as a thought came to her. She just hoped that Ambrose didn’t get mad at her.
Finished for the day Mileen could actually start to see a bit of skill building in Adina. Taking her aside she decided it was time to talk to the young female.
“Adina,” Mileen started. “You are finally starting to grasp the basics. You actually managed to block several blows. I am sorry Princess that we have to push you as hard as we are. The king demands that you be trained as fast as possible.”
“Thanks Mileen, though I don’t really see any improvement yet. I am giving it my all I want to make cousin Ambrose proud of me, not thinking he made a mistake making me Paladin Princess of Xendra. Disappointing him would be my worst nightmare.” Adina replied to Mileen as they were removing their armor.
“I highly doubt that you could do that Adina. The pride he had on his face when you took that bolt was heartfelt. I believe you are lucky young one. The fact that Ambrose loves you as much as he does makes my heart glad. It has been too long since I saw him this happy.” Mileen explained.
Adina was quiet for a long time lost in thought. Suddenly a smile was on her face. Then she asked, “he loves me? I am his cousin, he can’t...”
“Believe me young one when he looks at you I see the same look that he also holds for Queens Niaco, Twitty, and Gleena. I have been around a good amount of time I know a look of love when I see it. Though I don’t think that he is even aware of it yet.” Laughing a moment at the shocked look on Adina’s face Mileen stated. “Though I think that he will very soon. The thing is young one. Will you be ready for it?”
“I ... I.” Looking at Mileen Adina still wore a shocked look on her face. “Before today I would have said yes. Now? I am unsure. Am I sick? I have dreamed of him being in love with me for ages. Now he might be and I am having doubts. Again I ask am I sick or going daft?”
Mileen shook her head no, “You are growing up far faster than you want to. The dream of love with him was a fantasy, now? It is a very real thing. I think that like almost any female, with the fantasy gone reality is crashing in. With everything hitting you at once it is far harder to take it all in at once. Give it a few days and you will see, alright?”
Still a bit shocked Adina nodded her head as once again she was deep in her thoughts. “You’re right it is a lot to take in. How in the hell can I decide?”
Again Mileen smiled at the young female’s almost desperation. “As I said young one, give it a bit of time. Right now you are just over thinking the whole situation.”
Adina was nodding hardly paying attention when it seemed as if clarity hit her. A small smile lit up her features. “Thank you Mileen, if it weren’t for you I might make a damned fool of myself.”
Mileen was suddenly serious as she stated, “I won’t let you do that Adina. We can’t have the Paladin Princess of Xendra doing such a thing now can we?” Mileen smiled wide as Adina started to laugh.
“No! We can’t have that!” As they both broke into laughter. __________________________________________________
Thomas was having a bad feeling, a bad feeling he usually felt in battle. Something didn’t feel right he’d walked to his mate letting her know to get the princess in as soon as possible. He’d barely seen a guard by the corner of the last building, turning he’d advanced on the spot sword drawn.
The male had withdrawn as soon as he saw the Lynx first knight talking to the female. He was nearly to the palace gate when he heard a shout behind him. Damn it! How had they found him out so fast? He saw that he wasn’t going to make the gate without a fight.
Stopping he drew his sword and awaited the Lynx male. “I thought something wasn’t right when I saw you. Identify yourself!” Thomas growled.
Growling back the male advanced trying to cleave Thomas’s head in two. Then he was shocked when it was not only blocked but returned at almost twice the speed! That’s when he saw the first knight colors. Damn it! Starting a spinning motion with his sword he expected to flee only to be shocked when the knight blocked and stopped his sword.
“I’ve only seen that move twice! I thought I killed both of them though it appears you got away with a similar move, Not I think this time!” With that Thomas dived in low then reversed his thrusting motion bringing his sword up cutting the side of his opponents face.
Bleeding, Thomas’s opponent smiled speaking for the first time in a raspy voice. “I am so glad to see you are still alive. It will be sweet when I gut your carcass. I have learned much as I see you have.” With that Thomas saw his opponent raise his hand as Thomas thrust forward. Hearing a satisfying grunt as his sword made contact even as the smoke ball went off.
Thomas felt the body wrenched off his sword then the male was gone. Gwayne and Gregor approached at a run as Thomas started to curse looking past the smoke. “Damn it! The ass got away!”
Gwayne and Gregor started to look over Thomas at the sight of the blood on him. “Are you injured Thomas?” They asked.
“I’m uninjured physically. Mentally no, I am not well. I just saw a ghost of the Talandian campaign. I thought I killed the bastard all those years ago.”
“A ghost?” Gwayne asked.
“Yes, I’m sure you both remember the bastard General of the Talandian forces. It was the last bloody battle I was next to king Tomco. The three of you were working your way toward us when he appeared trying to drive a sword into Tomco’s back.” Thomas growled remembering the day. I engaged him as Tomco was decimating what was left of the troops. Though he was well skilled I thought I could defeat him easily. I was wrong,” pulling up his pant leg Thomas revealed the long scar down his leg.
“Yeah I remember that day. You refused to leave the king’s side. He almost knocked you out to get you to leave.” Gwayne growled.
Thomas nodded as he continued. “I managed to cut the bastard open after he tried this spinning sword move. Even as he was falling another appeared catching me in the leg. He also used the spinning sword move. I had been in a swing at the second combatant when he hit me. I managed to cut his face, much as I did today.” Bending over as the smoke was clearing Thomas picked up an ear off the ground. “Just as I thought I’ve taken both his ears now.” Turning he looked at both Gwayne and Gregor. “This one is mine! I owe him a blood oath killing. I thought he died then. I caught him in the side, he’s still alive and out there.”
“You know we have to report this; that is unless you want to?” Gregor asked.
“No I’ll do it. I just hope I can end him this time.” Thomas spit out as he moved past both of his fellow knights toward the palace.
The male had made it to his ship bleeding profusely. A small smile on his face. So finally he could get revenge on the bastard that had butchered his father. Laying in the healing machine he injected several medicines in his arm then fell back to let the machines work.
Thomas was breathing hard his anger still apparent. Ambrose looked up as three of his knights approached him. Nodding a moment with concern when he saw the extreme anger on Thomas’s face. “I take it something is greatly wrong?” Ambrose stated when they stopped in front of him.
Thomas took a deep breath again trying to calm his self. Then through clenched teeth he started. “Yes Sire, today I saw what I thought was a ghost. I had thought I’d killed the traitor quants ago. It was during the Talandian Campaign with your father.” Thomas went on with the same tale he’d related to Gwayne and Gregory.
Ambrose sat listening the whole time nodding as the facts rolled off Thomas’s tongue. Finally finished Thomas sighed as he waited Ambrose’s comments. Nodding his head Ambrose took out a communicator, “Roth I need you here immediately. It appears we have an even bigger danger to the realm!”
“I am on the way Sire,” came the shaken voice of Roth.
Two spectons later Roth was quickly approaching Ambrose and the Knights. “Ah! Good your here! Thomas please relate to Roth what you told me.”