XXVIII. The End and New Beginning

10.9K 754 178

Radulf let out a cry of triumph – which was stifled, when his adversary jumped to his feet again with apparent ease.

“A good throw, Sir,” he said, bowing to Radulf and drawing his sword. “Now, if you were so good as to join me on the ground…?”

He drew his sword in one swift, sweeping movement.

Radulf, who had evidently expected the whole affair to be over by now, was somewhat slow to respond. After a few prolonged seconds though, he jumped down from his horse, grinding his teeth angrily and ripping his own sword from its sheath.

The two contestants began to circle one another, silent and alert. It was the scrap metal knight who spoke first.

“Are you not feeling even a morsel of guilt, blackguard? You come to fight for your life in the armor you bought with the money given to you by the man you killed. Do you know what circle of hell awaits you?”

Harun jumped and stared at the knight in incomprehension. How could this man, only just arrived in the village, know all this?

“What is this?” exclaimed Sir Christian. “Lukas giving Radulf… Sir knight, Lukas was a penniless bondsman.”

“…who had been swindling you, under the auspices of your worthy steward. And when he thought better of it, Radulf decided to make the world a safer place – for himself, at least. Did you not know that?”

“Liar!” hissed Radulf.

“Ah, yes, I have been, indeed, on one or two occasions. Not on this one though, I assure you.”

Radulf raised his blade. “God will show which one of us speaks the truth today!”

The incoming blow was easily deflected, sending Radulf staggering backwards.

“He will indeed.” The scrap metal knight took a step forward. Now, quick blow followed blow. Radulf barely had time to defend himself, let alone place attacks of his own. It was on the chest that the first blow hit him. It did not cut through his chain mail, but threw him back again, gasping for breath.

The scrap metal knight just stood there, waiting until his opponent had found his footing again.

“What is he doing?” Harun hissed in anguish. “Why does he not finish him off?!”

“Perhaps it's more chivalrous this way,” Wenzel suggested.

“Chivalrous be cursed! This is a serious matter!”

“It is so for Radulf,” Wenzel whispered. “Look!”

The steward had tried attacking his passive opponent. Yet with little Success: His onslaught was deflected with as much skill as the previous one, and the counterattack was not a long time in coming. Again, it hit Radulf on the chest.

“There your blade pierced your victim, did it not?” The knight inquired. “But he had no chain mail to protect himself. You are unusually loved by God, Radulf.”

“W- what?” The steward stammered.

“Oh yes. You are a murderer, and yet you have a chain mail. You will live a few seconds longer.”

The next blow hit Radulf on the arm. One heard the high cry of metal on metal, and blood splattered the ground, as the sword penetrated the armor protecting Radul'fs arm.

“Use them well.”

The next strike pierced his shoulder. A cry of pain shot up to the heavens, but was cut short, abruptly and finally. Radulf stumbled, clutching his throat, on which a fine red line could be detected.

Well DeadWhere stories live. Discover now