When breakfast was over and they were finished doing the dishes, all of the men that were going to try out for the tournament headed down to the arena, some with armor, some without. Some didn't even have swords, but obviously they were going to have to share. John had been provided some very nice armor from the Adler family, it didn't fit quite like it should but it was still pretty attractive. He also carried a nice sword, they had given it to him in case he needed to kill guards on his way to the princes, but right now he was going to use it for more useful things, like getting into a tournament. John hated to admit it, but he felt confident, confident that he could take even Greg down. They broke it down tournament style, scratching the names in dirt with their blades and making a roster. John was to fight someone named Glen in his first round, and then go from then. He hoped Glen was a mediocre fighter, because he wanted nothing more than to fight Greg. Greg was on the other side of the roster, so if John were to make it to the final it would obviously be Greg he would be fighting. Everyone went to separate places in the arena, practicing their strokes and defensive moves, stretching their arms out and swinging their swords experimentally. Finally the first match started, and all of the servants sat up on the wooden wall, watching it go down and cheering for who they thought would win. It got a bit violent, swords swinging, helmets crashing; the two servants seemed to really be going at it. But eventually one of them knocked the other to the ground, and the match was won. John got the idea that you basically had to pin your opponent to where they could do nothing to defeat you, that or you knock them unconscious. There were cheers from the wings, and everyone went to congratulate the winner and take care of the loser. It was all very exciting, but when John finally got up to fight it was silent, everyone was waiting in silent anticipation. Just like Greg, they haven't seen John fight, and they were very keen on seeing if he were worthy enough to win this mini tournament. This Glen dude was pretty buff, but to be honest he held his sword very awkwardly, as if he had no idea what to do with it. John swung his sword around intimidatingly, and finally the match began. John started with a stroke to the chest, which his opponent block, pushing the sword out of the way with muscle John simply didn't have. But that was good; it gave John the opportunity to use his speed and agility to his advantage. They fought for a little while, swords clashing and strikes getting deflected, until finally Glen raised his sword over his head, ready to swing down on John. While he prepared the swing John got ready, and as soon as his sword started to fall John ran right for him, diving at his legs and swinging the man overtop of his shoulder, doing a compete 360 before landing hard on his back with a groan. There was an eruption of cheers, all of the servants thought this was simply the best thing they've ever seen and John was lifted onto their shoulders in admiration.
"What did I do? I didn't do anything!" John defended, laughing along with them. They were acting like he had already won their mini tournament when in reality he had just flipped some guy. While on their shoulders John noticed Greg off to the side, practicing strokes by himself and looking kind of bitter. Maybe he was getting into the spirit of the fight, maybe he was feeling left out, either way John had to pity him. John wasn't even from this kingdom and he was stealing all of his glory, it seemed as if everything happened to John around here. But then again, that wasn't necessarily John's fault, and he decided to ignore Greg's immaturity. The tournament continued on, fight after fight it went, all of these untrained, unexperienced servants battling together with rusted swords and armor. It was one of the purest forms of entertainment, a time where these overworked, underpaid, glorified slaves could really relax, enjoy themselves, and let loose. Despite the constant fights between every servant, it was clear who was going to be the winners, the ones who would fight in the final. Greg had proved himself with a sword, and he was actually doing a very good job and disarming, pinning, or knocking his opponent to the ground. He wasn't just being cocky when he had claimed he was going to win this mini tournament, John was really starting to think he was right. But the other servants, they disagreed. After many rounds with men John didn't even recognize, they insisted that he was going to come out on top, no matter how intimidating Greg was. John's makeshift training with his father had proven to be useful as he managed to defeat anyone that came his way, and it was all rather simple. John barely broke a sweat as he took down man after man. Finally it was the final round; all of the servants lining up on either side of the arena based on the man they guessed would win. As expected, John was on one side, and Greg was on the other. Both of them were drinking water, stretching out their arms and swinging their swords around, trying to get loose and ready to talk eon the other. They were best friends in the real world, but right now they had to be opponents. And so John was going to pretend that under the rusty helmet it wasn't Greg, but Sherlock. He was going to pretend that the conceited, rude, arrogant and phony prince was hiding behind that metal, and so John could get a much better advantage. It was a lot easier to smack someone with a sword when you believed your least favorite person was getting the abuse. Of course Sherlock may be trying to redeem himself, but until he could prove that he really wasn't rotten to the core, well, John was just going to have to take advantage of their little feud.
"Are you ready John?" one of the men asked, messaging John's shoulders as he looked over to where Greg was standing, surrounded by a bit of a smaller crowd.
"He's going to beat me." John insisted. "I don't know why you are all over here."
"Don't be humble John, you can beat him, you've beaten everyone who's come your way." They assured. John just laughed, shaking his head in annoyance.
"Yes well, so has he. That's kind of why we're in the finals." He pointed out.
"Good point, but still, you're not going to get defeated now, I know it." the servant assured. John sighed, nodding his head and pushing his helmet overtop of his face, pushing the visor up and walking over to the middle of the arena. There were loud cheers from his side of the stands, and that alerted Greg. He also put on his helmet and walked out to the middle of the arena, swinging his sword a couple of times just to be dramatic. His side of fans cheered as well and for a moment John could swear he was in the actual tournament, getting cheered and booed and watched by so many expectant, judging eyes. It was Sherlock that was coming for him, not Greg. It was Sherlock swinging that sword, not Greg. John took a deep breath, nodding at Greg politely and pushing down his visor, swinging his sword up to ready position.
"Ready?" Greg wondered. It was Sherlock. John gritted his teeth, channeling all of that inner hate he had for that pathetic prince, and nodded once more. Let's do this.
"FIGHT!" called one of the men, and they were off. Greg took the first swing, going for John's head, which he deflected and pushed away, counter attacking at Greg's chest. This went on for a while, clashing and sparring and dodging and jumping, but it was all just for show. John knew that all of these swings were just to get the other nervous, to get the crowd excited, he knew that the final swing would come soon, and when it did the match would be over. Greg stabbed at John's chest and John stuck his sword out, smacking Greg's sword out of the way and elbowing the poor guy in the face. It was kind of a cheap shot, but John heard something crack under the helmet and Greg feel backwards into the dirt. There was an eruption of cheers from John's side of the stand, but at the moment he really didn't care about that, the victory or his fans. The match was over and now they were friends again, and John just now realized that it wasn't Sherlock but Greg laying on the ground and moaning. John threw aside his sword in shock; falling to his knees and helping Greg pull his helmet off. Greg gave a howl of pain, clutching his nose in his hands, blood seeping through the cracks in his fingers.
"What happened?" someone asked, the first one to arrive to the scene.
"My nose, I think he broke my nose!" Greg exclaimed, stull not letting anyone see the injury. John immediately felt bad, taking off his own helmet and throwing it aside carelessly.
"Someone get him a towel or something, start soaking this up. Greg just keep your head back, try not to lose so much blood." John suggested.
"I'm not going to die John." Greg insisted, his voice sounding very nasally. I might've been funny if John hadn't felt so guilty.
"Oh my god, I'm so sorry Greg, honestly I am!" John exclaimed.
"It's fine John, it's fine." Greg assured, although he didn't sound so sure. Then again, he probably didn't sound like he intended anyway.
"Help him up; I'll take him to the physician." One of them men insisted, walking over and trying to help Greg to his feet. With John's help they were able to pull Greg up, let him lean against the man, and together they started up to the castle. John fell back, sighing heavily as he watched the disfigured shape of two men walking up the cobblestone path. Well that was just great; he might have lost his only good friend here to something as pathetic as a sword fight.
"You did it John!" someone said as soon as Greg had disappeared, clapping John on the back in congratulations.
"Ya well I don't feel really victorious. More...dirty." John decided. And that had nothing to do with the dirt now staining his armor.
"That was a fair shot John, happens all the time in these things. You won, don't be worried about it, he'll be fine." Another assured. John sighed heavily, walking slowly over to where his helmet and sword lay, right next to a small puddle of Greg's blood.
"I think I'm just going to go up to the castle." John decided, staring slowly out of the arena, leaving the now quiet crowd behind.
"Congratulations!" one called, but John really didn't care. John walked lazily through the armory, just about to pull off his chest plate when he heard a chilling laugh from in the shadows. John jumped in fright, holding his sword out in front of him threateningly. But of course it wasn't a goblin or a thief, instead it was something worse. It was Sherlock.
"Aren't you the little champion?" Sherlock wondered with a laugh, stepping out from the shadows with his long purple cape billowing around his ankles.
"Oh my god, don't scare me like that." John insisted, dropping his sword and sighing heavily. Sherlock just laughed again, walking closer to John from around the sword displays, clutching in his hand a wicker basket.
"I brought lunch." He explained, seeing John's eyes flicker towards the basket.
"Is this going to be a picnic type thing?" John wondered suspiciously, not really keen on spending yet another meal with this prince.
"It can be whatever you want it to be, but there's swords and food involved." Sherlock assured with a smile. John frowned, looking at Sherlock suspiciously and wondering just what this prince might want from him? Was he trying to be all friendly to get John to help him, or was he just genuinely nice and friendly? This prince was an impossible puzzle, and to be honest John was sure he would never solve it.
YOU ARE READING
Sherlock is the youngest son of a powerful family dynasty, with all the pressure of being the perfect prince sitting on his shoulders. However, he builds his good reputation on lies and tricks, and he dreads the day when his failures will come into...