XVIII | The Leather Fist

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FLURKIN

Rushing towards the lakeside nearby Western Gate, Flurkin rode his horse as quick as he could. Rows of taverns brushed through his vision as he rode along the empty pathway.

With his scabbard fastened tightly onto his metal armor, he reached the border of Branchon Town. Yet again, alone. He remembered that day when he lost all of his friends. He had no one but his adopted son, Kenneth.

Beyond his vision, he noticed that the sky was still ruby, Flurkin ignored and kept riding... until he reached a manor, right at the border of the town. The manor was made with timber, similar to the rests of the surrounding buildings. It was because wood was an abundance resource back in the day for the Amorians. The trees between the Northern Wetlands and the kingdom provided enough wood to construct the entirety of Amor.

Slamming onto the door with his metal glove, Flurkin shouted, "Wyot!" Slam! Slam! Slam! "Wyot! Are you there? I need some answers ---"

"Who's that?" An amicable yet familiar voice echoed from inside, "Hold on! I'm getting it. Just a moment!"

The wooden door clanged as it was pushed wide open. There he was, Wyot Wayne.

The masked man flinched and his feet brought himself backwards when he saw Flurkin. "For the Rog Hells, it's you..."

"Wyot."

"Why are you here, Sevi?" The masked man responded to the Sword of Amor with a huge sense of disappointment. It was as if Flurkin's arrival was a mistake.

"Wyot... I'm... I'm sorry." Flurkin's mind was as blank as a paper. His agenda in search for answers hid within him as his sense of guilt crawled onto him. A sincere apology was given by Flurkin but it seemed that it was a mistake he made that the Sword himself couldn't seem to forgive.

"Are you truly sorry?" With agitation, Wyot was heated with emotions stirred within him. His anger could be felt through his body actions, although his face was covered. Wrapped with a bandage across his face, he looked like a mummy from the Scortch Desert. As Flurkin kept his silence, the masked man continued to express his frustration verbally, "You had a choice... and you chose that child."

"I have no choice, Wyot."

"They call me Rame. Wyot is dead, remember? Since the day that green eyed bastard split my right eye into two." Rame, a mythical name from the tales of men was given to the knight who once served Amor.

"I'm sorry..." Flurkin's head slightly tilted downwards, staring blankly towards the wooden platform. 

Given no explanation, Flurkin repeatedly shown his sincere regret and apology towards Wyot. Blinded with rage, Wyot swung out a hawkbill blade from his back towards the man he once respected. "You let him ruin me and you did nothing about it. Oh no, you did something else. You adopted that bastard instead."

Finally, he responded with a let out, "He lost his memory, Wyot. All he was doing was protecting himself ---"

"And all I did was followed your orders, Sevi!"

A colossal tension infected the surrounding air. The ruby lighting from the skies was certainly not helping. A dagger pressed on his neck was putting pressure to his flesh. I cannot die. Not yet. I must live for Kenneth. I cannot take back my words.

"Please, some things cannot be ---"

"Explained. I've heard it a million times, you don't have to speak another word... Come inside." Wyot knowing that he could never get a proper explanation from Flurkin, invited him in his wooden manor. Inside, there were a few racks filled with bokkens. 

The manor was dark and surprisingly spacious. There were no furniture, no cupboards, no chairs. There were only suits of armor and racks of wooden swords.

Flurkin with a soft tone voiced out, "Still teaching, huh?"

"Haven't changed my job since I stopped roaming around the Middle Plains," replied Rame. "Now tell me, Sevi, why are you here?"

"I'm here for answers, Wyot," The Sword responded nonchalantly.

"About the skies? You may have to ask the Rogs about that," the masked mummy responded as he took a bottle of ale from the corner of the room. He then offered it to Flurkin, "Enchanted ale?"

"You know exactly why I'm here," the Sword insisted.

Looking blankly towards Flurkin, he questioned, "I don't. Why don't you tell me why?"

"The Queen, she has gone missing."

"Queen Lyna? But how?"

"I ponder about that too. I suppose that the Leather Fist has some answers to this. Tell me, Wyot, did the rebels do this?" The Leather Fist was the known rebellion in Amor, opposing the Iron Fist, sigil of armor. It was said that King Myras was a ferocious and devious king, selectively trusting his own men. Merlin Manson was in the list of course.

"Kidnap the Queen? That's impossible," Rame insisted while scratching his bandaged head. "Raoult would have never been able to pull it off."

"Not unless you have someone inside the castle," Flurkin murmured. Darkness seemed to be emitting beyond their thoughts.

"Who? The two-faced Spine?"

"That is only my speculation. But it may not be him," Flurkin replied with a slight hesitation. "I don't see why Merlin would want to hurt the Queen. There's no reason for him to do so... unless Raoult was apart of this." 

The name of Raoult Rein was fairly common among the locals. In fact, the sound of his identity brought a chill down to every Amorians, especially the red cloaks. Raoult Rein was King Myras' arch enemy. He was the former Sword of Amor, used to serve the nation with all his heart. However, when King Myras was crowned after King Lexis, dissensions occurred between the Sword and the new King.

"Since the red had attacked the sky, it seemed that the activities from the Leather Fist had gradually decreased. There is a possibility that the missing Queen was linked to the rebels but I can't be sure of that," the masked man responded with uncertainty.

With a little disappointment, Flurkin let out a sigh, soft enough to be unheard of. The Sword uttered, "I need your favor to find the Queen. Please, Wyot."

"You can start begging by stop calling me by that name. I've told you, they call me Rame." His left eye, filled with strains of bloody nerves was terrifying to everyone who saw him. 

Almost feeling guilty for having his name changed, Flurkin muttered, "I'm sorry, Rame."

"I'll send a grey pigeon to you once I have gotten information about the Queen," Rame assured Flurkin with that warmth he used to give. "Don't worry."

Flurkin, with an itch on the heart, yet no one to lean onto, was feeling uneasy with his willingness to help. "Thank you... for helping me."

"Don't thank me so soon, Sevi, I'm not helping you. I'm helping the King."


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