Drake ducked under Terrance’s swing and then countered with a blazing left cut. Terrance caught it and pushed it forcefully out of the way. Drake slid his blade away from his friends’ and leaped high, ready to defeat Terrance once and for all, and then a tap on the back meant he had been defeated. Once again. He glared angrily over his shoulder at Jacob.
“Elliot! You were supposed to keep Jacob at bay while I defeated Terrance.”
“Sorry, Drake. He got passed me.”
Drake continued to glare.
“Hey, there will be no arguing in this training session. This is with friends, it’s supposed to be fun, and it’s supposed to be lighthearted,” Terrance scolded.
Drake whirled at him.
“I don’t sword fight for fun. I fight to win.”
Terrance simply shrugged.
“Ugh,” Drake said in disgust. “I don’t need help anyway. I can fight as many men as you throw at me without a team.”
Drake walked away. He sheathed his brand new sword, made by the blacksmith, and let the slight wind ruffle his hair. It was a hot day, but the wind made up for the scorching sun. He walked to a stream and bent to drink. He was so busy drinking he didn’t hear the four large bandits walk up behind him. And it was only when he raised his head from the stream that he saw them in the reflection of the water.
His heart pounding, he continued to act as if he hadn’t seen them. He hoped his friends would come looking for him. Then he mentally kicked himself. What was he thinking? He didn’t need his friends. He was the champion of the tournament.
Whirling with a yell, Drake drew his sword in one fluid motion, pleased with how all of the bandits stepped back … all but one. The largest bandit just stepped forward and kicked at him. It caught him unawares, square in the chest and he was thrown into the water. All the bandits laughed and walked straight for him, their leader’s success with the first strike boosting all of their courage.
“So you’re the champion of the tournaments? Well listen, big guy. We don’t like you very much. We’re going to teach you a lesson.”
“You can’t touch me!” Drake shouted back as he scrambled back out of the water, still gripping his sword but dripping wet.
He raised his blade. “You can try, though.”
The first bandit screamed at him and yanking his blade from it’s sheath he charged for Drake. Drake ducked the first wild lunge and curling up on the ground, he sent the bandit tripping over him and flying into the water.
“Oops, did I do that?” he mocked as he leaped back up and raised his sword again.
All of a sudden, two pairs of hands gripped his arms and yanked him back. They held him while the leader slowly walked out of the water and then retrieved his sword. He stalked toward Drake.
“You’ll pay for that, champion.”
He drew back his fist and sent it flying for Drake’s face. At the last second, Drake turned his head and the bandit leader’s fist hit his own man. The bandit holding one of Drake’s arms fell hard with a cry of pain. The bandit leader was very confused and scrambled to realize what had happened. Drake took the time to free his other arm. He stamped down with his foot, his heel grinding into the other man’s toes. Yanking away from the man that was now holding his toe and cursing, his other arm was free. He swung his blade at the bandit leader, but the leader stepped back and the sword swished by him.
When he was off balance, the leader struck him hard in the side of the head, and then kicked him in the stomach. Drake slammed into the ground coughing. The leader came for him. Drake raised his sword. The leader slammed his own weapon down into Drake’s. The two were locked in battle, until all of a sudden the leader twisted his blade and caught Drake’s sword by his own crosspiece. He twisted his handle and jerking the young knight’s blade from his hands, threw Drake’s sword away. Drake watched it shatter as it fell from the leader’s crosspiece and hit the ground.
Drake gasped as the leader swung his sword down toward Drake. At the last second, Drake rolled away and the sword was buried deep in the soft dirt. Drake then gripped the man’s ankles and kicked him in the shins at the same time. The man fell hard. Drake leaped on top of him and the two grappled. The leader was stronger though and he gained the top. He slowly pinned Drake’s arms down. Drake struggled wildly but couldn’t free himself.
“Hey,” a voice suddenly broke the fight and the two men looked up.
Terrance stood next to the struggling men with his sword drawn. He addressed Drake with all seriousness in his voice.
“You want help now or do you still want to fight him?”
“Oh I’ll take the help thank you very much,” Drake said quickly, and with a nod, Terrance kicked the man hard in the ribs, sending him tumbling off of Drake and into the river with a great splash.
When Jacob and Elliot arrived as well, the fight didn’t take long to finish. They fought the bandits hard and when they had either knocked them all unconscious, disarmed them, or simply tired them out, they captured them all. Drake took one of the bandits’ swords to fight with, and this blade he held did not break throughout the entire battle.
When they came back and reported the fight the other knights informed them that this was a gang of bandits that had been making chaos in several other places and were hard to catch.
“Thank you, Drake Romell. You found and captured these bandits,” one of the generals of the army said, clapping Drake on the soldier.
“Oh no,” Drake protested, grinning as he looked over at his friends. “the bandits stumbled upon me, and then my friends did the rest. I hardly did a thing.”
The general grinned and nodded.
“That may be so, that may be so, but we congratulate you anyway.”
Drake thanked the general and then turning, walked toward his friends.
“Hey, guys. Thanks,” Drake hung his head. “You know, I have been a jerk. I was way to proud of myself. Now I realize that the tournament doesn’t really show how good of a knight is, because there is a lot more to being a knight than having skill with the sword, I didn’t even have much of the sword part. When those bandits came they hardly tried and pinned me down. I’m sorry.”
Terrance smiled softly and shook his head.
“That’s alright, Drake. I forgive you.”
“Me too,” Elliot and Jacob said at the same time.
“Thanks, guys. You’re the best friends anyone could ever have,” Drake said, smiling at them all.
Later, Drake was sitting underneath a tree, letting the warm evening air wash over him. He sighed happily, and then opening his eyes, looked around. Just then, he saw a golden shape watching him and whipping around to look closer, realized it was the mysterious knight that had defeated the dragon and saved his life. When the knight realized Drake had seen him, he gave a nod, a salute, and then turned and walked away.
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Short Story: Strength Together: Part 2
Caleb E King
Copyright © 2018 Caleb E King
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