The Patchwork Knight (Chapter 41)

That night was peaceful as was the next week. Sir Paljin, Rolf and I would ride ahead to scout, and the caravan would catch up. It was this way until we reached the narrow trail of the mountain pass that led to the Crystal Palace. It was barely wide enough for the wagons to go through. Sir Paljin took the lead so that he could speak with the guards that protected the pass from any wanderers.

Sir Paljin walked towards the pass and a lone Knight came from the side behind a large boulder. He had a crossbow pointed directly at Paljin.

“Halt, you need walk no further.”

“I stand my ground.”

“Sir Paljin, is that you?”

“It is. My fellow riders and I are scouting ahead for a caravan led by Sir Jacob.”

“The King will be happy that the two of you made it back unharmed.”

“I wouldn’t say that we were unharmed. Could you point that flying sticker away from me now.”

“Of course, I don’t know where my head was.”

“Let me introduce you to my mates here.”

Paljin waved us forward to stand along side him.

“This is Sir Pitre, he is the son of Feyre.”

“The Feyre? The boy that nearly beat the Princess at the tournament a few years back?”

“One and the same.”

“The King will definitely be happy to see him. You were believed dead my boy. Wait, you are clearly no longer a boy, and knighted at that.”

“Thank you, and I was told by Sir Jacob of my demise.”

“Sir Jacob knighted him in the field. Believe me, it is well deserved. This young man that stands before you, is the best fighter I have ever seen. Sir Jacob himself, can’t stand before him in combat.”

“You best Sir Jacob in combat?”

“Not in combat, but sparring, yes I did.”

“Next to Sir Wallace, Sir Jacob is the best swordsman in the land.”

“Not any longer, but we digress, there is still one other for you to meet. This is Rolf, he was a Raider scout that Pitre captured, but he ended up helping to save my life, when I was struck by an arrow.”

“A Raider scout, here, with you.”

“I have fought alongside this man against the people that he once called his own. I will stand beside him again when it is necessary, and I will stand in front of anyone that tries to cause him harm because of his past.”

“Those are some bold words Sir Paljin. I am not one to stand against you, but I do fear you may have your work cut out for you. The people at the palace are not kind to a former Raider in their midsts.”

“Sir Jacob will speak for him as well, and once they see what Pitre is capable of, I doubt anyone will stand against Rolf. I should also introduce you to our young guardian of the gate here. This is Sir Constance, but we tend to call him Sir Constant, because once he starts talking, he rarely stops.”

“That isn’t fair and you know it.”

“I dare say I remember a time when you began talking around a dinner fire and everyone left with you still talking to yourself.”

“One time, and I was exhausted from training that day, I didn’t know up from down.”

“If you ever want a conversation that goes on for days, just have a meal with Sir Constant here.”

“It is nice to meet you Sir Constance. Are you the only one guarding this pass.”

“Oh no, I was just the one that drew the short stick and had to come out to greet you all. COME ON OUT BOYS.”

As Sir Constance shouted 9 more men came from behind the boulders that lined the entrance to the pass. They were all large men in full armor and heavy swords.

“I give you, the Guardians of the Gate.”

“We told you that that is not our name. It is good to see you again Sir Paljin.”

“As I to see you, Gorin. Guardian of the Gate? I like it.”

“I told you it sounded good.”

“Ahh, that is just Sir Constant being his talkative self. Who are your friends here, and why does one of them look like a Raider.”

“That is easily explained. This is Rolf, he was captured by my other friend here, Sir Pitre. He also helped save my life, he goes where I go and no one will say otherwise.”

“Calm yourself Paljin, I wouldn’t dare stand against you. Sir Pitre? I didn’t know there was a Sir Pitre. Wait, are you the same Pitre that fought in the tournament against Princess Alma? You are, I recognize your face. Lad, you have grown.”

“You were at the tournament?”

“I was, I was one of the guards instructed to stay by Princess Alma’s side.”

“You were the Knight that was always to her left?”

“Good memory boy, I was indeed. How did you know.”

“You were the bigger of the two, but only by an inch or so.”

“Yes, I was. The other Knight was my brother. He unfortunately died trying to find you. He was part of Sir Wallace’s group that went on a search for you and your father when the Raiders began their advance into the Realm.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. Was he in the patrol that came to my village with Sir Wallace before?”

“He was, he always rode by Sir Wallace’s side. Sir Wallace spoke fondly of you, and how he sparred with you in the forest near your village.”

“We only sparred a few times, but I quickly became very fond of Sir Wallace, it was truly sad when I heard of his death and that of his men. Do you know Sir Salvor? Is he at the Palace? I would like to speak to him.”

“Sir Salvor is at the palace, how do you know of him?”

“Sir Jacob told me that he survived the attack that killed Sir Wallace and your brother. I was hoping he could tell me where the attack was so that I could pay my respects to Sir Wallace and those that rode with him.”

“He was marked from that fight. He has a fear that is always there since that day. He bravely buried his fellow Knights and walked in what little clothes the Raiders had left him all the way back to the Kingdom, his head wound was open until he made it to us. He vowed to never go back to that location again, but he told us the way. I would be happy to take you there as soon as we can go. I haven’t been about to visit the area myself.”

“I would count myself lucky to have you as a guide.”

“Now, about this Sir Pitre thing. How did that come about.”

“He saved a fort from Raiders, then protected the caravan by leading a vanguard of Raiders away, then almost single handedly defeated an infantry of Raiders as they attacked Sir Jacob and the caravan, not too mention, he saved my life.”

“Sir Paljin is being too kind. He and Rolf did their fair share against that infantry of Raiders. They must have taken twenty men themselves.”

“Those twenty pale in comparison to the circular pile of bodies that surrounded you at the end of the fight., Oh and did I mention that he best Sir Jacob sparring with swords.”

“They were only sticks, we didn’t use swords.”

“Good that you didn’t or Sir Jacob would have been shaved closer than he ever had been before.”

“Is this true, you bested Sir Jacob in swordplay.”

“It was only sticks.”

“I know Sir Jacob, and if he was sparring with sticks it meant that he knew there was potential for pain if you used swords. I’m betting he was fearing he would hurt you not the other way around.”

“He had heard tales that the villagers told him from the battle on the fort.”

“Tales or not, it seems you have done something that no one has done since Sir Wallace died. Sir Jacob is a remarkable swordsman, and Sir Wallace was beyond him. Sir Wallace spoke of your skill with a sword and how you had bested him a few times in your training sessions with him. We only thought he was trying to create a legend of the boy that nearly beat the Princess. Hearing this, I now think his tales were true.”

“I can tell you from fighting along side of him, they are true and under told. He can do things that I’ve never seen before and he has already taught me how to enhance my sight so that I can see farther.”

“See farther? What are you talking about.”

“You can do it with the Swordsman’s Euphoria, and speaking of that, he doesn’t need to do the movements to enter it.”

“Is this true Pitre.”

“Yes it is. I can use my sight to see about two miles away. I can make it look as though it is only a few yards in front of me, and I no longer have to do the movements to enter the Euphoria.”

“Can you do it now. There is a marker on the side of the mountain where the trail follows. It can not bee seen from here, but it is in that direction. Can you tell me what it says.”

I entered the Euphoria and gathered the aether from the stone and looked in the direction that Sir Gorin was pointing. I could see a banner that had white letters on it, as I focused more I could read words that said, ‘Only the valiant can walk this path.’ I relayed what I saw to Sir Gorin.

“That is remarkable, you must teach me how to do that. You can’t let Paljin out do me.”

“I’m not a very good teacher, but I will tell you what I know.”

“If you taught Paljin how to do something, you are an exceptional teacher. He was the worst student we ever had at the academy.”

“You should know, that Sir Gorin would be of better use as a court jester than a Knight.”

With that everyone in attendance burst into laughter.

For Chapter 42 follow link below.

Chapter 42

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