Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chapter 91 - The Knight

 Ivan has received notice from Town Crier Bertram.  Apparently Bertram was given an important private message for Ivan. Ivan leaves the castle to meet with him.
 Ivan knows exactly where to search for Bertram.  He first heads to the square.  There he spots a strange looking group standing by the well, but Bertram is not there.
 As suspected, the Town Crier is at the market.  Bertram approaches as soon as he spots Ivan.
 “Ah, Knight Captain Ivan…I have been given this note to deliver to you most urgently.”

“You have not already read it, have you?” Ivan asks.
 “No sir…of course not!”  Bertram answers, but Ivan is not convinced.
 Ivan walks over to Percival who is busy selling goods from his many booths. 
 “How is married life Shopkeeper Percival?”
 “Well… it is like having a customer that obviously wants to buy something, but wants you to guess what it is.  There is just no making her completely happy!”  Percival says in a jolly , laughing tone.

Ivan laughs along with him in response.
 Ivan reads his scroll.  It is a letter from a group of warriors that have started a Fighter’s Guild.  They want to add Ivan to the ranks to help train their new recruits.  Ivan walks to the well to meet with the leader as requested in the letter.
 “Greetings, I am Knight Captain Ivan and spouse of the queen.  You requested to see me?”

“Well met, I am Jude, leader and Lord Knight of the Fighter’s Guild.  I requested to meet with you because we are looking for someone of your strength and skill to join our ranks.” 
 “I do not know if I am interested in joining any type of guild,” Ivan confesses.

Lord Knight Jude responds, “Please do not make your decision just yet.  Speak with the members of the guild before making your choice.”
 Ivan approaches one of the guild members and introduces himself.  “I am Blade Lukas, the lowest ranked in the guild.  I was pursued by Lord Jude while I was sleeping. I must confess that I do not know very much about the guild yet.”
 Next Ivan approaches an attractive yet serious looking member. 
 “Greetings, I am Knight Captain Ivan and spouse to the queen.  I wanted to meet all the members of your guild.”

“I am Knight Yvette, a professional pugilist, from Crafthole.  I was sought out by the guild just as you were,” Yvette answers.  Ivan detects a bit of arrogance in her voice.
 “Why should I join your guild?”

Yvette seems to be a bit offended by the question.  “Because we are the best fighters from all around.”
 Lastly, Ivan introduces himself to Knight Amice. 

“I have been with the guild since the beginning.  I was but a lowly scullion when Lord Jude came across a fight that I was having with a few local boys.  He said that I was the most nimble fighter he had ever seen.  Especially considering that I was fighting multiple boys  at once.”
 “Why should I join your guild?”

“We seek out only the best and you are one of the best swordfighters that we have seen in a while.  Please consider Lord Jude’s offer.”
 Ivan approaches Jude again.  “I admire what you are trying to do, but I am not yet sure if I want to be a part of your guild.  I must think it over.” 
 “If you decide to join, you would not have to leave the kingdom or pay anything.  We sought you out to train our new recruits. To have you join our ranks would really improve our fighting skills,” Lord Jude responds. 
 “I shall like to assess the current skill of your members,” Ivan requests. 

“Aye, please do.  Start with our blade.  I feel that he has a lot of raw talent and potential.”
 The idea of being a part of a Fighter’s Guild intrigues Ivan, but he is not ready to commit just yet.  He will first evaluate the fighting skill of each member for himself.
 “Lord Jude has told me of your potential.  I shall like to evaluate your skill for myself.”
 “Sure, but I am not really much of a fighter.”

“That is for me to determine.”
 Ivan and Blade Lukas clear a space and prepare to spar.
 They take their en guarde positions. 
 Blade Lukas rushes forward, but Ivan effortlessly parries Lukas’ blow with his own sword.
 Lukas miscalculates Ivan’s next move.  He has swung his sword too far, leaving himself totally open to Ivan’s next blow.
 Operating on momentum, Lukas manages to bring his sword back in time to deflect Ivan’s blow, but Ivan has the upper hand resulting in a blow that knocks Lukas off balance.
 Lukas falls on his back.  “You are quick kid, you just need to be more aware of your opponent,” Ivan says offering praise and criticism.
 Lukas is back on his feet, but finds himself shaky and disoriented.  Ivan is too quick for him. 
 A quick whirling take down forces Lukas to duck.
 While low to the ground, he loses his balances and is forced to turn his back in order to compensate.
The effort takes Lukas’ remaining stamina.  He loses to Ivan.

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