Posted by: lordkyler | December 12, 2009

Kyler’s Tale – Continued

[Chapter 2. Things progress rather rapidly, as then, and to a lesser degree now, I paced things rather quickly. Except fight scenes. Those, of course, must be told in full detail.]

Chapter Two

Later on, the rain cleared up. As he rode he tried to form a plan. He had always been a thinker. First, he had to leave to the lands south. Once there, he could think, plan, and prepare. Yes, he admitted to himself, it was a little obvious, but it gave him a priority. He liked to have his goals outlined.

He dismounted. Taking Gwyane out of his cage, he unhooded him. His black bands contrasted startlingly with his whitish-gray plumage, which camouflaged him well against the clouds. Kyler released Gwyane. Hopefully he would find something to eat. Meanwhile, Kyler unlatched the chariot and tethered the two horses to a tree, leaving them to graze. Just then, Gwyane dived. Kyler hurried over. As he entered the small clearing, he saw Gwyane perched on a rabbit- his most recent kill. Giving the falcon the liver of his prey, he walked back to camp. Rummaging through his supplies he found a pot and some salt. He made a kind of stew [cooking had never been his strong point (although he did pretty well, having had virtually no education about cooking)] and ate. As the night grew dark, he stared past the fire into the blackness, pondering his fate. The horses were asleep, and so was the falcon. The dog was finishing the leftovers. Suddenly, a shape stepped into the light. Startled, Kyler fumblingly groped for his sword. Before he could draw it, the stranger held up his hands. “A word, kind sir?” Kyler stopped, hand on the hilt of his sword. “Greetings, traveler,” said the stranger, “could you spare a crust for a hungry old man?”

Kyler reached for a loaf of bread he had gotten from the kitchen of the castle before he left.

He seemed to instinctively trust the stranger, but was a little wary. and put his shield in front of him, for some safety, even though the man looked harmless. Still… Handing him the bread, he asked the stranger’s name. “Sophus. and yours?” He hadn’t heard of any villains named Sophus. He told him his name. Sophus sputtered. As soon as he settled down he began to ask questions.

“YOU MEAN THE SON OF THE DUKE OF EMBEARN!? WHAT ARE YOU DOING OUT HERE!? IT’S DANGEROUS! THERE ARE THIEVES AND-” Here he was stopped by a hand rather forcefully placed across his mouth.

“All the more reason to keep quiet, Hmm?”

“Mmmhhmm hhmm hm hmm.” The hand was released. “All right,” he said forcing his voice down to a whisper. “ But why are you out here?” Kyler unfolded his tale. At the end of the narrative, Sophus contemplated Kyler’s predicament.

“It sounds to me like you are in need of assistance.”

“That would be helpful,” he admitted. “ but what can you do to help?” Just then, a knife whizzed past his head, and something heavy fell on him. He shoved it off. He saw a grizzled, burly man with a knife through his throat. Sophus leaned over and calmly drew his knife out.

“Quite a bit, but not now. First we need sleep.” Kyler stared. “Don’t get up, He’s a loner, or else he wouldn’t.” Kyler thought about it. It made sense. And, he knew Sophus could easily have killed him then. Sophus cleaned off his knife while Kyler thought. He let Sophus take first watch. Kyler fell asleep.

He was rudely awoken half an hour later. “Come on, we need to move” said Sophus urgently. Without asking questions, Kyler got ready. In less than five minutes, they were ready to go. “Follow me.” Sophus whispered.

They rode south in the darkness. After they had ridden about two miles Sophus started to speak. “Bandits,” he remarked. Kyler nodded, he had thought as much. Suddenly, in the darkness he heard a growl, and a hissing noise that sounded suspiciously like a knife being thrown. Again. Sophus was clearly skilled. Someone or something gave a final death gurgle and died. Sophus dismounted, took one look, yanked his knife out of the thing’s throat, and mounted again. Quite calmly he stated, “Now it is time to run for our lives”

Kyler spurred the courser onward, deciding better safe than sorry. Sophus leapt into the chariot and grabbed the reins. They surged forward. “What- was- that-?” Kyler asked pantingly, trying to speak over the thundering of the horses and the chariot. “A wolf,”he replied. “The bandits and thieves capture, beat, train and starve them. They release them in packs, and they are quite deadly.” “Oh,” said Kyler and tried to ride faster. He was surprisingly calm. Suddenly, out of the bushes, a small group of wolves appeared. But by this time the horses were going to fast to stop. The courser (whose name was Swift) plowed right through the first wolf. He heard it whimper in pain, then heard the bushes rustle as it dived back. The chariot slammed into two more. They ran away with their tails between their legs, howling in self-pity. The remaining wolves loped after them. They moved surprisingly fast. Soon they would catch up.

Dawn started to appear on the horizon. The darkness was grayer now. Sophus shouted to him. “ You have the faster horse: Try to lead them away; I’ll meet with you at the falls!”

Kyler shouted back. “All right, but hurry up!” Turning quickly, and drawing his sword, he charged back through the remaining pack. The wolves, surprised by this maneuver, promptly sat down, skidding a bit on their rumps. Kyler clouted one on the head with the pommel of his sword. There were now only two wolves left. As Kyler started to turn again, the horse realized what they were about to do, and turned the other way. This, combined with Kyler leaning to the left- into the curve- threw him off. Kyler knew that Swift would return, but far too late.


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