Posted by: lordkyler | January 2, 2010

Kyler’s Tale – The Last

[This is the last chapter and a half of the story as it was written. Posts will be returning to every other week after this. I hope you enjoyed this old tale.]

Chapter Six

Kyler rested for a while. Surveying the animal he had just killed, he sighed. He wished had not had to kill it. He liked animals. He sighed again, this time out of relief that he was alive. Uninjured even. He started to go hunting again, but then he realized that the bear had a lot of meat, and a nice coat of fur. He loaded it in the chariot. William, being much more calm than Swift, paid hardly any attention to the fact he was carrying a bear. William wouldn’t have minded much if someone put a dead bear on his head, or a live bear in a cart he was pulling.

So they rode back to camp. Kyler pulled out the spears, cleaned them, and put them away. He pulled out his arrow, and, deciding it was no good, threw  its remains into the lake. He watched its ripple fade away into the water. Then he searched for the skinning knife. After finally finding it deep in the bears back, hidden by it’s shaggy black fur, he began to skin it. He had almost finished with the task when Sophus came back in the middle of the evening.

“I got rabbits and about twenty fish! You have a very nice falcon here.” He ruffled Gwyane’s plumage. “Where did you get -” He stared at the bear. He stared at Kyler. back and forth, for about five minutes. Kyler resumed his skinning. Right on time, Sophus began to sputter. “What-how- when- where- —-Huh?” Kyler gave a brief account of the encounter.  Sophus stared again, this time slack jawed. “YOU’RE AN IDIOT!” Sophus quieted down as soon as he saw Kyler’s hand moving in the direction of his mouth. Sophus clarified “you’re either an idiot, or very brave, or both.”

“Both” Kyler admitted. “That was pretty dumb, but what would you have done?

“Well- All right, All right, I probably would have done the same thing in your position. that is of course, if I had  gotten into your position in the first place.” Sophus cut off some of the steaks from the bear, still amazed. Kyler packed the rest in salt. They ate their meal hungrily. Kyler asked Sophus what he knew about tanning. “Not much,” said Sophus. “Maybe next time we get to a village, you can get someone to do it for you.” The next few days were spent riding southward, and talking to each other. They discussed weapons, armor, each other, robbers, horses, hawks and falcons, wild animals, politics and a great deal of other things. They both learned some new things. Kyler found that Sophus was sort of a Jack-of-all-trades. he was fairly skilled at anything he turned his hand to, including weapons, as he learned once they sparred.

On April 12th, They crossed the border. They were now in the kingdom of Vistal. They rode along the highway. Soon they had entered a village. Kyler stopped one of the peasantry to inquire the name of the town. He found he was in Richardville. He also found the address of a tanner.  After giving the peasant a few small brass coins for his trouble, Kyler rode down to the tanners shop. Leaving the bears hide at the tanners, He went looking for Sophus.  He eventually found him at The Boars Head, a small inn. They reviewed what they would do. They would stay for a few weeks, gathering information, and would then travel farther south. Kyler left the inn. Sophus decided to stay. Kyler took Swift for a good gallop in the lowlands. The lowlands around here were some what a phenomenon, having lived in mountainous, heavily wooded terrain all his life. The cool night air was a relief after the stuffy inn. The dog ran alongside. Suddenly, an ideal name for the dog came to his mind.

“Cairbre” he called  The dog, who was at this time sniffing a rabbit hole, looked up and walked over to his masters hand. Good. For a moment, all was right. “Hurrah!”

[Hurrah for self referential homages, that is. April 12th is my birthday, so there you go. Also, I spent a lot of time looking around on baby-name websites for vaguely Celtic/European but not necessarily English names for everyone but Sophus. Kyler was chosen after seeing that it was similar to my name. As a bonus, it also apparently means bowman in Dutch. Gwayne, his white hawk, (who’s appearance I thought I made up, but later found matched a Gyrfalcons almost perfectly,) means, literally, “white hawk”. Cairbre is charioteer in Gaelic. Sophus’s name is Greek, which makes sense given that he was not born in Kyler’s country. It means wise. So, now the final, partially completed chapter:]

Chapter Seven

Kyler and Sophus faced each other in the bright sun. They drew their swords and circled each other. Suddenly Kyler’s sword flashed, scything to the left. Sophus jumped back out of its path, and as it swung harmlessly by, moved in close. Swords were near useless at this range, so they exchanged blows with fists before Kyler managed to extract himself, ears ringing. Sophus tried to move in again, but Kyler was ready this time. pointing his sword outward, in Sophus’s direction. Sophus battered it to one side. Just as Kyler had planned. While Sophus’s sword was still pointing in a harmless direction, Kyler shoved him into a spin. Carried by his own impetus, the former bandit was sent towards Kyler with his back facing him. Kyler ducked just in time to send Sophus sprawling, tripped by Kylers body. The entire move took only a few seconds. Before Sophus could recover enough to rise, Kylers sword was at his throat. Sophus gulped automatically, feeling the sword point. Speaking through his panting, Kyler asked, “Do you – surrender – old man -?”

“Old man?!”

“Answer –  the question.”

“What choice do I have, young whelp?”

Obligingly, Kyler helped Sophus up. “What’s the score?”

“Still tied” Kyler replied. “Curses!” said Sophus.

“Be grateful, old man, if this were a real fight you’d be dead.”

“In a real fight you’d be wearing my throwing knife as a necklace.”

“In a real fight I’d be wearing armor and carrying a shield that would be protecting me.”

[Dang, I wasn’t too bad at fight scenes, huh? Probably because I’ve sparred with boffer swords so often, and enjoy action movies a lot.

I had a decent story idea going here, and someday I just may revisit it. Thanks for your time, and Happy 2010!]

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