A-Z April Fantasy Flash Fiction, Part 8. Character: Arancia
Dear Readers, this is the 8th installment of an ongoing story! Have you read the previous entries~?
The former thief revealed his name to be Legande. I listened, rapt with joy, as he told us of his heroic exploits in his newfound honest life as a soldier. I has never known my touch had been so powerful. I had just wished for his young friend to stop crying so bitterly after the execution.
The king mustered Legande, looking extremely intrigued, yet doing a magnificent job at hiding it. “High Ambassador, can you confirm these claims? Have you seen the man do what he claims to be capable of?” He asked, while still scrutinising Legande with his observant eyes. I had a feeling that the young king was not the breed of “useless nobility” that was often badmouthed on the streets.
High Ambassador Perandes, in his best impression of a humble servant, replied “No, your majesty, though there are many who have.”
“Interesting.” The king walked around Legande, seemingly very deep in thought. Legande stood straight and decorous, yet he seemed quite apprehensive when the king examined him from behind. “Highly intriguing are the workings of sorcery, and it seems a formidable being has been created. Formidable, though unfortunately an abomination to humanity.”
At these words my stomach sprung into a tight knot. I had apparently been fooled by the lavish beauty if the royal court.
“Guards! Knock him out!” The king commanded, with an authoritative gesture. Three guards stormed in, brandishing their pikes.
“No!” I screamed, unable to bury my dismay any longer, though my feet were rooted to the ground in fear. Dispair washed over me and I felt I would drown in it as Legande, with a resigned expression, turned to face them. He stood his ground, waiting for them to come to him. I held my breath and dared not move.
The first guard swung the blunt side of his pike towards Legande’s head, the blade whistling through the air, but he sidestepped the blow and caught the pike by the shaft. His grip must have been hard as steel; the shaft shattered into splinters. As the guard reeled back from surprise, Legande caught the blades half of the pike before it hit the ground, and held it defensively in front of him.
The other two guards, hesitant, glanced towards the king but he was relentless, so they sprung into a half-hearted attack. Legande, with a simple, effortless, sweeping twirl of his newly aquired weapon, cut through the shaft of another pike. The third pike remained intact by a miracle, the guard parried the strike with the blade, and the metal on metal echoed with a resounding scrape through the quiet courtyard. Another of Legande’s attacks sent the last guard staggering and falling back, and as he lay sprawled and panting, Legande pinned him down, broken pike at his neck.
The tension was broken by the king’s unexpectedly jovial chuckle.
“Well done, well done!” He clapped his hands. “What a wonderful abomination, indeed. You have passed my test”
I could not believe my ears. An exhasperated sigh escaped my mouth as I went limp with relief.