Arwin’s foot steps hurried through the wooden steps . The intel he had received had blown his sleep off. The pigeon had come straight from the window and pecked on his face . Rubbing his face, he had half dressed , trying hard not to wake his wife . He knocked on the door and as always the king , who never slept beside the queen in his private chambers , was in the office .
“Come in.”He said.
“My lord , i’m sorry for interrupting your sleep , but according to the intel from the spies-”Arwin said.
“The Black kingdom , Maurya has fallen . I know...”The king continued.”It shouldn’t concern us at all , Arwin . Have a seat . “He added.
The king poured him a cup of black coffee. He sipped and though he hated the bitter drink of the mortals , he gulped it down his throat.
“Do you know how it happened?” King asked.
“As far as the spies know, it wasn’t an attack , that’s for sure . Something happened at their meet , and the queen was killed . Internally the Mauryans were weakening , and taking advantage the other clans of their guild , one or two were there who didn’t had any part , they disrupted the ranks and the kingdom fell. No one has yet taken charge.”Arwin said.
“Just as he had said.”The king muttered.
“My lord? Who?” Arwin asked.
“No , no one . It shouldn’t concern us anyway . Arwin , you should know one thing though , the boy agreed .”He said.
“Boy , my lord? “Arwin asked.
“The arrogant guy , Scott , who else?”
That’s weird . Arwin thought. “How my lord? He’s hell bent when he decides something.”
“He came to me and begged i should give him the job . No wonder he’s just a man of false words .”
“I see...”that you’re lying in my face.”...but what’s the job?” Arwin asked.
“Kingsguard, he’ll be the head of the kingsguard. You better have some sleep Arwin , i hope the guests are coming tomorrow?” The king asked.
“Yes , my lord. I suppose i’ll go now . “Arwin said and bowed and headed out of his chambers.
The next morning he was on rounds walking around the corridors of the palace , when suddenly someone grabbed him by his cloak collar and pinned him to the wall in front of all the other guards.
He looked at his attacker while his personal guards were awfully failing to even move the man.
“Scott? “ Arwin asked him . He raised a hand to dismiss the guards , and without question they went away.
“You bastard old man.”Scott said yanking his collar .”I never thought you of all people would fall so cheap.”
“I don’t know a word of what you’re saying .”Arwin told him . Scott left Arwin’s collar , and Arwin wondered what exactly would make such a cool guy mad. “I thought you refused the offer of the king . If you really wanted it , you could have told yes when he had asked , why beg later?”
“What the hell are you saying?” Scott asked . “Who begged?”
“You didn’t?”Arwin asked.
“That bloody damn king of yours!”Scott said and maids passing by stared at him .
“You’re standing in his palace you know.”Arwin said.
“Damn the palace and damn the king , damn you too Arwin . Why the hell did you tell him about the orphanage?” Scott asked.
“What orphanage? What are saying Scott , atleast tell me the whole thing.”Arwin told him. Then Arwin heard Scott telling him about the attack of the 8 men , then the image of the king , how he black mailed him , but when he asked why does he feeds the orphanage kids and give coins to the old woman , he said he just gives them once in a month or so.
“I never had a hint about this ..”Arwin told him when Scott finished . Arwin had never thought that the king would fall such low to just to hire Scott. He knew that the king had set the thing up when he said Scott had begged for the job.
“Well Scott , guess what’s done is done . You have no choice . Anyways , there’s oath taking in one hour , so be in the temple as soon as you can .” Arwin told him.
“What oath taking?” Scott asked.
“You’re the kingsguard now , and their head not to forget .So you need to swear an oath and pledge your loyalty to the king...” He said.
“I’m not swearing any loyalty crap , its shit , nothing more. Forget it.” Scott said and turned and headed the other way.
But after an hour , Arwin saw that Scott was standing in the temple , his hands held by two heavily built men , each on one side . If his legs weren’t tied , Arwin was sure that Scott would have easily beaten the shit out of the men .He wondered how did the men even succeed at tying him .
“Untie me you bastards!”Arwin heard Scott say.
“Sorry ser , but these are the king’s orders . He wants you to swear an oath.”One of the man said.
“Damn you and your king .What if i don't swear?” Scott asked them .
“The king has asked us to tell you a number , 33 , if you resist.”The man said.
Now that is a trump card using which the king can keep Scott under control. , Arwin thought feeling pity for the boy.
“Fine!”Scott said ,”Swear whatever shit you want out of me!” The men untied him , and the moment he was free , Arwin saw that Scott punched the men in the faces and said ,”That’s for blackmailing me.”.
After the men's bodies were dragged out of the room by the guards , the other new recruits to the kingsguard were called in . Arwin called out their names ,
“Harwin Hill...” a dusk coloured man raised his hand . He had a huge axe hanging on his back and was wearing a brown coloured armour.
“Jorge Marsh...” a tall man , with a keenly trimmed beard raised his hand , wearing a gold coloured armour and a long sword , he was looking like a true kingsguard.
“Rayman Smallfort...” a black haired guy with no weapon at all , raised his hand . Medic , Arwin thought.
Medics were rarely appointed as kingsguard , and this time it was a wonder there were two of them .
“Krystal Wood...” was the other medic who raised her hand . Arwin had seen her with Scott so many times . She was at the hospital ward , but because of Scott , she was transferred to the kingsguard.
“Moon Redleaf...” A blonde girl with blue eyes and a beautiful face raised her hand , smiling . Arwin was wondering what role would a girl like her have in the kingsguard , when he saw a book hanging by her waist . Sorceress , he knew. All of the men , even the guards were watching her , everyone except Scott of course . He was standing there yawning , when he called his name .
“Scott Stone...” He didn’t raise his hand .”I said , Scott Stone!”Arwin repeated .
“Don’t you know i’m here?” Scott asked. Arwin said .
Arwin shook his head and continued. “So , you 5 are the new recruits to the kingsguard . Your duty is to protect the king and the royal family , when asked , and to carry on missions with your squad . Your squad will be allotted later on . Now , i will read the oath , raise your right hand , and repeat after me , when i take my name , it means you should take yours . Understood? “Everybody nodded , not Scott .”Now repeat ...I”
“I...” everybody said .
Everybody took their names , but Scott just repeated, ”Arwin Langard...”
“Scott ! I said , take your own names!”Arwin said. Harwin smiled , Krystal and Moon giggled , Rowan ignored , while Jorge looked at Scott and muttered ,” useless.”
“Right, so again...I...”
Again Scott took Arwin’s name , but Arwin ignored him and continued. “..take a pledge to serve and protect the realm and king alike...”
“Hey , the deal was to protect the king , what’s with protecting the realm?” Scott asked.
“Can’t you let me complete the oath, Scott?”Arwin asked him and continued,.”...to protect the realm and king alike . From this day onwards , my blood and life , belong to the king and the realm . A foe to the realm is a foe to me , and a wound to the king is death to me...Now everybody , from this day you’re a part of the kingsguard. Now , i will announce the ranks , Krystal , Rowan , and Moon , one star officers . Harwin , 2 star , Jorge 3 star , and the deputy head ,you’re one of the 7 deputies...” Arwin saw that Jorge pulled his collar up and looked down at Scott who was on the brink of falling asleep. “...And finally , Scott , 4 star , head of the kingsguard , one of the three heads . Now dismiss!”
A guard was waiting for Arwin’s speech to finish , the moment it ended , he ran to him said,
“My lord , the king has summoned the new head and deputy head of the kingsguard.”
“Understood. Scott and Jorge , your duty starts now , come on...” Arwin told them , and Jorge , stiffed his chest and followed , while Scott was lazily falling back.
“Scott , you’re the head of the kingsguard , your subordinates should look up to you!”Arwin said as he took them to king’s office.
“Did i ask for this job?”Scott asked.
“No , you didn’t , but...”
“Then shut the hell up , old man , i didn’t sleep well last night due to your stupid king.” Scott had said , and next moment Jorge was holding Scott’s collar.
“How dare you insult the king and the minister...?!” He asked.
He’s gonna get it . Arwin thought looking at the two.
“Jorge , he’s in a higher position than you. And even so , you better shouldn't mess around with him.” Arwin tried to say , but too late. Scott had already got hold of Jorge’s hand . Jorge didn’t flinch , instead he said,
“If he’s a head then he should act like one!”
Scott didn’t pay him any mind , he yawned one last time , and easily slipped off Jorge’s hands , and started walking ahead of him.
“Jorge , you better don’t piss that guy off . “ Arwin said.
“Sorry to say minister , but i don’t respect the people who don’t respect their jobs . and after all , he may have a higher star than me , but he’s just a kid. Didn’t you just see ? He was scared and so he slipped away, no worries , i’ll be the next head in no time...”Jorge said .
Scott wasn’t scared , he was sleepy . Jorge will learn it the hard way. Arwin thought . He shook his head and knocked at the open door , while Jorge stood beside him , Scott simply entered and sat on the chair opposite to the king .
“You better learn some courtesy Scott , i’m paying you , you know.”Arwin heard the king say.”Come in Minister Arwin.”He added .
“Did i ask you for the job?” Scott asked the king , the king smiled and said, ”Well , fair enough I guess . Anyway , Scott i’m really glad that you’re...”
“Cut the crap and come to the point!”Scott said stretching his arms.
“You little....”Jorge had started , but the king raised a hand and he went quiet .
“Arwin , have a seat...”The king motioned . “So ,you’re first assignment is to protect my daughter and the queen , while they are in the city walls welcoming the guests . And also to bring them back safely . And while returning , the Vardhana Princess will be with you, her safety is your duty Scott . I should have no complaints.”
“But before anything...”Arwin heard Scott say ,”I need a pay raise...10 gold is too less.”
“Scott...”Arwin had started but the king said ,”How much do you want?”
“20 gold at the least...” Scott said.
“Scott , that’s too much , my lord...”Arwin said .But he saw that the king smiled ,
“In return i need complete devotion to your duty...”
“Done.”Scott said , and was about to go , when Arwin saw that a silver coloured pigeon came and sat on Scott’s shoulder . He caught it and pulled out the letter tied to it and tossed it towards Arwin.
Looking at the paper , Arwin almost jumped on his feet . The paper itself was radiating energy .
“My lord he’s here!”Arwin said.
“Who?” The king said.
And he is finally here...