The name Baldor was set to go down in history, but it wasn’t. Fair skin with a tall muscular body physique, only the best-looking guy in the entire kingdom- sexy strong hairless chin, brown eyes, black hair, and skin-coloured lips.
You may be asking yourself, ‘What on earth could have happened to this Baldor guy?’ It’s a long story, but I bet you have time. Here’s the reason the once ‘great and mighty’ Baldor isn’t so great and mighty anymore.
Baldor, people would cower at the mention of the name. I made the headlines- From Street Kid to Great Knight. Proof that there was hope for the hopeless, they would say.
Today, my dearest Angie and I were enjoying each other’s company with one another. Angie was a light-skin young woman with black smooth hair, red lips, beautiful brown eyes, pointed nose, dark red lips and most of all, she was the love of my life.
We met a few years ago, before I became the ‘Baldor’ I am today. It was one of my earliest days at camp before I became a knight, we had a camp duel and I was badly hurt. She was the empiric assigned to take care of me and ever since then, my life had been amazing.
Angie and I were talking with one another while enjoying a bunch of grapes. She rested her head on my chest while I gently wrapped my arm round her neck. She had the best voice I had ever heard in my entire life and right now, she was singing my favourite song, an old classic I grew up listening to, the song that played when we had our first kiss.
“Brings back so many memories”, I said.
She smiled and continued to sing.
I let myself get lost in her voice, I wouldn’t wish to be anywhere else, but I had to. As the man in charge of the entire kingdom’s security, having as much as a thirty minutes break was a privilege. Soon I would have to leave Angie all alone to defend the kingdom but for now, I’d enjoy the moment while it lasted.
“Any minute now you’ll be needed somewhere and you’d be gone”, she said.
“True, but for now, I’m here, right beside you”, I told her. “And I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
She smiled and we kissed gently, a light graze on each other’s lips. At that moment, one of the castle maidens walked in,
“The King sir, he summons you, in his throne room”, she said to me.
I backed away from Angie’s lips and faced the maiden,
“I’ll be on my way”, I told her.
The maiden left and I looked at Angie.
“I guess you have to go now”, she said.
“I wish I had as much as a choice. If I did, nothing on earth would ever ruin any moment we have with one another, ever again.”
She tried to force a smile, I kissed her and left.
Whatever the King wanted, it’d better be quickly resolved. I know he’s the King, but it doesn’t mean he can just ask for anyone whenever he wants and expect them to comply. He says I’m the only one in the entire kingdom he sees as an equal, but yet I’m still required to take permission before speaking. How absurd!
The King’s throne room was a very large one, may have been the largest room in the entire castle. What the room lacked in breadth, it made up in length. The entire room, top to bottom, stretched through the entire castle crossing through every floor. From the barely visible ceiling, a chandelier made of pure painite and alexandrite bounded by a long gold chain dropped down through about half of the room and provided barely enough light to brighten the entire room. Apparently, the chandelier was for sacred traditions, it only reflected the light from the sun or moon that came in through the window by a process known as diffuse reflection. During such occasions, the throne room would look so beautiful. The fires on the candles and torches that lit the ground were put out and the entire room would have nothing more than little dim rays of the moon’s light, sometimes the sun, and they would reflect off anything they could until the entire room had just the right amount of brightness. It was always very beautiful.
The King sat on his throne and glared down at me. He was a bright skinned man in about his late fifties with a bushy beard and an ever dark and angry facial expression. He wore a red well-embellished tunic with gold work thread and a gold crown at all times. He sat on an oversized, bejewelled chair with red suede cushions, every other part of it was made of shining polished gold. Beside his throne was a similar-looking throne, smaller in size, but it was empty, it was the Queen’s throne, she died two years ago and ever since then, the King banned everyone from sitting on it ever again, and only specific and specially picked maidens were allowed to clean it occasionally.
“Baldor”, the King called. His voice deep enough to cause the kids in the kingdom to cower in fear.
“My King”, I said and bowed my head. As much as I lacked respect for him, I wasn’t going to let him know that.
He nodded his head, as a way of letting me know he accepts my greeting, not like he has a choice.
“I want you to walk with me, we have very important issues we need to attend to”, he told me.
“Very well”, I said.
The King took me to one of the gardens in the castle. It may have been the largest, but who actually bothers about finding out? We were a little bit far from the castle when he started talking.
“My kingdom is no longer safe Baldor.”
I was really surprised. All the time with Angie I sacrificed for this kingdom’s safety and wellbeing, the wars and battles, tackling the enemy’s ambush, and he says the kingdom is no longer safe. “The kingdom is very safe, what makes you say that?”
“Yesterday in the marketplace, six people were murdered. If it hadn’t been for the guard on duty, it could’ve been a massacre.”
“We don’t know that! Maybe the six that were killed were members of a cult, and their killer was from a rival cult.”
“That is presumptuous, and we can’t rely on it. After the guard had interfered, the killer ran away and is still on the loose. That alone- “
“Doesn’t mean the kingdom is unsafe. Spreading news like that can make the people panic, but then the fear of getting killed will make them more careful and- “
“That wouldn’t have to happen. The people are safe because that’s where you come in.”
Of course that was where I come in, am I not in charge of security after all?
“We can’t have a killer on the loose”, the King said. “We don’t know their whereabouts and who they may be after, and letting out information such as where guards would be on patrol is as foolish as letting the killer walk right into your home.”
“So what do you propose?”
“The news of the kill is already out, but I let the people think the killer has been captured and is being detained- “
“You lied to them!?” This was ridiculous. How could a king lie to his subjects about something this serious. “A killer on the loose! They should be aware, so they could lock their doors more, close their windows, and be a lot more safe.”
“Relax”, he told me. I really wanted to punch this guy in the face, more than anything. “Telling them will only put us in a state of emergency, one that may be more than we can handle.”
“But whoever the killer is will know you’re lying, and they could use that as an advantage because that way, no one would expect them before they strike. He or she would never be seen coming! They could eventually go on a killing spree and that alone puts your place as king in jeopardy.”
The King’s face darkened. “That is a very specific possibility Baldor.”
“What do you mean by ‘specific’?” And then I realized, “Are you trying to accuse me of being the killer!?”
“I never pointed fingers.”
This was hopeless, I couldn’t let myself get angry.
“Look, all I’m saying is that you can’t lie to them like that, what you feel like you’re doing for their own safety could be what is putting it at risk.”
The King lifted his chin a little, I took it as good sign that he was listening and I continued, “Enforce a total lockdown, the other guards and I will make sure we go from house to house and search around. Suspects will be brought back to the castle for interrogation in the dungeon.”
“And what if that doesn’t work?”
“It has a higher chance of working than whatever you were about to say.”
I may have overdone that one a little. I needed to keep it in mind that I was talking to the King, a stupid, stubborn, annoying, self-centred king who could cause my death with nothing more than the say of a word.
The King smiled and patted my shoulder, “You would make a very good king”, he said. “If only you ever were to be one which in my defence, will never happen.”
I clenched my fists. All it took to end my stay in this kingdom, or even my life, at this very moment was to do as little as lift my hands at him. He made me hate being in charge of security, but I had to, for the safety of everyone in the kingdom, and for the safety of Angie. Plus, Angie says I look sexy in a battle armour.
“Anyways,” he continued. “It’s obvious you’re not ready for my proposal. I’ll just have to hand it over to someone else.”
It was hard to contain all the rage that burnt inside of me, but I had to.
“What a disgrace actually,” he said. “Not even the ‘head of security’ is trusted with the King’s assignment. If whichever guard I leave with the task prevails, I just want you to know he’ll be taking your place as the head of security. How does that sound? Deputy Baldor. Baldor the deputy. Baldor, the sidekick.”
He chuckled for a moment and looked at me with a wicked grin.
“You would never”, I said.
“Watch me”, he replied. “The news of the loose killer cannot leave this castle and if it does, you’ll be held accountable. You, and Angie.”
He wouldn’t dare lay a finger on her. At the moment, I couldn’t do anything but to watch the King slowly walk away with elegance and pathetic grace. The more I stared, the more I wished I could see his head roll on the floor in front of a guillotine. Moreover, I couldn’t let this guard, whoever he was, do whatever it is the King wants. From the way the King had made it all look, it was evil and diabolical. I’d have to go around the castle and find out what every guard knew, hopefully the culprit wasn’t going to snitch.
None of the guards on the ground floor knew anything, they were all clean. On to the first floor, two guards stood at both sides of top of the stairs. Leroy, the blonde guard on the left with fair and smooth skin was someone I could trust, I could be completely honest with him. The other guy on the other hand, I barely knew his name.
“Greetings Leroy”, I began. “Do you have a second?”
“Sure, what is it?”
I held him on his arm and pulled him far away from the hearing of the other guard.
“The King”, I said. “Has he met you for anything, any secret task or mission he needs you to do for him.”
“No. Why’d you ask.”
I told him about the killings in the marketplace, and about the killer getting away, and the King lying to the kingdom that the killer was being detained. His facial expression changed with every bit of new information I gave.
“That’s awful! How could he do such!?” He exclaimed as I finished talking.
“I don’t know, but do you know anything about a secret task, or mission, whatever it is?”
“No, but I’ll let you know if I do. When exactly did all this happen?”
“A few minutes ago, maybe about thirty.”
Leroy began to smile, “He couldn’t have told anyone this early, relax.” He held both of my shoulders and looked me in the eye, “Did you hear me? Relax! I understand that you may be scared for your position, or for Angie, but you shouldn’t get yourself too worked up. Sure we have a corrupted King who feels like he can do whatever he wants but screw that, nothing is permanent. Maybe you could be our next King, you’d be a very wise one.”
“Thank you, maybe I should get some rest.”
“Not maybe. You definitely should.”
“All right, thanks.” He went back to his post and I headed to my room.
When I arrived, Angie was already asleep, or at least I thought she was. She was wearing a white long nightgown and lying on the left side of the bed facing the right. I quietly took off my clothes and looked out the window.
“So, how was it?” Angie asked.
I turned around to her awake and staring at me in the dim light of the room.
“Your meeting with the King...”, she said again. “How was it?”
“It was... fine I guess”, I told her.
“You don’t sound like it was fine.” She climbed off the bed and walked up to me, then laced her fingers around mine and looked out the window.
“What do you think of corrupt leaders?”
“Well, corrupt leaders are corrupt because they have the power to be. Most of them are nice when they’re just like everyone else, but give them the wings, and they’d let the wind steer them in any direction, and when a bird in the poultry abuses the power of flight given to it by its feathers, what do we do?”
“Clip the wings?”
“Exactly. Corrupt leaders can only be humble when they’re wings, a.k.a their power, is taken, ripped right out.”
“But the bird’s feathers always grows back.”
“Because their birds, it’s inevitable. One way or the other, make them a rodent, they won’t have feathers anymore, will they?”
“So taking their power is like taking their feathers, you take their pride, their dignity, everything that makes them their horrible self.”
She stood in front of me and held my face with her smooth soft hands. I gently held her hands and rubbed them with my fingers, we locked eyes and kissed.
“Who’s this corrupt leader you’ve spoken of?” She asked.
“The King”, I said with no regret. “Something happened in the marketplace yesterday, six people were killed by a culprit who is still unknown, and the King has told the entire kingdom the killer has been captured and detained when he or she is still out there, and until- “ I began to raise my voice, Angie patted my chest softly and kissed my cheek, her special way of making me calm down. With a more relaxed tone, I continued, “Until they are brought to justice, the people are in even more danger because they don’t know what to expect, and they’re vulnerable.”
“So the King just gave the killer an upper hand”, Angie said. “Am I correct?”
“Now, if more people get killed by this killer, who loses?”
“The kingdom as a whole.”
“No. Who does it affect in particular?”
“The families of the deceased?”
She held me by my collar and pushed me on the bed. I laid flat on my back while she knelt over me, her hair fell over me, the tips brushing against my face.
“If I ask you to take care of my nephew for a day for fifty pieces of gold of which you must return him to safely in order to get paid, and he wanders into the woods, gets mauled by a bear and dies”, she said. “Who-has-lost?”
“You just lost your nephew”, I said.
“You’re unbelievable”, she exclaimed. “You lose the fifty pieces of gold! Forget about my nephew, he should’ve been wiser than to go into the forest.”
“If it’s your nephew’s fault, then why do I have to pay for it with my fifty pieces of gold?”
“Okay, forget my illustration! The point I’m trying to make is, if more people keep getting killed, then everyone will know the King had been lying all this while and his lies cost them the lives of their loved ones. The people get mad, there’s a riot, a new King arises, and I hope that King is you.”
“So you suggest I just let a lot of people die?”
“It’s kind of the only thing you can do at the moment.”
“See, you deserve to be King! I don’t think there’s anyone who cares about this kingdom more than you do!”
I tried hard not to blush. Angie was best person to me in the entire world.
“Life as the King.” I said and imagined it all playout in my head. The kingdom would love me, I wouldn’t impose fear or forceful respect, I’ll give the people what they want and they’ll love me out of their free will.
Angie could tell I had begun daydreaming, she drew her face closer to mine and kissed me.
“Quit fantasizing”, she said and smiled.
I smiled back and held her face in my hands.
“And if I become King- “ I said.
“When!” She immediately corrected
“Okay. When I become King, I wouldn’t want anyone to be my Queen besides you.”
“Are you sure? You’d be a hot, young and cool king, all the reasonable ladies have to be crushing on you.”
“Well then they’ll get crushed ‘cause compared to you, they’re nowhere near competition.”
Angie tried to hide her blush, but I could see it clearly.
“You’re blushing”, I said.
She got off me and straightened the curves on her dress, “No I’m not”, she lied.
I got up from the bed and walked up to her, held her by her waist, and kissed her on her forehead.
“So, are you or are you not going to be King?” She asked me.
I smiled and pulled her closer to my chest, “I definitely will.”
She wrapped her hands around my neck and gently rubbed her fingers around my shoulders,
“It’s getting late, maybe we should get to bed.” I told her.
“We definitely should”, she said and smiled.
We began to kiss. I tightened my grip around her waist as we both fell flat on the bed. Nothing could be better than this, the motive to be King, and to rule the kingdom alongside me, the love of my life.
Together, we turned in for the night.
The next morning, after I’d done everything that needed to be done for the morning, I headed out to get some fresh air. Angie was still in bed, what a wild night that was. I kissed her forehead and left the room.
The other guards greeted me as I walked by. I told Leroy about my motive to overpower the King and rule the kingdom, he pledged to me his full support.
The moment I got outside, I began to think about my conversation with Angie. I understood what she was saying, plus it made a lot of sense. I wanted to be king, but I didn’t want to wait for the death of so many people before that could happen. If the King is to be put down, it shouldn’t be at the cost of even one person’s life.
I thought of going to the castle’s library to find out about past events that cost Kings their positions, but then Leroy ran up to me, he was breathing fast and sweating profusely.
“The King!” He held me by my shoulder to catch his breath and said.
“What is it about the King?” I asked, eager to hear he’s dead.
“No! He wants to see you! In the throne room!”
I went to the throne room.
I hoped the King needed my attention because he’d come back to his senses, or maybe he was tired of ruling the kingdom and wanted to hand it over to me.
When I walked in, the King was sited on his throne talking to two other guards standing in front f him. The moment he noticed my presence, he did a form of hand gesture and the guards immediately left the room.
“Baldor!” He called.
“Your majesty”, I said and bowed.
“Fake!” He snarled.
I stood erect, rather puzzled.
He got up from his throne and walked towards, I walked up to him too, hoping for an explanation for all this.
“Eight more people killed last night, each person in the comfort of their homes.” The King said.
I remained silent for a moment, and then I realized exactly what was going on,
“Are you seriously still accusing me!?”
He pointed his skinny long finger in my face, “I know you’re trying to make me look bad, but it will not work...”
I tried not to laugh for a moment. Just the thought of the view of the King yelling at me, he was about the height of my shoulder with his crown on, but it’d be best if I don’t say anything, after all-
“...and so, I’m ridding you of your position.”
That quickly grabbed my attention, “What!? You can’t do that all because you think I’m the killer, and if even if I was, it definitely won’t stop me from killing more people!”
“I know you think you should be locked up, but, I’m going to have pity on you. All that’s going to happen is that you become deputy in charge of security.” He placed his right hand on my right shoulder like that suddenly makes everything okay.
“To hell with deputy! So, if truly I was the killer, you’re going to just let me off the hook, right after I killed fourteen people.”
“You’re rejecting my mercy?”
“I don’t need your mercy!” I began to lose my temper. “Any bit of mercy you have on me is stupid! You are a stupid and immature self-centred king and I’m done being your puppet! I don’t want anything having to do with this stupid palace anymore!”
The King looked surprised, then angry, and I knew I would regret this but I went ahead anyway, he needed to hear the truth.
“This palace is an abomination”, I went on. “You sit here and feed yourself with the tax of your subjects while they’re out there, breaking their backs in the sun! You don’t deserve to be King!”
The King remained silent for a moment, “And you think you’d be a better king right?”
“I definitely will be.”
The King smiled and let out a wicked and evil laugh. The smile faded off his face and glared at me,
“Too bad you’ll never be”, he said. “Guards!”
About a hundred guards stormed in through the left and right entrances. The King looked at me with a load of anger and seriousness,
“Baldor!” He echoed across the throne room. “You are hereby sentenced to death for the deliberate murder of fourteen innocents.”
The guards pointed their spears and swords at me. Slowly, the ones at the edges moved towards each other till they had me completely surrounded. Damn I taught them good!
In the distance, I spotted Leroy, he looked sad and angry, I hope he doesn’t believe the King.
“Guards! Seize him!”
The guards began to close in. As their teacher, I knew how to get out of this.
I lifted my hands in the air and moved back slowly. I could feel the tip of a sword on my lower back, the sword wasn’t steady, it kept shaking, whoever was holding it was scared.
I quickly put my hands down and smacked the sword out of his hands, then pushed him into some other guards. There was a gap now, an opening I could make it out of. I made a run for it, I could’ve escaped with my body untouched, but my lower abdomen got grazed by the tip of a sword. I held on to the bleeding cut and continued to run.
I needed to get to Angie, get her out of here with me.
I quickly made it to my room, but it was already guarded. Secure the enemy’s Homebase, I hated how good of a teacher I was.
There was nothing I could do now, I bailed, and ran for my life.
Everywhere was blocked, the stairs, the remote exits, everywhere. On one end of the hallway, there were guards closing in, on the other end, a window. I was on the second floor, it was a two storey drop, but I didn’t have much of a choice.
I took of my shirt, and tied it round my stomach, over the cut. The guards may not have remembered this, never let the enemy prepare for something cool.
I ran towards the window and the guards followed. With my arms crossed and forming an X over my face, I smashed through the glass and down I went. I fell through a tree, the weak branches broke upon impact while the strong ones only ricocheted me to another branch.
I fell on the floor and rolled down a hill. Rough sand and stones tore my skin and darkened my complexion. At the end of the hill was a barn, I broke through the wooden walls and crashed into the centre of the barn. The animals went wild and then ponderously, they stopped and relaxed.
I laid there for more than a while. My ribs hurt me so bad, I couldn’t get up, my entire body felt like mush. I began to hear voices approaching the barn, I forced my self off the ground and crawled into the sheep pen. The door of the barn swung open and two people walked in, a man and a woman. I peeped through the pen’s gate for a good view of them,
“I told you I heard a noise”, the woman said and pointed at the broken wall.
“So, what do you think caused it?” The man asked. “Couldn’t have been a coyote.”
The woman looked around for a moment, and then she spotted something.
I can’t believe I didn’t notice the glass injuries on my arms and legs. I bled a trail to my hiding spot.
“It’s not”, the woman said when she saw the blood a lot clearer. “Look.”
The man turned around, he saw the blood as well, “Shit”, he exclaimed.
The woman felt the hay on the ground soaked with my blood. She looked in the direction of the trail, towards the sheep pen, I quickly turned my face away. It was hard warding off the sheep that kept coming in my direction while trying to be silent.
I took another peep, the woman was slowly coming my way, the man was far away blocking the exit and entrance into the barn. The woman took out a short knife from a sheath on her belt. I looked away.
I tried to remain strong. I was still bleeding, the hay around me was covered in blood. I held on to the pain, let the blood flow out of my body. The woman was closer to the pen now.
My entire body hurt so bad. My only source of a little joy and encouragement, the thought of the best person in the entire world. I’ll be back for you Angie, as soon as I can.
TO BE CONTINUED...