The Knight, a Wizard, a Lady
"I know your secret, guys," she finally said.
"What secret? That John still sleeps with a night light?" I snickered. He turned red and was about to strangle me when she shook her head.
"No. Thanks for the info, though, Eric. I don't know too many details, but one thing I do know is that Damon is Shadow the Hedgehog." Damon turned to her, surprised. If there was anything he had expected, I know for sure it hadn't been that.
"How'd you work that one out?" he asked doubtfully.
"On the ARK, while it was still broadcasting—it did that until Final Hazard came around. The media is going wild with ideas, but they're sticking to the story of the game . . . they think Shadow's dead, in that case—but anyway, Shadow said 'I don't have time for empty words' which is something I said to him at the Halloween dance. I figured you all are a part of it too. Damon's the only one I guessed for sure though." She looked at us expectantly.
"Well . . . there's no point in denying it. Do you promise not to tell anyone?"
"Not a soul. Not even Aunt Laura," she swore.
"Alrighty then. I'm Sonic, Sonic the Hedgehog," I said with a straight face. She chuckled.
"You must be joking. Little Eric, the kid who I was forced to play house with in kindergarten, is the hero after all. Please continue, like I said before," she said.
"I still need to get back at him for doing a bad imitation of my voice. I don't sound like that. Have at you, knave!" shouted Damon in a mock accent, swinging the lightsaber. I soon defeated him, stealing his 'sword' in the process.
"That was actually basically how the fight went down. He was shocked that I beat him, and I took his sword. I left him there and moved on to the lake.
"The Lady of the Lake, Nimue, was like a princess in a little gazebo at the end of a dock in the magic lake. She had a blue, aqua, gold, and white gown and an aqua headband in her pink hair. She wore gold earrings. She had a soft, gentle voice, and I sat down with her.
"'Greetings, Sonic, Knight from another world. Let's sit. Hello, Caliburn—I haven't seen one of the Sacred Swords for a long time,' she said. Caliburn replied with some sophisticated, pompous answer. I wondered what that meant. Then she explained that the scabbard for Excalibur was able to make the holder immortal, and only a certain power I know of will defeat it,' But then she looked worried.
"'I can't let you go against him. If you took the scabbard . . . what if the same thing that happened to him happened to you? The only way for me to be sure is to see if you're a true knight. You have to pass three tests: free the innocents from King Arthur's dungeon, offer compassion to those in need, and defeat the knights of the Underworld. You will surely have the qualities of courage, kindness, and chivalry if you complete all three within one day. I will share the secret to defeat him if you do this. Good luck,' she said, and she faded away into the mist over the lake.
"Caliburn and I set off immediately through the castle dungeons, cutting down the knights as we went. Then we headed out towards the fields to the west, but I stopped when I saw a little girl crying. She wore a hood so it was hard to see her face, but she was definitely four or five. Well, I couldn't just leave her there, even with the deadline. I stopped to see what was going on.
"'What's wrong?' I asked. 'It was a big dragon! It took Mommy, and Daddy, and everyone away!" she sobbed. She couldn't have been more than four or five—she looked like one of the villagers. It was in the afternoon and there was little time left. 'Where is the dragon?' I asked. 'In a cave at the top of that mountain," she pointed. I saw it in the distance. 'Okay, I'll go help them,' I told her. Caliburn started arguing, but I didn't listen—the kid needed my help, and if I didn't finish, then I'd find another way to beat the king. I ran through the plains that were before the mountain."
"While going through some ruins, I met another of the knights. He had twin swords, each in one hand, curved like flames. His armor was bright red, with spikes on the knuckles of his gauntlets. I muttered to myself, 'I don't suppose you'll let me by nicely?'
"'I am Sir Gawain, Knight of the Round Table,' he said. I replied, 'well, you sure look like this knucklehead I know . . .' His face, or what was visible of it, turned red with anger. 'You dare mock me? An act most unwise, my friend,' he said, preparing to fight. I didn't want to lose more time, so I tried to reason with him: 'Wait, I don't want trouble, I'm going to that mountain to save some people from a dragon!' He looked confused at first, then shook his head. 'Bah! You cannot fool me with your lies! No doubt you're after the dragon's treasure!' I groaned. 'Yousound just like that knucklehead too,' I responded. 'You have defied King Arthur, knave! These ruins of ancient times shall be your grave!' I chuckled and asked what was with the rhyming. He threw one of his swords at me." As John did the same with a pillow.
"That's it! Quit making me look like an idiot!" he shouted.
"Jeez, I'm only telling a story, John, no need toACK!" I shouted as another pillow hit my face.
"DEAD MEAT, SARALI! UNDERSTAND?" he shouted, "THIS IS WAR!" and he grabbed a pair of plastic forks from dinner earlier. I grabbed a plastic knife.
"Still sounding like a knucklehead!" I shouted. We went back and forth, and I finally knocked them both out of his hands without getting skewered. When that happened, he huffed and sat back on the couch.
"Now back to the story—yeah, the fight went down a bit like that. I guess I was pretty shocked when he collapsed to his knees and held one sword to his throat.
"I grabbed it from him immediately. 'What in the world? ! Do you even care about your own life?' I asked. Then as I saw him reach for the other, I grabbed it too so he wouldn't commit suicide. 'Silence! A knight that cannot serve his king and follow out with orders is unfit to live!' he said, pounding the ground. 'Isn't there more to being a knight than just serving a king? Isn't there more to life than just doing what you're told?' I asked. He looked dazed. 'Huh?' 'Sorry, I have to go—saving people from a dragon, remember?' and I took off. I managed to get through the cave fine—a bunch of the knights and some creepy giant spiders got in my way, but I freed the people and led them out safely. By then, the sun had set. I started to head to the kid, trying to think of a way to confess to Caliburn that I didn't have the slightest idea of what I was supposed to do. Nimue seemed nice, but she wouldn't trust me with the secret now. All there was to do was to tell the little girl that it was safe.
"'Hey kid, have you been waiting here the entire time? . . . sorry . . . but everyone's safe now. You can go home,'" I said. She smiled and nodded. 'Thank you . . . and sorry about tricking you.' Then her image wavered like a ripple in the water, and Nimue was standing in her place. 'You have shown skill, courage, and compassion. You're a knight with a true heart—and I will tell you the secret to defeating King Arthur.' She took us back to her lake and explained that the three sacred swords held by the Knights of the Round Table combined with the power of Caliburn would defeat him.
"Then I decided to check on Merlina for a bit—I didn't know where she had gone and wanted to make sure she was safe. I found her by the lake. She was singing quietly. (Try thinking of Merlina's theme from the game)
"'Little rose starts as a seed, stepped on by the men. It grows, past weeds and shears and blood and swords, beautiful to no end. Its thorns protect it from most certain harm, and its sweet scent often known for a certain charm. But why do roses grow and bloom, struggling to survive, when in the end, despite its work, it's dead and not alive? Why do we creatures live if only for an end? Little rose starts as a seed, stepped on by the men.' She hummed the eerie tune, picking a young rose out of the ground. I don't know how long I stood there, but it seemed already like it was wilting. 'Merlina, are you okay?' I asked. 'Oh! Sonic, I didn't know that you were there! Did you get Nimue to help?' I explained the situation. 'Then go! Hurry!' I looked back at her once, still staring at the quickly withering rose, before setting off.
"Well, what would you do? I ran to the mines where Percival supposedly was, where they mined coal. Caliburn warned me on the way that Sir Percival, the Knight of the Grail, was one of the most skilled knights and that she would be very hard to beat." Eliza's eye twitched.
"Well, I saw her soon enough, in silver armor, holding a thin rapier blade like they use for fencing—only there was a real point, and I wasn't exactly wearing armor. She said nothing. She just got into a fighting stance. Then, finally, she spoke, 'State your name and your master,' and I said, 'I'm Sonic. I don't really have a master, unless you count the wind that leads me where it goes.' She frowned. 'Let's see if you can match my skills, sir knight!' And charged at me. Now, Sir Percival," I paused, with Eliza looking enraged at me.
"Sir Percival? Can't you at least call her Lady Percival, Eric?" she asked.
"Sorry, but that's what she's called," I said.
"You give me no choice, then," she replied dully. Before I could respond with a "huh?" she charged, and I dodged by an inch. She now was holding a thin toy sword. There were a lot of old kid's toys down here, so I took up the lightsaber again.
"En garde! (Sorry if it's misspelled, I guessed)" she proclaimed, and we went into an epic fight in which she lost, sword clattering to the ground.
"As I was saying, now, Sir Percival was a crafty warrior and had special moves—I nearly got beaten—when I won. We were near the edge of a cliff, and she was backing away from me, when the rocks below her made her slip—the lava below wasn't exactly encouraging—and I stuck Caliburn into the cliff face and grabbed her hand before she could fall too far.
"'Why did you save me?' she asked. 'Are you kidding? I'm not heartless. I guess you could say my heart is my other master, as I don't go anywhere without it guiding me,' I said thoughtfully. Caliburn sighed. 'What? Do you have anything wise to say, oh mentor?' I snapped. 'You are no longer a simple knave, Sonic. You have mastered the code of chivalry. Now, you shall be known as Sir Sonic, Knight of the Wind.' I smirked, thinking it was about time. I pulled lady Percival up the cliff and headed to Avalon—King Arthur's island. He began to use strange fireballs coming from his sword, sending them at me while galloping to safety on his horse. I hit them back and he slowed down enough for me to hit him. He fell off his horse, which galloped away, and groaned, 'No! How can this be?' I stood above him and put the three swords in a triangle shape around him so that his scabbard wouldn't work.
"Then I took Caliburn and slashed right through his chest, beating the evil king once and for all," I finished as both Miles and Nellie fell asleep. But everyone else was wide awake, so I grinned.
"And, just like one of the Knights of the Underworld, he disappeared in a puff of smoke. I hurried to the castle courtyard, where I found the knights and Merlina. She was smirking.
"'Your king was nothing more than an illusion that my grandfather conjured up. He never truly held Excalibur. Ah, Sonic.' She turned to me. The knights had their helmets raised—they looked like Shadow, Blaze, and Knuckles. Gawain asked, 'How did you come by that scabbard? Where is the king?' I explained the truth. 'As I said, King Arthur was nothing but an illusion, a piece of magic.' The scabbard, which I'd nearly forgotten about, was suddenly in her hands.
"'Thank you, Sonic. With this scabbard . . . I can make this an eternal kingdom, one that never ends, where life never ends!' Her hair came loose form her braid, and both she and the scabbard began to glow. 'What?' I shouted, outraged. She used me to do make the kingdom unable to end. Suddenly, there was a tremor in the ground.
"'Percival! Lancelot! Gawain! Let's get out of here!' I shouted. The underworld invasion had begun."