The Tower's Labyrinth

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Chapter 4

The knight got off the horse, grabbing a silver sword from his sheathe on the saddle, and walked up to Leonidas. His footsteps were heavy and left prints in the solid ground. He hummed the beat to the Warrenshire song before doffing his cape and tossing it on the deck of the house on the hill. The armor blinded Leonidas as he watched a sword slash towards his face unable to defend. Its cold silver touched his cheek.

“Hum the song!” He poked with the blades tip into his cheek.

“Why? So, you can kill me to a pleasant beat?”

“You won’t last five seconds without the song. Draw your sword.”

The knight took out the dripping tip of his blade and drew some blood onto his fingertip before placing it in a vile, shaking it, and looking at its color. He picked it up to the sun before quickly grabbing Leonidas by the neck, crushing with his oversized hands, and pulling him in.

“Let go of me. You sick-metal freak!”

The knight spit out through his skull ornamented visor. “Your power is fading without the song. Embrace it or die.”

Leonidas pushed against the metal breast plate and bounced off back towards the door. He hit a wall before a voice laughed.

“Your time is done in the house, Leonidas. Please get away from the door, stupid kid.” The voice disappeared.

Leonidas got up and threw the dust from his hands at the man’s visor swiping down with his sword against the shiny armor. He flew back again, trying to shield his arms, from the riposte that arrived at his chest. The grass softened his fall, but he still felt his thumb snap as he crashed onto the hillside. For the second time today, he laid down on the floor with someone holding him by the hair, right after the impact.

“Sing the song, or I’ll kill you now! You are a disgrace to the Ancient Knights.”

Leonidas blood covered face masked the fury in his eyes. He gripped Camelot one more time and swung at a gap in between alloy bolts. The air started to escape his lungs, and he instinctively began to hum that unfortunate song. The knight’s laughter soon followed, a gruffy sound, and flicked him back by the deck’s stairs.

“Pick a skill: striking, defending, or evading. You have ten seconds you little shit to make up your mind.” He tossed Camelot over to Leonidas watching the boy scramble to his feet.

“I guess running makes the most sense, right dickhead?” Leonidas smugly smiled.

“Did I tell you to stop humming.” The knight arrived in front of him, nearly instantaneously, coiling his hand around the already bright red spot. “Do you think I can’t kill you little shit?” he gripped the boy blue and tossed him into the hilt of his sword.

Out of defiance, he sang the song instead of humming it.

“…That dragon’s fear and cannot eat, who survives through storms and quakes of their humongous feet. Who lithely dodges the devil’s tricks, and never falls for the witches’ antics! Who feeds the vagabonds who open the door and senses the treasures of never-before…”

The knight clapped with his sword in hand. “Look at your leg, you sorry-shit, it fully healed by the last verse. Now, if you disobey me again, I’ll feed you to my saddle over here. Got it sand-wad?”

Leonidas walked over on his healed leg and sat down on by the house humming with tears coming down his eyes.

“The Art of evasion for Knights.” He laughed before pulling a gem from his silver hilt. “Put it on your blades hilt. Don’t let us down fresh-blood.” He disappeared on his horse like an evanescent cloud.

Leonidas immediately stopped humming, stood up, gripped the stone, and inserted it into the hilt of Camelot. It glowed yellow, but he ignored the light choosing instead to snap back his thumb into its socket. He screamed just loud enough to cause the knight to laugh; He got off his horse and saluted.

“Give us the odds. What do you think Mantis?” His commander requested.

“1 – 20, 7th floor; 1-200, 8th.”

“That’s pretty high for an ancient class. You sure about that?”

“He’s like a plucky girl. I’ve seen enough of his types to know the odds.”

“Shit, I may have to place a bet on him them. Wow, we got some fresh blood to watch.” He cleared his throat. “Oh yeah, you going to go join the clearing. I heard they need another knight for land 7.”

“Thanks, but I already slaughtered half of Warrenshire.”

“As you wish, Mantis, but you better come to the afterparty asshole. I heard generals going to be there.”

Mantis nodded before heading to his room. He arrived, cleaned the blood off his sword, and thought about their faces.

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