Stone Warriors

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Chapter 19

Standing before the fireplace in Vyron’s study, I tried my best not to vomit. I knew I was about to die and I did my best to fight my nausea, but the bile kept rising anyways. Finally I couldn’t hold it back any longer and I ran to the adjoining bathroom to expel the vile fluid. After I wiped my face and rinsed out my mouth, I exited the bathroom to see Vyron had already came in and had poured us both a drink.

“I see your not feeling your best so I’ll keep this brief.” He handed my drink to me and gestured to the chair across from him. I sat trying to steady my shaking hands as I put the glass to my lips. Whiskey is the best nerve-calmer in the world.

Vyron took a drink and watched me chug over half my glass in one sip. He pointed at my glass, “Go ahead and finish that, old friend. There’s more where that came from.” I obliged, then he took it and refilled it for me.

He smiled, “There. Even the shakiest nerves can be stilled by whiskey. It’s the best medicine in the world. Now that you feel better we can discuss today’s events.”

Immediately I tried to protest that today shouldn’t count, but Vyron held up his hand, “Relax, old friend, I know today was a fluke. However, we did make a deal, right? So how do we proceed? Where do we go from here?”

He tapped his fingers on the arm rest of the chair, “Well, it wouldn’t do me much good to take your life would it? I mean, I have my hands full with this town and the tournament so how was I supposed to also run the fields with those desolate workers? There’s no one else I trust to do your job plus take over Zakyrik’s sponsorship.”

It was foolish, but I could not help the small bit of hope that sprung up immediately when he said that. I should have known better. My heart sank just as fast as my hope crashed when Vyron spoke again.

“An hour ago I had my mind made up to go against my honor code and break our agreement, however, on my way to meet you the most opportunistic occurrence presented itself to me. You see, there was a visitor who showed up here looking for none other than you. When I found out who it was I was overjoyed at how fortuitous it was that he appear at the very moment that I was about to make both of us go against our words, deeming us as oath breakers! I found the perfect replacement for you and he even has the same last name!”

At that moment the door opened and in walked a man who was only a few inches shorter than me. He had my dark blue eyes, but his were colder and cruel. He also had a tiny scar on his chin from where he tripped as a child and landed on a rake. I would know this because that man happened to be my son.

“Hello, father. My timing ended up being perfect. I was coming to tell you how worthless of an overseer you are because the work in the fields have gone to piss since you’ve neglected your duties on behalf of this tournament, but now we can rectify the situation.”

It was well-known that my son and I had a strained relationship. Well, strained may be an understatement. The truth is my boy hated me and had for years. I never could quite understand why.

Vyron held his hand out and patted my son on the back, “Trevalo is perfect. He has your last name, knows the rules of being a sponsor to the warriors so he can take Zakyrik and he knows how to manage the fields. So now, we can honor our blood deal, isn’t that wonderful?”

Out of the blue I started feeling sleepy and my head felt fuzzy, “Son, wait...” I stood up and stumbled over the ottoman. My vision started fading in and out.

Vyron quickly caught me, “Shhhh...,” he cooed, “Just close your eyes, dear Axrenorian. It’s almost over. I honestly do consider you a good friend so therefore I put sleeping pills in your whiskey, that way when I run my sword through you, there will be no pain.”

To no avail, I attempted to struggle against him as I felt myself being lowered to the floor. “I’ve made your death as easy as possible and above all, you are going to die with honor. Everyone will know how bravely you accepted the consequence of the blood deal. You bet your life on the match, it didn’t go in your favor and you accepted your fate like a man. It’s alright, the pills have almost kicked completely in.”

Terror tried to set in, but the overpowering urge to close my eyes was stronger. I vaguely remember a slight stinging in my abdomen as I looked at my son for the last time. He was still glaring at me with hatred and had his lip pulled back in disgust when my vision faded.

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