Chapter 55: The Monster and the King
Colin felt the vibration of rock sliding on rock. Crag’s voice echoed into the small dark chamber.
“We are coming to the stone of the city now. I will take you a little farther, I think.” Crag’s voice echoed in his ears.
Colin looked up and responded, “Yes, then help us! With you we could easily smash the Amorites.”
“Hmmm, there is a great power above the surface. It will be difficult to split the soil. I don’t know how helpful I can be, little pebble. The Maker may only wish me to ferry you.” The rumbling stopped. After some time passed, Crag’s voice once again echoed. “Deep magic here. Not to be toyed with. It weighs heavily on the soil. Even I may not be able to breakthrough.”
“Try, Crag. I need to be up there. I need to speak the words.”
“Yes, I believe you do,” Crag said and strained again.
* * * * * * * *
As King Braeden entered the Ambassador’s Square with his men, his mouth dropped. The beauty of Gilead’s most prestigious landmark was now in ruins. Regal architecture burned and the once verdant plaza was now littered with bodies. Amid the chaos he saw a monster towering over hundreds of rabid warriors, barking orders.
“They call it Molek.” One of the soldiers whispered in his ear, “An Akan from the north.”
Molek snatched a dying man from the ground and tore him in half with a grunt.
“I don’t care where he’s from. He’s going to hell.” Braeden replied and beckoned his men forward.
Molek turned and saw the vanguard’s approach. “Fresh meat boys! Attack!” The mob rushed to meet them. Molek’s footfalls shaking the earth as they drew closer.
Molek slammed his giant club into the king’s guards, sending them flying back. Braeden dodged the giant’s swing. “Back, you fiend. Get back to the hole you came from!” he screamed.
Rustag rushed the giant’s leg and brought his polearm down into the monster’s foot, piercing through the boot. Black blood gurgled up and Molek howled in pain. The giant reached for Rustag but the slaughterman raced behind him and skewered the hulk’s Achilles tendon. Molek fell backward screaming in agony. The black soldiers that had crowded around took a step back. Molek fell to his knees and caught Rustag in a vise-like grip.
“Now you, you’re worth a killing,” Rustag grunted, “though your grip is soft.”
Molek’s eyes flared and he squeezed Rustag. The slaughter-man gasped and dropped his weapon. Molek flung Rustag into a burning shack several yards away, then limped to his feet, pulling the lance from his heel. King Braeden now faced the giant alone.
“Little man with a little crown,” Molek’s guttural voice echoed. “I’ve brought your kingdom down. Bow to me. Bow to the might of the black throne and perhaps I will spare your life.”
The king stood, trembling. Every choice he’d made had brought him to this moment. For every mistake he committed in his life, for every weakness, he would not fail this time. Though everything in his being begged him to take a knee, he remained on his feet. He lifted his sword at the giant, his eyes glanced to the names of his grandfathers that adorned the blade, and he knew they stood with him.
Molek’s grin faltered and Braeden saw for the briefest of seconds a glimpse of uncertainty flash in the monster’s eyes.
The giant snarled and with one deft strike of his club, the king was dead.
Molek turned from the decimated body and howled in victory. The black legion around him cheered.