Chapter 55: A Sword in the Earl’s Name
“I mean it. Get everything you got and get out,” Julius whispered.
“Not until I’ve heard what is needed to be heard,” Erica said.
“What you are about to hear will not concern you to be in battle. You are no knight. But you are the only thing that may be the key to keep Midland from falling,” he said. Julius was much afraid of what might happen to Harald’s wife and Brant as he waited for Harald to show himself.
Whether he liked it, the earl needed to show his face to the men who were ready to fight against the dark creatures. The citizens were being noted by some other knights and the earl’s most trusted adversaries that they needed to be taken to safety. The men and women are required to evacuate from their homes and be taken to a safer place until the demons leave. The night creatures would be controlled by the most robust and most vigorous demons that would be impossible to fight. Julius believed he could take them all on with Mephiles’s powers, but the cost would be hefty.
“Are you sure you know what you’re doing? You sure you can survive by just staying here?” He asked Erica.
“What about you? What are the possibilities of you winning against such a massive army of devils?” She asked.
“I’m just worried about what will happen to you. If anything horrible happens to you, I will be the one they blame. Harald and I must keep you protected from every creature who is ready to set foot here,” Julius said. Before he could say anything else, Erica lays her hand on his shoulder and makes him listen to her.
“I know that I’m no knight. And I know I’ll not make it through the night. If that is my fate... if I am fated to die here, so be it,” she said. Erica did not care if she dies because Loftain has always been her home, and everything about her life is within the city.
“I thought of an idea. But I don’t think you would care to hear it. You may not like what you are going to hear,” Julius whispered.
“I must know, Julius. I know that you have many things in your mind, but I must know your plan. I cannot just sit around and do nothing,” Erica said.
“When the battle reaches its ending point, I will venture into the castle of Midland and challenge the demon king to a duel. By killing him, the demons will never be summoned to this place again. A lot of work is to be done in the world, and the demon kings will either be dominated or killed,” he said.
“You’ve lost your mind, Julius. Do you realize the danger you will bring upon yourself if you do this? What happens if some outsider discovers your true intentions while you roam the earth?”
Erica was acting as if she had seen an evil spirit fly around her and interrupt her time as she spoke with somebody else. But before any of them could say anything else, Harald lifts the curtain, and he enters the throne room. The room had plenty of weapons that were given to the knights, and they kept them all hidden from everybody in front and behind them. The place already had far too much discussion, and arguments go on at one time during the late evening. The evening was much later to end than expected because they heard no shrill noises from the demons.
Harald sat down on his throne and had much to discuss with his knights and servants as they waited for him to talk. They had no idea if they wanted to end it by having themselves agree to the terms or have someone else do the talking. He sat on his throne to think of the best way to answer his people and thought of a solution to end it all. The ending of everything could very well be of having Julius die at the end and his inner demon leaving him. Then Harald gets up from his throne and looks at all the knights, and he slows his breath while getting ready to talk.
Then Harald spoke with them, saying, “This is a battle we have all been waiting for. In succeeding against my father, the demons proved themselves to get even more potent and find enough courage to attack our home. Because of that, we pushed them back, and they always prepared themselves against us. They ever discover alternative ways to make our city and claim it for themselves. It seems as if today, they have enough power and might kill us all. They take us all for fools.
“For twenty years, Julius and I have made sure you have all prepared for such a mighty battle. We will scour them off the land. We will retake our kingdom, kill anything that reeks of the night, and all who stand with him. Anyone who betrays me and goes against me shall be made an example of. Anyone who dies in their hands will be remembered for their sacrifice. For far too long, they have laid siege on the last remaining city of Midland, and I say we shall bring the fight to them!”
The knights had their hands held onto the handle of their swords and did not pull it out. They were all either deeply afraid or full of empathy that they will win against the demons. But they all had courage in their hearts, and they all continued to fight in the name of their earl. They were also willing to compete in the name of the last king and make his name be known to the rest of the world. Then Julius walked away from the knights as they were preparing for the battle against the night creatures.
“I’ll need fifty of you to make sure that the people are out of their homes and evacuated to a safer place. I’ll need the rest of you to be prepared on the walls with your swords and have every archer ready their bows and arrows. There’s no more time to be wasted. Now go!” Harald said. All the knights did as the earl commanded, and they were all ready to fight to the death.
They were all willing to give their lives to protect the city, even if it meant killing the demons with their bare hands. Julius walks over to the stairs leading to the other rooms for the earl’s family, and Erica is following him from behind.
“Julius, where are you going?” She asked.
“Somewhere to be prepared. I must be by myself, and you must hide. If you desire not to leave this place, then you must not show your face to the creatures,” Julius said.
“I’m sure there is a reason behind all of this. There must be a way out of all of this madness,” Erica said.
“I will not argue with you, Erica. What’s waiting out there for everyone is instant death. Try to leave if you can, the demons are smart enough to smell your blood and hunt you down. This is no game, and this is not one of your fairy tales. The danger is more real than you can imagine. I can’t let you get out of here, not without your son.”
“You have lots of courage, Julius. You will be victorious against them, but even you are still human. Even if you may not live long enough to reunite with your family. Harald knows this... I know this.”
Then, Julius walks towards Erica and gets much closer to her, and he lifts her hand and clings both of his hands to her one hand. She saw that he will lay down his life for her; he would fight his enemies to ensure his loyalty to her and Harald.
Then Julius spoke with her, saying, “I raise my sword in your name. I will lay down my life for you and my people. My family shall always be with me. I may not be part of Harald’s family, but I share the same blood as him. I’ll always bow down to you and Harald. Now go... have Brant be with you and stay away from the battle. Please.”
Erica noticed and understood that Julius is still loyal to the offspring of King Lancelot, and his sword still belonged to them. Then Julius releases Erica’s hand from his grasp and allows Erica to have Brant be with her. As she walked, she looked back and noticed him looking out the window and being prepared to fight the demons. Then, she looks at Harald walking towards Julius and starts walking even faster up the stairs to get to her son.