I silenced all of the noise around me and focused on aiming. I pulled the quiver back, took a deep breath, and released.
The arrow went in slow motion and hit the target perfectly, scoring a bullseye. I sighed in relief while I moved along with the pace Phillipe was galloping.
I pulled back on the reigns and slung the bow over my shoulder, patting Philippe’s neck while waiting for the scores. Tucking strands of hair under the emerald cloak that covered my body I took the chance of exploring the fair. People were laughing and betting on their favorite jousters, and little children were running around and playing while the older kids were socializing among themselves or watching the boys compete in activities such as wooden swordfights or archery. Glancing at the group of girls eyeing the boys discreetly I saw they were watching them through the stands or making flower crowns. I rolled my eyes at them and tied Phillipe to a hitching post dusting my cloak off. This was the annual Mysticlane Inn fair.
You’re probably thinking ‘What’s with the secretive hood?’
Well you see, I am sort of breaking society’s rule at the moment by competing in these competitions. Also, I sneaked out of the house just to come here, against Aunt Marie’s rules so I have to keep a low profile. You see I am supposed to be sitting in my room, studying the art of finesse and wearing my corseted dress that was way too tight fitting for my liking.
I walked through the stalls, keeping my head down, and waited for the next event to start.
It was a swordfight; luckily, we had to wear armor, which I gladly put on. Walking over to the sets of shiny metal armor I grabbed one that would fit me and hid behind a corner, taking my hood off and slipping it on, hearing everything click in place. Lastly, I tucked my hair in, and slipped on the helmet while grabbing my sword, I noticed it had a protective tip on the edges.
When I jogged over to the arena the kid managing the event. “You have to put in a name though.” He said.
Darn, the timing is the worst around here. A piece of paper and a pencil caught my eye and I motioned for him to get me them. “You don’t speak English, do you? You’re mute right?” He asked curiously. I nodded my head, and even though it was a tiny white lie I had to do this.
I scribbled ‘The Silent Soldier’ on the paper and took my place in the Arena. There would be four other guys competing, so they had to pull leads for who to go first. I pulled the shortest lead so I had to battle first, unfortunately.
I noticed it was a tall guy with a red Crest on the chest plate of his armor.
“Your goal is to knock the opponent’s sword out of his hands for at least five seconds. You may use combat techniques.” His voice boomed over the Arena ground.
We took our places and began. I watched his movements closely and dodged every attack he made, very nearly might I add. I swung at him, but he dodged grunting in frustration. I managed to somehow get behind his back and tapped him lightly on the shoulder with my sword, he turned around and tried to hit my sword out of my hand. I turned my body so that my sword would be the farthest away from him. He pushed me down, but I held my sword in front of my face, trying to push him away. I tried to spot any weak spots where I could hit, but there weren’t any unguarded ones. Looking at his feet, I did a fast roundhouse and his knees buckled, while his sword clattered on the ground. I swiped it away and stepped on his chest, holding him down for 5 seconds. He pulled off his helmet and shook his hair, let me tell you he was quite the sight to see... He had sandy brown hair and honey brown eyes. Broad muscular shoulders and he was towering over me, glaring at my stance. He crossed his arms and glared at me “I demand a rematch.” He stated at the referee. “No he won fair in square, you may both leave while we fight the last round, after that winners fight each other.” The referee quickly said and rushed us out.
I know he can’t see me but I smirked and did a little curtsey for him while walking towards the seats of the Arena. The matches were an intense and very close call, but finally, it was my turn once again to challenge my opponent.
He had a green Crest on his armor, which I noticed all of us had, we shook hands and took the fighting stance. The ref nodded his head and we circled each other. “I saw you...” he said and my eyes widened a bit.
Does he know I’m a girl?
"You fight well.” He stated and swung a blow at my thighs. I nearly missed it and ducked onto the floor. He chuckled and jumped over the sword in mid-air, as I tried to swipe his knees.
“But you’re too predictable and your observation skills are a disgrace Silent Soldier.” He said cockily. I knew he had a cocky smirk under his helmet and I wanted to wipe it off. I stood up and faked charging him, he flinched but I pulled away in time to swipe at his sword. The only thing that could be heard was the sound of metal clashing against each other. He laughed at me and pushed me to the ground, extremely hard. I could already feel the bruise starting to form.
I gritted my teeth and flung back up, he charged at me, but I did an aerial over his sword, grabbing it in place and yanking him down. He let his guard down too fast.
I heard the crowd gasp in surprise. Now I had an amused smile plastered on my face. I grabbed his hand and twisted it behind his back, trying to manipulate him into surrendering. But he did something even worse and it took me by surprise, he pulled out of my grip and flipped me on the ground, holding me in place with his heavy body, and at this point... the armor wasn’t exactly helping.
I glanced at the crowd and saw Aunt Marie take her place beside. ALICE?!
He noticed I let my guard down and took this moment to grab my sword. I struggled to fight him and a horn went off. Finalizing that he won this round.
He stood up and chuckled, dusting himself off and sticking out his hand at me. I took it and tried scampering off, but he held my arm in an iron grip. “Let us see who my worthy opponent was, shall we?” He said
I shook my head frantically, trying to signal to him I meant no! I can’t reveal myself hear, Aunt Marie is going to have my head and Alice... well she is going to have to witness it!
But he ignored my protests and gently placed his hands on the sides of my helmet. Oh no, I can’t look! Shutting my eyes and biting my lip, I prepared for the meltdown of the century...
Feeling the icy wind hit my face I could tell this was the calm before the storm. The crowd went silent
“Rosalie Arabella Jane! GET OUT OF THERE THIS INSTANT!” Aung Marie screamed.
I cringed at her voice and slowly opened my eyes. I noticed that my opponent also took off his helmet. He had soft blond hair with beautiful grey eyes and high cheekbones. His muscles were defined and he was also extremely tall.
He looked at me in surprise and opened his mouth to say something but Aunt Marie interrupted him and leaned over the Arena walls “Rosalie!” She yelled and I grabbed my sword and helmet and ran off the grounds grabbing my cloak and dress and boots.
I slipped off the armor and shimmied into the dress cursing at all of the knots and laces I had to tie.
They should really make these more effective by removing all the unnecessary stuff because this is costing me my time to run away before the dragon lady gets here!
Pulling on the boots, I looked over my shoulder and saw my opponent coming toward me. OH NO! I can’t deal with this too. I pulled on the green cloak and pulled the hood over my head, before running full speed towards Phillipe.
“Wait!” He shouted, but I put my foot in the stirrup, swung over, and kicked Phillipe in the side making him gallop into the forest.
I had to try to buy myself some time because with Aunt Marie I knew no one was going to save me this time...