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¡§Right as it comes time for the queen and of her kin.¡¨ From the edge of the cliff, the horsed man had a clear view of the carriage and its guards traversing the path below.
His entire body was wrapped in multiple strands of colored silk. The strands wrapped him all of the way up to his neck.
Handsome was not the right word for this man. Beautiful more adequately described him. His features were soft, making for a contrast with his sharp purple hair that grew pass the small of his back.
His hair¡¦s color flowed easily into his red leather saddle. His horse¡¦s color alternated in stripes of its natural red and painted purple with pieces of deep blue plates as armor.
¡§Do not fail this, Rousset,¡¨ a woman¡¦s voice screeched from behind the man.
¡§Please, call me Renier, or, maybe, Omnipotent One,¡¨ the man said with a smile but without looking back at her.
¡§Do not toy with me, Rousset,¡¨ the woman¡¦s horse trotted towards Renier.
He looked back at the woman wearing a black robe sitting atop her black horse. ¡§Ah, they sent the maid. I expected one of her children to oversee this undertaking.¡¨
She rode beside him and directed the blackness of her hood at him but said nothing.
Renier shuddered and pulled his reigns to force his horse to step sideways.
¡§Do I frighten you, Rousset?¡¨ the woman asked.
¡§No you don¡¦t, Maid, but the world around you, and of her children for that matter, looks as if it loses its colors, and these silks are new,¡¨ Renier¡¦s smile held a warmth as he spoke.
The woman continued to look at him from behind the blackness of her hood. This is your last chance. Lana was the last straw. If the decision was mine, I would have killed you after her.
Renier shrugged and said, ¡§How was I supposed to know her being pregnant would interfere with Juliana¡¦s plans for her. I do, however, find it interesting that you said, ¡¥If the decision was mine.¡¦ Most people simply would have said, ¡¥If I were Juliana, I would,¡¦ but not you. Is that reverence for her?¡¨
¡§It is loyalty and respect,¡¨ she replied.
Renier chuckled before continuing, ¡§Whatever it is, Alucard trained you well. Perhaps though, it is another thing entirely. Hatred, jealously, and even resentment because she, not you, awoken and married Alucard, but she did not lift a finger to help him as he drew his last breaths.¡¨
¡§Watch your tongue, Rousset. Perhaps I should wrap it in silk and slice it from your mouth.¡¨
¡§So I see that I stumbled upon a truth,¡¨ Renier laughed to himself. I really should be going. They are drawing near my men,¡¨ Renier said.
As he turned his horse away from the robed woman, a black chain wrapped around his neck. Renier struggled to stay atop his horse as the chain pulled him back. The chain started smoking as it tightened around his neck. He pulled his horse around to look at the woman. He traced the chain from his neck to the woman¡¦s outreached hand.
¡§They are not your men. They are The Mother¡¦s soldiers.¡¨
Renier wedged his fingers into the chain and loosened its grip around his throat. ¡§Yes, yes, hollowed is Queen Juliana, The Mother. I beg your forgiveness,¡¨ Renier said in complete dead tone. He loosened the chain and slid it from his neck.
The chain coiled back into her sleeve as she pulled the chain from Renier.
¡§You may be strong, but remember, you are not invincible,¡¨ Renier said.
She bent forward and screeched at him.
Renier smiled and rode off.






~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Deseo and Valeria Cerrada are rolling along the beaten dirt path in their striking carriage. Escorting them are eight knights: four ahead of them, two behind them, and one on either side of them. <~(names) The land around the path was a lush, gorgeous green with hills rolling as far as the eye could see. While the landscape would inspire hope and tranquility, the sky¡¦s gloominess brought a depressing note to the day. The carriage¡¦s color posed for a stark contrast to the dirt it traversed, and even though the paint was vibrant, the dirt and mud were dulling its color.
The carriage¡¦s driver, Adrian, shaded his eyes and tilted his head back as it started to drizzle. Inside the carriage, Valeria sat straight as she looked at a passing patch of Spanish Bluebells, while Deseo laid his chin on his right fist and looked to the sky.
¡§Is anything wrong, Deseo?¡¨ Valeria asked with only a slight Spanish accent.
¡§Nada,¡¨ Deseo answered with a sigh.
¡§Not in Spanish,¡¨ Valeria said in an uncompromising voice.
¡§Niente,¡¨ Deseo said in the same moping tone.
¡§In English,¡¨ Valeria demanded.
¡§Nothing,¡¨ Deseo said looking at Valeria. ¡§I am just bored. At least we saw some fighting last year. Plus,¡¨ Deseo returned his gaze to the overcast sky, ¡§it has been so gloomy lately. It has rained almost every day lately. That is another thing we will not be paid for.¡¨
¡§Do not worry yourself, my dear Deseo. We will make enough,¡¨ Valeria said.
¡§They are my friends out there, but they are nine men who love their ales even more than their fighting. A lack of one might me bearable, but take both away from them, and we may not have them next year,¡¨ Deseo said as he slumped in his seat.
¡§I think you are enough to protect me, the big, strong Caballero.¡¨
Deseo chuckled as he looked out the back of the carriage. He grabbed a sheathed sword from the floor of the carriage and fastened it to its roof with a stupid grin on his face.
¡§What are you doing?¡¨ Valeria asked.
¡§Look out the back,¡¨ Deseo motioned with his chin.
She lifted the curtain and asked, ¡§Where are Mac and O¡¦Malley at, and who are those men?¡¨
¡§They probably got a little roughed up. Don¡¦t worry your pretty little head. We will circle back and pick them up after we deal with those men.
Deseo opened his door and started to step out, but Valeria grabbed him by the shoulder. ¡§Where do you think you are going?¡¨
Deseo looked back and said, ¡§There¡¦s no ale, so I¡¦m improvising.¡¨ He pulled himself up and climbed to the top of the carriage. Deseo looked at six men. Five of them were heavily armored in purple, but one was cover from toe to neck in colorful silks and had long purple hair. They did share one thing though, they were all on horses.
Deseo shouted ¡§Hello there,¡¨ as he waved. ¡§I am sorry, but I am going to ask you to stop your horses!¡¨ The men stayed silent but increased their pace. Deseo raised an arm and yelled, ¡§Men¡K rally!¡¨
The man just left of center reached down and came back up with a loaded crossbow and loosed an arrow.
Deseo fell to his left knee and clutched the arrow in his right thigh.




Slow-mo
The world seemed to slow as Deseo looked to his left and saw his rider dieing at the hands of three men. Then he looked right and saw his Amancio killing a man but still had two waiting to fight. Deseo looked behind him to see how his front riders were fairing. He saw them alone but riding hard. His momentary relief was shattered as his vision slipped forward to a dozen riders in purple armor riding towards them. He looked back at his own attackers. Two had drawn their swords and were riding hard to close the gap between them and the carriage.




Regular speed
Deseo gulped and brought the world¡¦s speed back. Thoughts of Valeria passed through Deseo¡¦s mind. She owes me one. Deseo thought to himself as he sturdied his grasp of the arrow. ¡§Oaah,¡¨ he grunted as he ripped the arrow from his leg.
Deseo looked back up to see the two men were close now. Deseo grabbed the hilt protruding from the carriage. He waited a moment and unsheathed it.
The two men looked at each other, but it was too late, and they were too close. Deseo dove for the left man and drove his sword through the man¡¦s chest and easily forced it out of his back. Deseo took the man¡¦s sword from him and pushed him out of his saddle.
Deseo looked at the bowman, who fumbled with another arrow.
The other swordsman rode closer to Deseo as he raised his sword to strike, but Deseo ran his newly acquired sword through the man¡¦s exposed armpit.
Deseo looked back at the bowman as he loaded an arrow into his crossbow. The man leveled the crossbow and took aim for Deseo.
Deseo pulled his sword back, yanking the swordsman off of his horse and in front of himself. Deseo felt a thump as the arrow slammed into the swordsman and let go of his new sword. The swordsman fell to the ground, and Deseo watched as the bowman¡¦s horse tripped over the man and threw him and his crossbow to the ground. Deseo grinned and waved at the three remaining men.
Deseo spun himself around in the saddle and sheathed his sword in a scabbard strapped to the horse. Deseo grabbed the reins of the horse and gave them a short snap. Deseo looked back and rode the horse off of the path. He looked back again and saw two men chasing him, but the man in the colorful silks kept after the carriage.
Deseo rode for another moment before pulling on the reigns and turning the horse to face the men. As he waited, the drizzle picked up to a heavy rain. Deseo released his sword from the scabbard and slashed at the first man but was blocked. The second man took the initiative and slashed at Deseo, but the Caballero blocked the wild blow with ease.
Deseo put his heels to the horse and started for the carriage. Damn, I will not be able to get back to the carriage before he does. The colorful man was only five feet from the carriage and got closer to the carriage with every gallop of his horse. ¡§Vaaal!¡¨ Deseo yelled too far away from the carriage to be heard. As the man closed in on the carriage, a bolt of lightning snapped down and struck him. The horse stumbled and fell to the ground. Somehow, the man managed to jump from the horse and reached for the carriage, but fell short and slammed into the ground.
Deseo smirked and turned his horse again to meet his two foes. The first man screamed as he raised his sword, but Deseo pressed his horse and ran his sword through the man¡¦s stomach. Once Deseo¡¦s hilt hit the man, he flew from his horse and fell to the ground. As he fell, Deseo slid his sword from the man and continued riding. Deseo ducked the second man¡¦s chop and rode pass him. They both turned immediately and clashed steel. They stared at each other for a moment and rode away from each other for a second before facing each other again. They galloped towards each other and both swung their blades. The swords clashed, but Deseo¡¦s blow simply overpowered the man. The man¡¦s sword hit him in the breastplate and knocked him from of his horse.
Deseo urged his horse forward and rode for the carriage as he sheathed his sword. Deseo watched on as the Zacarias fell from his horse, and now the three warriors were upon the carriage.
One of the men jumped from his horse and onto the carriage. He steadied himself and opened the door. For all of his effort, he received a dagger to the throat. Unfortunately, the man kept the dagger as he fell to the ground.
(Point of view change ƒ¼ )Another man rode closer to the carriage. He reached for the carriage¡¦s door, but another bolt of lightning struck beside him. He looked over, but the last man was nowhere to be seen. The man again focused on the carriage and grabbed its door. He flung it open, but a great flash of fire knocked him from his horse.
Deseo closed the gap between him and the carriage and was again on the path. He continued to press his horse forward, but after only a few seconds, Adrian came flying from the driver¡¦s bench and hit the ground tumbling. Deseo¡¦s horse jumped over him without losing stride and continued to gain ground on the carriage.
¡§Who in the Hell are these people?¡¨ Deseo said to himself as he looked back at the old man. As he looked behind him, his attention wandered to another dozen riders. Six of which were armored in purple like everyone else, but the other six were dressed in black robes that seemed to extinguish any light that drew too near to them. Deseo squinted to get a better look at the robed men, but gave up and continued his race towards the carriage. Rein snap
As Deseo passed the carriage¡¦s right window, he waved to Valeria. She gave him astiff wave in return as he galloped ahead. Deseo got to the front of the carriage and saw a purple-armored warrior at the reins.
Deseo jumped to the carriage but almost didn¡¦t make it. He barely stayed on by his arms and pulled himself up. Only then did the warrior see Deseo and jumped to his feet. As Deseo got to his feet, the man drew his sword. Deseo grab for the sword on his hip, but his hand found nothing. Deseo looked down and saw that that he had neither sword nor sheath.
The man snickered as he looked at Deseo.
Deseo looked ahead to the path and threw his hands over his head.
The man¡¦s head snapped to the upcoming path and became puzzled as he saw nothing out of the ordinary. He turned his attention back to Deseo, but the Caballero charged him and dug a shoulder into his chest. As the man flew backwards, Deseo grabbed his sword. He grabbed for the carriage to keep from falling off, but the rain made its surface far too slick for that. He hit the path as the carriage continued.
¡§That¡¦s for Adrian, you son of a bi-¡¨ Deseo started, but stopped as he saw another man.
He walked atop the roof of the carriage. The man exuded menace. His purple armor was chipped and cut. He had no hair but had half a dozen scars on his face and scalp. His weapon of choice was a curved, two-foot blade on top six feet of wood.
Deseo prepared to jump to meet him, but a ball of fire tore through the roof of the carriage and threw the man twenty feet into the air.
Deseo ducked down to look into the carriage and said, ¡§Thanks Val, but I could have handled him.
Out of the corner of his eye, Deseo saw a man climbing onto the driver¡¦s bench. Deseo stepped towards him and planted the bottom of his foot on the man¡¦s face and knocked him off of the carriage. Deseo grabbed the stepping handle attached to the carriage and looked over the side just in time to see the rear wheel role over him. ¡§Now, why can¡¦t every wuuu,¡¨ Deseo received a shove off of the carriage.
Deseo held the handle long enough to swing into the side of the carriage, but his fingers slipped and he dropped. His foot caught the carriage step, and he drove his arm into the window to keep himself up. ¡§He should have been the one you poofed.¡¨ Deseo yelled as he pointed forward.
Valeria simply shrugged in response.
Deseo steadied himself and said, ¡§Just give me another sword.¡¨
Val unsheathed another blade and gave it to Deseo with these parting words, ¡§Do not lose this one. Swords are very expensive.¡¨
Deseo took the sword with a nod and started his climb. He raised his leg into the window and pushed himself to the top of the carriage. Deseo looked at the charred hole in the roof of the carriage for a moment before looking forward at the man who pushed him. He took a step forward, but tripped on the wet surface. As he fell, he drove his sword through the roof of the carriage.
The man driving the carriage stood up and looked back. Deseo and the man¡¦s eyes locked. Deseo stood up and pulled his sword out as the man turned and grabbed the reigns of the four horses.
Deseo stepped forward more carefully as the man steered the horses from the path. Deseo jumped to the driver¡¦s bench, but the man stood and drew a long, curved blade. ¡§You should have just fallen,¡¨ the man said in a thick Romanian accent as he pointed his kopis at Deseo. ¡§The queen shall have her, and there is nothing you can do to stop us.¡¨
¡§Queen? What are you talking about?¡¨ Deseo asked, but the only response he received was a slash of the man¡¦s sword. Deseo blocked it and pushed the man¡¦s sword into the roof of the carriage. Deseo took his own sword and slid it into the man¡¦s right shoulder.
The man wrestled to free his sword despite the sword in his shoulder.
He¡¦s tough. I will give him that. Deseo twisted his sword and forced it down to cut the man¡¦s wrist. He let go, but his left arm darted for another sword. Deseo used the carriage wall to kick himself into the air. The man started unsheathing his sword as Deseo pulled on his sword and kicked the man in the chest. The man unsheathed his sword as he flew back but missed Deseo as he fell from the carriage.
Deseo hit the carriage wall and fell to the driver¡¦s bench. He sat up, and in a mocking Romanian, said, ¡§Oh, you should have just fallen.¡¨
Deseo looked forward to see how well his four front riders were doing, but all he saw were the horses riding for a ditch with a small rise behind it. ¡§Hold on, Val!¡¨
The horses fell in, but the bottom of the carriage bit into the ground and threw Deseo from the bench.
Deseo¡¦s ears rang as he opened his eyes. His eyes ached and blurred as he looked to the sky. Wow, it must be pouring. Deseo blinked his eyes and rolled over to stop the aching, but then he realized the rain had stopped. That¡¦s not good. She would not have stopped it. Deseo pushed himself up to his knees.
Deseo looked for his knights as he got to his feet. His four front riders had dealt with the dozen men that fell upon them earlier, but one had fallen and they were still surrounded by at least twenty more more. Deseo scanned for his most skilled fighter, Amancio. He easily dealt with his original three men, but now he was unhorsed and was fighting with a spear. Even though he was killing fighters as fast as they came at him, but more just kept coming. There was already a pile of dead bodies beginning to build around him.
Deseo walked to the edge of the cliff. It fell over two dozen feet steeply to the bottom of the ditch. Deseo looked at the three horses and the carriage at the bottom of the seven-foot ditch, but then noticed the six armored and six robed horsemen forming a semicircle around the ditch.
I don¡¦t think I would survive if I jumped from here. Deseo looked to either side of him and ran to his left.
One of the robed men pointed at an armored man and then at the back of the carriage, but the rain started again as the man paused.
The robed man screeched at the waiting man. He slapped the man next to him, and they both unhorsed and walked to the carriage. They jumped onto the back of the carriage and tried to look into the long rectangular hole, but a set of red cloth curtains blocked their view. The men looked at each other for a moment, but as they started moving, a large wall of fire blasted through the hole and engulfed the two men.
The robed men looked up as a torrent poured from sky.
¡§Get! Her!¡¨ a woman¡¦s voice shrieked from her robe. (<~?)
The four remaining men trotted towards the ditch with their swords drawn. A number of lightning bolts struck near the armored men, but they all missed them.
¡§Hurry,¡¨ the robed woman screeched again.
One of the men took his horse down the hill, but he was pulled from his horse and hit the window of the carriage, but he was too big to fit through it. His body started bending into it as the man yelled, but finally he collapsed into the carriage.
The other men forced their horses to take a step back.
The man flew back through the hole and was hurled at one of the robed men. He grabbed the limp body, but a sword ran through the body and into the man.
¡§Restrain her now!¡¨ the robed woman yelled.
The robed man grabbed the blade and ripped the man off of it. He pulled the sword out of him and threw the man and blade to the ground.
The carriage doors snapped open. The hinges broke, and the doors flew towards two of the armored men and knocked them from their horses.
The last horseman turned his horse and rode away from the carriage.
The robed woman pulled a simple blade from her saddle and threw it at the fleeing man without looking at him.
The blade sank into the man¡¦s back and severed his spine.
He slumped in his saddle, but Deseo pulled him off of his horse and grabbed its reins.
Deseo stopped the horse and took the man¡¦s sword before jumping onto the horse.
The robed woman looked at the other robed men and lifted her chin towards the carriage. They leapt from their horses and swarmed it.
The robed woman looked to her right and saw Deseo riding for her. She reached for another blade, but Deseo jumped from his horse, with sword in hand, at her.
They collided and fell to the ground, but Deseo lost his sword just out of reach.
The robed woman grabbed Deseo¡¦s throat and pinned him to the ground.
Deseo threw his hand at his sword¡¦s hilt, but when he couldn¡¦t reach it, Deseo slammed his forearm into the inside of the maid¡¦s elbow. Her arm bent, and Deseo used the opportunity to grab his sword. She looked at the blade and shrieked, but Deseo drove it through her stomach.
She released her grip and jumped backwards but fell to her back. Deseo rolled over and got to his feet. He looked at the carriage. The men in black were clawing at it, but the entire carriage was encased in a block of ice. Two of the men turned as a thick wall of ice formed around the men, but as they jumped to escape, the rain froze into a ceiling of ice, trapping them in. The two men clawed and punched the ice as the rain started to calm again.
Deseo looked back to his friends. A huge pile of bodies surrounded Amancio, but now he was fighting with a sword and was being overwhelmed. Deseo looked for his front riders. One more had fallen, and Deseo saw another fall as he fought.
Deseo looked back at the carriage. The men were making headway with their bare hands. Deseo took a step towards the ice but stopped and turned to reclaim his sword. As he turned around, the robed woman stood in front of him. Deseo looked down and saw his sword in her left hand. He looked back up as she wrapped her fingers around his neck. Deseo grabbed her wrist with his left hand and her elbow with his right hand.
The robed woman lifted Deseo into the air, threw away the sword, and punched Deseo in the face.
As Deseo¡¦s face began to swell, he said, ¡§Come on you, h-¡¨ but another punch cut his sentence short. Deseo¡¦s right hand slipped to his side as she pulled him closer, but Deseo still could not see her face.
The woman started saying something, but Deseo could not make it out. He lifted his hand, but she threw him against the ice. Deseo bounced off of the wall and fell face first to the ground.
Deseo felt unconsciousness coming, but he fought it. He heard one of the men breaking through the ice behind him. NO! I will not give up. They will not get her. Deseo struggled to his hands and knees.
The robed woman grabbed the back of Deseo¡¦s shirt and pulled him up. She pointed him in the direction of the carriage.
Deseo watched as one of the men finally broke through the outer layer of ice. The hand jutted through the hole and grabbed Deseo¡¦s neck. Deseo grabbed his wrist, but the maid let go, and the man pulled him into the ice. This time, unconsciousness hit him without pause.


------
In a post-apocalyptic world where the western hemisphere is ruled by the iron fist of the Toys 4 Us Company, only one man will have the ball bearings (rides a mechanical ostrich) to stop them.



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The following comments are for "10 pages of a not quite named tale of a knight"
by OmegaGambit





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