Griever was happy. He had successfully dodged any duties that Kate or Jem would surely assign him and Selena had been sent to scout the forest's edge. Griever had the entire day to himself. No training, no orders, no annoyances. Just a day to court some women and maybe find some pea soup. Nothing could ruin his mood!
Unless Jem came storming by with a scowl on her face. Which she did.
Griever contemplated leaving her alone, but... Well, he WAS a mercenary. He had jumped into near death situations plenty of times. Jem was a little more dangerous than a battlefield, but what was life without risk?
"Jem!" Griever was met with a sharp turn and glare from his comrade. "So... what got you into such a fine mood?"
She breathed heavily, but her glare only relaxed a little. "Nothing, Griever." She turned and started walking away once more. Around her, soldiers of the Marshall and Night Hawks moved out of the way. Smart.
Griever caught up to her and started walking beside her. He honestly did not know why, though. He was surely just going to get yelled at. Jem turned to glare at him, but did not stop walking.
"Is there something you want?"
Whoa. She was REALLY mad. "Well, I just want to know who ruined that pretty face of yours by making you scowl."
Griever jumped back as Jem's fist passed through the air his face had just vacated. Jem breathed heavily, looking like she would throw another, but just kept walking instead. Something had definitely happened. Jem was dangerous to Griever's ears, but never before had she endangered his body! What had happened?
Griever felt himself grow angry at what Jem had muttered just then. It had been almost too quiet to hear, but hear he did. What had the Marshall done? Griever would find out when the sun rose in the next hour. The Marshall was supposed to be at the training grounds by then.
The rest of the day was spent avoiding Jem, Kate, and anyone else who looked like they might have orders for him. He felt a little bad for ducking out on them, but he needed a break. Since he had been here, the Hawks had learned to like him, calling him the Lionhawk even. Honestly, it was a bit annoying. A man should live by his beliefs and Griever believed in his sword.
"Looks like you could use some training."
Griever looked to see George, Harold, and Johan - three villagers who had begged to join the Hawk's ranks back when Kate had gotten captured - standing with a few soldiers from the Marshall's group. "Isn't the Marshall supposed to train you guys? I have women to court."
A passing woman laughed. "You can't court a Hawk, Griever," she said.
Griever smirked at the girl. "But you can catch a Hawk, Leona." She shrugged and walked off, leaving the soldiers and townsmen laughing.
"No luck with them?" Harold asked.
"You guys wanted to train?" Griever asked, walking over to a nearby weapon rack - they were placed all over the makeshift camp - and picking out a two-handed sword. "Let's go."
Within minutes, Griever was at the training grounds with the three villagers and the soldiers. Among the soldiers were Tony, Gray, Hent, and Lore. They all wore their full armor and seemed to be on good terms with each other. Of course, if you threw a rhino in the middle of two fighting lions, they would work together, or so the saying went.
"Now, I can not guarantee your lives," Griever said, testing the weight of his blade as the seven opponents drew their weapons, "But I think you can survive if you attack together."
The villagers laughed, but the soldiers just watched. They knew his fighting style by now. He had led enough raids trying to find out where Kate had been that they had it memorized. Griever stroked his beard, thinking on how he could face them. They would be a problem if they actually thought out a plan. He would have to change up his style. Yes! It was a good idea, indeed.
And Griever had just the style.
The villagers took a place beside the soldiers and all seven of the men attacked in unison. Perfect. Griever dodged to his left and parried George's blade. It set the man off guard and allowed Griever to punch him in the side and send him into Harold, knocking them both down.
The soldiers were upon him in an instant. They were more used to dealing with Griever, as he had killed quite a few soldiers since joining the Hawks. But, they weren't dealing with a lion anymore. A lion's style was to face all his opponents and use the numbers as an advantage. Griever did that still, but had changed the style away from the Lion's. He sliced a soldier's leg and rolled into another armored figure, knocking him down. Using the side of his two-handed sword, Griever knocked the man out.
He was fighting like a Fae now.
The other two soldiers charged with Harold and Johan joining in as well. Griever smiled. Training WAS doing him good. A sweep of his blade tripped two of his opponents, both the soldiers. Griever dropped his blade and rolled back in time to avoid the villagers blades, then ran at the villagers, catching them off guard. They didn't expect an unarmed man to attack.
Harold managed to get in a swing, but Griever just dodged and punched the man in the face.
"Dammit!" Johan growled, swinging his blade.
Griever ducked as the blade passed over him and elbowed the man in the gut. Since he had no armor, it knocked the breath out of the villager.
"Well, looks like I win," Griever said smugly. The soldiers were getting up shakily and George and the other two villagers were out cold. The fight had happened so fast that they were probably still in shock. Griever wouldn't cut anyone slack in a fight. Ever.
"You cheated!" A soldier accused.
Griever laughed. "How so, Hent?"
He scowled beneath his helmet. "You were disarmed and kept fighting. That should have marked you as defeated."
"Obviously you have never been a mercenary."
The soldier scowled, but said no more. Griever thought he had won a small victory in that, but he was mistaken. A quick glance to his right told Griever the real reason Hent stopped arguing.
The Marshall was coming.
"Ahh, hello Marshall," Griever said in as pleasant a tone as he could manage. His anger was still there, for some reason. Maybe it was Jem, maybe it was his original hatred of men like Corin. Who knew?
"Hello, Griever," the man said, his face and tone formal, "I see you're still as sharp as ever when wielding a blade."
"And you're still making my comrades mad."
The Marshall looked slightly taken back, but composed himself. "Is there anything I can do for you?" Smart man.
"How about you tell me what you DID first?" Griever asked, picking up his large sword and rubbing his red beard for added effect. It was detective time.