The first guard attacked.
The King sent his greatsword in a massive arc and knocked the sword out of his hand. His own sword screamed over his head and back around, this time slashing the man in his chest.
The second went to duck below his attack and hinder his reach but the Kind elbowed his nose, the jabbed at the third man who parried. He swung his blade over his head, using the motion to crash down on the second guard who was still recovering, near splitting his skull in two. As he fell, the third guard moved forwards. He feinted left but his eyes told right and the king deftly blocked the blow. All this time he had been grunting, his forehead sweating and his palms growing pains. Yet he still held the great blade aloft. The King crashed into the third guard and as the man fell backwards, pierced his heart. The three men joined the two already dead and cold on the floor, which was now stained red.
“Simpletons,” Arthran spat, then held out his sword. “I give you one more chance, your Majesty, to give yourself up and prevent any more bloodshed.”
“I cannot surrender myself to treason.” The King also held up his sword again, breathing heavily.
“Then I shall make you rue your crimes.”
And so the two began. The King in his anger and smashed Arthran, knocking him backwards to the top of the spiral stairway. He almost fell, swaying on the top step so as the King came near, had to quickly right himself. Then the sword fighting began. The King had the strength, driving him further and further down the steps so that at all times, Arthran was torn between choosing his step and choosing his block.
Half way to the bottom and the Kings mighty sword knocked into the wall, sending pieces of flint and dust into his enemy’s eyes. Arthran ducked the next attack and jabbed blindly upwards, nearly cutting the king’s cheek.
The Prince watched his father and the man he grew up with, with rapture, as the two swords glinted from the lights of the torches. He followed them down.
Two more turns until the ground floor would be reached and the effects were showing. The King’s raiment, not fit for such fighting, hung sodden with perspiration. His sword arm hung lower than it ought and more openings were appearing in his attacks. Meanwhile Arthran still artfully parried, blocked and manoeuvred around his Kings attacks, little exertion showing in his demeanour.
They reached the last turn, the entrance to the tower in sight, when noise could be heard. The rattling of chainmail and the clomping of steel boots on marble quickly gathering in numbers and noise rang out.
The King and Arthran were now stood still, neither giving way as the King’s anger and resolve wavered. He was being defeated, for he had knew what lay in wait for him on the other side of that heavy, studded door bolted shut.
Thuds could be heard, battering relentlessly against the wood. Each quickening attack like a blow to the King. Despair falling over him.
The door from the dining hall opened now. Seven guards appeared, each one adorned with full helms from which spikes protruded from the back of the head and followed the curve of the head to the front. They also bore the black cloaks emblazoned with the silver owl.
“My liege, we will not fail you!” their leader spoke, another Captain by the name of Astor Rosenfield in the Captain’s clothing. He turned to his comrades, “Ready yourselves, Men of the king, and let us fight back these treasonous curs!”
The sight of his loyalists bolstered the King’s strength. He fought Arthran down to the bottommost steps.
“Astor, when you can, go find her!”
The Prince still followed, hugging the wall.
The door crashed open. The twang of bows pounding through armour and several men cried out in anguish.
“For the King!” was met with “Death!” and the two sides met.
Edrin Princekiller aimed and fired his arrow and it struck the Prince in the heart, pinning him to his wall. All colour drained from his vision except the colour of red staining the world. There was a roar, a “you fools” curses and cries and the darkness. The Prince was surprised he couldn’t hear any birds tweeting before the haunting black lines closed him into a darkness that erased his existence.
The first guard attacked.