The court yard entrance had been broken into by one of those brutes, the Kingdoms army was down by damn near half, and the Queen was almost taken captive. All of this raced through Krea's mind as she thought of all the necessary changes that still needed to be done. It had already been two weeks since the siege on the castle had taken place. With their numbers being cut, Walter had to enact the right of the calling of arms. Taking in men and women that had survived the fires, enlisting them into Knighthood. Some were as young as fifteen, it was cruel to ask this of them, but the Kingdom had little choice.
Krea trained as many as she could when time allowed, but it was always rushed, sloppy, and they couldn't go an hour without someone landing on their own sword. The blonde had tried her best to keep her temper in check while training the new Knights, but it was hopeless. Malcolm hadn't recovered yet, Kevin was still allowed to breath, and everyone seemed to be running around with their thumbs up there own asses, ignoring the danger they all were still very much in. Rubbing her temples, Krea made her way down the stairs leading to the throne room along with several seasoned and fresh out of training Knights.
"Double the guards!" Krea ordered. She was left to over see the castles defenses after Walter slipped away to gods know where. The old man had been shaken up ever since the first battle was over, he had been avoiding everyone, always lost in thought. He was quiet about it to keep morale up, but that old warrior was scared. The situation just kept getting worse. Krea can't face this alone, she halted in the middle of the throne room causing everyone who had been following her to almost collide.
"Where's Walter?" She questioned one of the young men. They all looked at each other, worried expressions painted on their faces as they looked back at Krea. The blonde placed a hand on her hip. "He ordered you not to tell me, didn't he?" She figured, and judging by the way all the men, senior to junior didn't say a word and avoided eye contact, she got her answer. She really didn't have time for this. Grabbing one of the newer knights by the neckline of his armor, she snared, damn near growled out. "Listen here you little peach fuzz hair lipped S.O.B, I am your commanding officer! If I say run, you say how far! Jump? You say how high! If I ask you where Walter De Campos is you say?"
"The stables Ma'm!" The boy looking no older than fourteen yelled as he tried to free himself from her grip. Krea let go and moved her wrist around.
"Good! I'll be headed there now. All of you back to the barracks for rest, then take your positions on the wall when called upon, understood!" They all saluted and blurted out 'YES MA’AM'! as they left. She was half way to the exit that lead to the stables when the blonde heard the Queens voice called out. She inwardly cringed at the scar on her Princesses cheek, now a permanent reminder of how she failed to protect her friend, her love.
"Krea!" Alexandra walked up to her, looking worse for wear. She had been trying to get aid from the neighboring nations for the past two weeks, sending messenger birds and people alike, not one returning.
Her hair had been cut short and dresses were no longer part of her wardrobe. She stood there in a simple cotton top and bottom with armed legs same as Krea. Her majesty looked up at her concerned, but also looking ready to shout at the blonde.
"What was that back there? You just can't go intimidating them like that there-"
Krea interrupted heated words spilling from her mouth. "I'm making sure we aren't attacked like last time, and if we are, that we're prepared. We need Walter out there, not moping about. If the knights know where he is they HAVE to tell me, this isn't a game we almost lost the kingdom!...We....No I-" She trailed off with that last sentence, holding the brunettes gaze before taring it away. Alex followed her eyes only for Krea to avoid them once again. The blonde gritted her teeth. She failed as a knight didn't she?
Everything she touched fell apart. The negotiation, protecting her friends, defending the castle, and making sure no harm came to her Princess. She absentmindedly touched the brunettes face, lightly grazing the scar and letting her hand fall as she balled it into a fist. A look of regret formed on her face, the Queen had never seen her like this before, it was frightening. She cupped Krea's face in her hands gently trying to get the woman to look at her but failing.
"Krea? Krea!" Alex screamed, getting some of the castle maids and remaining Knights attention as they halted there actions, watching the exchange.
"I almost lost you!" Krea screamed the declaration of fear echoing through the hall, the Knights and Maids ran back to doing there assignments, fully realizing this was a personal matter and they didn't want to enrage either woman by snooping. Krea heavily breathed, exhausted from emotion. She rested her head against Alex's, the Queen made a move to hold her and Krea melted into it."I almost lost you. I know I've been harsh in some of my actions, but I just can't let anything happen to you again." The blonde quietly whispered tightening there embrace. Alex pushed her away just enough to be able to see her face. The blonde had look of pure anguish etched on her face, Alex held her face in her hands once again placing a kiss on the scar that ran from Krea's upper brow to right eye, pulling away she smiled lightly at her knight.
"Krea, you didn't lose me, I'm right here and I always will be."
"You don't get to decide that Alex." Krea's voice softened. "To promise me that would be foolish."
Alexandra responded immediately "Then let's be foolish." The blonde couldn't help but smile at her enthusiasm, she wanted to kiss her, to feel the familiar sensation all over her body. But if she did, it would be harder to let go. Krea had to do something, had to go somewhere the brunette just couldn't follow. Looking away from the Queen, she spotted another young solider, she needed to get Walter but a different Campos was on her mind.
"You! I need you to get Walter, he's in the stables, tell him to meet me by the front gate in ten minutes." She ordered, the young man nodded.
"Yes ma'am." He said as he scurried off, a slight blush on his face at the sight of the woman holding each other. Keeping there relationship a secret had no longer been a concern with everything in the state that it was. It was the least of anyone's concern.
She turned back to Alex, admiring her beautiful brown eyes for what might be the last time. "I don't know when the next attack will happen and it's obvious that they outnumber and out power us. I need you too-" Krea was interrupted as Alex placed her hands on her hips looking up defiantly, looking at the blonde in much the same way that she did the night Krea stole the practice swords.
"I can handle myself Krea." She stated matter o' fact. Krea placed her hands on the queens hips, smiling happily at Alex's actions and words.
"I know you can. That's why your going to go to my armory and put on the armor I made for you, as well as the sword."
Alexandra was shocked, but excited all at the same time. Chopping down her enemies all her life had only been political with complicated schemes and countless hours, days, years of debate but with her great sword... Her problems were fixed with a single swing. "You want me to fight along side you guys?" The brunette questioned a hopeful tone in her voice.
"I know you can use a sword, a Great Sword of all things. Half of the knights here can barely even lift it, let at all swing it around like you do. All of those years we trained together are finally going to pay off." Krea said confidently. Alex had monster strength along with her monster temper, she damn near chopped Malcolm and Krea's head off when practicing with the much larger blade. Realization seem to hit Alex as Krea didn't mention her role in this plan.
"Wait, what will you be doing?"
"I'm going to take care of Kevin, he's lived long enough for a traitor. He needs to pay for what he's done, including almost killing Malcolm by letting mages in here and siding with the Cao's" Kevin had bet on the wrong stead, the blonde will end his wretched life with her blade.
Every day after the siege, the man hadn't gotten near the Queen or Krea even his father was shut out. Several servants and house hands alike had seen him talking to a mysterious man late in the night for years, they just never thought anything of it.
Eye witnesses are usually not enough to convict a man but the tavern, The Old Hag, had given them a frozen old man and had share in detail the event that took place to get him frozen in time. There was no hiding now. All that was left was for justice to be served.
Alexandra knew Kevin was strong, but if Krea beat him once, she could do it again. Although Krea hadn't exactly been knocking them back, Alexandra was sure the knight was in no condition to even spar, "Are you sure you're up for it? You're still hurt."
"Just a couple scratches." Bruised ribs, slight vision loss, danger of concussion, a sword arm that felt out of place, but other then that she was the picture of health at least that's what Jordan said. Speaking of, she decided to go see how Malcolm's doing.
"Alright. Just be careful."Alexandra said holding the woman's hand in her own.
"You too." Krea turned to walk away then looking back at the brunette she stated "Tell Kevin to meet me by the gates.... and... Goodbye Alex." she said whilst resisting the urge to run back to here hold her and never let go, but that ending was unrealistic.
In the first week after the siege Krea had told Alex everything her sudden coldness, leaving her, kissing Jordan, all of it was Kevin's doing in trying to get closer to her probably to kill her they suspected. Kevin needed to be taken out before he can blackmail and use anyone else in the name of Charlie. Alex looked at her with hope and pure royal stubbornness in her eyes.
"I'll see you again."
"Go suit up and stay next to Walter!" the blonde yelled out as she ran full speed to the infirmary.
"I said I can handle myself!" the brunette yelled back at Krea's retreating form.
"Stay close to protect him Princess." and with that she sped off out of sight.
The infirmary was in sight, maybe Malcolm would be be awake now the blondes head was trying to organize all that's happened these past few weeks so she could explain to him without the poor man head popping open. If she knows him through the first thing he'll want is food trays and trays of the best meats from the market he would always get the biggest smile on his face when they haggled for food in the bazaar and won out.
He'll need to know about Kevin and what he's done maybe he'll be up for coming with her to end the bastard, she misses the thrill of fighting side by side she couldn't wait to— All of these thought came to a stop as she saw Jordan up against the wall knees to her chest with blood stained hands, trembling...Sobbing.
Krea walked up to her, the blondes foot steps echoed in the empty corridor, the door to the infirmary was closed blood covered the knob. Krea stood before the door her back to Jordan, she placed her hand on the knob, before heading in Jordan spoke in broken sobs. "I... Tried... Everything....I..."
Krea twisted the knob, the blood on it now covering her hand as she pushed it open. The wooden door creaked in the process adding to Jordan sobs in the ever colder silence. Her eyes fell on Malcolms still body. His usual tanned skin now pale and lifeless around the bloodied burn marks. "Malcolm?" Krea whispered , her voice cracking. "I....I....did.... This.." She walked up to him slowly standing beside the examination table laying a shaky hand on his forehead. 'I'll always have your back Krea!' with her other hand she held his, it was freezing cold. Krea hadn't heard the door shut as Jordan walked in having collected herself.
"He passed on while he was sleeping he didn't feel any pain. I promise." Jordan said as she walked up to her friend and put a hand on her shoulder. Krea couldn't speak, she couldn't think. All she saw was her best friend laughing as she missed targets, cheering her on as she broke previous records set by hero's, drunken celebrations over small victory that only truly mattered to them and after all that, all she saw was red. Her tears of utter rage spilled from her eyes she released his hand and fell to the floor a sobbing mess. Jordan sat beside her wrapping her arm around her grief stricken friend as she fought her own new patch of tears. After what seemed like forever, the blonde stood, wiping her eyes dry. Crying is pointless now.
"He is to receive a hero's burial. A Knight who survived and bled with his brothers and sisters to the bitter end." Krea's voice ordering all this not asking, not telling, it was an order, tears gone, and eye full of vengeance. "I expect to see his name engraved in the knights memorial stone as well." She walked toward the door not looking back.
"Where are you going?" Jordan asked after waiting for Krea to finish.
"To kill Kevin De Campos." She said before slamming the door.
Alexandra opened the doors to Krea's armory and the first thing that hung there was a red, black and silver armor the seal of the church adorned its chest with talon sharp arm gauntlets, I thick neck line with a stealth for the Great Sword to it right, the blade itself a brilliant sliver shine, blood red hilt, and a shied made of strong oak. "You always spoil me Krea." She said to herself.
She lifted it the weight was perfect no to light not to heavy, and extremely strong. Krea really did her absolute finest to make sure nothing was getting through it. She put it on piece by piece adjust to the added weight on each limp. She thought back to when she first started to learn how to use a sword. She caught Krea training in the stables with Malcolm and nearly got her head cut off.
"Are you crazy!" Alexandra yelled as she went to the ground covering her head with her hands.
"Oh shit! I am so sorry Alexandra!" Krea shouted, helping the girl up.
"You said a bad word." Malcolm said in a teasing voice while laughing.
"Focus you horses ass!! I almost killed the princess!" Krea screamed.
"Keep your voice down you idiot!" Alexandra hushed the two of them. "I'm fine. Obviously."
"What are you even doing here?" Krea asked.
"Well... I always see you two in here. I um..." here eyes drifted to the practice weapon as she fiddled with her dress.
"What? Train with us?!" Malcolm said before laughing. "Yeah right! you'd break a nail or somethin!"
"Malcolm. She can do it! Krea said, eying the princess, maybe the spoiled brat had some hope if the look in those brown eyes were any clue . That's the first time Alexandra really noticed the girls electric blue eyes that only got brighter as years of training passed. "Okay. Who knows, maybe you'll be the first Queen of the ass kickers." Krea said grinning.
Alexandra snapped out of the memory as war cry's began to sound they seem to be coming fro the main gates. She placed the sword in it stealth and rushed out, she gripped the royal necklace around her neck 'Father, Mother led me your strength!'
The smell of burning wood reached there nostrils. Again the Mages have started fires and soon they would march and slaughter the rest of them or worse what if the dragon were to come back and swallow them all whole.. No, that won't happen they can't possibly control such a beast right!?
Then again there mages there only limit is there mind. Walter had never felt so helpless, the young knight that was sent after Walter didn't find him in the best of shape the old man had been sleep deprived and talking to himself while reading dragon lore and a book titled Way of the Mage' mumbling spells.
Now he was back here he had to steel himself if not for his own sanity then for his troops morale, he felt a hand on his shoulder it was Krea.
"Walter you alright?" Krea asked concerned, the old man didn't look to good but she supposed she was no prize herself at the moment.
"What? oh yes of course never better just....tired" he said as eyes drifted to the sky, looking for the creature who had been haunting his dreams and even waking hours, he must not flutter....his troops and Krea needed him...
She looked around the sky as he did confused as to to what he was searching for, finding nothing she nudged him trying to do away with whatever spell he was under. "What did you see out here Walter? You seem... disturbed by something." The man looked at her wide eyed then looked back up to the sky, Krea had never seen a live dragon so it was like explaining color to the blind, or sound to the deaf. Still she needed to know sooner or later he voted now.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you it's a creature you have never seen." he said getting the blondes interest instantly.
"I think you'd be surprised at how open I am, so what creature was it?"
He took a moment to ponder. "It was a dragon, but no ordinary dragon."
A dragon this far out!? how could it have flew over the seas with out rest it's impossible unless...some one imported an egg from a neighboring. Krea thought.
"This one was freakishly big ten time the regular size."
"They're all pretty big Walter."
"No, I have reason to believe it was magically altered by powerful enchanters"
"Are you sure?"
"What the hell are we up against?" Krea questioned before Kevin came to her side, her blood boiled she should strike him were he stands but she must wait killing him here would only waste time and energy.
"The queen told me we had somewhere to be? What took you so long? I've been waiting for an hour." he said not looking at Krea or his father fully understanding what was about to accrue, he had no regrets... None.
"Yes, we need to scout out the enemy camp and make sure our outer walls are secure through the woods."
"Easy enough. Is it just us?" Kevin asked.
Krea handed Walter a folded up piece of parchment before motioning for the gates to open and the two soldiers walked out.
Alexandra walked out as soon as they left and saw their retreating bodies. "Good luck Krea."
Walter unfolded it as the gates closed.
You were an amazing mentor. Thank you for everything you've taught me from bravery to controlling ones will. It can save me on wherever my journey lead ,this is the last you will hear from me. I am going to kill Charlie and her son, stop all these beasts at the source. Your son is a traitor, but I suspect you already know I plan to kill him. If you wish to stop me from doing so, I will be leaving a trail, follow it and stop me if you so desire. Please take care of the castle. I'll always be watching, don't tell Alexandra, it's best if she thinks I am dead, everyone dies in one way or another around me. I will not let what happened to Malcolm happen to my Alex. Please make sure to put flowers on his grave from time to time for me. Thank you old friend.
Walter folded the note and quickly placed in his chest plate. "My lady." He slightly bowed to Alex as the horizon's sun began to set. The girl was the spitting image of her mother but she had all the power of presence on the battle field as her father, fights just as well if not better according to Krea.
"Sir Walter." The brunette responded.
"What's the plan?"
"Simple... We wait... And the first mage we see we tare down. I will not abandon my home to these parasites. I will fight till I can no longer move and even then I'll curse there name." She snared.
"Til the very end."
"Til the end." Walter echoed.
Krea and Kevin were a few miles outside of the Kingdom before the tall man stopped in his tracks. "I know what you're doing Krea." His voice dark, truly he was glad it turned out like this it was time for a rematch and this time he intended to finish her off quickly.
"Can't fool you huh? Good, I was hoping you would put up a fight before I rip your head off." She responded as she stopped, her back facing him. "Why'd you do it?"
"Fucking peasant, Alexandra is a young ruler she fumbles in the dark where as I can shine like the sun. Charlie will give me this kingdom once you and her are dead"
"In case you might have missed it, but it is gone you damn coward."
"Maybe... But I am also the man that started a war that can only end in victory on my side. Join us Krea. We could use a soldier like you."
"Go to hell."
"Hah, fine. I might be a coward, but your a foolish bitch." He said as he drew his sword.
Krea looked behind for any sign of Walter, but knew he would've caught up by now, she took it as his approval. She gripped her sword until her knuckles were white. She turned to face the man. "You're the reason my friend is dead you bastard." She grabbed the sword with both hands as he mirrored her and they circled each other."You and those damn mages!"
It started to rain and brought Krea back to the first time she fought this man, they were the same conditions, yet different goals, before she wanted to prove she could raise this sword and up hold the honor and strength of her kingdom. They both charged. Kevin brought his sword down as Krea brought her sword up to block as their swords crashed together with a thunderous clash. Each trying to out power the other. What Krea didn't know, is that Kevin had been studying her. He knew her every weakness and every strength.
He pushed her back and brought his metal boot to her knee with such force that it cracked and sent her to the floor. He then brought his foot to her bruised ribs, they both had left together with no armor, just metal boots and their swords. Krea regretted this instantly getting back up after countering a powerful blow from the man and hit him with the handle of her sword. The blonde then got a dagger from her back stealth and crouched low, wincing in pain as she sliced Kevin's thigh. He groaned in pain as she kicked his jaw making him crumble to the ground.
She got up again weapon in hand. "You're weak Kevin! A small, shrivel of a man!"
Kevin just laughed as blood came from his mouth. "You just don't get it do you?" He shouted over the rain and thunder. "You have a bounty on your head! Even if I die more will come for you, and your helpless little whore Queen!!"
"She can take care of hers-" Krea's sentence was cut short as she felt a sharp pain in the middle of her chest looking down to see an arrow sticking out. Blood came dripping from her mouth as she went to the ground.
Kevin got up and ripped the arrow out as she began to choke on her own blood. "I told you Krea, long before I told you.... Your out of your league."
Krea layed there on the muddy ground, rain hitting her face, cold soothing. Her vision was blurred as the ground began to shake violently. A portal of light energy opened in front of Kevin as a man on a black horse appeared and dug his spear into his sternum.
Kevin's eyes were wide as he looked at his killer in the eyes. Dark brown met electric blue. That was the last thing he saw before he crumbled to the ground dead.
The earth was still. Krea could hear footsteps coming towards her, but was defenseless. The man stopped and knelt by her side. "You're safe now." The voice was soothing yet terrifying. The last thing Krea saw was the dark sky and bright blue eyes, than darkness.