The Sport of Killing

"How cliche!" Damon exclaimed.  "What is this?  Some sort of RPG?"

"Shh!"  In a move that spoke of more boldness than Maria usually displayed, she put her finger to her lips and leaned towards Damon.  Her eyebrows were furrowed slightly.  Damon drew back with a surprised expression and sighed.

"Please continue," he muttered, his face slightly red.

"Thank you kindly, my good man."



Eventually, the king had to pay a visit to his successor, as his activities were getting out of hand again.  They weren't biologically related, and the true heir was the king's aunt's husband's cousin's child from the cousin's first marriage.  Truth be told, the real heir had a far better temperament than he did and was much more well-liked among the people of Euphmystal than he was, but one day, the successor had built himself a castle on the outskirts of Euphmystal, declaring himself a successor.

 


"This fake successor guy sounds like a jerk.  What the hell's his name?" Damon asked, pointedly avoiding the frown that Maria was giving him.

"Ah, a name!  So that was what I forgot."  Louis stood and looked around the room.  As he sat back down, he declared, "His name's Tooner!"

Damon sat up straight, his eyes wide as he took in the sight of their own Tooner giving Louis a deadly glare from across the room.  Tooner, the class delinquent, had gotten a lot of grief as a child because of his ridiculous name.  He was prone to violence, and he would belittle some of the younger kids in their high school.  Seeing the troublemaker eye Louis with such intensity made Damon fear for his friend's wellbeing.

"A-ah!  You meant, his name was, uh, Spooner, right?" he asked in a loud voice, thumping Louis on the back.

"No, it's definitely Tooner," Louis said, not quite getting the hint.  At that moment, Tooner walked over to them, his hands curled into fists.

"So you're telling a story about me?" he demanded, his voice taking on a cool, yet threatening, tone.

"Not about you, but about a girl named Nina.  The world doesn't revolve around you, Tooner," Louis replied, gazing up serenely at the delinquent with his pierced left ear, and partly dyed hair.

"Are you calling me self-centered?" Tooner asked in clipped tones.  There wasn't even a moment's pause before Louis nodded.

"You little-!"  Tooner pulled back his fist, only to have Neil catch his wrist.  "What the-?  Let me go!"

Neil tightened his grip on Tooner's wrist, making the other boy wince in pain before his lips stretched with a nasty sneer.

"So Louis has all his friends fight for him while he gets to play king, eh?"

Louis's smile dropped a little as he stared blankly to the side, but Neil's expression didn't change when he went to slowly bend Tooner's pinky backwards with his free hand.

"Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow!"

"On with the story!" Louis exclaimed.



Without the mirrored pool to check up on the girl, Louis grew restless, such that even his successor noticed it.  Taking advantage of this moment's weakness, Prince Tooner placed him on medical duty, in charge of healing any of the injured knights and squires.

It was, however, thanks to Tooner that the king managed to make his first contact with Nina, for one day, he brought Louis in to heal one of the new squires who had gotten severely beat up in a brawl with one of the knights.  Wondering what sort of brawl it was, for only lovely women were recruited for the squires and the knights for Tooner's satisfaction, Louis stepped into the infirmary only to see the girl lying on one of the cots.  She was badly battered, with some of her ribs broken and a dark bruise quickly forming on one of her cheeks.

Staring down at her in disbelief, the king lightly touched the bruise, wondering if she had been punched by someone who had still been wearing their armor.  Even so, the girl should have been strong enough to fight back and maybe even win.



"Why?  Wasn't she just a squire, and the other woman a knight?" Damon piped up.

"Well, Nina was a professional athlete, you see," Louis explained.

"Really?  Fencing?" Damon asked.

"Nope!"

"Football?  Soccer?  Gymnastics?  Baseball?" Damon said, thinking of every professional sport he could.  "...wrestling?"

"Actually, she was a professional hitman," Louis replied, laughing.  There was a silence from everyone, except Tooner who was still having the limits of the flexibility of his fingers tested by Neil.  Louis tilted his head quizzically, wondering why everyone was quiet.

Finally, Damon spoke up in a strained voice.  "Louis...killing isn't a sport."

The End

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