A Nice Day to Run Away
The morning of the strike of the Ultimates, traveling the Valley of Gorton. The knight and old wizard traveled to catch up to Brock and Adrainia in village of Gorton. As the knight had heard the voice of Careves as his own, "Sir Val Draken, you must instructor my son in the ways of Knighthood." That was his task by the Forest Lord had bestowed upon the knight. It repeated many times as the two protectors of Princess Adrainia pushed on.
The village of Gorton had the most humble people. Small hills as far as the eye could see. It was ideal land for grazing cattle and farming. So in which, Gortonites prospered gradually. A land where horse riding was taken to the extremes as horses are only found in Gorton. Which gave Gorton its identity across Litridrael as a horseman country. In terms of wars, Gortonites were legendary cavalry.
Nothing is more frightening than the thousands of horses galloping, carrying full armored cavalry. The earth rumble, the hooves thunder through the small hills. An ambush from such a force is very devastating to a campaigning army across Litridrael. Which is why no one chooses to camp in the fields of Gorton or even challenge Gorton. Over night, a whole army will fall.
All in all, the Princess was saved by the aid of Careves and Phoenix. The two winged beasts flew Brock and Adrainia to a nearby village of Gorton. So the lonely squire found rich soil to use the Forest Lord's talisman finally. He was happy to be back in warm weather, bright skies, and gentle winds. So the two were enjoying small hills filled with grass of Gorton.
For a whole week, the two spent most of their times helping the humble people of Gorton with the farming, herding sheep, and feeding cattle. The nice people had rewarded them all the food they could eat and rooms paid in full. The two spent a lot of time together. They would talk and laugh with each other as they work. At night, they'd rode the horses across the fields under the moon. As the horse led them to a watering hole, the two would tell stories. Mainly the Princess, Brock kept quiet about his past.
Strangely, the Princess had noticed Brock was acting weird. He was quiet which was unusual and he hadn't wheeled his sword all day. Usually he would drill meaningless question down Adrainia, and the graceful Princess took the annoyance with good humor. And Brock always to wields his sword. And from all the times he had, his arms have been growing quite large. But for some reason, this day, he was acting quite odd.
It gotten worse as Panadore and Sir Val Draken joined back up with them. Draken had demanded Brock follow him. He led him to some open field where he drew his sword. Brock watched confused, the wind brushed his messy black hair. There the knight untied his cloak as it fell to the green grass. He was fully armored. The metal shined brightly under the great sun. His blonde long hair blew in the gentle winds.
Out came his great steel sword and his shield dropped. "Spar with me Brock," he smiled, "your swordsman skills need work, I'm afraid." At that moment, anger swelled deep in the young squire. Draken was shocked to see the fire in Brock's eyes. The knight smirked at the notion. Brock immediately charged violently. Draken shook his head, blocked the swing, taking the pommel of his sword and bashed it against Brock's face.
Brock stumbled back holding his face, letting out a few whimpers. Blood rushed out of his nose as he fell flat on his ass. Draken stared with no concern. "You are impulsive, rash, and arrogant young squire," Draken deemed Brock so. "You never charge in head first. A true knight merely defends himself, not to further accumulate famous and fortune." Brock then got to his feet and wiped the blood from his nose. Draken held the young squire's furious gaze.
He brought his guard, as did Draken. The knight stroke quickly, it was blocked, but he held the strike by forcing a lot of pressure on Brock's blade. "Tell me, young squire, do you know what it means to live by the sword?" Draken asked, Brock couldn't answer both because he didn't know and he was having trouble holding Draken at bay. "To wield such a weapon, the sword, means to wield it is to kill. Living by it means you will ultimate die by it. But how long determines how you live, honourably or evil intentions." Draken quickly pushed hard, sending Brock stumbling back.
He quickly pulled up his guard once again, and so did Draken. Brock glanced down at his feet and then back up into Draken's eyes. He took another glance down and slashed, but his move was predicted by his subtle body language. And the slash blocked, and forced back up by Draken's great strength. Brock struggled to push back his attacker's blade.
"Each time you cross swords, you deal with Death," Draken proclaimed, "Death favours the honourable warrior and having his favour means you live. The unfavourable means you are marked for harvest." Draken smiled as he seen wonder in Brock's face. Suddenly! Draken pulled back his sword and swung it, knocking the young squire out of his hands. His sword flew high in the air and fell right in Draken's free hand. "Yield…" Draken demanded and Brock dropped on both knees.
Draken pressed the edge of the swords against each side of Brock's neck. "What is honour?" Draken asked, Brock looked hopeful for the answer. "It's to always consider before acting, courage not foolish bravery, and protecting the helpless. An inexperienced knight knows better than to challenge a master swordsman. And most importantly, draw your sword only to defend what is good and right in this world. To disobey this code of honour is to suffer death. Even the greatest swordsman that loves to kill will ultimately be slain by his vanity."
Draken tosses Brock's sword up and takes it by the blade's base and holds it out for the young squire to take. "Be it this day, Brock son of Careves lives to fulfill his code of honour and one day be deemed a knight?" Draken asks, very hopeful Brock will take up his sword and live by the code of honour Draken had bestowed upon years ago. Brock looks for a moment and slowly reaches to take his sword back. Draken looking very pleased, but what the young squire did next would shock him deeply. Brock threw his sword at Sir Val Draken's feet and was gone. The knight stood there in shock and confusion.
Soon after the knight walked back to the Inn where the party stayed at, hoping he'd learn what he said wrong. He walked into the main lobby where travelers would book rooms and locals mingled. The Innkeeper stood behind the counter. He was busy recording tenants, making sure the payments were all paid up and giving and having keys handed back. As Draken walked up the stair, a pouch of money fell on the counter. Landing right in the Innkeepers record book. He turned the knob of the door that led to his room. He was expecting Brock jump for his sword back. But to his surprise, Brock wasn't at the inn. At that moment, Draken panicked.
He rushed down the hall to the princess's room. He pushed the door open without even knocking. "Brock is gone!" he cried. He slowly walked into the room. Panadore and Adrainia had seen the worry on his face. This is serious. Draken took a sat on the bed between the wizard and the Princess. He handed the Princess Brock's sword. He told them everything that happened.
As the story had been told, he stood up and walked to stare out the window. "I don't understand it, I was only doing what Careves had asked of me."
"Father!" He yelled out through the fields. "Father! … Father!" He paused to take in a deep breath. "Father! … Father!" But the father of Brock didn't look he was coming. He walked across the lonely fields of Gorton. He has been wandering around the fields all day. It was now night as he entered the woods. After hours of wandering in the woods, a gentle wind swept across the fields.
He continued to wander the woods. "You were never there!" He cried. "How can I try Knighthood when I never had a childhood? Huh father?" It was true. Brock had no family to take care for him. Since he could walk, he had to fend for his self. Sure Careves was always with him, but it was really only an annoyance. It never helped Brock any. He had to learn to take care of himself. No one helped him they only turned against him.
"I have no one!" He yelled out with such anger and hatred. "They all abandoned me. They gave me no help. I am alone. How can I be a Champion for the people when they done nothing for me?" Brock's face echoed in the darkness of the forest. The owls hooted. Wolves howled. Everything else was asleep in the forest at night. As Brock looked up, he found a hawk sitting on a branch.
"Yes son?" Careves asked.
"You are not my father, what gives you the right to tell Sir Val Draken to teach me about swordsmanship?" Brock asked angrily, Careves took a long pause. "Answer me!" Careves stayed silent as he flapped his wings needlessly. The angry slowly became sadness as Brock dropped to his knees and soon dropped to all four. "I know the truth now," he said simply. Careves gasped in shock. "Don't follow me again," and the earth shrouded Brock in invisibility. And Careves saw his grandson no more.
"… Happy fifteen birthday," Careves's words were joyless.
The days go by quickly with no sign of Brock anymore. Draken sits in Adrainia's room, on her bed punishing his self. "I don't understand it!" Draken cried. "I was only doing as told." The Princess sat there, her eyes wet. She couldn't hide it. She missed the young squire, a little too much. But that all paused as the hawk swooped down on the window ledge.
"No, its my fault, I should have told you from the beginning," Careves quickly said, "I'm not Brock's father, I am his grandfather. His mother is my daughter. She had abandoned him on born. His father is even unknown to me. I tried to tell him so many times, but I couldn't. I was too weak." Everyone looked with wonder and shock, even Panadore. Careves sighed with deep sorrows and very troubled by this. He had to live with this all of Brock's life.
He grew what strength he had and gazed back him at the three travelers. "You must understand, he's become too independent in his years of fending on his own," Careves said with much dread. "I can barely control him or lend him insight. He's used to living his own way. That is why Sir Val Draken, he turned his back on you. His beard makes him feel older." The Princess more out of anyone was most surprised by this.
"He hates everyone, you should be very proud to have taken him this far," Careves awarded, "… it was his birthday that day…"