The Patchwork Knight (Chapter 23)
Sir Wallace and his men made camp at the base of the forest for six weeks. During that time, they would trek out on scouting missions to the outlying trails that crossed the mountains, in search of Raiders. Sir Wallace also asked to train with me on the mornings when he was at the camp. My father had given me explicit instructions not to do anything more than the 5th movement when I trained with him. According to my father the Targen Knights only knew 8 of the movements. When I asked him why, he said that, “it was for the safety of the Realm.” I didn’t understand that until much much later in my life, but we will get to that in good time. I did as my father told me, and only trained to the 5th movement whenever I was with Sir Wallace.
“You are greatly improved Pitre. You showed great potential at the tournament and nearly beat Princess Alma. I don’t think she would stand a chance now though.”
“Thank you Sir Wallace. I have trained every day since my return from the Kingdom. I want to make the King proud when I return .”
“I don’t think you will have to worry about that. The King took a liking to you at the tournament. He wouldn’t have given you the offer of entrance to the Academy otherwise. Besides, I do think you will be the top student the day you arrive, based on what I’ve seen. Has your father showed you any more than the 5th movement?”
“No Sir, I only just learned the 5th movement a week before you arrived.” My father also told me not to reveal that I had known more.
“A week before you say? You are a quick study then. When you father showed me the 5th movement, it took me a month to master it. I imagine that by the time you return to the Kingdom, you will know all 8 of the movements.”
“My father told me that it wouldn’t be fair to the other students if I knew all 8, so I am to focus on the first 5 and master them to the best of my ability.” My father told me to maintain that charade as well. I am never to reveal that I know more than 5, and let the Targen Knights appear to teach me the final 3, and under no circumstances to ever reveal that I know that the actual number of movements is 13, nor that I know them as well. I was only to use the latter of the movements when I was in dire straights, and that was defined as me seeing no other way out of the situation that I was in beyond the first 8 movements. I swore to my father that I would do as he asked.
“Your father was always the wisest of us. You will still be further along than all of the students of your year, and even the students a year ahead of you.”
“Can I ask you about my father Sir Wallace?”
“What do you mean? I’m sure your father can give you much better answers about himself than I can.”
“I’m sure that is true, but he won’t tell me much about his time during the Blind War. He only said that he was an infantry soldier until the King recognized him at the tournament.”
“I see, your father was always a very quiet man. He did his job as a Knight, but he never relished in it. As a matter of fact, he seemed to despise it. That is probably why he told you that he was only an infantry soldier.”
“Do you know why he left the Targen Knights?”
“I only know what he told me. He said that the fighting was done, and so was he. He wanted to raise a family and live a simple life. The King wasn’t happy about it. He was losing his best swordsman, but the King honored your father’s wishes, because he was the reason we won the war.”
“Until your father came along, we were struggling to hold a single village. We were nothing more than bumbling fools with sharp pointy pieces of metal. We were better at collecting crops then we were at fighting. The Raiders skill wasn’t much better than ours was, but they had numbers. Numbers that overwhelmed us. They had 20 men for every one of ours. When your father taught us how to swing our swords, one of our men was worth 50 of theirs. It turned the tide of the war, and allowed us to keep our land. That is all that we wanted, to just live in peace in our little parcel known as the Realm.”
“The 8 movements made that much of a difference?”
“8? Your father had only taught us 3 at that point. He stayed in the Kingdom just long enough to teach us the remaining 5 movements, and said that that was all that we would need to maintain our protection of the Realm. Then he left and came to this village, and we didn’t see him again until that day underneath the arena.”
“Thank you for telling me this Sir Wallace. I need to cut my trees and head to the forge now.”
I ran off to get my trees. I wondered why my father truly stopped at 8 movements. If 8 could do that, why wouldn’t he allow them to have all 13. They would have no fear of Raiders coming into the Realm. Although it appeared that they already had no fear of them.
Sir Wallace and his band of men left after those six weeks. They said they had to check on more locations on the border before they headed back to the Kingdom, but they would send out random patrols that would stop by from time to time, to be sure that there was no other encroachment by the Raiders. That was the last time I saw Sir Wallace.
For Chapter 24 follow link below.