Spirit of a Knight Blade Chapter 1
By Lia Strife
Try and at least keep up, boy, unless youd rather be stripped of your rank and sent to ride with the knights, Vormav jeered, watching Izludes Chocobo fall behind his. I dont know why I even bothered to bring you. Youre just slowing us down.
Forgive me, Father. Ill try not to disgrace you, Izlude replied wearily.
They had been sent by the church to destroy the heretic, Ramza, and an order from the church was an important order indeed. They had been marching for almost three days now, with no sleep and very little food or drink, and Izlude was being stretched to his limits. Vormav sneered contemptibly at Izludes slouched form swaying on his Chocobo.
Youll have to do better than try. Youre a member of the Tingel family, and we have a noble and proud history. Not so unlike the Belouve family, until their youngest son disgraced them. Remember that.
With that, Vormav turned his Chocobo around and rode to the back of the line to inspect the knights, leaving a puzzled Izlude to lead the line and ponder the real meaning behind his fathers cruel yet increasingly common lectures on honor, the family name, and his failures.
Izlude had noticed the change in his father lately. He had become violent and ruthless, taking out his inexplicable anger on whoever was in range; and unfortunately, it was usually Izlude or his older sister, Meliadoul. No matter what Vormav did to him, however, be it hitting him verbally or physically, Izlude truly believed that his father was right in everything, and as long as he followed his fathers orders properly, everything would turn out just as it was meant to be.
Izlude! a voice called.
Izlude turned around wearily in his saddle to face the voice. A young man of around twenty-five waved enthusiastically as he ran up to join him.
Hello, Derrik. Izlude replied, amazed at the mans enthusiasm.
The older man had become fast friends with Izlude in spite of the dangerous times. Derrik finally caught up to Izludes Chocobo and he squinted at the sunrise.
What a beautiful sunrise. Dont you think so, Izlude? He turned to see his friends gloomy face and frowned. Hey, whats the matter? Problems with your father again? Izlude narrowed his eyes.
Its nothing. And youll address him as Sir Tingel, he said, keeping his face lowered to the ground, not meeting Derriks eyes.
Derrik shook his head slowly and sighed.
Very well, Izlude. So, are you exited about the mission? It must be an honor to ride next to your fath-- Erh, Sir Tingel.
Derrik, I think you should go. If you get caught out of your place, therell be hell to pay, Izlude replied, gesturing behind him.
Derrik frowned, irritated, and turned around his Chocobo.
Fine, Sir Izlude. When you feel like talking to us common folk again, you know where to find me, he spat, walking away and leaving Izlude alone once again.
A pang of guilt filled Izlude, but he quickly pushed it away when he saw his father ride up from the back of the line once again. Vormav did not speak as he retained his position in the lead, nor did he even acknowledge Izludes presence. It was if he didnt even realize Izlude was there.
What news from the lines, father? Izlude asked timidly.
Nothing of importance, besides the fact that there are certain delays. He stressed the word, aiming it at his son as if to say it was all Izludes fault. We wont arrive for another day or so, which puts our mission to both kill the heretic and seize the Zodiac Stone, Virgo, at risk.
Izlude shifted in his saddle.
Father, how is it that we intend to get Virgo? Izlude asked.
Vormav smiled grimly.
By whatever force necessary. They can give us the stone willingly, or He trailed off.
Izlude was shocked. Kill priests of the church? That was heresy! And yet it was an order from the church itself. The revelation left him far more confused than he had been before.
Father, you cannot mean to say that we will kill them if they stand in our way, can you? Izlude asked, shocked.
Vormav swung his gaze to rest on Izlude.
Dare you defy an order from the church? he bellowed, scowling inhumanly. Or is it that you have formed some alliance with the heretic? Izlude winced as if physically struck.
No! Never I forgive me. I shall not question an order from the church again, Izlude replied quietly.
Vormavs only reply was a sardonic grin that spread across his face as he turned his head once again to the path stretching endlessly before them.
That same sunrise also greeted Ramza Belouve and his party. Ramza yawned and stretched as he crawled out of his tent, still in full armor. He had fallen asleep with it on the previous night, being too tired to un-equip it. Besides, Ramza thought to himself, who knows what kind of monsters you might run into out here? He took a seat near an open fire in the center of the camp where Agrias, two knights, (Bernard and Keith by name) and a summoner, Rad, were sitting in silence. They glanced briefly up at him before returned their gazes to the fire.
Ramza, were nearing Orbonne. Should be just over a day till we get there, Keith mumbled sleepily, breaking the silence.
Thats good news. Well get there sooner than I thought, Ramza replied with considerably more energy.
He had a feeling he was one of the only people who slept last night. A young squire, in his mid-teens, joined them around the fire.
Good morning, sir, he yawned, covering his mouth with his hand.
Morning, Gordon. I hope you slept well?
Gordon yawned again.
Not really, sir, he replied. Agrias turned to face the young squire.
Youd best wake up, Gordon, you never know who, or what, will spring out at you next, Agrias chided.
Yes maam, he said through another yawn. Sir, I heard that well, theres a rumor going around that the new Zodiac Braves, led by the REAL Vormav Tingel are going to be there, at Orbonne monastery! And and Wiegraf Folles, of the Death Corps, as well!
Unfortunately, those rumors are true. Which is why we have to be more alert than usual, you see? Theyve got Zodiac stones. You know how dangerous those are in the wrong hands, Ramza sighed.
They all remembered their encounter with Queklain. Gordon nodded quickly.
But sir, doesnt that mean its a trap? Gordon said, wide-eyed. Ramza nodded slowly. Then why are we going at all!?
Because theyve got Zodiac stones. I cant ignore that fact, even if it means risking my life. You dont have to come, you know, Ramza replied.
Gordon shook his head violently.
No sir! Ive gotta make my family proud, you know? Were not nobles like you are, so Ive gotta make a name for myself somehow! Gordon proclaimed, obviously trying to sound as profound as possible.
Would you like a soap box with that? Keith yawned, drawing a chuckle from Bernard and an angry look from Gordon. Rad silenced them with a sharp look.
Get everybody else up. Knowing Vormav and Wiegraf, the new Zodiac Braves are probably three steps ahead of us already. We need to get going, Ramza interjected, breaking up the growing fight. Gordon, do me a favor and feed the Chocobos. Theyre getting quite hungry and I dont want any problems on the road.
The four nodded and left quickly, leaving only Agrias and Ramza at the campfire.
Ramza I dont doubt your abilities in battle, but are you sure this is the right way to go about this? I mean, you never know, there could be some potential allies Agrias started to say. Ramza raised a hand to block her from speaking and sighed.
You dont think I havent considered that? Vormav and Wiegraf are great manipulators I dont doubt that there are those who would join us at the drop of a pin if they knew the truth. Unfortunately, we dont have the time to educate. I will do everything in my power to attempt to inform everyone I can, but that doesnt mean that there arent those who would fight to the death for the church, Ramza replied, his tone of voice getting gloomier every minute.
Ill go help Gordon feed the Chocobos. You go talk to the soldiers, get them ready. Youre good at that. Ill see you in an hour, Agrias said, rising to her feet. Ramza nodded, stood up, and walked away from the campfire.
A small stone may make a small ripple at first, but someday it will be a wave.
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