Arthur had changed a lot during the war. His mind was now as unstable as an active volcano. Erupting when it was always least expected. His physical appearance hadn’t changed much, though. His armor, Majestic, his wings, they were all as they were before. However, his wings have seemed to darken, even further. At first they were a grayish black, and now, the seemed to match the color of the darkest room. This change in his mental stability was due to the battle at the Fields of Gray, where he witnessed the massacre of his men because of his oversight of the enemy. It was his fault, and this does not only enrage him, but it slowly drags him into a depression the likes of which he has never experienced in his entire life.
Currently, he was in a great mood. It was training day for the new recruits, and he and Sir Wayne had the honor of showing them what masters of the Sword could really do. Not to mention the tourney would be in a week, and it was about time he and his now good friend had that rematch. another reason for his good mood, was the fact that he was in the air, flying high above the ground. the freedom of the skies always made him feel lifted, from his problems, from the pressure of Dana and her trying to fix him, and even the stress of paper work. Oh how Arthur DREADED paper work.
He came to the camp, landing gently on the ground at it’s entrance, and made his way to where he assumed Wayne was. As he walked, the knights, young and old, brought their fists to their chests in salute. Rolling his shoulders, his wings faded away with the Glamour charm every angel used to hide them. Arthur currently used the image of a pair of wings on the back of his armor to do so, though it varied among the others. Reaching the Archery grounds, he sure enough found his friend and partner, teaching the new men how to properly use a bow. He approached in time to hear the light conversation, and reached sir Wayne’s side.
“Yet place some steel in his hand and he’s as feeble as these “Green” ones we send him.” The words struck light laughter among the recruits, who saluted in response to his presence. Arthur looked to Reginald, who he’d lightly befriended in his times with Sir Wayne, especially during the war, and smiled softly. His knights were the only ones who ever kept him sane. They were the only thing that kept him from going too far under. “So stop complaining and show them something that is more realistically possible at their skill level, else I may have to show off my skill with the blade, with you on the receiving end.” The words were a friendly threat, obvious by the smile that covered his lips. “What say you?”
There was raucous laughter from many of the junior and senior knights that were gathered for the training in archery, when Arthur boldly tried to put Sir Reginald in his place. “Yet place some steel in his hand and he’s as feeble as these “Green” ones we send him.” Sir Reginald kept his composure in the light of Sir Arthur’s banter, but there was a side to him that would love to put Sir Arthur’s words to the test. “We all have our strengths and weaknesses, Sir Arthur. Perhaps mine isn’t with the long sword, but I make up for that tenfold with my bow.” He placed his bow over his shoulder, the arrow he was holding back in its keep. Arms folded he motioned with a jerk of his head towards Sir Wayne, and then replied to Sir Arthur, on his quip that Sir Reginald should not complain and show them something more attainable to their level.
“But Sir, you forget. These boys were suckling their wet nurse when you fought the Great war. Why not take on Sir Wayne here, and show them how it is done. You are after all…General of the Knights. What better way to train, then to give them a demonstration of your…strength.”
Sir Wayne unsheathed his blade, and turned it over with his wrist capturing the light. It gleamed, as it was spun carefully in the air, before the tip was set into the earth. Wayne leaned on it slightly, and cocked his head towards Sir Arthur. “Reg is a cocky bastard isn’t he, Sir Arthur. Mouth moves faster than his arrows.” The knights all laughed at the banter between the older knights. It was this commerardery that gave Sir Arthur a sense of worth, no doubt.
Sir Arthur laughed at Reginald’s choice to combat his accusation of him being weak with the sword. “We all have our strengths and weaknesses, Sir Arthur. Perhaps mine isn’t with the long sword, but I make up for that tenfold with my bow.” His words were true, in fact, and could be spoken by no other in the land to date. During the war, Reginald was key to many battles that had been won in the name of their house, and every knight knew it. Especially Arthur, who had even been saved on multiple accounts by both he and Sir Wayne. the three were brothers as knights, but even closer in their bond. “This cannot be denied brother.”
“But Sir, you forget. These boys were suckling their wet nurse when you fought the Great war. Why not take on Sir Wayne here, and show them how it is done. You are after all…General of the Knights. What better way to train, then to give them a demonstration of your…strength.” Arthur laughed, and looked to Wayne as his friend stabbed his sword into the ground, and leaned on it. When his words came to ear, Arthur sighed, a happy sigh. this is what keeps him sane. This banter, this companionship, his brothers in arms. This gave him reason to live on, even more so than Lady Dana, who was still married to that dreaded Lord Axel. It gave him reason stay his place, and sink no further than he already had.
After a few moments, he smiled again, and rose a brow. “Well, lucky for you and your green ones, Sir Reginald..” He drew both his blades and spun them in his hands, stepping a few inches back as he did. “I was already planning on it.” With his signature blade, “Majestic”, in his right hand, he threw it towards Sir Wayne’s neck. Though the swing was fast, it was not what he could truly accomplish, and thus, would have been easy for Sir Wayne to catch onto.
The field turned their attention to the two most notable of Knights for the House of Casterly. Sir Wayne and Sir Arthur. To see them actually draw swords and face off, was a treat in itself, and even the youngest squires came running at the cry of Godfrey, Sir Wayne’s lead squire. “Rip his balls off, M’lord!” There was a loud sound of laughter, as Sir Reginald threw his arms out and told all to get back, to make room for the champions. Estelle even came out from behind Sir Wayne’s tent, after hanging up one of his tunics, and placed her hands on her hips, to see her Lordship about to go against Sir Arthur again.
“Men..” She shakes her head with a bright smile, while in the centre of the circle created by the onlookers. Sir Arthur was first to draw swords, while Sir Wayne lent on his and smirked. “Well, lucky for you and your green ones, Sir Reginald..” He drew both his blades and spun them in his hands, stepping a few inches back as he did. “I was already planning on it.” With a fierce throw, wielding Majestic with his right hand, he aimed to strike Sir Wayne’s neck, but Sir Wayne was on the ball, reefing Ambrosia out of the dirt and in a 360 degree spin, he brought his blade up to block the neck strike, so the two metal clashed together, and following this he parried, with a wrist twist, to flip up and under Majestic to redirect its path away from Wayne’s person. A cheer rose up from the crowd, as Wayne drew his right foot back, and held his sword before him defensively. “You swing your blade with all the flair of a wench serving beer, Old man.’
The crowd cheered as groups of people came flying from their original positions to view the fight. As brothers, Arthur had long since installed that mental bond within the others, even the new ones. While the younglings stood on the ground, the older more experienced soldiers spread their wings and took to the air in order to view the fight from above, and allow the others to take their ground spots. Arthur’s own Head Servant ran from his tent with his fellows, making his way beside Godfrey, and replying to his call. “You do the same, Sir Arthur, but shove them down his throat afterwards!” He laughed, looking at Godfrey challengingly and then returning his sight to Arthur. As he swung his blade, Arthur sighed. “Were I not preoccupied I’d teach you the etiquette of combat Banter. You’re sorely lacking Jean!”
Sir Wayne masterfully deflected Arthur’s attack with a showy 360 degree spin. Then, with the twist of his wrist, he moved Majestic with Ambrosia, over his head, and on the other side, effectively changing the blade’s direction of attack. The two men then seperated, and stepped back. Arthur stood back, standing ready for an attack from his friend and fellow Champion. One blade held above his head in his left hand and aimed at Sir Wayne. The other, Majestic, held tightly in his right and straight ahead, aiming at his opponent as well. His left leg held straight out before his right, which was bent at the knee, holding him close to the ground. He laughed at Wayne’s comment, and returned with one of his own. “Yet your flashey form seems to be as clumsy as a new born bitch, PUP.” Laughter broke out over the crowd and even pierced Arthur’s lips. “Allow me to show you what this “Old Man” can do Sir Wayne!”
Arthur’s wings spread from behind his back, the epitome of darkness that they were created a shadow over Sir Wayne that the other knights screamed cheerfully for. It was a sign things just got serious. It would be no surprise if Wayne cast his own wings. Arthur pushed off his right foot that he was using for support and flapped his wings powerfully, which launched him powerfully toward Sir Wayne. Bringing his blades high above his head, he brought them down with all his strength at Sir Wayne’s head. Undoubtedly, Wayne would bring his blade up in defense, and should he, Arthur would push off, using Wayne’s own strength to launch him even further into the air. He curled into a ball and spun until he landed behind Wayne. The second he was on his feet and balanced, he would stand, and in the process, spin to his left so that his front could face his opponent, both blades held to his right aimed to strike at Wayne’s midsection.
An eruption of white wings unfurled from behind Sir Wayne, much to the delight of the crowd, that were witnessing this dynamic spectacle. Sir Wayne had fought his General before, one whom he considered a brother at arms, and it was through his previous losses, that he had learnt cunning and stealth were the way to outwit the legend of the Tournament. Pushing off in the air, more or less at the same time as Sir Arthur, Sir Wayne’s blade “Ambrosia” whistled its song, as it was swung round and up to block the black winged Sir Arthur’s downward strike. The loud clash of blades and the force that Sir Arthur took from that strike, had him flying back and curling into a ball, to start his continued attack. The plan was to come up, over and then in behind his opponent, and this was when it was really going to get dangerous.
Sir Wayne counter spun so the two were faced off, and as Sir Arthur wielded his two swords that were aimed for Sir Wayne’s midsection, Sir Wayne activated a trigger mechanism in his gauntlet in his left hand, that caused a sheathed dagger to rocket out, and with all the force he had in him, he was prepared to take the mid section strike, as his gauntlet dagger was aimed right for Sir Arthur’s neck.
Was he that predictable? Sir Wayne’s tactics had become much more…intelligent apparently, and risky. Arthur watched in almost slow motion as the dagger shot from Sir Wayne’s Gauntlet, and his eyes tightened. though ti was in fact a surprise, Arthur was one of unorthodox, and often thought to be idiotic tactics, as much as they were brutish. Dropping the blade that was in his left, though holding Ambrosia still in his right so that it would press against Sir Wayne’s side, Arthur lifted the now free hand to the path of the blade. though his thick leather gauntlets slowed the fast approaching blade, the point pierced his hand and became barely visible in the back of his palm. The result: Majestic was held against Wayne’s rib cage in a killing blow. On top of this, sir Arthur’s left hand had a dagger within it, and the barely visible point was just barely touching his neck.
The pain had yet to set in as the adrenaline rushed through sir Arthur’s body and dulled it. However, this was what made Arthur such a great swordsman, aside from his skill. The will to do whatever was necessary to attain the kill, or in this case, win. Breathing heavily, his lips spread to a wide smile as he looked to his hand and moved Majestic from Sir Wayne’s side, knowing his fellow would acknowledge the defeat without spoken word of it. Sir Arthur began to laugh, and spoke. “That was sneaky Sir Wayne. Very sneaky indeed.” witnessing the attack, the Grounds Healer rushed forward to Sir Arthur and took the injured hand within his. Arthur barely noticed the action as he sheathed Majestic and kept his eyes on Sir Wayne. “You made my instinct kick in, Sir Wayne. It has been a long while since that has happened.” Arthur winced as the healer pulled the blade from Arthur’s hand and handed it to him forcibly, then covered the wound in both hands and a bright light shone through the gaps of their hands. Arthur handed the blade, Hilt pointed towards Wayne, to his fellow. “I believe this belongs to you?”
There was no need for a vocal declaration that Sir Wayne had used sly tactics in which to win the exhibition match against Sir Arthur. In the years that they had fought alongside each other in the Great War, Sir Wayne learnt from those in the far east that there were other ways. The tactic to surprise his opponent with the concealed weapon may have been regarded as sneaky, but it was highly effective. With Sir Arthur handing back the blade, hilt side towards him, Wayne took it and showed but the hint of a smile of recognition of the moment. He was not about to gloat, for there was no need.
“You made my instinct kick in, Sir Wayne. It has been a long while since that has happened.”
“I am sure that happens more often then you would like to admit. With…the right woman of course.”
Wayne said with a light chuckle, and this flowed on throughout the crowd, as it showed there were no hard feelings between the two warriors, even though Sir Arthur did get an injured hand for his trouble. Wayne sheathed his blade, then patted Sir Arthur’s arm. “I learnt from the best.” That being said, Sir Wayne made his way back to his tent, his squires singing his name in praise, as Estelle was waiting to take his gauntlets off and put away his weapons.