The Jewel of Anonian (part one) - A story of love, courage, and friendship.
To you I write this story, for it is an account of my life. I hope that you may read it one day when you too become the ruler of this Kingdom, you may be encouraged. All of the things written are true, and are still vivid in my mind as I write. I wish you well as you grow, and I hope you become the best leader my people will ever have.
The morning was bright, and the air was crisp as I stepped onto the balcony. The houses below me looked golden as the sun shone off their rooftops. Smoke rose from chimneys like little columns, disappearing into the red sky. I took a deep breath, and let it out. It was a new day, and everything was as it is almost every morning. Yet my stomach lurched, and I knew something was wrong. Something was going to happen. I looked all about me cautiously, and deciding no one was there, again looked out over the kingdom. I thought I saw movement near the meadows to the West, but I wasn't quiet sure. Deciding that something was there, I wanted a better look.
I was soon upon my dappled steed, riding out of the city gates, and into the peasant's meadows. I then saw what I had seen upon my balcony. It alarmed me so, I remember dropping the reins of my horse, and just sitting there with my mouth open. An army of great number came riding from the plains, and heading straight for my kingdom! With horror, I kicked my horse into blinding speed, back towards the city, and to where the head General of my army lived. I leapt off my steed, and pounded against his door.
"What do you want!" He growled from inside. When he opened the door, a shocked look came over his face, and he fell to the ground to bow.
"Please forgive my rudeness your highness! I did not know it was you!"
"It is ok Matthias, I understand."
As he rose again, his normal, cheerful look was back. But seeing my pale face, he grew grave.
"What is wrong?"
"There is a massive army headed straight towards us as I speak. They are drawing near, and I know they are to attack us."
Now he looked shocked, and troubled.
"Are you sure?"
"Positive." I nodded.
"This is not good." He mumbled.
Soon the two of us were standing upon the balcony were all announcements are made. Matthias had a loud, clear voice, so I let him speak.
"We need to prepare for battle! At this very moment, an army of great number and strength are only yards away, ready to attack! We need to prepare, and be ready for when they attack! To your battle stations men!"
There was a roar from the crowd below. Many were worried; some confused, and others ready to fight. In a matter of minutes, men were gathering outside of the city walls, prepared and ready for orders. Meanwhile, the women and children within the city were preparing meals and making room for those who would be injured. They were going to be prepared for the after math of the war. I myself decided to fight. It went against everyone, but I insisted. Soon, I too was mounted on my war steed, a fiery red horse, and ready to go.
I had my bow, with a quiver full of arrows, and a sharpened sword in its sheath at my side. I wore a loose, cream shirt, fawn pants, and black boots that were very well worn. But what went Matthias was angry with me about, I did not wear armor. I refused to, for it just weighed one down, and it was hard to move it. It also was much trouble to my poor mount, who would have to carry me threw battle. Deciding that I could not be the only one without armor, Matthias also did not wear any. Henry, another general, also did not wear any in honor of me. So our cavalry awaited the coming of the enemy outside of the city. Our archers stood on top of the city walls, ready to fire when told. There were also reinforcements inside of the walls; ready to come when the front lines were growing weak.
We only had to wait three minutes, for the enemy appeared over the horizon. Their horses were now at full gallop towards us, and their rider's spears were extended out.
"Ready..." Matthias shouted, his sword held in the air. A few seconds went by, and the enemy drew near.
"Fire!" shouted he, dropping his sword. The archers let fire their arrows. Many found their targets in men and horse, but still the enemy rode on. As the archers continued their rain of fire, Matthias prepared the cavalry. Our team extended out their spears, and the horses snorted impatiently, pawing the earth.
At Matthias's command, the cavalry charged the oncoming enemy. They clashed together, and it began.
The Second Chapter
It raged on for hours after hours, and the sun was beginning to set. I knew not the number I slew, but all I knew was to fight on. I had decided to save my arrows, but I knew not when to use them. I did not even know who the leader of the enemies' army was, but as I fought, I suddenly saw him, and knew instantly it was the leader. He rode atop a coal black stallion, and his armor was equally as black. He held a pike in one hand, and its tip was sharper then anything I have ever seen, and it's black metal was stained with blood. I did not see his sword then, but I was assuming that it too was black. He saw me, and the look in his face sent a chill down my spine. My steed snorted nervously, and backed away. But with anger, I charged towards him, sword in hand, and a cry of battle I sang. He thrust his spear towards us, and I feared it would hit me. But I was spared, as it plunged into my horse's chest, and he fell to his death. I felt myself fly overtop of his head, and tumble onto the ground. I quickly sprang up again, ignoring the pain I felt in my right wrist. I quickly put my sword back in its sheath, and drew out my bow. I skillfully fit an arrow, and released towards the black devil. He used his shield to block most of the arrows from harming him or his horse. One arrow landed in the black horses shoulder, and red blood stained his midnight fur. But before I knew it, my arrows were spent, and I was left horseless and with only a sword. Letting my bow around my shoulder once again, I drew my sword and fought with those who were also on foot.
After another hour of fighting, I was very worn out, and felt as though I could not continue on. I chopped off the head of another soldier. Expecting another to take its place, I was ready to strike whoever was behind me. But I halted, seeing Henry.
"Henry!" I exclaimed. He too was horseless.
"Look, my lady." He pointed. I did look, and was surprised as well as confused. The enemy had gone back into formation, and stood there. They were not firing, and my army stopped as well. I signaled them also into formation. Then their leader rode forwards, the knight in black. I strode out on foot before Matthias could, and we stood, face to face.
"Since I have seen both of our armies are spent, I have decided to end it in a battle; in a one on one combat. I will challenge your leader to a battle."
"Fine." I said confidently. "I will take your challenge."
"You?!" He howled in laughter, and his horses snorted as if he were too laughing. I felt myself grow red in anger, and clenched my fists, but said nothing. After taking a breath to contain himself, he replied calmly.
"Well, if you insist. But prepare to face your death."
I glared at him.
"Speak for yourself." I said harshly. He chuckled, and pulled out his spear. I placed my hands on my hips.
"Oh yes." He said, shaking his head. "Would you like a horse? I could spare one for you."
"No thank you, I will not sacrifice any more horse flesh." I said simply. He rolled his eyes (which you will soon see, he will do so a lot) and dismounted. A solider held his black steed for him as he came towards me, still holding his spear.
"You begin." He said flatly. I nodded, and drew my sword. Taking confident steps toward him, I displayed my skill with sword by fighting an invisible opponent. I never took my glare off of him, but took one calm step after another. Then, I charged, and before he could react, I had cut off the top of his spear. I backed away, allowing him to draw his sword. We faced each other again, and then our swords clashed together. Neither of us would allow each other to win, and neither of us would give up. We fought long and hard, but I knew he was stronger then me, and I would not last. In a large swing in anger, he had knocked the sword out of my hands. He dropped his sword, and we began to fight hand-to-hand combat. I used my fists and also kicked out with might. But he had armor on, and I only hurt myself more. I had no armor on, and easily got bruised. Still, I did not give in. After minutes of the tiring combat, I began to waver. He kneed me in the stomach, and I doubled over. He then took my arm, and twisted it behind me.
"No!" I shouted, only wincing. He twisted harder.
"I don't want to hurt you any more."
"I am not surrendering!"
With a sigh, he twisted harder, still pulling back. Tears ran down my face as I felt pain shoot from my shoulder all the way down to the tips of my fingers. It continued to grow as I still refused to surrender. Suddenly, I heard a snap, and I knew that it was broken. The pain was so unbearable; I knew not what to do. I did not cry, or make a sound. I just sat there, gaping. By that time, he had already let go. I think he felt ashamed for doing that to a lady, but then again, I had accepted his challenge. I stood up, my arm hanging loosely at my side, and glared at him.
"Now will you surrender?" He said, almost painfully. In between breaths of anger and pain, I managed to answer.
"No, I will never surrender over to the hands of a pig!" I growled. I could tell that angered him, but he acted coolly.
"Tomorrow we shall discus terms of agreement." I just nodded. Then he got a horse, and gently placed me on top of it. I think I was in shock over the pain of my arm, I really did not know what happened. I just remember vaguely ridding off on a horse towards my army. Then I remember peace, and I slept soundly the whole night.