NO MANS LAND
The knights brought a ladder and hammers and started carving the king out. His leg moved and they cheered. ”Hes alive! ” then one of them fell from the stairs. The prince slapped his forehead and walked away.
Dorian had felt the full impact of that blast. He was charging at the Pnevma when she unleashed that devastating blow.
A few hours later the king had been taken to his room to rest. The palace would need a rebuild aswell, the inside wasnt as worse as outside, just broken windows and a few cracks on the walls. A few dead men were found inside and more wounded. They all claimed that Altar Cleos had did that to them when they tried to stop him.
Half of the Dornish army had been crushed by that boy. Daerason walked around outside his fathers room analyzing the situation and thinking of possible solutions.
”The king is awake ” the mage leader Lady Lane said. She was also a professional healer and the leader of the mages. She escorted him to his room then left them.
”The girl…. ” Dorian said. He gasped for air. ”Where is she? ”
”Father, calm yourself ”.
Lady Lane came back with a glass of water which she offered Dorian. The king finished it all in one gulp.
”Better? ” Daerason said. The king nodded. Daerason explained the situation,
”There was no sign of them in the ruins. Im afraid Altar Cleos escaped with the girl….or she escaped with him. Either way they are gone. ”
”I see ” Dorian said disappointed.
”Too many. ” Daerason said ”inside and outside. Our forces are crippled, we need some time to regroup. ”
”Just as i feared ” said the king. ”I have a job for you my son. I want their faces everywhere. Gather a searching party. ”
”Hunting… ” smiled the prince.
They had been heading south for a while now with no map and no idea where they were heading to. Their path had trees and silence only. All they needed to find was a house or a settlement so that they could ask around but they werent in any luck in the forest they were in. There werent even animals.
”If only we had a map ” Diego said.
”Yeah no shit
” Altar said,
”Its like we
e walking in circles here. ” Diegos legs were starting to hurt.
”Lets rest here for a while ” Altar suggested.
They sat on the grass to catch their breath till they heared voices.
They looked at eachother and nodded in silence. ”Stay here ill check it out ” Altar said to her.
He went on ahead then found two men talking, both in grey and blue Dornish armour. The logo of the setting sun shined on their breastplates. Altar sneered. ”So much for help ” he mumbled to himself.
The men held posters of their faces, stamping them on trees. Altar gasped, You
e not serious he thought. He read the captions beneath their faces:
”ALTAR CLEOS: DEAD OR ALIVE; FIFTY GOLD COINS. DIEGO REED: CAPTURE ALIVE; OJE HUNDRED GOLD COINS ”
The boy knight let out a sigh. He was about to leave when he saw them pull out a map, which was exactly what they needed. Without any thought Altar went out there and unsheathed one blade with his left and killed both men. He snatched their map and called Diego out.
”Well that was fast ” Diego commented after seeing the dead bodies.
”They were nice
” Altar smiled.
e bounties now by the way ” he showed her their posters, ”And your head is five thousand more than mine. ”
Diego sneered, ”They dont give up. We must get going… ” she looked at the map, ”So from here we were moving south so we have to be…..in the Forgotten Forest near…..No Mans Land? ” she sounded unsure. ”Do you think theres people there? ”
”Does the name No Mans Land give you any reason for people to live there? I hightly doubt it ”
”Theres one way to find out ” Diego said ”besides its the closest village. ”
”Fine…..lets go then. This life sucks anyway ”
Where ever theyd find posters of the faces Altar would simply just burn them with a touch. ”Im starting to enjoy this ”
”Youll burn down the whole forest ”
”Wouldn be the worse thing Ive done ”
The posters soon disappeared as they approached No Mans Land. Altar paused and armed himself with both blades, ”Did you hear that? ” He asked
Diego didn hear anything. Just the wind and rustling….then she heared growling. She hid behind Altars back and said ”Yes….i did ”
”Stay sharp. Stay close ” Altar told her.
Diego suggested that it could be an animal, but Altar kept his guard up. He called ”Show yourself! ”
The sound of foot steps caught their attention and it got stronger and stronger.
”Its coming ” Altar said. What they saw made them gasp. Altar lowered his weapons in disbelief. ”You must be kidding me ”
Diego was just speechless. The figure looked at them breathing heavily. ”What is that? ”
Diego gasped. Altar replied, ”That my Princess….is what you call a minotaur. Though Ive never seen one in person. Why didnt Karl warn me about these things living in Dorne? ”
”Maybe because he didnt know? ”
”Nonsense, Karl knows everything. ”
The minotaur stood on two legs, with the face of a bull and the body of a man. Its legs were bull legs and it held a giant log of wood.
”I think i know why the place is called No Mans Land ” Diego said softly.
”The name was sketchy wasnt it? ” Altar joked.
The minotaur roared and threw the tree log straight at them with unbelievable strength. Altar sliced the log into two protecting Diego who was behind her. He spun the blades and said, ”I can take him. ”
”Are you sure? ” Diego asked.
Altar said ”Sure….its only one if them. ”
Suddenly more appeared from behind the beast.
”I take that back ” Altar said ”i fought people not monsters ” he sheathed his blades, grabbed Diegos wrists and ran with her.
”I thought you said you can take em ” Diego said. Altar replied, ” I said one. Not the whole neighborhood. ”
The minotaurs were much faster than them. One of them was closing in at Diego then he pushed her aside and the minotaur knocked him inside till he hit against a tree with his back.
Diego ran for him and called him to wake up. The Beasts still closed in at them angrily.
Before their horns could tear through the boy, he ran on the tree and flipped over the minotaur. He staggered to his feet and stood in defense mode infront of the princess panting.
They found themselves surrounded. They took cautious steps closer to them, then Altar quickly drew a line of fire around them that protected them. The beasts roared and cried out when they saw it then took a few steps back. But they didnt leave.
From the trees a muscular man appeared and landed on the floor. The ground shifted and Altars protective flame died out. The man walked to the beasts and roared like one of them. The minotaurs sneered and him growling then they all retreated.
The man looked back at them then there was a silence. He waved at him with a friendly smile.
”Er…thank you ” said Diego.
”Maybe hell kill us himself ” Altar still stood his ground.
The man gave a puzzled look, ”What are you doing this deep in the forest? ” His voice was as thick as his arms.
”We ventured here and got lost on our way ” Diego said
”But you have a map ” the man said.
”We just got it ” said Altar, ”Plus No Mans Land seemed to be a great tourist attraction ”
The man giggled. ”You have jokes….but you just almost died. Who are you? ”
He asks for our identities….he hasnt seen the posters….
”Not many people ventures this far because they know the minotaurs of No Mans Land. They dont really like guests. ”
”I hope we dont run into them again ” Diego said.
”You wont if u head north or west from here. They live in No Mans Land and only have a certain raduis in which they venture from their home
” he looked at them,
e not from around here are you? ”
”From Dorne ” Diego said, ”but we dont go out much. Yourself? ”
”Well you don look like a knight ” Altar sheathed his blades.
”Ofcourse i dont. Im not. But you do ” said the man.
Altar replied, ”That is the dream ” The man wore brown trousers and a green cloth around his waist. His muscular chest was bare with battle scars and scratches. He had a block face with black trimmed hair and a scar over his left cheek.
”Well im from the Earth City ” the man said to them, ”Balon Stone ”
”Earth City? ” Diego looked at her map, ”Thats not very far from here. ”
e going there too? ” Balon said
”Actually yes. We read our map wrong and come here. But thanks to you we know our destination ”
”Say Im heading there myself. Allow me to escort you ” he said
”Okay ” Diego nodded.