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The Oath and the Sword(4)

Pillars of light reflected off of one another in the rain. Looking from afar, it was as if the drizzle that struck through them had turned to gold. Everyone looked up at a crack of light splitting the gloomy skies as rays of angelic white light dawned, gently caressing the faces of the people beneath. The brilliant rays stabbed through the clouds and settled down on the port.

Leider Dulo stood before a windowpane. His body seemed to be infused with inexhaustible energy, his posture upright and his fist clenched.

“Centuries have passed since King Erik parted with this world. But do the nobles of Aouine still remember the oath they made upon the sword?”

None could answer.

Marquis Balta felt restless. He was agitated, but he was more afraid of the person before him changing his mind and switching sides. Even though he was the leader of White Lion Legion, could not match Leider Dulo’s ability to call upon Aouine’s various armies.

The old militant slowly turned his body with a stern look affixed on his face, and a fierce light could be seen within his ashen eyes as if they held an unquenchable fire of determination. He lifted his head and said slowly, “Balta, the White Lion Legion has lost the ‘flag’ in their hearts for a long time, but even so, they cannot lose their pride--.”

“We have long ago strayed from the glorious path King Erik sought. And now, we can only use this Legion to redeem our honor. White Lion Legion - Death shall be our only surrender!!”

Balta froze. Lightning seemed to strike behind the old man’s back, and a thought flashed across his mind. He had once been young and passionate, but all the fights and conspiracies cast shadows over his worn-out hopes. He wasn’t even sure how much he had lost for what he currently held.

He suddenly saw a young man with a spear, riding on a horse as it galloped proudly on the fields.Who knew that I was so close to achieving my dreams.

Balta’s eyes moistened. He then bowed deeply towards his teacher. He had completed his last lesson as a knight - “We all have our own pride”.

With a soft voice, he spoke, “I have learned to compromise between our ideals and reality, and have realized we cannot force ourselves onto a strict path. Those who would sacrifice themselves for the ideals of another, however, deserve respect as well.”

He then bowed slightly towards Leider Dulo once more. Leider shook his head, his eyes reddening. He swallowed hard and said, “Old Wood, the people of Aouine are bleeding.”

“I know… I understand.” Archbishop Wood was on the other side of the room. He closed his eyes, his expression filled with emotion and he sighed, “I’m sorry for Aouine and the people in it…”

Suddenly, a servant clad in a sacrificial robe crashed into the room screaming in panic. “Lord Archbishop, the resonance is getting stronger and is almost out of control now!”

Archbishop Wood did not react and merely looked at Ampere Seale r

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