Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Sword Gods," Master and Servant, pt. 3, 404 words

Were he not clad in armor, the knight would have clasped his hands at the small of his back as he responded. Instead, he settled for keeping them at his side, but inclined his head towards the two points of light in the dark. “Never, my lord, for the day I tire of the duties of my station is the day I tire of life.”

The voice chuckled in amusement once more. “So you always say. I wonder, though...” It trailed off, as if in thought. The voice wondered quite a lot. “So what brings you to me this fine morning,” the voice asked. Somehow, it always seemed to know the time of day or night above, no matter how long it had been secluded down in its dark chamber.

“To the point as always, my lord,” the knight observed. Another part of the ritual. For one that spent months at a time alone in shadow, the voice belonged to one who loathed dithering and small talk. “I come bearing news.”

“News,” the voice said dismissively. The points of light grew more angular, eyes narrowing. “Quaint tales of the mayfly lives of mortals. The same things happening over and over again, unto the end of time. There is nothing new to the news, and there is only one kind that interests me. Do you bring it?”

“No, my lord,” the knight said. “I have no news of war to bring you–”

“Then be off with you,” the voice declared, its glowing eyes swinging away in the dark.

The knight simply said, “'Until the fallen rise again.'”

The eyes stopped, turned back to regard the knight. “What did you say?”

“That is the news I bring before you, my lord.” The knight held his hands out, palms upward, as if offering up a physical thing that he carried.

A low growl carried through the darkness, followed shortly thereafter by the voice barking out an insistent, “Light!”

Well, that happened rarely enough. The knight knew not by what mechanism it happened, but light rose gradually within the room. A pair of small crystal orbs glowed brightly, mounted on opposite walls, clean and white like fresh sunlight. As with the rare few times this had happened before, the knight concluded once more that he should have liked the lights to remain quiescent.

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