The Tale Of Alexander Part 3

The Tale Of Alexander Part 3

A Chapter by North Dakota
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In the chaos of the storm, all will change...

"

After his reminiscing with Andrei, Alexander donned his civilian attire and rode into town. It was a beautiful day with the morning sunbeams peeking through the canopies to reveal all the lush forest had to offer. On horseback, the boy lazily strolled down the beaten path, admiring every little wonder these woods contained. Slowly but surely, Alexander arrived at the foot of the anguished town. Many went about their business as usual, but Alexander could easily see that each were checking over their shoulders quite frequently, prepared to bolt from another attack. The knowledge that he had been apart of this travesty mortified the man, but he swallowed his feelings of remorse as he entered through the broken gates of the village. His entrance drew the attention of all for just a moment, but was quickly ignored once he had been assessed as no threat. The blond-haired boy dismounted and hitched his horse in front of the butcher’s shop. Alexander could hear whispers of the attack, whispers of the destruction and chaos he had caused. All around him, the damage still lingered; burned homes, busted front doors, and the lingering smell of burning flesh, it all hung around him as a constant reminder of what they had done. With a fleeing speed, Alexander entered the shop, almost slamming the door behind him as he sighed a large breath of relief.

“Hello, sir.” The butcher greeted the new customer relatively cheerfully under such circumstances.

“Oh, um, good morning.” Alexander composed himself, then approached the counter. Along the walls, several cuts of meat were hanging out for a reason that Alexander could not quite comprehend. “Could I purchase a pound of pork sausage?” The boy inquired, retrieving the burlap sack that hung from his side.

“Of course! Just one moment.” From his pocket, Alexander retrieved several Aspri--commonly used silver coins in Moldavia--and placed them onto the counter as payment.


After retrieving the main ingredient for his and his comrade’s dinner, Alexander rode from the town. His deeds still haunted him, like a rising shadow on an otherwise pristine wall, his actions would not be cleansed, the blood stained both his hands and his mind. Even with his sins, the boy attempted to continue his day as he would normally, and enjoy the company of his brothers. As the youngest of The Blessed ambled through the open wrought-iron gate of the church perimeter, he could see that the vegetable garden directly beside the building was being attended to by Virgil. Tonight, they would more than likely have Cârnați--smoked pork sausages seasoned with garlic--with a hearty glass of wine. As he dreamed of his delicious dinner, Alexander reentered the church with the meat. The boy strode towards the kitchen to store his precious ingredient, but as he did so, he could hear a strange, malignant cackle coming from Miska’s personal bedroom. While the other five slept on the pews of the church, the leader secluded himself to the former priest’s personal bedroom. It had not always been like this, at one time, Miska had been no better than any of his brothers, not even Alexander. He used to wallow in the mire alongside them, even if better luxuries were within his grasp; if they all could not benefit, none would. That was the philosophy the six had lived by their entire lives...well, they used to, anyway. Over the past few recent years, Miska had become...strange. He secluded himself whenever possible, he took what he wanted without concern for the others, and his blood lust was, needless to say, horrifyingly more consuming. The look in his eyes, in his childhood, Alexander compared it to that of a man on a holy crusade, to that of a man who was ready to absolve the innocent, and punish the wicked. Those eyes had once comforted him on a rainy night when all he could see or taste was blood, and his body was too weak to move. Those eyes had once glowed with the fury of a wild beast at the sight of his comrade’s mistreatment. Those eyes had once been the symbol of virtue...but now, those eyes...they had become clouded, corrupted with hate. The beautiful, blue eyes that had once sought out shelter and protection for his brothers, now only searched for bloody battlefields to rejoice within.


Alexander could take it no longer, he needed to know what was happening. The boy traced the laughter towards the room, and then, with cautious stealth, placed his eye to the keyhole. Within, he spotted Miska kneeling by candlelight, murmuring to himself. If he had not known better, Alexander would have thought his leader belonged in an asylum. Curiosity getting the better of him, Alexander leaned back, then placed his ear to the door, attempting to make out some of the words his leader was mumbling.

“Yes...yes, m’lord. I have done well, I have done as you asked. I know…” The words trailed off again, returning to silent whispers. Against his better judgement, Alexander quietly cracked the door open and turned his ear towards the sound.

“You will arrive soon...Together...we will conquer…”

“Conquer?” Alexander questioned out loud without realizing it. Suddenly, Miska snapped his attention towards the door. The leader slowly raised himself to a standing position and lumbered towards the door. Miska flung the door completely open, checking for whatever had made the noise. Oddly enough, the only thing he could find was the dust on the floor. With a sense of caution, he closed the door once again, locking it this time.


Alexander stood around the corner, finally letting go of a breath he hadn’t realized he was holding. The younger male decided to quickly retreat to the kitchen, pondering this new information he had obtained.


Back in the room, Miska sighed, then sat cross-legged across from the flame of the lit candle.

“He’s become suspicious, m’lord.” Miska reported.

“It does not concern me...he will be realigned upon my arrival.” A dark, shadowy voice spoke only to Miska; none besides him could hear this creature’s voice.

“Yes, Master. Your will is my own, you know that more than any god ever could.” Miska bowed his head with a child-like smile plastered across his mug.

“You have done well, my servant. You will be gifted for your efforts in the very near future, that I can promise you.” Though the being was non corporeal, Miska could practically feel the demon’s hand resting on his shoulder, urging him to rise. The dark-haired assistant stood and stared into the bright, luminescent, scarlet eyes that practically harbored hell fire.

“My master, I will make the preparations very soon. Are you strong enough to make the journey? Have you gathered enough fortitude to cross realms?” Miska questioned with both concern and excitement layering his tone.

“Due to your allegiance, I have finally gathered the power I will need. We will be united in this realm soon, Miska.” The demon’s baritone voice reverberated within Miska’s mind, causing him to give a gleeful yet maniacal grin. “I must go, we will speak again on the morrow.” The figure faded from Miska’s sight, leaving him to be truly alone as the candle light was gently blown out by the passing breeze.

“In this darkness...I will be reborn...reborn...as a demon.” Miska’s blue eyes quickly flashed the exact same radiant scarlet as his master’s, then returned to their regular shade.


That same night, the six gathered around the dinner table, proudly feasting on their meager meals as if they were kings indulging in their riches. The table had been set in the center of the church aisle, keeping them prepared in the case of an attack on their home.

“And then…” Andrei swallowed a large bite of sausage, then chased it with a swig of red wine. “Alexander tripped and fell into the river!” Andrei finished his story with a booming chuckle. The comical adventures of the two kept all in good spirit, even the stoic Juve quite possibly laughed once or twice. The youngest member’s face had become beet red as he remembered his idiotic exploits while trying to impress the nearby maidens. Each member of The Blessed shared humorous tales or casual conversation, save Miska. The leader sat silently at the head of the table, his sword gripped roughly by the hilt with his right hand while his left sluggishly fed him bites of the sausage. Alexander could see the irritation and restlessness in the man’s demeanor. What ever happened to the knight he once knew? The young man who could take on an army of the sinful and come out clean on the other side? When had he become this way? When had he abandoned his own morals?

“Alexander, I’ve taught you better than to stare at your superiors.” Miska, without the boy realizing it, had made direct eye contact with him.

“Oh, I-I’m sorry, father.” The Freudian slip ushered the room into a comical silence. It was Virgil who broke this quiet.

“Father?” Virgil questioned with a scoff and giggle.

“I suppose that makes Horatio the mother!” Andrei teased the young one even further, causing the entire room burst into another roaring round of guffaws. Even if it was for just a fleeting moment, Alexander gazed upon the recently absent smile of his leader that he had been longing for.


Unfortunately, the cheerful atmosphere was shattered by a rough pounding on the wooden doors of the church. Each swiftly rushed to gather their weapons, except for Miska, who was already more than prepared for a battle. Juve, who had retrieved his sword, cautiously pulled open the large cathedral door, scanning the perimeter for a interloper. In the midst of the thunderstorm, nothing could be heard, not even the sound of footsteps on the church roof. Juve noticed that hanging in front of the door was a large, iron weight attached to a rope.  


All but Juve instantly saw the oncoming danger of the descending attacker. Alexander’s scream of warning never reached his brother’s ears as the assassin's blade swiftly sliced through the nape of his neck, decapitating him instantly. Without a final scream, or a last word, the sapient but stoic guardian of The Blessed was no more.
“No!” Alexander’s shrieks of objection cut through the boom of the thunder. With an expression of pure shock, Juve’s head rolled from his shoulders and onto the muddy ground. With the rage of a thousand beasts, Andrei bolted down the aisle, tackling the assassin to the ground. When he had impacted, Andrei had been stabbed in the gut, but that meant nothing to him at the moment; the brute felt no pain, nor fear, only rage, an indignant rage that could not be quelled by anything less than a divine intervention. With sorrowful tears in his eyes, Andrei descended upon the assassin with a rain of blows, each painfully cracking or breaking a part of the attacker’s face. With his knuckles coated in blood, and the attacker long dead, Andrei threw several spontaneous punches towards the corpse, still attempting to release the anger he was holding in his breast. The others had gathered behind Andrei just in time to warn him of the other interlopers that had trespassed.

“Andrei! To your left!” Horatio pitched a dagger to Andrei’s left, skewering another would-be assassin through the throat. Andrei looked around him, suddenly realizing that this was no lone assassin, but a staged attack. Miska quickly pulled the man to his feet and equipped him with his trusty axe. The remaining five formed a spearhead formation, parrying lethal blows left and right and retaliating with a united force of vengeant anger. Alexander, whose gaze had been directed towards his fallen comrade for just a moment too long, was saved by the blade of Virgil, who had severed the arm of an attacker that came merely inches from the boy.

“Eyes forward!” Miska ordered tyrannically. For once, it wasn’t just Alexander noticing Miska’s odd behavior. Miska seemed to harbor no anger or sorrow, but instead, excitement? Not even the death of a brother was enough to shake Miska awake from his clouded mindset. Another of the black clad assassins went for a low strike towards Andrei’s knee, but was quickly countered by the brute slamming the said knee into his jaw. Horatio ducked the thrust of his attacker, then, with a horizontal slash, spilled the man’s guts. Miska, who had broken formation, was taking on several attackers at once. Parrying one slash then, with the handle of his sword, bashing the assassin directly in the nose. To his left, he gave a swift kick with his leather boot to the gut of an attacker, sending him stumbling back. With reckless abandon, he charged forward with a sloppy thrust, impaling an attacker, but dodging a swipe so close that it left a bloody cut on his left cheek. As the leader lost himself in the battle, each man periodically gave a look towards the fallen Juve, whose body now lay in a pool of his own and his enemies’ blood. With an exerted grunt, Andrei swung his axe downwards, cutting directly through the blocking sword of his enemy and directly into the center of his skull. The brute kicked the man off of his weapon, then prepared for another attack. Alexander parried two separate attackers, then decapitated the assassin to the right. The attacker to the left raised his blade above his head then lowered it for a downward swipe, but Alexander, with a fair amount of both willpower and adrenaline, caught the blade in his left hand, sending a quick, stinging sensation down his arm. He held the attacker in place by his weapon, then gored him through the heart with his right hand. Each brother now held several small, but inconsequential injuries as the battle raged on. The Blessed fought with the fierce determination of a single entity working towards one goal: Avenging a comrade.


After several minutes of continued battle, the waves finally slowed, then died off. Dozens of bodies lie prostrate on the ground, blood pouring from their wounds. Each member now gathered around the headless Juve, who Andrei cradled in his arms.

“Brother...No…No….” With weak, pained whispers, Andrei wept for his brother.  Alexander could see each man grit their teeth in either rage, or a failed attempt to hold in tears. The boy, who kneeled on both knees in the mud, looked upwards to his leader, who merely kept a straight-face. Alexander felt more anger than he ever had before.

“How dare you!?” Alexander shouted. Miska turned to address him.

“What?” Miska plainly replied. Alexander stood to face his stoic leader.

“One of us has died. He lies here, in the muck, dead. Juve has been cut down, and you can’t even shed a single tear for him!?” Alexander gripped Miska by the collar. “Don’t we mean anything to you!?” Miska, with a quiet rage, forcefully pushed the boy onto the ground.

“Your emotions will get you killed. Each of you failed to realize that we still have one attacker lurking about.” Miska turned to face the final assassin, who merely ambled towards the group. The man removed his black cloth mask and began clapping.

“What a splendid performance! It is no wonder why such a large number of our guild were commissioned for your removal!” The man spoke with a cheerful tone of awe. Andrei, who had handed Juve off to Virgil, stood ready to face the man.
“I’ll kill you!” Andrei screeched, then charged the man with his axe held high. With a deft swing, He attempted to cut the man in two from the shoulder down, but was skillfully evaded. The assassin quickly slashed the back of Andrei’s knees, causing him to fall to the ground. The attacker raised his blade to the brute’s throat, then paused in baited silence.

“And there...you are dead.” He mocked the brute in the precarious situation. Miska stood with his arms crossed, an impressed smirk written on his face.

“To think...one of us so easily disarmed...this was not a plot to truly end our lives...was it?” Miska questioned, stimulating an amused laugh from the assassin.

“You truly are a clever one! Yes, this was no assassination attempt, but more of a test of your skill. While our mission was a failure, mine was more than a success.” The assassin released the behemoth, who attempted to stand and turn, but was quickly shut down by his injuries.

“What is it that you desire then, assassin?” Miska interrogated.

“I have heard whispers of a dark ritual...of dark powers from this church...I desire the secrets you five keep hidden. The secrets to your battle, to your motivation, to your God! I desire to know it all! My curious thirst is one that needs to be fulfilled!” Miska sported a grin as he crossed the distance between the two.

“And how shall you quench this thirst, newcomer?” Miska bemusedly questioned.

“I intend to join your ranks.” This answer shocked even Miska, who only stroked the stubble on his chin in thought as a response.

“No way in all hell! The moment I get the chance, I’ll tear your arms from their sockets! I’ll gouge your eyes out! I’ll peel the skin from your flesh for what you’ve done!” Andrei attempted to stand once more, but his injuries prevented it.

“Shut your mouth, dog! This man has proven that he can not only best you, but end the life of an alert swordsman using incredible strategy. He has proven more than proficient enough to fill the void he has created.” Miska extended a hand to the man, who happily shook it. “What is your name, warrior?”

“My name is Hassan Dracula, pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

“And I bear the title of Miska Bolohan.” The leader spoke with a courteous bow. As the two made introductions, Alexander was left to cradle the severed head of his brother.

“Miska, what do we mean to you?” Alexander pitifully whispered as tears welled in his eyes then painfully dripped onto the remains of his fallen brother. He clutched the decapitated comrade's head to his chest, covering his pristine shirt in crimson blood as he wept for not only the physical death of his brother, but the emotional death of another.

"Miska...aren't we your family?"


Later that same night, in the roar of the rain and the crack of the lightning, the four stood by a muddy grave, heads bowed and hands crossed at the lower abdomen. From inside, Alexander could hear the boisterous laugh of his new “comrade.”

“Juve...you were never one to take center stage, but in your final moments, you captured the attention of even the Holy Lord. While you descend to our master in the depths of Hell, you will know that your strength and courage will carry on in our hearts, and your burdens will be carried across each of our backs. The weight of your death will crush us for many years to come, but one day, the weight of our pain will be shoved aside by the velocity of our oncoming futures. May you now rest in the very dirt you were born on...Juve Allegri. Requiesce in pace, frater.” Each man nodded, then dropped a handful of dirt into the six foot grave that loomed before them.

“Juve...I will not let this go unpunished.” Andrei muttered to himself indignantly. Alexander looked into the eyes of each of his brothers, then made one final promise that he swore to keep for all of eternity.

“As long as I live...I will not lose another of you.”



© 2016 North Dakota



Author's Note

North Dakota
Apologies for uploading a little late, my brother was put into the hospital over the weekend, so that was unfortunate. As always, thank you for reading, and feel free to comment!
*Made a small change towards the end.

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Added on April 26, 2016
Last Updated on May 1, 2016


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North Dakota
North Dakota

VA



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I'm an amateur author who enjoys writing more than anything. I hope to improve my writing style and etiquette through the criticism of others. So, any review or criticism would be greatly appreciated,.. more..

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