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Alcingeria Volume Two Chapter Thirteen: Semera

Alcingeria Volume Two Chapter Thirteen: Semera

A Chapter by Ryan Henderson
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Now safe, our heroes take a break within Semera's walls.

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Chapter Thirteen Semera:

Tuesday July 20thth 1690           

Shortly after meeting Allan, we were showed to the guards’ barracks. Don, Robert, Macalister and I all slept in one room. The rest of the men stayed in other rooms, same with the women. Each room had four beds, two bed chambers and two bathrooms. It wasn’t luxurious, but it was more than enough for us.

That previous night, Don was going on and on about how worried he was during the attack on Stavon about Tabatha. He was joking about how the fear of losing her was killing him faster than the vampires would have.

When I awoke, I heard the sound of laughter and metallic clanging. I got up, stretched and walked outside towards the noise. Just outside of the barracks, there were some women serving meat, vegetables and bread from behind small portable tables. It was hard to see in the dark last night, but the barracks were part of a compound. I vaguely remember passing through a gate. Sure enough, there was a gate not too far away. The compound was surrounded on all sides by a twenty foot high stone wall. The place was big, too. I saw various other buildings as well, which could have been training areas or anything else.

            “Here, you must be hungry!” Robert said, coming up behind me with a hot plate of food. I took it, my stomach growled.

            “Thanks Robert.” I laughed, eating a bit of the meat.

            “Come on, the others are over here.” He said, leading me to where our friends were sitting by some trees.

            “Mayor Alfred’s talking with Allan. Robert filled him in on what the vampire mafia’s most likely strategy is, the mayor’s passing it on.” Don explained.

            “Good.” I said with a nod.

            “Next, I imagine that Allan will take defensive action. The vampires’ attack on Semera is imminent.” Erin added.

Robert was scratching his chin, looking at the ground.

            “What’s the matter?” Erin asked.

            “It’s just that… Semera is well fortified, even more so than Dunford. The walls are higher and thicker, and the guard seems to know what they’re doing.” He pondered aloud.

            “Yeah, so?” Walden asked.

            “The vampire mafia will have a very hard time taking Semera in a head on assault. They must have a trick up their sleeves…” Robert told us.

            “A trick? Like what?” I asked.

            “Well, they took Dunford because Ignacio got inside the walls and turned a multitude of people into vampires, attacking from the inside. Do you think he’ll try it again here?” Robert asked.

Don chuckled, shaking his head.

            “The guards know what Ignacio looks like, remember? If he’s seen anywhere, he’ll be killed.” He said convincingly.

Robert nodded with narrowed eyes. He seemed to be put at rest for the moment, but I could tell his suspicions weren’t completely alleviated. Tabatha sighed.

            “What’s wrong?” Don asked, comforting her.

Tabatha’s rich brown eyes were fixed on the ground, hardened with emotion.

            “I’m sick of witches being discriminated against. What Allan said last night… It…” Tabatha said, looking away.

            “Tabatha-“

            “No!” She exclaimed sharply, shoving him off of her and storming away.

We all watched her retreating figure in the morning light.

            “Poor girl.” Walden muttered.

            “She’s right, it’s not fair.” Don agreed angrily.

            “I know pal, but right now there’s nothin’ anybody can do about it.” Walden told him.

            “I should go after her.” Don said, getting up.

            “No! leave her be. I think she has a lot on her mind.” Erin told him.

Don, surprised that Erin had spoken out in such a manor, sat back down with a nod.

Forgetting I had it, I resumed eating my food. The conversation had put a damper on my appetite, but I finished the plate, going back for seconds. It seems that there was plenty. Macalister ended up having eight helpings! When everyone had eaten their fill, there was still food left over.

            “While on the subject of poor girls, what do you guys think happened to Stella?” Robert asked worriedly.

We all thought about it for a while. Most of us looked up at the sky.

            “I don’t think she’s dead.” Don said, pursing his lips and shaking his head.

            “Why?” Erin asked, pausing before taking a bite of her bread.

            “Well, Ignacio is obviously in love with her, he wouldn’t just kill her. It isn’t like him.” He speculated.

            “Yeah, Ignacio’s prolly forcin’ her ta be his wife er something’.” Walden fretted.

            “Or worse, he might… He might turn her into a vampire!” I exclaimed.

Despair gripped me, I feared for Stella’s life.

“She wouldn’t make it as a vampire! She’s too… Too nice! She couldn’t kill anyone!” Erin shouted, as if in protest.

“Yeah! She’d starve herself before endin’ anyone’s life!” Walden chimed in.

No one questioned them. I think it was best that we all believed that it was true. I don’t think any of us had the heart to think differently.

Everyone soon finished eating. We all helped the women clean up. Macalister took two tables, one under each arm, the rest of us carried dishes and utensils. We all took them to the mess hall, where more women came and began doing the dishes. The rest of us went back outside.

            “Well, what now?” I asked.

            “I saw a training area on the other end of this complex, who’s up for a bit up sparring?” Robert asked with a grin.

Macalister slammed his fist into his palm with a sickening thud!

“I will fight any man who challenges me!” He yelled.

            “Is that so?” Called a familiar voice from behind us.

We turned to see Allan drawing his sword. Mayor Alfred was next to him.

            “The mayor told me of Ignacio’s plans. I’ve tripled the guard and have them on constant alert. I sent scouts out towards Stavon, but also on the South East and South West flanks. I want to know what those vampires are doing.” He said with determination.

            “That’s great!” Erin exclaimed.

            “Just doing my job. Now, about that challenge.” Allan directed the last part at Macalister.

            “I fear no man. When do we start?” Macalister asked with a nasty grin.

            “Now is good, but where are your weapons? Your armor?” Alan asked.

Macalister just laughed.

            “I don’t need them for sparing.” He boasted.

            “Yes, very well then. Let us go to the training area.” Allan declared, thrusting his sword into the sky.

We all followed him to the place where they would fight. Along the way, I saw a gallows. The wooden platform stood in eerie solitude. I was actually curious as to who would win. Macalister, the strongest man we knew, or Allan, the head of Semera’s guard? We eventually got to the training area. I noticed that we had quite a few people following us who wanted to see the fight. In front of us was a white circle drawn on the ground in what looked like charcoal. It was about twenty feet in diameter. Allan stepped in, then Macalister. There was a grinding stone off to the side, out of the ring. Allan dulled his sword.

            “Okay, the first one to knock the other out of the ring three times wins. Other than that, there are no rules.” Allan explained.

            “I am ready!” Macalister bellowed.

The small crowd that had gathered around us cheered. Mostly for Allan, but the others and I cheered for Macalister. He smiled and looked to us, waving. He looked back to Allan.

            “Alright then!” Allan yelled, charging forward.

Allan was fast, very light on his feet and agile. Macalister charged him head on. They met on Macalister’s side of the ring. Allan stabbed for Macalister’s right arm. He spun out of the way in time and threw a punch at the side of Allan’s head. With a surprised cry of pain and shock, he collapsed to the ground. My friends and I screamed our approval. The majority of the crowd didn’t approve.

            There it is lad!” Robert yelled.

            “’Atta boy Mac!” Walden cackled over the roar of the crowd.

Allan coughed and got up, taking his helmet off. Macalister’s fist put a dent in the side of it! Allan winced and opened and closed his mouth.

            “Ah, my ears are ringing.” He said.

            “Do you give up?” Macalister asked.

Allan laughed arrogantly.

            “Far from it, I just need a new helmet.” He said.

Just then, a boy who must have been a squire or something like that ran into the ring carrying a helmet. Allan handed the boy his dented helmet and grabbed the new one. He put it on, going back to his side of the circle.

            “Right then, let’s go!” He yelled, charging Macalister again.

Allan stabbed at Macalister again. His blade grazed Macalister’s shoulder. Allan jumped back before Macalister could counter attack. Macalister reeled back, throwing a punch at Allan. Allan readied his sword, but instead dove to the side and held his sword to Macalister’s hip, prodding him with it. Macalister stepped backwards to avoid being impaled. After he took a few steps, Allan reeled back and hauled Macalister across the head with the flat end of his blade. Macalister grunted, almost falling over, but maintained his footing. Allan hit him again, this time in the arm. Macalister actually fell over this time! He must not have had his balance yet. He got back up unsteadily. Allan looked down with a grin. Macalister caught on; he was outside of the circle.

            “The first round goes to me!” Allan boasted, thrusting his word into the air.

Macalister and Allan both returned to their sides of the circle.

            “I’ll show you!” Macalister yelled, staying put.

Allan rushed forwards with a grin. Macalister waited until he was about halfway across the circle, then darted forwards himself. This caught Allan off guard, leaving his chest exposed. Macalister threw a solid punch to Allan’s chest plate. The resulting noise was hollow. Allan cried out, the force of the punch had knocked him off his feet!

The others and I erupted in applause and cheers. ‘Boo’s were prominent.

            “Get ‘im!” Walden screamed.

            “You have him right where you want him!” I shouted.

Allan fell to the ground. Macalister walked up to him, picked him up over his head, and threw him out of the circle!

The others and I cheered so loud some of our throats were probably hoarse by now. I could hear some of the other people in the crowd cheering Macalister’s name.

Allan’s landing was punctuated by the metallic clang! Of his armor.

            “That’s one to me!” Macalister triumphantly exclaimed.

            “Very well, again!” Allan shouted, standing up and shaking off the dust from the ground.

Allan must have had considerable pain tolerance, he didn’t show any sign that he was hurt. He walked to his side of the circle and drew his sword once more. Macalister assumed a ready stance. Allan sized him up, looking for a way past his guard. Macalister may not have been bright, but he knew his way around a fist fight, or should I say, ‘through’ a fist fight?

Allan and Macalister were getting closer and closer. The smaller man knew he had to be careful. Macalister had the strength advantage, but Allan had speed on his side. Sure enough, he used it.

Allan faked a blow to the right, his opponent went for it. Allan quickly recovered and slashed Macalister across the chest with his dulled blade. In one continuous motion, he brought his sword up and around, hitting Macalister again. Macalister reeled back to counter attack, but Allan jumped back before he got hit. He dove back into the fray, swinging his blade quickly and precisely, making every shot count. Macalister’s eyes filled with worry as he retreated a few steps, but Allan was unyielding. He kept on him, driving him further and further to the edge of the ring.

A few seconds ago Macalister looked worried. Not anymore. He bent his knees, digging into the ground with his weight. He stopped moving backwards. Over half the crowd cheered wildly, egging him on.

Macalister dug his feet into the ground, and began to block Allan’s continuous barrage! He began to win back some territory. Allan realized what was happening, and retreated back towards his end so he could establish a defensive strategy. Macalister wasted no time, he ran after Allan, completely negating the advantage he hoped to gain by retreating. Allan wound up to attack, Macalister was ready for him. Allan lunged at him. Macalister sidestepped his blade and delivered a jarring backhand to the side of Allan’s head. He dropped his sword, falling to the side and out of the circle.

Almost everyone in the audience cheered for Macalister. The few who ‘boo’ed were drowned out almost entirely.

Macalister threw up his arms in victory, grinning widely, gesturing for more applause. Allan stirred, groaning and slowly standing up. He wordlessly walked back to his end of the circle. His helmet was dented, but it didn’t look like he cared. Macalister took up his starting position.

Allan darted forward almost instantly, catching Macalister off guard. The larger man took up a static defensive position. Allan didn’t stop, he didn’t hesitate, he didn’t falter. He charged Macalister head on. He faked just outside of Macalister’s guard. He went for it, and received two quick jabs to the hip. He retreated a few steps, Allan kept up and attacked three more times, landing three more successful hits. Macalister threw a punch to Allan’s chest plate. Alan stumbled backwards as Macalister advanced. Standing no chance, Allan retreated almost to the edge of his zone. He put up quite a fight, almost gaining back his entire end of the ring, but Macalister refused to give up.

Allan flailed and twisted his sword expertly and, had it been sharp, would have torn his opponent to pieces. However Macalister took the brunt of the relentless barrage, pushing threw and shoving Allan out of the circle.

Almost everyone who was watching clapped and cheered, the audience had grown significantly larger since the duel first started. Almost everyone was cheering for Macalister. He walked over to Allan and offered him a hand up.

            “You’re quite the fighter, Macalister. I have to give you that.” Allan acknowledged.

            “Thank you. You put up a good fight too.” Macalister rumbled back.

            “I’d like to spar again sometime.” Allan offered.

            “Just say when.” His opponent challenged.

The two men shook hands and parted. Macalister stomped over to us.

            “Mac that was amazing!” Walden cackled.

            “Nicely done lad!” Robert praised, clapping him on the shoulder.

            “You really showed him!” I cried, punching Macalister in the shoulder.     

He just smiled in return, satisfied with himself.



© 2016 Ryan Henderson


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Ryan Henderson
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Added on February 22, 2016
Last Updated on February 22, 2016


Author

Ryan Henderson
Ryan Henderson

Cobourg, Ontario, Canada



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I will review your work if you send me a read request, I like to help writers get off of the ground, I will also suggest ideas for your work if needed. Please note that I don't really like poetry... more..

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