The Last Knight (Part 1)
By Gardain Maya
“Gardain? The egg?”
The fighter known as Gardain, looked to the elderly Mage and back to the egg. The smoldering corpse of the monster dominated the space between them, its red eyes a slowly dying fire. It seemed that no one else had heard its last request, that no one else knew his predicament. He could simply walk away and none would be the wiser that he had broken an oath.
No. That wasn’t true. I would know.
Gardain wasn’t like the Mage who could alter his mind through spells, the Rogue who could drink her troubles away or the Priest who could beg forgiveness of the Great One. He was bound solely to honor. An oath was an oath. Knight's kept their word.
But … his oaths now conflicted. He needed time to think. There had to be some way out of this.
“Go on ahead,” Gardain stalled. “I’ll take care of it.”
The Mage hummed, his unruly gray beard swaying in the ocean breeze. “How long will you be? According to the map, there is an abandoned town ahead. That is where we will make camp. We can wait there for you there.”
“What’s gotten into him?” the Rogue asked, sauntering up to the Mage’s side. “Just an egg.” She took the crossbow from her shoulder and aimed it at the item.
Instinctively, Gardain positioned himself before the egg. “I said I’ll take care of it.”
The woman laughed. “Are you protecting it? How cute.”
“What of your oath, Knight?” the Mage asked. “You swore to rid the earth of these evil creatures.” Gardain avoided the question. “I … just need time. I’ll catch up.”
The Rogue rolled her blue eyes and turned away. “You Knights are so full of yourselves.” She took the Mage by the wrist and pulled him away. “Let’s go, Arnold. We’ll fetch Jason from his prayer circle and be on our way. If Gardain can’t destroy an egg to uphold an oath, he’s worthless.”
The knight watched the pair walk to the shoreline and pull the priest from his restorative prayers by the dark water. Sighing, he slid down beside the egg and let his sword fall to the ground.
“She’s right,” Gardain said to the dead beast. “I’ve rendered myself useless. How am I supposed to destroy evil and protect the egg at the same time?”
It was the worst fate a Knight could suffer. He had become a contradiction.
Sighing, Gardain examined the scene before him. Hundreds of corpses were spread across the black beach, dozens slain by his own hand. Every day, they drew nearer and nearer to their destination, to the portal the demonic creatures used to enter the world. The party that managed to seal the breach would be known throughout the land, eternally revered, perhaps immortalized.
“What am I supposed to do…”
The Knight came to sometime later, realizing he had fallen asleep. Night had arrived. His muscles ached from the lengthy battle. He wondered if the others would actually leave him behind.
It was only as the egg shook violently that he realized what had roused him from his slumber.
Gardain stumbled backwards as the egg began to crack. He reached for his sword and held it protectively in front of him, only to realize he could not attack whatever emerged without breaking his oath.
Frozen, he watched as the dark, scaly creature climbed from the egg and emitted a high-pitched whine. It crawled towards him uncertainly, eventually wrapping itself around his leg. Still in shock, the knight met the creature’s emerald eyes.
It certainly didn’t seem evil.
Wait … that’s it!