Chapter 1: Preparations...
I looked down upon my garrison of Khergits, mercenaries and civilians, who were all hastening to put up defenses. I smelled the air, the ever so persistent smell of sweat, blood, and fire was all anyone smelled. The Vaegirs had breached the first wall, causing men to retreat in shame to the second wall. I stood from my position and walked down to the courtyard, where I could hear the pleads for mercy beyond the wall.
"Lord Khan, they're breaching the next gate!" A soldier frantically yelled before running past me.
I drew my sword and sharpened it, preparing for the last few moments before the initial attack. Men scurried past me and shouted orders, making the courtyard a horrendous mess of shouting and moving. I finished sharpening my sword, walking to the center of the courtyard and seeing Lord Akadan.
"Ah, Lord Khan, it's good to see you." Lord Akadan said to me, his usual expression cheery as ever.
"Likewise, shall we discuss on our way to the planning room?" I asked Lord Akadan.
"We shall, but we shouldn't let Sanjar Khan see us talking, he prefers for us to actually do work with these men." Lord Akadan laughed, his load roar of laughter cheering the men up.
Lord Akadan, on top of being my brother-in-law, was a very interesting fellow. He often lost in tournaments, and even if he did win, he often wasted it on drinks for the whole town to enjoy. Lord Akadan was a cheery fellow, his laughter was the roar of a lion, and he often talked to the other lords in a childish manner.
"Lord Khan, the room is just up ahead isn't it?" Lord Akadan asked, noticing the guard.
"It should be, with that guard standing as if he's fatigued." I replied.
"H-ello..." The guard faintly said as we arrived.
"By Tulga, you need to rest!" Lord Akadan exclaimed, seeing the soldier with his head down, barely able to stand.
The guard sat down in a nearby chair and groaned, his body presumably exerted from continuous watch. Lord Akadan and I opened the door, seeing a multitude of lords.
"Ah here they are, late as usual." Sanjar Khan said, scoffing at the sight of us.
"Gather around, we need to figure out how we're going to hold the invasion." Lord Hugu said in a impatient tone.
We both surrounded ourselves at the table and saw an assortment of several maps, several wooden soldiers, and swords. I looked around and saw all the lords that I knew. Lord Asugan, Lord Brula, and Lord Sebula looked to the maps, attempting to find a way to deliver a message to Lord Tulug, who was currently in the snowy mountains in the far north.
"We should flank their men and strike as they lower their guard!" Lord Kramuk shouted, slamming his fist to the table.
"Are you insane? Our knights make too much noise from their armor, it simply won't work." Lord Alagur countered.
I chuckled, Khergit Knights were nothing compared to the Swadians or the Vaegirs' knights. Khergit Knights needed their horses to function as a unit, and with no horse, a Khergit was just a simple peasant with a strong bow arm.
"Look, let's not get too hasty now, we should have our archers rain arrow upon arrow at the Vaegirs " Lord Akadan said.
"They are the best archers in the world after all." Lord Urubay added.
That did not dispel the fact that Vaegirs often carried shields into battle, or that they often hired Calradian Foot Knights, who were armored from head to toe in steel armor and used heavy axes.
"That seems to be the most favorable strategy, so let's get to work!" Sanjar Khan exclaimed, raising his bow into the air.
One by one, the other lords had raised their bows, and I was no exception. With pride, I raised my bow and Sanjar Khan chanted the words: "Morin, Khan, Khurd."
Chapter 2: Trusting Secrets...
As Lords began to pile out to walk to the courtyard, Sanjar Khan stood in front of the doorway.
"Let's talk for a moment shall we?" He said in a serious tone, closing the door.
"Very well, I'm open to what you have to say." I said, justifying.
Both of us walked to the table, but Sanjar Khan, as old as he was, moved with grace.
"I understand Khudan was given to you by me, as you rightfully took it with command and dedication. However, given the current situation, I cannot have you take territories by yourself. It makes us - especially me - look weak." Sanjar Khan confessed.
I turned red, I knew where this was going. Sanjar Khan was too jealous of any lord who grew too much in power, it would cause a drop in his power, and give the Lords more power, something Sanjar Khan thought was barbaric.
"For the sake of me appealing to the lords, I must warn you this; take anymore settlements without any lord's assistance, and I must declare you a traitor to the Khanate."
"Your reputation is more important than a united Calradia!?"
"Mind who you're talking to, boy! You are NOTHING to ME! You will accept what I have to say, and if you don't, then may the Khanate hunt down every person who bids loyalty to you!" Sanjar Khan shouted back at me, walking out of the room and slamming the door behind him.
I raised my fist and slammed it against the door, I was infuriated. I then began to scream, letting my anger flow out of me. I wanted to help the Khan, and yet he stopped me. I didn't want power or fame, I wanted to help conquer the world. After a few minutes of pure anger, I calmed down, finally ready to rejoin the other lords. I opened the door and poked my head out, noticing an exhausted guard in front of the door, eavesdropping.
"Oh! My lord, I didn't think you would've come out yet."
"It's fine, just keep it to yourself."
I stopped and turned around.
"In fact, come with us." I then said.
"Gladly my lord. No offence to the Khan, but he's too worried of his own well-being." The guard admitted.
The both of us walked down the long corridor, finally reaching the courtyard.
"There he is! Where have you been?" Lord Imirza asked.
"Walking." I jokingly answered.
"Lord Khan, I would like to introduce you to Lord Belir, the current occupant of Curaw." Lord Imirza then informed me.
"Hello there, I have heard many good things about you." Lord Belir said, greeting me.
Lord Belir was a famous man of the Khanate. It's said that he faced over a thousand sea raiders with only a hundred Khergit horsemen. Sanjar Khan and lord Belir were supposedly brothers, making Lord Belir's reputation even more famous than the other lords.
"Like you taking Khudan with only fifty troops while the garrison had two hundred. Or that you've never had a man killed in your warband. Very hard to do, very impressive."
"Thank you Lord Belir, your accomplishments are worthy as well."
Lord Belir smiled and noticed his brother, who was talking to Lord Alagur.
"Lor-" A Khergit Ranger said before falling down in front of Sanjar Khan with an arrow in his back.
A sudden thud at the gate alerted all of us.
It was time.
Chapter 3: Betrayed
What happened next was utter chaos. In a moments notice, the gate had been smashed down, its remains flung in every direction. Vaegir and mercenary alike ran forward, taking the Khergit Knights by surprise. Blood and gore splattered everywhere, archers fled to high ground as arrows began to rain down. I was stuck in the middle, hitting a Calradian Foot Knight to no avail. The knight pushed me down the floor, prepping for the final slash.
"Gah!" The Knight said as he looked down, an arrow in his thigh and another struck him in his face. The Knight fell down the floor, the echo of the metal ringing in my ears. I turned my attention to Lord Akadan, who was fighting over an axe by a Calradian Foot Knight. The knight gasped in horror as Lord Imirza stuck him the back, releasing his grip on the axe.
"We need to move back!" Lord Urubay yelled while fighting a Vaegir soldier.
"Lords, move back to the castle!" Sanjar Khan shouted.
I ran towards Sanjar khan, who was near the castle entrance when a stray sword hit him in the chest.
"Khan!" I yelled before soldiers closed the path to him.
"Lord..." Sanjar Khan said, standing up before being struck with an axe.
I pushed the soldiers out of my way to see Lord Akadan with the blood stained axe.
I froze in horror. I thought to myself, Lord Akadan had nothing to hate about Sanjar Khan did he? I inspected the axe then his face full of anger. Lord Akadan was jealous of Sanjar Khan's power, but he wasn't the type to just murder him him in cold blood.
"It's not what it looks like!" lord Akadan shouted, dropping the axe and darted for the castle gates.
"It looks like you just murdered the Khan!"
"Then it's exactly what it looks like!"
I caught up to him, before he elbowed me in the face, gushing blood from my nose. Lord Akadan, along with the other lords, had reached the castle. The gates closed as Lord Akadan reached them, smirking at me.
I yelled in anger, I pulled my sword and began to rapidly stab at the gate but to no avail. I felt a sting at my side when I turned around to see a Vaegir stabbing my armor. He jumped back, but not quickly enough for me to cut his sword arm. He screamed in pain before an arrow struck him in his heart, shutting him up.
I panted as I stuck once more, finally giving up. As I took my final blow to the gate's lock, it gave way, falling to the ground. I ran inside and closed the gate, only to see a pitch dark corridor. I ran down the hallway see a single flame of fire, slowly dying out. In front of it was Lord Akadan, whose smile was illuminated by the single flame, his smile was no longer the cheery smile I knew; it belonged to a madman. A madman who killed the very person he swore to protect.
Chapter 4: Deceit, Hatred, and Anger
"You do have to understand that I did it for you." Lord Akadan said.
"You did it for your own personal gain."
"No. Much more than that, but I would prefer to not discuss it."
I unsheathed my sword and pointed it at him.
"I, Gangoneus Khan, will bring justice for the Khanate and all that it stands for."
"Good luck." Lord Akadan said, chuckling.
He pulled out his great sword and took the first swing. The swing took me by surprise and flicked the sword out of my hands onto the floor.
"Surrender while you can."
I picked up my sword, narrowly dodging another swing. I pushed my sword at Akadan, pushing him back and giving me time to grab a stray shield on the floor.
"I don't want to fight you!"
"But I do."
Lord Akadan took one heavy swing and stuck it into my shield, picking me up as he tried to release the shield from his sword. I stabbed my sword at his arm, causing him to grunt in pain.
"If you won't surrender, I will have to take the initiative!"
I swung my sword at his chest, his armor deflecting the blow. He swung his sword at the wall, causing the shield to separate from the sword and send me flying to the wall. As I hit the stone, he inched near me, his sword raised.
"Before I die, tell me why you killed him!"
"Alright damn it! He stripped me of everything I loved! My home, my family, and my dignity. He deserved to die!" He yelled as he swung his sword down. I braced for the impact, but it never came. He had swung to the cobbled floor next to me, dropping the sword and fell on his knees.
"I don't know what went wrong. I did his bidding and yet he betrayed me." Lord Akadan said as he felt the swords razor sharp edge.
I inched near him, still cautious of the blade near him.
"I'm not going to kill my family."
Lord Akadan reached for the great sword and smiled at me as he hit my legs, causing me to fall to the floor in excruciating pain.
"You idiot. Did you really think you knew the real me? The real me that I hid from you? You're a fool to believe that I could stoop to such a level like you." Lord Akadan yelled, stabbing my legs.
I gasped for air as the blood seeped from my legs.
"I did it for me. I did it so that I could redeem myself, and the only way to do that was to kill him."
I stood up despite the pain and raised my sword and stuck it inside his chest, his armor bending.
"You can't redeem what you already lost." I said as I pushed him off of my sword and struck him again, keeping it inside him.
"You finally learned the true meaning of killing. I'm proud of you..." Lord Akadan muttered.
His breaths slowed down and I found myself drenched in his blood. What had I done? I jumped back from his corpse, and stared at him, blood dripping from his mouth. I just killed a man who I knew for three years, and his true nature was never exposed to me. I looked up to see lord Belir staring at me.
More will be coming soon, don't you worry...