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SkySong278

A Knight's Story

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Alex led Spot in the correct direction after she felt Zane's horse nudge him where he was supposed to go before hearing everything that the former said to Cody after the latter asked his question. She thought that he was a very good liar and was glad that he wouldn't tell on her. She then was tempted to giggle when she heard what Zane said in regards to the letter her brother sent to Cody but since that would sound too girly for a boy, she tried to chuckle instead and was mostly successful. She just hoped that it didn't sound weird. At the mention of the letter she reluctantly got out the letter from her dad and read it, nearly falling off of Spot when she saw the words on the piece of paper. It read:

 

Dear Alexandra,

 

I know the stunt you and your brother pulled to try to get out of your punishments because I got letters from both the convent and castle saying that my "daughter" Avery and my "son" Alex are learning mannners and training to be a knight. I'm disappointed that you two would go to such lengths to disobey me and will be at the castle to discuss it further with the two of you at the ball that will be in a few weeks. I have half a mind to drag you both back home but won't because I'd like to see what you have learned. Although I am disappointed, I'm glad that you both are learning to be more independent.

 

I'll see you both soon.

 

Dad

 

After she read a bit more of the letter to find that although he was still disappointed in them going the opposite direction of what he told them to do, she visibly relaxed and then put the letter back in her bag after she had read the rest of it. She then had Spot go into a slightly faster trot due to her being a bit concerned for her brother but tried not to let her emotions get the best of her.

 

"Oh okay," Cody said in reply to Zane's explanation he heard the rest of what his friend said. He blushed a dark red and was just about to hit him but refrained from doing so when he heard what he said to his horse Toro. He glared a bit at him before taking out his letter from Avery and reading it. "It says that she and a few other girls at the convent are going to a house nearby to start training for events such as balls where they would have to learn how to entertain the noble Lords and high society folk better with on hand training and that it would also take them two days to arrive," he said after skimming it to try to get the gist of her letter before putting it away in his bag again. "I guess they had run into the trolls about halfway through the trip when they got into the mountains."

Edited by SkySong278

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"I'm shocked that you aren't all that worried. I thought you'd race ahead to be the knight in shinning armor to save the damsel in distress. If we alternate between running and walking and eat on the road we should reach the caves an three hours before sundown. That should give us the element of surprise and time to figure out where they are before they wake up fully. those nuns are strict ladies, they most likely have them cleaning their caves by now." He chuckled lightly and eased Toro into a trot.

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"Of course I'm worried and of course I want to do that, too but I'm going to keep my emotions under control before I do something I might regret later. Like make a rookie mistake or get myself or the girls killed which will be really bad. That sounds like a good idea and maybe Alex has some ideas of what we can do once we're inside the caves," Cody said in reply before chuckling himself when he heard the last statement that Zane said and then had Chestnut go a bit faster in pace so that he could match Toro and Zane's pace. He had seen him visibly relax earlier and wondered if it had something to do with him reading his father's letter but didn't want to ask because it wasn't any of his business.

Edited by Dragonpelt

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Zane saw that too and thought the letter had something in it that eased her worries for now. "Yes, I did name my horse bull. When I got him, I was supposed to train him. One day I tried to put on a red blanket on his back, and he charged at it like I was a matrador. The name kinda stuck after that. " He explained. "He only lets me ride him if I'm wearing red, and thus.. the red armor. He's a strange horse, but he is well trained. Got me through a lot of dangerous spots he did. A pain to keep him clean though, father insisted on a white stallion, I wanted a pretty painted mare with a spring in her step." He changed his voice. "Real knights don't ride mares, they are for the women who can't handle a man's horse. With your looks riding on a dark horse would imply that you are a knight of wicked intentions, so you must ride on a white one, no exceptions! And if I hear you bought any other horse, I'll give you ten lashes and you'll sleep in the barn for a week!" He snorted. "Can your dad adopt me Cory? I like your dad way better then mine. At least he doesn't push you so hard you limp for a week or two because he dislocated your hip then threatened you to walk on it so you'd know how real pain of battle is. Then pack two sacks of flower on your waist and tell you to take five laps around the moat." He said darkly.

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Alex and Cody listened to Zane's story about how Toro got his name although the latter knew already when the former didn't. Alex thought it was very interesting and she let out a "Ah okay" because she had been wondering why he was called that but hadn't asked. She was going to ask later but the explanation now saved her from doing that.

 

"Well he already treats you as another son so I guess it wouldn't hurt to ask but then if your dad finds out that mine adopted you he might get furious and ask why in a not-so-nice manner," Cody said in reply to his friend's question after listening to the rest of what he said after it.

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Zane laughed, but the sound was dark and held no warmth. "Not if he disowns me first. I have a feeling he will soon enough. " He stated.

 

The sun rose to high noon and he slowed giving them both something to eat, not eating himself. "We're nearly there. Cody, you know these hills better than I. You take point. Alex and I will watch your six." He said and dropped back to Alex. He looked over at her softly. "Everything okay with your dad?" He asked softly so Cody wouldn't hear. "I know he might be mad with that trickery... but you relaxed so he can't be all that mad... He must be a good father... I mean.. He did raise one hell of a fighter. He's probably impressed. And if he isn't, he most certainly will be when you display your skills at the ball. It'll be tournament style brackets. No doubt you and I would be paired together, so I want you to really show off your swordsman ship. No holding back. Deal?"

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"Okay then I'll send a letter to my dad and ask if he can do that," Cody said in reply to what Zane said after he laughed a bit darkly and before he and Alex were given some food to eat when it came to be high noon. He ate the food he was given and Alex did the same before the former was told to go on ahead and take point and Zane fell back to be with Alex.

 

Alex gave him the letter without a word when he brought up her dad as well as the trickery she and Avery had done so that he could understand what she had tried to tell him earlier regarding there being a way to tell the difference between them. She then listened to everything else that he said and asked regarding the ball and tournament-like brackets before saying in reply, "Deal."

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Zane read the letter. "Wait.. broth-......" He looked at Cody's back,, then at Alex, and back at Cody struggled to hold in a laugh. So that pretty maiden that Cody was so infatuated with was a guy? Oh the look on his face when the love sick lad found out.

 

 

He handed the letter back and rearranged his emotions, preparing for battle as by the afternoon, they reached the caves. Peeking into each one until they found a broken rosery and torn fabric, and kicked off slippers disappearing into the depths. "This one. Draw swords, keep close. Tether your horses to mine. He'll lead them to me when I whistle for them. " He whispers drawing his weapon and holding it at the ready slipping into the dark of the cave holding a single candle. The girl's luggage has obviously been rummaged through, leaving a clear way to the captives. Zane, being the gentleman he was, gathered the things and shut them in suitcases tieing a strong rope around each bundle so the ladies things wouldn't be lost forever. The jewels, he placed in a pouch, and the ribbons he tied together.

 

Some of these things held value, whether cost or sentimental, to each lady and he didn't want them to be devastated at losing their possessions.

 

 

 

In a wide cavern lit only by the dieing embers of a fire, Avery sat with his hands bound along with three nuns and fifteen girls. All their dresses were soiled and his own was torn in places. He lost his slippers, and his feet where bloodied from trying to click in a massive rock blocking their only exit. Tears streaked the girl's painted faces as well as his. Although bruised, battered, clothes torn apart and hair in a mess, he still looks like a woman. He struggled to get up his piles of letters he had tucked in his bodice fell out. Ones from Cody tied neatly in a scarlet ribbon, he lost the letters from Alex somewhere in the tunnels, they were tied together by a violet string. Among those, one from his father who's words made his blood run cold. Alex, father... He was determined to see them again as he pressed himself to the stone and pushed against it.

 

"It's no use! We're going to die here!" Wailed a girl.

"Hush! " He whispers. "You'll wake them. I'm sure my brother and Cody are on their way. They're knights, they'll save us... have faith..." Avery tried to sooth the girl.

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Alex just nodded when she heard what Zane started to say about Avery before following behind him towards the caves that they had come across. Both she and Cody saw the clothes and suitcases strewn everywhere in front of one particular cave and as Zane picked up and packed the clothes back in some suitcases, they got to work on tying their horses to Toro like the former told them to before doing what he had told them to earlier which was to keep their swords out and close. As Cody helped Zane pick up a few other things that the other missed, Alex looked cautiously around the cave to see if she could find anything as well. A bit further into the cave, she found the letters from her to Avery tied together in a violet ribbon in front of a really big rock. She picked up the bundle before kneeling in front of the boulder and asking against it, "Avery?" She saw a small space that wasn't covered by the rock and directed her question towards that.

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"A-Alex?" He said softly through the crack. "I knew it, I knew you'd come! They plan to do things to some girls, the fighters, and eat the weak ones." His voice shuddered. "I tried to help them. I'm not strong like you. Is Cody with you? We need all the help we can get to move this rock... " He sobbed.

 

 

Zane moved the trunks to the horses and went deeper into the cave to locate the ladies' horses. He found them, but they were surrounded by trolls. Getting the ladies out without them will be difficult. They may not escape without them having some fighting.

Edited by AroaraAngelwolf

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"Of course I would. You're my sibling and I care a lot about you. I wouldn't leave you behind," Alex said in reply before hearing the rest of what he said. "You are strong Ave just a different kind of strong than me and that is the kind that makes you care for your friends and other people you care about," she said and then a few minutes later said in reply to the question that was asked of her, "Yes he's nearby and I'll get him and Zane to help me move this boulder out of the way."

 

She then left the boulder temporarily and went over to where Cody was and asked him to help her move the boulder out of the way because the girls and nuns were on the other side of it. He nodded and then they got to work in trying to move it out of the way.

Edited by SkySong278

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Avery helped and Zane saw what they were doing and pushed with them. The stone moved with a low rumble and a space big enough for the girls to slip through soon enough. A couple more pushes and the first girl slipped through. Zane directed them to wait by the horses and be quite after cutting their hands free. The nuns came through after that, then Avery. He still had Cody's letters in his tied hands and was crying fresh tears, of joy again.

 

"Alex... I thought I'd never see you again.." He said leaning against her. "I'll help you get the horses. " He whispers .

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Alex brought the girls and nuns over to where Toro, Chestnut, and Spot were outside the caves before going back into the main one where Cody and Zane still were before seeing that Avery had come out from behind the boulder. She hugged him before she cut the rope that held his hands captive and also before she heard what he said. "I'm glad you're safe," she said before nodding when she heard him say that he'd help her free the horses and then gave him the letters from her that were tied together with a violet ribbon that he had dropped and then quietly led him over to where his and the other girl's horses were. She started to get to work on bringing them out from being in the middle of the sleeping trolls and Cody helped. He had heard and seen what they were trying to do and wanted to help so that the process would be quicker and they could get out of there faster before they woke up preferably.

Edited by Dragonpelt

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Avery's mare whinnied when he started leading. He stopped as a troll shifted in his sleep then continued to head out. Zane helped the ladies mount then got on. "Hurry, before they wake. "He headed out heading to the dutchess' home.

 

"I'm tired..." one of the girls wined when a hour passed of hard riding. "We're not stopping until it's safe.." Zane growls out for the fourth time.

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((I apologize for the very late response in here. I've been cleaning my room and finishing up the process of adopting a cat))

 

Alex followed at the very end of the line to keep watch for anymore trolls or some other threat that might make themselves known to keep them from getting to their location while Cody stayed with Avery and a few other ladies. Both Alex and Cody moaned quietly when they heard one of the girls whine again after an hour about being tired before the latter turned to Avery and asked, "Are you okay? I realize that this question is a bit late but I didn't get a chance to ask you while we were still in the cave."

 

Alex smiled when she saw the exchange before going on high alert when she heard a fairly small group of horses coming towards them. She unsheathed her sword from its sheathe that she kept on her hip and held it close to her. She wasn't sure if they were bandits or another group of knights from either their castle or another one that also happened to be on a quest or mission and also just happened to be going in the same direction as their litttle group.

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Avery's eyes were swollen from crying and his dress was torn at his neck, so he had to hold it up or else it'll become obvious that 'she' was lacking a couple of things that a sixteen year old should have by now. "I'll be okay.... I didn't care for this dress.... I'm alive and you and Alex came to get me. And I get to talk to you again, although I'm certainly not presentable at the moment, and probably smell worse then a back end of a donkey. I don't like being dirty. And... I got a letter from my dad.... he's not to happy with me. He said he'd talk to me at the ball... but I think I know what he would say already. I'm a disappointment to him. " He sniffed and started crying again. "He'd probably take me back home or lock me away. N-nobody understands that I like being like this. Sometimes I feel like I have a soul of one thing and a body of another... I want to be a scribe and learn everything I can about the world..... " He whimpers and then shut his mouth, realising he had come dangerously close to blurting out his secret. At that time Zane and Alex drew their swords.

 

 

 

 

"Oh thank goodness! over-!" One of the ladies nearly shouted before Zane slapped his hand over her mouth. "Trolls don't ride horses but bandits do. There's three knights guarding a half dozen pretty virgin women, you draw their attention and you'll wish for the trolls to eat you when they are through with you." Zane hissed his eyes almost a blazing red. He removed his hand and all the girls went eerily quiet.

 

Zane had Cody take point and dropped back to Alex. "Out of the frying pan and into the fire it seems. " He muttered looking behind him constantly.

 

 

 

((Nah, it's fine! What kind of kitty?))

Edited by AroaraAngelwolf

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((okay and she's a tuxedo/black and white smile.gif. she's also 8 months old and really sweet. I don't have her yet at my house but will on Saturday))

 

"Yes I guess so," Alex muttered back before she had her attention go to the cliffs above them in case there might be more that had bows and arrows to shoot at them with and after she heard what Zane said to one of the girls who almost shouted. She wanted to ask him something but figured that it could wait until they got the girls and her brother to the duchess' house and them out of danger.

 

Cody listened to everything that Avery said and was a bit surprised to hear that she wanted to be a scribe. "That's a very noble profession and I'm sure your dad isn't that disappointed in you. Alex got a letter too from your dad but he seemed to be a bit relieved at what he read. You also still look pretty to me and I'm sure that once we reach the house, you can take a bath and change into a much cleaner dress and maybe it'll even be your favorite color to make you feel better," he said in reply to everything that she said before he noticed that Alex and Zane had their swords out. He nodded when he was told to take point and did so, having his attention be all around them as well as on the girls.

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((Awww! Well have fun with that new kitten! They grow fast though... xd.png I'm picking knights because I want to know what Alex's question is and do something else. ))

 

 

Another group of knights rode up. They wore the crest of the dutchess and escorted them safely to the dutchess' mansion. They reached the place by morning and the plump pleasant woman herself met the girls in the courtyard, ushering them inside to take baths that she had prepared for them but due to the lack of tubs, the girls would have to double up. She also offered the knights baths and a hearty breakfast before they travel back. As the rest of the girls went up and organized their things Avery took his horse to the stables and said he'd do a wash down with a wet cloth and oils instead of a proper bath, wanting to hide a hideous birthmark from the other girls. He brushed down his horse before kneeling in the hay and starting to cry again.

 

 

Zane turned down the bath for himself, although he said he wanted to ensure the girls are alright and are very tired of lack of sleep so they'll stay the night and leave tomorrow at noon. He then went and spoke to one of the knights who brought them back thanking him for the escort.

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((I will on Saturday when I get her and thanks happy.gif. I'll keep that in mind and I'm curious as to what you have planned. I'll have her ask him the question soon))

 

Alex sighed in relief when she saw that the riders were just knights of the duchess that they were bringing the girls and her brother to, putting her sword away soon after they took the lead. She also turned down a bath at the start saying that she'd wait until the girls were done with their baths because they were more of a priority than she was. She went to the stables to check on the horses, feeding carrots to both Spot and Toro because she figured that they were both hungry before she brushed the former down so as to give him a bit of attention.

 

Cody echoed Alex about taking a bath later and also went to the stables but just to think about a few things, not knowing that both Avery and Alex were there. He had also been relieved to see that what had spooked his friends earlier on their journey to the duchess' house were just knights. Like them, he thought that they might have been bandits or something else equally as serious as bandits. When he got to the stables, he saw Alex brushing Spot and then Avery crying while kneeling in the hay in front of her horse. He went over to her quickly and asked with concern as he knelt beside her, "What's wrong?"

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When finished with the knight, Zane called Alex over to speak with her. Once his sister was out of the stables Avery turned to Cody. "Your words flatter me, but they hold no comfort. My father is proud of Alex. He's always has been, but.... I am a abomination... a... I'm not a woman Cody. " he looked at the ground. "At least in body I am not. Father was going to send me and Alex to the knights training, but I forged a letter and went to the convent. It was risky, but.... I managed to hide myself." He sobbed. "I just couldn't lie to you anymore about this, you're too kind and such a gentleman. Your words make me feel like an actual lady. B-but I don't want you to get into trouble, not when dad might expose me!" He sniffed and covered his face crying.

 

 

Zane walked over to a quiet corner of the courtyard. "I talked to the captain and he said there's jousting before the sword fights and the ball. It's harder then it looks, and men's armor will not fit you properly, which can lead to you getting seriously hurt or possibly killed. I have it set up so it's only the experienced knights instead of all of us. I'd probably have to compete anyway because of my dad, but at least you and the others won't have to deal with bruised or broken ribs."

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Alex gave Spot one last brushing stroke and pat before going over to where Zane was after he called her over. She listened to everything that he said before nodding in understanding and then said verbally in reply, "I understand. I'll still watch and cheer you on, though." She then looked at the ground for a few minutes as she tried to word the question that she wanted to ask him in her head before looking back up at him again with light pink blushing cheeks just before she asked, "Would you like to dance with me at the ball? I realize that the boy usually asks the girl this but I thought I would take the initiative and ask first." She then added quickly a few minutes later, "I also understand if you've already been asked or asked someone else to dance with you and if that's the case then I won't get in your way."

 

Cody listened to everything that Avery said, feeling surprised yet again when he heard that she wasn't actually a "she" but a "he" instead. When he (Avery) started to cry again, he (Cody) went over to him and wrapped his arms gently around his waist so that he could cry on his shoulder if he needed to. "I'm sure your dad won't expose you and you should probably talk to Alex about the letter. He got one, too and can probably help give you more comfort than I can since he's your sibling," Cody said after a few minutes while now also gently rubbing his back.

Edited by SkySong278

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Zane spoke without hesitation. "I would love to.." then he flushed. "Ah.. um.. what I mean was, I would like to. I usually dance with my mother so it'll be a nice change. And I'm sure she'd like to see me actually dancing with a lady other than her..." he fiddled with his fingers nervously.

 

 

 

 

Avery was surprised Cody held him in such a way after revealing his secret to the knight. "Y-you're right. I should talk to Alex about my letter. I'm just so nervous, and I don't want to be ridiculed by everyone there. I'd even understand if you don't want to go with me because of this. I can't help it. It makes me feel comfortable with myself..." He leaned against the knight, tears slowly stopping as he was held by Cody.

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"I've only danced with my dad when he was teaching me how to do that but no one else so I understand being nervous," Alex said in reply after she heard everything that he said. "I decided that I'm going to take first watch tonight to make sure that no trolls or bandits attack here overnight. I know that the duchess' knights are here to do that but it's better to have one more just in case even if I'm in training," she said after a few minutes of silence passed between them. She had just finished saying what she did when the duchess came and told her that all of the girls had taken baths and the bathrooms were free if she wished to take a bath then. She nodded in thanks to her before smiling a bit shyly at Zane and then heading inside afterward to take a bath. After she had bathed, she put on some clean clothes, and then headed back outside but to the side yard so that she could practice the moves that Zane had taught her to pass the time.

 

"Aside from me, Alex, and your dad I don't think anyone else knows what you really are so you don't have to be worried about being ridiculed at the ball. Of course I'm still going to go to it with you. How else am I going to give you the dresses I bought for you?" Cody said and asked in reply to everything that Avery said and then pulled back a bit from the hug to look into his eyes when he heard him stop crying. "Feel better?"

Edited by Dragonpelt

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Zane smiled and nodded. "I'll take the shift after you, come wake me at the switch okay? " He asked and left to take a bath, change and ate a meal before hitting the bed and was out like a light.

 

 

 

Avery blushed at his comments. He looked back at Cody and nodded sniffing. "Y-yes.. I'm fine now... I need that bath though. I.. I can't wait to wear that dress you got me. " he stood up and wrapped the horse blanket around him rubbing his eyes once more. "Thank you Cody... for not laughing and comforting me..." he said shyly.

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Alex had nodded in reply to what Zane asked before she had gone inside to bathe and get dressed in clean clothes. She now was walking around the house to see what all was there out of curiosity and to also get used to that perimeter area so that she could walk it later when the sun went down. When the sun was setting over the horizon, she took up a position on a rock in the backyard to start there and then she would walk around the small building to spend a bit of time on each of the sides and the front of it to make sure that they wouldn't get surrounded and ambushed.

 

"I'm glad and you're welcome. I also got you three or four dresses and not just one," Cody said in reply with a smile on his face to everything that Avery said before heading inside to start getting ready for bed. He would take a bath first before he actually went to bed but he wanted to get ready for that first so that there wouldn't be too much he still had to do to prepare to be out for a few hours.

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