“The sword will only light for the true leader of our people,” the legionnaire called.
“As you can all see,” General Ryba continued, “Niko Morozov is not worthy to take his father’s place!”
Alexi, hidden in the rocks amongst the cliffs above the troop, looked on. Her brother had forbidden her to come. He hadn’t wanted her to see him disgraced. He underestimated her. Family was there for each other. Through thick and thin. If her brother was going to be backed into a corner she would be there with him. After all, once they were done with him they would be after her soon enough. No honor amongst killers.
As the arm officials circled Niko they drew their weapons. Niko’s hand tightened around the sword. The sword of the king. He refused to raise it against them. He was too gentle a man. Too good. Too just for the traitorous lot. He was unwilling to risk hurting those who were innocent in attempt to stop the renegades.
Luckily for her brother, she wasn’t. She’d aim to maim, not kill, of course, but no one was going to be hurting her family. She drew the dagger from her boot and jumped down. She had timed her jump just right. The brief moment between her brother taking a step back from the circling mob and the moment they would fill in. There she landed, between her brother and the mob.
“Ho ho, who is this?” General Ryba chortled to the others. “A little girl fighting her wee little brother’s battles?”
“Voveo. In defense of the king,” she said as she sliced her forearm, “I lay my life.”
That shut the general up. A blood oath wasn’t something to be sneered at. Even if made by a lowly female.
“Well, Alexi, we had something else in mind for you,” General Capek insisted. “But I suppose three dead Morozov tragically killed by assassins will move the country just as well as one king. Better even. The entire royal family, decimated.”
“Hold your tongue snake. Action over words. Either attack or let us go.”
“To the point, per usual. I always liked that about you. Pity.”
With a nod the two generals and five captains pressed forward. The rest of the arm leaders looked on, unsure what to do. They couldn’t hear what was said amongst the group. The sword wasn’t lit, so they couldn’t recognize Niko has the ruler. The couldn’t defy orders and come to his aid. Come to either of their aid. Unfortunately, the siblings knew just that.
Ryba lunged towards Alexi, she parried, sliced his back and prepared for the next advance. Ryba was a worthless little worm, that she knew. One hit and he would stay down. The others would be harder, they were actual fighters. Niko was grudgingly defending himself. Alexi was too busy to keep tabs on him much. She was picking up random swords as they fell, whenever she found herself needing one. While she struck down the fourth attacker another one surprised her from behind. With a great swing he knocked her to the ground with the flat side of the blade.
From the ground she looked up. Niko had dropped the King’s sword in favor of two shorter swords. He had always preferred close proximity fighting. He thought that if he had to fight someone, it needed to be where they would have a nice close chance. It was the right thing to do. She didn’t have the luxury of such thoughts. Grabbing yet another abandoned weapon, she rose. Once she was to her feet everyone froze.
A light flared up beside her. Confused she looked about. The King’s sword was lit. And that was the weapon she had just grabbed. Pointing it ahead of her she aimed it towards the generals in particular.
“Stand down,” she all but growled.
“They will never follow a woman,” Ryba hissed, gesturing to the army.
Niko smirked from behind his sister, “Perhaps you should look at your soldiers before you speak for them.”
They all gave their attention to the army. Each and every soldier had dropped. As if on cue they all took out their blades and drew it across their forearms. Kneeling before their new leader as one they called out the vow, “Voveo.”
After all, everyone knew the sword would only light for the true leader.
Found via Pinterest.
Prompt: What is the story behind this photo