A quest of Heroes - S01 E37

1 month ago

Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 37

Thor opened his eyes slowly, dizzy at first, trying to figure out where he was. He was lying on straw, and for a moment wondered if he was back in the barracks. He propped himself up on one elbow, on alert, looking for the others.

He was somewhere else. From the looks of it, he was in a very elaborate stone room. It looked as if he were in a castle. A royal castle.

Before he could figure it all out, a large, oak door swung open and in strutted Reece. In the distance, Thor could hear the muted noise of a crowd.

“Finally, he lives,” Reece announced with a smile, as he rushed forward, grabbed Thor’s hand, and pulled him to his feet.

Thor raised a hand to his head, trying to slow his terrible headache from rising too fast.

“Come on, let’s go, everyone’s waiting for you,” he urged, yanking Thor.

“Wait a minute, please,” Thor said, trying to collect himself. “Where am I? What happened?”

“We’re back in King’s Court—and you are about to be celebrated as the hero of the day!” Reece said merrily, as they headed for the door.

“Hero? What do you mean? And…how did I get here?” he asked, trying to remember.

“That beast knocked you out. You’ve been out for quite a while. We had to carry you back across the Canyon bridge. Quite dramatic. Not exactly how I expected you to return to the other side!” he said with a laugh.

They walked out into the corridors of the castle, and as they went, Thor could see all sorts of people—women, men, squires, guards, knights—staring at him, as if they had been waiting for him to wake. He also saw something new in their eyes, something like respect. It was the first time he had seen it. Up until now, most everyone had looked at him with something like disdain—now they looked at him as if he were one of them.

“What exactly happened?” Thor racked his brain, trying to recall.

“Don’t you remember any of it?” Reece asked.

Thor tried to think.

“I remember running into the wood. Fighting with that beast. And then…” He drew a blank.

“You saved Elden’s life,” Reece said. “You ran fearlessly into the wood, on your own. I don’t know why you wasted energy on saving that prig’s life. But you did. The King is very, very pleased with you. Not because he cares about Elden. But he cares very much about bravery. He loves to celebrate. It’s important to him, to celebrate stories like this, to inspire the others. And it reflects well on the King, and on the Legion. He wants to celebrate. You’re here because he’s going to reward you.”

“Reward me?” Thor asked, dumbfounded. “But I didn’t do anything!”

“You saved Elden’s life.”“I only reacted. I only did what came naturally.”

“And that’s exactly why the King wants to reward you.”

Thor felt embarrassed. He didn’t think his actions deserved rewarding. After all, if it hadn’t been for Erec, Thor would be dead right now. Thor thought about it, and his heart filled with gratitude for Erec, once again. He hoped that one day he could repay him.

“But what about our patrol duty?” Thor asked. “We didn’t finish it.”

Reece put a reassuring hand on his shoulder.

“Friend, you saved a boy’s life. A member of the Legion. That’s more important than our patrol.” Reece laughed. “So much for an uneventful first patrol!” he added.

At the end of yet another corridor, two guards opened a door for them, and Thor blinked and found himself in the royal chamber. There must have been a hundred knights standing about the room, with its soaring cathedral ceilings, stained glass, and weapons and suits of armor hung everywhere on the walls like trophies. The Hall of Arms. It was the place where all the greatest warriors met, all the men of the Silver. Thor’s heart raced as he surveyed the walls, all the famous weaponry, the armor of heroic and legendary knights. Thor had heard rumors of this place his entire life. It had been his dream to see it for himself one day. Normally no squires were allowed here—no one but the Silver.

Even more surprising, as he entered, real knights turned and looked at him—him—from all sides. And they wore looks of admiration. Thor had never seen so many knights in one room, and had never felt so accepted. It was like walking into a dream. Especially since just moments before, he had been fast asleep.

Reece must have noticed Thor’s dumbfounded face.

“The finest of the Silver have gathered here to honor you.”

Thor felt himself well with pride and disbelief. “Honor me? But I’ve done nothing.”

“Wrong,” came a voice.

Thor turned and felt a heavy hand on his shoulder. It was Erec, grinning down.

“You have displayed bravery and honor and courage, beyond what was expected of you. You nearly gave up your life to save one of your brethren. That is what we look for in the Legion, and this is what we look for in the Silver.”

“You saved my life,” Thor said to Erec. “If it weren’t for you, that beast would have killed me. I don’t know how to thank you.”

Erec grinned down.

“You already have,” he answered. “Don’t you remember the joust? I believe we are even.”

Thor marched down the walkway toward King MacGil’s throne, at the far end of the hall, Reece on one side of him and Erec on the other. He felt hundreds of eyes on him, and it all felt like a dream.

Standing around the King were his dozens of counselors, along with his eldest son, Kendrick. As Thor approached, his heart swelled with pride. He could hardly believe the King was granting him an audience again—and that so many important men were here to witness it.

They reached the King’s throne. MacGil stood, and a muted hush overcame the room. MacGil’s ponderous expression broke into a wide smile, as he took three steps forward and to Thor’s surprise, gave him a hug.

A great cheer rose up in the room.

He pulled back, held Thor firmly by the shoulders, and grinned down.

“You served the Legion well,” he said.

A servant handed the King a goblet, which the King raised. In a loud voice, he called out:

“TO COURAGE!”

“TO COURAGE!” shouted back the hundreds of men in the room. An excited murmur followed, then the room once again fell quiet.

“In honor of your exploits today,” the King bellowed, “I grant you a great gift.”

The King gestured, and an attendant stepped forward, wearing a long, black gauntlet, on which sat a magnificent falcon. It turned and stared right Thor—as if he knew him.

It took Thor’s breath away. It was the exact falcon from his dream, with its silver body and the single black stripe running down its forehead.

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A Quest Of Heroes - S01 E36

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A Quest Of Heroes - S01 E38

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