The sword whistled as it circled above Ciaran’s head, then swooped down on his opponent. It seemed like hours had passed in the half-an-hour they had been fighting. Caderyn, his opponent, also the king of Stargonia, was stronger than Ciaran imagined for an older man. Of course, Caderyn had trained for many years when he was younger, and Ciaran had never had any training other than what he could teach himself from watching others. He had always been the outcast when he was younger, being different from everyone in various ways, from his extraordinary height and golden yellow eyes to his wittiness and quick tongue.
The sound of steel on steel echoed through the Great Hall. Elsewhere, soldiers lay either slain or wounded, mindless of who they served.
Somewhere in the distance, a horn sounded. Help was coming. Ciaran knew the approaching warriors were not fighting for him, but were the wild barbaric clans of the North, who feared nothing. Ciaran hesitated for a split second, silently debating what to do, then whirled on Caderyn with a new strength. The king stumbled backwards, surprised at this, and fell onto his back. Ciaran towered over him, his the hood of his grimy cloak covering his malicious smile.
“So, then, I have finally gotten what I’ve wanted for so long. At last, I can die in peace.” Ciaran unsheathed a small knife at his waist, but it slipped from his fingers, crashing down to the floor. Caderyn rolled over and grasped it in his hand, pulling back his arm to throw. The knife whistled through the air and found its mark, the center of Ciaran’s heart. Small trickles of blood began oozing out, and Ciaran dropped to his knees.
The barbarians entered the castle.
A strong wind swept through Stargonia, blowing out all candles and covering the sun with the clouds.
The approaching warriors stopped in their tracks.
The sun came out again, and the people of Stargonia set about relighting candles and lamps.
In the castle, the king was nowhere to be found. Where he had been standing, stood no other than Ciaran himself.