Blood and Ice Ch. 05byshadow_raider©
Chapter Five: the new General
I awoke the next day just before sunrise because I wanted to make a good impression. I didn't know who would be training me. I got to the hall about half an hour before anyone else had arrived.
"Well, were here early Alexandria!"
I turned and saw Jason's father.
"Oh! I didn't know you were taking the training." I said.
"Well I won't be going easy on you and Jason's taking this class as well. But if you slack in this class you will be out! I don't take any nonsense do you have a sword yet?"
I nodded and took my sword out.
"Very good. Did Gabriel test you yet?" he asked.
"He did. If you don't mind me asking, what's your name?"
"It's Andrew and I'm glad he tested you that will save a bit of time. Just sit and wait for the rest of the class."
I nodded, sat down, and waited. Jason appeared shortly after I sat.
"Hey Lex! I didn't know you were in my class." he said.
"I didn't know you were taking classes either Jason."
His father interrupted and had Jason pick out a sword. Jason's father tested him. Unfortunately he failed miserably.
"You need a lot of training son. Now Alexandria if you don't mind would you step forward and show the rest how its done."
I nodded. By this time the rest of the class had arrived. I stepped up and drew my sword. We clashed swords in salute and started to circle. By this time the class had formed a circle around us. Andrew went in for the kill. I managed to block him. I did my signature move that my dad taught me. I caught his sword the people around us cheered.
"Well it seems as if we have a novice in our midst. This training will interesting."
He addressed the class.
"This class is not just sword fighting. It's about your fitness and endurance. I will push you to your limits! This will be the most difficult thing that you will do in your life. But, if you stick with it, you will be rewarded" he turned to me.
"May I have my sword back Alexandria?" He smiled at me.
"Yes, here you go. You can call me Lex" I said as I handed back his sword.
"We'll start off with fitness. I want you all round the assault course now outside all of you."
We all went outside in single file except Jason who walked beside me.
"I had no idea you were so good with a sword where did you learn?"
"I was made to learn when I was in the shadow raiders palace. I didn't want to say anything because I knew it was against your laws and I didn't want to upset Gabriel and the council.", I said.
We went to the assault course. It was huge. Swings over muddy ponds, rope nets, tiers, everything that one could think of. It looked very difficult.
"There's no way I'm going to be able to do this." I said.
Jason said, "Don't worry, you will. You'll get over your uncertainties, Lex."
"Have you ever been over it?", I asked.
He shook his head. We all lined up in a row.
"Now, this is just the warm up. The real challenge will come after this. Now as this is your first time there will be no time limit, but in your final exams you only get three minutes to complete the course."
He must have been joking! There was no way he'd get me round that in under three minutes.
"Now, on the count of three I want you to start. No one is to help Lex, regardless of what happens."
Everyone nodded. He counted to three and we all ran! It was the net rope that was first. It was over ten feet tall and you had to get over to the other side and down. I stated to climb. I got tangled a few times but managed to untangle my self. It was on the way down that I had a little bit of difficultly. My foot kept on getting stuck when I got down most of the way I just dropped it was about a four foot drop but I didn't hurt myself. I ran over the tires. I suppose doing this sort of thing at school helped a little. I got round the rest of the course with little difficulty. When I reached the finish line Andrew was a little surprised to see me.
"Lex are you finished?"
"I think so, why?" I asked trying to catch my breath.
"Have you ever done this course before?" Andrew asked.
I shook my head. "Do you know how long you were?"
Again I shook my head.
"Three minutes! No one has ever done that on first try before, not even Gabriel."
I was stunned! "Are you sure Andrew?"
He nodded. I had to wait for the rest of the class to get over the course. It took the rest of the class about half an hour getting over it. They were all embarrassed that they'd been beaten by a female.
"Now, would you all follow me please? I have today's challenge for you to try and solve."
We all followed him. He took us to a clearing that had a very large wooden pole. It must have been over twenty feet high. Andrew took a bow (I hadn't even noticed he was carrying one) loaded it with an arrow and shot at the top of the pole.
"Now, today's challenge is this. Retrieve the arrow! I'm going to leave you, and don't even try and get back to the castle! The guards have been instructed not to let you in unless you have the arrow, and its marked so you can't try and get in with another one. The only thing that I will leave you is this." He opened a large wooden box and revealed two very heavy medals that had gold ribbon round the top of them. "Now, good luck."
With that he left us in the middle of the forest. The tallest guy spoke first. "How the hell are we going to get the arrow? Please bear in mind we don't get back in 'till we have the arrow. Ideas anyone?"
Everyone started talking amongst themselves. I walked round the pole and looked at the medals.
"Tell me, who's the lightest here?"
The guy that spoke first answered me, "Why, do you have an idea?"
"Yeh, but we need the lightest person to do it. Other wise it won't work."
Everyone talked amongst them selves.
"We think that you're the lightest here because you're the thinnest. What do you need?"
I told them what I needed, but Jason objected. "What if this doesn't work Lex?"
"At least I've tried something and haven't just sat around feeling sorry for my self. Don't you get it Jason? This is what this exercise is about! To solve a problem you have to try different solutions and not just to sit. It's about using your head and your brains."
I stormed off from him. I got the tallest guy to give me boost up. I stood on his shoulders and took the medals which, for the record, were very heavy. I put my arms round the pole and tied the medals together and wrapped the ribbon round my wrist. I gave the signal that I was ready for the guy below me to walk away. As he did, I slid the medals up then pulled myself up. My plan was working. It was very slow but I was moving up the pole. After what seemed like hours I reached the top. I was just in reach of the arrow. I grabbed the ribbon with one hand reached up grabbed the arrow and started to climb down the pole. I was absolutely exhausted. I pretty much just slid down the pole. When I neared the ground the tallest guy told me to jump, and that he'd catch me. I jumped and he caught me and stood me on the ground.
"Now do you see what happens with a bit of team work and perseverance Jason?"
Jason just nodded. We left to make our way back to the castle. I felt a familiar twinge again. It was like a film in my head. I saw my father and his council ambush us and if we weren't prepared for it we would die.
"Lex you okay?" ,the tall guy snapped me back to reality.
"Yeh I'm fine. Is everyone armed?"
"Why do you ask?" Jason said.
"Because we're away from the castle. If we're ambushed and don't fight you will die."
They all looked at me as if I was possessed.
"Right, let's just get back to the castle Lex."
I nodded. As we headed towards the castle I heard a rustling behind us. We looked behind us.
"Lucifer?" the tall guy whispered to me.
I nodded we all drew our swords and faced where the sound came from.
Lucifer and his councilmen came out from behind the trees. "Well, well what do we have here? Little army trainees. Watch them squirm." I looked around. everyone was shaking so I stood forward.
"Well I'm not afraid of you Lucifer." I said.
He just looked at me. "Well you're one person that I didn't expect to see here."
"How about we have a little sword fight and if I win you let us go unharmed." I said.
"And if I win what happens?" father asked.
"I'll go back with you and I'll send a letter to the council telling them not to come and get me. I wouldn't try to run away this time. Does that sound fair?"
He though for a while then agreed to the deal.
The tall guy said "Do you really think that you can take him? I really think that you should let one of us deal with him. We don't want to see you get hurt."
"Don't worry about me. I'll be fine. Its not the first time I've challenged him. I know his moves, and you don't."
He nodded. Everyone stood in a circle around the clearing. Little did they know that the fight was fixed so that I could talk to my father and tell him when to attack the castle. We clashed swords in salute and started to circle each other. Father ran at me and threw me to the ground. He managed to whisper in my ear, "I was hoping to see you again when should we attack?"
I whispered back "During the princess's birthday on the thirty first of October." He nodded "Also, before I let you win Damien misses you." he whispered. "Tell him I miss him too."
I kicked my father where I shouldn't have, he grunted and rolled off me. We both stood up. I brought my sword round to face my father.
"Recognise it Lucifer?"
He looked at it. "Well, well we are a smart one aren't we?" father said.
I smirked at him and I lunged in for the kill. He done his famous skull splitter. I brought my sword up and managed just to block him, which wasn't easy let me say. I managed to do my famous move and disarmed my father. I threw his sword and logged it in a tree and shouted "Run!"
No one disagreed with me. We ran towards the castle. Andrew was coming in the other direction.
"Andrew run! the shadow raiders are on the grounds!" I yelled at him.
Andrew turned and ran in the direction he came from. I turned round and saw a few of the councilmen were chasing us. We didn't stop running until we got in to the castle. Gabriel came running out "What's going on?" he asked.
The tallest guy in our group spoke before I could say anything.
"We were ambushed during our training, my lord. If it weren't for Alexandria we would be dead. She fought Lucifer and gave us a chance to get away."
Gabriel looked at me "You faced Lucifer?" he asked me.
"Well I'm impressed! Not many people could face Lucifer and live to tell the tail. If you will excuse me please."
We nodded he left. We knew that we were safe in the castle.
"So tell me, how did you know how to handle Lucifer?", the tall guy asked me.
"What's your name?" I asked him.
"Peter. So tell me, how did you know how to handle him. It was like you knew how to block that move of his. How do you do that move you did?"
"Maybe I'll show you one day Peter." I had to admit he was very handsome. He was a lot taller than Jason. He had shoulder length black hair and looked like he could throw a horse a long distance.
"Maybe you will." He lent down and whispered in my ear, "Your highness it's an honour to final meet you." With a quick kiss on the cheek ,that left Jason seething, I gestured to come close to me.
"How do you know who I am?" I whispered.
" I'm a shadow raider." he whispered back.
"Well, at least I now I have an excuse to get rid of Jason. He's driving me crazy! How do I know that your not just trying to bust me?" I said.
He took my head in his hands and kissed me. His style was very like Damien.
"I believe you know my brother Damien." he whispered. I nodded. Jason was fuming with jealousy. Peter linked my arm and Jason came over.
"Lex what are you doing? I though we were boyfriend and girlfriend." he said.
"Jason look you're a nice guy. I like you but your just not my type. I'm sorry. It would have never worked anyway."
Peter took me into the main hall. Jess came running up to us and I bowed to her. Peter kissed my hand and left me with Jess.
"Since when were you into the tall silent type? What happened with you and Jason?", she asked.
"Our relationship wasn't going anywhere. Beside that, Jason was a bit on the wimpy side and what's wrong with Peter?" I said.
"Nothing. It's just that he doesn't talk to anyone and I've never seen him with a woman. Anyway I thought I'd deliver the good news myself." Jess said.
"Well Gabriel and I have been talking to the council and they've agreed to let you become our new general."
I was gob smacked.
"Are you sure Jess?"
"After what you've done for us and what you will do for us it's the least we could do for you. The only thing is that you'll have to train on the job and Gabriel is going to be teaching you as he is the current general."
"So what happens to Gabriel after I finish training?" I asked.
"Oh, do you not know?"
"Know what Jess?"
"When I turn twenty Gabriel and I will marry; so we need someone to take over from him." Jess said.
Our worst fears had been realised. "I'm so happy for you Jess!", I said, giving her a hug and pretending to be happy. Little did she know that I could never let her marry Gabriel!
I said goodbye to Jess and went to find Peter. I found him in the training hall. I spent most of my time with Peter in the training hall unless I was at council. That night Gabriel came over to me at the dinner hall. "Miss Orion could you meet me in the council hall when your finished eating please?" I nodded.
He then left.
"What does he want?" Peter asked.
"I don't know. Probably something to do with me becoming the general which should work to our advantage."
Peter nodded. He put his arm round me and kissed me on the cheek. As Jason walked in and saw the kiss he left, seething with jealousy.
"Meet me in the training hall when your finished, okay Lex?"
I nodded, got up and left the table. I went up to the council hall and knocked on the door. Gabriel told me to enter. The table, that was normally laden with a cloth was covered in papers. I walked over to the table. "Ah Lex; please have a seat."
I sat down.
Gabriel started speaking to me. "To become a general you must prove the following: knowledge and understanding of our laws and you must be able to understand the basic manoeuvres of the army. And, of course, you must be able to fight any enemy that comes your way. I have sent your armour to you room. You should wear it at all times. We've moved your room. You're now on the top floor next to the princess and myself."
I looked at the papers on the table. They were filled with laws and by laws.
"Do I have to learn all of these, my lord?" I asked.
"Yes. This takes the longest so I suggest you get going. I will leave the papers here for you. Once you get through these let me know and I will bring the rest in. We couldn't fit them all in at once."
At that, Gabriel got up to leave.
"Should you need food or drink there will be a guard outside at all times. I suggest you don't leave until you have these finished."
With that he left me to struggle through the mountain of papers.
I started to read the first paper. It was about what women aren't allowed to do by the end of the page it left me wondering what women were actually allowed to do. It took me hours just to get through the first pile.
Andrew came into the council hall.
"Why weren't you at training Lex?"
"Do you see this pile of papers? Gabriel told me that I had to finish learning all that these papers say before I can leave the room." I was getting a bit ratty as I was cooped up in a room with the most boring papers that ever existed.
"Very well, there's no need to snap. I was just wondering where you were because Jason was upset because of your split with him. May I ask why?" Andrew said.
"If you must know, I didn't think that we were going any where. I just didn't see a future with him that's all."
"Fair enough, if you didn't see a future with him. But do you really see a future with Peter?" Andrew asked.
"What do you have against Peter?" I asked.
"You don't know about him?" Andrew asked.
"What are you talking about?"
"We don't really know anything about him. We think that he may be a spy!" Andrew said.
"Oh crap!" I thought, but said, "Why do you think that?"
"Well he doesn't talk to anyone and we always find him snooping about the castle. No one trusts him and you shouldn't either."
With that he left from the hall and left me to my papers. They were so boring it was unbelievable. It appeared that, as a woman, I couldn't do anything legally. Then, I started to wonder what I could actually do. Laws, laws, and laws! Did these people ever do anything? After what seemed like an eternity Gabriel came in to check on me.
"How are we doing? Are you finished yet?"
"No, not yet. There's a lot to get through. I didn't know that you had so many laws."
"Yes, there are. Laws keep people in there places. Did Andrew tell you about Peter?" Gabriel asked.
"He mentioned something but didn't say much. What do you have against him? He seems really nice to me." Gabriel looked at me.
"As a member of my council, since your so keen to know him, find out what side he's on and report back to me. But, I want his kept on the quite do you understand?"
I nodded. Hey, it was a good excuse to spend time with him.
"Very well I will allow you to leave the room tonight but I want you back tomorrow by twelve okay?" Gabriel said.
"Yes my lord, I understand."
I left the hall and was led to my new room. I changed before meeting Peter. I went down to the training room. He was at the back lifting weights. Here he was away from everyone else.
"Hey gorgeous, your free!" Peter said.
"Yeh. Are you free? Do you want to go for a walk?" I asked.
"Sure, just let me get my cloak meet me in the main hall." he said. He kissed me on the cheek. I got my cloak and waited for him in the main hall.
"So where do you want to go?" he said, linking my arm.
"Hmmm, some where private" I whispered in his ear.
"Sounds good to me." Peter whispered back.
We walked round the grounds and came to a clearing. Peter took off his cloak and lay it on the ground.
"Come sit with me, I wont bite." he said. I sat down and he slid his arm around my waist. "So tell me, why are you here?" he asked me.
"You don't know? How do I know that this isn't a trap?" I asked.
"Simple I can tell you something that only you and your mother saw the day of the siege." Peter said.
"Really, and what would that be?" I had to admit he had my interest.
"I know that it was Alexander that saved you and your mother and that it was William that betrayed everyone. I know because I was there. I fought alongside your father in a bid to save your life."
I thought about what he said. "How old are you if you don't mind me asking."
"I'm thirty four. I was sixteen when I fought along side your father."
I looked at him. He didn't look thirty four, that's for sure. He looked more like twenty. I looked into his eyes they were starry black very deep and mysterious. I leaned in to kiss him. He kissed me so gently on the lips he ran his hands up my body he rolled me onto my back and started to kiss down my neck. "Peter not that I don't like this but if Gabriel catches me I'll be killed" I said.
"Pity, I was just getting started." he took my hand and put it to his groin and I can assure you that he was just getting started!