**** A New Beginning ****
The wizard and boy spoke at great length on the
hill outside the camp. Majisto explained to him that the sword would grant him
wisdom from time to time, but that he would remain to guide and give counsel.
“My work here is not done yet” said
the wizard. “You have a kingdom to rule, and I have assistance to lend. The sword is a key which will unlock great power.
Listen to it; obey it, as it will do the same for you”.
The men that waited for them inside remained
silent for a time, before speaking.
“How fairs your hand Scorpio?” asked
Virgo, trying to break the uneasiness.
“It burns, but no more than my pride”
he answered still holding his arm close to him. “The wizard is truly mad. I’ll not be led by a boy” he said his raspy voice fuming.
“Hold your tongue. The boy is not at fault, neither is the wizard. The sword
has chosen” said Hamel angrily.
“Peace” said Aquarius raising his
hands. “We must be patient. There
is much to think about”. They passed the rest of the time in silence, thinking
to themselves, wondering what the future would hold.
Finally, after about an hour, Majisto made his
way through the gate. “Come, you are summoned” he said and quickly
turned to go back to the hill. The seven of them made their way outside and came
to where Leo had been waiting.
“In days of old, these lands were ruled
by kings” Leo began. “Those kings had men who followed with loyalty
and honor. Aquarius, father would you kneel?” he said looking warmly at
the man who he had known for all his life to be his sire. Aquarius knelt before
Leo and bowed his head. “Rise, Sir Aquarius” he said, touching his
sword to either shoulder of the man. “The time to unite is now, and I need
knights to help me. I will not ask you to follow a boy. But will you follow a king?” he said, looking at each one of them.
Virgo came before him and knelt.
“I will follow you, King Leo” he
“As will I” said Hamel, kneeling
beside him. King Leo raised his sword touching each of them and said “Rise
Sir Virgo, Rise Sir Hamel”. They both stood and joined Sir Aquarius.
“My sword is yours to command my lord”
said Gemini. He knelt quickly in front of the king, eager to lend his support,
much to the surprise of the others who knew little about the quiet young man.
“Rise Sir Gemini” said the king. The three remaining men stood unwilling to commit their loyalty just yet. The tension mounted, but King Leo remained calm. After a few
moments he said “I understand that patience is a quality that a king must possess.
Tomorrow I will face the enemy on the field. If you chose to join me then,
I would be honored”.
“You fear so little, yet understand so
much” said Pisces now coming to kneel before the boy. Were I in your place,
I do not think I could do the same. I will join you”.
“Rise Sir Pisces” said King Leo.
“Confounded!” said Cancer. “I’m no fool, if this is meant to be, then I shall see it done”. He knelt before King Leo, his face red with shame.
“Rise Sir Cancer. You are no fool, and I would consider myself fortunate to have you by my side” said the king greeting
Sir Cancer with a warm smile. Scorpio then knelt in front of the king while Sir
Cancer was being welcomed by the others. He bowed his head saying nothing.
“Rise, Sir Scorpio and be counted among
friends” said King Leo, touching blade to shoulder. The man rose and was
accepted by the others.
Majisto observed the events unfold with a watchful
eye. He was surprised by the way that the young king handled himself, but hid
it within the depths of his long white beard and bushy eyebrows. “Tonight,
the stars have witnessed the foundation of a knighthood” said the old wizard.
“Tomorrow, may the sun behold the reign of King Leo”.
The knights raised their swords in unison. “Hail King Leo” they shouted.
“Let it be known that our land has a king”
said Sir Virgo.
“Yes, let us have a celebration”
added Sir Cancer.
“The night grows long my friends and I
trust you are all weary” said King Leo. “Majisto tells me that a
large force of barbarians moves towards this camp, and will arrive tomorrow. The
sun will rise soon, rest while you can”.
“We must make plans then, if tomorrow is
to be your first battle my lord” said Sir Hamel.
“Plan on riding at sunrise, then”
said the king. “In the meantime, rest”. The seven knights did as they were commanded. One by one,
they made their way back to the camp to tell the men of their new king.
The king and the wizard stood alone on the hill
once again. “I sense the men’s trust in your bravery” said
Majisto. “I also sense your doubt, now that the darkness fades and the
time for battle draws near”.
King Leo looked at the wizard, perplexed. “It
was as if the sword was talking through me, Majisto! I knew what I felt, but I did not say those words”!
“No, but perhaps given the time, you would
have said exactly the same thing. You are still young; do not be afraid to experience
fear or doubt. For those also have a part in making you the man you will become. Have faith in the sword and you will succeed” said the wizard. “Now, clear your thoughts, take in your surroundings, for a new day begins….for us all”. With that, the wizard left the boy king alone and headed north away from the camp.
“Majisto, where are you going?” said
“I have other matters to attend to. Not to worry, I’ll see you after dawn.
Listen to the sword” said Majisto and then he was gone.
King Leo stood for a while, taking in all that
had transpired. He looked at his reflection in the sword, seeing himself as the
same, yet different. He then thrust the blade in the ground and knelt, resting
his head against the hilt. Quietly, he waited for the dawn and a new beginning.