Authors: Ben Galley
‘What are we, Wellen? You call us Knights, but Knights of what?’ Balimuel rumbled. ‘What is all this for?’ The others looked expectantly at the Master. The question had burnt inside them all for so long now.
Wellen smiled. If his hands hadn’t been clasped behind him, they would have seen them shaking. ‘You are to be Knights of Scalussen. Guardians, if you will. Protectors, as the name Scalussen means.’
‘Protectors of what?’ asked Estina.
‘Why, of Emaneska, of course.’
‘All of it?’
‘All of it.’
‘Just the nine of us?’
‘The nine, indeed.’
They all blew great, heavy sighs, heavy with awe and disbelief. Korrin’s eyes were wide. ‘So this is what we’ve been training for?’
‘Correct, master Korrin.’
‘And you didn’t think to tell us this beforehand? Estina asked.
‘Why? Would you change your mind now that you know?’
‘I…’ Estina faltered. Her scarlet lips pouted. ‘No. Of course not. It’s all just a bit sudden.’
‘You have all the time in the world, Knights.’
‘Some of us don’t, Wellen,’ said Demsin, the oldest of the group, a grey-haired woman from the island of Albion. Even though she was quicker than a lightning flash, and as agile as a dragonfly, she had sixty years under her belt. She was an old warrior, beginning to feel the ache in her bones.’
Wellen smiled again, wider this time. ‘You need not worry about age any more, Demsin. Nor do any of you. This armour will take care of that.’
‘Of what? Of…’ the words sounded silly in his mouth, Korrin thought, but he’d already begun. ‘…Age?’
‘Indeed,’ said the tawny man. That one deep, rumbling word was like a boulder crashing to the floor.
The nine swapped glances. It was a long while before any of them spoke. Balimuel was the first to step forward, his big boots clomping on the stone. He scratched his beard with a blue fingernail. ‘So,’ he began. ‘Which one is mine?’
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