I still had no idea what Aria’s father wanted to talk to me about, but I went ahead and followed him into a nearby room which I assumed was his room because, by the looks of it, it looked like it came straight out from ‘The Hobbit’ or ‘Game of Thrones’ or something like that. But what really caught my eye were the many knives that hung on one side of the wall, they were all rusty but still sharp, and also some were stained with blood.
“Wow” I chuckled astonished “You know normal people don’t have a bunch of knives hanging on their walls.”
"Hey, I’ll have you know that every one of these knives has saved my life at least once.”
"Really?" I remarked astonished "What about that sword over there?"
I pointed to a nice-looking sword that hung over his nightstand.
“Oh, that? That’s just for decoration.”
“So-” he changed the subject while leaning against his bedpost “You’re interested in old Defender eh?”
“Defender?” I remarked, “Is that what that sword is called?”
I was expecting it to have some kind of cool name, but Defender sounds kind of... what’s a word? Simple? I don’t know, I guess I’ll go with it.
“That sword hasn’t been used for many years” Hardwin stated.
“Why is that? And how come I’m not allowed to use it.”
“Oh, you can use it.”
“I can?” I gasped.
“But I should warn you.”
“Oh no” I muttered.
“That sword may be an ideal weapon to use because of its powerful strike and strong surface, but that sword has a mind of its own.”
A chill went down my spine “What do you mean?”
“It was created by a powerful sorcerer many years ago, and because of that, the weapon has the capability to take control of its user and make him or her use it for dark purposes such as revenge, anger, and jealousy instead of using it for defense.”
Oh God, chills were now running through my whole body.
“Although-” he added in a more positive tone “It can be prevented, as long as the user never uses the sword to kill anyone for all those 3 objectives and only for defense and any other noble purposes, then he can be safe.”
“Oh okay, sounds simple enough... right?”
“That depends on you.”
“But uh, what happens when the sword takes control of the user?”
“He can do terrible things” he breathed “And the more it happens, the more he will be a danger to others and himself.”
“So he will like, turn evil or something?”
“You can say that.”
Whoa, I don’t like the sound of that. Though it did sound like one of those cliche TV show tropes which I had to admit, I don’t mind watching.
“Have you ever seen it happen before?” I asked.
“No, but I’ve heard stories of it. I once heard a tale about a lad who wielded Defender, and one day he got so angry about something that he used the sword to kill his whole family.”
“I don’t know what happened to him, but he was never heard from again. But you see, that could have been prevented if he hadn’t let the sword control him, but he didn’t listen. But maybe you can, unless of course, you change your mind about it and chose a different weapon.”
“You think I should choose a different weapon?”
“I’m not going to make decisions for you Jesse, it’s your choice. You think you can handle Defender?”
Okay, time for some serious thinking. Am I gonna be able to control myself and not let Defender overtake me? I mean I am able to control myself from eating so much and staying on a diet, but this is a sword we’re talking about, not food. Although I feel like food would be harder.
“You know what?” I declared “I’ll give it a shot.”
“Very well” the king gave a small nod, “But before you use it, you know you have to practice with a training sword, right?”
“So I was told.”
“Well then, you go on ahead to the arena, I’ll probably show up later to see how your first day will go. And don’t worry, you most likely won’t die today.”
“Um, thank you for those words of encouragement” I replied with a nervous smile, hoping he was right about that.
“But uh, before I go-” I pointed to the knives on the wall “How exactly did all of these knives save your life?”
“Seriously I wanna know.”
Whoa, now those were some interesting stories. This king is just as cool as my grandfather. But since I needed to go to the arena, I began down the hall which I assumed was where Aria took me last time. Or was it this way? Oh crap, I’m already lost, great.
Damn, if only they had cell service here, I could easily call Aria and ask her where to go. But no, they just had to keep it medieval.
“Jesse?” I turned to see the one person I was hoping to find.
“Oh, thank goodness,” I breathed in relief as Aria walked up to me “Sorry um, I was trying to find my way to the arena, but I don’t seem to remember how to get there.”
“I get it,” she nodded “This is a big castle, it’s easy to get lost in here. Even I still get lost every once in a while, but I pretty much know my way around.”