Free Historical Romance Adventure Story | The Knight: Part 10


The battle for control of the castle rages, and for now, Eleanor is safe, but she is alone.

While the Perigor forces take the castle, Eleanor’s family must retreat.

Should she join them?

Does she have a choice?

Betraying the King behind his back was difficult, but now she must confront her father face-to-face if she is ever to stand on her own two feet.

Now is not the time for the princess to fall back…


The Knight

A Princess, A Knight And A Tyrant King.

When war is brewing she must fight or die…

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Retreat

Eleanor stood for a moment, listening to the sounds of the battle outside; the horse’s hooves against the flagstones, the clashing of swords and metal, and the shouts, screams, and yells.

She thought she should wait. Just wait in the guardroom. But she couldn’t face turning back and seeing Geoffrey. She wanted to get as far from his body as she could.

She crept down the stone stairs and, as soon as she turned the last corner, the muffled sounds became louder and clearer, filling her ears with the battle. All she could do was stare in horror at the battle she had created.

Knights on horseback charged around, cutting down men and women who ran from them. The few guards that had remained in the castle were now scattered. Some were lying motionless on the ground, and others were trying to shepherd peasants out of the melee. But most were trying desperately to fend off the Perrigor knights.

Archers were now facing inwards, trying to strike out at the knights, but knowing that with every shot they fired, they risked killing their own. But one mounted knight took an arrow to the neck, his horse buckled, and it threw him to the ground at Eleanor’s feet. She screamed in shock as he landed.

Suddenly, she felt a hand grab her arm. She looked up in a panic to see the court physician.

“You must get out of here, my lady.” He pulled her into a side door. The shouts and screams seemed to be echoed in the stone corridor and Eleanor felt ill, thinking of the terror she’d caused. “It is just this way, Princess.”

As he pulled her through a small door towards the kitchens, Eleanor suddenly pulled back. “Where are we going?” she asked.

“To safety,” he replied, grabbing hold of her once again. He looked pale and frightened. He was clearly worried for her, but also scared for his own safety.

“The kitchens?” she asked as he pulled her further along the dark corridor. The sounds of the battle seemed to melt into the distance.

“To safety ma’am.” He pulled her ungracefully over the threshold into the dark kitchen. The great fire which always roared in the grate had been hastily put out, and water and ash were spilt across the floor.

“You have found her!” Her father seemed almost pleased to see her. His previous anger had melted away. He was with two of the highest-ranking knights of the castle, and her mother, who wore a travelling cloak. “Any sign of De Tours?” asked the King.

“I did not see him,” replied the Physician.

“Geoffrey is dead,” explained Eleanor. The memory of his cold eyes and the last word on his lips wafted into her mind, and she tried to force the memory away.

“No matter,” the King said, “We have enough men waiting.” He turned to walk into the grate, and Eleanor realised that the wall had been moved back to reveal a tunnel.

“Where are we going?” she asked, suddenly terrified. After everything she had done and been through, she was to be whisked away to Lord knows where.

“We have horses waiting. We will regroup,” said her father, taking her arm, already sore from the physician’s hand. She threw him off.

“I will not go!” she said, thinking of Adelaide, thinking of her searching for her amongst the remains. She wouldn’t be able to get her a message, and she may not see her again.

“I understand,” said her father, stopping for a moment to look into her eyes. “It is hard to retreat, to fall back, to lose a castle. But we must. We will regroup, gather our army, and be back here to take the castle from these cowards in less than a week.” He seemed almost gleeful at the prospect, as if the thought of more of this horror, more of this killing, delighted him.

“No!” Eleanor replied, pulling away from him. “This has to end! The killing has to stop. We have to end this war!”

“You are a child!” He roared suddenly. Her gleeful father had gone, and the tyrant King was back. “You are a fool who would have me fall back until there was no Kingdom left!”

“I would have peace,” she said, her fear making her voice tremble. She felt like a foolish little girl, and she felt angry with herself for being so weak.

“Peace?!” He almost spat the word “Peace is what cost your grandfather his kingdom! He lost our empire and I would have it back!”

“At what cost?” Eleanor shouted, finding her voice and matching his rage; she knew he was wrong. She knew all he cared about was his own wealth and status, and that wasn’t worth the lives of his people.

“At the cost of anyone who stands in my way!” He moved to grab her once again.

But she turned and fled; running out of the great kitchens and back into the battle, still raging outside.

Read Part Eleven Here

Niamh

Niamh Murphy is the best-selling author of 'Escape to Pirate Island' and other adventure books with lesbian main characters. Read more here.

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