The castle is under siege, and the Princesses have been discovered.
Now Adelaide and Geoffrey must battle once again, only this time there are no tournament rules and no guards to pull him away.
If Geoffrey hands Eleanor over to the king, Adelaide will be killed as a witch, and Eleanor could be executed for treason.
But Adelaide is wounded, and Geoffrey will stop at nothing to win.
Will Eleanor stand aside and watch, or does she have the courage to change their fates forever?
A Princess, A Knight And A Tyrant King.
When war is brewing she must fight or die…
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“Princess,” said Geoffrey, edging into the small room. “Please explain why you are helping an enemy to compromise our defences.”
Eleanor looked from Adelaide to Geoffrey. She didn’t know how to explain, how to justify her actions, but she was sure of one thing: “Princess Adelaide is not our enemy,” she said firmly, looking straight at Geoffrey as he stared at her in disbelief.
“Her family laid siege to this very castle!” he replied angrily, striding towards her. “Or have you forgotten that?”
Eleanor backed off as he loomed over her, threateningly.
“Only in retaliation for what you did to us!” Adelaide shouted. She had pulled a sword from a rack and pointed it towards his throat.
Geoffrey looked at her; a snarl on his lips. The humiliation from the previous day’s fight was no doubt still fresh in his mind.
“She is a witch!” he said, turning back to Eleanor and grabbing her arm. He twisted it painfully, and she cried out, “you cannot believe a word she utters; now, come with me, and you can explain this betrayal to your father.” He pulled her towards the door and Eleanor felt powerless to stop him.
“You are a murderer and a liar!” hissed Adelaide.
Geoffrey paused, then turned to look back. “Robert died in battle,” he said, slowly easing his grip on Eleanor’s arm. “I cannot be held to blame for that.”
“It was not of Robert that I spoke,” replied Adelaide, stepping forward, the sword still raised. “But of William.”
Eleanor looked from one to the other. She had never thought Geoffrey to be a murderer, yet that would mean Adelaide was lying, and she couldn’t bring herself to believe that either.
“They were accidents,” snarled Geoffrey. “the lances were not checked. These things happen in tournaments.”
“In both matches!?” screamed Adelaide, her anger causing her cheeks to flare red and the blade of her sword wavering slightly, but Geoffrey remained calm.
“You little brother should have been better at jousting,” he said.
Adelaide snapped. She lunged at Geoffrey with an angry yell, but he simply sidestepped. She swung the sword wildly, but he beat her back with a few quick parries as Eleanor watched in horror.
She felt helpless, not knowing if she should step in to help, not knowing if she could. She backed away from them, leaning against the rack of spears and swords. Should she run? She would escape Geoffrey’s wrath, but she couldn’t leave Adelaide. Eleanor had to stay, and had to bear witness. She knew Adelaide would prevail. She had seen her fight, had seen her victorious and watched with bated breath as the two locked swords.
Geoffrey fell back against the wall as Adelaide wielded her sword with two hands. She brought it crashing down towards him and he barely had time to bring his own sword up to meet it. They locked for a moment, then suddenly Geoffrey lashed out with his free hand, punching Adelaide in the side.
She screamed as he struck the wound, and her knee buckled underneath her.
Geoffrey raised his sword to strike the last blow. Then stopped.
His sword clattered to the ground, and he fell back against the wall, looking down in surprise at the spear protruding from his stomach as he slid to the floor.
Eleanor watched in horror as the realisation of what she had just done sank in.
He touched the spear tentatively, but he knew it could not be pulled out. He knew the wound was fatal, and he knew he was breathing his last.
He looked up at Eleanor as she stared down at him, and with his last rasping breath, he whispered. “Traitorous bitch.”