The Marshal's Road: The Last of the Strongmen - 8.

Serg could see his options dwindling, the piss poor timing of Davey leaving him few solutions. 

"Then we settle it now!" He boomed, slamming his hand heavy against the thick wood table. 

"But my Lord," Aaron started, his eyes fixed on Davey and Stephan, staring pale as sharpened blades nicked their soft neck skin. 

"Fetch the sword, Aaron... And the shield. No need for the armor on these two dogs. Just my weapons, if you please." He continued, his look telling Aaron all he needed to know. The pudgy assistant disappeared to his quarters to fetch his master's supplies; Serg and the Captain staring holes at the two naves being dragged out into the street by Kendell's men. 

Aaron returned quickly, handing Serg his heavy sword. Serg pulled the blade from its scabbard, the metal singing as it withdrew from the stiff, brass capped leather. 

"World Tamer..." Kendell said with reverence, his eyes widening as he set them on the blade. 

"Aye," Serg said, handing it to the Captain for inspection as Aaron fitted his shield across his left forearm. 

"What is all this?" Aaron whispered gruffly, confused by Serg's play. 

"That fool left me little option." Serg muttered back, Kendell too taken with the blade of legend to notice their whispers. 

Serg turned to the captain, requesting his sword. He then cleared his stein of beer in a mighty gulp and howled like a madman, he- and the captain in tow- headed out of the bar. 

The rest of the room had already cleared outside, encircling the pair of condemned men. They cheered once Serg broke through the crowd and joined his prey within the circle, waving his thick blade at the onlookers with the grace of an athlete. He finally turned to the two men, arms bound behind them as they stared wide eyed and terrified. 

"Captain," Serg called, lowering his blade as the knight approached. 

"My Lord?" Kendell asked confused, wondering why three men were still standing. 

"Might we make it more sporting? I mean, the boy and his friend seemed to have an honest human grievance..." Serg continued, watching Aaron behind to make his way through the crowd, hoping to turn something in this unthought out change of plans. 

"How so?" The captain asked, the prodding of the crowd forcing his interest (he saw no sport in upholding respect for the Marshal's men). 

"Untie them. Give them a weapon. One for each. Make it known that should I fall on this day you will grant them a six hour reprieve before avenging me." Serg continued, his voice loud enough for all to hear. 

The captain stood silent as he pondered Serg's unusual request.

"My Lord," Serg now said in a low whisper, his voice growling barely audible as he whispered to the captain. 

"These men insulted you and insulted me and insulted the celebration we inspired. Why not allow me to rekindle that respect they stole with a display for these folks. Two fine barbarians as these, felled like wilting grain by an old man... Why, that should get the road again buzzing the name of Sir Sergen of Blackwall once more before I too am called to the great feast of the brave..."  

"Of course, Lord Sergen," Kendell said stiffly, a part of him fully understanding the unusual request of the fading legionnaire. 

"Untie those men! Give them a blade!" He ordered, watching his men eagerly go about his orders. 

"Let it be known; should Lord Sergen fall to either of you, you will be permitted a three hour safe window to get away, as was his wish. But understand that I will find you by the fourth." He commanded, giving the condemned men a stern look. 

Serg watched as the soldiers carried out their orders, roughly untying the pair and handing them each swords off their own waists. He could hear a few of the onlookers liking the odds the two men faced, standing across from the aging legend (for his part, Serg aided in the rouse; making sure to accent his stiff joints and aging look). But he was still Sergen of the Blackwall to the rest, a scant few only brave enough to bite a piece off the odds against the two ill fated men. Serg watched as Stephan swung the blade a bit, letting it grow natural in his hand as Davey stared dumbstruck. 


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