He sat at his post just inside the entrance to the cave, sharpening his sword, taking extra care to be quiet. He did not want them to hear that he wasn’t standing at the ready and take advantage of the situation. Although he was confident of the traps he’d laid, he knew better than to underestimate his Enemy. They were an extremely cunning sort, as evidenced by the fact that they’d managed to keep this war going as long as they had. A group as small as they should have been wiped out in a matter of days by his brothers in the Guard. This had gone on for much longer.
The quiet sound of dust scuffling echoed down the cave’s narrow entrance chamber. He paused and tightened his grip on his sword, straightening his back against the cave wall. His breaths were shallow and carefully measured as he carefully listened for any further sounds. The cave was usually so silent that even the slightest of movements would send sounds reverberating all the way into the innermost sanctum. It was a perfect hiding place, and exactly why he’d taken the princess here for safety after the incursion. Even the most crafty of the Enemy would not be able to surprise him. After minutes of silent attention, he decided that it was not a sign of an intruder and went back to his whetstone. More rats, he was sure.
His memory had not faded in the least, even through his long vigil. A mere handful of the hateful Enemy had penetrated the palace defenses and assassinated much of the Royal Guard before being detected. Only he had seen the evidence of this sneak attack: his brothers missing from a number of posts, the King himself nowhere to be found, and then most damningly of all, the sounds of shouting and the flickering of flames coming from the central courtyard. He’d known then that they were under attack, and there was little time to waste. After finishing the last drops from his flask, he’d rushed down the hall to the princess’s chambers; his only thought being that he must keep her safe, no matter the cost. He’d quietly and gently woken her from her sleep and brought her through the secret tunnels that led to the back of the mountain into the face of which the palace was hewn, then rode off to hide until the siege was ended.
How many hours ago had that been? He’d lost track in the dark, focused too strongly on maintaining his watch. He reached for his flask before remembering it was left behind. That’s when he heard it. The unmistakable sound of armored men entering the cave. He slowly stood to attention, his sword at the ready. He had known they’d come eventually, but he was ready.
“What in the fires of hell is that?” He heard one of them say. They were close now, somehow evading the traps.
“It’s just a dagger hanging from a string. What kind of mad shit is that?”
“I haven’t a clue. Come on, let’s see if the princess is in here.”
They passed through the aperture into the main chamber of the cave. He remained still against the wall and they did not see him as they passed. He was behind them now, and it was time to strike.
“The absolute balls on those bastards, kidnapping the King’s only daughter during his birthday cele-“ He was cut off by a sword protruding from his chest.
“Fuck me!” The other man shouted as he turned around. He was wearing Royal Guard armor. They both were.
“You monsters, defiling the honor of my fallen brothers by stealing their armor!” He yelled as he withdrew his sword from the dead man and readied himself. “I’ll bring vengeance to you all myself!”
“Eurian, what are you doing?” The second intruder looked at him, horrified.
The Enemy would pay for what him and his kind had done. He swung his sword with all his might.