"You're mad!" Ser Kevin Nolan barked.
It certainly seemed to be an apt description as Jay Spearing and Yang Changpeng struggled to hold Stelios Giannakopoulous to the muddy ground. His sword was drawn and his eyes, which currently gave the impression of a demonic possession, were fixed across the camp at Ser Zat Knight.
"I fully support your thirst for vengeance," Ser Kevin spoke more calmly. "But be patient, wait for your opportunity."
Stelios slowly began to calm, but Jay and Yang were still keeping him pinned to the floor. His head began to clear as the uncontrollable rage that had overpowered him subsided slightly. He hadn't felt that passionately angry in years. The memories of his homeland started swirling before his eyes as if he was dreaming, he could almost feel the hot sand of the beach rising through his toes.
News of his family had been scarce after he'd been forced into exile. He'd been rushed out of the city when the rebels broke through the palace gates, he didn't even get to say goodbye to his parents. Years went by before the stories of what happened to his family reached him, of what horrors Ser Zat Knight and his soldiers had been responsible for.
"Yang, is that your name?" Ser Kevin murmured. "A short distance through those trees is the horse paddock, you'll need to set them free. Quietly, and leave two tied up."
Yang, not used to taking orders from anyone but Stelios, turned to his master lying on the floor. Stelios gestured to signal his approval of the command. Yang, despite his towering frame, shuffled undetected off into the darkness.
"When they realise the horses are gone in the morning, they'll send a few men looking for them. When they clock that Jay and I are gone, they'll send a whole lot more after us, but Ser Zat will stay here. That's your opportunity, that's your revenge. We'll head to the Macronfort to try and raise the alarm." Stelios could see how Ser Kevin had earned his title, and it wasn't because of his chicken dance.
Yang had returned almost as quickly as he'd left. He nodded to signal the completion of his task. Stelios had always appreciated his unwavering faithfulness. As a young boy he'd been told tales about a man called Neil Warnock and his loyalty to his son Paddy Kenny. This is how he felt about Yang, he viewed him like a son. Ser Kevin and Jay, who had now released his grip on Stelios, reached out to shake their hands.
"We will forever be in your debt. Stop by the Macronfort anytime. Big Sam makes the best pasta in the entire kingdom."
Ser Kevin and Jay turned and disappeared into the black of the forest. Stelios could've sworn he heard one of them say something about scouse pie as they left. Whatever that was. The first signs of light were appearing in the sky. The sun had not begun to rise just yet, but Stelios and Yang knew that they would be visible in these woods before too long. They quietly and quickly moved to a more secluded spot, giving the centre of the camp a wide berth.
As the first rays of sunlight began piercing their way through the trees, Stelios and Yang heard several loud commotions travel across the forest. They could only assume that the absence of either the horses or the prisoners had been noticed by someone in the camp. Hopefully both.
Stelios turned to see his lanky companion pointing into the distance. It was Ser Zat Knight with two other soldiers. There were also two men on the ground. They were too far away to hear what they were saying. Zat suddenly, at least seemingly to Stelios, plunged a knife into one of the men on the floor.
The other man hastily got to his feet, and after fumbling about for his possessions, departed with the two soldiers. Ser Zat Knight was alone in the clearing. This was the chance Stelios had dreamed about for more years than he could possibly remember. Zat returned his knife to its holder and began walking towards where Stelios was crouched. Stelios couldn't wait any longer.
"SER ZAT KNIGHT!" Stelios bellowed.
"Who goes there?" Zat queried, although in no particular direction. "Show yourself!"
Stelios emerged into the clearing. His hand firmly gripped on the hilt of his sword.
"My name is Stelios Giannakopoulos. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
He drew his sword and lunged towards the man who'd murdered his parents. The man who'd ruined his life. Zat dodged the attack and tripped Stelios, sending him flying into the mud. Zat drew his own sword, and pointed it at the fallen prince.
"Get away from him, you BITCH!" Yang Changpeng apparently knew a few more words and pop culture references than he'd been letting on.
Stelios picked up his sword and jumped to his feet while Ser Zat was distracted. He lunged again, with even more relish, but this time the tip of his blade went straight into Zat's shoulder. He drove it in further and Ser Zat screamed in pain before batting the sword away. They squared off against each other, with Ser Zat Knight clearly shaken from the blow to his shoulder. He was one of the most feared warriors in the kingdom, nobody had wounded him until now. Just as Stelios prepared to lunge for a third time, a voice thundered through the forest.
"WHITE WANDERER!" The voice seemed to say.
Stelios turned his head only for a second, but Zat took full advantage. However he did not attack. He ran. In the blink of an eye he was out of sight, escaped through the trees.
"COME BACK, YOU COWARD!"
Stelios felt sick. He'd been waiting years for this moment, and it had slipped away. Zat Knight had escaped like a wisp of smoke.
He turned back towards where the yelling had come from. Stelios and Yang began running towards the direction of the noise and they quickly came to the edge of the forest. A red-headed man stood in the snow holding a sword, shaking uncontrollably, facing three blood covered men, at least they'd looked like men at first. But they did not have blue, green or brown eyes like most men...
Their eyes were pure white like the snow beneath them. Stelios, filled with the rage of letting Ser Zat Knight escape, was desperate to fight something. He didn't know what these things were, but they'd have to do for now.