Gawain knows that Morgan will never be safe as long as Algayre’s alive.
The Knights with No Lords
Chapter 28 – Gawain vs. Algayre
By Rock Kitaro
Two riders carved a trail as they raced across the rolling moors of dying grass. Morgan was riding for her life, dipping and diving, zigzagging in an erratic fashion as she continued west for the shoreline.
Algayre was an avid horseman. The way his steed cleared fallen logs and skipped across shallow streams without so much as a pause was enough to inject fear in any prey. Twice now, he came within arm’s reach of her, lunging out to grab her hair before she dipped into the slope of the fluctuating moors. Algayre was getting agitated but he kept smiling. He knew her death was inevitable. There was only so much ground they could cover.
At last, they entered the Y-shaped valley between steep coastal cliffs to arrive at the sandy beach of Trebarwith Strand. As soon as Vebby’s hooves reached the first wave of the foam-crusted sea, Morgan hurled herself into the shallow water. It was just in time to dodge the decapitating sweep of Algayre’s rapier.
Even though he missed, Algayre was amused. There was nowhere else to go. His prey was trapped. The sea was freezing and the towering cliffs served as barriers. While Morgan struggled to wipe the sand and saltwater from her eyes, Algayre took his time to dismount and clean his long slender blade. Grinning from ear-to-ear, Algayre let the tide roll over his boots as the saliva began to build underneath his tongue.
Then, much to his surprise, Morgan stopped retreating. She turned around and faced him, kneeling in the saltwater that rose up to her hips. Algayre was ready to skin her alive but he noticed her dark purple eyes had turned milky white.
Morgan thrust up her open palms. Five streams of jade colored sea erupted from the waves and materialized into hardened knights with swords and shields. At once, they charged.
The knights fought valiantly but Algayre countered with his own magic. He replicated his image. The knights swung at illusions, carving through a mere image of Algayre before that image dispersed like a popped bag of sand. The real Algayre would sneak up from behind and slice through the knights with either his rapier or the dagger. The battle lasted less than thirty seconds.
When the last knight was no more, the milky look in her eyes faded. Just as Morgan regained her senses, Algayre dashed for her. Impulsively, she extended her ruby palm and blasted him with a surge of furnace hot fire. Algayre stopped, crossed his arms, and closed his eyes. The scorching flames hit an invisible force field that caused the fire to flow around him like a river coursing around a cemented boulder.
Steam from the scorched ocean rose until they were engulfed in a cloud of vapors. The fire flowed in a continuous stream. Morgan was giving it everything she had. She was already fatigued but now it was getting difficult to breath. A migraine throbbed so bad that it muddled her vision. She could barely see the blinding light emanating from her own hand. What she did see was Algayre smiling through his crossed arms. She screamed with rage and dug deep to pull out any hidden reserve still left in the tank, but alas…
The fire stopped. Morgan dropped to her hands with a hard splatter. Fumes rose from her singed hair and fabrics as she gasped for air.
“No words? Pity. I was hoping you’d chide me further. The arousal of gutting the bold in the midst of their foolhardy edicts is unlike any other,” Algayre taunted.
Morgan was drained. She lacked the wherewithal to hit him with some snarky comeback. As if she just finished a marathon, her lungs were compressed, her mouth gaped open, and thick strands of saliva dripped from her lips. The front of her head felt like it was about burst from the pressure.
It was in that moment that she heard the sounds of galloping in the distance. It was faint. Could’ve just been the headache. But in the midst of her shock and exhausted stupor, Morgan peered through her bangs to look up the beach and there he was, Gawain coming to her rescue. She wanted to smile but she couldn’t. Too tired. So deflated.
“Oh ho ho…This is sweet. Such pleasure. Such ecstasy. I’ll remember this moment for the rest of my life.” Algayre said with the utmost satisfaction.