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Guardian of the Cursed Crownby Jevon Knights - http://www.knightswrites.com/
The stench of filth offended Larsen’s nose, overcoming odours of decay and moss in the unkempt cemetery. It easily identified the person who approached from behind, stepping weak like the light of a lone candle in a cave. Larsen gave no sign of interest, knowing that there was no threat. “Still mourning, my king?” said a cracked voice.
Even though Larsen didn't want anyone to see him in this state, his face hidden deep under the cowl of a patched brown cloak, he also didn't care to play the game of pretending to be someone else. His sorrow was far more important and he just wanted to be left alone. “Malick is your king now,” said Larsen. “Go and serve him in whatever way you wish.”
“There are many who still think of you as their king, you know,” said the voice.
“And there are many more who don’t, so what of it?” said Larsen with an annoyed tone.
“My lord, you had everything a man could dream of: wealth, power, fame. Your name was praised all across the lands. You could have gotten any woman with just the point of a finger. But you traded it all for an old forgotten cemetery. Could she really have meant that much?”
At these words Larsen turned and grabbed the throat of the stranger with one hand and drew his sword from under his cloak with the other. The man dropped his crooked walking stick as Larsen slammed him into the trunk of a tree, tall and leafless, one of many that grew among the waist-high grass. The tree shook with the impact, and Larsen pointed his sword at the man's jaw.
The man wore a hooded cloak, black and tattered. There was a strange rune on his old and wrinkled face, imprinted just under his right eye. His grey hair and beard made a long and matted tangle. “I know who you are,” spat Larsen. “I’ve seen you before, beggar, and I smelled you coming from a mile away. What business have you here? If you’ve come just to mock me, you’ve made a grave mistake.” Being drunk on his sorrow and wanting compensation for this mockery, Larsen pushed tip of his sword against the beggar’s neck, revealing a bead of blood.
The beggar clenched Larsen’s wrists as he tried to pry himself free, his legs flailing. “My lord, I was simply wondering if you were willing to go just a bit further, is all,” said the beggar as he gasped for air.
“What are you babbling about?” said Larsen as he loosened his grip on the beggar’s throat just enough to allow him to speak more clearly. “If you have a point, you better make it while I’m still merciful.”
“The illness that infected Gwen, I’ve seen it before,” said the beggar. “And it can be cured.”
“Cured!” bellowed Larsen, feeling an instant hatred building in his gut. “Gwen is dead. How can you talk about a cure?”
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