PRESUMED DEAD II - vs. Mordred 2
“Hell-lo, ladies,” said Aramis with a sly, lustful grin.
“You moron, finish your food. You’re up in about thirty minutes!” snapped Porthos, smacking his older twin in the nape of his neck.
“Aye, aye…” replied the black-eyed boy.
A group of beauties that Porthos could recognize as members of the Valkyries (Queen Guinevere’s personal guard) had appeared in the mess hall at Camelot, and Aramis could not restrain himself from attempting to seduce any of the maidens. Fortunately, Porthos managed to keep his brother in line so he wouldn’t get lost before his battle against Mordred. The sun was starting to set, and the battle was drawing nearer. Athos sat next to Porthos and looked at the ladies with interest as well.
“So these are the girls that were gonna do what, again?” asked the green-eyed boy.
“Torture and rape me,” replied the blue-eyed twin flatly, his eyes flaring with hatred.
“Hey, don’t look like that,” said Aramis, looking at his brother with worry. “You know I hate it when you hold a grudge against someone…”
“You weren’t there when it happened!” snapped Porthos.
“But they don’t seem willing to torture you again, Porthos,” intervened Athos with a pacifist expression in his face. “And even if they did, we’re here to help you this time.”
Porthos’ expression softened, and his brother and friend looked glad that the blue-eyed boy seemed to let go. Aramis’ eyes suddenly averted from the group of beauties that was now surrounding the Queen and chatting happily with both her and Dame Percival, to a certain redhead that accompanied them.
“Rose?” asked the black-eyed boy, and his meal suddenly vanished before he stood up to go talk to her.
“How the hell did he eat that fast?!” asked Athos, looking at the plate astounded.
“Hey,” Aramis greeted the redhead.
“Hello,” said Rose, whose red mane waved when she turned to face the older of the twins. “I came here to wish thee luck.”
“I know,” said the boy with a bashful smile that had conquered many a heart. “Still, I kinda was gonna ask you…”
“Ask away, then,” responded the girl with a no-nonsense expression that once again thwarted Aramis’ persuasive mode.
Aramis sighed in slight frustration. “Would you like to assist me in the tournament as my weapon?” asked he.
Rose’s eyes widened at the request, and her cheeks turned rosy. “Um, I know not if that’s a fair thought…”
“How come?” asked Aramis. “We’ll be partners, but I’ll keep your secret safe.”
“I… I’ll give it some thought…”
“Fine, but don’t take too long,” said the black-eyed boy with a chuckle. “Remember that I don’t wanna get my head chopped off in the next few days!”
“What could those two be talking about?” asked Athos with an intrigued glance towards the black-eyed boy and the redheaded girl.
“I hope he’s not trying to seduce her,” responded Porthos without diverting his gaze from one of the Queen’s guards, who had pink hair and a cute face that hid ugly intentions.
“I’ve seen her hangin’ out with him for a while, so I’d be surprised if she didn’t fall for him already,” commented the brown-haired boy, looking back at Porthos, who was now drinking a small cup of wine. “Umm, shouldn’t you not be taking alcohol?”
“This has alcohol?!” asked the blue-eyed boy, spitting out the sip. “I thought this was regular grape juice!”
“Is it? I thought it was wine…”
“Knowing Gawain and Agravain, I’d say it’s poison,” muttered Tristan as he passed near them. When the two teens looked at him with shocked expressions, he laughed and added, “But I jest, so fret not.”
“Jesus, man, you scared the hell outta me!” said Porthos with a chuckle.
“Sorry; it was a good opportunity,” replied the blue-haired man before continuing on his way.
“Tristy sure likes to joke a bit,” commented Athos with a smile at Porthos. “Too bad he won’t participate in the tourney…”
“Yeah, but I’d rather not face him,” replied the blue-eyed boy, standing up. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve an appointment with my barber.”
“Barber?” asked Athos to himself while his companion left. He then noticed he was sitting alone and left the table himself, deciding to look for someone to talk to. He eventually found Galahad, who was sliding a quill over a piece of parchment, and walked up to him, saying, “Excuse me, Galahad?”
“Oh?” the silver-haired boy looked up at the incoming youngster and smiled. “Ah, Athos! Congratulations on thy victory!”
“Thanks, man,” replied the green-eyed boy with a bashful grin. “Sorry if I made Mordred look bad…”
“Don’t worry about it,” replied the Silver Knight with a smirk. “Sir Mordred underestimated thee and suffered the consequences. We all did, in fact… I apologize for our behavior.”
“Oh, it’s okay,” chuckled the glasses-wearer. “It’s not the first time it’s happened, either… But I have a question.”
“If Mordred’s reputation is as big as I hear, then was he holding back against D’Artagnan and me?”
“Oh…” Galahad looked away from what he was writing and looked at Mordred, who was surrounded by maidens but was noticeably irked by something. “I daren’t ask Mordred about that. However, Tristan speaks highly of your skills, so I hope you all did and continue doing your best.”
“We will,” replied the brown-haired boy and he left.
“…you sure you want this?”
“You do realize I’ve never cut anyone’s hair like this…?”
“Just pipe down and hurry up.”
D’Artagnan sighed and started shaving off Porthos’ hair from the sides, as requested. He was being careful not to cut his brother while doing so and took about fifteen minutes to finish. When he was done, the blonde looked at his black-haired brother and shook his head with a small smirk. No matter how short or long his hair was, Porthos would always look good; maybe that was one of the things that witch saw in him, he thought. The blue-eyed brother put his hood on and the pair walked out of the older brother’s cell and up from the dungeon, remembering the older twin was about to fight anytime soon and they wanted to witness it.
They reached the courtyard, as always, and walked to the stands where Athos was waiting for them with good spots reserved. Athos looked at Porthos and was about to ask him about the hood, but he remembered what the blue-eyed boy had said about a barber’s appointment, and bit his tongue.
“So where the hell is Aramis?” wondered D’Artagnan while he and his companions looked into the arena and only saw the green-haired knight, Mordred, stretching. “Don’t tell me he’s still flirting around…”
“If he’s late, I’m gonna kill him,” said Porthos while looking around in the stands, hoping his black-eyed twin wasn’t there.
“There he is.” Athos pointed at the arena’s entrance, making D’Artagnan and Porthos look at it and see Aramis smiling widely while putting on a black coat over his armor. “What the hell is that?” asked Athos while eyeing the boy wave at the crowd.
“I think that’s a coat?” said the blond boy while scratching his head awkwardly. A drop of sweat appeared on his and Porthos’ foreheads. “Please tell me he’s not wearing it for style…”
“Why else would he wear it?” Porthos slapped his forehead in embarrassment.
Aramis smiled and adjusted his coat before looking at King Arthur, who had stood up.
“Welcome back to the tournament, my lovely subjects!” said the blue-haired royal with an honest smile while the crowd cheered. “I promised you some good action and I hope our well-dressed newcomer Aramis can oblige! By the way, my wife the Queen says that he’s looking for a hand in marriage, so all of you bachelorettes start making the line!”
“I never said I was gonna marry any of them…” muttered the black-eyed boy while his smile faltered a little. He then looked at Mordred, who was starting to look more confident than before, and smiled at him. “Well, whatever. I’ll just make sure we go back home before any wedding preparations are made.”
Aramis smiled and waved at the expectant crowd while he walked over to Mordred, who seemed battle-ready. The green-haired man didn’t move an inch while his opponent approached him casually. He decided it would take too long for the black-haired youngster to get to where he was, so he rushed over to attack. The boy suddenly vanished from in front of him and Mordred fell on his face.
“Oops,” said Aramis, who was standing behind him and chuckling. “I’m sorry; were you gonna attack me or something?” The youngster disappeared once more and Mordred was sent reeling towards a column. He reappeared in front of Mordred and, laughing, pulled him to his feet. “Sorry about that… No hard feelings after I kick your ass?”
“Silence, boy!” shouted Mordred while he tried to punch the boy in front of him, but the latter dodged and pushed him back.
“How rude!” Aramis started laughing while he landed quick punches at Mordred’s torso that were doing little to the man in front of him, who looked around and attempted to kick the boy back, but Aramis dodged quickly and appeared a few meters away from the Knight of the Moon with a victorious expression. He quickly snapped his fingers and a powerful current zapped Mordred and knocked him down. “Darn… I hope I didn’t stop your heart…” muttered Aramis while he walked towards his opponent. He remembered what he had read in the Arthurian tales, kneeled next to him and whispered in a slightly threatening tone, “That is, IF you have a heart, traitor…”
Mordred’s eyes widened and he jumped to his feet, surprised at the boy’s knowledge of something that was still in the drawing board for him, and was ready to finish the fight there and then. Unfortunately for the green-haired man, the black-eyed boy quickly punched him at lightning speed from every direction at once until, as the final blow, he was chopped in the back of his neck.
“Stylish and beautiful,” commented Aramis while he took a bow at the king and later the audience, all of whom were clapping at his performance. His brothers and best friend walked to him and patted him on the shoulders and back in congratulations. “How was I, guys?”
“Terrible,” said Athos while smiling.
“You let yourself open too many times,” added D’Artagnan while shaking his head.
“I would’ve kicked your ass,” chuckled Porthos while Aramis laughed.
“Aww, guys,” said the black-eyed boy with a tear rolling down his happy eyes. “I was holding back and still won, you know…”
“You ready, Anna?” called Clarissa from downstairs.
“Coming,” replied Anna. She, along with Clarissa, Gray, White, and Snow, were going to accompany Fuu-Ki on a mission to South America for the weekend, and the Queen of Hearts felt like she needed something to do besides the usual schoolwork. Anna gripped the necklace she was wearing around her neck, which used to belong to Klaus but was left back when he and his companions had disappeared, and looked at the sky, hoping that her beloved was alive and well and thinking of her. She sighed and followed Clarissa out of the house after they said their goodbyes to the witch’s father.
“I dunno why you left your hair like this…” muttered Aramis with a slightly disappointed expression. “I thought you wanted your hair to grow back?”
“I do, but in the meantime it’s gotta look good, don’t you think?” replied Porthos before he put his hood back on.
“If you say so.” Aramis shrugged.
“So why are you wearing the hood?” asked Athos.
“I want to surprise the king at the arena.”
“Guess I’ll never understand this kinda teenage rebellion.” Athos shrugged as well. “Say, D’Artagnan, how did you cut his hair?”
“Knives and faith,” answered the blond boy with a shrug. “Now I guess I can also get a job as a stylist, huh?”
“That’d be a good way to earn money for home,” added Porthos while shrugging. “Speaking of which, what’re we gonna do with the money we earn here?”
All four youngsters contemplated on the answer to that important question, and then parted ways for the afternoon. Three to four hours later, Athos, Aramis, and D’Artagnan met in the entrance to the arena’s stands, and greeted each other rather seriously.
“Thought of an answer yet?” said the youngest of the trio while he and the others walked to their seats in the front row. “About the money, I mean.”
“Well, considering how modern technology will be,” replied Aramis, thoughtful, “I guess we’ll also have to write down to whom the wealth belongs, no?”
“Sounds plausible, though unlikely,” replied Athos, who was cleaning his glasses with a handkerchief he had acquired recently. “We’d have to carve it in stone, if we’re really gonna do that.”
“Good evening, my faithful subjects!” said King Arthur in his usual cheerful voice. “We’ve gathered tonight to witness our Knight Mordred have his final attempt at defeating one of the four newcomers! His knees are like stone, and so is his will! Let us all give a warm welcome to Porthos!”
“I was wondering where he was,” commented D’Artagnan lowly to Galahad, who had just entered the stands at that moment. “How long d’you think he’ll last?”
“Who, Mordred?” asked Galahad. “I honestly don’t know; I’ve ne’er seen your comrade in a fight…”
A lone, hooded figure entered the arena quietly and solemnly, and the three youngsters in the stands immediately recognized him as Porthos. The blue-eyed boy removed his hood to look at his opponent dead in the eye, but Mordred remained unfazed.
“Looks like the newcomer dislikes the haircut we gave him, Lancelot,” muttered Gawain to the black-and-red-haired man next to him.
“I could honestly not care less,” replied the Knight of the Lake sternly. “What’s that on his arm, though?” The man pointed at Porthos’ right shoulder, where a thin line that looked like a scar was marked visibly.
Both combatants remained still, as if frozen. Mordred had his guard up, prepared for any attack, but Porthos was looking up at the moon.
“The Knight of the Moon, eh?” muttered the short-haired boy to himself. “Theoretically, the loser is at his strongest right now…”
A silver beam of light derailed his train of thought and forced him to duck quickly. When Porthos looked back up, Mordred was quickly approaching him with a glowing fist ready to connect. The boy, however, decided to neither block nor dodge; he instead sent his own fist to collide with the green-haired man’s, and a loud CRACK was heard before Mordred quickly stepped back, holding his own hand and groaning in pain.
“What… was that…?” asked Galahad, looking at Porthos, who had returned to his neutral position.
“Oh, didn’t I say?” said D’Artagnan, looking proudly at the Silver Knight. “Porthos’ fighting style is purely attack; his only shield is his sword or lance, if you catch my drift.”
Mordred roared and sent another silver beam of moonlight directly at his opponent’s face, but the boy didn’t move. A fireball emerged around the blue-eyed boy and dispersed the beam immediately, outshining it. The knight’s eyes widened in surprise, and he suddenly was sent flying to a nearby column, where he crashed loudly and, by the pain he felt, broke a few ribs in the process. The green-haired man looked up as he tried to recover, and he saw a silhouette he knew was Porthos’ approaching him slowly, with his blue eyes gleaming in the firelight and his hands slowly turning into fists. Gathering his willpower, Mordred stood up and started to limp his way towards the beast that advanced menacingly. Gathering all the power he could from the Moon, he decided to go all out in the next few attacks, and ran towards the black-haired boy. All that happened next went by so quickly that all everyone but Aramis saw was a small explosion and Mordred lying on the floor, unconscious and with an arm and a leg bent at awkward angles while Porthos kept walking slowly.
“The hell just happened?” asked Athos, quickly looking at Porthos’ older twin.
The black-eyed boy grinned and replied, “The classic five-step parry Fuu-Ki taught us in our third month of training. Porthos grabbed his punching arm and broke it with that ancient twist-and-break move, then he headbutted Mordred in the solar plexus and then his chin, followed by pulling both his legs up so he fell on his back, and finally he broke his left leg.”
“Not bad,” commented D’Artagnan. “I guess I should tell him to teach it to me…”
“You gotta be fast to do it, ‘Kama,” replied the older brother with a wink.
“I’m a fast learner, Black,” replied the blonde while crossing his arms.
“Our Mordred has been defeated!” said Gawain, outraged while his brothers Gareth and Gaheris held him back from going after Porthos and reminded him that he’d get his turn against him if he managed to surpass them. Agravain, however, had noticed something different.
“That mark…” muttered the purple-haired knight while he adjusted his black scarf. “I’ve seen it before… I must ask him just to make sure, though…”
Porthos was greeted warmly by his partners, and he loosened up a little with them.
“That was way too fast,” said Aramis. “Remember that we’re also supposed to give the crowd a show.”
“He was pissing me off,” answered Porthos bluntly. “Besides, you already gave them more than enough.”
“I still think you did a little overkill there, though,” added D’Artagnan in a slightly more serious tone. “I counted at least three broken ribs, not to mention the hand, arm and leg…”
“He had it coming… or, rather, he’ll have it coming,” snapped Porthos with a sadistic grin.
“Well, at least we passed to round 2…?” said Athos, trying to liven up the mood.
“Great! At least we can use our weapons now,” cheered the blond boy, relieved.
“Whatever,” replied both twins. “We can still kick their asses without them anyways.”