Matticus didn’t have time to check on his Knight. He had to hope that Revis’ cry of pain didn’t mean he’d lost the duel, and didn’t mean that Goldfish would have the energy and mental strength to cast a spell that could repel his attack.
His anger fueled his legs. The miles that he and Revis had crossed no longer weighed them down. The atrocities they had witnessed and the battles they’d fought gave him purpose. The belief that the end of the war, that the kingdom would once again be safe, gave him renewed purpose, and he closed the distance with a speed he hadn’t know he was capable of.
Brandishing his sword, Matticus prepared to strike Goldfish with the flat of the blade. He was happy to see her eyes go wide with surprise as he began to bring the swing around. Just before his attacking blow landed, he had a moment of doubt.
He should have saved something in reserve in case she was able to defend the first attack. It was too late, though. His rage and speed had taken him too far to change tactics. In a heartbeat he would know if the attack had been a mistake or not.
A bright light flashed as his sword was stopped by an invisible sphere surrounding the sorceress. The force of the blow allowed the sphere to be seen by all in the room. Sharp, shrieking voices cried out as cracks started appearing in the mystical shield. Then, the voices erupted all at once as the magic holding the sphere together exploded.
Matticus opened his eyes to find that he was now halfway across the throne room. His ears were ringing and his head now pounded. As he raised himself up onto his hands and knees, he saw that Goldfish had been thrown by the blast, as well. She was making her way off the floor, looking around for the one person who was unaccounted for.
Revis was nowhere to be seen.
The Jester knew he needed to keep Goldfish occupied so his Knight could do whatever he needed to do. All he had to do was clear his head first. So, he tried to shake the cobwebs out as he finished getting to his feet. His head wasn’t completely clear, but he didn’t have time to wait until it was.
He charged at the sorceress, with his sword held high, as he shouted his battle cry, “SPOON!”
“What the ….,” Goldfish’s jaw dropped. In the face of the Jester’s ridiculous charge she almost lost her nerve and froze. But, she regained her composure with enough time to calmly side-step Matticus.
“That’s your battle cry?” She mocked with a mixture of disbelief and rage. Equal parts laughter and fire danced behind her bewitching eyes.
Having turned around to once again face the sorceress, panting after the exertion, his head still throbbing from the blast seconds before, Matticus took a moment to steady himself. “Of course… A spoon is dull. When I land a blow it will hurt more than you think.”
Goldfish rolled her eyes. “Before I kill you. Do you have anything original to say, or are you just going to quote others?”
As she taunted the Jester she kept scanning the room looking for any sign of movement so she could get a fix on the Knight. It was frustrating her, and scaring her, that she couldn’t see through whatever magical means he was using to stay hidden. At the same time she was frantically rebuilding her warding shields.
Matticus leveled his sword at Goldfish, the flames flared along the razor sharp edge, dancing in the swirling air currents of the room. “Your reign of terror is nearly at an end, Fishie.”
Goldfish began moving her hands in the beginnings of one of her spells when her eyes suddenly got big. Revis appeared out of the shadows behind her, stabbing both of his daggers at her heart. The blades were slightly deflected by the few wards the sorceress enacted, but they still sank deeply into Goldfish’s back. Injured, the mermaid sank to the ground.
“How,” she asked the Knight in confusion. “I would’ve seen you if you turned yourself invisible.”
With a smirk, Revis replied, “That’s why I didn’t turn myself invisible.” When neither Goldfish or Matticus seemed to understand what he was getting at, he continued, “What do you think I did before I got the ring? I hid in the shadows of the room. I became invisible without actually becoming invisible. Just because I haven’t had to do it since I got the ring doesn’t mean I forgot how to do it.”
Revis knelt down next to the sorceress and put his blades up to her throat. “It’s time to end this,” he stated, preparing to strike.
“Wait” Matticus commanded.
The Knight raised an eyebrow at the Jester, but did as he was told and stayed his hand.
“Do we have to kill her?”
“As long as she is living she will be a threat to the kingdom, a threat to my daughter, a threat to the little prince. Yes, we have to kill her.”
Matticus frowned and bit his lip. “Isn’t there a way we can send her through the portals and trap her in a different world, a phantom zone, or something like that?”
“A phantom zone?” Revis mused. “That’s an interesting idea, and it may be feasible. But, why don’t we just kill her and then we don’t have to worry about her or her antics ever again? She’s caused enough mayhem, the punishment fits the crimes she has committed.”
“Well, it just seems wrong to kill her for some reason.”
Goldfish let out a cackling laugh of derision, “Don’t want to get your hands dirty Jester. You have no problem ruling the kingdom but you don’t actually know what it takes to rule successfully. I could have made your kingdom ten times greater than you’d ever imagined.”
Revis pressed a little more firmly on the blades and Goldfish went silent again. Then the Knight looked expectantly at Matticus, waiting for the word that would allow him to dispatch the sorceress one way or another. The decision was taken out of their hands, however.
With a cry of pain, Goldfish’s eyes rolled up into her head. Then, her body turned into fog and slowly faded away, leaving behind only a pool of blood from where the Knight had stabbed her. The Jester turned to Revis and asked, “That’s an awful lot of blood. Do you think we killed her?”
“I don’t know,” Revis answered honestly. “I’d like to think we ended the threat of Goldfish, but I’m not sure. This may just be another one of her tricks.”
The two men stood back to back, on the lookout for a reemergence of their foe, while gathering up their strength. Suddenly, the door burst open. Deb ran in, stopping right in front of Matticus. “Jester,” she began, out of breath, “You did it.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know what you two did, but it worked. All of the sparkly vampires disappeared right in front of our eyes a few minutes ago.”
“They’re all gone?”
“All of the ones in the castle are. The dragons said that they’ve received some magical communications saying that the sparkly vampires are disappearing from all over the kingdom.”
Breathing a sigh of relief, Matticus looked at his Knight. “We did it, Revis. We finally did it. The Kingdom is finally back to the way it should be.”
The Jester motioned for Revis to follow him. As they walked towards a balcony that overlooked the area around the castle, Revis said, “I hate to break your jubilant mood, but you realize that she may be back, right?”
“Yeah,” Matticus replied with a smile, “but I’m not going to dwell on that now. I’m just going to take joy in the fact that the kingdom is safe for now and this adventure is over.”
The two men, having reached the balcony, looked out at the horizon. In the distance, they could see the dragons, Rara and Grayson, flying free. For some reason, even though they had saved the entire kingdom, that seemed to be the most right thing of all.