Return Of The Bulls
Chapter XXII: Revelation
The next day they all sat around a huge table, and breakfast was laid in front of them. But before they could start to eat, the Lone Ranger stood up.
“Is there something you wish to say, Lone Ranger?” Barbod asked.
“Yes.” he replied, “I am leaving, maybe some of you feel the same way as I do, maybe you don’t. But I will do what has been requested of me, and that is to remove the Falcon king. If any of you would like to join me, I will be at the docks…”
“Are ye mad?” he asked scathingly.
The Lone Ranger whipped around.
Gerrik continued, “What makes you think that you can defeat the Falcon King single handedly? You aren’t a god you know! At least a dozen attempts on the Falcon King’s life have been made within the last ten years and NONE have gotten close to succeeding. The Black Falcons are the second most powerful faction in Dametreos, they won't just let their king be killed by some rogue!”
The Lone Ranger was turning white.
“I thought we had decided to bide our time and wait, but it seems you can’t go a day without killing something. The Crusaders attacked us because of you, you were the one who attracted the Shadow Knights, and now you are going to run off and try some foolhardy attempt to kill the Falcon King. Many times, you have come this close-” Gerrik held his thumb and forefinger an inch apart “- to ruining the Bull's plot to rise to power again several times! If you are going to attempt to kill the Falcon King, do not do it under the Bull Flag!”
Barbod rose. “What Gerrik says is true, and I stand by him. If you advertise the fact the Bulls have returned while attempting to kill the Falcon King, you will pay. I have waited too many years for my rise to power to be bungled by a fool.”
The Bull’s hard words stung the Lone Ranger like a whip.
“If it was not for me, you would still be at Drullen Bell with you tree-hugging chums!” he spat.
“That is not true.” stated the Lone Falcon calmly, “I knew of Bull Isle and it’s whereabouts, I was waiting for the right moment to tell Lord Barbod.”
Barbod said, “Go and leave if you wish, take the sloop Hawkeye, but remember what I said, the Bull’s presents must not be announced.”
“Only fools hide!” spat the Lone Ranger.
“You are wrong, again,” replied the Lone Falcon, “Fools are the ones who attack rashly.”
The Lone Ranger left, slamming the behind him. Lovana got up, walked over to Gerrik and slapped him.
“You fool!” she snarled
“WHAT THE MEGABLOCKS?” Gerrik cried.
“It is because of him we survive, he works for the Falcon King, you megablocks!”
She turned and exited in the same manner the Lone Ranger did.
Barbod was furious.
“GET THAT LITTLE TYCO UPSTART AND LOCK HER UP!” he snarled.
Several Bulls exited the room and a commotion followed. Lovana fought fiercely, but the large amount of Bulls over powered her.
“AS FOR THAT LONE RANGER, DRAG HIM BACK HERE FOR QUESTIONING!”
More Bulls rushed off. More commotion.
Barbod stamped around the room, snarling. “I was such a fool, trusted that megabloks, son of a shifty brick!”
The Lone Falcon tried to calm the Bull King, but to no avail. “Barbod, calm yourself. We do not know the whole story...let Lovana and the Lone Ranger explain.”
“NO! I HAVE BEEN BETRAYED!”
“Barbod, you thought I just another ‘bloody Falcon’ once, but once I explained the situation, you accepted my word as fact. Listen to the Lone Ranger and to Lovana. Remember, I am a Black Falcon, and so I technically work for the Falcon King. I may be under his rule, but I do not obey his rule. The situation might be similar for the Lone Ranger.”
Barbod took a deep breath, the red drained from his face. The Lone Ranger stood in the door, flanked by Bulls.
“I returned under my own free will, Barbod. I have some explaining to do. The Bulls had one village left, it was their last defense against the Falcons. However, they gave up after the commander of the few remaining Bulls died. They where all locked up, waiting for there head to be put in a basket. But I convinced the Falcon King to not stain his land with Bulls’ blood and to give there lives to me. He agreed and gave me all the Bulls and five hundred Falcon troops to take them elsewhere and kill them. I was to send back one hundred Bull heads to show that they where dead, instead I sent him Falcon heads disguised as Bulls. He fell for it and he gave me chests of gold. So I bought a island from the Black Knights, and the Bulls have lived here ever since. I must pay the Black Knights to keep there mouths shut. In the end, it was for a good cause.”
Barbod sat in silence, letting the words sink in. So much had happened in the last few moments, it seemed a relief now that it had stopped.
“Lone Ranger,” Barbod said, quietly, “I’ve seen more blood then I’d care to say in my life.”
Barbod lowered his head, and breathed deeply, “I’ve seen mutilated Bulls, impaled Falcons...I’ve seen too much.”
He let his words sink in before continuing, “And now, you stand before me, saying that you, in fact, work for the Falcon King. The man who put me through this life I’ve lived.”
“Aye, Milord. But…” Lone Ranger began, but was cut off by Barbod.
“Now, I understand that you did the right thing in saving those Bulls lives that day.” Barbod said, sounding angry.
“I don’t underst-” Lone Ranger was cut off again.
“But you were -- ARE -- on the wrong side.” Barbod snapped.
“Don't you understand? I did this-” Lone Ranger was once again cut off mid sentence.
“But how did you get on the Falcon King’s side?” Barbod said, fuming, but trying to keep his cool, “The Falcon King doesn’t just give the lives of one hundreds of enemies to someone he’s just MET!” Barbod screamed.
“Barbod-” the Lone Falcon said, trying to calm him down.
“HOW MANY BULLS DID YOU WITNESS DIEING?” Barbod yelled, “HOW MANY INNOCENT PEOPLE DIED IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES, BOFORE YOU REALIZED YOU COULD HAVE HELPED? DID SITTING HELP MY FATHER? MY PEOPLE? NO!!!” Barbod screamed.
He was madder now than he could remember. It was no one’s fault what happened next. Anything could have set the ticking time-bomb that was now Barbod off. It just happened to be a Bull soldier. The young bull soldier tapped Barbod’s shoulder, and that was all it took.
Barbod whirled around, and laid a punch hard in the face of the man. Harder than he had hit Faolan. Harder than he hit the pirates. Blood splattered on the fist off the Bull Lord. He then left the room quickly, followed closely by the Lone Falcon. Barbod ran straight to his chambers where he sat in a large oak chair.
The Lone Falcon Entered slowly after, and saw something he had never see before. The toughest looking man he had ever known -and the toughest in general- with tears streaming down his face and bloodshot eyes.
“I’m sorry…” Barbod said quietly, “I’m so sorry…”
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