Since the very start of the civilization,when men started to settle down in a land calling it home, men had fought men for territory. the strongest and mightiest had always won the battle, and then acclaimed the adversary territory as their own. the ages may pass, and the scenery may never change, only a few aspects.
the organization only getting a little complex, and people being divided in: workers and warriors. warriors gathered and in order to protect the people of their lands, they formed something that nowdays we call army.
but funny, at ancient times, women never was able to fight alongside men.

This is a story about a girl, who had the dream of being a knight. her name, let your heart never forget: Annalot.

-Hands of a Maiden, Heart of a Beast- Enters Annalot

in tight and curly streets surrounded by houses. in a prosperous burgh, a childish scene was taking place:
“tradiction eh? i will show you boys how to threat a girl, PROPERLY” a young girl, sightly small, a charmingly beauty. with a redish ribbon on her long hairs said. she was holding a broom, in a kind of battle posture. “Annalot… i dont think its right to a girl go bashing on the boys”, a yet smaller and cute girl said, while hiding behind the backs of the girl with a broom.
“You shut up! that’s all your fault to begin with, if it wasn’t your submissive behavior we wouldn’t be involved in this mess!”. while Annalot  was talking to the small girl the boys started to sneak out the place, so the girl with the broom yelled at them “AND YOU GUYS, I DIDN’T SAID A WORD ABOUT I’M LETTING YOU GO!” she pointed the broom at them and finished the sentence ” LISTEN, YOU WILL GIVE THAT DOLL BACK, OR ELSE I WILL TAKE IT BACK!”
“oh ann…” the hiding girl sighed.
“i will not wait any longer. GIVE THAT DOLL BACK, NOW!”
“… geez what a lioness, there, i dont want to be beaten by a girl with a broom. you won annalot. take this stupid doll back” the boy throwed the doll back.
“see cecilia? thats how its done. you cant let those stupid boys do with you all they want.” Annalot sighed.
the small girl Cecilia took the doll and smiled “thank you big sis, i dont know what would be of me if you’re not around.”
“its getting late, your mom will probably be worried about you. want me to take you to your home,Cecilia?” analot said while looking at a clock upper at the passage
“there is no need big sis, i can go all by myself”.
“haha then its ok you grow up women you”.
“until tomorrow ann” Cecilia said while waving and running
“until tomorrow then”.

getting home, Annalot was received by her mother with a somehow, sad face. seeing Annalot entering by the door, she immediately started to say:
“ann, oh my dear and beloved ann. you know that your age is drawing near, dont you?”
“uh? mom, i dont believe i know what you’re talking about now… what my age have to…” Annalot sudenly recalled about the wending age. she wasnt concerned about wending any man. but, the society never would accept her if so.
“mon…” said annalot with a faint tune on her voice “why do i have to marry someone? and even more, marry someone without love…” Annalot mom sighed “child, love will come, eventually it will come”
“but, MOM!”
“there is nothing to be done about ann, i dont want it to you, your father either but, listen, you will eventually have a better life, please my daughter try to understand.”
“YOU KNOW? I DONT WANT TO BE JUST ANOTHER WOMEN SITTING ON SOME PLACE LIVING A STUPID LIFE WITH ANY MAN!” the tears started to go down on Annalot eyes, she become sudenly realy red.
“my daughter… you…”
Annalot gave a glance to her mother, her eyes filled with anger, at that time, her mom even could feel the riot that was happening inside the small girl’s heart. And without a word, annalot just kicked the door and runned away. she runned with all the strength she could, to anywhere far from her fate.
“ANNALOT! RETURN AT ONCE!” her mom yelled, but no response she keep running “ANNALOT!!!”

Chapter two – Chilling Sorrow, Burning Passion – The Promise made to the skies

Without stopping, Annalot runed, she had no idea where she was going. tears on her eyes, anger on her heart, they burned as she keep running.
after a long time running, Annalot finaly reached a dead end. there was a single fountain and the windows of the houses all closed. the skies were dark. Annalot lost all her strength and fell down upon her knees
“why?” from the depths of her heart, the sadness could be transformed in a single word. then the young lady looked up to the skies, and asked again. “why?” she waited for a answer, but there were no response at all. Not giving up, Annalot asked again to the skies, “why…” and she shouted “WHY!!!”, suddenly, a few drops of water have fallen upon the young lady’s face. then the rain fell down. and with the rain, Annalot’s eyes started to water.
“cursed be all those women, all cowards, its all their fault” looking to the skies, while gently the tears started to fall from her face.”if they were not this submissive, i could fulfill my dream… i could be brave, more than any men ever dreamed to be.” then she looked at her hands “but look at those hands… frail, and small, all weak, they cant handle a sword either a spear. they cant resist the heat of the battle” and so she saw her reflection at the fountain ” look at this face, who would fear it? it looks like a flower in blossom.” she sat down in the rain, and watched it fall “and soon my breasts will start to grow… then i will never be able to be a knight” the sadness reached a point that the girl covered her face and cried desperately.
after a time Annalot could hear a couple of boys talking little far, they were talking about a tournament, which the winner would be chosen to learn the ways of the blade. it echoed at the girl’s heart. the tears stopped to drop. Annalot looked up to the skies. and then she said “is it my chance? the chance im waiting for since my father passed away?” she then looked at the fountain, seeing her reflex at the water, her eyes became sharp as a eagle’s. Annalot stood up. “I am Annalot” she said ” and yes im a women. but not ordinary women!” the fire returned to burn at her heart, and with the sparkles of this fire she pronounced ” I am going to be not only the first women knight, but the greatest of them”.
Annalot went home, her mother was at the bed, probably fell asleep crying. Annalot took a knife and looking at the mirror, she cut her long and beautiful hair, short as a men. she changed her clothes so she could be mistaken as one.
looking at the mirror, Annalot said.
” for a long time, i will be no longer Annalot, but… what the name i will be called now?” looking trough the room, Annalot found the name. the chosen name was…
“Russel, thats the name they will know me now.”
Annalot went downstairs, took a piece of paper, some charcoal and wrote her mother a letter. in the letter the words could be read:

dont expect to see me again so soon mother, i love you, but i cant let my dream die. im no longer a kid. yes, you were right, but by the wrong means. im leaving this letter to you, so you can know how much i loved you and dad. im leaving home, not as Annalot, but as another person. mom,could you please keep Annalot deep in your heart for me? im counting on you.
wait for the day i return. and if i dont return, dont worry, you will know about me. somehow you will.

Your Dear Beloved Daughter Annalot

Then she left, without any regret at all, one thing was with her, her ribbon attached to her arm. so one day, she could be Annalot Again.

Chapter 3 – The First Steep

its dark, and the boy suposed to be Russel is wandering the city, searching a place to hide.
soon, he felt tired, and decided to stop and sleep at the cold streets of the city. Have you wondered how cold is to sleep at the streets? and even more, in “Russel’s” situation without even a piece of something to protect “him” from the cold winds of the night. Sleeping never was that hard. and sure, sleeping in the streets means that when the sun rises up on the horizons, you should wake up. And face yet another problem. Hunger.

Luck is that Annalot was never  a girl of eating much. She never had the breakfast, meaning this, probably Russel wont feel the hunger.
Sunrise, the birds start to sing the song of morning. Slowly the cold streets started to feel a little warmer. Russel woke up with the bright sun. To soon, face a big problem about that day. The tounament was suposed to start at the evening, no problems since no entry fee was necessary. But it was necessary to at least register yourself at the tournament. Russel dashed through the streets, nearly soaring.
Arriving the place you could notice the preparations, Russel registred him at the tournament, but something was missing, Russel took a look arround, everyone had a weapon at hands. You could see professional daggers, spears,swords, shields, even complete armor sets you could see. At a burgh, a place full of rich people, you could at least expect this. Now the problem appeared at Russel’s mind:
“… How i am suposed to fight those people without a weapon!?!?!? Why did i had to forgot taking even a knife at home before coming here!?!?!? ARG! Im totaly screwed! I have to find something, fast.”
What a task. You could look everywhere, without money you hardly would be able to get a knife. Truth is, Russel was so decided, that his mind was blind at the moment he leaved home. After wandering arround searching for something. Russel sat down at a bench. Just to notice something on his pocket.
“What the… its a scissors!” you must be wondering, is he realy going to fight using just scissors? Well its better than nothing.
So the noon fell down, and Russel wondered how he was going to fight just using those scissors, he spent the entire day trying to figure out ways of using the scissors to fight, such tiny tool could be used to harm. From noon to evening,  it was somehow dark, so noticing the scissors on the boy’s hands was hard.
time passed, and Russel’s name was called. After watching some battles he could feel that it wasnt going to be much hard.
The first oponent had a mace on hands. Perfect, such a heavy weapon, at least, heavy at a kid’s hands, would give Russel’s Scissors light and stealth kind, a advantage. The battle began, the boy with a mace tried to run, the mace was heavy, not much speed he could get. Russel stood still waiting the strike to come. The mace boy striked from above, a direct smash attack aimed to Russel’s head. Russel just give a steep to the side and avoided the entire damage, and using the moment, he also kicked the mace boy’s ass, he just lost all his balance, and fell down with the head hitting the floor hard.
Everyone laughed, and Russel was with a bitch’s smile on the face. The mace boy  stood up in fury, and tryed to swing the mace, he swinged once, Russel steeped backward, the boy swinged twice, Russel repeated the last action. The boy yet swinged once more. Russel lowered bellow the mace patch and stood forward a little, drawing the little Scissors and trusting it in the mace boy’s belly. Feeling the pain the mace boy just let the mace fly and steeped backward. Russel stood up and kicked the injuried belly. The boy fell down. Russel decided to not give chase anymore. The battle was over.
The night was long, Russel have battled five times, as everyone, at least, everyone who managed until that point. The last part of the tournament consisted in a everyone versus everyone fight. Eveyone was with a good weapon. Spears, Swords. Russel managed until now against those weapons, but his opponents until now couldn’t even swing the damn weapons properly. Talk about easy matches. But not now… a boy in armor wielding a blade. kind of a sword but much lighter. A fat axe boy, a spear boy, and Russel.
the battle has began. The three boys dashed to the center of the arena, Russel pretended to, but he stood back. just watching the boys fight. The boy in armor dealed a blow in the fat one, who layed on the ground with the first hit. so the spear boy rushed and trusted the spear on the floor, using it as impulse to fly a kick on the armor boy’s head. Both fighted for a minute. Then the armor boy dealed a blow with his arm at the head of the spear boy, and then dealed a blow from above on the spear’s boy shoulder who avoided half strike. After those two strikes he stood up for  two seconds then fell down.
Now it was Russel and the armor boy. Russel fastly throwed the scisors at the head of the armored boy, tho dodged. Using it as a chance, Russel took the spear from the spear boy.
Russel was wielding the spear, he stood still waiting the armored boy to attack. No movements from both sides. Five seconds later, the armored boy rushed with his blade. Russel waited for the right moment, then performed a dodge roll to the right side of the armored boy. Russel kicked the armored boy who moved backwards. Then russel tried to trust the spear on the armored boy, but he just went forward dodging the spear, aiming Russel’s shoulder.
Russel lowered a way the blade couldnt reach and then performed another dodge roll to the left side. Using the cable of the spear, russel knocked the armored boy on the head, the boy nearly feel a little stunt, the battle keept in this flow, with for 5 minutes. The armored boy started to feel the weight of the armor upon his shoulders. His movements started to look slower than at the start of the combat. Seeing this, russel ran backwards to the corner of the arena. There was a wooden fence. Then he waited for the armored boy to come. Decided to end this in a single blow, and looking the position of the adversary, without thinking much, he ran. Russel waited for the right moment and seeing the adversary running as a crazy with the sword on the top of this head, Russel dodged the attack by contouring the adversary watching he hitting the wooden fence, and getting the blade stuck. That was Russel’s chance. He started bashing the armored boy’s head so fast that in 10 seconds, the boy fell down unconscious.
Panting Russel said “thi- this is it? is he realy defeated? i did it?” Russel kicked the boy’s head so hard that even he felt the pain.
“ouch! Yep, he is indeed defeated.” the people started screaming, the cheers could be hear at long distance. Russel had won! and better, from now on, Russel was a knight apprentice. and as one, he was going to live in the castle. with the other knights, learning the way. The first steep on Russel’s life, no better, the first steep on Annalot’s Dreams was done.
and, after all this, Russel felt something very familiar. he was totally hungry.

Chapter four – Aria, Irivine and Annalot

after the tournament, hungry and tired, there was Russel. victorious, the warrior amongst all the other ones. the chosen as a new knight. a ceremony started short after the tournament ended, there the king, the Gunther, and all the other commanders and important officers in the kingdom military were present.
it was a long ceremony, for all the knights of the kingdom were focused in one single square. Russel could feel how giant was the army of the kingdom, for not only of knights it was made.
the young “man” was called by the king, he went directly to him, so the king spoke:
“you who are victorious among those young warriors, you may bow before my authority now.” Russel bowed before the king. his heart was singing of happiness, finally, a knight. The king draw his sword and put it upon Russel’s head;
“you who bow before me, god smile upon you, for now, you may become a knight. But before being one, you must swear those words, take then within your heart, and live by them, and only by them. speak, oh young spirit, are you up to this? Speak in one single word”
Russel answered: “yes”
“then you may swear those words, First of all, a knight must follow justice, you may never hurt the weak, you may oppose those who defy  the law, be it god’s or man’s, a knight may never be weak of heart, the strength of a knight resides inside his heart, not in the sword, a knight must be brave, never fear pain nor death, a knight must thrust his friends, and bring  justice to his foes, may never bring doom, if its not necessary, a Knight must be light and simple of spirit, and must by all means believe in what is right to him”
finishing those words, the king slaped Russel’s face hard.
“and this, is for you to never forget those words. Now Knight, rise and speak your name, out loud, so your friends and your foes might recognize you” Russel hesitated;
“what name should i speak?” was Russel’s thoughts  ” i am Russel? or i am Annalot? who i am? what name should i speak?”
the king then said again “Rise knight, show no fear of death nor pain!”
” Russel is my name fair sire! Russel!”
” Russel what? ” spoke the king
” just Russel fair sire, i have no father nor mother. “
” Then your name is now Russel Lonewolf, for lone was your life until now”
all the knights present there cryied a cheerful” AHAAAA MATE! ” the streets had shaken with such strenght. and Russel’s heart was filled with joy. but was it Russel’s heart or Annalot’s heart?
following the ceremony, inside the castle at the walls a huge party was being celebrated, in honor of the new Knight, but something deep inside his, or rather her heart’s started to call. Russel retreated to a silent place, a garden filled with red roses, deep green were its leaves, and the night sky was starry, giant was the moon, and there was a small pound. there the wind blew gently and so, Russel laid down the on grass.
“Russel, i am Russel now? or i am still Annalot? tell me moon, who i am? ” a bit sad the answer came quickly “… but of course, i am still Annalot, i cannot end being a girl, this is something i can never deny, right?” Annalot pointed the stars ” i wonder how mother is doing, even through i am surrounded by so much nice and fair people, they think im someone else, they dont know who i really am.” she looked to the roses and smiled ” red are those roses, maybe someday i will be beautiful as they are, now i have to act as a man, but how long i will manage? “
the Gunther came to the gardens, and found Annalot laying around, The Gunther spoke: ” Russel, come, there is a party for you here, everyone is drinking, eating, singing, dancing, playing, come and have fun comrade! tomorrow will be work and only work for a long time.”
“oh, right sir, just a little bit more here please, i will attend the party soon”
“no need for this” said the Gunther ” you dont have to call me by Gunther when his majesty is not arround, the name is Reon” spoke the gunther.
“Reon Sir, i am going, be sure of it ” said the little Ann
” aye mate ” the Gunther was gone.
night was of party and fun, games and songs, everyone lasted until the sunrise in joy. but Annalot, who had something hurting a little inside her heart. the only woman between all those mans, yet she was not afraid of it, she was glad, glad that she was now, a knight.
the first day at the castle, there was  her, ready at the first hours of the day, but came the messeger and said “no need of you now Russel, you might go to the stables, today is yet another special day for you”
fast Russel rushed to the stables, there was a knight, with short and red hair, tall as a tree and wearing a white armor, he did not waited, and soon as possible he stated his name post and task. “My name is Baramae, i am the second in the command of  the Kingdom Chivalry, my task is assign a weapon to you, now young man, what weapon you would like to use?” Russel pointed the sword, Baramae laughed “its too heavy and huge for such young man, pick up another” Russel pointed the Axe, baramae laughed yet again ” its way too broad and slow for such a small person, alas i doubt of your strength, pick up yet another” Russel stood still, thinking about the weapons in his disposition, and then he pointed the daggers, Baramae smiled ” those are your aid, two daggers, one is the justice, and you may hold it in the right hand, other is faith, and you might bear it with the left hand.” Russel understood, and took the daggers dear to him, but before anything, baramae also spoke ” but thou might not be able to stand the enemy with just a knife. there is no fucking way you could beat foes with just daggers, those are dear to you, but to survival alone, not for battle”
Baramae smiled and said: ” there, your weapon is the Spear, swiftly and deadly, the spear may pierce lies and darkness, and may bring upon your foes terror and nightmare, hold it, day and night, and it will hold you battle after battle, never forget, the spear strike sooner than the sword, swifter than the axe, stronger than the hammer”
“now you may linger at will at the castle, its your day off”
Annalot wandered at free will within the castle’s walls. she found in a high outer wall hall’s a silent and tranquil place to be herself at least for a short time. she stared the view, what a beautiful view of all the houses and far, fields and mountains, forests, rivers she could see everything under the bright blue sky. she stayed long at that hall, until sunset. there she pondered.
“i have left home, didnt i? without even thinking about it, but… now… somehow i miss it. i miss mother homemade food, i miss Cecilia and everyone else. i am so near home, but i cant go there. those walls wont allow me to dwell outside.” wind came gently, as the sun was setting down behind the mountains she keept there, thinking of her life until the very moment she became a knight.
“a knight i am? i am really a knight? or is Russel a knight?” she spoke this riddle ” as Annalot i still cant be a knight.” she gave a look at her spear and spoke those words ” i am far from home, i miss some things but, im living a dream now, is that something that i should regret? deny marriage and family, deny everything in order to fulfill my dream? what i am? what the hell i am doing? speaking with a spear, can it even listen to what i am saying?”
“… the spear, that i do not know, but i can.”
Annalot went from her usual pinkish tone from a real white in a blink of a eye.
“w-who and where are you?”
“do not fear” a maid showed up ” i have listened to you, Annalot.” the maid gave a smile ” Irivine is my name, and do not fear lady Annalot, you secret is well guarded inside my heart, you know lady, from the place i came, weapons are alive, they burn with fire inside, for they have came from fire, and it still burning inside them. give proper treatment to your spear, alright?”
Annalot gave a smile “so, Irivine, i should give her a name?”
” her? who?” Irivine asked.
” the spear, she is yet another maiden if you’re right, and it makes three of us” annalot said “so, what name should i give her?”
Irivine looked the skies and replied ” Annalot, the Sunset and Sunrise are the same, the only difference is that they are each other looking through a mirror”
“Aria then, its her name, Aria” pround was Annalot
“what a nice name ” smiled Irivine “Aria, i think she might be happy now”
“no doubt she is, no doubt” said Annalot with a gentle smile
the two maidens, sorry, the three maidens stayed there looking to the skies, watching the stars and gazing the moon.
and so, the first true friend of Annalot Showed up, a girl who she could speak and be a girl. she was glad, and relieved.

Chapter Five – First Job

It has been three months since the rise of the new knight. Russel was being trained day by day in many different disciplines, among them he was being lectured of laws, science, and geography. a knight need wisdom above the average, or else, he is a mere soldier. he was being teached archery and chivalry too. a spear knight usually fights mounted. if in foot, they are called counter chivalry. rather weak against swordsman. so thats why the more knowledge they have, the higher is the wining probability.
in those three months Russel was being trained inside the castle, the castle being a huge place, had five fortresses around it. the castle had a cultural complex, a research facility, a military complex, a gastronomic  complex also two lakes and a huge forest. whose either Russel and Annalot never ventured inside.
it was morning, sun was yet going to rise up in the skies. Annalot was still asleep in her room, when a messenger come at her doors and started to knock.
” Russel, hey Russel, wake up, today you will attend your first job as a knight. “
Annalot flashed out her bed, if not eager for her first job, fearing the fact that she was looking entirely like a girl. she changed and took Aria, and with the messenger she went to the main fortress, it was more like the military office of the kingdom, there Annalot was guided to a room on the backyard of the fortress.
there she meet Baramae again, he was laughing with the other knights.
” Sir ” said the messeger ” there he is, do you need anything else sir? “
” nay, Pelep. you may go now, its a Knight’s affair from now on “
“ acknowledged  sir ” said Pelep the messenger
Annalot was starring to everyone with sleepy eyes. questions on her head were ” why so early”, “what kind of task is it?”, but it didn’t lasted longer, Baramae soon started to speak.
” now now my Knights, this young one is Russel our newest member,  let us give him the cheers! “
everyone complimented  Annalot with full energy, she didn’t knew yet why such cheer, but she was glad and smiled trying to maintain a boyish way. it was hard for a girl like her to keep being a boy in such mood.
” umm… may i ask you something Sir Baramae? ” said Annalot
” go on young Russel. “
” its good to be cheered like this at morning, im glad but… why do i am being cheered for? “
” you has been admitted in the Squad Twelve, you are tagged as a Guard Knight rank, its pretty much like being a elite knight from the start. you’re a young lucky bastard you know? “
” oh alright, a guard… like a… ” Annalot stopped and pondered about it, without much delay she shouted ” W-what did you said right now sir? i think im still asleep, i heard you saying that i am at… “
Baramae interrupted her
” nay russel, you heard well, being a guard is almost being like a elite knight. and you’re a City Guard Knight. its more than just a castle guard or anything else. you are the final defenses of the innocent people of this kingdom. “
Annalot sighed, for her it was a heavy first burden to take, and also, why so early in the morning? it might be two to three ours before the sun rises.
” now, i may speak the real deal to you. ” baramae spoke in a serious tune
” real deal sir? “
” our real task now, listen Russel, there is a Assassin out in our city, this guy is working for a merchant guild, yet we dont know any more details, but all his targets until now were important people of other merchant guilds. He simply kill them and leave, dogs cant catch his scent, he doesnt leave anything, but his killing methods are always the same. we are out to search and kill him. thats our order. “
Annalot stood silent, she was shocked knowing that her first job was to take a Assassin out. wasnt that a little too much for such inexperienced knight? she objected.
” Sir, i do not think im qualified to such task yet. im still a newbie at our ranks and i do not have fought any battle before so… “
” i understand your concern young Russel ” baramae said while taking a stick from the ground and starting to drawn a picture ” listen Russel the guard squads are split in a order so that we can have days to rest. there are ten guard squads and we are split in a period of  four days, two squads are out per time, one takes the north section, other takes the south section, we the Squad twelve are out to the north section, the Oak Square. “
” the Rich District ? “
” Correct young one. Now, our teams work in parties of two persons plus a backup. you will be with those two mans here. ” Baramae pointed to a golden haired knight, with red eyes, his face was scary like a beast ” this guy is Enrich, know as Red Beast, not only his looks but his behavior in battle is of a beast. he will be your backup.”
” if anything happens, just call out for me, and i will be there fast as the wind. “
” uh… nice to meet you too ” said Annalot
” and this fine guy here is Melmer ” Baramae grabs a tall officer with a spear in hands, he had a somehow long dark hair and his eyes were blue, almost looked like they were lit ” he is know as shooting black star, he is fast, man he is fast, also his swing can kill horses with a single blow, and that is true! i saw it with my own eyes! “
” now now Bara, its not like a miracle, that was almost like a lucky shoot ” said the tall man Melmer ” nice to meet you young Russel, i will be your partner in this task, i will be right beside you so theres nothing to fear “
” But Still ” said Baramae ” Russel has no battle experience and above all things, he may be skilled but is lack of instinct. it will be dificult to him. also,  im concerned of one more thing. “
” what is it sir? ” Annalot asked
” see, think of yourself as a bait, you are the newest knight. lack of experience and instinct. you’re a easy target “
” what? “
” yes, but there is a advantage, your identity will be hidden by the armor, so nothing much to fear “
” and we will be there Russel ” said Melmer ” nothing to fear at all “
She was relieved, astonished, but relieved.
” we shall depart now. to the gates there is our transport “

Chapter Six – the Assault

The sun had not risen yet, and out to the duty was the Squad twelve. the Team Altair, Annalot, or rather, Russel, Melmer and Enrich were positioned at the center of a huge residential park. their task, stand there providing security to the citizens. Arriving the town, the knights were drove to the town office, it was like a tiny castle in the middle of the district.
” go on, put your armors already we dont have much time until sunrise. ” said Baramae.
” excuse sir ” said Annalot ” but… when you mean put armors, you mean, changing clothes?”
” exactly. ” Baramae confirmed
Annalot shivered upon hearing it. how she was supposed to change in front of all the knights? if she did, of course the whole disguise would fail. no doubt, she took the armor and rushed to change on the visitor’s bathroom.
Having that heavy armor that covered from the tip of the feet to the top of her head, covering even the face. there was Annalot, looking more like a iron puppet than a knight.
Sun Rose and people started to walk by, Annalot sure missed the normal life of the burg,  wifes going to the marked buying supplies to the daily life, merchants entering in and out, it was a interesting  job, working with people, for the people, that was nice.
something that the town guard should know was about the town itself, sometimes foreigners come to ask for information. and every time that happened Annalot was glad in helping them.
it was mid day already and the child was playing arround, a little girl catch Annalot’s eyes. she was small, with golden hairs, and had a familiar doll in her arms. No doubt for her, it was none other than Cecilia. her best friend and neighbor. Cecilia wasnt looking so well, the little girl was down. walking on the streets alone, holding her doll with all the strength her little arms could provide.
seeing such a scene, Annalot could not control herself. when Cecilia passed in front of her she called
” little girl, is something wrong? why are you so down? “
the little girl stopped looking to the armored knight in front of her
” why are you alone? why arent you playing around with your friends? “
Cecilia answered
” i miss my big sister mister guard. “
” oh, is that so? do you have any idea were is your big sister? “
” no mr. guard ” said Cecilia ” she disapeared, and makes three months now, i miss her, she was my best friend.” the little girl showed some tears in her eyes, but did not dropped them.
” dont worry, you will find her ” Annalot answered ” i bet she miss you too, you just have to grow up, and be a strong girl. i am sure you will find her again. “
” why do you can tell? ” asked the little girl
Annalot lifted the helm’s mask, and gave a wink while smiling to the little girl.
” thats our secret, is that ok little girl? “
Cecilia smiled and her eyes started to water, she did dropped two or three tears trying to hide her happiness.
” i will mister guard, im so relieved that you told me this, i will grow strong, just like her. i will grow strong and i will beat everything that tries to stop me. “
Annalot giggled ” thats right, i know she will be waiting for you “
and them Cecilia keep her road, singing and smiling like a cute little bird. Annalot was glad, and happy. being a guard wasnt such a heavy burden after all.
wrong. it was because the day had just started.
two times, Annalot spotted two times a robbery. she jumped in action four to five times, and had to stand still in a hellish sun for hours. Annalot was almost cooked  inside that huge and heavy iron armor.
” oi dammit Melmer! ” said Annalot ” Why do the hell, from all days to come, have to come just today when im out in duty? this is just unfair! “
” haha young Russel, its always like this, after four to six turns you might get used to this “
” five to six turns… you’ve gotta be kidding. there is no way i can survive such.”
” not five to six, four to six ” Melmer fixed Annalot’s sentence ” and also, it will always be like this, and be sure the routine of today was almost common. there are days when we have to run from to offer backup to other teams. quit complaining it could be worse. “
” alright alright ” annalot sighed hard ” so once night falls we go out for the assassin, i am right? “
” not realy, we will make patrol here, see that lamps over there? ”  Melmer pointed
” ye, whats with them? “
” we have to walk with them looking for something suspicious or giving security to the civilians.”
” sounds better than just standing here cooking at the sun. “
” hehehehe nice one Russ ” said Enrich who was making his patrol ” but night is dangerous, even inside the burg “
” i can tell. ” Annalot Answered
” my my, settle down and keep doing your watch, we need to stay alert all time. “
” but the flux just went down Melmer ” annalot complained ” dont we need a rest? a break? talking like this is good to lift up the mood “
” we can talk, but guards usually stay shut, quiet, and alert, ready for any emergency “
” way to be a jerk. ” Annalot sighed
” he was always like this, dont worry you will get used ” laughing Enrich said so ” Melmer is a stubborn  jerk, the kind who is always following his thoughts strictly, you can tell that his way of the jerk salved the mission sometimes.” stated Enrich ” but still, geez he is a jerk “
Annalot laughed, the knights had a nice and long conversation until the nightfall, no issues happened and the hot weather was changed by a pleasant one. with a dark indigo sky full of stars. the moon wasnt out, so the night was rather darker than usual.
” why it has to be so dark, and from all days, it has to be today? ” said Annalot with her shoulders down
” get composure Russel its night, the assassin might attack. anytime, anywhere, we never know. ” Melmer Lectured her.
a man passed by, he was holding a basket covered by a blood red fabric. it sure was suspect. Annalot decided to follow him
” hey Mel… “
” its Shooting Dark Star from now on, and you are Young One. so whats up? “
” well Shooting Dark Star, you saw that man didnt you? “
” yep, is something wrong about him? “
” the air, he sure have something suspicious about him.”
” i got where you want to reach, go on, keep your eyes open.”
” aye sir ” and with it Annalot went to follow the suspicious man.
Annalot followed the man from a distance. once the man stopped a person came from the shadows of the square, they started to talk, and Annalot stayed there watching the scene. A chill on the air.
Annalot turned violently backwards deflecting a dagger blow.
“SHOOTING STAR! RED BEAST! ITS HIM, TAKE THE MAN WITH THE BASKET ILL TAKE CARE OF THE ASSASSIN! ” called Annalot. a dark flash, it was melmer, who fast took upon the merchant. Enrich drove in the scene like a beast, and with his own fists punched hard the assassin who was knocked back.
“ROGER SIR! ” Annalot charged violently upon the assassin. he made through with a dodge roll and aiming Annalot’s backs he launched a stab.
But Annalot was faster, she stopped the blow aiming a broad swing at he assassin’s neck, who used his dagger to parry the attack. the impact was too strong, the assassin went back about five steps. then he rushed into Annalot’s chest.
she aimed a descending swing at the assassin, he fast parried the blow and changed the dagger hand holding Annalot’s spear with his hands
” WHAT THE ” with that Annalot stopped his advance with a accurate kick on the assassin’s face, breaking his nose.
the assassin rolled behind and looking to the knight who without thinking started a chase with a thrust aimed to the assassin’s belly.
without thinking. the assassin drove inside the woods.
” OI WAIT! ” before Annalot started her chase, Melmer shouted
” AAAAAAAAH! ” Annalot thrust  a tree ” dammit. i had him on my aim, he was mine “
” dont worry young one ” melmer comforted her ” first we have to take this man to the offices, im sure his basket is suspicious “
” sure it is ” Enrich came carrying the other man like a dead deer on his shoulder ” he is selling drugs, see? ” Enrich showed brown panaceas. ” we have to take those two to the office. “
” Red Beast, you go with the Young One, i will take full responsibility  on the perimeter “
” Roger shooting, come Young um. bring the other bastard “
both went to the district office. Annalot’s first night at the job was just starting

Chapter Seven – Female Instinct

Arriving the district office Baramae who was taking care of the office affairs immediately asked for a brief report; Annalot was the one who delivered it.
” Russel spit it out, who are those rackets? and what did they do? ” said baramae
” sir, those two gentlemans are the current target for our assassin sir, yet i fought him off, he ran away into the dark woods sir, Melmer refrained me from going after him. also, Enrich stated that one was selling drugs. “
” drugs? “
” yes sir drugs, we dont know yet what kind. “
” interesting… do you know anything else? Enrich, Russel? “
” no sir ” they both answered at the same time
” its ok, well take them in custody to the castle. for both safety and punishment “
” whoa! ” screamed the merchant ” i was just selling, its my job, im being forced to do so “
” so it was your duty to report back. ” baramae said with a dry tune
about 6 hours until sunrise, Annalot and Enrich took the carriage to take the two persons in custody to the castle, they arrived the castle about 2 am. the distance is quite huge, because it was two hours with a carriage in fast motion.
arriving the gates, Enrich had to alert the guards in order to make preparations to those two law guests. Annalot stood outside the carriage guarding them. silly because she was more scared than anything. truth must be stated, she is a girl, she might be acting as a boy, she may be a knight, but she is still a girl. a impulsive one. and Annalot was scared  of the night’s sounds, owns, rats, the wind on the trees, it was all a little creepy for her, with such a darkness.
” hey, hey you “
” AAAAAAH ! ” Annalot crouched
” are you kidding you’re a knight right? ” it was the merchant inside the carriage
” oi shut up or i will show you what is a knight ” Annalot answered in a angry and serious voice
the merchant silenced, of course he would silence, standing by the side of the carriage, a knight heavy armored with a spear, and they were inside the carriage bound by chains, she could kill them easy as pigs. Enrich returned and took the carriage in and said:
” russel, i have to fill the papers for those two, you will escort them to the outer cells, do NOT let your guard down. “
” … even inside the castle? very well then,understood! “
Annalot took them, wandering in the dark alleys of the castle, the night was cold, and dark for it was new moon, no other knights around and a creepy feeling. Annalot could tell that something was wrong, she was with full guard. the two prisoners walking in before her, so she could keep an eye on them, and her other eye were directed to the entire area.
the wind blew strong, it was cold, she couldnt feel it too well, the heavy armor she was wearing couldnt allow, but she felt it on her face, and it was so dry that her face was sightly scratched. for a moment she looked to the skies, were the moon should be.
she saw a flash, a metallic flash, jumping from a roof to another. she pretended to not notice it, and keep walking with the both mans. arriving a open space, a wide one, she held her spear tight and whispered
” watch yourselves, he is here “
the mans almost panicked. but again she spook.
” oi, i said to watch yourselves, keep walking and pretend there is nothing wrong going on. “
once they passed by a arbutus a noise could be heard.
” watch out! ” annalot fast trusted her spear in the arbutus, she killed a rat.
” … a rat? you’ve gotta to be kidding knight, this must be a- ” before the merchant could finish Annalot jumped over them and they hit the floor, a dagger has been trowed and it missed all the three targets. she spotted a figure on the top of a roof.
” i knew it, you two, run! “
” w-what? “
” run you bunch of rackets! “
they ran, in the direction pointed by the knight
the assassin trowed another dagger and annalot deflected it with her arm, covered in heavy armor and leaped directly to the assassin. he ran, but annalot was faster and angry, she was running almost like a hound against a fox. the assassin ran through the castle and entered the forest. annalot give chase, even inside the dark forest, disvantage was with her.
once the assassin started to slow down annalot got speed up and keep the chase, without giving space to the enemy.
the forest was dark, the more inside it, the less light. the dark brown coat of the assassin blended well inside it. opposite to annalot’s heavy armor, that even with the most dim light could shine inside the forest.
but at a point inside it, the assassin completely blended inside the darkness, and so the evil plan started.
” you cant tell where i am, can you? “
” grr, stop joking around and fight like a man! come here and face me “
annalot felt a chill, someone was approaching her from behind, fast she trusted her spear behind trying to hit something, she could hear something jumping on the arbutus around.
” its useless, stop wasting time, you’re dammed. you shouldnt have come this far chasing me, poor knight, your life ends now “
he jumped from above the trees, annalot’s sense alarmed her and fast she blocked the fatal landing and trowed the assassin away. she could see his face. fast, she charged and swigged  her spear broad, the assassin’s face received the attack. it was weird, because he didnt moved a inch, something was wrong.
” enough, if its not me that is going to kill you, then they will, farewell knight. “
” dont run away! come here and face me until the end! ” annalot called the assassin, but no response, and in the top of all this, a cold wind blew through the trees.
it was a black wind, something was wrong, the chill of the situation was even colder and sharper than the assassin’s, and soon, before annalot could notice, she was surrounded by five white wolves.
five white wolves looking at her, all of them looking with both anger and hunger at the armored knight.
“… the assassin is gone ” said annalot adjusting the grip of her spear ” its cold… ” she adjusted her posture ” im tired ” she laid the spear down in position ” and i am angry as hell ” so if you dogs want to bring it on ” she put strength on her arms ” then come, i will make sure that my new winter coat is white ” the wolves leaped, she deflected them one by one.
every time she swung her spear the wolves leaped back, and she gave chase, dodging the charges and counter attacking with punches and kicks.
but a wolf leaped and bite her spear.
” why you ! ” she launched the wolf and it crashed on a tree. ” less… ” she charged and trusted the spear in the wolf’s belly, a fatal wound, the white creature howled high and died ” … one! ” the four wolves leaped together aiming her backs, she swung the spear once and the blade hit all four in a single strike.
” time to sleep forever dogs! ” she gave chase and smashed the spear in one of the wolves, she blade made a heavy cut at the wolf’s neck, it was a fatal wound, ” now i have to deal with three more! “. saying so she made a step and trowed the spear, she missed the attack and a wolf leaped to attack her, she went to the floor.
a struggle between her and a wolf, she managed to hold the wolf’s neck and holding it with the two hands she resisted for a short time, her strength started to fail, she let go one of her hands and fast punched the wolf’s nose with all her might
a cry, the wolf let go of her, she rolled and took her spear, and while standing up, she released a rising blow that dealed a fatal wound. two wolfs lasts.
” who’s next? “
the wolves ran away.
” woo, woof ” annalot was tired, she sited for a minute in the darkness of the forest.
” man, not half bad right? ” she said ” enough for today, lady luck is aiding me too much, i might die the next encounter. better go home and ask for a break. ” she took the three wolves and went to the castle, exiting the dark forest.
arriving the principal office , with three white wolves on her backs she saluted her partners.
” night everyone, guess who just fought a assassin plus five wolves?”

Chapter Eight – Her First Kill. the blood has been spit by the first time.

” The hell annalot, what are those… DAMMIT HOW THE… WHITE WOLVES? ” said the huge officer sitting on a chair at the castle headquarters
” This is not, by any means happening. how many of them you shoot down? ” every knight inside the office was astonished by seeing such a young figure holding three dead white wolves
” just those three, the other two ran away, uuh… ” said russel
” whats wrong? ” the huge officer spoke
” well sir, it just happen that i was on duty, taking two merchants to the outer cells… but, see, we were attacked inside the castle and i told then to run to the outer cells, i gave chase my target until we entered deep inside the castle’s forest. but… ” annalot stopped, took a deep breath and finished ” he ran away. “
after a long talk about why did he give chase and why did him told the prisoners to run. Enrich appeared at the office, not really happy. and with two familiar faces with him.
” the hell russ, why did you let them run through the castle? “
” because uh… we were under attack. “
” ah, just let them die, its not like we really need them anyway “
” wait wait, what just you said, of course we need them, they are like… baits ” said annalot while waving her arms
” yeh russ, but we can take more decoys ” said Enrich while putting his hands on his shoulder ” just, just go sleep, ill take care of those guys okay? “
” alright… “
annalot went to the knight’s tower, after changing to a light armor, passing the door she saw someone on the top of the stairs to the first floor, it was wearing a coat, she only could see it as a shadow, since it was blocking the light.
” uh? who are… ” before she could even finish her sentence, the figure dashed to her fast  as the wind, it rushed for her neck. she managed to dodge it by crouching and creating a opening.
” ow, this just cant be happening, its you again, at least let me have a rest! ” she said while picking her daggers
” you’ll be fighting me with daggers? this gotta be a joke. ” said the assassin
” got any problems? ” she rushed to the assassin holding two knifes, they clashed it could not be heard by far. every clash of the knifes made the room light up a little and at those moments Annalot could have glimpses of the assassin’s face.
she was trying hard to make the assassin wounded, but just knifes were not the best weapon she could chose. the assassin was just playing with her, and that she could feel and see at his face. he was just waiting until she felt tired, to launch the final attack.
annalot sliced the air once, she missed, and with this, the assassin kicked her belly strong. she flew through the hall, and crashed upon a weapon holder, swords, spears and axes fell upon her.
” ouch that hurts ” said annalot, and the assassin come after her neck, fast as the wind. without even thinking she took the nearest weapon she could touch and rose it against the knife.
she took a axe, and its broad blade blocked the slice, yet the timing was so perfect that the assassin got off balance. she stood with the axe and swung it at the assassin. it was so strong, and the axe was so heavy that she ended spinning. three times. unfortunately the assassin avoided the three spins.
” what the hell are you? ” the assassin said in a surprised voice, but there was no response.
annalot let the axe go, and it flew towards the assassin. he avoided it, luckily, because the thing crashed at the wall with such strength that the poor bricks were smashed and flied through the room; seeing the opening the assassin ran for annalot’s neck. she crouched again and avoided it, her hand touched a sword, without thinking twice she took it in hands and tried to slice the assassin. she managed to at least give a superficial wound to the assassin’s belly
” you again NOW IM MAD ” the assassin become a flash. attacking by all sides throwing knives and trying to slash annalot. she deflected all the blows with the sword. panting already, she was really tired.
” someone… i need help. ” she whispered
the assassin started laughing at her, and started to talk
” you’re hopeless now, i never in my entire life left one of my targets alive. “
” stop… ” annalot was having problems deflecting the attacks, she was too tired already ” … that, i… … need air. “
the maniacal laughter together with the metallic sounds of knives clashing against a sword, were almost a symphony. a symphony that was interrupted by the sound of flesh being pierced
” aaugh! ” annalot cried, a knife pierced the light armor she was wearing now. she started bleeding and crouched to the floor. she was panting and bleeding. the assassin stopped the attacks and went to her. he stood triumphant before her.
” see knight? ” said him immersed in his maniacal laughter ” you’re no match for me. your life ends now. ” he took his knife slowly to kill her, by piercing her skull.
” NO! ” she took the knife out of her belly and trusted it against the assassin’s who delayed his knife. after trusting she rolled towards the assassin with the sword still in hands, the assassin fell upon her. but she rose up fast, and without thinking, she craved the sword in the middle of the assassin’s torso
a loud man’s cry, the entire castle could hear.
seconds after the cry, Enrich was the first one arriving the scene, and in the middle of the damaged room, there was the young knight russel, and a dead corpse with a sword craved on it.
” Russ, man… the hell just happened here? “
” … i… ” annalot was frozen looking to the assassin’s corpse
” hes dead? man you killed him, the fuck he is anyway? ” Enrich spook in a very normal tune
” i didnt… he was… “
” russ, you didnt do anything wrong, he attacked you right? you just defended yourself “
” but he… he… “
annalot was wounded, and she was bearing the pain for a time already. not only this but she was tired. she couldnt help herself she was shaking.
” man, you’re shaking real ba- ” the moment Enrich put his hand over Annalot shoulder, she collapsed at the floor. ” Russ! hey man! can you hear me! MAN HOLD ON! “
useless annalot was totally wiped out.
” OH FUCK HE IS ON FEVER! ” said enrich while checking the young knight’s forehead ” HE IS HOT AS THE HELL ITSELF! “
Enrich took Annalot to the medical dept. the medical dept was not far from the knight’s tower. the medical Dept. was run by the ladies of the castle. maids, nuns and the royal family woman.
” what just happened here Enrich? what is the meaning of this ” a maid spook
” he fought someone inside the knight’s tower. he is pretty wounded in the belly, and looks like he fought his limits off. “
” ROGER THAT MISTRESS! ” five nurses answered at the same time
everything that could be heard by annalot’s mouth was two names. ” Cecilia…” and “… Irvine”.

End of First arc