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by brom21
Rated: ASR · Short Story · History · #2255487
A dual is fought to decide he fate of a kingdom. but will things truly ever stay that way?
Bronus the Wise sat on a boulder. He stared at the full, bright moon with a smile. He sat at the bank of the Azure River. He took a deep breath. Bronus looked at a moth caught in a spider’s web. It bit the insect and the spider wrapped it in shiny webbing. A bird darted through the web and snared the spider.

Bronus reeled back and widened his eyes. He knew such display of God’s institution of the food chain was rare. He shook himself out of his wandering daze and stood. A gust of wind ruffled his robe and cloak.

Above him, on a rocky bluff, the Castle of Ithia was dotted with windows lit up by torch and candlelight. Bronus walked on a rough, crude path upwards. As he walked, he pulled his chin in thought. What was the kingdom’s destiny?

When he was halfway there, he stopped. Bronus saw the tops of the standards for the neighboring kingdom of Tanith were being carried out. An angry mob full of cursing and mumbling echoed.

“Something went wrong!” he said. Bronus sprinted to the secret back cave rout into the castle. The cavernous tunnel did not run farther than a dozen yards, and in minutes Bronus reached his own book-filled chamber. He ran on through a door leading to the main hall.

He huffed and puffed and stopped to rest. To his left the huge, arched entryway, horses with men holding the banners of Tanith on high poles. He looked at King Thaddeus, siting on a wooden chair against the towering walls of the hall. He was hiding his face in his hands, leaning over.

Bronus ran to Thaddeus and put a hand on his shoulder. “My Lord, I thought the peace proceedings were prospering.”

Thaddeus looked up. “The people of Tanith are heathens. When I mentioned God and said how we worship no other, they were offended and stormed out.”

“I was not aware there are those who still cling to false gods,” he said with a frown.

“Alas, so did I. This will mean more war.”

“My king, we must trust in God. As the Word says, ‘The battle belongs to the Lord.’

King Thaddeus jumped to his feet and cursed under his breath then put his hands on his hips. He shook his head. “There is no chance of either of us will give up or beliefs. What do we do, my wise friend?”

“I will pray to God that He will tell me how to end this with no war.”

King Thaddeus took a trembling breath. He scratched his head then threw up his arms. “Very well, then. May God give you revelation.”

A strong gust of wind from outside swayed both of their robes. “Shut the gate!” Thaddeus said.

The immense gate was double doored. Eight tall, muscular men began to heave it closed. A loud metal twinge echoed.

As the light of the moon was obscured by the shutting doors, torches were lit.

“Get to your quarters and pray good soul,” said Thaddeus.

Bronus nodded and trudged to his chamber. He planned to stay up for hours in prayer to reach an answer.

When he got to his chamber he kneeled and clasped his hands together in prayer. He wept as he did.

His vigil lasted past midnight. A bright light illuminated his room. Bronus fell on his face.

“I am Gabriel. Your answer has come. Let two warriors from each side fight a dual in the name of their deity. God is with your champion and his name is Durath. Go now and inform him!” said Gabriel.

The angel vanished. Bronus ran to get the knight named Durath. He came to his chamber door and pounded. “Arise good knight!”

Durath came out. “What is it!”

“Follow me! I will explain!” said Bronus.

Bronus told of his revelation to Durath and he dressed in armor and mounted a horse and Bronus did also.

They rode down the grassy nulls in the moonshine. Both men saw a man of the enemy in the distance. Bronus rode halfway and dismounted and walked to the man of Tanith. Bronus explained the simple challenge to the man and it was agreed upon.

Twenty minutes past and a huge, mammoth of a man appeared before Durath.

Bronus stood next to Durath. “Even as David slayed Goliath, so shall you defeat this man.”

Durath gasped. “His forehead is covered with helmet covering! A slingshot will not suffice!”

“Have faith! Now go!”

Durath approached the behemoth and looked up at him. He sneered and came down with his large sword. Durath held up his shield and was jarred backward onto his back. Before he could get to his feet, the giant put his sandaled foot onto Durath’s chest.

“Die, worm!” the large foe said.

He came down with his blade as Durath looked to his left and made out the head of a serpent and grabbed it. He pushed its fangs into the foot of the man. He fell back onto the ground holding his foot. It bled with the wound of the venomous Trident serpent, strong enough to kill five men of the mammoth’s size. He convulsed and in minutes his body lay sprawled on the grass.

A golden robed man stood watching the outcome and neared Bronus. “I am king of Tanith. Praise be to your God Bronus.” The king bowed his knee. Then he turned around and walked off.

Bronus motioned with his hand to Durath to hold his tongue. “Follow me,” said Bronus.

Bronus lead Durath down to the Azure River.

“Time must always go forward. It is like this river. As it goes it will meet rapids and rocks. The Word of God says the world will only get more wicked-so is the eventual treacherous waters ahead.”

“What about faith in Christ?”

“It will be persecuted to the death at the end time.” He sighed. “Let us inform the king of the good news.”

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