The prologue to The Monastery, a fantasy novel I am writing.
|Alende ran for his life down the dark streets, knowing that they would soon catch up with him. As the Aksarian ambassador he was always in danger, always prepared for attacks. But this night he had been taken by surprise as a group of masked mercenaries had ambushed him and his bodyguards as they sought shelter for the night in a small village. He thought about his guards as he ran. Loyal as they were, they had stayed behind to fight off the assault, giving Alende a chance to get away. But he knew that they were greatly outnumbered and would give him no more than a slight headstart.
He could hear the footsteps from the men behind him closing in, and he realized that he was a dead man. He saw his one last chance of escaping and turned in to a back alley, hoping to lose his followers in the shadows. But once he entered the moonlit alley he saw that it ended with a high brick wall only a few yards in, leaving him completely trapped.
Alende desperately searched the alley with his eyes for a way out, but quickly realized that there was no escape. He heard his attackers slow down right behind him, they too realizing that their prey was caught. Alende turned around to face them as he backed away in panic further into the alley. He knew there was no escape now.
But just as he bumped into the wall, watching in terror as the men slowly approached him with their swords drawn, he was saved by a miracle. In front of him, with two dull thuds, landed two cloaked men who appeared to have fallen from the sky.
It was an odd sight; judging from their looks the two mysterious men gave the impression to be Aksarian monks, but Alende didn't know of any clan who wore their specific clothing. One of them, who appeared to be the leader of the two, wore a completely blue robe with a bright red cape while the other one wore nothing but a simple, black robe. Alende realized that the one in black must be some sort of apprentice since he also had a shaven head, as all monk disciples had. But unlike all other monks Alende had seen, these two carried swords by their sides.
As soon as they stood up, separating Alende from his attackers, they drew their swords, which appeared too large to be wielded by men of their size. What happened next seemed almost impossible to Alende. He watched as the six masked men who had followed him into the alley charged at the mysterious monks, but in the blink of an eye four of them lay on the ground, dead. The monks had moved with incredible speed, their grand swords soaring through the air with perfect control, blocking the oncoming attacks and slicing down the enemies.
Seeing their friends fall to the ground, the other two mercenaries turned around and tried to run away as quickly as they could, but to no use. Before they could even take their second step, the monks had, with only a flick of their wrists, hurled several black knives at them, making them freeze in their steps and fall to the ground. Without a word, the monks then proceeded to retrieve the knives and, as if it was nothing, climb up the walls, disappearing onto the rooftops of the village. Left on the scene stood Alende, shaken and still in shock from the incredible scene he had witnessed. He was completely convinced that he had just been saved by angels.