This occurs before he's dropped into the school
| The statue watched the armor plates rose and fell with deep breaths. A light shone right in the young man's eyes and caused him to stir.
Silverbolt awoke and stretched out like a great cat. A cup of coffee would be great about now. I should figure out where I am and get my hands on some money. Silverbolt waved to the statue, "Good morning Weird Lady. Time to earn my daily bread. I will tell you all about it when I get back."
Today we get back to the basics, get in, get out, move on to the next crime. Hopefully, it will cleanse me of whatshername. Sellers shouted in an attempt to bring people to their stalls. The smell of fresh bread caused Silverbolt's stomach to growl. Time to go looking for trouble.
He took to the rooftops and watched horsedrawn cabs take people to their destination. Mounted guards watched the crowds carry on their daily lives. I should listen in on conversations. For the next hour, Silverbolt didn't learn much. The city was called Ivorhaven and existed in a country called Rathmore.
Silverbolt didn't get a chance to learn anything else because someone shouted. "Runaway carriage."
As they say, no time like the present. The screams and shouts guided the armored hero to a narrow street where an ornate carriage sped along. The steel grey eyes looked down the road. A dead-end street? Not good. Silverbolt kept pace with the troubled transport. "I do need my morning exercise."
The music started, and the armored legs pushed the powerful body at an inhuman speed. I better get this right the first time, or the people in the carriage are dead. Here goes nothing. He landed feet first on the carriage's roof. "Is anyone in there?"
"Yes." A deep male voice said amid the screams of the other passengers.
"Duck." Silverbolt drove his fist through the thin wooden roof and pulled it off like it were paper. "I hope you have insurance." One older male, a woman, and a child. He looked up and estimated the distance to the end of the street. About a hundred yards to the brick wall. Nothing to grapple the meteor hammer to, and nothing soft to toss them on.
"Hang on tight, folks." Silverbolt leaped to the driver's seat and tore the harnesses for the horses, and broke the splinter bars. The horses took off like rockets. "Now, for the hard part." Silverbolt jumped and stood in front of the carriage and held out his hands. He braced for impact.
The carriage hit his hands, and his feet slid back. "Come on. Come on. Or we're all dead." The horses raced back down the street and passed the carriage in a brown blur. The carriage slowed just enough to prevent injury to the occupants but pinned the hero to the wall. He shoved the carriage out of the way. "Not a ride I would care to repeat."
Before the family laid eyes on him again, Silverbolt was already on the rooftops. He watched them disembark and hold each other close. I started the hero business for moments like these. I may never know the love of a happy family, but at least theirs will continue. Time to find the marketplace, see if I can cut a deal for some food.
Lady Constance Reynard disembarked from her ornate carriage. Her royal blue gown caught the attention of the young men. Her pale skin seemed to glow in the morning light. She paid no mind to the male attention. One young man dared to approach her with a single bloom in his hand.
"My lady, please take this flower as a token of my affection." The doe-eyed boy pleaded. He was on bended knee.
"I accept this gift in friendship and friendship only." Constance used her regal tone. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some matters to attend." She opened the parasol and waited.
A curly redhead stood beside Constance. She walked and talked like a true lady. "What is the first item on our list, Constance."
Constance saw a flash of silver. I wonder if my rescuer is around. It's all I can think about since last night. Strangely, his eyes said he was interested, but his actions told another story. I am one of the most eligible young women in Ivorhaven, yet he walked away as if he didn't know.
"Constance, are you listening? Do you hear that?" The curly redhead asked.
"Sorry, Madame Cuttle, I was reviewing the events of last night. What is that dreadful racket?" Constance's crystal blue eyes surveyed the area for the noise's point of origin.
The city watch came into view, armored boots moving in unison. Ahead of them were men dressed in studded leather. "Hurry it up, lads. we'll be home free once we lose these blackguards." A toothless thief shouted to his companions.
The horrid noise was right behind them, and something silver landed in front of the pair of startled women. A familiar clink of chain and the armored figure rushed forward. "Gentlemen, have any of you rode the lightning." A familiar voice said.
It's him. It's Silverbolt. "That's him, Madame Cuttle. The man who rescued me last night."
In the blink of an eye, the chain shot out from Silverbolt and knocked the leader down. The other two drew their daggers and rushed the metal-clad figure head-on. "Why isn't he running?" the shorter of the two asked.
The chain wrapped around Silverbolt's wrist and the batons appeared in his hands. "I'm not running because you're about to fear the thunder and flash of Silverbolt."
Constance closed her eyes tight as the dagger streaked towards the hero. Her ears heard the ring of steel on steel. "Is he still alive?" her voice was meek.
"Not only is he fine, but he seems to be enjoying himself." Madame Cuttle said in a snobbish tone. "Such a man is hardly civilized and unsuitable for a lady of your station."
The familiar crackle of electricity danced at the end of the batons. Two perfect strikes dropped the thieves at his feet. He stood at the ready as the guards approached. The horrid noise ended.
"Surely he doesn't mean to attack the guards?" Constance asked. Is he a noble? I know of no common folk with his skill.
The city watch stopped about ten feet away from the deadly armored figure. "You have our thanks, Mr.?"
The distorted voice spoke plainly. "Silverbolt, call me Silverbolt."
"How can we repay you for your assistance?"
"A hot meal wouldn't hurt right about now."
A guard reached into a purse and pulled out some silver coins. "This is the bounty for their capture, plus extra for keeping them alive. The common folk loves a messy trial."
Constance's heart beat a little faster as she watched the scene unfold. He didn't seem the bounty hunter type when I met him last night. Now that I think about it, he asked for nothing in return. I wonder what motivates him?
Silverbolt looked down at the small pile of coins. "Thanks. I wasn't expecting anything in return. I just wanted to lend a hand."
"Perhaps I was rash in my judgment, Constance. Did he ask for anything in return for your rescue?" Madame Cuttle asked in a fascinated tone.
"No. If anything, Silverbolt seemed eager to get away from me as fast as possible. He said he spent too much time on me already. It was an interesting encounter, to say the least." One that stole my heart, I might add.
Silverbolt saluted the guards. "If that will be all. I have a stomach to fill, namely mine."
Constance looked over at Madame Cuttle. "Do you mind if I try to get his attention?"
"Not at all. Consider my curiosity, peaked."
"Silverbolt over here," Constance shouted and waved.
Why does that voice sound familiar. It wasn't the guards or the family I saved half an hour ago. Do I want to turn around?
"Silverbolt, can you hear me?" the feminine voice asked again.
Silverbolt turned and saw the crystal blue eyes and midnight black hair. "I don't have time for this," he muttered under his breath. Yet he waited for her to approach. "I have things to do. Make it quick."
Constance giggled and held out a slender hand. "You may greet me properly, good sir."
What the hell does that mean? He shook her hand, and she giggled. "Is she your daughter?" Silverbolt asked the woman in the emerald green dress.
"No, she is a student at my finishing school, Madame Cuttle, at your service. I understand you rescued..."
"I don't need to be thanked. Now, I am off to find some breakfast." Good riddance to both of them. The meteor hammer found the pouch on the weapon belt. Silverbolt walked around them. The steady taps of feet told him the encounter was far from over.
"Perhaps you could escort us around? I doubt Rexword's employer tolerates failure. He may come looking for me..." Constance's voice pleaded.
Answer with no, that's all you have to do. Silverbolt looked into the bright crystal blue eyes, and he said, "I need to eat first." That is not the answer.
Madame cuttle agreed. "The Proud Lion is nearby, and the food is quite tasty. Did you locate the source of that awful racket? It sounded like people smashing instruments against the ground."
I better explain this one away. "I was tracking the source when the thieves struck. Not that I minded, I was due some exercise."
Constance hooked her arm on his. The scent of cherries and tiger lily drifted across his nose. His throat dried almost instantly. The bright smile was a complete distraction. For the love of God, Silverbolt put down the damn shovel and stop digging. You'll get in too deep and get stuck.
Madame Cuttle seemed miles away as Constance spoke. "Tell me what from what family do you hail? Surely you must come from a long line of warriors."
"I have no family. It's a long story, and one I don't care to tell. As for being a warrior, it came naturally to me." I don't have to hide my identity here, but I have to hide my past. I have no idea how often people from earth come to this place.
Madame Cuttle tousled her hair and pointed to the pouch. "What sort of weapon is that. It is a terror on the battlefield, or at least from what I saw."
"It's called a meteor hammer. It intimidates, grapples, trips, strikes, and has enough power to break bones if necessary. However, at close range, it loses most of its effectiveness. Which is why I have batons."
Constance leaned in closer and looked up at him with amorous eyes. Stop looking at me like that. What is her problem? I could zap her, but she is a sweetheart and probably matters to a lot of people. The last thing I need is to make more enemies.
"Why not a sword or a dagger?" Constance asked.
That is the most intelligent thing she's asked since I met her. "For the same reasons, I outlined earlier. You can let go now."
"I enjoy being near you. I feel safe and protected" Constance tightened her grip on his arm. "I will continue to enjoy this if you don't mind."
Here you go, Silverbolt. A second chance to tell her you're not interested. One look in the crystal blue eyes and gorgeous face, and he answered with, "As long as you're okay with it." I guess I'm content to screw myself over today.
The wooden sign with the lion on a red field came into view. I can't wait to stuff my face and bail or just bail. Constance let go of his arm for ten seconds. A crowd of people came toward the trio. Silverbolt chuckled and melted away. It would be a shame to waste the opportunity.
"Silverbolt, what do you...He did it again. He vanished. Not a word. There's that racket." Then a haunting voice filled the area. Constance looked up and saw a maskless Silverbolt singing from a rooftop. He held a note for eternity and pierced her with his steely gaze. The mask slid back on, and he took off.
Madame Cuttle smiled and patted Constance on the shoulder. "Perhaps it is not meant to be."
She has a point. Why pursue someone who is not interested in exploring our mutual attraction? On the other hand, nobody stirs my heart the way he does. "I think you're right. However, I won't be satisfied until I have tried." A stony determined expression appeared on Constance's face
"How do you trap Lightning?"
"That is the question du jour, Madame Cuttle. I could put myself in danger, but that would be foolish. Perhaps if we hired him part-time to protect the students..." She stopped when she saw the Dubois family stumble into the marketplace.
"We should help them." Madame cuttle rushed toward the distraught trio.
Lady Dubois was physically shaking, and her daughter, Mariette, clutched lord Dubois with animal ferocity. Their faces would have matched snowy linen cloth. "My daughter needs help." Lord Dubois said in a voice that trembled.
Madame Cuttle checked Mariette for injuries. "What happened, my lord?"
They don't appear injured."Should I call the City watch?" Constance spoke as she checked over Lady Dubois.
Lord Dubois waved his hand. "Not necessary. Can I have a moment to order my thoughts? It is a fantastic tale, and I wish to do it justice."
Lord Dubois is not known for flights of fancy. "Take all the time you need." Constance held Lady Dubois's hand and smiled. "You appear to be uninjured."
Mariette appeared to be in good health. Lord Dubois spoke in a low town. "As you know, Lord Tuxley attempts to court my favor. I don't know what he wants, nor do I want any part of his machinations." He stroked Mariette's hair. "While I can't prove it, I believe he attempted to kill us today."
Madame Cuttles' face frowned, and her eyebrows angled upward in anger. "I have heard about Lord Tuxleys sordid reputation. He propositioned several of my girls. I heard his home was a nest of inappropriate behavior."
Lady Dubois's voice shook as she spoke. "We had just finished at the jewelry shop. The carriage waited for us as per usual. We got in, the horses went crazy, and the driver abandoned us on a one-way street."
Constance and Madame Cuttle exchanged Shocked expressions. "Sounds like a terrifying incident. How did you survive such an ordeal?" Madame Cuttle asked in a curious tone.
"All hope seemed lost when someone landed on the roof." Lord Dubois bubbled with excitement. "A masked knight, I don't know, tore the roof off like it were fresh parchment, and that is not the most fantastic part of the story."
Why does the story sound familiar? Constance's mind drifted to her first meeting with Silverbolt, and she smiled to herself. "Please don't leave us in suspense."
Lady Dubois gave a girlish smile. "He released the horses and jumped in front of the carriage. The masked knight held out his hands and slowed the wagon to a stop, with no regard for his own life. We went to thank him, but he vanished into the aether."
"Silverbolt. You had an encounter with Silverbolt. He was here not ten minutes ago." Constance sighed lustily. The more I learn about him, the further I fall under his spell. If only he were under my influence. I wonder what he's doing right now?
The temple was quiet, and last-minute worshippers left the marble structure. Silverbolt landed in front of the weird lady statue on the same stone bench he slept on the previous night. "I tried to do some good today. I ran into the Damn Girl again. Was that your fault? What the hell am I saying? You have an entire world to run. I would appreciate not running into her again."
The water flowed from the basin once more. Silverbolt smiled behind the mask. "I'm glad you agree with me. Keep her safe, she's stupid, but the Damn Girl doesn't deserve to die for it. Find the Damn girl someone to keep her preoccupied. I have more important things to do." He yawned, and the sweet scent filled the air as it did the first night. The unseen gentle hands lowered his head to the cold stone.
The goddess stared down at the mass of kevlar and chrome plates. She spoke out loud to the sleeping warrior. "Well, you made good on your promise to protect my people. You ask me to keep Lady Constance safe. A mother shouldn't have favorites, but Constance pulls on my heart. She's already met you, Silverbolt. She'll pursue you, and I won't stand in her way."
She caressed his cheek and scanned his memories. "No wonder you fight to keep the darkness at bay. You have seen the evil of men up close and personal many times. You deserve a little happiness. I will make sure it finds you."