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Infuriated by Raime’s slanderous words about their King, Velstadt takes action and fights the other knight.

For many long decades Velstadt had served King Vendrick as his right-hand man, leading the King’s forces against those that dared to oppose him. Some battles had been easily won, others were close, but Velstadt had triumphed every time earning him the promotion. Today he faced a different battle – a war of words with the advisor, Raime.

There were rumours amongst the soldiers Raime was plotting against the King, but Velstadt had thought nothing of it at first. Soldiers gossiped about everything and none of their words had ever been proven true. However, in recent weeks, Raime’s behaviour had become increasingly erratic, leading Velstadt to think that perhaps these rumours were true after all.

The knight had begun to avoid the other soldiers, and had chosen to isolate himself from the rest. He also no longer hesitated to bring up the flaws in Vendrick’s ideas (although he wasn’t confident enough to say this when the King was present) and often sought Velstadt out later in the day to debate politics.

But today, Velstadt chose to seek out Raime instead of waiting for the knight to approach him. The knight had been kind enough to leave him a note telling him to where to meet, and Velstadt had followed. He found Raime standing in one of the training rooms, leaning against a wall, a long sword in his right hand. He moved forward the moment Velstadt entered the room. Something was amiss.

“I’m surprised you’ve come – You never leave the King’s side. What changed?”

Velstadt’s fingers tightened their hold on his hammer. “The King wishes to be left alone,” he answered. Vendrick had been acting a little strangely himself – often Velstadt found him locked in his chambers murmuring to himself about souls, but Vendrick would always assure Velstadt he was all right if asked.

“The King has lost his mind – do you not see it, Velstadt, or do you choose to be blind?”

“You dare speak ill of our King?”

Raime took a few steps forward, closing the distance between them. He was now just a few metres away, and began to circle Velstadt, eyes never leaving his face. “King Vendrick isn’t the same man you swore an oath to many decades ago.” He raised his sword, and pointed the tip at Velstadt’s face. “He’s changed. The Queen has changed him, but you’re too blind to see that.”

Nashandra. The woman had come from some unknown land to warn Vendrick about the Giants threat, and Vendrick had made her his Queen in return for the warning. He had his doubts about Nashandra, but never said anything against her encase he angered his King. If Vendrick thought she deserved to be his Queen then he, as Vendrick’s right-hand man and commander of his forces, had to believe in that too. Raime, however, didn’t share the same opinion, believing Nashandra was poisoning the King’s mind somehow. Perhaps it was just jealousy which influenced Raime to make such blind accusations.

“Queen Nashandra has proven herself as an invaluable ally to our King,” Velstadt defended. “She warned him of the Giants… If she wanted to bring harm to Vendrick, why would she warn him?”

“To take power for herself, Velstadt.”

Velstadt shook his head. “King Vendrick loves her.”

“And it is love that has blinded him. It’s the same love that has blinded you.” Raime pointed his sword at him again. “You’d do anything for him, wouldn’t you? You’re his favourite.”

As Velstadt expected. Raime was still jealous that Velstadt was chosen above him, even after all these years. He gestured towards the sword Raime was holding and said, “You didn’t just invite me here to talk, did you? Fighting me is foolish – You’ll be branded a traitor by King Vendrick, and you’ll forever remain an enemy. Is that what you really want?”

“I just want you to see what I see – Nashandra must be stopped.”

“Speaking ill of the Queen is an attack against King Vendrick. I will not let you bring harm to him.” Velstadt raised his hammer, and took a step forth, preparing to strike. Over the years of working alongside Raime, he had come to enjoy his company – he did not want to have to fight, but he would do whatever it took to defend his King.
Raime hissed, then lunged forward and swung his sword.

Velstadt jumped back, kicked a leg out, successfully toppling Raime onto the floor. The younger knight cursed, helped himself back to his feet then attacked again. His attacks were futile – no matter how hard he tried, his sword would not be able to pierce the armour Velstadt wore so easily. Using both hands, Velstadt swung his hammer, knocking the long sword out of Raime’s hand. The sword slid across the floor well out of the knight’s reach.

Raime attempted to retrieve it, but Velstadt reached the blade first. He lowered his hammer, picked the sword up, and pointed it at his opponent. “You were like a brother to me, Raime.” Velstadt kicked him down again, and placed a heavy boot on his side, pinning him to the ground. “I will not kill you, but the next time we meet, I will not be so kind.” He removed his boot, and kicked him in the stomach, prompting a pained cry to leave Raime’s throat.

“One day you will see…” Raime hissed. “You’ll live to regret this.”

Velstadt kicked him again. “You had everything here in Drangleic – status, power and a place to call home. What will you have now? Nothing. You have brought shame upon yourself. Leave… and never return, or I will kill you.”
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