260 – Checkmate

She patiently waited for the black knight to telegraph his next move, he didn’t disappoint.

With what, in his head at least, was supposed to be a blood-curdling roar, he threw a clumsy, slow, and excessively wide blow with his long-sword. She was way clear of it and banging the back of his helmet with her own sword’s pommel before his blade hit the ground.

He growled and cursed, almost tripping on his own cape. Apparently being toyed around and made fun of by a woman you’re trying to fight was not how he had planned this day to go.

She had better things to do herself until he challenged her at the castle gates, but that’s life for you. For some reason a kingdom with a strong warrior-queen acted like a magnet for men of every color and region who wanted to put things ‘back in order’.

The black knight threw his sword aside, changing it for a huge war hammer. Was this guy for real? Damn! This was the kind of thing that really pissed her off. Here you are, doing your best to give some idiot time to reconsider his options and get away with his life and what does he do? Escalate the fight beyond the point of no return.

She let him finish what must have been an incredibly grandiloquent soliloquy, surely mentioning his prowess in battle, the monsters and enemies he had defeated and the noble reasons that compelled him to liberate her kingdom and take the crown for himself. She wasn’t really listening, although she politely pretended to pay attention, nodding every now and then. This were his final moments after all, even if he didn’t know it yet. The least she could do was save him the further humiliation of appearing boring on top of stupid.

He finally raised the hammer over his head and let another loud and useless war-cry out, running at full speed towards her. She barely had to move… his huge body kept running for a good dozen steps before realizing there was no longer a head attached to it and collapsing under its own, now very dead, weight.

The horned helmet and its contents stood at her feet, a couple of surprised eyes looking at the sky.

She could hear the murmurs from his army turning into panic as they hastily fled back into the mountains, ready to spread the legend of the invincible monster queen even wider across the land.

It was ok with her. The more it spread the better. Those smart enough to pose a real threat would stay clear of the valley.

Of course, there would always be some who would still try to challenge her, she would be ready.

She knew they, just like the crumpled pile of muscles behind her, were no brains and all balls.

She almost felt sorry for them.

• • •

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