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Wrenching his spear loose, he barely slid aside in time to avoid the shearing stroke of a sword. Off balance from missing his blow, the man stumbled. Asgalt grabbed his shield with one hand, spun him around, and drove his spear into his back. The Duke looked up in time to see Artor's sword about to descend, when Flan, in a clean hard lunge, drove his spear through the body of the Shang. The spear caught Artor under the arm, and actually pierced the shield on the other side of his body!

Artor staggered, shock and pain clouded his face.

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He looked at Flan, then back to Asgalt. Then his eyes glazed, he fell heavily, twitched and lay still. The rest of the climb was brutal. It seemed to Asgalt that he must have completely forgotten just how much physical exertion it required. He was thankful that the girl was sturdy, so that only a few times were they required to actually lift her. When they reached the ledge where they would make their camp, only pride kept him from collapsing at once.

The Shang had all carried food bags, so at least there was now plenty to eat. The fare was plain, but all thought they had never tasted better. There used to be a tree, and we got a rope caught in it, and I swung across. We built it from the other side. It was while we were trying to raise an army. It was a good place to escape to if there was need. He was determined to keep the Royal blood alive, and we could hole up, then dash across. We built the bridge from the other side, and Old Lyulf, cagey he was, designed it so that it would be easy to chop through from this side.

Other side has rock foundations. Conversation died, and the stars shone down, diamond bright in the crisp, clear night air. Asgalt leaned his bade against the rock and tried to sleep, but for a change sleep eluded him. He watched Eithne and Flan, heard the low muted laughter, saw the looks into each other's eyes. He smiled to himself, and he remembered another girl, one with hair black as night, and lips that were red, and eyes that laughed.

AsiAn WaRRiOR vs Hank Hill

Another night, long ago, when he had sat with her, and their eyes had met. He could still hear her laugh, see her smile, and feel the touch of her hand. How the people had gasped when he had married her and made her a Duchess! The life they had was good. The pain of losing her was still with him. It had been hard, but she had given him two strong sons and two beautiful daughters, and he must see that they were taken care of. Let me interrupt you children. It's foolish for me to pretend I'm not bone tired, and the two of you can make better time down the mountain to the way station than I can.

Take this, show it to the guard there, and grab two fast horses and go on to Castle Jagai. Give the ring to Olwen, and have him send riders out to raise the levy. He'll know what to do. Asgalt laughed. Hell, have him prepare for a tired old man! And Lyulf will have parades and pageants after this is over. Now let me get some sleep. But the sleep was brief, and this time Asgalt awakened with both Eithne and Flan. Food was gulped hurriedly and the last leg of the journey was begun. The last of the climb was hard, but quick. As they reached the top, as if planned, all three turned in unison and looked back down the trail; sun glinted off Shang armor.

Shaking his head in disgust, the Duke muttered. The last portion was made at a dog trot over flat firm earth. A quick turn, a small hill, and the bridge was before them. It spanned a chasm that was only the width of five tall men, but it extended out of sight on either side, and the eye was lost in the distance to the bottom. The bridge was a simple, crude affair, no railings, but two ropes on either side gave some security.

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Go cut the ropes on that end while I undo these. By the time he had finished, Flan had cut both and was standing beside him. Asgalt stripped off his armor and began to fashion a sling to go around his body and between his legs. Once this was done he turned to Flan and Eithne.

I can cut the bridge loose from this side and cross on the two remaining ropes. This was in case we ever got caught on this side. I told you old Lyulf was cagey. Asgalt secured the rope and lowered himself until he was even with the supporting posts of the bridge.

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He swung out and back until he had grasped a beam, then wedged himself between it and the cliff, wrapping his legs tight around the wood. He leaned back. He was tired and wanted to rest for a few minutes, but there wasn't time. He removed the axe from his belt and began to chop. The space was narrow, and the cut had to be made close to his body, so that there was little room for a full swing. He swung the axe in short, hard blows, wrenching it to clear the blade on each stroke. His hand cramped and his forearm began to quiver with the strain, but he never ceased his relentless rhythm.

It seemed to him that with each stroke the wood grew harder and the axe duller. But slowly, ever so slowly, the cut widened and deepened. He stopped, thrust the axe back through his belt and massaged his aching hand and forearm. A few more should do it, he thought. Damn, will I be glad to rest in a bed again, beside a nice warm fire. He hooked his knees about the beam, and trusting to the thick rope, leaned out, swinging the axe upward in vicious strokes, as if the wood were a personal enemy. The wood cracked and broke loose, and Asgalt kicked out and swung free in case the whole bridge broke loose, but it sagged, creaked and held.

The Duke ignored the yawning chasm below him, and cursed with a fervor and feeling that was awesome in its intensity. Still cursing, he pulled himself back up the rope, attached it on the other side, and began the whole process over. Sweat stung his eyes, and his back began to ache from the strained unnatural position. He worked more slowly, and would stop after several strokes to gauge the depth of the cut, and to clear his vision.

The bridge creaked and sagged even further as the amount of wood holding it grew less.

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After what seemed hours, the top began to splinter and snap. He quickly slipped off the beam and as he kicked back and away, swung the axe once more. The axe bit, the wood cracked, and the bridge slipped downward, grabbing the axe, flipping it loose from his grip. Then bridge and axe fell end over end into the depths below. Asgalt watched the dwindling shapes. Again he pulled himself up the rope, this time more slowly. A shout greeted him, and he saw Flan and Eithne wave from the other side. Asgalt waved tiredly. Even his bones ached. His forearms quivered uncontrollably, and his knees were flaccid, almost unable to bear his weight.

He pat down heavily, his body worn and his eyes dulled with fatigue. His hand aimlessly gripped the hilt of his sword, he gazed blindly at the mail shirt, helmet and shield that lay at his feet. Wearily he rose and walked back along the path. Far down he could see the first of the Shang as they made the turn, walking cautiously, expecting an ambush behind every rock. He walked back and picked up his mail, slipped it on, and buckled the sword about his waist. The familiar weight felt comforting, an old friend. He chuckled to himself. They're right, I'm growing old. Old Lyulf was right, it comes before you know, and soon you don't even care.

He looked across the gorge to Flan and Eithne, and their youthful figures brought back a flood of memories, and his past life fled across his mind's eye. He remembered the aimless wanderings, the battles; he stood again on the walls of Castle Glaun, with Colwen beside him, holding the breach against attack after attack, until the enemy fell back, dismayed and broken and not being able to break two men.

He wandered again, guarding the life of the King and the young Prince, and he remembered the final charge in the battle for the Crown. The foes falling before him until he had reached the Standard, cutting down the bearer, and then with one stroke cutting through the helmet, head and chest of Morgaun. He realized suddenly that life had been good to him, that he had achieved a great deal, and that now the battles were over. All he had to do was walk across that rope bridge. There would be parades, and feasts, and even tournaments, all in his honor.

And once that was over, there would be a quiet life for the remainder of his years. He would grow old, and slightly fat, and honors would still be heaped on him. His sons were near grown, and his daughters already promised. The Kingdom was secure, no new threats, no new battles. He thought of how nice it would be, to sleep in a soft bed, to take an attractive serving girl to the same bed.

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  7. Yes, life would be pleasant until that final sleep in that same soft bed. The Duke of Jagai stood and wearily reached for his helmet and shield, an old man, gray hair glinting in the sun, and tired beyond belief. The sword flashed in a short, bright arc, and the rope parted and twisted its way downward. The years and fatigue seemed to melt from his body as he buckled his helmet and dressed his shield on his arm.

    He stood straight and tall and strong, and his eyes were hell-bright! With a strong and steady stride, Asgalt, Duke of Jagai, marched down to meet the Shang.

    Jones, Hank, Warrior, PL112

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    Remember me not recommended for public devices. I forgot my password Password Reset. Sign up for a new account. Please select region, state or province. Outlying Islands U. Sign Up. You can't speak to the King like that! It isn't proper! He looked tough as boot leather. Read between the lines people, and don't hold someone accountable for something they said 10 years ago.

    While clearly, I am not condoning pedophilia in any way I think pedos should be shot in the nostrils with harpoons , I can recognize the distinction between a tasteless joke and someone's genuine beliefs. Most people can, but these Scrubby Jittering Wetters refuse to. No one is clean and I bet you could find something like this on pretty much everyone famous. It seems these days you can't even crack a joke without someone online shitting themselves and baying for that person to be fired, stripped of accolades and kicked to the curb.

    SJWs unite! Not out on the streets, though. No, not only are these people uninspiring and dull to listen to but they are so weak collectively that they don't even do it out in the open anymore, they all sit behind their computers and vent their impotent thoughts from the safety of their bedrooms. SJWs, you don't even know how to protest properly anymore, you're a bunch of fucking pussies is what you are.

    Google protests from the 60's, that's what they look like. These people were willing to take a punch for something they believed in. I highly doubt any of today's SJWs would do the same, not only that, they'd probably shatter from one jab anyway and be begging for their inhaler. Back then they protested properly, not this gaggle of university drop-outs signing stupid little petitions online because they're too lazy to leave their bedroom, not those online campaigners who get movies pulled because a director made crude jokes years ago - You're not in control of what people say!

    Who gives a fuck if you're offended by a joke? You don't have the right to never be offended by something, that's not in the human rights! I get offended all the time, and you know what I do?

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    Why are we even listening to these social outcasts? Fair enough if these people were professors of language and had valid reasons why we shouldn't use certain words, fair enough if they were venerated literary giants who could tell all of us exactly why we should not use such offensive slangs, but they're not; they're a bunch of frustrated, inept, unless, generic, nobodies. So, someone please tell me why we are even listening to their God-awful thoughts? My biggest problem with these twats is - other than the fact that they have zero sense of humour - is they end up costing other people, decent people, their jobs with their mindless fucking complaining.

    University lecturers lose their careers because they offended someone, directors get fired from films over comments they made, companies who pay shit loads to advertise now have to backpedal their marketing campaign because some fuckwit commuter can't take a joke. People lose everything because a small minority of thin-skinned wettys got offended. Following Follow.

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