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A dozen soldiers climbed up to the throne room’s balcony and charged at Mary-Kate and Ashley. Brett and Marc-Andre ran to help the two ladies while the King defended the Queen.

Brett managed to block a soldier taking a shot at Mary-Kate, but before he could react, another dark soldier stabbed Brett in the shoulder. Mary-Kate cried out, alerting Marc-Andre, whom hadn’t noticed that Brett had been struck. With one quick blow, Marc-Andre ended the life of the invader and made short work of the other.

Mary-Kate tended to Brett while Marc-Andre guarded them. Brett started to get up saying he was fine but Ashley told him he was in no condition to fight. Brett was determined to defend both her and Mary-Kate along with Marc-Andre.

“Here they come again!” Marc-Andre yelled out. “Get ready!”

Brett ran up to the King while the dark soldiers tried to break through the throne room defenses. “Sire, I think we must retreat. We can’t win this fight.”

The King turned to face him. “We are Arcadians! We never retreat! I will die before I surrender my kingdom.”

“Are you willing to kill us all for your foolish pride?” Brett said, boldly.

“How dare you speak to me in this fashion? I should have you killed. I say we stand and fight and that is exactly what we are going to do.” The King ordered.

Brett looked around, partially driven by the madness of staying and being killed because of a man who didn’t want to give up. “How many of you think we can win? Show me a raise of hands.” He looked around and didn’t see one person raise their hand.

Mary-Kate came up to him and tried to get him to sit down. “Come on Brett. It’s ok.” She pulled at his arm.

“No, it’s not ok. I just can’t sit here and watch you die. Nor can I watch Ashley die, or Marc-Andre, or anyone else in this room. There is no honor to be had in being killed. We run today and fight tomorrow.” Brett suggested.

A long silence followed where the soldiers debated to defy their King’s wishes, or escape with their lives. Time was running out with each passing second. Their kingdom had fallen and they would most likely all be killed in the futile attempt in defeating the enemy.

“I agree with Brett” Marc-Andre finally said.

“My own son defies me?” the King exclaimed.

“Father, we won’t win the kingdom back by being killed one at a time. If we leave now and gather allies and strength, we might be able to take the kingdom back again.” Marc-Andre said.

Ashley stood beside Marc-Andre as a sign of her agreement. Soon Brett and Mary-Kate joined them along with most of the surviving soldiers. The King was alone in willing to fight to the bitter end. Still not willing to give up, he yelled out “Go ahead! Run! See what good it does. If you want to be killed while running like cowards, go!”

The dark soldiers were moments away from getting through the defenses. The decision of whether to escape or not had to be made in the next minute.

“But, father!” Ashley yelled.

Brett looked at Marc-Andre, “We have to leave now, my prince.”

“Father, you must listen to us! We have to leave.” Ashley pleaded.

“NO! We stay and fight!” the King yelled back, as determined as ever.

“Marc-Andre, we -need- to go now!” Brett said louder.

“Father, I beg you! Please! Come with us!” Ashley cried.

“I will not desert our home!” the King exclaimed.

“Marc-Andre…” Brett yelled as he saw the doors starting to give way, “Now, Marc-Andre!”

“Brett! Get Ashley and Mary-Kate out of here. Soldiers, make sure those three make it out alive, and you are free to go.” Marc-Andre ordered.

“No! Wait! I can reason with him! Please wait!” Ashley cried. Brett had instructed Mary-Kate to bring Ashley. He opened a secret escape door, which led into a tunnel leading outside the kingdom walls. Ashley and Mary-Kate got in.

Brett looked over to the Queen. “You’re turn, your majesty.” She was sitting in her chair with a blank look on her face. “My Queen?” he said louder. “Marc-Andre, check on your mother.”

Marc-Andre went over to her in a rush. She had blood on her dress because of a stab wound. Marc-Andre yelled in rage and pain. “I will kill them all! None will escape my wrath!”

Brett ran over to Marc-Andre and grabbed him. “There is no revenge in death. We escape now and when we return, you shall have your revenge.” He pushed Marc-Andre into the tunnel and closed the lid as the defenses collapsed and the dark soldiers rushed in.

The four survivors of Arcadia ran through the tunnels, not taking an instant to slow down incase the dark army found the trapped door. They were out of breath, they were tired, they were aching, they were angry, but they were alive. So many emotions and thoughts ran through their minds. As they ran through the tunnel, all they could hear was their breathing and the beats of their hearts.

Chapter 4
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