Lovable Knight - Episode Four

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When it was due time, Mabel gave birth to two very beautiful girls. The couple and Maxthon were so delighted. Maxthon was pushed by the joy of the newborn babies to go with his father to hunt games again. He had no reason to stay indoor again after almost all the inhabitants of their clan had come to greet his parents and see the babies and they had seen him too. He also knew that their concern about his being ugly was an eyewash.

After they had hunted three games, Martin asked him to stand behind an ash and when he had stood, Martin went farther into the woods. Maxthon was still expecting his father when he suddenly heard a sound like bees' buzz reverberate from behind him. He shifted from the tree and Martin who had flown, kicked the tree in the stead of his son. He stood on his feet with stamina and moved in a jiffy to Maxthon with a kick. Maxthon ducked his kick and as he made to kick back, Martin swept him off his feet and as Maxthon made to fall, his father gave him another kick which made him crash into the ash. He stood on his legs and Martin kicked him again, he flew backwards towards the yew tree. He stood again and he kicked him against another shrub. He kicked him continually, till he got weak and fainted. Martin bent over him and smiled. He carried him in his arms to under the ash tree where they had kept their rucksack and hunted game.

"You're strange. Very strange," Martin mumbled.

He laid him on the grass under the ash and caressed his face, "you're strange, very strange."

Mabel wondered what happened when she spotted her husband coming home with their son in his arms. He had a deer hung around his shoulders and the rucksack hung to his back.

"What happened to him?" Mabel asked after her husband had laid Maxthon on his mattress and had dumped the game by the furnace.

"He fainted."

"I know, but what happened?"

"I was training him and he fainted"

"He's bruised all over. Were you too hard on him? You know he's just a kid."

Martin smiled, "dear mother, your son is fine." He kissed her, "where are my daughters?"

"They're asleep."

He glanced at the sleeping boy, "honey, our son is strange."

"Are you just realizing that?"

"You don't get what I'm saying."

"Tell me, what's it?"

"You don't need to worry yourself, darling. Get me my meal."

Mabel shrugged, "Alright then."

Martin watched as his wife walked out then diverted his eyes back to his son. He was surprised at how his son as young and tender as he was could receive that number of kicks before passing out. He knew a normal kid cannot withstand over five kicks but there, his son got a lot of kicks and his bruises were few.

After the long state of unconsciousness, Maxthon regained consciousness and when Mabel made to rush at him, Martin stopped her. He asked her to go and attend to the girls. When Mabel left, Martin went to his son's mattress and sat beside him.

"How are you feeling?"

"Weak."

Martin smiled, "Really?"

"Daddy, why did you hit me that way?"

"You said you wanted to learn so I was training you."

"No, you wanted to kill me, you don't love me."

"If I had wanted to kill you, I know where to have kicked you that will take your life. Those kicks were just to train you."

Maxthon felt his eyes were itchy and he started scratching it.

"Stop that, it's not good."

Maxthon continued scratching them badly. Martin tried to prevent him but he refused. He rubbed his eyes badly in a way that Martin sprang up and forcefully took his hands. Maxthon burst out in tears with his eyes firmly shut.

"Maxthon," Martin called, "Maxthon opened your eyes."

"They're itchy."

"Open it, let me see what's -"

"I can't!" He cut in.

"Honey!" Martin shouted.

Mabel dashed in, "what's wrong?"

"Get me water!"

Mabel left and returned with a bowl of water. Maxthon put the whole of his face into the bowl. He immediately brought it out and started scratching the whole of his face with his fingernails, his face oozed out blood. The couple became completely frightened.

Martin and Mabel were short of what to do. Maxthon's face was full of his blood. The couple watched in horror. Maxthon sprang up from his mattress and ran to where they kept their water tanks. He opened one's lid and jumped in. There he stopped crying and felt relaxed. Martin and Mabel looked into the tank and when they saw how calm he was in it, they did not know what to do. They just stood by the tank.

"Close it," Maxthon said from the tank.

"What did you say?" Martin asked.

"Close it," Maxthon repeated.

"Do you want to die in there? You're underwater and you're still talking," Mabel said.

"Close it."

"Maxthon, now come out," Mabel commanded.

"Close it."

"Honey close the tank," Martin said. 

"No, I can't! Do you want him to die?"

"Whatever that happens happens! Close the tank."

"I can't!"

Martin got the lid from his wife and closed the tank. Mabel tried to open it but he refused. She tried to free herself but he pulled her to himself.

"No Martin, let me go! My son!"

Martin held her tightly to himself, "Take it easy."

"I can't!"

He kissed her. He prolonged the kiss and she calmed. She burst out in tears.

"Martin, he'll die! My son would have died now."

"We aren't the ones who killed him if he dies."

He caressed her cheeks and kissed her again, "go and attend to the girls," he said when the babies started crying.

Mabel left and Martin placed his ear on the tank as if trying to eavesdrop a conversation from inside the tank but he heard nothing.

"Maxthon, Maxthon, son," Martin called but there was no answer, "should I open the tank?"

Martin wanted to open the tank but stopped. He knocked on the tank, "Maxthon, are you in there?"

"What am I even saying? I've killed my son."

Mabel re-entered and said, "open it."

"Son, should I open the tank?"

Mabel slumped to the floor and started crying, "he's not answering. My son is dead."

"Maxthon"

Martin opened the tank and what he saw scared him, "aargh!"

Mabel stood up and hurried to the tank, "aah!" She shouted as she gripped the edge of the tank firmly with her hands.

The water in the tank had turned red with blood and they were unable to see Maxthon. Martin was afraid to touch the water for the fear that he could contact what Maxthon had. Mabel made to dip her hand into the tank but Martin prevented her. He dipped his hand into the water and when his hand could not reach Maxthon, he bent totally. He felt his hand touch something smooth and greasy. Mabel got a big bowl and they started to transfer the water into another container. They continued to empty the tank till they got to Maxthon's hair. His hair had become weirdly lustrous. Martin dipped his two hands into the tank and pulled his son up. He did not know if he was dead or just unconscious. Martin carried him out of the tank and laid him on the bare floor. He was strangely different from the Maxthon that entered the tank. The hair on his head had grown thrice longer while the hair on his body became very short and normal. It seemed to the couple that the hair on his body had been added to that on his head. His toenails and fingernails became shorter but still long and sharp. The white in his eyes became white and his iris turned light blue. The overly pointed nose became normal and his lips became firm and pink. His ears became normal. Everything about him changed. He was very fair.

The couple marvelled at the new Maxthon they were seeing. Martin checked if he was still breathing but he was not. Mabel shook her son recklessly as she wailed. Martin felt hot tears circulating in his eyes too.

"Maxthon!" He screamed as a tear dropped. He turned his back on the mother and his lifeless child, "Maxthon, you said you wanted to be a knight. Why don't you wait to be it? Why don't you prove your mates wrong? Why?!" His voice was strident as he screamed why.

"Maxthon!" Mabel wailed.


Mabel buried her head in Maxthon's chest. She raised her head again, "Look at me son. Look at me!"

The babies started crying again.

"They're crying, dear."

She was far from hearing him. She was just crying. She started again and shook the child so recklessly till they heard someone cough. They turned to the door but no one was there. They looked around but no one was there.

He coughed again and when they looked at him, he was vomiting the blood and water which he had swallowed in the tank. Mabel held on to him while Martin pressed his stomach and the water gushed out of his nose and mouth.

"Maxthon, are you okay?" Mabel asked curiously.

He gave no response. He just looked on.

"Darling, get him what to eat. He can't eat the potatoes you prepared, get him a lot of vegetables. I'll go and get the nurse. He'll need blood since he has lost a lot of blood."

Mabel left hurriedly while Martin carried him into his room and laid him on his mattress. He caressed his face.

"Maxthon, how are you feeling?"

He just looked on.

"You cannot talk?" He just looked on. "Are you feeling pains?" Maxthon nodded. "Where? All over your body?" He nodded. "I'll go and get the nurse now, your mum has gone to prepare your meal" He nodded and Martin sighed.

Maxthon regained his strength and continued his war practice with his father. The inhabitants of Crystal marvelled at the beauty Maxthon became. He became fairer day after day in a way that he became proud of his beauty. His mates still refused to mingle with him because they knew they had wronged him. Most parents that had always prevented their child from getting close to Maxthon wanted him to play with their kids. No one knew how much Martin could fight since they had never seen him fight. They knew he could fight since his father was one of the greatest warlords in Crystal's army before he died.

Maxthon usually packs his hair. He had once tried cutting part of it and its result was a migraine. Since then, he left his hair the way it was. He had bushy eyebrows and curled bushy eyelids. He was quick at getting the fight skills. Martin thought him how to use weapons. He was very good at using bows and arrows, darts, sharpened sticks, shields, swords and chords.


To be continued...

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