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Stephen Benson

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Right of Champions
by Stephen Benson   

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Category: 

Fantasy

Publisher:  Wings ePress ISBN-10:  1597052299 Type: 
Pages: 

472

Copyright:  Dec 1, 2010 ISBN-13:  9781597057608
Fiction

Amazon
Wings ePress
Fictionwise

A story of honor, loyalty, friendship, and two special people in love so deeply that no wall, kingdom or insane prince can keep them apart.

Prince Garrick has fallen in love with the beautiful Princess Mahlee, but a secret vow keeps him from vying for her hand. Mahlee loves Garrick as well and is hurt and confused when he refuses to fight in her games to be her chosen one. Before either of them can explain their actions, Mahlee is kidnapped by  roguish Prince Carlo and his men. She is whisked away to a neighboring kingdom, where the insane Prince Luthar attempts to force her to marry him.
Garrick stealthily comes alone to rescue her but is captured. He receives help from Carlo, who has been double crossed and thrown into a dungeon. Once free, Garrick is able to fight for Mahlee's honor and prove himself as her one, true champion.

Excerpt
The crowd cheered as Helm stepped out onto the arena
floor. The sandy gravel crunched lightly under his
massive weight. He was an intimidating sight, wearing a
steel breastplate, thin steel thigh armor, and of course, his
metal helmet. He carried a short, thick sword in his right
hand and a small, round metal shield in his left. He raised
both arms above his head and strutted about, taking in the
cheers vaingloriously.
Suddenly the cheering stopped as a lithe figure stepped
into the arena. He was dressed in a finely made armor suit
consisting of thin steel and mail chain. On his head he
wore a helmet that was well designed to protect his head.
A broad slit in front of his eyes allowed him a clear field
of vision. In his right hand he carried a fine, long sword.
In his left hand he carried a long dagger. Although it was
shorter than a sword, the dagger was quite effective for
blocking and parrying blows. It was also a lethal weapon
at close range.
Mahlee’s heart leapt when she saw Garrick, looking
very dashing and capable in his suit of armor. Although he
walked with a slight limp, she had no doubt that he would
defeat that monster, Helm. She had seen him do it once
before, after all, and without a weapon. She quickly untied
the pink ribbon from her hair and ran to the rail at the
edge of the arena. As Garrick stepped toward her, she
tossed the ribbon, letting the breeze carry it toward him.
She shouted, “A favor for you, my champion!”
He picked it up from the arena floor and tucked it
inside his armor. With a small wave he turned to face his
opponent.
She ran back up the stairs, and as she passed her
parents, Steen took her by the arm and whispered,
“Garrick limps. Will he be all right?”
Mahlee patted her father’s hand. “He was injured, shot
by an arrow. I do not think the wound was too bad. That
was several days ago, but no matter. I am sure he can
defeat that beast.”
As Mahlee took her seat, the young oriental stood and
announced, “Champions, there is only one rule. You fight
to the death.” He paused for a long moment. “Champions,
are you ready?”
Helm rang his sword against his shield to signify his
readiness. Garrick clashed his blades together, and with
that the young oriental shouted, “Begin!”
The brothers of Garrick ran up the aisle just as the
signal to begin was given. They rushed to their seats,
winded. Horst leaned toward Kido and whispered, “Well,
your ineptitude has made us too late to give Garrick his
swords. Oh, well, even without them he will make short
work of that big buffoon.” Kido nodded his agreement.
Helm charged forward with a mighty yell. He swung
fiercely at Garrick, who sidestepped it and got in a blow.
Helm was able to get his shield up just in time and swung
his sword again. Steel rang against steel as Garrick
blocked the blow with both his blades. The severe impact
staggered him back, and before he could recover Helm
swung again, this time with savage ferocity. Garrick was
forced back further and Helm attacked again and again,
his fourth blow knocking Garrick down.
Richmond stood up quickly and said, “Something is
wrong!” Helm swung downward with all his might,
intending to end the fight then and there. Garrick got his
sword up just in time to block the deathblow, but his blade
went flying out of his hand. The momentum of Helms’
swing left his right side exposed, so Garrick reached up
and ran his dagger into Helm’s side just behind his
breastplate. The huge man howled in pain and staggered back. He
pulled the dagger from his side and tossed it away,
seemingly unaffected by his wound.
Garrick scrambled for his sword, but Helm rushed
forward and with both hands thrust at his back,
penetrating the thin steel armor. There was a scream of
agony as Garrick fell to his face on the arena floor.
Mahlee threw her hands to her face and cried out, “No!
Stop this! Please, Council, I beg you!”


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