Ocean-Explorer-Sea slashed, but only succeeded in getting his sword bent. The dragon's long tail swept out around the King (who was rushing at him), and hurled him into the rest of the knights. As the dragon opened its mouth to breathe flame, an arrow loosened struck the dragon straight in the gullet, and it fell dead.
On the way, pirates attacked the carriage. The first two the pirates picked off were the ones in back, but the King didn't hear it. But he saw it when they leaped on the one controlling the horses. The King leaped out of his carriage, grabbed his sword (by the point), and sent one of the pirates such a blow on the head that he went flying into his companion. Then the King and his companions drove off. When the pirates awakened, they went to join their pals, who consisted of more pirates, three knights and a Wolfpack warrior.
The very same day, while the King was still out, there was an attack on his castle. A pirate sneaked up from the back of the castle. She climbed up a ladder which she had positioned, and walked along the top of the castle. She leaped down and hit the guard of the treasure on the head. She grabbed one of the treasure chests (the other one was in the King's carriage), carefully climbed the wall by its cracks, went down the ladder again, took the ladder apart and put it in a bag she had, and she went off to join a knight friend. They took a two-person car (stolen), and drove off with the treasure chest.
Later, when the treasure guard woke up, he thought that he had fallen asleep on duty, and slapped himself on the cheek out of embarrassment.
Back at the enemy's camp, the chief was pleased. "Excellent!" he said. "We are much stronger now that you joined, Cathy. Now all you have to do is get the other treasure chest, and take over their castle, and we'll really start moving after that. We'll lock up King Second in his own dungeon, and then the boot will be on the other foot! All right, now here's how we start: we'll attack the castle. To do that, first, one of my fellow knights will go with this gold coin and buy us a catapult."
"Excellent!" the enemy chief exclaimed, "This catapult will do perfectly!"
Sir Bow-and-arrow said, "But master, that is not all -- a white dove alighted on my hand on the way back. It had a message -- it read, 'If you attack us once more: liberty or death!' It was signed with a picture of a lion -- the ultimate symbol of the Royal Knights. Here is the dove."
"Yes, I see. Hold on a minute!" The chief went away for a minute and came back with a note. It read, "We accept your invitation." signed with a picture of crossed swords. "Now Bow-and-arrow, send this back with the dove."
When the Royal Knights received the return note, King Second called an order which was directed to all the knights and himself: "Go to the pile of nearby castle rubble. Get as many bricks as you can, and bring them back to our castle."
In two days (which is all the time the enemy needed to make the catapult), the Royal Knights had gathered up all the bricks, and built a surrounding wall, with two Royal Knights guarding the gate. "These walls are very thick," said the King, "they'll protect us from many assaults." As a matter of fact, so thick that when the catapult was fired, the metal ball only bounced down off the wall.
Next day the Royal Knights stormed out of the gate and met the approaching enemy army, who were marching the opposite way. In time, a great battle was going on. An enemy knight slashed at a Royal Knight, who ducked, and the sword went whirling onto another enemy knight, who had been about to stick the King in the back. One of the King's bowmen mounted a storm of arrows at the fleeing Wolfpack warrior.
The King's royal counselor gave Sir Bow-and-arrow such a blow that he went flying into the pirate chief. The King slashed at Cathy the pirate, who ducked, leaped over the King, and went flying feet-first into the King's royal counselor. Trickster (who is under King Second's rule) sent an arrow at an approaching pirate, but only succeeded in shooting the pirate's hat off. But he did succeed in whacking the pirate a sharp blow with the pommel of his sword, but afterwards was sent a blow on the head from the Wolfpack warrior, who was then stabbed by the royal counselor.
The King slashed the bow and arrow out of Sir Bow-and-arrow's hand. When the battle was over, there were wounded from both sides, but the only dead was in the enemy's tribe: the Wolfpack warrior was dead. But the Royal Knights still hadn't recovered the stolen treasure chest.
Later, the enemies again marched toward the castle, after sacrificing a cow to Mars for good luck. But as they approached, they didn't even see the guards for the gate, 'cause they were hiding among a pile of rocks on the way. Many others were hiding in the bushes, and the King himself in a hollow tree. As they approached the hollow tree, the King leaped out, and gave the pirate chief such a blow that all of the enemy's tribe went falling like a line of dominoes. Then the rest of the knights sprang out of hiding.
The King's royal counselor dealt Cathy a hard blow. An arrow from Sir Bow-and-arrow whizzed through a Royal Knight's sword and broke it in half. Trickster gave Sir Nasty such a blow that he went flying into Sir Love-To-Kill. Sir Love-To-Kill was knocked out, but Sir Nasty was up again. He whirled his sword around, and he threw his sword towards the midst of the Royal Knights. They zoomed to the side where the sword wasn't heading.
But when the sword touched ground, it bounced into the midst of the Royal Knights again. Most of them avoided it, but the sword did knock the crown off King Second, and knocked King Second over, but he was up again. He threw his crown into the midst of approaching enemies, and then ran into their midst, swinging his sword all around him until his companions could no longer see him in the mist (but they did see the point of his silver sword whirling around). But finally the silver sword lowered, until they could no longer see it. At this point the King was yelling for his followers to come to his aid.
The royal counselor rushed to his side (which he couldn't, since the pirates were in the way -- it was just an expression). The royal counselor whirled his sword into the midst of the pirates, and he managed to knock one over. The King whacked the pirate chief straight into Sir Bow-and-arrow, and an arrow grazed the head of Sir Nasty, but he didn't let it put him down. He whacked into the midst of the Royal Knights, but from the cut he had lost strength, and so they didn't even topple. Instead, he was hit by the pommel of one of their swords.
The King (who had now regained his crown) stabbed Sir Love-To-Kill, whose last action before he toppled was shouting curses at the King. The royal counselor gave Sir Bow-and-arrow a whack on the head. Then the Royal Knights' horses burst into the scene, rushing everywhere, kicking, butting. The King jumped onto his steed. The King and his horse galloped among the enemy warriors. The horse kicked and stomped, while the King leaned down to slash his silver sword among their midst. Then Trickster leaped upon "Gallop", his own steed, and, with the aid of his horse, sent the attackers a-panicking.
But their rushing away didn't stop the Royal Knights -- they all climbed upon their steeds and galloped after the fleeing enemies. The enemies themselves led the Royal Knights to their hideout, and a new battle started inside the attackers' stronghouse. The King hurled Sir Bow-and-arrow into the wall. Trickster ripped off a door, and used it to whack the entire enemy so hard into the wall that they were knocked out.
The King and most of his followers went into the depths of the enemy's stronghold to find their treasure chest, while Trickster and the King's royal counselor kept an eye on the attackers. The King was the first to spot the treasure chest, among many other stolen goods (which afterwards they shared out among the poor).
"So," said the King to the attackers (now in the dungeon), "have you quite decided to stop attacking us?"
The one-syllabled answer was "no."
"And you, Cathy," the King continued, "you are definitely a good fighter. Will you join us?"
"All right," Cathy finally said. "I never did want to join the rest of the pirates -- I was forced!"
"All right, but for five days an eye shall be kept on you."
For example, when there were only two days left, when Cathy decided to explore the castle, one of the King's spearmen followed her. Or, when there was only one day left, Cathy was working on something and the King's royal counselor was watching. When she was finished, she went (with an escort) to the nearest trees and put up snares.
Pirates stormed across the plain! The first one to spot them was the lookout. He cried it to the guards. Royal Knights jumped out of a pretend mountain. Pirates stormed towards them. All they seemed to be armed with were pipes, but instead of smoke coming out it was gas.
The army choked and fell to the ground. The pirates rushed on. They filled the castle with gas. Only the King and his counselor remained - they had gas masks fitted into their crown and helmet.
The pirates dropped their pipes and drew out clubs. The King slashed a club out of one's hand, and it went flying into another's. The royal counselor was piled on by the approaching pirates, and almost every second he was being hit by their clubs. The King knocked out another, only to be hit on the head by a club. The pirates took possession of the Royal Knights' castle.
They were all over the place. The King was locked in his own dungeon. The rest were scattered across the plain. When the King regained consciousness, he was very mad. Guards surrounded the dungeon. "What do you intend to do with us?" he shouted.
His answer was "Ruff!"
Finally, the scattered knights were reuKNIGHTed. The royal counselor was to be their leader in regaining the castle. This they had agreed on. "All right, here's our plan" he said.
"Bzzz" ... "bzzz" ... "bzzz" ....
When their plan was finished, they agreed it would do perfectly.
Trickster, Ocean-Explorer-Sea, and some other knights started a false attack. As the defenders rushed out to meet this attack, the rest of the knights stormed into the castle. The current King and his pirate counselor fought violently but they were taken out of the game. Then the knights rushed out to join the other ones.
Ocean-Explorer-Sea and the King's royal counselor rushed towards the dungeon guards. Between the whirling swords and valiant skill, the dungeon guards were defeated. They unlocked the King and together they rushed out towards the big battle.
Trickster sent many pirates a-fleeing with a rain of arrows from his crossbow. Ocean-Explorer-Sea swung his sword around him like a spear. The King and his counselor slashed among the remaining pirates but they wouldn't have succeeded had not Trickster wielded his sword and crossbow into the fray.
Then it was the pirates' turn to be locked up in the dungeon!
"So, ho, pirates," grimaced Cathy. "I haven't forgotten the day you forced me into joining you. You threatened to kill me, if I didn't. And, what's more, you fed me like a hostage. You fed me cold sandwiches, water, and plain barley."
"I've no doubt they did, Cathy," said Trickster.
And, for a while, they lived happily ever after.
One day, the Horseback Knights split up. Their messenger went off to make his new group of knights, along with his King (King First) and a few others. The rest joined the Dragon Defenders.
One day the creators of the fifty-first state made new sets, and delivered them to Legoland. Legoland was pleased to have these new knights sets. The members of the Horseback Knights who didn't join the Dragon Defenders joined these new knights, who called themselves the "Royal Knights." The ex-messenger took the job of guarding the treasure and the key to the secret mountain hideout.
The first action the Royal Knights ever took is described in the next story.
As Knighty collapsed he started gasping these words: "No ... it wasn't his ... fault!"
Back at home, Ocean-Explorer-Sea got into his other sea-diving suit, and with this new suit, he managed to stay around this place for a while without them recognizing him. But one day he forgot those troubles and changed back into his old costume (uh oh!). And he went to the surface, but the Royal Knights were waiting for him, and they were all wearing oxygen tubes. They leaped upon him. He was buffeted by pickaxes, halberds, swords and fists. Many arrows missed their mark, and none hit his tubes of air.
(Here is a little rhyme for this battle: An arrow went whistling past his head and splintered on a silver sword instead.)
"I don't want to fight you," said Ocean-Explorer-Sea, "but you leave me with no choice!" He was slashed at with a sword. He jumped up in the air, and went sailing feet-first into King Second. A shark swam up towards him. Faster and faster it swam. Faster and faster Ocean-Explorer-Sea thought. When the shark was almost upon him, he ducked so quickly that the shark could hardly see him. The shark went crashing into the Royal Knights! The shark swam away for a more peaceful place.
Ocean-Explorer-Sea whirled his harpoon around himself to keep them away from him, while he launched the other into the midst of them. It bounced off a shield and right back into his hand. Then along came the "Deep-Sea Predator." (This ship and Ocean-Explorer-Sea's "Shark Scouter" are in the Aquasharks.) Then the Aquanauts, Sea Sprint 9 and Crystal-Explorer Sub came along. The magnet hand on the Crystal-Explorer Sub (used usually for grabbing crystals) was attracted by the metal crown on King Second, and his crown (along with King Second) was pulled onto the magnet.
An Aquanaut lassoed a few crossbows with a seaweed strand. Then along came the Aquanauts' "Ollie Octopus" and snared Royal Knights in his tentacles. Then the Deep-Sea Predator's magnet arm snared Trickster and the King's royal counselor. Then another Aquanaut caught the remaining Royal Knights with a net. The King's royal counselor, King Second, and Trickster managed to take off their crown and helmets, so they wouldn't be stuck to the arms anymore.
Then along came the Aquasharks' "Shark-Propelled Ship." (This ship was attached to a trained shark, which knew words like "right" and "left" and "straight" and "back" and "stop.") The shark lunged towards the King, his counselor and Trickster. The shark seemed to be everywhere. A sword whistled past the shark's head (they were so frightened they couldn't get a good aim). It flung off the King and his royal counselor, but not Trickster, who managed to knock it out with his shield, only to have an Aquashark lunge headfirst into his stomach (like a goat would butt you). The Sea Sprint 9 grabbed King Second with its robot arm and held him prisoner. King Second's crown was still attached to the Deep-Sea Predator.
Suddenly there was a loud "HALT! What's going on here?!?" It was the Sea Police. "Why are you fighting?"
King Second pointed at Ocean-Explorer-Sea. "It's his fault! He rammed straight into my poor Knighty, and now he and his evil friends have overpowered us. Arrest them, every single one!"
"That's not true!" cried Ocean-Explorer-Sea, "I ..."
"We shall see about that in court." said the Sea Police, "Come along now, King Second and Ocean-Explorer-Seaweed."
"Ocean-Explorer Sea!" yelled Ocean-Explorer-Sea, "Not Ocean-Explorer-Seaweed!"
"Ah yes, now I see," said the Sea Police, "Come on, Ocean-Explorer-Seafood."
"We know all that, Ocean-Explorer-Seareef," said the Sea Police.
"Can't they say my name right?" thought Ocean-Explorer-Sea.
After a lot of arguing, they were in court. "First," said the judge, "we shall hear from King Anklet." (King Second didn't start arguing about his name, though.)
"It's Sea-Explorer Ocean's fault!" said King Second. "He rammed into poor Knighty and then he went off hoping that I wouldn't have seen him do that act."
"That's not ..." protested Ocean-Explorer-Sea.
"Wait for your turn, Ocean-Explorer Sailor," said the judge, "Go on, King Second."
"And one day, he jumped out of his ocean into the air, probably heading for home, but we Royal Knights were waiting for our revenge. We leaped upon him, dragged him underwater. We would have defeated him had not his pals (such as the ones in the Crystal-Explorer Sub) come and overpowered us. The rest you know."
"Now Ocean-Explorer-Seaweed, it's your turn," said the judge.
Ocean-Explorer-Sea said, "It's true, I did bump into Knighty, but by perfect accident. I was chasing a shark which turned and swam over Knighty's head. Knighty chose that moment to raise his head, and I went crashing into him -- I had no time to stop. And the other part of the King's story is exactly the same as mine, except it wasn't because my pals wanted to do away with you that they came -- it was because I was shouting for help! And then, this continues the same as King Second's story."
The judge thought: "Still no proof about either." "All right," the judge said, "let's hear Knighty's part of it."
Knighty agreed with Ocean-Explorer-Sea: he thought it was a complete accident.
"And there you are," said the judge. "And now, King Hector, I hope you've learned a lesson from this: talk first, fight later!"
"King Second, not King Hector," exclaimed King Second.
"Ah yes, you may go now, King Secretary," said the judge.
And now, after that misunderstanding, the Royal Knights and Ocean-Explorer-Sea are the best of friends. And Ocean-Explorer-Sea is a regular Royal Knight, although he prefers to remain with his harpoons. (Continued in Story #1.)
As we were saying, at the end of story #4, they lived happily ever after for a while. They stopped living a peaceful life when this story came.
One day, Cathy went to the metalsmith of the castle and happened to ask for a weapon and shield. She watched him work, hoping she might learn some of it, but she learned nothing.
When he had completed, they were taken to a painter. When the painting was completed, it was taken to Cathy. She found a handsome lion shield and a long brown spear. But, before she used them, she let them dry.
As for the King himself, you ask? Well, he was helping his subjects build a moat and drawbridge. To build the moat, they had to dig down to sea level, and swimming is a bad idea for most knights when they have 500 pounds of armor on their backs. Meanwhile, the painter helped make banners. One of the people digging the moat sighed, "Ah, the pleasant tasks of summer."
BUT the pirates had told their pet skeleton who had teamed up with an evil knight-ghost and together they went off to make havoc among the Royal Knights. The ghost had the power of a strong fist and was able to pass through anything and was able to fly, while the skeleton was able to disintegrate everything living that it touched with its arms. When they reached the castle, the drawbridge was pulled up.
"Why do you come?" asked the lookout.
"To destroy you," answered the ghost.
"To destroy us? Hah hah ha!" replied the lookout, and an arrow whizzed towards them. It whizzed through the ghost, and broke itself to pieces on the skeleton. The ghost flew up and despite the slashing of swords and spears the lookout was defeated.
The ghost flew down and crashed the gate, also known as the drawbridge, into splinters. The ghost flew with the skeleton through the pieces of broken wood. The army of Royal Knights stormed down the hall. Many were knocked out by the ghost; swords and spears were broken by the skeleton; but not one knight was disintegrated. Their armor was too thick and tight.
The King gave the skeleton such a whack with the silver sword that the skeleton went flying into the ghost and disintegrated it. The King and his royal counselor with their silver swords, rushed towards the skeleton, hacking it to bits. But the King's sword after one whack went flying into a stone.
Then, they repaired the drawbridge.
In the last story, King Second's knights had a war with a ghost and a skeleton. But the important part of it, which connects it to this story, is that the King's sword was lodged in a stone. King Second was getting tired of ruling, anyway, just as King First had. The Royal Knights agreed on a deal: The first one to pull the sword out would become the new King and would be given the metal crown and the King's silver sword.
All of the Royal Knights, including Trickster who was very eager about becoming King, tried to pull out the sword - and failed. They could not believe it: who would become King, then?
Well! The answer lies in the following:
One day, a brave apprentice knight with a pot for a helmet and flattened out saucer for a shield but no weapon, stumbled upon the hut of the Wizard Majisto. (What I mean by stumbled is that he walked onto a trap door, which brought him down his chimney!) The wizard was busy taming his pet snake when this practicing-to-be-a-knight named Arthur came falling down the chimney. When he emerged, he was black and sooty but he was clean again with the wave of a wand and the mumbling of magic words. And, I must admit, the wizard was more surprised than Arthur.
"Well, uh, hello, oh famed Wizard," stammered Arthur, not forgetting to bow. "May I be your guardian? Anything to stop me from just being a lone knight."
"Well, no thanks, but here's something you might try," and blurted out the story of how the sword had been lodged, and what they had proclaimed would be gifted to the person who could pull it out.
Arthur happened to own a talking owl, who thought it was good advice. And with a wave of a wand, Arthur vanished and appeared on the grassy grass, wondering if it had all been his imagination. But his owl completely doubted that. So, he walked and walked, and ran and ran, and hustled and bustled until he reached the scene where the Royal Knights were still trying to pull out the sword.
He tried, pulled with all his strength - and it came out. The pot was taken off his head, the Royal Crown placed in its place; he was awarded the Lion Shield instead of a flattened out saucer; and he had the silver sword, too. The ex-King went to a metalsmith and got a new sword, helmet, and shield. But, before Arthur was ready to actually do his duties as King, he had to do weeks of training until he fought as well as any Royal Knight would.
Continued in volume 2
Copyright © 1995 Samuel Dashiell Shemitz