Things could have gone more smoothly for Wil and the others, but overall, this mission hasn’t been too bad. Yes, they’ve lost a few men, but they’ve found the royal family and it looks like our heroes may get them out alive.
The third man dropped his weapon, hands on his head. Lance yanked him to his knees, cutting his throat. The final fanatic grimaced at Wil, tossing his gun aside, drawing a knife, he invited Wil to fight.
It was a pointless waste of time, Wil knew it, but he loved a challenge. The man had earned a right to fight for an honorable death, and Wil adhered to an odd form of chivalry fathomable only to himself. Ben saw the look in his eye and started to round up the family members. With the help of Lance and Emory, he herded them out of the room.
Crouching in a fighting stance, the guard motioned Wil again as the lithe Marine sized up his opponent; shorter, but just as heavy, and well muscled. His confident movements showed Wil he knew what he was doing with the knife.
Standing with nonchalance before him, back straight, Wil presented an inviting target. He waited. A twitch in his cheek, a flinch of his right hand, and the soldier launched his attack on Wil, roaring like a lion.
Wil dodged the swinging knife, ducking under the other man’s guard. A sharp blow to the ribs sent his opponent reeling a few steps. Wil heard three ribs shatter. Breath coming in gasps, the guard prepared more carefully. His next attack was better planned as he took a running leap, his booted foot aiming for Wil’s midsection. Breaking stride, he dropped onto the lead foot, weaving an intricate pattern with the other; a powerful arc caught Wil behind the knee.
A lesser man would have been howling, his knee dislocated. Wil dropped and rolled sideways, using the momentum of the kick to propel him away from his attacker. Landing on both feet like a cat, he faced the soldier once more.
Lunging wildly, the guard rushed Wil, apparently deciding it was time to stop playing. Wil leaned backward, evading the whistling knife assault with ease. With a furious bellow, the man ran at Wil, attempting to tackle him.
A blow to one arm broke it, a knee to the chin shattered the jaw. Gasping and retching on his own blood, the guard fell to his knees, exposing his throat. In his good hand, he held out his knife, hilt first, asking for a quick death. He had earned it, having fought honorably. Taking the proffered knife, Wil drove it through his throat, severing the spinal cord. The lifeless body collapsed at Wil’s feet.
All the family were out now, lined up on the terrace, shivering from cold and fear, as Wil leisurely walked out the door. Ben had paired them up, an adult with each child.
One man stood alone, the king. Wil could have picked him out in any crowd, for he carried himself with pride. Despite his disheveled appearance, he looked like royalty. With a brief smile of thanks, he took his place in line giving his shoulder to his injured son.