The worst part of the job was waiting.
Scratch that. The second worst part of the job was waiting, the worst was dying. Not that he really had much to live for... or anything that he wanted to live for, he just knew that living was supposed to be important. Or was it the way one died that was important? It didn't matter, since right now he was still stuck in the waiting part.
241 shifted on his feet, resting a little more of his weight on his sharpened sword – sharpened thirty-seven times so far, for lack of anything better to do – and watched the ridge. He'd been watching the ridge for what the one knight who'd thought to bring a watch assured him was approaching two weeks.
He hoped the kid hadn't gotten lost. He was starting to get impatient. Worse, what if the kid had already died?
The superiors would have told them... maybe. The superiors were a bit... whimsical in the information they shared. Like this job, for example. They, all thousand of them, had one job. Kill a kid. Seemed simple. But while the superiors had given them a place, they hadn't set a time.
Go here, wait. That was their job. Go here and kill, or be killed. It should have been an easy job. It should have taken them an hour, at the most. Leave it to some stupid little kid to mess it all up by not showing up. Some days, the lack of consideration really irked him.
Today was one of those days.
241 was bored out of his skull.
206 watched him from the left slope, five red cards spread out in a fan in front of him.
He'd played cards yesterday, and the day before that and... He really did not want to play poker again, but it was the only way to alleviate boredom. Well, the only way he'd partake of. There was a whole group on the other side of the valley playing some ridiculous word game. A couple pairs, or more, of knights clumped at the edges of the valley. 241 tried to avoid looking that way. There were some parts of his fellow knights that he didn't want to see.
Still, 704 was starting to look kind of tempting, with the way his hips narrowed and...
241 accidentally stabbed himself in the foot with his sword. There was no blood. They didn't bleed. He wasn't sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing.
One of the lookouts called a warning.
241 forgot the wound in his foot and stood straight, his sword at ready. Around him, nine hundred ninety-nine other knights readied for battle.
There was a cloud of dust moving down the cliff face. 241 watched and waited. The kid was approaching fast, almost flying through the sentries positioned along the trail.
The knights formed ranks, lining up like their training told them to. 704 stood directly in front of him. 241 couldn't help but sneak one last glance at the other knight's ass, suddenly regretting not making a move while he'd had the chance. Maybe if they lived through this.
He was going to kill the kid and then get laid, 241 resolved.
The front line exploded into battle. Around him, several knights broke rank and charged forward. 241 stayed. Death would come no matter how long he waited.
704 waited with him.
There was a flurry of action at the front, moving closer to him like an oncoming hurricane. Electricity rained down. Spells flew. Knights died.
He watched as 206 and his poker buddies fell before the Keyblade. Today, death had chosen them. It was an honorable death.
A cacophony of sounds met his ears as the battle approached. 241 breathed in deeply and gripped his swords. In his head he counted down towards impact. Five. Four. Three. Two... Lifting his swords 241 jumped into battle. Steel clanged on steel, sparks flying as one of his blades raked down the Keyblade.
He felt honored to be in this fight.
The kid moved past, crashing into a group of knights to the right. They died, one by one, but it was a good fight.
They were loosing. The superiors would be disappointed. Sheer numbers should have overwhelmed the kid but he was good. Too good for the knights. The kid danced on the air like he was made for it, his feet barely touching the ground. Everything that got in his way, died.
241 had underestimated their opponent. The kid was a killing machine. That was supposed to be their job.
The tide of battle shifted, bringing the fight back towards 241. He was prepared for whatever fate would bring him this day. The knight in front of him died and 241 stepped up to take his place. He fought well, better than the others, perhaps, or at least longer. Their blades danced for minutes, colliding and then shifting away with the flow of battle only to clash again seconds later.
It was, in a word, glorious. He was a knight. He lived to fight. It was the only reason he still existed.
The Keyblade swung towards him, about to take his un-life.
704 danced in. 241 had forgotten about him in the sway of battle. They shared the briefest of glances as 704 stepped in front of him, taking the hit that was meant for 241.
704 dissolved, disappearing off into the ether or Kingdom Hearts or wherever it was they went when they died. 241 liked to think it was Valhalla, the home of true warriors.
He had one last chance. One chance to win. One chance to avenge the death of 704 and his comrades. He fought anew, enrages and empowered as if the very spirit of war danced with him.
It was not enough.
His hilt tangled with the Keyblade's and was flung aside. There was no one to take the hit this time, no one he would want to.
The Keyblade sliced through him, ending him. The fight was over. They'd lost.
His death was finally complete. He could move on. He'd won.
704 was waiting for him.