Chapter 42- Jousting Tournament 3 (Part 1)
After winning the afternoon matches, Mac finally made it to the semi-finals.
The many nameplates that had been posted on the first day of the tournament left only four competitors.
In the next match, you had to win to advance to the finals.
His opponent was a middle-aged count who had won the tournament four years earlier. It was a well-known story that he had come from a prominent family and had won this tournament.
“I wish he wouldn’t enter the tournament twice. He’s rich enough, so why doesn’t he just give the championship to someone else! Married people just pick their wives as medal maidens and it makes the awards ceremony less exciting.”
Cynthia complained and clung to the fence to watch Mac on his horse.
When the Count and Mac’s horses started to run, she held her breath and followed Mac’s movements with her eyes.
I heard the clash of their spears and shields and Cynthia and I both screamed.
Mac’s body on the horse swung and he slid on the saddle, almost rolling off the horse’s back. He managed to catch the reins, but as the horse slowed, his hands slipped from the reins and his feet and buttocks made contact with the ground.
When the horse came to a stop near the fence, Mac’s hands also slipped from the reins.
Finally, he fell off the horse.
The winner was decided and the crowd erupted in applause and cheers.
Mac had lost.
He was so shocked that he could not speak.
Perhaps he had loosened up after coming this far, but in a tone a little out of character for him. He dirtied his armor with the first thrust of the Count’s horse.
We crouched down, weak, clinging to the fence.
The Joust’s victory, which had been Mac’s goal ever since his academy days, was finally just a few steps away, his dream.
As Mac stands up, surprisingly dashing, my eyes burn as I look at him and when I turn around, Cynthia’s eyes are moist as well.
“I put a lot of effort into getting here and it took a lot of preparation. I guess it was just a matter of time before it ended.”
Cynthia and I sat under the fence and cried for no reason.
The finals were to be between the Count and the Black Knight, as the first day’s preliminary round had predicted.
In contrast to the Count, who appeared from the fence with a brightly colored shield with a griffin and flame pattern, the Black Knight’s shield was painted black and unadorned.
“I hope the Count will win the competition after all this time. I’d like to think that Mac lost to the winner anyway.”
“I agree. But I can’t imagine the black knight losing either. He has won so far.”
“I’d like to see the black knight’s face. If he wins, he will take off his helmet in front of His Majesty.”
The ceremonial banner was raised and the match began.
Two horses start riding with men holding spears. The turf under the horses’ feet is kicked up into the dirt.
With a thud, the two horses approach each other.
The cheers of the spectators reach a climax and their cheers make us all tense up at once.
At the moment the two horses pass each other.
The count’s spear accurately pierces the black knight’s shield and a loud clashing sound is heard. As soon as the black shield was split in half, I was convinced that the Count had won. However, I made the decision too early.
As the two riders separated and galloped away on their horses, the count’s body tilted sharply to the left. He desperately tried to catch himself in the saddle with his right hand and held on, but it was not easy for him to get his heavy body back on the horse, which had been angled once.
A few steps after passing the black knight, the count dropped his spear and tumbled off his horse.
The black knight, on the other hand, threw his broken shield to the ground and stopped his horse with a straight back.
The audience was silent, as if the previous cheers were a lie. After that slight silence…
“The winner is the “Knight of King’s Landing!”
The MC raises the flag and points it toward the winner of this competition.
The king slowly stood up from the bleachers as the audience filled the hall with thunderous applause and cheers in praise of the black knight.
The place is hurriedly transformed into an awards ceremony.
A red carpet is rolled out on the grass, creating a red path to the bleachers where the King is seated.
In a brilliant, unbroken procession, a band with trumpets arrives and begins to play heroic music into the clear, high blue sky.
The king came down from the tiered bleachers with applause and a rare big smile on his face.
The black knight, kneeling on one knee at the end of the red carpet, one hand on the chest section of his black armor, waits for the king to come to him.
When the king came to the front of the black knight and opened his mouth to congratulate him, the applause died down and the room fell silent again.
“You have shown us a magnificent match, Knight of King’s landing. You are the pride of this Kingdom of Leia!”
The crowd erupts again, and the applause is loud. The king held up one hand to stop them. A chamberlain rushed to him and handed him a small dark blue box.
The king took out a golden medal from the box and held it in front of the audience.
“To the winner, I bestow the token of the ‘First Knight of Leia’. Come, black knight. You may now choose the maiden to whom will bestow this honor.”