by : Katrina Siharito Panjaitan – Gabriel Razzaaq Pratama (7B)
One winter’s day the king was hunting in the forest with his men when a white deer stepped into view ‘Keep still, everyone,’ said the King, ‘I intend to kill this deer myself.’ Holding his bow in one hand and his arrows over his shoulder, the king crept up on the deer until, deep in the heart of the forest, he slew the deer with one shot. As the animal fell, a tall figure stepped from the shadows.
`How fortunate for me that we meet this way, with your arrow released from your hand so it cannot harm me,’ boomed the voice of a strong and mighty knight. For many years you have slandered my name and done me wrong. Now it is time for me to get my revenge.’
Thinking quickly, the king said, `To slay me here, since you are armed and I dressed humbly in my hunting clothes, would bring you no honor, and shame would follow you for the rest of your life. I’ll grant you anything you care to name — any amount of land or gold — to spare my life.’
`There is no land or gold, of any amount, that I desire,’ said the knight. ‘However, I will get what I seek in an honorable way. I’ll give you a chance to solve a riddle. One year and a day from now, you must appear before me here in these woods, without companions and without weapons. If at that time you are unable to solve this riddle, there can be no objection to my taking your life. But if you answer the riddle correctly, there will be no battle and you will be free to leave. You must swear on your honor that you will return in one year and a day, as I have commanded.’
‘I agree to your terms,’ said the king. ‘What is the riddle?’
Source: Cambridge Checkpoint, English Coursebook 7, Marion Cox.
One year passed, and the king returned to the forest as promised, accompanied only by his loyal squire. The knight awaited him in the same spot,
“Your time is up, my liege,” the knight said. “It is time for you to answer the riddle.”
The king listened attentively as the knight recited the riddle, but despite his best efforts, he could not solve it. The knight drew his sword and moved in for the kill. But the squire, who had been standing nearby, quickly intervened, drawing his own sword and engaging the knight in a fierce battle. The squire was a skilled fighter, but the knight was stronger and more experienced. After a few minutes, the squire lay mortally wounded on the ground.
The knight turned back to the king, who was now defenseless. “Your time has come,” the knight said, raising his sword. But as the knight moved in for the killing blow, a sudden rustling in the bushes caught his attention. It was the king’s royal guard, who had been hiding nearby, waiting for the right moment to strike. He charged at the knight with all his might, his sword flashing in the sunlight.
The knight turned to face this new adversary, but the knight was too quick and too skilled. With a single, swift stroke, he struck down the royal guard, ending his life The Knight looked at the King, seeing the fear in his eyes, and said, “Your time has come. It is time to pay for your wrongdoings.” The king fell to his knees and said, “My son will avenge me”
The knight laughed and said, “Your son will never know what happened here. He will never know that his father died because he could not answer a simple riddle.” The knight raised his sword, ready to strike the final blow. It was too late for the king. He lay bleeding on the ground, his life ebbing away.
The news of the king’s death spread quickly throughout the kingdom, and his son, Prince Dio, was filled with rage and grief. He vowed to avenge his father’s death and immediately set out on a quest to find the knight. A year and a day later, the King’s son appeared in the forest as he had promised, dressed in his finest armor and carrying his sword. The knight was waiting for him.
“Your father failed to solve my riddle, and now he has paid the price,” said the knight. “And now, it is your turn to face me.”
The king’s son drew his sword and charged at the knight, but the knight was a skilled fighter and easily blocked the attack. The two fought fiercely, each determined to emerge victorious. In the end, it was the king’s son who emerged as the victor. He dealt the final blow to the Knights, killing him instantly.
As the Knight lay dying, the knight said, “My son will avenge me.” The cycle of revenge had begun anew. The knight’s son, filled with a desire to avenge his father’s death, spent the next year training and preparing for the inevitable confrontation with the King’s son. And so it went, year after year, generation after generation. The cycle of revenge continued, with each new generation seeking to avenge the wrongs of their ancestors. The forest became known as the Forest of Endless Revenge, a place where the sins of the past were never forgotten and the cycle of violence never ended.
The riddle that started this was:
I have a heart that never beats, I have a home but I never sleep. I can take a man’s house and build another, And I love to play games with my many brothers. I am a king among fools. Who am I?
The correct answer was The King of Hearts in a deck of cards.