The two Templar swords that hung outside Captain Resfield's office were similar to the one John held. The man had become quiet since Lady Bianca escorted them here. Fayte took that as a sign as Lady Bianca pushed through the door.
"Captain," she said, stepping aside to present Fayte and John to the knight.
Captain Resfield of the noble Jonar family looked older since their last meeting in the dungeon. He was there during Jeremiah's wake, but Fayte did not get a good look at the man. His hair had grown longer with more strands of grey, and his beard was in need of trimming. The most notable change was in his eyes, for once they gleamed with fire in a city of cold stones but now they seemed dull like the pale ice.
"Welcome back, Fayte. Forgive me if I do not appear lightened by your visit," the Captain said, leaned back against his seat. "I am, only you remind me so much of Jeremiah. The both of you, finest squires I have seen in such a long time. And now one of you is gone all too soon…"
Fayte lowered his head and said nothing.
"Off to the temple are you?" Captain Resfield said, trying to sound brighter. "Do you think you are prepared for the climb?"
"I have been prepared for years, Captain," Fayte told him, lifting his gaze. "I have longed to see the temple of the Eres Star Order since my father told me stories of the Templars."
Captain Resfield smiled a tired smile. "Do not get your hopes up too high. It has been reduced to battered stone and ice by the wear of time."
"The temple still has great history," Fayte said. "A history which you are familiar with."
"I am," he said, understanding why Fayte pointed it out for his eyes now settled on John. "Greetings to you, friend."
John tightened both his grips on his sword, clutching it like he was afraid someone would take it from him.
"Hello," he said cautiously. "This sword is mine."
His words amused the Captain. "Handed down to you from your mother?"
"Nay," John said quickly. "I won it from my papa."
Captain Resfield nodded and Fayte learned something new.
"That does not prove the sword is yours, but it does show that you are no common man who chanced upon it." He looked to Fayte. "Templar swords are not handed down, but earned in combat. The one he holds is of a different make. You can see the handle is longer and suited to be grip either with one or both hands. The blade itself is only a little longer than the one you have."
The choice to wield it with both hands for greater power and speed. Fayte would like such a sword had he not been trained to fight with a shield.
"What is your name?" Captain Resfield asked.
"They call me John," he said, and said nothing more.
"So you will not tell me the name of your family?"
John shook his head.
"Bring him with you to the temple."
"No," John said, and it was the first time he sounded serious and firm. When the man seemed to notice himself he broke into a grin. "The cold makes my bones hurt. No need to bring me and slow down the-"
Captain Resfield's eyes flickered to a side and the next thing Fayte knew, Lady Bianca and John had their swords pointed at one another.
"I am not going up there," John then said without any grin or jest. "Ye can't make me."
"Then I will take your sword," said the Captain.
"Ye mean to rob me? The sword is MINE!"
"The sword belongs to the Order of the Eres Star," the knight corrected him, rising from his seat. "Items belonging to the ancient Order has been declared a relic by the King, thus without proof of ownership, one cannot possess it."
Fayte was not aware of such a law but John seemed to be.
"Then I will cut my way out of here," he said, escalating the situation with a threat.
At that point Fayte stepped aside and drew his own sword towards John. The look of betrayal smeared John’s face.
"I was commanded to bring you along on my pilgrimage," Fayte said. "I thank you for your aid during the ambush, but if you are breaking the law then as a squire of the Order of the White Shield, I cannot stand by you any longer."
"Bianca might be missing a leg," Captain Resfield said, "but you will be sorely mistaken to underestimate her for that fact. Fayte, I am sure you have seen, fights like no ordinary squire."
Then Captain Resfield drew his own sword and both his blade and eyes flared with power.
"And I have the bloodline of the Templars in my veins."
John was good with the sword. In fact, Fayte was not entirely sure that he could not escape from them, even if he stood no chance against Captain Resfield in combat. Thankfully the man lowered his sword and in return so did they.
"You will join Fayte in his journey up Mount Erestor," the Captain said as he sat down and sheathed his sword. "Or you may leave your sword here and walk away."
How would a trip to the temple decide if the sword truly belonged to John?
"And what makes you think I won't run after I leave?" John asked.
"If you truly have the bloodline of the Templar, then you will not dishonour yourself by going back on your word. You may choose to escape, but you do so as a fugitive and sooner or later you will be caught and imprisoned. It will only be a matter of time."
Fayte turned back to John. From the way he was grinding his teeth, John was clearly having a hard time making a decision here. Fayte knew he would surely choose to make the trip up to the temple, for John was no criminal. He was someone pointed out by the Queen of the Water Nymphs herself.
"Maybe I've already dishonoured myself," John said. "And it doesn't matter to me if I break my word."
The Captain did not answer him, resting his arms on his desk as he went on waiting.
"We climb at dawn," he relented and said, turning to leave. "I don't want ta' have to deal with them yetis while my bones ache from the cold."