Reymond has a secret, he has lived before and he will live again, unless he can do something to beat the curse of the Seven Deadly Sins. For the first time he has the opportunity to do so, having obtained the sorcerous notebook that sparked the curse in the first place. His only problem is that the rest of his former brothers in arms, who were cursed at the same time, don’t want him to succeed.
Reymond has to race against the clock and the machinations of the other Deadly Swords to put all the pieces into place before the curse kicks in again.
This section occurs during the First Crusade and sees the knights, all named after the Seven Heavenly Virtues, before they are cursed. Reymond, our protagonist, is Patience.
A great sand coloured beast, with a black shaggy mane, appears briefly exposed in the distance for them all to see.
It is circling them. Reymond jogs a little faster, catching up with Chastity. “What are we going to do?” he asks.
Chastity sighs. “Not sure if Humility has a plan.”
Humility appears as tired as the rest of them as they jog onward into the night. It is hard to read any expression on his face. The smell is getting worse, the beast is getting closer.
“Humility?” Reymond calls, his voice surprisingly loud in the desert air. Humility holds up his hand, and the knights come to a ragged halt.
They adopt a rough circle, steel outwards. Humility is in the middle. “Let it come,” he says. “We must kill it, or it will take our prize.”
Diligence fits an arrow to his bow, Humility hisses. “Stay your arrows. Swords only.”
Reymond is not sure why this command is given, but it does not fill him with confidence.
There is a burbling growl to his left, then a roar. The beast runs out of the night, leaping towards the circle, directly at Kindness. Charity thrusts him out of the way, staggering as he is swiped by a massive paw, all claws. He goes down heavily on the sand.
Reymond dashes in, thrusts with his sword and scores a hit in the meat of the beasts’ shoulder. It rounds on him and his sword is torn from his grasp, still sticking from the creature’s hide. It thrusts its head at him, jaw alarmingly wide, descending with hideous finality.
Chastity’s arms seize Reymond round the waist as he tackles him out of the way. They tumble down an incline in a shower of sand. There is a great hissing, spitting and squealing. As Reymond rights himself, he sees Diligence withdraw his own blade from the creature, followed by a gout of blood.
Diligence neatly steps aside, under the beast’s swiping paw. Humility takes a great overhand swing at its hindquarters, and the beast yowls in pain.
Reymond staggers towards it, feet slipping up the incline, groping for a sword that isn’t there. His ears are ringing. He feels wetness running down one arm and his breath hitches in his chest.
Kindness is not moving. Reymond sees Temperance hanging back, looking for an opening, his sword poised. Charity’s sword glances off the beast’s head, and, as it rounds on him, Diligence steps in, slashing at its throat. Blood spurts. The creature sits back on its haunches, shaking its great head and as one Diligence and Charity plunge their swords into its chest, extinguishing it forever.
Reymond is relieved to see that Kindness is breathing, but has an egg sized lump on his forehead. Feeling dizzy, Reymond sits heavily beside the priest and slowly topples to one side. The last thing he sees is Temperance with his arm around Chastity, leading him up the hill.