The Journey Begins! Enter the Ultimate Gentleman: Sir Bently!
The normally peaceful night of Haven village is shattered as explosions and the crackle of raging fires roar through the town. The townspeople flee in all directions as the massive, shadowy assailants march through the streets forcing anyone they come across into caged wagons holding many unfortunate others. A red and black banner bearing two crossed forks marks them as soldiers of the Porker Empire, a society of gluttons and layabouts that feed their greed by constant conquest. A young pig runs through the streets, desperately searching for his mother who was lost in the confusion of the initial attack. He darts behind a stack of crates as he spots more soldiers herding people into the wagons before setting fire to their home, his breath is heavy and his heart pounds so loud he fears it will draw their attention to his hiding place.
He dashes down an alley only to crash into a imperial, bouncing off his large gut and falling to the ground. "Looksh like we gotsh ourshelvesh another one!", he chuckles as he reaches out for the boy who quickly gets out of reach and to his feet running as fast as he can for the nearby forest. Three soldiers are close behind as he jumps over logs and dodges branches obstructing his path. One of the troopers stumbles over a fallen log and farts loudly as he hits the ground before getting to his feet and rejoining the chase. The boy looks back to see if he had lost his pursuers only to slam hard into a traveler, knocking them both to the ground. "I say!", the fox states as he slowly got to his feet and brushes himself off, "I knew I was far into the country but I figured it would be another three days travel before bumping into a bumpkin.". The boy jumps to his feet and starts to run again only to find himself running midair, "Lemme go!", he shouts as he kicks his feet. "Not a chance young man! Gentleman's Rule number four: Always say 'excuse me'after bumping into someone.", the fox turns the boy around as he scolds him, "Now, say you're sorry and I'll let you go.", he raises an eyebrow as he watches the boys eyes shake in fear. "Hm?", the fox turns his head to see the three Porkers looming over them as greasy drool runs down their fat lips.
The fox turns a little green as he looks at them in disgust, "Dear me, the least you foul lot could do is wipe your mouths.", he pulled a bit of cloth from his pocket and held it out to the pigs, "Gentleman's Rule number eighteen: Always carry a tissue in case you need to wipe your mouth or blow your nose.". The closest one spoke up, "Youse maken fon uh us?", he snarled as more of the thick goo ran down his chin causing the fox to place the cloth to his mouth as he retched. The pig growled as he lifted a fallen branch, "Youse toyin wiff ush! Youse gunna git hurtsh!", he quickly swings the branch and clobbers the fox in the head before he can react knocking him to the ground a few feet away as the boy falls to the ground, landing on his ankle which causes him to cry out as it gives under his weight. The pigs all laugh as the boy cries while holding his leg, "Nextest time you no run!" one of the other pigs taunted. The leader of the group tosses the branch laughing along with his followers, "Youse should knows betta, no ones escape from da Porkers!", he grabs the boy's injured leg causing him to scream out in pain then lifts him by it, "Dats wot youse git fer runnins.". He sneers as he squeezes the boy's leg causing him to cry out louder, "Nows youse gitta work in da mines wiff uh bum leg!", all three of the Porkers burst into laughter as the boy's tears run heavily. "Pardon me.", a familiar voice came from just behind the boy, "But I fail to see what is so humorous about being forced to work with an injury.", the fox was back on his feet despite the blow he had taken.
The Porkers continue to laugh for a moment, "An wot youse gunna do bout it?! Hambone! Gravie! Git'em!", the other two quickly respond and run out to the sides attempting flank the fox wo dodges the first to reach him then as the second attempts a punch he grabs hold of the Porker's wrist with both hands and tosses him over his shoulder directly on top of the other. The leader growls and tosses the boy aside as he draws a large kitchen knife shaped sword from his left side, "Dis ends right now.", the fox grins as he stretches his arms moving his cloak off his shoulders and revealing a sword of his own. The Porker throws his arm up then brings it crashing down with the sword only for the fox to dodge it fairly easily, "Youse hol'still!", he shouts as he swings wildly missing each time. The foxes grin vanishes, "This is hardly any fun, the least you could do is stop trying to hit and hit me!", the Porker's face turns bright red as he places both hands on his sword, raises it above his head, and brings it down with all of his weight behind it. The fox steps to the side letting the blade sink deep into the ground as he quickly grips the top of its guard and swings himself upward driving both of his boots directly into the Porker's face before gently landing back on the ground. The sloppy pig stammers for a moment then slumps over, held up by his sword.
The boy had watched the entire fight with eyes wide open in complete silence. The fox lightly brushes his clothes before making his way to the boy, his cloak now wrapped back around him, "Are you alright?", he asks kindly as he inspects the boy's ankle. "I twisted it.", the boy whines while wiping away what was left of his tears as the fox took the cloth he had offered the Porkers and made a splint using some nearby twigs for the boy's ankle. "It isn't much, but it should allow you to walk for a bit.", the fox stands as he speaks and starts to walk away after pulling his hood back over his head. The boy slowly got up wincing at the bit of pain still in his leg then fell forward and began to cry again. The fox stops and turns then looks up at the night sky with a deep sigh. As the boy tries to stand and he sees the fox crouch down with his back facing the boy, "Well? Hop on, lad.", he mutters. The boy clumsily climbs onto the fox's back, wrapping his arms loosely around the man's neck as the fox takes hold of the piglet's knees.
As they walk through the clearing into the brush the boy whispers, "Thank you.", the fox replies, "Hm, no thanks are necessary. All in a days work for the world's greatest gentleman.", he let out a loud laugh as he avoided a low branch. The boy rests his head on the fox's shoulder and closes his eyes for a moment then opens then again, "Who are you anyway mister? My name's Hamton Oinkston, but everyone just calls me Hammy.". The fox smiles, "It is a pleasure to meet you young man. As for me,", he pauses a moment as he sets the boy down then whips around casting his cloak to one side, "I am Sir Bently Foxxton! The world's Greatest Gentleman and High Commander of His Royal Highness' Sword Corps.", Bently pulls back his hood and gently bows before standing straight again. Hammy smile widens as the words sink in, "No wonder you could fight like that! But...", he hesitated as Bently lifts him back onto his back, "If you're a High Commander, why didn't you finish off those Porkers?". Bently sighs deeply as he resumes walking the path, "My dear boy, there is no honor in taking the life of another. Regardless of any evil they have committed. In truth I can no longer call myself High Commander, I was stripped of my position when the Porkers took over the castle and cast out by my peers.". Hammy nuzzles Bently's back, "I'm sorry, Mister Foxxton.", his eye drooping slowly as Bently answers, "It's alright, my boy, it's alright.", he stops momentarily as he hears the faint sound of breathing then smiles as he continues to carry the sleeping boy on his back. As he walks he gazes at the stars and thinks, "Even with my intervention this boy's life is forever changed. Each day the Empire spreads further into the country. If this continues... will I be able to keep my oath?".
To be continued...