Adams' guts started to seep out of his stomach wound. But he could not stop. His was so close, he could almost smell the Kings foul breathe. That corrupt bastard, buying his way into office and letting the city fester and rot beneath his feet. In the Old Quarter, where Adam grew up, the bust river had left whole families homeless. Thousands of rats spread disease killing the young and old. And bent officials, wrapped around the Kings stubby finger, turn a blind eye to the dereliction and get rich. The Four Quarters are powerless against this sickness for material gain.
Adam rounded the corner that led to the Kings throne room, his hand stuffed into his stomach holding in his loose intestines. He was weak from the injury, but his spirit was tough and resolute on attaining his target. He would not let himself die before he produced the Kings head on a stick for the people. Dizzy, he swung open the great oak doors to the Kings gallery and glanced around the room for more guards. But, in the room, there were only two men.
The King sat on his throne, an abrasive smirk marking his face, his smugness apparent even from the opposite side of the great hall. Beside him was Rouse, a once admirable man who has been tainted by the Kings overflowing avarice. Gold rings adorned his strong fingers and platinum necklaces lined his thick neck. Once, he was a renowned street fighter and it still showed in his huge frame. Back in those days, he fought for food and shelter for his family. He only lost one match, the one that crippled him for life. The match that ended his career as a fighter and began a fresh one as the King’s bodyguard. In fact, Adam saw that match, which made him more embittered as he watched them together.
Adam swung his sword up level to his face.
“I’m here for your head, my King. Surrender now to save yourself from a painful death.”
The Kings response was not unexpected. It was an uproarious laugh, aimed to insult Adam. He glanced at Rouse as if unsure of what he just heard.
“My dear boy”, managed the King after theatrically wiping his eyes, “I can see what you ate for breakfast. How are you going to slice my head off with one hand in your front?” He let loose another raucous hoot.
Adam, however, was not deterred, blind to his inevitable fate by the unerring courage and strength in truth and good. He began to walk towards the King. His arm, now limp from blood loss, could not support his blade and he dragged it across the stone floor, emitting a piercing screech. The King signalled Rouse to move in a kill Adam.
“I admire you”, said the King, “I admire your incredible stupidity. To have killed so many of my men, to be staring death in the eyes and still continue, for what? So, when I have you killed, I will order your family murdered and your house burned to the ground. I will have everybody you know strung up and boiled and some people you don’t know tortured and drowned. You have damned every soul that has eve… UGH!”
Rouse twisted the knife and the King let go another yell. Before he died, his body falling over Rouses arm, he asked “Why?” But his ears fell deaf before the answer was spoken. Adam, on seeing Rouse slam the dagger into the Kings fat chest, collapsed to his knees and removed his hand from his fatal wound. Blood ran from the his mouth and the shine of his soul left his eyes. Rouse ran to Adam.
“I’ll ensure you have a grand funeral fit for a hero.” He cradled the dying boy in his arms.
“Why did you…?” spluttered Adam. Rouse quietened him before he could finish.
"I watched you grow up in Old Quarter, fending off thieves and growing strong. Adam, I watched the hate take seed in you and I knew one day, you would be the one to rise up against this tyrant and his end ways for good. Even when I was too afraid to do so myself."
Adam clutched Rouses hand harder, as a bolt of pain shot through his weakening body.
"It's okay, Adam. It'll be over soon.
After he died, Rouse carried Adams body to the people and announced the Kings death. The prepared body was laid on top of the Holy Mountain where it stayed for three days and nights and was prayed over by the citizens of the Four Quarters, from the Old Quarter to the Kings Quarter. It was buried under a palm in St. Edifice's Grounds.
A statue of his likeness now stands in the centre of the cross roads in The Four Quarters, one hand in his gut and the other raised defiantly in the air holding the bastard Kings head.