"Keep your guard up! Don't let it drop for a second!" Athos instructed as he made another jab at D'Artagnan with his sword. The boy only chuckled and parried the move.
"I know this advice already Athos! My father made sure it was one of my first lessons!" D'Artagnan retorted as he made a quick swing toward the other Musketeer's belly, but the blade was blocked.
"Your cocky attitude will cost you one day." Athos said as his blade swerved up, knocking D'Artagnan's blade from his hand. In not even the blink of an eye, his blade was at the boy's throat. The boy froze, not even daring to move.
"One day, but not today." He said, grinning at the older man.
Athos sighed, lowering the blade.
"The day needs to come when this lesson sticks in your mind."
"Oh, don't be so hard on the boy, Athos." Porthos said, chuckling slightly as he and Aramis walked up to the two. Aramis only shook his head, though there were the beginnings of a small smile tugging at his lips.
"Fine. You can teach him next time. See if he'll listen to you." Athos stated sheathing his blade.
"What's the matter with how I am?" D'Artagnan smirked, retrieving his blade from where it had stuck itself in the ground.
"Oh, never mind…" Athos groaned, shaking his head as he turned and walked over to where they had tethered the horses in the grassy field.
"Don't be so brash with him, D'Artagnan. He's only trying to make you a better Musketeer." Aramis said, his voice quiet as the three followed behind their grumbling companion.
"I know, but sometimes, well…" The boy stopped for a moment, hesitating in his words as he looked between the two men walking beside him. "I can't help it. He makes it too easy." He grinned, laughing softly as Aramis shook his head, Porthos soon joining in his laughter.
"Come on, let's get back." Athos said, gather up his reins as the others mounted.
"Yes, because we wouldn't want to keep our adoring public waiting." Porthos said with a hearty laugh.
"Race you back to Paris?" D'Artagnan challenged.
"You're on." Porthos grinned.
"There they go again." Aramis rolled his eyes.
"Come on. Let's get after them." Athos said, nudging his horse towards the two receding figures.
"You know Porthos; brown is a good color on you." D'Artagnan laughed as he looked at his mud streaked friend. Porthos only scowled.
"Well if the stupid horse hadn't spooked at the wind, then maybe it wouldn't have happened in the first place…" The man grumbled, annoyed, his brow knitting in annoyance. D'Artagnan merely laughed again, patting the man's back before wiping the dirt off on the fabric of his pants.
"Don't worry your head so much my friend. You couldn't help the animal's reaction." Aramis said, patting his friend on the shoulder as well. Porthos only grumbled softly again. Athos smirked.
"Enough. There are the stables. Let's put the horses away. Planchet! Tend to the beasts needs." He said, calling to the small, round man.
The four walked in silence to the stables, tethering the animals to the wall before turning and walking up the steps of the simple town home. The bustle and noise of Paris followed them all the way into the halls, the sound dulling softly as the door shut behind them.
The four entered the main room, Porthos, D'Artagnan, and Aramis all sitting down at the large dining table. But Athos remained standing.
"Alright. Tomorrow, we'll head to the palace to inform the king of the mission's success. After all, reclaiming a stolen set of battlefield strategies would be pretty important."
"Well, he's lucky he has us to do such things for him." Said Porthos with a bit of a smirk on his lips. D'Artagnan laughed in agreement.
Suddenly there was a knock on the door.
"Sirs, there is a-" But Planchet was cut off as another man pushed past. He was so elegantly dressed that it wasn't hard to guess: he was from the palace. A stillness fell across the room as all eyes turned to the newcomer.
"His Eminence requests your presence at the palace immediately." The messenger stated, standing stock still as he waited for an answer.
"Tell him we will arrive as soon as possible." Aramis said.
The messenger nodded then left.
"Planchet, go and get our best clothes out." Athos said.
"Yes sirs, and let me just say-"
"Oh shut up and just go!" The Musketeers seemed to say all at once. Planchet nodded and quickly left the room. The four then laughed together.
"You know, Porthos…" D'Artagnan said, fingers playing absentmindedly with one of the goblets. The older man looked over to him with a raised eyebrow.
"You might want to go get cleaned up for ol' Cardinal." The boy grinned.
"Oh shut up!" Porthos barked, but jumped up and left the room nonetheless.
There you have it! I figured I'd upload Chapter one for you since I already had it written out and everything. ^^ Thanks for reviews! I hope that you enjoy this chapter as well. :3 I'll try and have the next update soon too!