40 Riders to the Sun

40
of the most splendid and veteran knights were called to assemble in the
courtyard

All
of them were ridden on the backs of their most loyal steeds; each one of them
wore the scars of yesterday’s wars.

Their
king stood in front of them and spoke, “In front of me, are the greatest
warriors I have ever known, in behalf of my country, I will reward only one of
you the greatest prize no one could ever imagine.”

The
gallant soldiers listened even more closely.

He
continued, “For the last time, I ask you to ride once again, not into the
fields bathe in blood but to search for the finish line where plentiful heaps
of gold and silver lie.”

Upon hearing
the final word, the horsemen then readied themselves and set off as fast as
they could.

It had
been 50 days since they left the starting line but no clue of reward was
visible on the misty air and cold grounds.

The
men started to fight amongst themselves and questioned the king’s words

But
there was one rider close to the king who stood up and said, “We have fought
many clashes and not lost at all, this is because of our ruler who had led us
to it.”

The
strongest knight replied, “We all heard it, this is one mission we will not
lose.”

Then
they set off again

30
days later and it seemed that the king had been lying to all of them; still
they had not given up and continued probing the foreign soils

Another
5 days had gone past, and they finally reached a forked road.

They
were about to gallop to the north when 6 of their comrades shouted and said, “Look
here, that is my hometown, a few miles to the west, just above that steep hill.”

While 10 of their number saw their wives and
children feeding the cattle by the eastern river and settled with their families.

16
left their number contented and joyful even if they did not get to the finish line,
while, 24 still journeyed to find the treasures

A week
later, a heavy rain flooded the whole land that damaged all their supplies for
the trip, which caused 12 of them to be badly injured.

The 14
well riders led their hurt friends to a nearby inn and after assuring them to
be well; then they carried ahead of their unconvincing travel.

6
Months had been crossed out and they were completely lost off to where  they were
heading, 7 decided to reconcile themselves and stop the pointless journey.

“I
have saved enough gold to make myself a house; I am ready to start anew on this
nearby town, Good Luck to you my brothers.”

After
they have bid farewell, the remainder, though of fewest number struggled past
the raging winds and hurtful storms.

A year
had passed and only 2 knights managed to continue their rough excursion because
the other 5 warriors’ finally met suitable women to be their wives.

The 2 knights
who had been left were, the most loyal to the king and the strongest soldier in
the land, they too were the best of friends.

Finally,
they saw the finish line which was a brass gate with handles of rubies and
emeralds

But
before they could enter, something caught the attention of the strong knight

Someone
was running towards him, it was his sister, she said to him,” Father wants to
see you before he dies, he wishes to see you.”

In
hearing these words, he faced his friend and said, “This is your prize, go in,
you have been loyal to our master for a very long time, and you deserve it.”

The
loyal knight replied, “We found this place together, it is not right for me to
claim the prize alone.”

His
friend smiled, “My prize is to see my father alive for the last time. Till
again old friend.” Then he went with his sister while the other, mounted his
horse and entered the doors.

As he
went through, he saw the king and immediately bowed down.

The
king reached and welcomed him with a smile, “You and your 39 brothers have been
courageous till the end and you ought to have the rewards you each have
received. Now, your reward is to be the general of the next generation of
heroes”

The
loyal servant looked puzzled and asked, “Received? I thought there is only one
reward and finish line?”

The
king just stared back still smiling.

Then it
dawned unto him the wisdom of his ruler.

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