Sir Peza of Huht buried his blade into the surrendering knight, his moustache stark still as the rabbit’s black blood spilled all over the checkerboard patterned floor. He dropped, falling through a table loaded with dough and toppings, staining them with his life fluids.
The shift manager cheered, the patrons clapping their hands. Sir Peza wiped his blade off on the other knight’s fur before putting it back in his sheath. “His substandard stuffed crusts were no match for ours, brave sirrahs. He had no claim to his own life with such soggy dough and stringy cheese.”
The door of the restaurant burst open, a delivery page stumbling through, a pizza cutter lodged deep into his chest. Sir Peza reached down, catching him as he fell. “What news of the Knave?”
“You..you must avoid…the Knave.”
“Avoid? I have no fear of his Knave or his devices!”
The page grabbed his armor, pulling him close. Only now could Sir Peza see the scalding hot cheese that clung to his skin, remnants of his torture. “His marketing is strong, but his toppings are weak. He is crazed, though, and idiot children will flock to him as they did the Hurling Rodent.”
Sir Peza scoffed. “Fie on them that would draw in toddlers with their arcades and motorized singing vermin! I would not have my home sullied with birthday songs and grown men in animal costumes! How can we defeat his marketing?”
“You must become our symbol, Sir Peza! Your bloodthirsty ways and your piping hot pies in record time have made us strong, but you must be our champion. You are the only one who can stand up to them in these dark times.”
Sir Peza watched as the man died, never blinking. The people in the restaurant continued to laugh and eat as the page crumbled into flour, his spirit returning to Pepperonia, where he would be made unto claymation and await the final battle that would crack the world in half.
“May you walk at the side of the smallest Caesar forever.” Sir Peza whispered as he stood up, looking over the patrons. He watched as an obese man complained about the pizza when he had eaten all but half of the last slice. He saw a group of businessmen, their laughter echoing through the air as they joked about how each of them got chlamydia from the same bowlegged prostitute. He witnessed a man in a trench coat stuffing the seasoning shakers down into his pockets.
He wept openly. These were his people, and the Knave was a threat to them. The Knave would stamp out all the life he cherished from behind these walls, catering to college students and their every drunken whim. They cared not for taste, only that they could eat something after sexually experimenting with their roommates late into the eve. The only thing fouler than unwashed genitals was the Knave’s pizza, though, and soon many would fall victim to it.
He took up his sword again, looking at the tiny strokes the marketing department had put into the crossbar and hilt. He admired the ingredient list they’d scorched onto the scabbard, as well as the delicate etching of the restaurant’s website across the visor of his helm. They had designed these items for his forefathers, men of courage and vision. They would not allow an upstart like the Knave to sow his wicked toppings unchecked. They had crushed Sir Pyzah of Delitia under their boot heels and burned the Temples of Bahsten.
Now would be his time. When his father had put him in front of the ovens, he had told him that the table of the smallest Caesar had only room for the brave and just. There would only be seats there for the true patrons of the crust, the men and women who believed in the eternal glory of the perfect pie.
He ran into the kitchen, firing up the ovens as the cooks scrambled to his side.
“What news of the Knave, mighty sirrah?”
“He mocks us even now with his antics, and has challenged us to a pizza eating contest. He crosses the docks even now, swatting down sailors and stray birds with his yo-yo, readying himself for battle with seemingly useless scrolls and symbols. When he comes here, he shall find a pizza that is beyond even his powers to consume!”
The cooks cheered as he set about his grim work, his eyes looking down to his shield. He would give ‘em the works, indeed.