Act 2

Scene 9: The Duel

he field before the Castle gate. Imperial troops are preparing for the next assault. Suddenly, the Castle gate opens wide. Everyone goes silent. Wilhelm walks put proudly, holding a bloody white handkerchief in his left hand and a huge book in his right hand.]

[Wilhelm] [in a thunderous voice] I want you to talk to the person in charge here!

[There is a movement in the imperial ranks. After some time, Brother Albert, the inquisitor, appears in front of the first ranks. He faces Wilhelm.]

[Brother Albert] [also in a loud voice] I’m in charge here and I act in the name of the Emperor and the Count Elector! [after a pause] What do you want?!

[Wilhelm throws the book he is holding at the human. Brother Albert picks up the volume and shakes the dust off it.]

[Brother Albert] [reading aloud the title of the book] “Laws of the Empire.” [to Wilhelm] What is this about?

[Wilhelm] [pointing his hand theatrically to the Castle] You say, that that Castle there is a nest of demons and all foulness?

[Brother Albert] [folding his hands] Indeed, I do!

[Wilhelm] [also folding his hands] And I say you are a liar, a pest, a pig, a simpleton, a bastard, a sexual deviant, and your mother dresses you funny!

[Brother Albert] [emotionally] Liar!

[Wilhelm] Ordeal!

[Brother Albert] What now?!

[Wilhelm] [with a smile] You heard me. Ordeal. We’ll have a duel, you and me. If you tell the truth, the gods will protect you, for they will be on your side… But if you lie, as I say, the gods will side with me and you will fall. Then, your successor will send the army away in fear of godly fury.

[Brother Albert] [browsing through the book in a hurry] Well, I don’t know if that is…

[Wilhelm] Page twenty-seven… cupcake.

[Brother Albert reads for a moment. Then he smiles.]

[Brother Albert] [with a little twinkle in his eye] Okay, so be it.

[Wilhelm] [approaching the inquisitor] Fine, let’s get it over with.

[Brother Albert] [pushing Wilhelm away, flipping through the book] Wait, wait … It says here that I am entitled to nominate a champion to fight on my behalf. [reading on] Also, you are not by any chance a noble, are you?

[Wilhelm] [surprised] Er, well, I …

[Brother Albert] Excellent, so me as a nobleman … Well, actually, my champion to be exact, will fight with a sword. You as a peasant on the other hand, accordingly to your status, will fight with a stick.

[Wilhelm] [agitated] Give me that! …

[Wilhelm takes the book from the inquisitor and reads from it.]

[Wilhelm] Damn … Should have read the whole thing… [to Brother Albert] Okay, bring that bodyguard of yours.

[Brother Albert] [happily] Hugo!

[There is a movement in the imperial ranks again. After a moment, Hugo appears. He towers over the rest, in height resembling an ogre more than a man. He is wearing armor, but without a helmet. He is holding a huge sword in his hands. Brother Albert snaps his fingers. Some squire from the crowd hands Wilhelm a stick.]

[Brother Albert] [stepping back] I think we can start. Let the one [with a chuckle] who is favored by the gods, win.

[Hugo charges Wilhelm with a shout. Wilhelm looks at Hugo, then looks at his stick and then again at his opponent. When the human is almost in contact, the demon breaks the stick in two pieces with sharp tips. He thrusts the stick pieces in the eyes of his opponent and then pushes them further deep into the victim’s brain. Hugo immediately dies.]

[Everyone] …

[Wilhelm straightens up, adjusts the lace cuffs and looks at the spectators with an icy glance.]

[Wilhelm] As you can see, Sigmar is on my side …

[There is thunder in the cloudless sky.]

[Wilhelm] [with a demonic voice] Now get off my property, you lowlifes!

[The demon watches as the troubled commanders start to give orders to close the camps and retreat. Wilhelm is leaning against the gate and watching them with satisfaction.]

[Wilhelm] Yes, yes, quickly now … Sigmar’s will be done!

[Suddenly, lightning strikes the demon from a cloudless sky. Wilhelm falls to the ground as if … struck by lightning.]

[Wilhlm] [smoking] Damn … I had to, I just had to overdo it…

[Brother Albert] [pointing to William] Look! This is a sign from the heavens! After the blasphemer!

[Wilhelm quickly gets up from the ground and runs away to the Castle as quickly as possible. The gate behind him slams shut.]

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