We trekked through the harsh landscape were each new hill held a new challenge, like ice snow, or intense foliage. The barbarians and Neradin didn't seem to mind all that much though, Racieus had the most problems with the foliage along with the twins. However the refused to be carried or helped by anyone so we had to listen to some annoying bickering and complaining from the little ones. As the day wore on a feeling of something big remained inside of me. The feeling that I was important, the feeling I was on the brink of turning the tables in this war. The hopelessness was replaced with a strong feeling of hope and looming victory for our side. For once I smiled a full fledged smile, I was part of something big, and I helped create it, and this something big was going to save Teranore , and I was playing a huge part of it. With this feeling filling my body we charged onwards until late in the night were we setup camp.
Despite the weariness of everyone it did not stop the high spirits. Ale was poured, the dwarves sang, the barbarians held a highly competitive fights to which Neradin was dominating no matter how big the barbarian was or how many they were. I talked to some of the barbarians and asked them what to expect of this other tribe. They told me the other tribe was stronger and far more stubborn but yet had encountered many issues with orcs and might join us without issue especially because they had an oath of allegiance among the two tribes. However the mentioned a third tribe which they said had joined forces with the orcs, and they may have contacted them to so who knows where their allegiance lies. I told them that we will deal with it when we get there and thanked them for talking to me.
I continued watching Neradin fight the barbarian’s he was beginning to gain much respect from those he defeated and those who watched him. For a while Sigurd and Racieus dropped by and watched Neradin drop more foes that came before him, " Looks like the big guy is having a lot fun." Racieuse finally said, with a cup of ale in hand.
"I don't know little one, I think he looks bored, they aren't even giving him a challenge." Sigurd observed.
"Yeah, you know what? I’m gonna take him on."
"What?" Racieus said spewing his ale all over the ground, “You’re an archer type!"
" Raciues I do carry around a sword. If you haven't noticed, plus I think I might give Neradin a bit of a run for his money."
"Suit yourself." Racieus said amused.
"Will do." I said grabbing my broadsword, " Oi Neradin, I challenge you!" He stroked his opponent to the ground harshly knocking him out cold.
"Kaer Fore, never thought you would be one to ask!" He said surprised but none of the less up to it.
"You looked bored, what can I say? Looks like you needed a challenge and I need to let loose a little."
"Hmph don't think that just because were comrades I will take it easy on you!" He roared sliceing downwards. I skillfully sidestepped as I watched the ground beneath his sword crumple and disintegrate underneath the blow. I charged him thinking there was opening, but he moved fast with that absurdly large blade bringing it across my own. Sparks flew in the air as he pushed me back and through the air.
"Come on Kaer you can do better!" He taunted charging after me. I deflected another blow and stepped behind him ready to strike but he managed block in the neck of time sending be sliding away from him again. His sword arc down above me, and with little time I place my broadsword and blocked reinforcing the blade with my left arm. The shock of the blow sent me to my knees and the ground below me shuddered from the force.
"Nice, but not good enough." Neradin commented kicking me in the face, sending me into a crowd of barbarians. It was a battle of brute strength, versus agility, but he also seemed to have an agility despite his size, and the size of the brutally large sword. Not only that I was facing centuries of experience in battle, yet I was still sure I could leave my mark on him, but how?
"Get on your feet Kaer Fore! You’re not done yet are you?"
"Nope!" I said getting on my feet holding my sword with my two hands steadily I charged, letting him swing at me, I jumpled, and flipped, aiming to hit his shoulders, there was no way he could block this time. I felt the tip of my sword slash his shoulder, and along his back. There was some blood, and then there was some maniacal laughter.
"Oooh good one, you finally saw the opening I left for you!" Neradin said turning to face me his lips making a smile as wide as his face, while shouldering his blade," Now don't soften up on me, because now I’m truly not holding back!" He charged at me with more speed than before, I hardly had time to block as I raised my broadsword up while he slashed downwards pushing my own sword against my chest. He slashed again cutting my torso slightly while knocking me back a considerable distance, but I did not fall this time. He was incredibly fast! I instinctively rolled away just narrowly missing his blade crashing into the ground causing a small explosion from the shear force.
"Excellent reflexes! Now strike at me!" He taunted readying his blade for mine, but I did not fall for it instead I stepped back and analyzed the situation. He was much quicker than before, and would probably be able to block a counter like that; I needed to coax an opening out of him. I stepped forward and jabbed he side stepped away and slashed I duck and sliced upwards but narrowly missed as he leaned back raising his sword above his head, I jumped to the side, but this time his blade followed me. Shit! I went to block meeting his blade but I wasn't strong enough to fully block and received another cut along my arm, and being thrown to the ground hard. He was ontop of me not allowing me to catch my breath I rolled three times missing his maniacal jabs for jumping to my feet deflecting another lethal blow. This man was trying to kill me! The Barbarians were cheering now.
"Come on Kaer, don't let your fear, dull your blade, you can hit me." He grinned slashing outwards catching the tip of blade forcing my sword the ground, before he charged at me holding the sword like a spear. Without thinking I brought my sword back and struck at his moving it to the side avoiding the jab while letting my own sword slide along the edge of his before catching his torso in the process. Blood began to drip down along the edge of my sword. As blood dripped down his, he had caught my hip.
"That's more like it!" He said excitedly jumping backwards. One more time Kaer! The last one to make the last blow wins! I stood my body beginning to sway, these wounds were adding up, and as light as they were Neradin's cuts were deeper than what a friendly little sparring wound should look like, but I refused to stand down. My vision blurred a little but i raised my blade and looked into his dark orange eyes that stared back into my own eyes. He smiled wildly and charged, I did to and yelled foolishly sparks flew through the air as our swords collided, I pushed as hard as I could connecting with his shoulders, blood flew through the air as his sword did the same, however I started to fall hearing nothing but the ringing of our two blades before I the ground. Of course I was going to lose but I had put up a good fight, and that's all that mattered.
"Thanks for the challenge Kaer, I needed that." He said as I heard him sheath his sword. "Lets get you patched up can't have you looking like that when we meet the other barbarian tribe right?"