Jayden's Stand

A first attempt at writing some medieval melee fantasy

Jayden turned and with a subtle move from his wrist, deflected the sword from biting into his flesh. He danced out of the reach of the man who was trying to kill him and exhaled a sharp breath and then inhaled deeply to try and get his racing heart and breathing back under control.

He felt a little steadier as he flicked his blade out to his right side to shed the blood from the blade. His adversary leeped forward, closing the distance so he could thrust through the opening in his guard. Jayden pivoted his wrist and brought his elbow up as his blade countered the thrust and the continued around on the arc that the shoulder and wrist provided.

He stepped back and his left hand came up to meet the handle as the sword moved out from around the back of his body as his cut exploded through the man's armour. Blood and viscera spraying everywhere, drenching Jayden as his sword came free of the now dead man.

He performed the spill again, and the excess blood was shed from his sword. He did this automatically, the thought that if he didn't the sword would be held by the body of the next person he killed didn't occur to him anymore. Like so many things that he had been taught, the why faded into merely doing.

Replaced by the sub-concious knowledge that the action was necessary to his survival. He then leaned into his next step, and with the half tilt method he sheathed his sword. This method was synonymous with the sword style he had been taught. He climbed the slight rise to the top of the hill and looked onto the plain.

A sudden sense of wrongness washed over him and he moved to his left. A blade split the air where his chest was a moment ago. Jayden knew he had to move and fast, otherwise he would be unable to turn and face this new threat. A second later he was ten metres away and as he turned to face this newest threat he saw bewilderment, panic and fear on the man's face.

To him it would have looked like he had suddenly disappeared into thin air. Jayden was confused as to how he had pulled that off himself, but he didn't have time to find out. He stepped out from the stand of trees that ran back along the hill and gave a short whistle to attract the attention of the soldier, who was looking around trying to sense the next threat. The man turned suddenly and his jaw hardened as the will to kill replaced his fear of the unknown.

Jayden surged forward, his movements timed and crafted by his instructors to have that deadly flowing grace. He met the man's blade with his own. In seconds his blade slipped past the soldier's meagre defenses and he struck hard, his sword rupturing armour and flesh alike.

A surprised look gripped the soldier's face face as his body collapsed to the earth. the muscles unable to keep him standing as shock replaced surprise. The man's chest heaved for a final time and his face fell slack as he faded into oblivion and then was dragged into death's embrace. Jayden didn't have long to catch his breath as two enemy spearmen surged up the hill and into the dell where he was.

Jayden took up the stance known as Cat Crosses the Courtyard. The two spearmen spread apart and came at him from either side. He flowed through the stances, Courtier taps his fan to Heron parts the rushes, as his blood pounded in his ears, in time with the stroke of his blade.

He heard the rythymn of his sword play as music, more soldiers rushed him as he dispatched spear and axe, flail and mace, sword and halberd. He danced the dance of death, and none were able to match his skill. Faster and faster he moved, until it seemed as if his sword wasn't even involved in the cutting. As if the flesh split apart just before the blade struck, as if the swords were blocked or parried or already changing course before his blades physically touched them.

He thought that he was loosing himself to the dance, and imagined the cut on one opponent as he dealt with another. When he turned to face the other man, he was already cut in half, his entrails cooling in the dirt.

So shocked was he that he nearly missed parrying a spear that would have impaled him. It seemed an eternity later that he realised there was no one left to kill. The enemy was pulling back, Jayden breathed heavily as he shed the blood from his sword, wiped it clean on one of the multitude of dead bodies that surrounded him. He then executed the half tilt as he sheathed his sword and allowed himself to sink to his knees as a wave of exhaustion claimed him.

The End

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