The Ball of Death

Packing never takes long for Tanz, since he never carries much to begin with. A package containing his mask for killing, should the Baturan's prove inefficient, a few nice sets of clothing for blending in and dancing, and a couple sets of knives. And, of course, some preserved foods. Couldn't goon a long trip without food.

"Reiher, secure the perimeter and protect the girl," Tanz said, making Tor look at him with a surprised expression. Tanz laughed as he threw his pack on. "If she dies, my honor as a man will be tainted." Tanz pulled a piece of cloth connected to his under shirt up to cover his mouth and did the same on the back of his head, so no one could tell he was their dance partner in this mad ball of death. "Also," Tanz added as he followed Tor and Reiher out of his room, "I would rather not have you distracted while we fight."

"I see," Tor said, turning down the hallway and pulling his sword. He had sensed the enemies dancing out of sight as well? That was indeed something to be impressed by, but Tanz was still worried that Tor would not be adept enough at stealth. The King of FallenDamen couldn't assassinate the Emperor himself for that reason alone.

"They come," Reiher said from behind Tor and Tanz. The princess stood beside him, looking a little worried. Was that blood on her clothing? Wait, why was Tor covered in blood? Had they already fought one of the enemies? Bastards! Beating Tanz to the dance...

"Reiher," Tanz said quickly, remembering a bit of information about the sniper, "I think the princess here is only sixteen, from her file. Could be younger. Baturan's age all wrong."

"What are you-"

An arrow flew by Tor and hit a man just out of sight, cutting off Tor. Reiher's serious expression and flexed bow was enough to make Tor understand. Kierst was no longer in danger. For now.

And then the fighting started. 

At first it was a few men in the hallway, whom were taken out primarily by Tor and Tanz. Tor danced the shadows well, but he relied more on his skill with the sword than his magic. Well, swordplay in and of itself was a fabulous dance. Tanz just preferred the dance of shadows.

As Tanz weaved in and out of the night's shadows, Tor sliced and weaved through openings in his opponents. Arrows flew around them the entire time, sometimes coming close. Sniping was a form of dance, as well. It was more rigid and precise, but there was still a little beauty to it.

The fighting continued until twenty eight men lay dead in the hallway. As expected, Tor looked to see if Kierst was OK before running on. 'Should she die, he really will break...' Tanz followed behind, making sure his trick stayed in effect on Reiher. The man was no fool, but if there was even a slight possibility that Kierst was still a child then she would be safe.

Even Tanz didn't want to have Reiher as an enemy. It was like dancing with a double-left-footer while wearing nice shoes. Never ends well. 

As they got outside and ran along the road, more men surrounded them. It seemed like they were dancing toward a certain target... But... 

Of course!

"Tor, I think the word about your lady being a princess has leaked," Tanz said as he took on a man with a sword. Such a terrible dancer in the court of battle. "We are still on the border of Batura. Everyone wants to dance with her."

Tor nodded. "We need to move on, then," he said, pulling his own weapon out of an ax-wielder and slicing off another dancer's head. Well... he really did move the sword with beauty. Almost to a respectable degree. Add in the sleep deprivation and slight alcohol influence he might have.... Impressive.

"Where is the next town?" Tanz asked, glancing back to see Reiher shooting any enemy approaching him and the girl. He was relentless.

"About a day hike from here, but I have a better idea."

Tanz shoved his finger into the neck of another terrible dancer. Oh dear, so much blood on his hands. No lady would dance with a bloody man. "Idea?"

"These men," Tor pulled his sword from the head of a man and finished off another that ran his way, "Look like a Fera's gang. He has a base and hour from here. We can take that for ourselves."

Tanz smiled as he finished off two more men. That finished them off, too. Though... "Tor, I am jealous. You danced so much better than me tonight. You even took five more partners than me."

Tor simply cleaned his blade and sheathed it. "We must hurry before the local militia comes. They will be on our side, but it would slow us down." He turned to retrieve Kierst.

And stopped. 

Tanz had to turn to see what startled him. But... Well, to be simplistic, Reiher had beat both Tanz and Tor in the dance this night. The silent sniper walked around collecting arrows from nearly twice as many men as Tanz and Tor's numbers combined. Where did he hide that many arrows under his cloak.

"I believe your friend is more useful than us," Tor said as the group began walking out of the town. People were starting to come out from all the noise. 

Tanz laughed. "We are in an open field and they were not the best fighters. Any sniper could do that much when motivated." Then Tanz moved closer to Tor so he could whisper. He had to cloak his voice in a little shadow magic to conceal himself from Reiher, but it was doubtful the sniper cared enough to try to hear. "Just keep up the charade on Kierst's age. He is soft on children."

Ah, it was going to be a fun ball after all! With a dancer of the shadow sword, a dancer of the bow, and a dancer of the shadow knife, this truly seemed like it was already. Though... What was the princess's dance?

The End

18 comments about this story Feed