The Tournament Begins~ Part Three

Boldurh’s method of attack was to create “rocks” and other spherical objects and either throw them or use them to strike. He had to rely heavily on throwing in this battle, because Spier was able to use his Shroud, which manifested itself in the form of long sharp poles, to keep him at bay.

I thought it was over at one point when one of Boldurh missiles struck Spier on the shoulder. Spier twisted and fell to the ground but whipped  his spear around so that he caught Boldurh’s legs. Spier was up again before Boldurh hit the floor and he drove the point of his weapon down towards Boldurh’s heart.

He had no intention of stopping.

But neither did Boldurh. The chest portion of his Shroud grew black formed hundreds of small pebble sized Shroud chunks. His opponent’s spear struck and got lodged in between a few of the pebbles leaving Boldurh unaffected. Boldurh grabbed the shaft of Spier’s weapon and snapped it off, leaving a jagged piece still sticking out of his armor. Wielding it like a bat, he swung at  Spier and succeeding in knocking him to the ground once more. He slammed the spear down into his enemy’s chest, effectively pinning him to the floor. Then he created a large boulder with his Shroud and slammed it down on Spier’s head.

The match was most definitely over.

Eventually, Pailadyn’s fight came around and I found myself on the edge of my seat as she took her spot opposite her opponent, who was also female. The signal was given and the two leapt into action. Pailadyn had switched her tactics a little. Instead of a longsword and dagger, she put her hands together and formed a massive two handed claymore.

It was much more befitting of her namesake in my opinion.

Slyce was a fury of sharp single bladed battle axes, one on each hand. Pailadyn’s movements were graceful and calculating, each swing smoothly led into the next, each attack became a parry, each feint became swing.

She hadn’t been lying when she told me that she had taken it easy on me.

Pailadyn was fighting as well as I had ever seen her but despite that, Slyce still had the upper hand. The massive sword was draining on Paildyn’s strength, each swing was a bit slower than the last, and each one of Slyce’s attacks came a little closer than its predecessor .

Eventually, inevitably, the great sword spun out of Paildyn’s hands and she found two axe blades crossed at her throat.

“Yield!” shouted Slyce.

Even from where I was sitting I could see the anger and disappointment on Pailadyn’s face. Both gave way to shame when she closed her eyes, bowed her head, and muttered,

“I yield.”

To my surprise and horror, the blades were lowered from Pailadyn’s neck, but they didn’t stop moving! One swung at her skull, and I found myself shouting standing and shouting as Pailadyn’s death came close and closer. At the last second, the edge of the blade twisted upward and the flat of the axe struck Pailadyn’s temple. She crumpled to the floor and the end of the match was called.

The last match that I saw for the day was Pownde and Rainjur’s fight. I had wished him luck before he left. I had tried to wish Pailadyn luck before she left, but she had either been intentionally ignoring me, or she really just didn’t hear and see me. Seeing as I could have reached out and touched her, I suspected the latter. I wouldn’t have been surprised.

After Pailadyn’s fight, I had turned my back more towards Pownde’s group. I was able to get involved in the discussion, a discussion about how he thought his battle would go, and I think I made a favorable impression on some of his friends. I had shown that I wasn’t a complete recluse and that I could talk about something important and not sound stupid.

Pownde had fought Rainjur before and lost.

“It has been awhile though. I’ve improved.”

“I’m sure he has too.”

“Oh I don’t doubt it, but when I say improve, I mean I really improved. When I first fought him we had both just gotten our Shrouds. He won because he could hit me from a distance and he was faster than I was. I’ve since gotten faster and a little more tactics oriented. I know how to get close, and with Rainjur, if I can get close, the match is over.”

The two were just taking up their starting positions. The signal was given and the match began.  There wasn’t a lot of thinking involved for someone like Pownde; someone big, who was able to take hits and deal big damage. He could go in there mad and just smash stuff.

That was precisely what he did.

He had the upper hand at first. When the fight started he charged forward, hammer forming as ran. His speed took Rainjur a little off guard and by the time Rainjur’s weapon formed, his bow was rendered useless by Pownde’s proximity. Pownde swung and, like I had done, Rainjur took a step back. I grinned as Pownde swung again pulled the same trick on Rainjur that he had on me. The handle lengthened by a few inches and before Rainjur could do anything about it, he had been struck on the arm.

The sound of his bone breaking was audible, even to those sitting high up in the bleachers. There was a collective “Oooh” as Rainjur clutched his arm in pain. As Pownde went for his final swing, Rainjur, instead of stepping to the side, stepped forward and kneed Pownde in the stomach. As Pownde doubled over, Rainjur stepped behind, dropping something from his hand as he did so.

It blended in nearly perfectly with the floor. I couldn’t warn Pownde, that was unofficially against the rules. Pownde spun and took a step towards Rainjur, and that’s when it clicked.

Figuratively and literally.

Rainjur’s were hunters and hunters used traps. As Pownde stepped down, there was a click and the thing that Rainjur had dropped suddenly snapped shut on Pownde’s leg. Pownde roared but kept advancing.

It was clear from the look on his face that Rainjur hadn’t expected his opponent to fight through the pain. A bow formed in one hand, and an arrow formed in the other. Pownde spun around and launched his hammer at Rainjur just as the archer had been about to release his killing shot. The hammer took Rainjur in the chest after breaking through his bow and nearly crushing one of his hands. Rainjur had tried to roll out of the way, and it was that action that saved his life. Instead of punching right through his chest, the hammer knocked him sideways as it continued on its flight out of the ring. Pownde walked slowly forward and placed a foot on Rainjur’s throat.

“Yield!” shouted Pownde.

Rainjur simply glared at him.

“I said yield!”

Rainjur started kicking, but didn’t make any concession of defeat. Pownde asked him to yield a third and final time.

Rainjur tried to spit.

Pownde simply pushed down harder.

After a few more minutes, Rainjur’s thrashing and kicking ceased.

The match was over.

The End

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