Chapter Twenty-Four: Setting the Standard

Lorda was close enough to see the reflection of his blades in the man's eye, and yet just as the sword was to meet its target, the said target lunged to the side, drawing his dagger.

Lorda was taken by surprise and cringed as the swords met with the horrible substance from which the tower was built, causing a loud screech that cut through his mind like a knife through butter.

A kick to the kidney was quickly delivered from defender to attacker, and it seemed that the tables may turn fairly rapidly.

Lorda sunk to the ground and took another blow, this time to the face. He bit his own lip, and felt his gums release blood. Spitting it out, the adrenalin replaced the pain, and he was back on his feet, delivering blow after blow to the skilled swordsman in front of him, who whilst only wielding a dagger which could not have been much longer than six inches, was parrying all of Lorda's swipes with masterful ease.

It had turned into a fairer fight, now that this man seemed so talented, and as they circled one another, sharing strikes of which few met their target and none did damage, Lorda found himself backed up against the window from which he had entered.

Ducking a slash to the throat, Lorda swung out with a kick toward the enemy's legs, hitting perfectly and flooring him. Before Lorda could get back to his feet, however, he was struck with an equally as forceful kick to the chest, both feet meeting at the breast of Lorda's leather armour, and sending him flying backwards, the base of his spine meeting against the edge of the window.

His entire body spasmed, and his hands released their grip on the handle of his swords. As Lorda's body shuddered, he grappled for the blades, but was not close enough, as they were already falling from the window, down to the earth below.

Sinking to the floor, weaponless, Lorda realised that the shield he held on his back wouldn't do much good, neither would the crossbow.

Surrendering himself to the enemy, he slowly got to his feet.

Watching his attacker, now with the advantage, raise his blade slowly above his head to make the final cut of the night, Lorda took the moment to leap from the floor, to the table, and flipped over on his side to narrowly avoid the incoming blade. Soaring gracefully - as ever - through the air, the hero took a hold of the freshly lit torch, pulling it from its holster in the wall.

Landing like a cat on his paws, Lorda once again lept forward, towards his enemy, who was still recovering from the mighty blow he had failed to follow through with the spilling of blood.

Thrusting the flaming torch violently into the face of his enemy, holding it as if stabbing into a wild boar, Lorda flew through the air, pressing his legs into his enemy's chest, just as he had had done to him, and felt the crunch of ribs and heard the burning of flesh as he landed on his opponent, pinning him down, settling the fight.

He held the torch to the man's face until it was unrecognisable, letting the heat of the fire burn through the face of this man.

Lorda felt the man twitch underneath him, and was unable to decide whether he was alive or dead.

Pulling the dagger from his stiff hand, Lorda plunged it through the dying man's heart, confirming the kill. When he knew the soul had passed onto the Otherworld, he liberated the blade from its fleshy prison, cleaning it on the corpse's trousers, and sighed to himself.

Lorda hoped that he would run into no more of these warriors.

This man had proven that they were more deadly than they seemed.

The End

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