Chapter LIV

Unable to stop herself, Beatrix gasped. The sword was long, with a slim blade and a hilt that looked like melted silver. It was very plain considered to the ceremonial swords that the Erls carried that glittered in their bejewelled glory, but somehow this sword also managed to be much, much more beautiful.

‘She’s gorgeous, isn’t she?’ Keiran smiled at the wonder in Beatrix’s eyes.

‘I’ve never... I mean, I didn’t imagine weapons could be so... ‘

‘Yes, they’re beautiful - or at least, some of them - but never lose sight of the fact that they are weapons, designed to kill and injure. Wielded correctly, these things are deadly.

‘The main difference between the swords we use - like this one - and the guardsmen swords, apart from their appearance, is the weight. These swords are light and easy to wield, especially compared to those heavy standard-issue monstrosities the guardsmen are expected to fight with. This makes everything easier for us, though, so I’m not exactly complaining!

‘The guardsmen rely on teamwork - or rather, everyone doing everything the same at the same time. They have set patterns and movements. This means it’s pretty easy to guess what they’re going to do next. They all have big shields and an old fashioned fighting style. They don’t have to face the possibility of being cornered, outnumbered ten to one, fighting with anything you can lay your hands on.’ He chuckled slightly.

‘Jaques delights in telling people how he once escaped from a high-security prison wit nothing more than a candlestick and a piece of string. How much you should believe is questionable. But you get the idea.’

‘Yes I do - you should be dead!’

And he looked at her, perfect seriousness in his eyes. ‘I know.’

The End

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