Crossed swords

Scarlett tried to warn her brother in time, but one of the cloaked men managed to stab him with a short sword. Although Dylan did not make a sound, he had to stagger back. As the sword was pulled back from Dylan’s stomach, blood started gushing out. If anything, this has made him only madder. ‘I need to get to him before he loses too much blood.’ Scarlett tried to subdue her foe, but he was extremely agile and did not leave any opening for her to use. Dylan on the other hand did not look for any openings; he simply used sheer force to make one. “Is that all you got?” Taunting was something that Dylan enjoyed; even in the heat of the battle he knew how to bring the ugly out of anyone. And it worked this time too; the guy who stabbed him jumped right back at Dylan swinging his sword down on him. However, this time Dylan expected the attack and easily evaded it by stepping to the left, and swiftly stabbing the attacker through his neck.  The attacker was still on the sword slowly suffocating in his own fluids, blood flowing through the wound in streams, dangling a few centimetres from the ground. “Who will be next?” Dylan asked when he turned his sword and cut through the remaining neck tissue of his attacker, once the last fibers were severed, the man fell to the ground, still conscious and making gurgling noises. The remaining attackers were visibly shaken, one of them threw up. Dylan was grinning.

Because Scarlett’s back was turned, she did not see what was going on, but she did notice that her opponent let his guard down. She immediately seized the opportunity and with a quick motion with her mace she hit the man’s jaw with a jab, following with a quick kick to the stomach. ‘That should leave him unconscious long enough.’ She quickly turned and saw that the remaining three attackers were all going for Dylan and then she noticed the pool of blood beneath him. Scarlett got scared and thought: ‘It is worse than I thought. I need to heal him immediately.’ While she was running over to help him, she started muttering some words and attaching her shield back onto her back. When she was standing next to Dylan, her left hand was glowing with a faint green and blue light.

Dylan was still standing tall but felt his sight getting narrower and dimmer. ‘I am losing too much blood. At this rate I will not make it.’ He was only concentrating on blocking the incoming attacks and so far managed to fend off each one the three armed men were throwing at him. Suddenly, he felt someone’s hand on his back, without turning his head, with just the corner of his eye he noticed his sister standing behind him. Not a moment sooner he felt immeasurably better, the wound on his stomach closed up and so did the bleeding. Immediately Dylan lunged forward stabbing one of the attackers in the right leg, through his wooden shield, and pulling his massive sword out just in time to block an attack from the other attacker. ‘Good. Now I have the upper hand.’ Dylan thought while grinning.

Scarlett managed to heal his brother, but felt a tingling sensation run down her spine. Her muscles felt tired and sore all of a sudden. She tried to fight it off, but soon collapsed to the ground; she did manage to fall on her back and just lied there motionlessly. Even breathing was extremely difficult. ‘No! It was paralyzing poison. My heal slowed down and diminished its effect a little bit. I cannot move.’ She could not even make a sound.

Dylan took a step back to block the incoming attacks and almost tripped over Scarlett. “Scarlett! Get up!” He was screaming, but she did not move. It seemed like she was dead, her eyes fixated in front of her; but he did notice that her chest was moving up and down. ‘Good, she is still breathing, I just hope these punks have not noticed.’ One of the attackers did notice that Scarlett was on the ground, and he made a quick advance but was cut short by Dylan’s sword, he managed to block the attack, and the next incoming and the next.

One of the attackers took a bad step and lost his balance and Dylan reacted in time, grabbing him by the neck, squeezing, lifting him off the ground. The man was well above ground to start suffocating and while squeezing harder and harder Dylan said: “If you leave now, I will let him go, without killing him. It is up to you to save your comrade.” He knew that he had them now. “Ya can kill the fool, for all I care. Mor’ loot fer me!” Screamed one of the attackers without even batting an eyelid. ‘Just what I was afraid of, mercenaries. They love gold more than their own lives. I should deal with them quickly then.’ Dylan stabbed his suffocating hostage right through his heart, ending him quickly; throwing his now lifeless body on the ground Dylan swirled his sword above his head and headed for the remaining two attackers.

One of the attackers swung his sword but missed completely, because he lost his balance due to a bad first step, he fell on his back. The other attacker reacted quickly and used this distraction to attack not Dylan, rather he went for Scarlett. However, Dylan countered and cut off the forearm of the attacker, with sword still gripped tight. The attacker fell to the ground holding his now gone arm, screaming in agony and bleeding heavily. Then Dylan quickly moved to the other attacker still on the ground and kicked him in his head so hard that the jaw was shattered with a loud cracking of the bones. Trying to plead for mercy, the mercenary was unable to open his mouth, only muffled noises could be heard, he was on his back squirming backwards. Dylan raised his sword and pushed it through the mercenary’s right eye-socket and when he noticed that the man was still alive, twisted his sword, finally killing off the poor soul.

After the initial shock has passed, the mercenary without his forearm pulled himself together to pull out a small dagger from his cloak and tried to stab Scarlett’s neck. Halfway he lost his strength and dropped the dagger because Dylan stabbed him from the back, through his heart. Before dying, the mercenary felt his last heartbeats against the cold metal, and with his last flickers of strength muttered: “There… will… be… more. You two and… the… girl will…die.” He started laughing loudly which soon faded into silence.

Dylan kneeled down and picked up her sister holding her in his arms, but not before making sure she was still alive. “Do not worry dear sister, I will make you better.” Said Dylan with a dishonest smile and rushed back to town to find a healer.

By Dejan Vicai

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