The battlefield had been a cacophony as Bonnie, Lysara, Velvet and Fang struggled against a veritable army. Now… now the sound had diminished significantly as they and their opponents watched the duel between Lennard and Jade.
Lennard executed a quick series of slashes. Jade backed away from him, blocking a few that came close.
“He’s on the run!” Lysara exclaimed. “Mister Lennard isn’t giving him a chance to do anything!”
“No,” Bonnie whispered. Jade wasn’t on the run. He was biding his time. He’d noticed the weakness in Lennard’s technique. Of that much she was certain. Lennard had two, maybe three minutes to finish this before he found himself at a disadvantage. She was less certain on that one, but it was her best guess based on their match thus far.
Axra and Reginald circled around each other, slashing,swinging, blocking and parrying. Trying to gain the advantage.
Lilly watched them anxiously, wincing every time it looked like Axra might be hit. Sighing with relief every time she wasn’t.
It would have been an even match if not for Axra’s wounded shoulder, which Reginald was happy to exploit. He kept aiming his slashes at that side, forcing her to use her injured arm more heavily.
Reginald flipped against the wall, kicking against the stone to propel himself forward. Axra blocked his blade, but he twisted his body around, kicking her right in the shoulder. Blood squirted from the wound and she visibly grimaced, but recovered quickly, counter-slashing at him.
“Axra!” Lilly cried. She dropped Zerstörelicht on the ground, making sure that the enchanted bow made a loud sound as she did so. Then she stepped several paces away from it. “D… don’t lose.”
“Don’t be ridiculous!” Axra cried, blocking several swings from Reginald. “Pick that back up. You may need it.”
“I won’t!” Lilly cried. “If… if you fail then I won’t have any reason to keep living anyway so… so I’ll bet my life on your victory.”
“Lilly…” Axra muttered. She parried a thrust from Reginald and pivoted, kicking him in the chest. “All right. Now that both Twila and Lilly are relying on me I really can’t afford to lose.”
“What a coincidence,” Reginald said. “Neither can I. For the future of this land and for my father, I shall not, I must not fail!”
After nearly three minutes of defending, Jade went on the offensive. His scimitars moving quickly and ferociously, trying to bring down the one-armed veteran. To make matters worse, Lennard had visibly slowed down, his movements more subdued than they had been.
Bonnie’s prediction, it seemed, had been spot on. For all of the old man’s strength, his style was predicated upon finishing fights quickly. When it took too long, he was left tired out and vulnerable.
Bonnie grabbed Velvet’s arm and pulled him over. “Guard Lysara for me,” she whispered.
She didn’t wait for a response, Velvet would follow orders. She hoisted her axe and ran towards the duel. Lennard’s sword was wrested from his hand and Jade went for the kill, only to have Bonnie’s axe knock him back.
“Leave it to a petty thug,” Jade rasped. “Sullying the honour of a duel like this.”
“Say what you like,” Bonnie said. “I won’t watch one of my comrades die. Not if I can prevent it.”
The silence was quickly broken. The soldiers who had been engaged in watching the match began attacking. Lennard was able to get back to his feet. Several enemies moved to block him from retrieving his sword, only to suffer severe burns when Fang rained fire down on them, clearing a path for the old man.
Velvet stayed by Lysara’s side, grabbing two nearby opponents and smashing their skulls together. Lysara lashed out with her chakram, decapitating a man who got two close and slicing another open.
“The forest demon!” someone shouted. Bonnie glanced over. Several enemy soldiers had fallen with kunai in their backs and a masked man was advancing with a drawn Katana.
“We haven’t gone into the forest so why?” Jade muttered, quickly slashing at Bonnie.
The demon reached his free hand to his belt and hurled three kunai in a single smooth motion, he made his way over to Lennard, cutting down anyone who got in his path.
“Lennard, you’re here already.” The masked man said. “Are you actually having trouble with these guys?”
“Shut up, Jayko,” Lennard muttered. “We’ll see how you manage in thirty more years.”
“You won’t,” Jayko said. “You’ll be gone.”
“Shows what you know,” Lennard countered. “I’ll still be goin when I’m a hundred.”
Jayko laughed. “I’ll look forward to seeing that. You ready?”
“Always,” Lennard said, reclaiming his sword.
The two charged down the field, side by side. The sight was too much for some of the enemy soldiers, causing them to turn and flee. Bonnie couldn’t tell how many left the field. She was occupied with her match against Jade.
He brought one of his scimitars down and tried to jab Bonnie with the other when she blocked the first. She was able to twist around, dodging it handily.
“You’re quite skilled,” Jade said “for a thug.”
Bonnie swung her axe, aiming for his neck, but he was able to turn the blow aside with one scimitar, slashing at Bonnie’s chest with the other. She moved back, evading the blow.
Axra was getting tired. Even worse, her vision was starting to get blurry. Maybe she should have let Lilly treat her shoulder. She had to end this soon.
Reginald lunged, slashing with his blade. Axra let it cut her in the chest, thrusting her own sword into his chest. They both stumbled backwards. Reginald coughed up blood and fell to the ground.
Axra reached down and grabbed Todberührung, sheathing it with an unsteady hand. She was vaguely aware of someone screaming around her and then she felt Lilly grab her, trying to stop the bleeding.
“Don’t worry,” Axra muttered. “I’m fine. Perf… perfectly fine…”