The Chosen, Chapter 1E

Wolf hurled the dagger in her left hand at the nobleman, who swept his right arm across his body to deflect the missile, then brought the arm down and back across to draw the sword from his hip scabbard. A beam of sunlight glistened off the sword’s blade as he walked forward, holding the grip of his weapon with both hands.

Drawing another dagger from a back holster, Wolf recognized the make of the sword being brought against her. “That’s an Imperial blade.”

“Indeed.” The nobleman stopped his advance. “I feel it’s my duty to inform you, that surrender is an option.”

Wolf drew her lips back in a snarl, as she twirled the daggers in her hands. “I’m gonna carve the word ‘prick’ backwards on your face, so that you remember me every time you look in the mirror.” And with a yell from her gut, she charged.

Her right dagger jabbed at the nobleman’s chest, but he easily deflected the attack – as well as the slash of her other dagger towards his belly. His parries were economical, using only as much force required to protect him, and he continued using both hands on the grip. Seeing the nobleman step back, Wolf spun and slashed with both daggers, the first catching against the sword’s blade, but the second deflecting and slashing the nobleman’s right sleeve and forearm.

Wolf continued attacking, the nobleman retreating at each blow. The priestly woman and boy had backed up along with their companion, and were now almost back to back with the Islander, locked in battle with Viper.

The nobleman’s strategy was now evident – maintain a safe distance, stay defensive, and let his opponent tire herself and weaken before initiating his own attack. Blood oozed from the slash on his forearm, but that was his only wound. Wolf knew his plan was working, and she needed an effective counter to avoid defeat.

“You – ” holding both daggers high, she took several steps back, and exaggerated the exhaustion in her voice – “are more – than you seem.” She sat into a low crouch, and let the dagger in her right hand fall to the ground.”

The nobleman remained wary, his sword held close to his body with both hands, blade pointing up. “We really don’t want to hurt you.”

She wiped her brow with the back of her right hand. “How kind – of you.” Then her right hand flew down to her boot, retrieved a stiletto, and hurled it forward.

The small knife was too low to the ground for the nobleman to deflect it with his sword, and was well wide of his legs, so he let it pass. Almost immediately, the boy behind him screamed; the nobleman glanced back, and saw the boy falling to the ground, the stiletto lodged in his right calf.

Wolf fell upon the nobleman again, her left dagger slashing across his other forearm before he caught her blade. His parry this time was more forceful, knocking her backward, and with anger in his face he advanced, holding his sword forward with his right hand only. She took a step back, and finally realized another reason for his constant retreating – he had moved them back to level ground.

He thrust the sword at her, and she deflected the attack with her right dagger while slashing at him with her left, missing by less than an inch. The nobleman closed the distance between them, then slashed powerfully at her right arm; Wolf caught the strike with both daggers, then watched helplessly as the nobleman’s left fist flew down at her, striking her square across the jaw, and sending her sprawling down onto the dirt road.

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