Friday, June 8, 2012

The End of the Beginning

Alissa dove to her right, holding up the sword in her left hand to deflect the blow as she cut low with the one in her right. She danced backwards as both of Henric's weapons passed inches away from her and cut away several of the ribbons affixed to her armor.
She smiled, knowing that, as long as she moved correctly, they perfectly served their purpose of obscuring her exact location. And that perfect movement was a dance she knew well.

Henric managed a touch on her arm, but she sidestepped behind him and returned the tap with one to the center of his back. Neither strike managed to cut its target, the hardened leather armor both warriors were wearing easily keeping the light touches of the sharp edges off of their skin.
"Point red!" called the moderator, "And point green! Score is one-one!"
Henric turned, to face her, both of his blades at the ready, and Alissa smiled. She deflected his attack and lunged forward, plunging her sword deep into his abdomen.
Her foe gasped, and the weapon in his right hand started to slip from his grip.
"Lethal strike green!" called Mistress Carver. "That's the match. Our winner is decided."
The mat was suddenly lit with a soft white glow, and the magical energy washed over Henric, leaving no sign of his wound.
The healing magic cleansed the area of spilled blood, and Alissa slipped both of her weapons back into their sheaths. She was breathing heavily, and, for all her confidence in her ability to defeat Henri, she was elated at her victory.
She looked to her opponent, who looked sour. He had been just as sure of victory as she had been, although his certainty was more due to arrogance than confidence in superior skills. But still, he was very skilled. He was chosen to compete for early graduation, and he had landed a touch on her. She felt that she should say something to him.
"Henric--" she started, but she he turned away and marched out of the room.
"Alissa Wren," said Mistress Carver, coming over to her, "You will be awarded at the ceremony tonight, and sent forth as a full graduate of the Academy. There is no more that you can learn without experiencing real battle. We trust that you will use your skills in a way in keeping with our values."

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