A Reflection You aren't Afraid Of

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A Reflection You aren't Afraid Of

Post by Gorth » Wed Jun 01, 2022 6:55 am

Swish. Thunk. A scream. Blood on her face. Blood in her hair. Blood on her blade. Another body.

Swish. Thunk. Staring eyes, bulging, insane, dead. Another body on the ground.

Swish. Clang. An axe, in her blade’s path. A fight, a fight worth caring for. A fight that was a fight, and not a slaughter, yet. It would be.

Two figures stood, similar yet different, cast in the early morning glow of the sun across the ruined streets of Valeria. Two figures, one tall, one short, but equally armed and both equally dangerous. The small one, iron armor making her look just a bit taller than her five-foot stature would hold, a cutlass and a shield clutched in front of her. Red hair escaping the helmet, the barely visible ends slightly tinged the color of blood. The other figure, less armored, but holding an axe, and a mad, battle crazed expression. And then they met together, the clash of steel and iron and flesh a cacophony that could not be ignored.

Three quick slashes is what the small figure delivered; three quick slashes caught by the poorly repaired haft of the axe. The axe was turned back by the force of these slashes, a surprising force for someone so small. But the attack wasn’t done, as attested by the figure taking a step forward, far too close for the axe to matter. The shield would have left the chest a ruin if not for the taller figure’s quick reflexes, a naked hand grabbing the shield and deflecting it to the side with bone jarring force, enough to leave bruises that would later be felt on both sides.

Of course, this called for a retaliation. That same hand was then a fist, in the smaller figure’s face. A cry, a woman’s cry is what she released, stumbling back, and spitting blood, raising her shield to ward off any opportunistic attacks. But the shield was small, some may have described it as a dinner plate. And the axe found her leg, sending her sprawling with another cry. But this woman was a fighter, had been fighting a long time, and she was pushing forward, not a bone in her body wishing to give up until she was dead. And perhaps she wouldn’t, even ten. She hadn’t yet, after all.

A shoulder in the figure’s guts, once she’d gotten her feet. No one expects such a move from someone so small. The figure reeled but did not make a sound. As it was frozen, eyes comically wide and bulging as it stared down at the blade in its guts. And then the woman kicked it, sending it back to join the pile of corpses behind it. That pile was nearly as high as the woman’s waist, many such similar fights having obviously been fought here recently.

Swish. Thunk. Another, another, another. Was this what she wanted? It didn’t quite feel good, no. The Liberi were humans, yes, but criminals, murderers, highwaymen. Shouldn’t she do what she could? Especially considering her past frack ups in the Lost Lands? Would people care? Would it matter, even?

“Have you ever slaughtered? Any of you?” asked the woman, now seated at a table in the Dining Hall of Stormholdt. Her helmet was on the table beside her. Her face was one large bruise on the left side, though her armor hid any further injury. Her hair swept to just below her shoulders, hair the color of copper. The blood hadn’t been fully cleaned from it; the tips still stained just the slightest bit. Her honey-colored eyes swept the surrounding Warriors, eight in total sitting around her, listening to her story.

She got no response. They’d heard her stories before. Clearly something had upset her the day before, because they usually weren’t quite this extreme, or gruesome, but the fire in her eyes, and the way she explained her more notable fights, demonstrating several moves as if teaching, it was magnetic to some. Many didn’t wish to interrupt, particularly when she spaced out, which she did often. Staring out into space, a hard line of a scowl settling over her face as she monologued to the room, but more likely to herself, as if justifying.

“I hope you enjoyed the story,” she offered quietly, turning on a heel and scooping up her helmet. “Just remember. The line is drawn where you can still look at your reflection and ya ain’t afraid of it.”

And then she was gone, her light boots offering little sound over the scrape of knives on plates.

Several of the warriors left in the wake of her story shared glances, silently agreeing this woman, the one who had murdered within Shadgard’s walls, was one they should likely treat with care, lest she forget who the true enemy should be.
We've all made selfish bad decisions
We've all tried dishing out the blame
Convinced ourselves of our own actions
My problem is I'll never change.

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