Tyrael walked into the grove. It was as his foe said, none had used the grove in quite some time. He hoped Eliwood could lead the attack without him. It would soon be daybreak; already the sun was beginning to rise.
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The forest was quiet and the high trees surrounded him. He knew this would be a fit place for a battle, among the trees. The ground was level and there wasn’t any debris to trip over. Yes, a fitting place indeed.
A cold laugh interrupted his contemplation. Deathwing Blackspitter walked out from the shadows with a gleeful smile. The reptilian yellow eyes gleamed and his foe’s razor sharp teeth made Tyrael tense.
“I am glad you made it cavalier. A foolish but honorable move,” the dark warrior smiled.
“I could say the same for you,” Tyrael smirked. His enemy scowled at him distastefully.
“Confident until death? How utterly amusing,” the dragon hissed.
Tyrael grinned and drew his blades. “Let’s get started then. I have a kingdom to run and people to protect.”
Deathwing chuckled. “Not after tonight, king,” he spat. Tyrael shrugged and pulled his visor down.
The dark agile warrior unsheathed his blades as well and the two enemies began to circle each other. With a snarl, the dragon came in with two quick stabs and a horizontal slash with his other blade. Tyrael backpedaled and parried the horizontal strike, and stepped in stabbing with Spell Mist.
His opponent snickered and teetered away from the stab and brought his second blade around quickly, scoring a slight hit against Tyrael’s armor.
“First blood is mine,” his foe whispered even as he came in with another attack routine.
Tyrael took a deep breath and spun his swords in a parry maneuver. He foiled the dragon’s attack routine and took the offensive, stabbing with Tyrelax three times and coming up high with Spell Mist. His foe laughed and danced away, parrying a stab making it go wide and blocked his high strike with his own blade.
Sparks flew and metal screeched in protest as the highly enchanted blades met. Tyrael gritted his teeth as they tested each other’s strength. He brought Tyrelax around and stabbed at his foe. Deathwing smirked and disengaged from the parry and danced away from the deadly strike.
“First blood isn’t as important as last,” Tyrael steeled his gaze.
His foe scowled and rushed him. The dragon went into a dance, his arms up high in a clockwise motion spinning in confusing patterns while he twirled towards the cavalier. Tyrael gritted his teeth and griped his blades tighter as he went into a defensive position.
The dark agile warrior ended his dance with a blindingly fast double overhead strike. Tyrael brought both his blades up and again sparks flew as metal met metal. Not missing a beat, the lithe Deathwing jumped and kicked the much heavier figure in the chest.
Tyrael grunted and fell back a step as his foe spun towards him, swords leading. Spell Mist and Tyrelax were there to protect their master, and Deathwing snarled in disbelief as his foe regained his footing.
The king roared and slashed horizontally with his incredible strength. Knowing how sharp the strange blade was, Deathwing danced out of the way and twirled his elven blades defensively in front of him.
Tyrael smiled at the predictable dodge. He rolled his shoulder muscles and tensed his body. It was time to tap into what Kelanen had showed him. With a deep breath, he slowly twirled his blades in a horizontal figure eight.
In a quick movement, Tyrael rushed forward into a dance Kelanen, the Prince of Swords, had taught him. His foe smiled confidently and parried three quick strikes and launched his own attack to disrupt the cavalier.
Tyrael slipped to the side and continued his brutal assault. He put his wrists together and spun them in a counter clockwise motion. His foe brought up both blades to parry the double assault. At the last possible second, Tyrael split apart his weapons and brought his blade around and scored a hit on his foe’s shoulder.
Deathwing hissed and disengaged from the parry and jumped back. Tyrael crossed his blades in front of him in an “X” and took a step back. His foe glanced down to assess the damage. His black spiky shoulder pad had a noticeable slash in it and the scowl told Tyrael he had pierced the impressive Zodar armor with Tyrelax.
“You will pay for that you pitiful excuse for a king,” the dragon warrior spat.
Tyrael smiled and his opponent rushed him, with one sword up high and the other low. The experienced warrior jumped away from the low strike and parried the high strike with Tyrelax. Surprisingly quick, the dragon reversed the low swing and struck the cavalier in the ribs. Bright yellow and blue sparks protested at the contact.
The king grunted but gritted his teeth and brought Spell Mist around and struck his foe in the other shoulder. The blade got stuck between two spikes and the cavalier tried to wrench it free while the dragon in disguise tried to strike again at the awkward angle.
The two combatants stood like that, at a standstill. Tyrelax was locked against one of Deathwing’s blades and his other was stuck between two shoulder spikes. His opponent smiled and showed him his razor sharp teeth as he began to saw at the king’s white Zodar armor with his other sword.
Tyrael began to feel the pressure as metal screeched loudly. In a desperate move, he head butted his opponent. The look of superiority was replaced by shock as Deathwing Blackspitter fell back and the standstill was broken.
The cavalier wrenched his blade free and kicked his foe in the stomach. He stalked after the dragon as he stumbled but regained his footing quickly. Snarling, the figure jumped and whirled into the air, swords reaching out to slice the king.
Tyrael danced away from the vicious move and crossed his blades in front of him.
Korrin sat in his office, reading the reports. Something needed to change, and quickly. Safehaven was doing extremely well with the helmet of precognition he had created and bestowed upon his generals. When the user concentrated he or she could call upon powerful divination magic to look into the very near future. Of course it had its limitations and the user could still miscalculate but even so it was working extremely well. Every move the Great Kingdom made on the battlefield could be countered because of the knowledge gained with the helmet.
But how long could they last? He had crunched the numbers over and over. If Safehaven took the minimum amount of losses; which they did, the Great Kingdom would still beat them eventually with their numbers.
He looked to a map of the region, with the borders of the kingdoms clearly drawn and ink almost covered the parchment where he had drawn and written battle plans. The Bronzewood had a single army in front of them, and Thann had one with reports of one on the way. Safehaven was fighting on all sides; four different armies surrounded them.
How were the elves fairing? He shuffled through the papers on the desk and searched for the most recent report on the Bronzewood. He grinned in triumph as he found it and began skimming it. He scratched his chin as the information sunk in.
Could he expect the elves to reinforce him? He wouldn’t dare ask or even think about help from Thann. Kelanen was a proud figure who only cared about power. The very thought of the smug human made Korrin grit his teeth in frustration. Now that he was a king, he had much more say in what was going on in the city.
He would need to come up with another project that could replace Safehaven’s losses. He needed an idea. He needed Tyrael. His closest friend always had interesting ideas and he would find a way to work them out.
Korrin rubbed his pale face with his hand. Yes, it was time to pay the king a visit. His pointed ears needed to hear some fresh ideas. The two of them would come up with something. He reached into his many-pocketed robe and retrieved a tiny traveling sized crystal ball. He placed it in the middle of his palm and peered into it, searching for Tyrael.