Searing, white-hot pain erupted as the sharp-edged blade cut neatly through my skin.
“One,” he said, his face a supreme, set calm. It was the same calm I’ve seen before; the total control, the utmost rationality. It was the calmness of a war.
I breathed in deeply, clutching onto my right arm and trying to stench the bleeding. Blood was dripping onto the floor uncontrollably.
My palm tightened around the hilt of the sword.
Without warning, I lashed out with my arm, feeling the stretched his left temple. At the last second, I twisted my wrist. The blade whistled through the air.
Clang. Yellow sparks erupted from where our blades scratched. My blade quivered in the air and I flicked my wrist, the tip notching against his cheek.
Blood poured from the new cut.
“Two,” I said.
He didn’t say anything — just put on a face of grimace and attacked.
Stay calm. Don’t let the power get to your head — thrust, parry.
His supreme strength was beginning to set in — if I wanted to win this, I had to end it before I tired. And quickly.
Watch. Eyes flicker — finger twitch. Right swing.
Clang. Metal screeched against metal as I dragged my sword across the edge of his blade.
Blink. Direct engage.
I bent backwards as the tip of his sword came rushing up to my chest, and used this opportunity to swing my sword underneath, balancing my position. For one second, I was perfectly balanced; then.
Return to neutral. Clenched palms — there! Left!
The silvery metal came sailing up toward my head, and I ducked.
Loosed legs. Slight positioning — up!
I didn’t even bother to look — I simply collapsed flat on the ground as the metal came rushing across, and pushed myself right through his outstretched legs. Jumped up the other side, arms poised.
Let’s end this. Slight bite of the lips, so right thrust. Parry, sidestep.
His blade appeared on my left and I swung my sword, clanging the metals in the air. Methodically, I took a simple step to the left, then flipped my sword around the hilt of his and wrenched it easily out of his arm.
I spun and my blade rushed up to point at his throat.
“Dead,” I said confidently.