In the Forest
Panting for breath, Sinara cast a shield as she halted her escape and turned to face her pursuer. The battle had only just begun, but Sinara did not need even that short span to know that she and the other woman were evenly matched. Victory would be hard-won—especially from this challenger.
Sinara and Lidri had studied, learned and fought together for just short of two decades, but the nature of their profession demanded this time that Sinara must kill her best friend, or
Lidri would kill her. Personal feelings would only distract Sinara, so she acknowledged the anguish and reluctance, and then pushed emotion aside, concentrating on the task at hand.
She did not want to kill Lidri, but she had no choice. Delaying the inevitable would only be cruel, both to the victor and to the victim. Lidri deserved the dignity of the quickest death Sinara could give her—if only to honor the memory of their friendship—and she hoped Lidri would see that the same was done on her side, should the blonde be the one to walk out of this clearing today.
Sinara’s shield weakened, and she watched Lidri’s hands dip into her black vestments only to come out a moment later, bristling with shuriken. Sinara raised the buckler on her off-hand arm and slid a stone into her magically enhanced sling before pulling it from its position tucked under her belt with her dominant hand. Blocking the first throwing star with the buckler, she let the stone fly.
The once-tranquil forest reverberated with the noise and chaos of battle as Sinara remembered.