Duel

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Summary

A bloody battle rages between two armies. Dolark fights for one, wishing to survive in order to return to his family. Dalne fights for the other and hopes to avenge her brother. The two face off in an epic duel; only one will survive this encounter. ​

Genre:
Fantasy / Action
Author:
ThatSneakyParrot
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
1
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
13+

Duel

Part 1 - Dolark’s POV

Dolark grimaced as his arm was cut. The pain was like a thousand splinters. It was felt throughout his entire body. But he had to continue fighting. The deafening sounds of battle raged all around him; there were cries of pain, the clank of a sword against another, and the occasional “For King Gordol!” or “For King Verdig!” The civil war had been raging for 3 years, 3 years in which Dolark’s wife, daughter, or son could’ve been killed. Dolark hadn’t seen them since he left his home for the city of Nagrye, 10 years ago, to become an explorer and hopefully find riches for his family. But it went wrong, he was conscripted, and he now served in King Gordol’s army.

Dolark wanted to be anywhere besides here; all he wanted was to see his family. However, the prospect of execution for desertion dissuaded him from leaving. After all, it wouldn’t do his family much good if he was killed trying to return to them. But as he waded through the sea of bodies, he was distracted from these thoughts by a cut from his left eye to his chin, which filled his mouth with the bitter, iron-like taste of blood.

Dolark had always been remarkably talented at sword fighting. When he joined the army, he was quickly promoted, and was rewarded with a set of gleaming silver armor. Dolark was also put in charge of his own squad of soldiers. He was the only one left of this “squad of soldiers,” as the rest had been killed in this bloody battle. He would mourn their deaths after the battle; now was the time to try to survive.

As he fought, he observed the battle unfold around him. Countless green banners fluttered in the distance, banners that represented Verdig’s army. Dolark had always thought Prince Verdig’s claim to the throne was a foolish one; King Gordol was the older brother and therefore should obviously be the king. This was a system that had persisted for centuries; Dolark couldn’t see why it should change now. King Gordol’s army was represented by red banners, red banners that were supposed to represent bravery and sacrifice. To Dolark, however, the red banners just represented the horrific blood, gore, and total carnage of war.

Dolark wondered how many people he had killed, people who would never again see their families in life, and imagined how terrible it would be to face the same fate, killed in battle, never to see his wife or children ever again. He scowled as he fought with renewed effort. He wouldn't--no, couldn't--meet the same fate.

Part 2 - Dalne’s POV

Dalne’s blonde hair fluttered behind her as she danced around soldiers, swiftly dodging slashes and slaying many soldiers. For her it was easy; most hacks were slow and she could effortlessly dodge. Even as a young child, Dalne was exceptionally swift and nimble, outrunning other children many years older than her. At the age of 22 she had become a soldier and a very capable swordfighter. She didn’t even need a helmet--all it did was weigh her down. Dalne fought for the generous King Verdig, who represented equality, fairness, and the good of the people. Ever since seeing her older brother get personally killed by Prince Gordol, one year ago, Dalne had nursed a deep hatred for Gordol.

She vividly remembered how even as her brother screamed in agony, Gordol showed no mercy. Dishonorably stabbing him repeatedly while he writhed on the ground, unblinkingly ignoring his cries. At that time Dalne was too far away to prevent this atrocity from happening, but now that she was 25, Dalne believed that she was finally ready to slay Gordol himself. If Gordol ever became king, he would be a cruel, corrupt, and merciless tyrant. He deserved to die, cast away to the deepest reaches of the Underworld.

Dalne could still remember the joyful years when her brother was still alive, back in childhood. She recalled playing with her older brother, her mother’s beautiful singing, and practicing sword fighting with her father, before he left home to travel to the city. Dalne smiled as she remembered how frustrated she was when her father easily blocked everything she tried. “Just a little faster,” he had always said. Oh, how she wished she could return to those happy and blissful times.

Dalne winced as she was jarred back to reality by a shallow but painful gash on her stomach. Swiftly slicing off the head of the soldier who had given her this cut, she decided to focus on the battle or she would get wounded even more. Dalne hacked and slashed, immersing herself in the battle.

Dalne glimpsed the red banners that represented Gordol’s chariot in the distance. She sighed. It was too far away for her to reach. For now, she would work to kill his loyal soldiers, traitors to the Kingdom of Ruthin. She spied a man in glistening silver armor and charged towards him.

Part 3 - Dolark’s POV

Dolark had just finished killing off another soldier when a young woman with blonde hair and no helmet charged at him. Dolark raised his shield to block her slash aimed at his neck, but nevertheless, she nearly hit her target. Dolark swung his blade again and again, but the woman was too fast. She was incredibly quick and agile, and could dodge every one of Dolark’s attempts to wound her. It’s a battle I can’t win, he realized. Dolark decided to back slowly into the ranks of his fellow soldiers, forcing the woman to retreat or be surrounded.

Part 4 - Dalne’s POV

Dalne was getting annoyed. Every single one of her slashes was getting blocked by this man in silver armor. Dalne hadn’t managed to get a single hit off, even though the man seemed to be backing away. If only she was just a little quicker, she could’ve wounded the soldier, gaining the upper hand. She decided to keep pressing until the man gave in. Slash after slice, slice after slash, again and again, her efforts failed to produce results. At last, Dalne feinted a slash at his neck, then changed course and successfully stabbed the man in the gut. “Finally,” she grumbled.

Part 5 - Dolark’s POV

The pain was unlike anything Dolark had ever felt before. It simply consumed him, blocking out everything else in the outside world. The sounds of war around him were drowned out, replaced by a horrible silence. He coughed out a mouthful of blood, coating his silver armor with a thick mixture of blood and stomach fluids. Its sickening smell made Dolark wrinkle his nose in disgust. Then he was brought back to reality by the woman saying “Finally.” He gasped, but not from the pain of his wound. He recognized the woman. Her voice, her face, her hair. The woman was his daughter, the daughter he left behind 10 years ago.

Part 6 - Dalne’s POV

Dalne turned to fight another soldier, but turned back to the man with silver armor when he weakly said “Wait. Take my helmet off, daughter.” Dalne hesitantly bent down and took off his helmet. Something wasn’t right here. Dalne recognized that voice. That hard-to-get-through fighting style. Dalne choked as she realized who she had just stabbed. She desperately pressed her hands against his ruined stomach, trying to stop the blood flow. But he couldn’t be healed.

Part 7 - Nobody’s POV

Dalne wept as she watched her father slowly die from the wound she had inflicted. Dolark mustered up his remaining strength to weakly say, “Tell your brother I love him…” just as he lost consciousness. Not wanting to ruin her father’s final moments, Dalne didn’t speak, silently weeping until Dolark finally ceased to breathe. Carrying her father’s battle-worn body, Dalne walked away from the battle, away from it all, still lamenting what she had done.

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