Shadow Wolf time! This is part of my weekly writing exercise, written raw and rough. The first story arc, Blade Breaker, can be found here. The first story of this arc, Red Fangs, can be found here. The previous week’s post can be found here.
“Let’s finish this, Ragnar,” said Berkhilda, eyes gleaming in the half-dark mirroring the glittering edge of her axe.
With Cinder readying her crossbow, we approached the two armoured vampires cautiously. As they strode toward us the rest of the ship’s crew struggled behind them straining to push several large crates onto the deck. I wondered what they could be loaded with that was so heavy a half-dozen vampires had trouble moving it.
The armoured vampires moved carefully, and purposefully, shields up and heavy bladed swords ready to strike. These were not like Cinder’s other minions, most of whom were not yet accustomed to their newfound strength; these ones knew how to fight and how to use their full power.
As they drew close to us, they attacked. Their speed and grace was enviable. Parrying with my axe, I raised my hammer for a counterattack, but my opponent was one step ahead of me, bringing his kite shield up under my chin. I staggered back, tasting blood, but anticipated the follow up swing, catching it between by weapons and then kicking his armoured knee with my hobnailed boot. Before I could capitalize on my success I was forced to duck as Cinder fired her crossbow once more.
Berkhilda and her opponent were trading blows. Her massive axe was denting the edges of his shield, but he was still able to fend her off with his sword, battering her breastplate with powerful blows.
Battering my opponent’s sword, I tried to trick him into making a mistake. He read my moves and our weapons clashed but did not bind. Meanwhile Cinder was getting ready for another shot with her Crossbow. I moved to keep him between us.
“Whatever you owe her, is it worth dying for?” I ventured.
“I won’t die today,” snarled my opponent, forcing me back with a flurry of blows.
As he came at me, I kicked a stray cargo net toward his feet.
The problem with a full heaume is that it can impede one’s vision. On the cooperative chaos of the battlefield, this is almost a moot point. In a duel, however, it is a real disadvantage. My opponent did not see the netting until he stepped in it. To his credit, he realized his predicament right away and stopped before he could trip.
To my credit I made sure that it did not matter, batting aside his sword and shouldering into his shield. With his foot caught in the netting, he could not resist and he toppled to the ground. I brought my hammer down on his heaume, again and again, until it was badly dented and he was no longer struggling.
Up ahead of me, I saw Berkhilda stumble as Cinder shot her. There were two bolts in the big vampire woman’s back now. Yet, as I began to run toward her, Berkhilda knocked the armoured vampire’s sword away and then pushed him off the dock. She turned to Cinder, who was raising her Crossbow for another shot, eyes wide with hate. I kept sprinting, throwing my axe. The blade hit Cinder’s shoulder as she fired. The bolt hit Berkhildain the arm.
“Skygge, grant me light feet,” I beseeched the god of shadows and secrets, and I jumped, leaping over the gap between ship and dock ramming Cinder and bearing her to the ground. She struggled, but although she was strong, I was able to pin her.
“Help me you fools,” she screamed to her crew.
But Berkhilda, battered and bloodied, placed herself between us and them, and snarled. They turned and fled into the night, and the fight was done.