Greetings, Loyal Reader!
Dark of skin and grim of eye, Malik wore the loose, flowing robes of a desert tribesman. He bore a curved sword in his right hand and a hooked dagger in the left.
“To the death?” I inquired, as I drew my broadsword. “Or will you settle for a good thrashing?”
“I will be satisfied when my blade drinks deeply of your blood and spills your life upon the ground, thus winning me eternal glory,” said Malik, bowing.
I sighed. “To the death then.”
Malik struck so fast I barely saw him move. Too fast for me to react in time. Fortunately, my sword was Overwhelm, the enchanted weapon borne by the Mighty Champion himself. Forged of the mystic metal miraculum, Overwhelm sliced granite like soft cheese. Among its magics was an onblade fighting intelligence which recorded every blow of every battle. Overwhelm dissected a foe’s fighting style on the fly, quickly learning to anticipate and counter his moves. My sword flashed upward to meet Malik’s, dragging my hand along for the ride. Malik’s scimitar shattered like glass.
Unfazed, he slashed at my face with the dagger. I ducked behind my shield, deflecting the thrust and swinging Overwhelm at Malik’s right side. He twirled away beyond my reach, hurling his broken sword as he did so.
I batted the missile away. Malik drew a short thrusting sword from a scabbard on his back and came at me again. His blade bit below my breastbone.