Greetings, Loyal Reader!
Malik’s sword bent in two. Though my enchanted armor, a hauberk and pants-of-mail combo, lacked a proper legendary name, it too was a relic of the Mighty Champion, bestowed upon me by The Gods. Made of miraculum, it was light and comfortable as silk pajamas, yet impervious to any weapon I had thus far encountered in my brief heroic career.
Even so, Malik’s hit would leave a bruise.
Malik jabbed his hooked dagger into my side. The knife broke.
That would also bruise.
“You’re Malik of the Four Blades now,” I said.
In reply, he snapped his arms in a peculiar motion. A pair of punching knives slid from his sleeves. These resembled brass knuckles with four-inch blades attached. Malik feinted, ducked, and again got past my guard. This time he went low, aiming a jab at my thigh followed by a slam punch to the crotch.
I winced more at the thought of the low blow than from any actual pain. The Cosmosuit protected my more sensitive bits as well as it did the rest of my body. The punching knives snapped like stale toast against a brick.
Angry now, I advanced with a furious flurry of thrusts and slashes. Had even half of my blows connected, pieces of Malik’s head and limbs would have flown in six different directions. His quickness saved him. Dodging and tumbling, Malik avoided my onslaught, culminating his evasive maneuvers with a standing reverse somersault. From mid-air he launched a pair of throwing stars at me. I raised my shield to deflect the razory projectiles. One embedded itself in a tree. The other whizzed past the head of a waiting fighter, severing his ear.
“Are we done, Malik of the Broken Blades?” I said. “Or must this still be to the death?”
Malik glared at me, but made no move to attack.
“Done, then.” I turned to Merc. “Who’s next?”