Excerpt from Setting The Board

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Here's a short excerpt from Setting The Board, book 3 of Preparations for War:


Jammont's attack was crude; a feint towards my head that turned into an oblique cut towards my right-side ribcage when I moved to parry his initial assault. I parried it yieldingly in what an Earther would call seconde, deflecting the heavier blade down so its momentum would carry it downwards to my right, stepping to my left as I did so. I drew the back side of the tip along Jammont's forearm and wrist in passing, cutting through his clothing to leave a long trail along his forearm, rapidly running with red arterial blood.

That wasn't my real riposte, though. The continuation of the same stroke that pinked his arm turned to present the front edge of my blade towards his leg. Before Jammont could begin to recover his blade to protect himself, I'd hit him hard near his right hip, cutting through the stiffened leather to draw more bright arterial blood from his upper thigh, cutting the tendon of the abductor muscle in his outer leg. Then I stepped back and to the left, bringing my weapon back into a terce guard position as his leg gushed blood.

I needn't have bothered. He didn't collapse in place, but it was all he could do to remain standing. The cut had already saturated his armor and clothing, running down his leg and beginning to pool on the floor.
It would have been easier to kill him, but everyone could see that the duel was essentially over. The arm wound would have made it difficult to retain his grip on his weapon through slippery blood, the leg wound not only crippled him, he would bleed to death in a minute or so if I forced him to fight on it. A Guardian might have healed it while fighting; the locals didn't practice necris nearly so diligently.

"A lucky strike," I said, "Yield?" That would allow him to pretend it was luck, but I could see in his eyes he knew better. Before this, he might have told himself we were only half agaani by some sort of courtesy exempted from combat training; now he knew that we were the real thing. If there was a next time, my opponent would be more prepared, and I probably wouldn't have the option of being so merciful.

"I yield the issue," he responded, "Attend me!" to his servants, allowing himself to collapse to the floor.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on May 21, 2020 4:47 AM.

Excerpt From The End of Childhood was the previous entry in this blog.

Excerpt from The Monad Trap (Book Two of Connected Realms) is the next entry in this blog.

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