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Chapter 6

Page history last edited by some editor 6 years, 4 months ago

A light roar of white roiled water swept past two warriors' legs; a cloud of steam lingering in the air punctuated by a quiet hiss of boiling water around the woman standing between me and a mountain of a woman. All I could do was taste the dirt on the bank of the river, completely tied up and immobile. I was the lone spectator; and judging by the blood lust fueled eyes of the amazon, this confrontation was serious. The lizard-girl did not flinch; and although her back was facing me, the whipping of her tail to and fro crowned by a brilliant crest of fire burning out of control gave me all the hints I needed; she felt the same as her opponent.

 

It seemed I was to be the prize in what felt like a fight to the death. I'll have to ask for forgiveness that my concern wasn't that I was going to watch someone get killed in front of me, but that I wasn't sure whom I was going to be better off with. I hadn't been treated to the greatest hospitality by either. Actions speak louder than words after all. I may also need to be forgiven if I let it get to me that two beautiful women were prepared to fight to the death over me. Somewhere deep down I'm a little flattered, I had to admit, but I had to shake my head to rid myself of that thought; it wasn't going to be any help to me at the moment. Despite their mostly human appearances, they were monstrous on the inside, especially inside their heads.

 

While occupying myself with my thoughts and wriggling on the ground to struggle against my bonds, I tried to calmly think of what I needed to do next. This imminent fight could take only a few seconds; I'd never crawl away like a worm fast enough. I was certain the following rape would not be prevented, only made worse, by being completely exhausted and making them irate they had to hunt me down again. Upon realizing that I was just wearing myself out I came to a stop and noticed sharp pressure jutting into my back. I felt like I was laying down on a bed of rocks. Judging by how much it hurt, enough to cause me to sit up straight, there was at least one very sharp rock. That's when it finally hit me, with enough rubbing and friction, maybe I could chew through the ropes strand by strand.

 

No sooner than I started getting to work, swaying my back side to side over the ground and grinding the ropes away, there was the sound of splashing water. The two women leaped at each other swinging their weapons in a blur, only becoming solid again when they connected edge to edge. Like a hammer on an anvil the clang echoed, and the blades sparked off one another. Using the momentum gained from repelling, each followed up on with their next swing. The same blows were exchanged again and again. Rosette, the lizard-girl, was prodding her opponent for an opening; one she was having trouble finding. Tauari, the amazon, remained unmoving like a wall and retaliated with a fresh counterattack after each parry. Her attacks were getting heavier and heavier until the last blow exchanged between the two sent Rosette skidding backwards a good five or six meters throwing water and pebbles into the air.

 

Rosette shifted her feet, talons, whatever was appropriate, and tossed her sword into her left claw. She charged forward once again; this time attacking with long swinging arcs and spinning herself round and round in front of her opponent, side to side. It was a series of blows filled with feints and quick footwork, but the amazon remained unchanged and instead kept moving forward, controlling the fight. Rosette was now not even attempting to match blows with Tauari. Not after one of these blurs, from what I could see, when blocked threw her so far back she had to duck and dodge out of the way from a devastatingly violent swing of that massive slab of iron the amazon was swinging around as if it weighed nothing.

 

This fight before my eyes had finally reached the beginning of the end. Each had sized up the other, the cautious strikes of each had ceased. Tauari had become confident she was stronger and had better reach. Rosette was trying to make up for both by being faster, but she didn't seem to have that either; she was switching styles and stances rapidly, desperately trying to find a groove she could use to turn the tides back to her favor. Only thirty seconds had passed and already Tauari had let loose enough that Rosette could not hope to clash blades with her again. Just the crushing force of the blades meeting could injure her arms. The situation got progressively worse and worse for the lizard-girl; she couldn't get her edge anywhere near the towering amazon, and she could only keep backing up and avoid Tauari for so long.

 

Her balance also seemed to falter, and she shook her head from time to time to give herself a mental slap on the face, and her eyes blinked repeatedly to shake off a bad case of sleep eye. The flame on her tail seemed to sputter every so often, as though her tank was empty, and she was running on fumes. After watching her burn off those wounds, I don't think it is far fetched of me to conclude I was looking at someone fighting far at their full capacity. While they stood and watched one another, I could see the faint traces of pale scar tissue that had yet to tan and fully heal. She seemed far more sluggish than her daring sprint through the camp while carrying me. Purging all that poison and healing those wounds took a lot out of her. Perhaps she hadn't healed those wounds at all? They were no longer open, but her muscles could very well still be a mess underneath. The odds were starting to look out of her favor.

 

During the whole spectacle, I had been working my back against the stones underneath listening to the grinding of dried plant fiber until I could finally hear the fraying and snapping of rope. I could finally feel my tied wrists behind my back and slide them up and down my spine. It was a minor victory, but I hurriedly continued to free my wrists. I could at least drag myself away, maybe even tear the other ropes off me and make my escape. If the fight would just keep going, maybe I could get far enough away, if I kept running maybe I'd eventually lose my pursuers. Ideas on the exact details of my escape plan swirled in my head till I looked back over at the ensuing otherworldly fight before me. I caught a glimpse of Rosette's face. She was leaning over and breathing heavily, but a smile curled the edges of her mouth. Then those amber crocodile eyes met my eyes for just a moment. She flashed me a full toothy grin before throwing herself back into the fray.

 

Charging at the amazon recklessly headfirst, Rosette tried to restart her offensive. Her charge was met with a heavy horizontal swing from the amazon's massive sword, but this time the lizard-girl didn't leap back or duck down to avoid the attack; she leaped over the blow. Like an acrobat, she flipped and rotated above the amazon's head and, whilst sailing over, swung down at her head. Tauari, although with an astonished look on her face, brought her sword upwards faster than it had moved the whole time, sending Rosette off balance. She landed too close and received a well placed kick to her stomach as payment for her display. It was a savage blow that knocked her on her back and kept her rolling backwards, skidding against the surface of the water till she righted herself some distance away. She held a claw against the red mark on her stomach; but undeterred, she charged forward again.

 

I was fixated on the spectacle before me, but my wrists hadn't stopped moving over the rocks behind me, and I finally felt and heard the satisfying snap I had been waiting for. I strained with all my strength and threw my arms up, and a bundle of ropes holding me fell off. In my hurry and exhilaration, I tried to stand up, but nearly fell face first when I felt a bundle of ropes still tying my ankles together. Sitting with my back against a tree, I frantically pulled at the horrid looking knots tying my legs together with my newly liberated hands. Once again, my eyes were drawn to the fight taking place on the river.

 

Rosette seemed to be getting worn down as time went on. The girl, who seemed to have boundless energy, proved to be mortal. She was being forced onto the defensive, and her windows of attack were becoming few and far between. That smile she wore on her face that usually betrayed her enjoyment was being twisted into pain and desperation. Tauari hadn't let up, nor did she look pained or fatigued; the handicap before this fight was unjustly in her favor. Rosette's attacks changed constantly, most likely in attempt to change the flow of battle. Her footwork was fast and precise, and her attacks fresh and intuitive, but she was slowing down. She was losing. Everything she tried, every trick and skill she had was no good if she didn't have the same strength and speed to pull it off. There was no other choice for her but to play her trump card. Rosette steadied herself; and after giving out a short yell, her flame exploded. The ridge of flame on her tail flared violently and tripled in size, and the water surrounding her vaporized into steam. It was just like what she had done before, but it was not quelled as fast. She was without a doubt pouring all the energy she had into this. Better to let it all out in perhaps one last attack rather than have that slowly chipped away in a futile endeavor of attrition.

 

Her sword illuminated from base to tip, glowing red just like her tail whose flame grew stronger and rose higher. The entire length of the blade, after only a few seconds, had completely transformed from a dull iron to a vibrant red, red as her crimson hair and scales. It was as though the sword itself had become enchanted. Was it a plus one or two fire enchantments? Was the blade heated to such a point that it would melt everything it came into contact with? Was it encased in some kind of plasma? I don't know. I won't even begin to assume I know. All I knew was that it looked dangerous; the moment it touched water, that water exploded violently into vapor. I wouldn't want to watch it make contact with flesh.

 

Tauari was forced to remain at bay while Rosette continued to explode and be engulfed in flame. Super hot steam violently swirled around her, and I doubt Tauari would remain unscathed and without burns if she strayed carelessly close. While the two squared off, I pulled at the ropes tying my legs until they finally came loose; and so I wouldn't trip, I slipped off the bundle of ropes from the other leg. I was treated to the feeling of being able to stand of my own free will after so long. While desperately looking around for a path to make my escape, I laid my eyes on a pile of objects on the ground, all my belongings. My bags full of blankets, clothes, my sword and other hastily grabbed relics from home. The lizard had dragged me here for a reason after all. The surly amazon must have either not noticed or valued my belongings when she kidnapped me and left them by the bush. Rosette must have found them and brought them with her then waited at the camp till night. I threw myself before it and onto my knees to gather my supplies into my arms, but once again my eyes were pulled to the fight behind me.

 

The flames on Rosette's tail had stabilized, but they still burned much higher and brighter than normal, and she charged the amazon. An afterimage followed her sword like the taillight of a car at night and swung down overhead on the amazon's own blade. There they collided, and Rosette's blade bent at a forty five degree angle three quarters down the blade. Tauari was unfazed. Taurai's counterattack then caught the sword near the tip, bent Rosette's sword again and tore it completely off from the spot of the previous clash. The twisted piece of metal was sent spiraling into the river leaving Rosette with nothing but a broken sword. Sensing the end of the battle, the amazon threw herself at the lizard-girl with a cascade of attacks. Still burning bright; but breathing heavily and wincing in pain, she was trying to duck, dodge and leap away from the attacks, but each blow was getting closer and closer to hitting its mark.

 

I didn't have much longer until the fight reached its conclusion; I had to hurry. But I started to have doubts on what I needed to hurry and do. Words kept assailing my mind along with images.

 

I said you're my husband.

 

The image of the nude woman sitting atop of me, violently holding me tight, talons digging into my skin.

 

I still have a lot of things to learn about being a wife.

 

The image of a fierce and violent woman blushing and squirming on the spot like an embarrassed school-girl

 

My name is Rosette. They call me the Thorn Knight, and you can call me Rose.

 

The image of the girl standing above me, punctured with several arrows sticking out from her back, herself poisoned and dying smiling down at me.

 

I'm. In. Love!

 

     I clenched both my fists and gritted my teeth, “God dammit!” I screamed out and pulled my sword from the pile and threw my shoulder back, “Rose!”

 

I added a few steps to my momentum, drew my arm back and tossed the sword end over end towards the river. Soft earth below me gave way, and I lost my balance and fell face first into the wet soil. Looking back up, I watched the sword twirl in the air as it miraculously continued on its trajectory to Rosette. Hearing her name and spotting the object coming at her, she deftly plucked it from the air by the hilt. Still burning bright, the sword from guard to tip burned a brilliant white in an instant. Tauari brought down her next attack, and the freshly armed Rosette hurried to block the deathblow. The two swords met, but this time Tauari's sword passed through Rosette's guard, but it only did so missing its tip.

 

Flying off into the distance and landing further up the river, the end of the amazon's massive sword was sheared clear off. All three of us remained stunned for a brief moment before Tauari's battle instincts compelled her to continue, but once again a section of her sword was sheared off when it collided with Rosette's guard. A chunk of iron whizzed over my head and embedded itself into a tree trunk behind me. For the first time Tauari was forced onto her heels, and Rosette pressed forward. A new chunk was sheared off her sword every time she swung; until finally, all she was left holding was little more than a hilt. I was amazed myself, then it made sense, if Rosette's blade was being heated, and it had to then compete with the strength of the other sword. She wanted the edge of her sword to melt through the other sword. It would make your own sword softer, an unavoidable risk, but one made with space-age steel even heated and made softer would win every time against a lump of iron of questionable purity. The color from her face drained, and Rosette held her white hot edge just in front of the amazon's neck.

     

     “Coward!” The amazon cried out, “Lizard, do you need slaves to win your battles for you!” Her voice was shaking with rage.

 

Rosette did not say anything in response.

 

     “Strike me down then coward. I curse you. You cold blooded weakling!”

 

The amazon lunged forward but was only rewarded with the flat edge of a blade pressed against the back of the knee, searing flesh and sending the hulking woman into the water. Tauari pulled herself up kneeling in the water with a sword raised and prepared to strike the back of her neck.

 

     I needed to act fast, so I scrambled to my feet and threw myself into the water and reached out, “Rose, wait!”

 

The two warriors stopped and looked at me wading my way toward them. Rosette was confused, Tauari disgusted.

 

     “That's enough Rose. You don't have to go any further.”

 

Rose pulled the sword away from the back of the amazon's neck; the white light subsided, and the flame erupting from her tail returned to normal.

 

     I held out my hand, “Rose, come on, let's go.”

 

Rosette looked at me and then back at the Amazon, but eventually she relented and walked around the amazon and seized my hand in her claw. I was a bit taken aback, but she looked incredibly happy.

 

     “What are you doing?” Tauari spat, “Go ahead and finish it.”

 

     “I don't think we will.” I spat out in response. I drowned out my embarrassment by lashing out at the defeated warrior.

 

     The amazon's face became grave, and her eyebrows furrowed, “Your mercy is not.”

 

     “Please,” I interrupted. “I'm not that naive. This isn't mercy. Only the dead get to curse the living, and you're going to have a much harder time having to go back alive.”

 

Her expression grew dark and distressed, but I pressed on my words becoming more venomous as I continued.

 

     “You were always fighting the two of us; you just stopped paying attention to what I was doing. We were both trying to escape after all. And you lost because of a slave, an escaping man. That's a shame that's better than you dying after what you intended to do to me.”

 

Tauari's shoulders dropped; my words hit hard; it must have meant that what I was saying was true. Rosette was stilling standing beside me, holding onto my hand. I could feel she was watching me, that made me feel incredibly nervous, and I had to try hard to turned my face toward her to see an expression of hers that was studying me which then had her gaze lock with mine.

 

     I swallowed, “How about we get going?”

 

Rosette smiled in response and unexpectedly pulled me along as she turned her back and walked to the shore's edge. She picked up my belongings, handed them to me and then continued onward stringing me along forcing me to match her pace. I had tried to act cool, certainly failed at the end, and I was starting to wonder, while being pulled by this girl who was almost skipping now, if I had made the right decision after all as the two of us disappeared into the forest.

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