February 14, 2010

The Battle

Posted in Homecoming tagged , , , at 1:27 am by E.V. Svetova

Young Yaret has to battle an enemy who is more than a match to him – a demon from another plane. From Homecoming, Book II: Longing:

Yaret passed the seax into his left hand, twirling the blade in a blur. He never considered himself bloodthirsty, or, for that matter, passionate about the battle arts at all, but suddenly a hot wave flushed over him. He wanted to see the man bleed, wanted to hear him scream, wanted the victory.

When the next blow of the dark blade came down, instead of slipping away Yaret flew forward and parried softly, so that his short blade stuck to the long blade of his attacker as if glued. For several excruciating moments he performed this deadly dance of reflection, following the lead of the giant and the direction of his blade, but not breaking the lock. Quickly, the man adjusted and drew upward. Propelled by this motion, Yaret ran up the man’s knees as though stairs, vaulted over his head, tumbled, and, as he was landing, thrust his blade into the back of the man’s neck right beneath the edge of his helmet. It was a skillful strike beautifully executed. A sure kill.

For a split second Yaret froze in a graceful pose, his left arm extended back and up, then abruptly pulled, like uncorking an ale barrel. He didn’t look back, fully expecting to hear a thud of the giant man’s fallen body. Instead, a mighty elbow-punch landed between his shoulder blades, sending him in the air. As he fell, he managed to roll and recover, only to see the man completely unharmed, covering the distance between them with wide steps, his longsword over his head, ready to strike.

Death Blow

Illustration by Nigel Hendrickson (©2010)



  1. Katyok said,

    Thank you, Nigel, for the beautiful illustration. You’ve captured the spirit of combat perfectly.

  2. Graceful pose is nice…but never turn your back on your enemy:)

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