I don’t write action sequences often… I also don't own Armello, it's owned by League of Geeks. It has nothing to do with another thread here in the forums by a similar name. Enjoy, and feel free to leave a review.
The Battle of Blades Tournament would be an exciting one this year. Competitors from all over Armello of varying skills had shown up. Including crowd-favorite Thane, the Winter Wolf. The new competitor to the tournament was the Rabbit Clan Duchess, Amber the Far-Seeker. Many of the competitors and spectators didn’t expect to see a noble from the Rabbit Clan, fewer expected much from her. Thane had heard two of the more arrogant newcomer competitors talking and laughing about this but he huffed.
"Idiots, didn't your Masters-at-Arms teach you not to underestimate an opponent you haven't fought before?" he lectured.
"You're one to talk, Thane. You're the reigning champion," one groused.
"Yeah, what's it to you anyway? It's not like you have anything to worry about," another piped.
"Fine, don't listen to me. Just don't come bitching at me if that little bunny mops the floor with you," Thane retorted.
Male and female competitors were kept separate in the preparation rooms but it was an entirely different story at opening ceremony. That's when he noticed the rabbit standing next to him at opening. More arrogant competitors would huff at her that she had to earn the right to stand next to them but Thane was a different kind of man. He gave the rabbit a side glance and a wolfish grin. Something told him he'd be fighting her and she'd be his greatest challenge yet. As a warrior and an adventurer, he'd learned to trust his instincts.
He watched her matches with vested interest, the demure smile she showed belied a fierce and cunning swordswoman. Still, the smile persisted even as she progressed through the ranks. To the untrained eye, most of her matches appeared to be against clumsy opponents who simply lost grip of their weapons but Thane’s eyes caught her swift movements. He wondered if he’d be able to keep up with her when he’d finally meet her in the championship round but that thought excited him.
She tried to hide a blush under a glare at first.
"Relax rabbit. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, clear your mind, and focus," he told her.
"Why are you trying to help me?" she asked.
"I enter these competitions to have fun. Win or lose, I want to enjoy myself here. I get the feeling there's more to you than meets the eye, so I want to be sure that I'll enjoy this fight," he explained.
As she stared him down, she saw no sign of lying in him. He continued that smile of his. Underneath that wolfish exterior she saw her reason for being there, that boyish charm of his. He pulled out his sword and extended it towards her. A gesture for a fair fight, if she agreed she'd cross his blade with hers, if she didn't she'd go on the offense. She crossed her sword with his. They poised for battle and stared each other down for a few tense moments, in their usual battle stances. Thane gripping his blade with his right paw, his legs shoulder length apart, his left paw hovering mere inches from his rune-inscribed blade. Amber stood with her estoc’s tip digging into the ground and her paws folded over the pommel. They were given the sign to begin and it was as though they hadn't heard it. The crowd began getting a bit antsy, then in an almost unseen motion she rushed him. He parried the attack and readied a counter, but she parried the counter and met it with a counter of her own which he was forced to dodge.
"She's more prepared than I thought," he mused to himself, "I like this bunny. She's easy on the eyes and a real challenge to fight."
Once more he charged towards her. She tucked and rolled under and around his blow, when he turned to attack he found the tip of her sword at his neck but at the same time his blade was at hers. After the ref called the match, they both withdrew their blades. Thane offered her his paw.
"Good match, Lady Far-Seeker. I enjoyed it. My only regret is that it was over far too quickly," Thane offered with a smile.
"I enjoyed it as well, Lord Winter Wolf," she returned.
“Normally, I’d prefer my friends to refer to me by name alone but I get the feeling that would be taken the wrong way here,” he chuckled.
“Likewise,” she replied.
She returned his smile and shook his paw. She could see that he was charmed by her, but it would take a bit more to really get his attention. They left the arena together, side by side.
"So what are your plans now?" he asked.
“I don’t really have any other plans. A bit of exploration perhaps,” she answered, “I know of a few old ruins nearby. Would you care to join me?”
"And here I was thinking you'd come up with something boring for a first date," he teased.
"Dating already? And here I thought you'd want to take it slow, start off as friends. But I suppose we can skip that and go right into courtship," she teased back.
"A lady and warrior as beautiful and talented as you? I wouldn't want any other man to have a chance," he replied.
"Ok, I think the playful flirting has gone far enough," she laughed.
With that they set out to some nearby ruins, "conveniently forgetting" their respective escorts. Their exploration was relatively uneventful except for a few minor stumbles. For their short three day adventure, the two of them bonded quickly and learned a good deal from each other. Until at last their escorts caught up with them, lounging together under a tree peacefully.
"There you are, Lord Thane! We've been looking everywhere!" River lectured, "Honestly, why do you have to make my job so much more troublesome?"
"Hmm? Oh, hi River. Magna. Where's Gale?" Thane replied nonchalantly.
"Gale has run off, apparently after causing your new mistress some trouble he disappeared and we've neither heard nor seen from him since. Truth be told, I'm more worried about the Prince of the Wolf Clan than some drunkard coyote," she continued.
Thane and Magna exchanged looks at that.
"While I agree with River that it was a terrible idea to run off on your own, I know you're a capable swordsman and you've been on your own before," Magna stated calmly.
"What about you three?" Amber asked.
"If you told me you wished for some time to yourself I could accept this more easily but you scare me when you run off on your own," Elyssia commented.
"I'm just glad your ok," Barnaby sighed.
Daemon and Elyssia could sense there was more to Barnaby's sigh than just relief that she was ok but they didn't ask. Elyssia already had an idea what it might be and Daemon didn't think it any of his business.
"Give us a minute to say goodbye, will you?" Thane asked.
"Lord Thane-.." River began to lecture.
"Honestly speaking, I think we can spare them a few moments to themselves if they so wish," Elyssia stated in a stern matter-of-fact voice.
River growled at Elyssia in discontent but in the three short days that her and Magna had been cooperating with Elyssia, Barnaby, and Daemon she'd learned that the Wardress was much more than she seemed. And getting said Wardress irritated was not within the best interest of even River’s health.
"Com'n River. No sense in getting your tail in a knot. It's not like they'll get far if they try to run," Magna sighed, grabbing the smaller wolf by the tail. The larger wolf made sure to emphasize the last part of her statement.
Parted briefly from their respective escorts, Thane and Amber shook paws again. Amber looked to see if their escorts were paying attention. Barnaby had the others' attention as he ranted about something. Amber could practically feel River's exasperation and the slight baritone of Magna's laugh could be heard. Amber silently indicated to her new friend that there was some secret she wished to tell him.
"You're sure you want to trust me with one of your secrets?" he asked.
"Yes, now lean over," she answered.
He leaned towards her, feeling almost like a pup again. To his surprise, there was no secret shared just a quick peck on the cheek which made his face flushed deep red. When he stood up and looked at her in surprise, she merely smiled back at him with a look that she'd previously only used when she had been right about something. A light blush on her face and he couldn't help but find that smile charming. As the two groups parted ways, Thane noticed something left in his paws.
"A Rabbit Clan amulet? It seems our Lord Thane is popular," Magna teased.
"Well at least his new mistress isn't a bandit. I'll take the Far-Seeker over the Bandit Queen any day," River quipped.
"I told you before, Scarlet is a good friend to me. I question her motives sometimes and she's got her own ways but I do trust her," he sighed.
"And what of Lady Amber then?" River asked.
"I dunno' yet. Time will tell, I guess," he replied, staring at the amulet.