Continued from Church chapter 3, part 1.
‘Ready?’ she asked, a smile fleeting across her lips.
‘When you are,’ I answered.
Rain struck as a new heavy metal song started. She swung the right end of the pole quickly towards me. I easily parried it, causing the thin wood to clash. Rapidly, she brought up the other end, which I easily deflected as well. She smiled softly and repeated the moves again, only this time faster and stronger, which took me by surprised and caused me to shuffle back. Rain moved as well, creating a gap between us and sliding her hands down the pole as she did so.
I defended for the second time as she came at me with the end of the pole raised above her head. She went to bring it down, but I meet her pole in the middle. There was a loud whack and we both felt the vibrations going through us. I twisted, trying to bring her pole down, but she predicated the move and pulled away, spinning as she did so.
‘Not bad,’ Rain remarked, turning to face me.
I relaxed my pole and copied her movements as she balanced the pole between her hands again. She spaced her legs out and put her right foot before her left, so that she was side on to me. I mirrored her.
‘I fight better with a sword,’ I pointed out.
‘Me too,’ she purred and grinned, ‘we’ll have to try that, sometime. Right now though…’ Rain trailed off as she ready to attack again.
I was prepared for her move and blocked the strike. She tilted her pole down, aiming for my stomach. I hit her away and pushed back. I felt a wave of unexpected anger and struck. Her pole was still low, so I wacked it even lower and though she probably could have stopped me, she let the end of the pole hit the floor.
‘A point to me, hmm?’ I declared.
Rain giggled, ‘I don’t remember saying anything about that…It’s to the death.’
I frowned, a spike of shock piercing in my chest and words unable to form on my lips.
‘Problem?’ she queried.
‘You jest, surely?’ I forced out.
She shook her head, ‘why would I? What have I got to lose in my own realm?’
She took my puzzlement as a chance and hit me in the lower leg. I choked, one handed my pole and with my other hand gripped my leg. That give her another opening and raising the pole, she brought it down on my shoulder. I cried out, but without pausing, Rain went for another attack and tried to jab the pole end into my chest. I yanked up my arms and pole in guard, swung out and parried her blow with such force that she half stumbled to the side.
Letting out a yell, I twisted away and went to strike her leg, however, she was faster and blocked me. She spun away, creating space between us and sliding her hands down the pole, so that it she held it close to the bottom and the pole reached out before her. Without missing a beat, I came at her and our poles met in the air, forming an X above us. I took a few deep breaths, feeling the tension, though there seemed to be more from her side then mine.
Grunting, I moved my pole a fraction, trying to see if she would be tricked into still holding her position whilst I launched an attack. She was wiser and the second my pole left hers, she flicked away and leaped backwards. She was shockingly light on the tips of her toes and she glided to a stop with such grace. I caught the quick smile on her lips as she re-positioned her hands slightly further up on the pole to give it and herself more balance.
‘You don’t mean it,’ I stated as I brought my weapon down and rested the end on the floor.
She cocked her head and stared at me.
‘A fight to the death? And with wooden poles too?’ I blurted.
‘We could continue without, if you prefer?’ she asked coldly.
‘But what’s the point? What have I done to offend you?’ I demanded to know.
‘There’s no real reason,’ she answered thoughtfully, ‘the only thing that matters now is proving yourself to me.’
‘You saved my life, Rain!’ I shouted and almost threw my pole down, ‘Why do I have to prove anything to you? Did you not see me fighting that Demigod bear?’
She shrugged and quickly moved forward to fill the space between us. Rain brought her pole up, so I readied mine in defensive. She aimed low, I blocked and the poles clattered together. She angled upwards and I did the same causing the wood to squeak. I tightened my grip and pushed against her. Surprisingly, she was able to stand her ground and we were locked together for a few moments.
‘You have to tell me why,’ I pressed.
‘Like you said, you owe me your life and I want to see what it’s worth,’ she shot back.
Anger flared up inside me and I realised the time for talking was over. However, I couldn’t risk her words being the truth or a lie as right now she was fully intending to win this fight. Blocking all my thoughts and feeling about her, I give into the urge of battle.
I threw all my weight forward and shoved her backwards. Rain’s feet moved across the mat, she gasped. I felt her resistance weakening, then she found grip and ducked under me. I heard her pole clatter to the ground and turned in time to see her somersault, still with the pole in her hands. Rain jumped to her feet and turned to face me again.
I came at her full speed, my pole positioned to land on her head, but in the nick of time she blocked and kicked me in the stomach, though it was a poor blow because her foot bounced back off my armour. She noted that and caused me to toss my head aside to avoid her bare feet as she tumbled into a series of three long back flips. I saw her land upright and I swiftly judge the distance now between us.
I could have crossed it in a few running strides, but instead, like Rain was doing, I caught my breath and prepared again. Despite trying to block it, I still desperately wanted to know why she wanted to kill me and what had led to this. I shook my head, pushing the thoughts away before I tried to engage her in conversation again. We were far passed that now and what really matter was how the fight was going to end.
Rain jumped back into combat and our poles clashed together once more. She pushed against me, the expression on her face and in her eyes one of complete determination. I pressed back, willing this all to end and for her words not to be true. She growled, tipped the left end of her pole down, then brought her knee up before it to push it into my upper leg.
I gritted my teeth, shifted my pole down against her’s, but Rain moved her’s up in a flash and brought the other end into the side of my head. I stumbled, rocked by dizziness. Another blow landed in the same spot and my vision darkened as I hit the floor.
To Be Continued…