Chapter 3 - Respite

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Chapter 3, Respite

"Eventually, I came to the shores of those desolate lands. I fashioned a boat by use of transmutive magic. Luckily, I had some solidifiers with me. Or that would have been a short trip."

- an excerpt from The Thousand Years War, Part I

Cornar dodged the shimmering claymore, gracefully evading the blow. It swung past his face, just barely. He was still spry for his age. He was only fifty three, after all. But he was in good shape. Tall. Toned.

Evading another swing, Cornar twirled his serrated dagger. It was a favored weapon of his. The blade was as long as his forearm; it was almost the length of a short sword, really. But his father always referred to it as a dagger, and so he adopted that term for it.

Cornar shuffled through the tall grass, weapons ready. The dagger wasn't the only weapon at his disposal. In his other hand he wielded a double bladed short sword. It was longer than the serrated dagger, but not by much.

A large and burly man charged at him, wearing brown chainmail armor. He was a little taller than Cornar.

Masterfully gripping both weapons, Cornar blocked another blow from the claymore. He caught the larger weapon between the serrated edges while reinforcing the block with his short sword. Pushing the claymore away, Cornar lunged forward, kicking the burly man in the stomach.

Cornar's kick knocked the burly man backward, but he didn't fall. He was too skilled for that. He better be.

"Ha!" Cornar grunted, smiling. "Not bad, Kalder." He spoke to the burly man, who was rebounding for another assault.

Cornar quickly took note of his surroundings. Kalder wasn't the only one advancing on him. He noticed another man, clad in dark brown plated armor. The chest-plate bore the emblem of a sword rising out of the water, with a snake wrapped around it. That emblem signified the Soroth City Watch, the organization which policed the city and the entire island. This man, however, was no watchman. At least, not any longer.

The armor-clad man wielded a fanisar–a staffed weapon, much like a halberd. It had a curved blade on one end and a metal ball on the other.

Cornar didn't care much for those weapons. He knew how to use them, but they weren't preferable.

At that moment, Kalder came close, swinging his claymore.

Cornar parried the blow, directing the large weapon toward the armor-clad man. The parry forced this second fellow to shuffle sideways, slightly slowing his advance. But the armor-clad man continued, swinging his fanisar in a downward strike.

Cornar crossed his blades, catching the fanisar in front of his face. Kalder swung again.

Noting the rebounding swing from Kalder, Cornar ducked, redirecting the fanisar to the side. He tucked under the claymore, and it sailed over his head. Cornar spun kicking Kalder's knee while throwing his elbow at the neck of the plated man. He recoiled from the unison strikes, spinning as he landed behind both his foes.

"C'mon boys!" Cornar hollered. "You can do better than that!"

Kalder and the plated man spun, settling into defensive postures. Waiting.

Clever. They wanted him to come to them. Neither had landed a blow the entire sparring session. They had been on the offensive, and Cornar simply reacted to them.

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