Alcingeria Volume Two Chapter Twenty Five: Time To Spar

Alcingeria Volume Two Chapter Twenty Five: Time To Spar

A Chapter by Ryan Henderson
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Finding some free time on their hands, our heroes take this as an opportunity to put their skills to the test and cross blades with Edwin and his men.

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Chapter Twenty Five Time To Spar:


Tuesday July 27th 1690         

           

 “Anyway, you said that you’ve been training?” Robert asked.

            

“Of course. We’re quite the force to be reckoned with.” Edwin boasted.

            

“Should we take that as a challenge, Macalister?” Don asked.


Macalister grinned and nodded.

            

“Well, you’re going to want better weapons. Swords, perhaps?” Edward said, looking down at our daggers.

            

“We’ll take you to the armory and get you outfitted.” Edwin said.

            

“Do you know where it is?” Erin asked.

            

“I was here last year, so I think so.” The blond man replied.


Edwin led us all out of the barracks and through the compound. We passed people sitting around talking, mainly soldiers sent from Vulrock. We finally came upon a building that was guarded.

            

“Excuse me, could we get some weapons? Five swords please.” Edwin asked.

            

“Certainly! Come inside.” One of the guards said, stepping aside and ushering us in.


The armory was spacious. There were shields hung on the walls next to every weapon type imaginable; swords, spears, pikes, halberds, axes, to name a few. It was all neatly organized as well. Stella and Erin already had swords, so Macalister, Don, Robert, Tabatha and myself needed them.


I selected a rapier. It was a metre long, and very light. It was made of steel, so it was sturdy, and it was grey in color. I would use this one. I traded it in for my dagger and flintlock along with my gunpowder and bullets, but kept my knife. The gun would be a little much to be lugging around, and bullets weren’t cheap.

            

“You’d think I would be the one selecting a rapier.” Robert chuckled.

He selected a finely crafted longsword, he swung it around a few times to get the feel of it.       

           

 “I’ll use this one.” He said.


Macalister had wandered over by the greatswords. He took the biggest one off the rack. As he took it, I could see the sword droop in his hand a bit because of the weight. He swung it around, and nodded. It looked really heavy, and I could see from how he handled it that it was.


Don selected a shortsword, seeming satisfied with the weight and length.


I saw Tabatha eyeing the other swords, seeming completely lost.

            

“I have no idea which one to pick.” She admitted.


One of the guards walked over to her.

          

  “Have you ever fought with a sword before?” He asked.

Tabatha shook her head.

           

 “Do you have experience with any weapon?” He asked.

Again, she shook her head.


The guard looked to the racks. He selected a shortsword just over a metre long. He handed it to her. She took it in her hands. She swung it around a few times, but it seemed a bit slow. She shook her head and handed it back. The guard hung it back up and selected a smaller version of the same weapon and handed it to her. She swung it around, took a few stabs at the air and nodded.

          

  “I’ll take it.” She said.

           

 “Do you want a shield?” The guard asked.

           

 “No, thank you.” She replied.


No one took shields. The three Vulrock law enforcement officers carried shortswords, I had my rapier, Don had a shortsword, Robert had a longsword, Macalister had a greatsword and Stella and Erin both had traded their shortswords for crossbows. That took me aback. In some of the battles we had been in recently I had seen crossbows, but not many. They weren’t a new invention by any means, but I suppose the use of them became less and less mandatory as firearms became more common.

           

 “Let’s head over to the training area.” Edwin said.

We walked outside. Beside the ring where Macalister fought Allan, there was just open ground. All around us, soldiers were training. Most were who I assumed to be the reserves for Semera’s guard, but there were also a fair number of Vulrock soldiers as well. We all dulled our weapons on the grinding stone.

          

  “Who’s going to fight first?” Robert asked.

Edwin stepped up.

           

 “I’ll go.” He said.


Robert nodded and stepped forward himself. The rest of us backed off and gave them room. Robert readied his longsword and Edwin readied his own.


They went at each other, trading a few quick blows. After a few seconds, Edwin got past Robert’s guard and stabbed at his chest.

           

 “Wow, I guess that training really paid off!” Robert exclaimed.

          

  “I like to think so. Come on, let’s go again.” Edwin challenged.


They once again went at each other. Robert lasted a little longer this time, but Edwin faked a thrust to his right and went left, defeating his opponent once again.

           

 “Good, but you need to be quicker. I can see that your guard isn’t bad though.” Edwin commented.


Robert took a swing at Edwin, who jumped back a step and landed on bent knees and used this stance to quickly lunge at Robert. He was ready, but didn’t want to risk an engagement with his more experienced opponent and sidestepped him. Edwin’s side was now exposed and Robert took the chance, making a clean thrust.

          

  “Nicely done. I should have anticipated that.” Edwin told him.

           

 “Thank you. Who’s next?” Robert asked.


I stepped up. Edward, brushing his auburn hair out of his eyes, accepted the challenge.

           

 “Okay Redmond, let’s see what you’ve got.” He said with a laugh.


He stepped back a little. He had the heavier weapon, so I took advantage of my weapon’s weight and shuffled towards him, in a manner that resembled a fencer. I took Edward by surprise and he barely had time to defend himself. He met my rapier with his longsword, using the contact area as a pivot point so he could come at me from an angle. I quickly readjusted my footing to face him. He swung for my neck, and I ducked low. Before I could stab at his exposed stomach, he jumped back. I was still crouched and he had adopted a defensive position. I shuffled towards him, keeping my knees bent. I took a few stabs at him in an attempt to provoke him into going on the offensive, which he skillfully blocked. I had the feeling he knew what I was doing. As I was pulling my rapier back in from a thrust, he quickly hopped back and took a stab at me. I was caught off guard and stumbled backward. Edward walked forward with his blade pointed at me. As I hit the ground I hit it for enough away and got a stab in just above his belt.


He raised his eyebrows in approval and helped me to my feet.

           

 “Redmond, I’m impressed. With your agility, the rapier is the perfect weapon for you. Your defence is more agility based, so facing enemies with lighter weapons may pose a problem in the future.” He said.

           

 “Thank you, I’ll take note of that.” I replied.

Don stepped up, he was going to fight against Darwin. I turned my attention to Stella and Erin, who were trying their hands at their crossbows. Erin had countless bolts in the target dummy about thirty feet in front of her. Stella had a meager few in the target. Bolts riddled the wall on either side and even above it.

           

 “Stella…?” I asked teasingly.

           

 “Shut up! I’m a girl! And since when were you an expert on marksmanship?” She snapped.

            

“Calm down, Stella.” Erin said calmly as her arrow hit just shy of the bullseye on Stella’s target.

            

“Erin!” She hissed.


I looked at how Stella’s arms were shaking from loading the crossbow. That posed a question.

           

 “Erin, did you put on some serious muscle recently?” I asked, half joking.

She smiled and shook her head.

           

 “No, I just decreased the draw weight to about… I don’t know, thirty pounds. Give or take.” She said with a shrug.

           

 “What?” Stella asked.

           

 “It makes it easier to pull the string back when loading.” Erin replied.


Stella gave her a dark stare for a few seconds then handed the crossbow to her. Erin turned around, fiddling with the weapon for a minute or so before handing it back to Stella.

            

“Try that. Your weight was really high. Sixty pounds at least.” She said.


Stella took it back and tried loading it. She pulled back the string with ease and fired it at the target, hitting the outer ring on its torso.

          

  “Nice job Stella!” Erin congratulated.

           

 “I think I need a break.” Stella complained, setting down her crossbow and rubbing her sore arms.

I turned my attention back to the sparing. Don and Darwin had just finished, and Tabatha was going up against Don. Don smirked confidently.


Tabatha approached Don carefully. Don didn’t show any sign of caution as he practically waltzed towards her with his sword at the ready. Tabatha stabbed at him, and Don effortlessly knocked it away with his shortsword. Tabatha swung at him. Don blocked it and she nearly lost her balance. She scrambled backwards.

            

“What’s wrong Tabatha? Don’t be shy!” Don taunted.

Tabatha clenched her teeth and swung at him again and again, each time more fruitless than the last.

            

“It’s like you’re not even trying!” Don yawned, looking to us with his hand over his mouth, deflecting another of Tabatha’s attacks as he did so.


I could see that Tabatha was getting angry. Slowly, there became more anger behind her attacks. Still, Don had no troubles parrying and blocking each and every time.


I looked around. A small crowd had gathered, so Tabatha didn’t dare use magic. Don didn’t attack. He was enjoying himself, grinning wider every minute. After a few more minutes, Tabatha was breathing heavily, gripping her sword in her hands. Don just strolled around her, prodding at her with the tip of his blade every few seconds. Tabatha failed to block the majority of his strikes.

By now all of us were chuckling and laughing, except for Stella and Erin, who took pity on her.

            

“She can’t even fight without magic.” Stella whispered to Erin.


Erin nodded in agreement. After a few more minutes, Don walked out of the ring, laughing. Tabatha walked off after, but didn’t rejoin the crowd near him. Instead, she re-entered near Stella, Erin and I.

          

  “I can’t believe him!” She fumed.

          

  “Really? ‘cause I can.” Walden remarked, suddenly appearing.

          

  “I am going to make him pay.” Tabatha seethed.

Stella hugged her tight.

         

   “It’s all right. He was just having fun.” She said.


Tabatha was angry, but she gave in to Stella’s embrace. I looked to the new fight that was going on. It was Macalister versus Edwin. Macalister used his large weapon surprisingly intelligently. When it came to fighting, he knew what he was doing. He took horizontal swings, recovering too quickly for Edwin to get around his guard. Edwin hung back, keeping a safe distance from Macalister. Edwin attempted to attack Macalister when the moment seemed right, but the larger man recovered too quickly and mightily struck Edwin in the side with the side of his blade, sending Edwin crashing to the ground several feet away.


Edwin gasped and coughed, trying to get his air back. After a few seconds he got his breathing back under control and got up on all fours, breathing heavily.

          

  “Very… Very good.” Edwin said, still a little short on breath.

Macalister grinned and leaned his blade against his shoulder.



© 2016 Ryan Henderson


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Added on April 29, 2016
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Author

Ryan Henderson
Ryan Henderson

Cobourg, Ontario, Canada



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I will review your work if you send me a read request, I like to help writers get off of the ground, I will also suggest ideas for your work if needed. Please note that I don't really like poetry... more..

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