THE EIGHTH CHAPTER
Captain Ovati, however, did not look impressed. If anything his unexpected escape from death only enraged her further.
She thrust the point of her sword at his heart. Arakis was there to deflect the blow. She swung down in a chopping motion, meaning to slice him in two. Dominick stepped back and Arakis glided swiftly into place, knocking her blade aside.
Yet still she continued, pushing him back with the cold viciousness of her attack. Regardless, for every trust of her sword, his was there to block. He moved without thought, as if on some instinctual level he knew exactly what he was doing, like he’d been training for this moment all his life.
It was like a dance, each one moving in concert with the other, flowing through forms meant to kill or defend. Dominick couldn’t explain it. He seemed to know, to anticipate, where the Captain’s blade was going to be and was therefore able to have his own in place to slap aside every thrust, swing, and slice.
And yet, despite his miraculous defensive techniques, Dominick continued to retreat.
“We don’t have to do this, Captain,” he said, knocking aside another thrust. “People where I come like to sit down and talk through their problems.” He wasn’t even breathing heavily. “That, or shoot at each other.”
The Captain didn’t respond, she only pressed harder, her face a mask of determination.
Then it happened. As Dominick stepped backwards away from her onslaught of violent hatred, he tripped. Suddenly he was falling. As if in slow motion he could see the toothy smile that split the Captain’s face and before he landed with a thud on his bottom, she was on him.
She took her sword in both hands and swung it down with such force that Dominick could almost hear the whistle it made as it split the air. And so, as he tumbled from his bottom to his back, he flung Arakis up before him and prepared himself for death.
Yet, as Captain Ovati’s steel blade met the stone blade of Arakis, there came an explosion and the steel gave way and shattered around the stone, throwing the Captain back to land in a heap a few feet away. The sound of thunder roared through the hall and a bolt of lightning, coming as if from nowhere, struck the tip of Arakis, causing the blade to glow white hot before the room fell into silence.
No one moved as the dust settled around them. Dominick sat up and looked from the sword to the Captain, his eyes wide with shock.
“Holy sh—” but he was cut off as the sound of a blaring horn echoed through the hall.
“Oh no,” Vivian said as Ovati pulled herself to her feet.
“What?” Dominick said.
“It’s the alarm,” Ovati said.
“The alarm? For what?” Dominick said.
Ovati brushed herself off. “It means that Lord Hob and his armies have arrived to kill us all.”
Here ends the Eighth Chapter.
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