Hopefully, this wouldn’t take too long. Dulaine placed his hand on his sword. A gong sounded. He drew.
They circled at first. Dulaine scanned the prince from the north. Sorian wore a suit of plate armor tooled into a lion’s head. A red gorget ringed his neck, matching the ruby in the pommel of his sword. As he moved, the blinding sun glanced off his shoulders. Every step he took with determined placement. He wrapped and unwrapped his fingers around his sword hilt, bristling with impatience. Luckily, he was maybe five inches shorter and half as broad as Dulaine.
Let him come to me, Dulaine thought. He was right. Sorian raised his sword over his head. Dulaine could see him strain to accommodate their height difference. It didn’t take much to bring his own weapon up to parry the blow. Sorian fell to the right, following the weight on his weapon. Dulaine kneed him swiftly in the chest and sent him into the ground.
He lifted his leg to deal him another blow, but Sorian rolled away. Dulaine’s foot came down onto solid earth, and he stumbled forward trying to regain his balance. This moment was all that Sorian needed to return to his feet, sword ready. Maybe this would be more difficult than Dulaine originally predicted.
They exchanged blows. As one struck forward, the other blocked back. Despite Sorian’s size, the man’s attacks showed years of disciplined training with a resolve hardened by an icy climate. This dance would go nowhere.
With a lucky strike, the flat of Sorian’s blade landed on Dulaine’s thigh. He grunted, suddenly made aware of how heavy his iron garments were. He had to end this quickly. He redoubled his efforts, throwing more force behind each blow. Although Sorian blocked each one, he was forced to fall back. And all Dulaine needed was to push him out of the ring.
Sorian’s foot skirted the white line painted in the grass. Dulaine could almost smell his desperation as he raised his sword above his head. Seeing the opening, Dulaine raised his in turn.
He struck downward. Sorian twisted his sword to shield his head. His arms shook as he held off the attack. Sparks flew into the stands as the blades ground against each other.
But Sorian’s arm slipped. The ruby-hilted sword fell away, and Dulaine landed a blow on the prince’s helmet. Sorian crumpled to the ground, holding his head.
The announcer raised a white kerchief above his head to signal the end of the match.
“Wait!” Sorian cried. He ripped his helmet off, revealing a diagonal gash across his forehead. Blood dripped into his eyes and down his neck. The color matched his gorget. He struggled to his feet and picked up his sword. “I am not done.”
.” Seeing Red
. - 086/100 Themes.
Introducing a new character who isn’t even in the drawing! Dulaine Whitebark is the captain of the Tyrisis guard and a childhood friend to Princess Willow. He doesn’t like anyone getting near her (specifically especially morally ambiguous feather-heads named Rivek). But what he hates even more is stupid, foreign princes who seem to think it’s totally fair to win her hand in a stupid tournament.
But as we know, Sorian never gives up.More Art/Writing Featuring These Characters:
Sorian Aljannsen and Dulaine Whitebark belong to Grace Fong,