Things got easier for Kyron with the quick witted Josh as his attack dog. Every time Wile aimed to stir trouble, Josh was prepared with a biting rebuttal. Finally, it all came to a head when a petty dispute over Wile’s slow pace during a walk caused Josh to challenge him to a duel.
Each chose his weapons of choice, Wile a saber and short dagger, and Josh an ashwood club and an oaken shield. Kyron drew a large circle several meters in diameter into the ground with a stick. Each agreed to fight until one submitted or could no longer continue.
Yaway stood next to Kyron, hands on his hips, beaming a big smile, inwardly considering the implications of each one’s victory. He looked down at Kyron, he smiled and winked.
“Begin,” yelled Kyron.
The two combatants circled, neither making a move or so much as flinching for several revolutions. Wile struck first, a thrust with his sword that was effortlessly deflected by Josh’s shield. Wile smirked, feinted and kicked hard at his opponent’s shield. Another thrust, this one side stepped, but this time Wile stepped into his opponent and stabbed his dagger low. The dagger’s blade made contact with Josh’s leather tunic, but did not break through.
Josh pushed Wile with all his strength to create some separation before swinging his club to totally clear the space in front of him. He then charged shield first into Wile, toppled him. He turned and walked back to his starting position as Wile struggled to his feet. Wile felt he should be able to win this, as he was markedly faster, but felt his choice of weapons was holding him back.
“Can I switch?” Wile said, panting. “I want two sabers. There’s no point in having a dagger against this beast. I can’t get close enough to use it without giving up my advantage.”
“Your call, Josh,” replied Kyron.
“Victory is sweetest when you know your opponent is at their best. He can have access to the whole damn arsenal is he wants. I’ll be just fine with this.”
Wile discarded the dagger and grabbed another saber, weighing it in his hand, feeling the balance of it. He stepped back into the ring, Kyron asked for each to nod their agreement that they were prepared to begin again, and the duel continued.
Wile lunged wildly at Josh, slashing then stabbing, swinging for his legs and attacking his head. Each blow was absorbed by the shield which Josh ducked behind, as most of the delicate blade’s cuts glanced off harmlessly. Wile kept up his onslaught as long as he could, finally disengaging to assume a defensive stance so he could catch his breath and wait for Josh to make a move.
Josh just stood there, glaring at Wile. He dropped his guard and both his arms hung at his side. The club and shield fell from his hand. Wile blinked in confusion, stood there for a few seconds, then screamed while running at Josh.
As Wile slashed from both sides at his opponent’s head, Josh went low, bounding forward on all fours, being narrowly nicked in the back of his head. Despite his momentum, Wile was stopped and pushed back as the crown of Josh’s head hit him directly in the sternum, and the wind was knocked right out of him. Josh then proceeded to pounce upon Josh, and they wrestled in the dirt.
Wile quickly dropped his sabers, which were useless to him against an opponent who was mere inches from his face. After securing Wile’s arms, Josh began pummeling him with fists as big as cantaloupes. It took only seconds for Wile’s body to go limp, with Kyron calling the duel in Josh’s favor.
After reviving Wile, the class returned to the day’s lessons and chores, and things got more quiet.