October 4

Fictober, Prompt 4 – “Fine, I give up.”

Original fiction.

Warnings: implied battle, vague injury descriptions.


Gasping, I fell, my left knee giving out at last. Only my sword, sunk into the earth, kept me partially upright.

Although there was no possible way the gods looked on me in favor, I had no other explanation for why I was still alive at all, truthfully. My ki was too low to manage any more spells, and I was no warrior, was not trained to the sword, not the way those who had pursued us for so long were.

Not the way she was.

I knelt, and panted for air through burning lungs, and stared up at her through one eye that was beginning to swell shut, the other stinging with the sweat and blood dripping down my face. Her eyes, dark, intense, met mine and held.

A strange moment of hush descended around us, even as fire crackled in the distance, mingling with the shouts of those still fighting.

Her face under her horned helmet was unreadable as usual, but there was no anger in her eyes, no hatred, no contempt. None of the emotions that should have been there. I had betrayed her, betrayed my promise. That I hadn’t had any other choice was irrelevant. She would tolerate no such breach of honor.

That she held herself to even higher standards was the only reason that I did not hate her for her part in this pursuit.

But I knelt still, only not at her feet for the short distance still between us, and still she stared, making no move to finish me off.

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