"It's a beautiful blade," Zira murmured, only slightly less taken than Jonathan. He wasn't usually one to be so drawn to a particular weapon, but something both practical and lovely to the eye like this? Oh yes. "I'm afraid I didn't anticipate a wager, though. I'm not sure what I could offer on my part."
Post by Kender Bard on Feb 29, 2012 4:32:05 GMT -5
Cadogan considered. "If I win, you will host me as a guest in your home for a week? A man of your position could most certainly make the experience a comfortable one, I'm sure. Does that sound like a fair deal?"
That, he was less sure of. Cadogan seemed like a pleasant, gently-born man, but he was still a stranger. On the other hand, Felicitas and her family had been strangers as well. On the other hand, they'd been well-vouched for. ~Zack?~ he sent, looking to his husband. ~I'll leave it to you.~
"In that case," Zack spoke up, "I think one of us stands to win something either way. You, a sword; me, company. I'm sure Cadogan has some tales to tell about his travels."
"Then it would seem we have a wager. My husband, Lord Zack Riel," Zira introduced.
"I'm no swordsman," Zack said with a smile, "but I'm always glad to entertain new people."
Post by Kender Bard on Feb 29, 2012 5:09:23 GMT -5
"A pleasure," Cadogan remarked with a polite bow of his head. "I look forward to our future conversation because I do believe I'm about to win."
"We'll see!" Twilight snorted. "My money on Zira."
That of course set off a round of calls and soon there was a betting pool on the side, though with the odds favoring Zira (one had to stick up for their peers of the country, after all.)
"Well now that we've got that out of the way," Sain chuckled. "We can begin. Clear the dueling stage!"
The people pressed to the sides of the courtyard, leaving the expanse free for the two men. Cardogan strolled to one end, not too far away but twelve paces or so to give them both a respectable gap between them. He had resheathed his sword and now lay a hand on the pommel. "Ready when you are."
Sain had decided he would be the announcer. "Ready... Set... Draw!"
Zira's sword sang as he drew it swiftly from its sheath. He'd chosen a lighter blade for the duel, reminiscent of what was kept concealed in his cane, though not quite as thin. It was much easier for him to control than a heavy greatsword and he had no intention of injuring Cadogan beyond a light scratch. He stood on guard and ready, wanting to see how his opponent moved before rushing forward. His days of charging in simply to end a spar quickly were done; he enjoyed a duel nowadays and wasn't afraid to let it draw out a bit.
Zack gave a start and reached out to grip Twilight by the shoulder. "They're using real blades‽" he hissed.
Last Edit: Mar 3, 2012 4:09:30 GMT -5 by Darastrix
Post by Kender Bard on Feb 29, 2012 22:18:58 GMT -5
Twilight glanced at Zack in surprise; he thought the other man would have known that. "Well yes," Twilight said. "Live steel. Standard dueling procedures say that the winner draws first blood. Don't worry though, Zack, there's so many rules in place that it's highly unlikely either of them will be hurt. And it's not like using blunted blades is without risk either. Zira's grown enough in skill that he can handle it."
Cadogan had drawn swiftly as well; he did not rush in but advanced a few cautious steps at a time. This would be a match of reflexes and strategy.
He was, however, the first to make a move; he closed the gap between the two of them in a few more steps and made a swift feint to Zira's right side before trying to cut him on the left arm.
“I will never see the appeal in this.” Zack understood being competitive and showing off with music. Or flying. The latter was, he would reluctantly admit, a bit dangerous. But he never did anything in the air that he couldn’t recover from, and Zira--. Well. Come to think of it, when it came to flying, if he wasn’t holding someone, Zira tended to the slightly risky. “My husband is a borderline danger-seeker,” he murmured, shaking his head.
Zira moved his blade to intercept Cadogan’s on the feint. When the blade went for his left side instead, he quickly brought his left foot behind himself and pivoted on the balls of his feet to turn out of the sword’s path, swinging his own in an attempt to score a hit on Cadogan’s right.
Cadogan swiftly shuffled out of the way, smiling. He was already enjoying himself. "Shall we dance, sir?" He flashed Zira a small grin before pressing forward with a few swift, short jabs--one at each arm and one for midpoint.
"It's extremely appealing," Twilight told Zack with a grin. "Just you, another man, and nothing but your skills and your speed to protect yourself with... It's a little intoxicating sometimes. Just ask Jonathan. I think he's addicted to dueling."
Jonathan, standing on Twilight's other side, chuckled. "I'm addicted to the art of swordsmanship as a whole. I'm having just as much fun watching Zira as I would be if I were down there myself." Still, though, he is a trifle tense and shifting his weight now and then as if he WERE dueling while he watches.
Zira couldn’t help but smile in return--he was enjoying this as well—though he opted to not engage in verbal repartee. That was Zack’s area, and he preferred to not waste his breath in a spar. Dance was a good word for it, though, he thought. Parry, parry, step and turn, keep the blade up. Thrust at shoulder, flick toward midsection, and flick back up toward the bicep of his off arm. The last was in hopes that Cadogan either caught the feint too late or that he’d misjudge the light movement as a second feint.
“You gentlemen suit yourselves,” Zack said. “For my part, I will concede that the motion can be nice to watch, and I’m just going to try to pretend they’re not jabbing at each other with sharp, pointed objects.” Take away the swords, add music, take away the upper half of Zira’s clothing while he was at it…. Then he might be able to get into it, as long as Zira was the one involved.
Zira's ploy nearly worked and in fact the blade caught on the fabric of Cadogan's tunic. He paused briefly and glanced down, noted there was not blood, and grinned. "Close but that won't win the game." But Zira had put him on the defensive and he was having some difficulty turning the tables. His smile faded as he focused on parries and other defensive maneuvers, his eyes gone serious as he focused more completely on the spar.
Jonathan leaned forward, excited. "Zira's got him on the run now," he whispered. Twilight nodded his agreement and then grinned widely; he was going to win that bet.
Deciding that he needed to make some sort of offensive counter, Cadogan made a bit of a gambit, suddenly lashing out fast and abrupt at Zira's right shoulder, hoping to score a point by catching the other man off guard.
Last Edit: Mar 3, 2012 4:07:43 GMT -5 by Darastrix
Damn, not a true hit. That was a little disappointing. If he’d just moved his blade with a touch more force…. Ah, well. He’d certainly gotten Cadogan’s attention, and that was gratifying in and of itself. He pressed forward and found the other man matching him parry for thrust. It was good to be on the offense, but unless he could break through Cadogan’s defense--something like that was going to happen.
He jerked back instinctively to avoid the blow and tried to bring his sword up to push Cadogan’s away. He almost wanted to smack his forehead when he felt his balance start to go. Really? Really? Was his first duel with a new opponent in front of his friends and some of the best swordsmen in the country going to end like his first spar with Sain?
Not if he could help it.
He tightened his grip on his sword and tried to go down as gracefully as he could, sweeping his wings back to help stabilize him (and so as not to come down on one…again) and not taking his eyes off of Cadogan as he swept his blade toward the man’s thigh.
Cadogan had sensed the shift in balance and thought to seize it. He surged towards Zira, ready to deliver a quick, sharp thrust to the side of Zira's arm and draw blood when Zira's sword bit into his thigh. He yelped and staggered back, a hand clapping down on his leg.
"First blood!" he called out before Sain could go over to inspect. Already Cadogan was tugging a handkerchief out of a pocket to use as a bandage. It wasn't too bad of a cut but it stang and he didn't want to flash his blood around for all to see.
The room went wild with cheers for Zira and the betting pool was distributed.
"Way to go, Zira!" Twilight whooped.
Last Edit: Mar 5, 2012 3:55:48 GMT -5 by Darastrix
Zack just breathed a quiet sigh of relief that the duel was over. Thank goodness. He couldn't help but feel a small bit of disappointment. He was glad Zira had won and wasn't hurt, but...a sword. He'd won a sword. Granted, it was pretty (though he thought white and sapphires would suit Zira better than would the black and rubies), but it was still a sword. He would much rather have had the extra company for a week.
Zira got to his feet and sheathed his sword before looking to Cadogan. "Would you like some healing water for that?" he asked.
Cadogan considered before giving a brisk nod. The bandage was secured, though, and he unbuckled his scabbard, sheathed his sword back in it, and offered it up to Zira. "To the winner goes the spoils," he announced with a smile.
Zira drew a flask of healing water from his robe--he'd come prepared--and held it out to Cadogan while reaching for the sword with the other with some hesitation. "Still, I almost hate to take it from you. It's not an heirloom or similar, is it?"