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Unread 27th of June, 2007, 23:55
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itches
Vampire Lord [Epic Admin]

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"You might not remember me, but you will remember Cyrinthia. My name is Aretho Bertayo, you killed my sister. Prepare to die."

"Woah woah woah!" Nicos exclaimed holding up his hand. "Cyrinthia Bertayo? Red hair, about so tall, engaged to Lord Fuo? I didn't kill her, she was alive and well last I saw her and that was some time ago!"

"You killed her as surely as if you had held the blade yourself," Aretho said through hate clenched teeth, brandishing his sword. "I know what you did to her, everyone does. She was soon to be wed but you couldn't leave well enough alone. You ... you ... bed her, took her innocence. Fuo found out and called off the wedding, she was in scandal, her life ruined and killed herself from the shame. All because of you."

"And you're here to avenge her with my blood I take it?" Nicos said trying to gauge the man's mood and intention. "I don't suppose you would listen if I said she made her own choices."

"She was a victim of your lechery!" Aretho exclaimed. "And deserves vengeance!"

"Well in that case there's only one thing I can add," Nicos said in an off hand manner. "She enjoyed it."

"WHAT?"

"You think I took her innocence?" the bard commented with scorn. "You think I seduced her? You're a fool! Your sister was a willing, eager part of what happened. She wanted it, she moaned my name as I took her on Fuo's bed."

"Shut up!"

"Nicos?" Lynn said uncertain.

"Innocent? Ha!" Nicos continued heedless of the man's growing rage and Lynn's confusion. "The things she let me do to her, eagerly suggesting them, things twisted beyond your imagination. I took nothing from her that hadn't been taken by dozens of-"

"I'll kill you!"

Driven past the point of rage by the bard needling, Aretho leapt forward fuelled by reckless anger. Reacting as if it was what he expected, Nicos leant aside so the blow went wide, drawing his own sword in the process and flicking it at the man's face. Yet for all of Aretho's rage, his reflexes remained true and he dodged, taking the edge of the sword alone on an ear.

"Watch out there," Nicos said with a wicked smile. "When you play with knives you sometimes get cut."

"I tried hiring an assassin to kill you," Aretho said, drawing his anger back under control. "I even tried shooting you from the dark, but this is what I should have done from the start. Face to face, taking the pleasure of seeing you die slowly on my own blade."

"Those are strong words for the brother of a drunken harl-"

With a cry Aretho leapt at the bard again, feinting a blow at his head before launching a crippling swipe to the knees that Nicos barely blocked. High, low, left, right, Aretho's sword moved in a golden blur almost too fast to see as Nicos was forced to retreat step after step, picking up a light cut on his cheek and a bruise on his hip before his opponent extended an attack too far allowing the bard time to slam his sword hilt into the man's chest, driving him back.

The pair stood panting on the empty predawn street, an unspoken moment of truce in the duel to the finish. Watching the man watch him with hate filled eyes; Nicos felt a shiver of fear crawl up his spine. In a straight duel the man's talent far outweighed his, there was a strong possibility that the bard would not walk away from this encounter.

"And to think," Aretho spat. "Cyrinthia was taken by someone as pathetic as you, not even a real man, half a man, a cripple who-"

Giving a cry of his own as a blinding rage arose to cloud his wits, Nicos leapt forward with all the speed the gods granted him. Barely brushing aside the man's sword, he exchanged a cut along his ribs for moving close enough to deliver a thundering head butt, sending his enemy staggering backwards.

"Cripple?!" Nicos screamed at Aretho as he hacked blows at the man's face and throat. "HALF-MAN?! I was more then enough for your slut sister! Did she kill herself out of shame or because she knew I didn't want her anymore? That she would never know touch as good as me again? Surrounded by pathetic excuses like you? Is that you hate me, that after me she wouldn't let you touch her anymore?"

Back and forth the pair moved, shouting insults and taunts to make even the most battle hardened mercenary pale at the implications. Hatred grew and flowed in the dark street as the moments passed, words that could never be undone were exchanged in a fight that would only end in the death of one or the other. Aretho drove his blade at Nicos' exposed left again and again until the bard had a second cut crossing the first on his ribs that ebbed his strength away. Nicos used derision and dirty tricks to move past the superior guard of his opponent, too far gone in rage to call forth arcane aid, until the man sported a deep wound on his leg that wept blood at a furious rate and limited his movements. Blow after blow, after cut, after riposte, parry, kick, punch, and bite were exchanged as arms grew heavy and energy faded until the conflict carried on by nothing more by hatred.

In the end, Aretho's rage proved the stronger. Nurtured and stoked for years, it served its master true and mere minutes after the duel began Nicos' sword went skidding over the cobblestone street as the bard collapsed to the ground, exhausted, bloody and beaten. Standing over his fallen foe, though no less bloody or exhausted, Aretho draw back his blade for one final swing.

"So you come to a better end then you deserve."
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