It's been a while since I posted anything with action. So I wrote this short story as a reminder that there will be action in my new novel as well. Also because I was able to imagine it so vividly in the first place. I hope you enjoy this little piece and some revelations about these two characters.
Legends: A Duel Between Brothers
One day, the two princes were dueling inside the castle with wooden swords. They had played many matches, but none of them ever seemed as close as this one.
"Today is my day, Zel," the younger prince exclaimed, not letting up on his swings. His spirit was high today and the look on his face appeared to say he had already won. However, the older brother was not going to yield so easily. Strike after strike, the older brother fended of the younger but his arm was steadily growing weaker.
"If you think you will win without a fight, you are sadly mistaken!" Zel stated, giving a strong push for space and a change of pace. It was not everyday that the other prince would dictate the fight, but this day might have been different.
"What did you eat today?" Zel inquired as his brother rushed in and crossed blades.
"The same as you! Eggs, meat, vegetables, too bad it's not helping you!"
The younger brother seemed to have a point as Zel was showing signs of fatigue. Nevertheless, his sword was always close but never hitting its target. Zel had always been know as the superior swordsman even on his bad days. On the other hand, the younger prince was not unskilled either. One-two, parried by Zel. Three-four, closer but still no score. Five-six, making sure Zel has had his fix. There was no opening for the older prince to attack without being struck himself. Unlike his usually more peaceful brother, Zel would not settle for a draw. In this castle, even if one struck first, as long as the other was in mid-swing and finished with a successful critical hit, the duel would be considered a draw. After all, such a situation would be the case in real combat.
Blades were crossed again, Zel was on the bottom, fighting his brother's unusual strength and weight. Sweat could be seen on his face as he was struggling but then his brother had placed too much weight and so Zel was able to roll off to the side, causing the other to fall to the ground. In most matches, this would have been the end, but the younger had indeed learned from his past mistakes and recovered in time to parry Zel's first attack for a long time. Unfortunately for the older prince, it didn't last. Soon the younger brother had the edge and spirit again.
"I don't think you've ever dueled this well before," Zel commented fending off another slash and thrust.
"Are you admitting I'm better now?" the younger said with a smile on his face.
Realizing there was no way to overcome his brother's spirit this way, Zel picked himself up and rushed head on to counter the next attack. After shoving the younger one back, Zel made his retreat, running up the stairs and corridor while throwing down chairs to hinder his chaser.
The younger prince did not hesitate to chase while the prey was in sight. This was his chance for victory and he was not going to let it slip away. His mind honed in on his target and proceeded to pursue. He easily overcame the obstacles and nearly caught up with his brother in the top room when he felt something hit him. He turned to look and saw a trap rigged to fire on him as he tripped a wire on the floor. The next thing he knew, the tip of Zel's sword had successfully poked him.
"That's cheating! You rigged this trap beforehand"
Zel laughed as he lowered his sword and stepped back. Finding a chair at the table he sat down and sighed relief. "I have to admit, you gave me a harder time than I expected, but I figured it was time to open your eyes to the real nature of combat."
"What do you mean?"
"You can't expect whoever you are fighting to not have some tricks prepared beforehand. Every fight is different. You also can't expect no one else to attack you as you pursue your main foe. If you are in battle, you would be killed by one of the soldiers in your pursuit of their captain if you aren't aware."
"That still wasn't fair. I would have won."
"Really? Try again."
The younger prince did try, but the older easily parried and countered with a successful strike, revealing he was acting the whole time.
"That was your plan the whole time?"
"Of course. Like I said, I figured I should open your eyes to reality. The idea of playing fair is so that we learn the fundamentals. However, if you don't practice more realistic situations, you'll never be able to apply those fundamentals. Swordplay is as much a thinking man's game as well as brute force. You need to develop some strategies."
The younger brother was still upset about the nature of being tricked like that. However, seeing that his brother was not really tired at all helped convince him that he still had a lot of training before he could finally win. As a result, his resolve to surpass his brother in at least something strengthened. Something he did not realize until much later is that this sense of competition had greatly accelerated his progress in many things so that only his brother was known as superior.