The forest no longer teemed with an army of soldiers, knights and kings. There was very little sound at all as the first rays of light came streaming down through the trees in shafts of hazy amber that swirled with remnants of battle smoke. Trampled grass and undergrowth, a testament to the army that had so recently left behind their traces in the spot where they took refuge from the furies of the sky.
Long into the night, the air sang with the sound of steel on steel while the two warriors dueled tirelessly on the cliff overlooking the sea. As the sky filled with the glow of dawn, they stood silhouetted like two shadows against the coming day. Neither had weakened and no first blood was drawn.
Ansgaard paused, his two-handed blade gripped at the ready, and smiled at Serikon.
“Your style lacks finesse. I would have thought you could have improved after all this time.”
This taunting brought on a furious attack from Serikon. Beads of sweat glistened on his brow and cheek as he lunged at Ansgaard. It was obvious that he was losing patience when a brilliantly timed counter cut by Ansgaard threw Serikon into a series of defensive parries that drove him further and further back toward the edge of the cliff. Had it been he, Ansgaard would have used quick thrust ripostes to counter such an attack. But then he had been trained in swordsmanship in his many journeys to other times; other places called France, Italy and Germany. He even had studied among the Samurai learning their techniques coupled with their excellent style of footwork.
On they fought as flying sparks from the constant clash of the two heavy weapons surrounded both warriors with a kind of luminescence mingled with the spray of sweat that now flew away after the impact of each powerful blow. The sun was high in the sky by the time there was an indication that Ansgaard was beginning to get the advantage. He paced himself so as to keep up a constant offense against Serikon. Not once did he allow the balance to shift away from his persistent challenge. They remained dangerously close to the edge of the cliff as Ansgaard executed an ordinary lunge and thrust then gained the upper hand with a feint, he shifted his weight to his back leg and commenced the circular swing of his sword overhead in a Grande Moulinet. There was the faint sound of pristine metal slicing the air. If Serikon had not stumbled on a loose stone and gone down on one knee, he would have lost his head. He got to his feet, ever closer to the very edge of the precipice that would take him if he would misstep himself once more.
At this point, Ansgaard became annoyed and a trifle bored with the entire thing. It was now or never and he wanted to have done with it. So he feinted back to let Serikon move in and then instead of continuing the fight with his sword, he drew back his hand, made a fist and punched Serikon in the nose.
This sent him reeling over the edge of the cliff where he fell in a kind of slow swooping glide. He was just at the point of crashing onto the rocks below where the foamy waves washed up and tossed high in the air before retreating back out to sea. His human form disappeared and his dragon body emerged up out of the fall and hovered skimming the water then headed out to sea.
Ansgaard immediately followed as he stepped into a shower of silver mist and dove with wings close to his body in pursuit of his opponent. He gained on Serikon and this told him that Serikon’s energies were swallowed into his transformation and he was becoming more vulnerable.
Ansgaard sent a taunting thought from his mind.
“There is no place you can hide. The time has come to end this and I will not yield until it is done.”
So on he flew until he was close enough to exert a final burst of speed and rise above the low-flying Serikon. With claws extended, he swooped down on Serikon’s back and drove sharp curved talons deep into his body. No scales of dragon armor could withstand the penetrating force like a multitude of scimitars.
Serikon screamed and dove under the water taking Ansgaard with him. Down and down spiraling ever down until all around them became a dark vortex. Ansgaard released him and watched through the dim water as Serikon continued to sink out of sight into the murky depths of the sea.