As Lord Rutten thrust toward his chest with the crystal staff, Lord Kendrick once again leaned to the side. At the same time he parried with his sword, one hand on the handle and one hand above the staff, gripping the blade with his gauntlet. Their weapons once again touching, Lord Rutten and Lord Kendrick continued their interweaving of staff and blade, neither of them leaving contact with the other. However, the only sound was that of a whetstone gently sharpening a blade.
Lord Kendrick frowned slightly. Whereas before he felt like he had some advantage, now his sword seemed to get caught up on the smooth surface of the crystal staff. He had no idea what the strange material was. The staff slid smoothly under his opponent’s grip, but caught on his sword. Lord Kendrick’s movements were confused as his sword seemed to stick and slide unpredictably, while his opponent easily shifted his grip on the blue crystal. Every time he came close to his opponent’s gloved hands, they would move. Normally he would take advantage of that slight opening during a change of grip, but it was always at such points when his sword seemed to stick the worst.
Finally, he found an opportunity. He manage to step in and slice his sword upon William’s shoulder. He would have liked the neck, but he didn’t have the angle to slice in that direction. Besides, with the support of ki his sword should slice right through the shoulder, removing the arm- magical robes or not. That was why he was surprised when his magical sword didn’t cause even a slight mark. Instead, the staff came up from the same side, below his left shoulder, causing him to have to step back.
Lord Kendrick couldn’t understand what had happened. Of course his opponent had guarded with ki as well, but a magical sword against magical robes would always go to the sword if there was a good slice. Instead, there was nothing. That could only happen if he had a dull blade. In that case, the support of ki would be less sharp as well, since he confirmed it to the surface. His blade was magical, however, and would reform its edge even without care.
Lord Kendrick glanced down at his blade. The first thing that stood out was a huge chip in the middle. That was impossible. Even without enchantments, the blade was one of the hardest materials available, a steel that contained traces of adamantine. It wouldn’t chip even against another adamantine blade… and yet, the chip was plainly obvious. There were no types of crystal that could do that… no, were there even crystals that were large enough to make a full staff out of? Lord Kendrick couldn’t afford to spend more than an instant looking at his staff, but beyond the chip his senses even told him that the edge was dulled… just from a few moments of locked weapons?
He didn’t have any more time to think about that, as the crystal staff was coming for him. He could still deal with it, though his parry was somewhat weaker than he expected. His left shoulder had nearly been dislocated from the earlier blow. Perhaps he had missed a blow to the head as well? His opponent was speaking loudly in some form of gibberish. It only took him an instant to recognize it as a chant, though he wasn’t sure for what spell. It didn’t even sound like the gevai language at all, but he could see the mana moving. Then… he could feel it.
Lord Kendrick was no stranger to magic himself. He started a spell of his own… but instantly realized he couldn’t do it. All of the mana in the area was under his opponent’s control- even the mana immediately surrounding himself. He tried to wrest the control away from Lord Rutten, but even as he shouted his pyromancy spell, all of the mana in the area continued toward Lord Rutten, whose rumbling voice was infused throughout the whole area.
He couldn’t perceive what form the spell would take, which was disturbing, but there was no doubt it would be exceedingly powerful. He had to stop it. Then, he found his chance. Another thrust. He was confident his armor could block it, but the problem was his enemy could use it to parry any of his moves. This time, he parried the staff with his left hand, gripping tightly onto the staff and stabbing out with his sword in the right. The point of his sword thrust toward his enemy’s heart, and it at least was still quite sharp.
Then, his left hand lost its grip, as if it were holding onto merely soap. The rear end of the staff swung around, deflecting his blow. Lord Kendrick gritted his teeth, ready to receive whatever spell was coming. So far, he had barely been touched, and his armor could receive any lightning bolt or fireball his opponent could put out. He waited, but saw nothing. Instead, the mana was gathered, achieving some sort of invisible form… and then he was dead without even noticing his armor enchantments activating.
William looked down at Lord Kendrick’s dead form. He’d needed all of his ki to protect himself and augment his attacks in that fight, which was unfortunate. Lord Kendrick had been very strong and quite skilled. However, he couldn’t defend against a type of magic he hadn’t seen. Soul abilities were rare enough that very few would recognize them. William had been confident that he could use it as an attack that wouldn’t destroy his opponent’s soul, but he hadn’t actually used it on a person. In the end, it was similar to his ki technique Eternal Dream, merely severing the soul from the body- directly killing someone. The only difference was it didn’t require physical contact, though it was still not usable at long range. Of course, it also required mana- a lot of mana. That made William quite tired, especially on top of what he had done earlier in the day. Still, he couldn’t show it.
William turned around to look at the troops guarding the exit, then stopped to glare at Jordan. “So, anyone who doubts that I can kill all of you here by myself, feel free to take a try. Otherwise, throw down your weapons.”
Jordan was actually the first to throw down his weapon- directly out of the sheath and to the ground. The rest of William’s troops followed suit immediately, then after a few probing glances Lord Kendrick’s troops did the same.
“Good. Looks like nobody else has to die here today… except maybe…” William took a step forward. “Jordan. Why did you betray me?”