Lesson 2: Action!

#1
Adventure, excitement, fast-paced fight scenes! Sentence fragments! Show me your action scenes!

Vague prompt: In 500 words, depict a fast-paced action scene. Focus on pacing and reader immersion.

Specific prompt: Logan and Reilly are having a formal duel. In 500 words, depict the duel, with both combatants using swords. Reilly is of a higher skill level than Logan. Focus on pacing and reader immersion.

RE: Lesson 2: Action!

#2
I'd like a shot at this for improvement. :)

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"I'll bet you 20 gold that Reilly will win, again." A soldier wearing full leather armor gambles with his friend who is standing beside him. "Forget it!" He exclaims. "You won't be swindling me this time."

"Are both contestants ready?" Asks the man in the middle, wearing a steel plated armor as he oversees the duel. It takes place in a crowded barracks where hardened soldiers are seen passing by from time to time, just to see who will win.  

In response to the call for attention, they stand ready. Logan on the left draws the patented iron forged sword, wielding it with both hands. Reilly on the other hand stands firm as he gazes coldly in front of him, breathing softly through his nose. 

He wields the same weapon as Logan, but it seems that he holds it with more finesse by assuming an odd stance where he bends his knees slightly, pointing the blade towards his opponent as his left hand guides the tip. 

The overseer brings his hand down signaling the start of the duel. 

Logan charges in, sword drawn overhead as he releases a war cry to improve his might. He closes in on his enemy, bringing down his sword with great might, ending his shout as he ruggedly slashes down. 

Reilly anticipates this type of strategy from Logan. He fakes an attack by lunging forward then backing away immediately a few paces with a short leap from his pivot foot. 

Logan ends up battering the ground in front of him, the sword now ends up stuck in the ground due to the sheer force of his brutish attack. 

Reilly, again assumes his stance and swiftly charges in as quickly as he can. Closing in on Logan, he strikes his sword forward in a flurry as it cuts through the wind.

He on the other hand still struggles to remove his sword from the ditch while Reilly approaches ever so quickly. Unable to pull his sword out for a counter attack, he clutches a handful of soil from the ground, pelting Reilly with it. 

Falling for his own trap, Logan spins forward with his hand on the sword. He uses the momentum of his body to pull the sword from its underground sheathe. 

Reilly expected this kind of underhanded tactic from Logan. As if by reflex he strafes to his left, dodging the projectiles thrown at him. He zooms past Logan to his left, who made the mistake of standing idle, clearly surprised by his own tactic failing. 

Reilly lands the finishing blow, swiping his sword all the way to his right from behind his unwary enemy, sweeping Logan off of his feet. The attack was too quick for Logan to dodge, and it ends up landing him flat on the ground while his opponent holds his sword near his neck, standing over him in triumph. "Not today Logan." He whispers to him.

RE: Lesson 2: Action!

#3
I believe I lost track of "fast-paced" somewhere along the line, but I'm committed now so...oh well.
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I watch the leaves of a nearby tree dance in the wind, even as I feel the heavy weight of my sword drag me down. How free. I wonder what it would be like to be a leaf. To go in any direction the wind takes you. To be without worry.
 
“Is that him…?”
 
“Ah…they’re at it again.”
 
“He’ll never learn.”
 
Ignoring the voices of the gathered crowd, I turn to face my rival. “Reilly. I will win this time,” I say as I point my sword forward, my face resolute.
 
“Logan-“ Reilly starts before cutting herself off. A hopeless expression sits on her face, a testament to the number of times we’ve done this. I know I have almost no chance of winning. But each time I lose, it’s by a smaller margin. “Never mind,” she says, bringing up her own sword to face me. “I, Reilly Ravenheart, formally accept the duel request by Logan Soulstrider. May the witnesses today be our judges, and our duel be fair.”
 
I nod my head, a small grin passing over my lips. A shiver runs through me as we watch each other, waiting for the other to make a movement. I know now that the first to attack is at a disadvantage. So I wait patiently. Minutes pass as we eye each other, neither growing careless.
 
Reilly finally gives in to her own impatience, believing her superior skill to cover any disadvantages. My grin turns savage as I bring up my blade to block hers. I redirect her sword’s momentum, feeling the sharp scratching of metal against metal as I force her sword to clatter to the side harmlessly.
 
Immediately I go in for my own strike, but I’m not quick enough. Reilly twists her body around, dodging my sword before slamming her own foot into my chest. I feel myself launch backward as pain fills me, but I grimly hold tight onto my sword. It’s over if I lose it.
 
Collapsing onto the ground nearby, I struggle to breathe. Damn. Damn. DAMN IT! I scream at myself inwardly, letting out my mixed rage of emotions. I did that perfectly. Perfectly! And yet nothing. She is so far above me. I can’t possibly win.
 
“You see?” Reilly says softly, watching me. “You can’t defeat me. Let’s just end this-“
 
“NO!” I cry out, forcing myself to my feet. I feel myself stumble slightly before I recover. At least two of my ribs are cracked. I slowly bring my sword back up, my hand in a constant state of shaking. But my grip never lessens. I won’t relent. “We finish this,” I say grimly, glaring as hard as I can at Reilly. “We finish this.”
 
“It’s your grave,” Reilly sighs, bringing her own sword back up. I wait for her to make a move again, my mind racing a million miles per second. The last time failed because of her agility. No, that isn’t it. She was able to adapt when she lost her sword. I, however, didn’t.
 
I replay the scenario again in my head. I lost when I committed to that first attack. Then this time I will feint first and then attack in the direction she goes. Normally Reilly would change tactics the second time, but she’s arrogant. I can do this.
 
Before I can think any further, Reilly launches herself at me. I quickly do the same manoeuvre, letting her sword harmlessly clatter to the side, but this time I don’t fully commit as I go in for the attack.
 
I watch Reilly move to the left to dodge the sword even as I quickly bring my sword back toward me. As fast as possible I strike in the direction she’s traveling, feeling a heavy thud as it connects. I did it! A wide grin forms on my face. I-
 
“You’re really naïve,” I hear someone say next to me, before a heavy fist hits into my chest. I hear a crack as another rib gives way, even as I collapse.
 
“But…how…” I say softly, the pain dulling my senses.
 
“I used a feint too,” Reilly says as she stands over me, peering down. No-one can see her face except me now. Ah. That sneer on your face finally comes out, huh Reilly. “You use the most obvious ploy in the book, and you think I wouldn’t notice? Naïve. Stop fighting me Logan, it’s waste of time. Next time you won’t be getting up.”
 
“This…isn’t…over…” I say with a pained grin, lightly hitting her foot with my fist.
 
“Pathetic,” Reilly says with disgust. She disappears from my view, the sound of her footsteps growing softer. Hah. I guess she left me on the ground. I feel my conscience start to dwindle as I look up at the sky. Today was no good either. I’m sorry Melissa. Next time…
 
Next time…
 

RE: Lesson 2: Action!

#4
“AMBUSH!!!”
 
Darrel ducked back into hit turret just as he heard the distinct sound of bullets whizzing by overhead. The hummer that cruised at a comfortable fifteen miles per hour now ran at a maximum of forty with the sole intention of getting out of the kill zone.
 
The radio garbled as the vehicle commander tried to connect with the other vehicles as to what is happening. The riflemen in the back looked out of the bulletproof windows, palmed their weapons at the ready and tensed themselves for the impact of a landmine.
 
Dull thumps then followed as bullets impacted the armored shell of the Humvee. The dull thump sounded harmless, but not with the intentions of the ones firing it.
 
“Permission to open fire the fifty cal SIR!!” Darrel yelled as he got himself righted on the middle platform for the gunner.
 
The commander was still talking with the radio, unable to respond. “Fuck it” Darrel muttered. Rules of engagement allows soldiers to open fire when fire upon and what he’s going to do.
 
He stood up to his full height while keeping his knees bent to keep himself steady from the rocking of the vehicle as it travelled down the dirt path. He then held the shovel handle of the .50 cal machinegun with his left hand as he traversed the Humvee’s turret with his right in search for hostiles.
 
Bullets still whizzed by above his turret along with the impacts of rifle rounds on its armor. He felt something sharp and hot enter his skin, shrapnel, little buggers.
 
The convoy suddenly stopped and formed itself in a defensive circle. Riflemen then poured out of the vehicles and the machineguns trained themselves into probable avenues of approach.
 
The whole company waited for a bit, only for them to hear the shouts of men coming. They shouted praises to their gods both in religious ecstasy and in a drug induced one. The first man then showed himself, he held a Kalashnikov in his raised arms and aimed the weapon at the convoy. He shot.
 
The round went high and hit nothing but that was enough to know his intentions. A lone rifle round was our reply and the man fell limp and flopped around in the ground as the round hit his head, it killed him instantly but still left his body in his death throws.
 
Automatic fire then followed and everyone took cover in their vehicles. Rounds peppered Darrel’s vehicle and he ducked his head lower into the turret but still kept it high enough to deliver aimed shots whenever needed.
 
He peeked on his machinegun sights and what he saw in the road they came from caught his breath. Dozens of men, all carrying weapons ranging from multiple small arms to RPGs and they sang their songs to their god, as they fought with deathly fanaticism.
 
They would run in the middle of the road to unleash their weapons, only to fall down from the company’s. They shot rounds that hit armor, rockets that would narrowly miss, and they would die by th company’s hands, but there were just too many of them. Darrel swallowed the lump that formed in his throat and glanced at his watch, only twenty seconds passed and it already felt like eternity. Darrel gripped his machinegun tight, and gave its butterfly trigger a steady pressure.
 
*CHUG* *CHUG* *CHUG* *CHUG*

PS: Can I submit more actions scenes to be reviewed? Also, this is my first try in third person so I would appreciate if you could include how well I did in the review. Thanks.

RE: Lesson 2: Action!

#5
@Series of Rebirths:


- You basically need to add commas everywhere. Try reading your writing out loud with proper pauses to get a feel for where you need to add them. There are also other punctuation errors.
- Don't use ambiguous pronouns. The "Forget it!" looks like it's the first guy betting with himself.
- Your formatting with dialogue is incorrect. Spoken sentences that end in a period have a comma instead, and the word after the closing quotation mark is never capitalized.
Example: "You're kidding," he said.
Example 2: "You're kidding?" he asked.
Example 3: "You're kidding!" he exclaimed.
- I found this fight scene incredibly unrealistic. In order for weapons to get stuck, two conditions must be met. 1) The momentum of the weapon has to be great enough to become deeply buried. This really only happens for heavy weapons like heavy axes and two-handed greatswords. 2) The material that the weapon is hitting must be hard but somewhat flexible, such as green wood or bone (thick bone, like on a giant, not human bone). A sword could theoretically get wedged in dirt, but it would have to go far, far deeper than for wood or bone.

Now, you may be thinking that it's unfair for me to expect you to know the physics behind swordfighting. Beyond a certain point, probably, but in this scene's case, you don't need to know anything about whether a sword could get lodged in dirt. Before that could happen, Logan had to swing his sword at an angle that would strike the ground. For a regular-length sword, that would involve him either bending his waist at a rather extreme angle or bending his knees in an awkward squat, neither of which are very realistic.

I may have said to focus on pacing and reader immersion, but internal consistency in the story is a very important part of reader immersion. If two people are having a formal duel, that implies that both of them have had some training and won't do incredibly awkward things while fighting. Just because you want to depict one person as more skilled than the other does not mean you make one person incredibly bad at the skill.


@ShiftyCake:
+10 bonus points because you noticed that I left room for Reilly to be a girl.
Hehe, rather than a fast-paced action scene, you depicted one of those move-by-move psychological fight scenes, but hey, it's not badly done.
Part of being a good writer is being able to depict exactly what you want to depict, but sometimes when a scene runs away from you and takes you somewhere you didn't expect, that's where the story really happens.
Near the end, you wrote "conscience" instead of "consciousness". Don't mix those up; they're very different things.
As a note, I don't think it's realistic for a punch to break a rib.

@TheManWithLongReach:
Honestly, I don't have that much experience with fight scenes with modern weaponry simply because I pretty much exclusively read fantasy. However, I do imagine that all those guns firing would create a rather deafening atmosphere, so I don't know if it's realistic for the soldiers to be able to hear the fanatics shouting/singing. I definitely don't think it's realistic for someone to check their watch while being shot at. I assume you added that because you wanted to show how time seems to slow down in this scenario, but I would suggest you find something that the MC would actually look at to mark time.
In terms of your foray into 3rd person, I'd say it's wobbly. You switch from past tense into present tense a couple of times, which I don't know if is something you normally do, or a remnant from writing in present tense when you write 1st person. 3rd person narration sticks to simple past tense for the "now" of the story. You also slip directly into 1st person with your line "A lone rifle round was our reply..."

"Machine gun" is two words.

These lessons are meant to be short writing exercises that give you feedback you can incorporate into your writing. You can do them again in a couple of months, when your writing has noticeably changed from now, but please don't submit multiple pieces at once.

RE: Lesson 2: Action!

#6
Logan lifted his blade and inhaled through his nose as he stared at the man standing in front of him. His opponent was Reilly, the one-armed man who always seemed to have a grin dancing on his lips. The tip of his sword circled along on the ground, displacing the sand beneath his feet.

"Begin!" a voice said.

Logan frowned as Reilly continued to draw circles on the ground. "Prepare yourself," he said as his hands tightened and fingers turned white.

Reilly tilted his head and smiled. "One arm isn't enough of a handicap, kiddo."

Logan narrowed his eyes. "Fine," he said and inhaled deeply through his nose. As he exhaled through his mouth, he held his sword to the side and charged forward, lowering his posture. The sand burned underneath his bare feet as he shifted from large strides to quicker but smaller movements. He circled around to left, approaching Reilly from his armless side, barely out of striking distance.

"Hah!" Logan shouted and took a step towards Reilly, swinging his sword diagonally upwards at the same time. Reilly smiled as his torso leaned back, dodging the strike. He brought his left arm upwards and intercepted Logan's following downward slice.

"Too obvious!" Reilly shouted and pushed his sword forward, nearly knocking Logan's sword out of his hands. Logan stumbled backwards, clearly off balance, but Reilly didn't pursue. Logan clenched his jaw and stabilized his stance, lifting the sword so that the tip made a line to Reilly's eyes.

"Hah!" Logan shouted and leapt forward, raising his sword into the air above his head. Reilly snorted and prepared to parry the strike, but it never came. Instead, Logan dug his foot into the sand and kicked upwards, directing the scattershot towards Reilly's face. Reilly closed his eyes, leaping backwards while sweeping his sword horizontally to prevent Logan from approaching. Logan dashed forward and dove underneath the sweeping blow, thrusting his sword outwards as he fell. The blade pierced Reilly's calf, causing the grown man to let out a yell.

Reilly stabbed downwards, but Logan rolled to the side, abandoning his sword which was still planted in Reilly's leg. Logan heard the blade sink into the sand, the edge nearly grazing his torso as he scrambled to his feet with his back to Reilly. His heart pounded in his chest as Reilly let out another yell. Logan heard the wind whistle as the sword cut the air behind his back. He shouted as he ran away as fast as he could, "I surrender! I surrender! You win!"

"Damn, twerp," Reilly said and frowned. Blood trickled down his leg as he sighed and stared at Logan's shrinking back. "Don't ever come back here!"
_______
Thanks!

RE: Lesson 2: Action!

#7
@Virlyce:
Respectably done. That fight scene was sketched out in quick strokes, as it should be. Watch out for typos a spellchecker won't pick up (you wrote "heard" instead of "heart" near the end). As a note, I would replace "He was Reilly" with "His opponent was Reilly" because otherwise it sounds like "Logan was Reilly".

RE: Lesson 2: Action!

#8
Hi there, I made this as a challenge to myself, like, loads of weird stuffs put together. I hope it goes well.



The red maple leaf swayed, dancing its last moment in life before touching the ground. Did it feel regret? Or joy? Was its life memorable?


Breathing in a lung full or air, Logan tried to clear his head as he raised up his face to feel the clean air. He forced himself to loosen his shoulders and kept his body straight.

Then he let out his breath, long and slow. Yet, he could tell. He was excited, and afraid. The more he welcomed in the calmness, the tighter his grip on the scabbard became. His ears even heard the sounds of the bamboo plates creaked under his strength.
 
"I have come back." He glared at his opponent. "And this time you'll fall, Reilly."
 
She didn't respond. Her eyes returned his look, but they were different. The same as an autumn lake, clear and without ripples.
 
"Say something, or you'll regret not speaking your last words." He gritted his teeth, all while lowering his stance, his hand reached for the hilt at his waist. Sorry, but your last chance was there no more.
 
As if feeling his hostility, she also lowered her stance and grasped her sword as he did. Her eyes squinted for a moment, but silence still reigned over her lips. How much of an insult could one throw at their opponent? She didn't see him as worthy enough to speak to?
 
Well, it wouldn't matter much longer.
 
"Iai!" Logan screamed and stepped one brave step ahead.
However, even before his foot touched the ground he was kicked to the knee. Shocked by losing his balance, but he wasn't helpless. While finding his foot a new landing ground, he bent backward and pulled the sword out of his scabbard.
The thin metal cut through the air, leaving a ringing echo in its path. No blood was shed, Reilly had stepped back to avoid his blade.
 
Logan sheathed his sword. No this was not enough to defeat her. He'd not let her lead the fight like this. He didn't train all those years for nothing.
 
"You've changed, Logan," Reilly uttered, her voice as quiet as ever. "This is not the sword. This is... insanity."
 
"No it's not. I just fell out of love with sanity some time ago."
 
"Then what are you holding in your hand?" She lightly furrowed her thin eyebrows. That would be most expressiveness one could get out of her. Highhanded bitch.
 
"A blade. A tool of vengeance." Logan stepped into her range one more time, this time sideway, hiding his sword out of her sight. Knowing her, she would cut him down without hesitation. That was what he was gambling on.
 
And his expectation wasn't betrayed, a white sparkle immediately reflected out of Reilly' scabbard. Mustering all of his body strength for the moment he was waiting for, Logan turned his waist sideway, whipping his protected blade to her.

Reilly had pulled her sword out, but Logan's unexpected movement had caught her off guard. The end of his scabbard hit right on her hand, forcing her to cry a sound of pain.
 
One last move, his blade.
Not catching a new breath, he slid his sword out. But then, a force shocked right up his waist, where he tied his sword. And a burning sensation spread through his hand, the very hand gripping the scabbard.
 
Falling on his knees, Logan could only let out a painful cry. A crimson color filled his mind. His fingers were cut, by his own sword. The blade was ruthless, it tore through the bamboo plates and slashed pass his hand as soft as cutting tofu.
 
"That scabbard move was good. I kind of imitate you on the spot." Reilly breathed out, holding her swollen hand.
 
Gritting his teeth, Logan gazed up at his enemy. She was standing there, expressionless. No joy of victory, no grief of injury. Nothing.
 
Yet, his eyes felt sore all of a sudden.
And this feeling up his throat. Was it regret? Or was it joy?
 

RE: Lesson 2: Action!

#11
Lightning strikes in the distance, casting my foe in an eerie light. As if the lightning was the signal, he strikes. His blade flashing only for an instant, but the instant was enough.  I grunt in pain and the bastard starts to laugh. Holding my now injured side, I back of slowly in order to get some space between us.
 
He lifts the sword, inspecting it and then smiles sadistically at the blood that now covers it. “Logan, will you ever learn? A slave cannot leave its station. You are trash, will always be trash. When we are done here I will have your sister give me a bath.... it seems fitting does it not? After all, it will be your blood dirtying me.”
 
Another strike of lighting, another flash of light and I spring forward with anger burning in my heart! Blade lifted high for a hard and crippling blow. My foe steps aside, lifting his blade to easily brush mine aside like a blade of grass caught in a strong wind. His fist strikes my cheek, stunning me for a moment. Ears ringing and the taste of blood in my mouth is all I can perceive for a moment before something hard hits my back.
 
Opening my eyes reveals the sky above me. How could I be so pathetic, so weak? I want to scream, shout, swear at the world! All my hard work, all of my training…. Will it all be for nothing? If I lose this duel my family will forever be slaves to this tyrant’s. No….for my family, for our freedom I must fight!
 
I slowly raise myself up, honor and tradition the only thing that kept me alive while I was on the ground. Knowing this wounds my pride, but what good is pride to a dead man? Lightning strikes again followed by the unmistakable rumble of thunder. The heavens stop threatening and finally the rain starts to fall, almost instantly drenching us to the bone.
 
We circle each other. Like predators sizing each other up. To the side I can see my sister clutching at her clothes in worry. This is it, it is all or nothing.
 
I fill my lungs with air and bellow at him. “Reilly!”
 
My tactic works and for an instant he freezes in surprise. Two large steps narrows the distance between us. Our swords clash in a show of sparks. The power of his blow rocking my bones. I push him away and thrust forward, he once again agilely slips to the side, but it’s something I expected!
 
My elbow connects with his jaw. He quickly recovers and stabs his blade into my thigh. Crying out in pain, I fall to one knee. I can hear him laugh, in his mind he has already won.  Sensing more than seeing, I know his blade is raised above his head. My grip tightens on my sword and as a last act of defiance I stab it up and forward….
 
All is quiet, I look above. His face is unbelieving, dazed and confused as he looks at my sword now stuck in his throat.

RE: Lesson 2: Action!

#12
@Mr Sir

Sentence fragments everywhere. Like this. Periods in inappropriate places. As if they're commas or something. Also commas connecting what should be separate sentences, it's very annoying.

Honestly, yelling someone's name when you're fighting them has a 0% chance of surprising them. Actually, maybe it's a negative chance, since what it does is warn them you're about to attack.

I recommend you read more well-written fight scenes and try to get a feeling for what is and isn't realistic.

RE: Lesson 2: Action!

#13
I'm not sure that I pointed out Reilly was better (I probably didn't) so forgive me for that. Apart from that it should be o.k. Hope you like it! 

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“Let the duel begin!”
the voice rang out as Logan charged towards Reilly. If he didn’t beat him he wouldn’t get to move on to the next rank. Reilly ducked and swept the ground, to counter Logan parried and jabbed at Reilly. He knocked the sword away and pulled out his dagger.
“What are you going to do with that? Poke me with it?” Logan teased. Anger the enemy, it will make their moves more reckless! Reilly’s benefit in the battle in the battle would be the knight sword, a legendary weapon that seemed unbreakable, with the breastplate impenetrable. Reilly aimed the dagger and threw it with all his strength. Logan had quick reactions so it only grazed him as he pulled out his mystical eye of the eagle bow and fired 10 arrows in one go. The speed was too much to handle and only three missed. The others hit him, but Reilly drank his rare potion, a half elixir, and all his flesh returned. Logan shot more arrows but this time he was ready and dodged the arrows like they were in slow-motion. Logan still had another trump card up his sleeve. He applied explosives to some smoke arrows and shot them. Reilly was lost in the mist almost instantly,
BANG! BANG! BANG!
It came down only to luck that he didn’t get hurt. Meanwhile Logan had been preparing his killing arrow. He drew an arrow from his quiver and pulled it back first he locked on using the eye and it shot an invisible line towards him. Then he was given the option of what glyph he would shoot. First he chose a thunder strike, added some meteor space and gave it an area affect. He let go, the mist suddenly surrounded him and he couldn’t see. It finally cleared off and he saw the body lying there, dead? He had won! Right? The crowd weren’t screaming and shouting applause, instead were shouting and pointing out something as if it was obvious and he quickly turned around to see Reilly drinking an invisibility potion. CRAP! He quick fired arrows but they just wouldn’t land. Reilly first thought that it would be funny if he thought that he had won, and then he made another version of himself again this time drinking an invisibility potion! Ha, Ha! Unfortunately for Reilly Logan had used his eye of the eagle and suddenly knew exactly where he was. He charged at him with his sword as Reilly tried to parry. Enraged by the fact he had played with him like a toy he had grown a new thirst for blood. He pulled out his final weapon, the omegasus wand.
“Meteor shower!” suddenly a large, fiery circle with many incantations glowed and suddenly large streaks of white flashed across the sky as if an artist was changing the colour of the sky and they grew larger and larger until they started heading in their direction and…
Kaboom!
Logan had won!

RE: Lesson 2: Action!

#14
I know that this forum is dead, but I still wanted to go ahead and do it for practice. Still, I may have broken the rules since this has 749 words.

***

“Sir Reilly, would you do me the honor of having a mock practice?” is what Logan asked, but I already knew he would not take no for an answer, and so I just agreed with a chuckle. “Alright then, dear student of mine. Go fetch our practice swords from the horses.” The joy on his face when he has the opportunity to hone his skills, I just can’t get enough of it!

Once he fetched the wooden longswords and handed one of them to me, we moved to an area with fewer obstructions that would hinder our duel and readied our stances. Although I say stance, I just held the longsword with my right hand, pointing it downwards and tucked away my left hand to my back. He, on the other hand, grasped his sword with both hands in front of him and his back and knees bent a little.

“On one,” I said. “3.” He gripped his sword tight, “2.” clenched his teeth hard, “1.” and charged at me full force. What in the world is this foolhardy charge? I thought as he jumped.

He slashed his sword downward and I quickly spun to my right, using the momentum to strike at his back. “That’s one hit.” I said coldly in an exasperated tone and heard a groan of frustration from him as he regained his bearings. “While I do admit that your speed and strength are top notch, remember that a swordsman could avoid those kinds of strikes if they had half a brain. You may be a bit rusty since you couldn’t do a warmup, but at least try to use some semblance of skill.” He swore under his breath and nodded, a renewed vigor in his eyes.

“Good, now it’s my turn.” I bent my knees a little and took a deep breath. Now, then. Let’s put your reaction time to test. His eyes widen as the ground beneath me cracks and the 5 meters of distance between us turned into 1 in the blink of an eye.

Logan immediately took his stance, hoping to block at least some of my attacks. I smile and stab at his abdomen, but he blocks it and tries to get a slash back in. Unfortunately for him, that wasn’t a lunge meant for just one stab. Just as his blade would hit my right side, it instead makes a sound of striking wood, and I start my flurry of stabs and slashes.

Clearly surprised by the continuous strikes, he tries to block but is struggling. With every impact of my blade hitting his, his face turns grim knowing that he can’t keep blocking forever. And then he smiles. He parries one of my slashes with all of his strength upwards, sending me flying back.

Hoo? I let out a voice of admiration as he tries to take advantage of the opportunity, but using the momentum, I backflipped and kicked his jaw in the middle of it, dazing him. “Expect the unexpected.” I chide at him as he shakes his head and tries to recover. “That’s two hits.” He focuses once more.

Logan tightens his grip, glaring at me through his sword and taking a stance I haven’t seen him do in our previous matches. What’s this? I raise my brow as I scrutinize him, who was just standing. No form or anything, just standing.

I try to figure out what he was doing but before I knew it, he was already in front of me, with the ground he was standing beneath previously cracked and dry. What the- I panicked and immediately tried to block but it seemed like that slash was a furious tiger, an unstoppable onslaught. So I instead dodged and right at the moment his sword hit the ground, I struck the back of his head with the hilt of my sword.

Hitting him, he was immediately knocked out and sprawled on the dirt. If I looked closely, I could even see that foam was coming out of his mouth. Haagh, I overdid it I thought and reminded myself not to panic ever again, since an accident such as this might occur.

Still… I looked at the ground which was struck by his sword. There was a hole 1 meter deep and 5 meters in diameter. The hole was already terrifying, but the mouth of it was even cracked, extending out 10 more meters. Just what in the world was he doing while I wasn’t looking?
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