Z-RP was created by NAVI. LEGEND OF ZELDA was developed by NINTENDO. All content belongs to its respective creators.
All images belong to their respective artists. All codes and scripts belong to their respective coders.
The skin was created by Alcove. Board Layout was made by NOVA for ZRP exclusively. Do not attempt to steal or emulate anything on this board.
A LEGEND OF ZELDA ROLEPLAY
Welcome to ZRP! We are an non-canon RP site with an original tale taking place within the
lore of the Zelda Franchise. While the events of this site are entirely non-canon, we take advantage of the canons of other
games to explain its story fully. As such, we are located within the CANON TIMELINE. Do you like what you see? If so, feel free
to register and join our story! If you have any questions, you can join our discord, located in our important links!
3/14/20 The staff are working dilligintly on the next plot and introduction to ARC 3 of the site. Over the next couple weeks,
we will be transitioning the plot, organizing boards, and a new location will be added to the site! Please note that Termina will be removed from playable locations
during this process. Thank you for your patience!
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jun 17, 2020 4:49:46 GMT -5
The Hyrule Field. Only four days after the great siege ended.
Destruction was apparent. In many places the formerly verdant grasses had died, leaving large area of browned stain, sad and dead. Various gaping holes dotted the landscape, courtesy of the giant boulders the defender of the Town Walls hurled towards the besiegers. Some holes were already closed: its size made a perfect place to bury the unclaimed dead. Those lifeless bodies strewn on the battlefield, mostly the victims of the bloodbath that was the siege of Western Gate and especially when The Southern Army was used as a bait to draw the defenders and allow the breach of the East Gate by the Eastern Army. Hyruleans, Holodromors, Labrynnans, Gorons, Zoras, Ritos.... and many other races and other nationalities fell victim to that great struggle.
But, life must go on, right?
While the victorious kings and dukes and nobles sorted things out inside the Castle, the majority of the army were left in their tents in the Field, especialy foreign armies such as those from Labrynna and Holodrum. Even the army of Bion, who was technically Hyrulean, were still around; their Duchess insisting to sort out several businesses in Hyrule first.
Amidst such monotony of waiting, some soldiers had an idea of a tournament for sort. While could be deadly, it was early on decided that it would be fought in good cheer. To that end mock swords or spears were used, and participants were allowed to wear their heaviest armor.
Thus it was that one particularly fine morning, when Duchess Maedhra was inspecting her troops with half a dozen of his Crimson Order knights riding alongside her, they saw a particular gathering in the horizons. Shouts and cheers were heard even to their position, and The Duchess' eagle eyes spotted some of her own troops in the crowds.
Her horse came to a halt. She pointed towards the large gathering.
"What is going on over there?"
One of her knights readily answered. "A friendly tournament of some sort, my lady. A good way for the soldiers to pass their time and earn them some more rupees, dare I say."
The Duchess' eyes widened in delight. "Crackers. I used to enjoy this kind of thing!" And she clearly was looking on with interest, although from this distance it was hard to really see anything. "Is there a good one in there I wonder...."
The siege had made a profound impression on Randio. He had never experienced anything like it before. During his time with Dame Sorin, they’d stay far away from these kind of battles. It was both exciting and terrifying. So many things going on at once. Danger lurking in every corner. He had come out relatively unscathed, and so had most of his family. His father was still with the healers, however, but Randio had been told he wasn’t in critical condition. He just hoped that the old man wouldn’t die on him.
He was glad that an opportunity presented itself to take his mind of things and blow off some steam. A couple of knights from the different realms decided it would be a good idea to have a little tournament, and Randio couldn’t help but endorse it. Though but a squire himself –if he even still had claim to that title anymore- he managed to do pretty well for himself. He had beaten a more experienced knight in the first round. By the skin of his teeth, but still, Randio had won. He had fought with a certain ferocity and a refusal to pull his punches, that it had probably caught the more experienced man off guard. And he had used that to his advantage.
His next opponent was a squire, like him. A familiar face, even. She was one of his fellow pages back when he was still under Sir Livius’s tutelage. It had been about a decade since they had last seen each other, but Randio recognised her right away. And he was sure she had not forgotten him as well, by the way she looked at him. Not forgotten, and probably not forgiven. She had grown quite a bit, being nearly as tall as he was now. She also seemed to be quite muscular, though perhaps her armour made her look bigger than she actually was, just as Randio’s gambeson made him look significantly bulkier. Randio was well aware that she wasn’t to be underestimated. He saw her fight in the previous round. She seemed to favour the longsword, wielding it in a two-handed style, and fought with grace and precision. One could definitely tell she had been trained by one of Hyrule’s finest.
She didn’t seem to be at the top of her game in this fight, however. All she seemed to be trying to do is to keep him at a distance. She kept jabbing at him, keeping the pressure on him and putting him on the defensive, but she had yet to make any decisive moves. Randio was wondering if it was because of her feelings towards him. Was anger affecting her performance? Perhaps fear? He himself was also holding back. Something about fighting someone who confronted him with his past made him feel uncomfortable. He wasn’t exactly proud of what he did back then. He didn’t want to dominate her. He didn’t want to evoke those times, when he would beat her up during training, and sometimes even outside of it.
On the other hand, he also didn’t want to lose. Moreover, this fight was getting nowhere if it kept on like this. It was probably getting boring for anyone watching. Being that a tournament match is as much of a show as it is a fight, the match being boring was just unacceptable. They would have to step up their game. Especially if they wanted to impress the greatest knights in the realm.
As she took another thrust at him, he bashed her sword aside with his shield, which seemed to briefly throw her off. Not long enough, it seemed, because before he could well get into reach, she had already recovered, and made a swing to Randio’s right, aiming for his head. Randio managed to parry her strike with his own sword, but she quickly repositioned and took a swing at his left, going for his waist. “Shit!”, he exclaimed, as he barely managed to position his shield to fend off the attack, the sword bouncing off of the rim. He quickly took a couple of steps back, trying get some distance between them. He was grinning from ear to ear.
Yes! That’s more like it!
The pair would continue their dance for a while longer. They still seemed to be equally matched, but as the match went on, they would increasingly take more risks and put in more and more passion. Each time one seemed to get an advantage over the other, the crowd would cheer louder and louder, getting to a climax before each reversal, where it would all build up again. As much as he wanted it to go on a little while longer, he knew that the dance must and at some point. Someone would have to land the final blow. Preferably him.
Looking for weak points in his opponent’s defences, he noticed part of her stomach was not covered by armour. He decided that would be his path to victory. He would have to make sure he’d get an opportunity to strike at that point, and the battle would be over in an instant. He made sure to again gain distance between them. They both circled the makeshift arena, seemingly waiting for the other to strike. Randio decided that it was all or nothing. He started sprinting towards his adversary, keeping both shield and sword low, hoping to provoke her to strike from above.
She called his bluff.
As he closed in, he sped up, throwing his shield upwards to catch her attack, simultaneously striking as hard as he could towards her stomach with his sword’s pommel. As he heard his opponent gasping for air, he knew his plan had worked. As she let her left hand go off her weapon, he wrapped his shield around her right arm, trapping her sword arm, and put his wooden blade at her throat.
It was over, he had won.
They stayed like this for a few seconds, staring into each other’s eyes. Randio then let go, smiling. “You almost had me.”, he said to her. She just responded by shoving him away and leaving. “Hey! Wait! Tahmina!” She turned around to face him, glaring daggers at him. “What?”, she growled. Randio bowed. “Thank you for the fight. You did well”, he said. “Fuck you, asshole!”, she replied, before making an utmost rude gesture, turning around and marching away. Randio could feel the anger washing over him. “Fine! Be a sore loser then!”, he called out at her, raising his arms in frustration.
Stop getting angry. Calm down. Find something to calm down.
He walked over to a table at the edge of the “ring”, where they all had set up jugs of water and cups. He poured himself a cup, took a few sips and splashed the rest of the cup’s contents in his face. As he wiped his face and ran his hand through his hair, he noticed that the crowd had grown larger than he realised. He even saw that some big shots were among them. He just hoped that anyone who had seen the fight had paid more attention to the latter half of it than the boring first half and the display afterwards.
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jun 17, 2020 20:11:42 GMT -5
And then the murmurs started.
Soft at first, coming from the fringe of the crowd and slowly traveling inward to the very "ring". What started as whispers became spoken words of shock and admiration and heads turning to see the one being hushed about. Snippets of words could be heard, mostly tinged with reverence. Some were slightly annoyed, but this was a minority.
All the voices, it seemed, zoomed into one personage who somehow had been in the ring, stretching her arms while twirling a "tournament" sword she had borrowed from one of the spectators. She was a rather short woman with blonde hair tied in a bun, framing two bright emerald eyes which right now shone in delight. She was lithe yet clearly powerful -the usual built of an officer of some sort. Her face, somehow, looked very much like Princess Zelda of Hyrule, even more so than her own siblings. Of course, this had been the source of court gossips for some time.
But The Duchess of Bion was not one to care about gossip. For the lady in the ring was none other than Duchess Maedhra herself. The feared Red Demon, who had led the brutal charge which finally broke The Castle Town impregnable walls just days before, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with her infamous Ironhearts and stubbornly held the line.
It was said that, during that battle, no corpses piled higher than those underneath The Duchess feet.
Even as jovial as she was now, smiling merrily, with none of her silver-and-red armor and fearsome horned helmet in sight, the soldiers around her was still a little nervous. Except a few Crimson Order knight she had brought with her, of course. She wore a simple buff coat decorated with bands of gold lines, a mark of her status, paired with riding trousers which was clearly meant to be worn under armour.
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jun 17, 2020 20:15:20 GMT -5
One of the main organizers, a Holodrum soldier, was understandably nervous. Beads of sweat were under his helmet.
"Y-your Grace, you can't possibly be joining in such capacity!"
"Oh? And why the berries is that?" She answered easily, while still concentrating on twirling her sword, trying it on different angles, "Did I not pull my weight as a soldier like the rest of you? Or are you telling me you doubted my cheddaring deeds? .... Pancakes! This sword is off-balance. Can I have that one, good Sir? -Ah, yes and thank you~"
Without ceremony she took another "tournament" sword from another onlookers, who was understandably stunned.
"Ah, yes! This is much better!" She exclaimed happily, as she brought it sideways and suddenly made a perfect, straight, absolutely precise chop in the air. A mark of expertise. "So, what's the asparagus deal? Oh! I know. The entering fee, right? Hmm... how about five thousand rupees? Sounds right?"
The exclamation of shock was everywhere.
"But, Your Grace. We cannot- No one is possibly able to wager such amount!"
At this The Duchess grinned. "Well, not one. But every grilled one of you if chip in should be able to, right? So, if I lose, you ladies and gentlemen get five thousand rupees. If I win, you all have to chip in until it reaches that amount! Sweet as pie, no?"
"Still. Who would want to risk-"
"All right all right," The Duchess raised her hand, impatient. "If I pay five hundred ruppees up front, I get to choose my opponent. Win or lose you get to keep the mashed five hundred. How about it?"
The Holodrum soldier stopped to think. "Well, I guess we-" "Then I choose that one over there," She declared, merrily pointing her sword towards Randio who was holding a glass on the table. "The one who smartly won his battle against a knight before by a thrust to her abdomen."
All eyes were turned towards the soldier. Five thousand ruppees -enough to give each and everyone present three days of decent meal- was at stake.
Randio was still standing to the side of the ring, drinking water and taking some rest. He was still brooding over the fact that his last opponent seemed to be so spiteful towards him. He had tried to be nice and make up for how he treated her in the past, but she didn't seem to appreciate it. It kind of hurt. Then again, had been a real piece of shit all those years ago, and perhaps more had to be done for his actions to truly be forgiven. He would have to try harder.
There was a break after his match, which was prolonged by the arrival of what seemed to be someone important. At first glance, Randio thought Zelda herself had graced the tourneying soldiers with her presence, but upon closer inspection the lady seemed to be a bit younger than the Queen. Closer to his age, actually. He couldn't quite place her. He was sure she wasn't one of the younger Royals. His master Dame Sorin hadn't really provided him with a who's who of the realm's nobility, except when they had to directly deal with a lord or lady of some sort. His father did tell him lots of stories over the past few years of all the connections he had amongst the nobility,.But those were mostly just names Randio didn't know the faces to.
Regardless of who she was, the reason the tourney was stopped for a moment was because she wanted to participate. It was unusual for a new participant to join mid-tournament, but he was sure not many people would mind. It wasn't like the contest was super official. Besides, it would provide some extra entertainment. She was like a surprise guest! He wasn't sure he had ever seen her in action, but given by the way she was built and carried herself, Randio could tell she would be more than able to handle herself. So he didn't mind at all that she was negotiating for her participation.
Wait, did she just say five THOUSAND rupees? Who in Din's name is this woman?
It was not unusual for nobles to flaunt their money, but there were few people in the realm who would just throw such an excessive amount of rupees around so casually. Randio took another close look at the lady, and her entourage. That is when it clicked.
He was almost mad at himself for not noticing sooner. As someone who had been so absolutely immersed in and obsessed with stories of famous knights, he should have immediately recognised the crimson armour of the Duchy of Bion's famous knights. Heck, his grandfather claimed that their family was descended from a Crimson Knight of old. So the young lady would have to be Duchess Maedhra. Randio had heard she was young, but he had expected someone in her twenties, not a teenager. . He had heard she was called the "Red Demon". And he had seen how she and her knights had performed during the siege days earlier. Truly a sight to behold. A smile started to form on Randio's face. With the Duchess of Bion joining the melee, things would surely get interesting.
Hold on. Did she just point at me?
He snapped out of his train of thought as he realised that now all eyes were suddenly fixed upon him, expectantly. He stared at the young woman in disbelief. Did he hear that right? The Red Demon, the Duchess of Bion herself, wanted to fight him, a lowly squire? Oh, this was the opportunity of a lifetime. He didn't even give a Bombchu's ass about the money. He could only think of the glory and prestige he would get just by fighting this person, let alone defeat her.
But would he be able to defeat someone who was clearly in a class of her own? He was confident enough in his own abilities. He was at least a decent fighter. But he wasn't the one with the cool nickname here.
He wasn't sure how long he stood there, staring at this new challenger, cup of water still in hand. He took one last gulp of water, set the cup back down on the table, grabbed his wooden sword and shield and walked into the open space that acted as the tournament's arena. He took a slight bow towards Maedhra.
"I'll accept, Your Grace. But promise me one thing."
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jun 18, 2020 23:00:45 GMT -5
Maedhra's lips spread into a wide grin as she burst in laughter. "Cupcakes! I like you already." She exclaimed matter-of-factly towards the squire in fighting stance. "I knew I can realize an artichoke good fighter when I see one." She turned towards the Holodran soldier. "All's good as gruel, then?" To which the Holodran, though clearly still unsure, gave a half-hearted nods. It wasn't possible to prevent anything. The mere mention of the possibility of receiving five thousand ruppees had made other soldiers in the tournament streamed into the ring. Granted, they would get much smaller ruppees since The Duchess did say that the amount was to be divided to all, but it was still a significant sum!
Amidst the rising cheers The Duchess glided effortelssly to take her place opposite the squire, carrying herself in such a confident manner which showed that she was no stranger in a duel. "Call the Exchequer." She ordered to her knights without looking, as she gracefully but firmly took her stance, her eyes locked on her opponent like a hawk to its prey. "He'll have five hundred ruppees to pay up front. And a truffle more perhaps~"
It was clear in her tone and the ready obedience of her Crimson Order entourage that such amount was trivial to The Duchess. Or maybe they had been accustomed to The Duchess' whims anyway. One of the knights promptly left the ring and mounted his horse. Soon he was riding towards The Castle Town, where the Exchequer and perhaps other Bion important personages were being accomodated.
Her smile never left her face, The Duchess raised her wooden sword and held it front of her chest. A knightly, official salute. Whoever taught this lady had done a good job, though she might have had many experience of it too. "I am Maedhra Ellipsis Bion, The Duchess of Bion," She declared, her tone firm and had such a commanding quality to it. "State your name, my opponent, so that our deeds can be known and remembered."
But she then glanced sideways to the sort-of-referee, after her opponent's introduction, her jolly face a remembrance that this tourney was indeed for fun. "So, what are you doing?" Grinned she. "Sound the frying signal already!"
The referee was still a bit shocked, perhaps, because he scrambled to raise and brought down his hand in a proper manner.
And instantly, without even a single word, The Duchess advanced.
Was it...was it allowed for someone to move that fast?
Perhaps that was the privilege of nobility. Or perhaps she might have inherited a long-line of warrior's genes from her famed ancestors, the warlike Dukes and Duchesses of Bion. Or maybe she was just that skilled. Hidden behind that small stature was an explosive power, as she closed the distance between her and Randio in such speed and precise movements. While clearly not in the realm of supernatural, it was still amazing how quickly she could move, a product of a lifetime of training. Likely one of the nimblest opponent Randio had ever faced.
And her sword-arm seemed to have a mind of itself, positioning itself to strike any weak point almost seemingly independent from her legs movements. She was a dangerous foe, this one. Her every movements were calculated for lethality. It seemed that The Duchess did not care to gauge her opponent first. Then again, she had the advantage of having seen Randio fight before.
In an instant her sword came slashing from the right, followed by a fast strike to Randio's left executed in such a maneuver which seems to seamlessly moved from one end to another. In a complete contrast to the lady that Randio fought before, this one pushed the gas full throttle since the very beginning.
The lady spoke in a matter that seemed a tad peculiar. Randio couldn't quite put his finger on what exactly it was. He concluded that perhaps this was just how the higher nobility tended to talk. He also concluded that he would have to get something to eat after all of this was over.
A shift in behaviour became apparent in the Duchess. Gone was the boisterous teenage girl that stood there earlier, if just for a moment. Before him now stood the Duchess of Bion, addressing him in a tone that reminded him of how his relatives would speak to commoners: formal with a hint of authorative.
Randio bowed his head slightly. "My name is Randio Arthius Osin, Your Grace. Son of Sir Rodius. Squire to Dame Sorin Adoni." He mentioned his father because he was relatively well-known. The man was a respected warrior, but his real talent was with words. He was constantly making efforts to establish friendships with other nobles within the realms, allegedly to potentially improve their family's future. Mentioning Sorin was less of evoking a sense of familiarity than showing respect to the person who taught him. Most of what he was about to show could be attributed to her teachings, after all.
What in the name of Hylia!
The referee had barely sounded the signal when the little lady darted toward him at a pace Randio had not anticipated. The force with which the Duchess's blade struck his shield was also unexpectedly strong, whether it was due to the momentum or just the girl's raw strength. He had scantily recovered from this first strike when the next one was already well on its way, circumventing his shield and hitting the redhead on his left side. Had this not been a mock fight, he could've been in big trouble; padded armour or no. He grunted audibly, cursing himself under his breath. He parried another strike from the lady's sword with his own, if barely.
His opponent wasn't just fast, she was also surprisingly precise. Her fighting style seemed to be based on unpredictability and deceit. Her sword arm seemed to move into different directions than what her body language would indicate. Despite this, her strikes still had a speed and fluidity to them that kept Randio on the defencive. It was clear that this girl was well-trained, and was a different beast altogether than the contestants he faced before.
Beads of sweat appeared on Randio's head as he kept on just barely managing to defend himself from Maedhra's attacks. Trying to outspeed her was out of the question, for sure. The reckless tactics he used to defeat Tahmina weren't going to work. Randio would have to find another way to tip the scales for this fight. Most battles have one thing in common: they can all be decided with one good strike. Sometimes that meant hitting the opponent before they hit you. Other times you would have to be patient and find the best opportunity to put the situation back into your favour. It was a consistent factor in his training too. All the people he was trained by seemed to endorse a fighting style that depended on staying on the defencive. To be sturdy like a boulder, and break your adversary's balance, creating an opportunity for your next stike.
Randio decided that this tried and true method would have to be applied. Outspeed her he would not, but he did outclass her in size and therefore, presumably in strength. As the Duchess took another swing at him, the squire charged forward for a mighty shield bash, hoping it would put the girl out of balance. He followed it up with a slash towards Maedhra's left.
The red haired once again cursed himself for getting himself into this situation. Had he not told her to not hold back, he could have taken the time to gauge her first. Perhaps he even could have ended the fight before it would get too dangerous. Then again, when had he ever made things easy for himself?
Being challenged like this was what Randio Osin lived for.
Hear now, Reverie, daughter of fire, Spear of Hyrule, to valiant hearts sing Of victory waiting, yet to be claimed from The steel-bond forgers of wicked Eleazar.
It was hard to believe that a mere four days had passed since the siege. Though Reverie had only taken a few cuts in battle, she was only today able to begin to relax. Perhaps it was her proximity to the memories that lie within the castle walls, or the knowledge that she had been involved in a siege to retake a city in which she had lived for more than a century. It had been more than a normal battle, and was one in which Reverie was proud to have taken part, despite quietly refusing a reward.
Soldiers had a strange way of looking at things, she had decided. Even beyond the normal distinctions between infantry, guardsfolk, and knights, the humours changed as well. Generally, non-knighted infantry were farmers or city-dwellers who had only a basic level of training and required oversight. Depending on the amount of time needed for their wounds to heal, most had returned to their homes as soon as possible after the fighting had ended. What remained, a mixture of guard officers and knights within the nobility, decided the best way to celebrate the broken streets and burning skyline of Hyrule was to have a tournament. While the stonemasons and carpenters worked themselves to exhaustion ensuring a home to return to, these noble few would celebrate with steel.
That wasn’t to say Reverie had avoided participating entirely. She felt uncomfortable entering Hyrule Castle Town these last twenty years and refused herself entry even now, when she might be able to help. Her sins required more than pretty words and a steady hammer to repent. She had spent the last few days whittling away her remaining funds on drink and repairs at the edge of the makeshift camp, lying in the grass and planning what she would do next. What she could do was earn back her spent rupees by participating in battle, pack up her things, and leave with the morrow’s dawn. And so she had done; more than once since dawn, she had taken up her spear and entered the ring, her dancing outmanoeuvring those who stood against her, and her pouch was all the more full for it.
But what was happening in this moment interested her far more than her own trials. The red-haired Hylian boy who had fought his way through a few opponents thus far, and was currently standing against one of those aforementioned nobles, reminded her of someone. His fighting style, especially in this current match, was fairly standard for the knights she had served with, but contained a few extra, very particular, quirks. She had determined she would speak to him after this match… assuming he was still conscious.
The blonde blur he faced was someone she knew well. Reverie had only seen Bion a few times, once when on campaign some fifty years prior, and then again when taking a contract from the late Duke. That last time, she had met his daughter, though she was still in swaddling clothes and would certainly have no memory of it. Her reputation had grown nearly as quickly as she had, however. Only sixteen and already a real red demon on the battlefield. A pity that one so young had to be involved in war, but while she couldn’t relate to it, Reverie understood the urgency with which most Hylians viewed their lives.
It was Dame Sorin Adoni’s name being spoken that cleared the confusion. The last apprentice she had taken on before her resignation. So she had not only become a knight, but was taking on squires of her own? Some small amount of pride swelled in her chest, and she watched the remainder of the battle with even more interest.
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jul 2, 2020 9:07:29 GMT -5
Maedhra could not quite place it but she seemed to have heard the name before. Maybe it was from one of her knights tall tales? Or perhaps something she had heard when she campaigned in foreign lands as part of The Free Company? Or maybe it was something from her father?
One thing for sure, this Osin family must have been quite famous for Maedhra to have heard of them. She was not the best at remembering names, so the ones that do surely had something to it. Which begs the question of what did this Osin do being a grunt of an army like this? Interesting....
True to her fearsome epithet, The Red Demon attacked Randio with such savage speed and precision that the onlookers could not help but drew a sharp breath of admiration, even though they knew their rupees were on the line. It was always the ways of the world that, once in every generation, there would be someone born which seemed to be blessed with singular purpose, their innate abilities and way of thoughts geared towards a specific route which they would inevitably excelled at. People who would be called a "natural talent" or even a genius. If trained in a correct environment and supported towards their chosen path, they were the ones who would in the end show the world the pinnacle of what one being could achieve.
Maedhra was not in her pinnacle yet, but her people believed that they had found that special one in her. Someone who was born for her chosen path of warfare, trained in it by the unique tradition she was born in and the ruthless parents and peers she had all her life.
And it seemed that most people present agreed.
Maedhra could see it. Her opponent's movements: his body naturally sent signals which helped him prepared his next move, but which registered to her instinctual mind as information to adjust her own movements even before the action was executed. He was well-trained, that much was certain. Someone like Maedhra could easily picked the hints of experience, and this Randio had plenty of it. His fighting style seemed orthodox enough yet effective, and Maedhra noticed with glee how her initial attacks mostly failed to connect, though her sheer speed put him in the corner somewhat.
She could tell that after some time, he had managed to pick her unique style, her own improvement on the traditional Bion style passed through generations. Early in her life she had deduced that deception was the key in snatching that single blow that so often decided a match. Two people could have similar speed and strength and perception of what their opponent would do and the experience necessary to respond to it. But if one could deceive the other of their own intention and subsequently did what the other party did not foresee, she would gain a tremendeous advantage. The body naturally sent signals before it moved. that was non-negotiable. But perhaps a trained mind could control it and perhaps even twist it to her advantage. To that end she studied her duchy's extensive manual treaties and even forced many mock battles between her best nights to understand their movements. Which after years of honing it herself, she had arrived at the way she fought now: it almost seemed that her limbs and her body were separate entities. One of her fondest memories was the baffled look in her swordmaster's face when he found out that he could not guess where she would strike next. She still needed more experience to perfect such radical approach, but the fundamentals were there.
As her precise slashes continued unabated, Maedhra could see her opponent's muscles became taut. Ah, that changing shape in the forearm which indicated an increase in handgrip. That legs taking a stance. That involuntary hunkering of the shoulders as if expecting an impact... True enough, a shield bash soon followed. That was an advantage of her opponent: having a shield. Maedhra herself wielded only this wooden sword since she only brought Caledwelfch in battle anyway. She was not accustomed in shieldplay.
The shield bash brought a momentum to the squire, which Maedhra deftly avoided by taking a quick step to her left. A swing would inevitably came, which she parried as she turned her body. The end result was that she was on Randio's right side, but with her facing him while he was not.
At that moment, the most experienced spectators thought that The Duchess would finish it with a swing to the squire's exposed back. Surely, it was the most sensible thing to do. But instead, The Duchess took several steps backwards, enlarging their distance considerably and allowing Randio to once again face her straight on.
She was grinning.
"Impressive," she declared, amidst her panting breath. She was far from tired but it was not like she was superhuman anyway. Those heated, ferocious exchange must have had some impact to both parties. "I wouldn't want to get truffle dead in the way of your shield."
It was hard to see the implication for the less seasoned ones, but thoughts did swirled inside the mind the most senior of the Crimson Order.
Did...The Red Demon missed that golden chance? Or was she anticipating something else which the spectators failed to see? Or did she have other...plans?
It was impossible to tell. Yet, judging from the happy glint on The Duchess eyes she seemed not to regret anything. Those same eyes focused on nothing but Randio, taking his whole figure fully. Almost like a predator who had sighted their next meal and would not let go.
A second later, she attacked again.
Yet, she seemed to take a different approach now. Instead of the previous close-quarter, energized slashes and parries, now she seemed to keep her distance, utilizing thrusts and deft footworks keeping Randio at sword-length. Even so, her attacks were no less dangerous than before: each of her wooden sword thrusts would have fatal were she used a real sword.
But it was strange.... It seemed that her attacks were full of... holes? Even right now, that swing seemed unneeded.... It would not be clear to all unless the most experienced of fighters, but it almost looked like her body was wide open for a hilt thrust or even another shield bash....
Of course, for most of the soldiers present, The Duchess stance was as flawless as always.
To Randio's surprise, Duchess Maedhra anticipated his attacks. She easily sidestepped what would have been the blow that would have knocked her on her ass, and parried the next swing of his sword for good measure. It was at that moment that Randio realised he had dun' goofed fucked up made a mistake. It was over for him. He had underestimated his opponent's speed and perception and now he was going to pay the price. Of course someone whose entire fighting style was based on playing tricks on their adversary's perception would be pretty damn perceptive themselves. And he probably was obviously telegraphing his movements.
Too slow! Sloppy! Terrible! Weak!
He cursed himself under his breath and waited for the strike that would inevitably come. The strike that would end the fight before it had well and truly began. But the Duchess seemed to be taking her time with it, and Randio decided that perhaps he should take that window of time to turn around and hopefully keep on fighting for a little while longer. To his surprise, the lady of Bion had actually taken a couple of steps back, and was grinning.
"Impressive, I wouldn't want to get truffle dead in the way of your shield.", she declared.
Was she legitimately impressed or was she just mocking him? Randio couldn't tell, but he was leaning towards believing it was the latter. Why didn't she just end it when she could? Did she miscalculate? Or was it all deliberate? And if it was: why did she hold back, even when he explicitly asked her not to? And what did truffles have to do with it all? Whatever it was, Randio did not appreciate her just standing there, looking him up and down with that grin on her face.
Stop looking at me like that!
As if to liberate him from his discomfort, the Duchess soon dashed forward again to attack him. She seemed to have changed up her strategy, now keeping him at a distance. Randio could deal with these thrusts and jabs well enough, dodging where he could and blocking or parrying where needed. However, he was still faced with the challenge of a much faster opponent. And, again, he would have to close the distance and get in her range to even get a strike in. He had clearly underestimated who was in front of him. Or perhaps he had overestimated how well he would perform right after a previous match. Or perhaps both.
It was getting to him. He felt powerless, and it was frustrating him to no end. His opponent was in control of the fight, grinning the whole way through. Some of her attacks felt like she wasn't even trying. He felt like he was little more than a plaything. It was infuriating.
You're not good enough. You never were good enough.
He started putting more power into his swings and get on the offensive.
Is it going to be like this now?
His anger was like fuel to the fire of his attacks, but they became increasingly erratic. Are you just going to be angry again?
He knocked Maedhra's weapon to the side with his shield and sword.
Prove them right! Prove to them that you haven't changed! That you're little more than a brute!
He kept hitting.
As he let out an angry, primal roar, he swung his shield backwards before hurling it at his foe at full strength. Trailing the now propelling object, he sped right towards Maedhra, sword thrusting forward. All he cared about now was to take her down to the ground. He didn't even care if he didn't get a hit in with his sword. His body was a good enough weapon for this ball of anger.