Kenhaund lunged at his opponent at once. The Feline was nimble, and dodged Kenhaund’s rapier thrust effortlessly. Kenhaund expected it though, and turned at once to parry the counter with his dagger. The fighters pushed each other away with their blades and paced in a circle, judging each other’s next move.
Kenhaund lived for Rapier and Dagger matches, but this one was different. This fight was not for his honor, but for his country’s. The Canines and the Felines were in a cold war, each poised to destroy each other, but neither willing to risk the great loss of life. The tension in the room was palpable, despite both sides cheering on their champion. It was if this match was to determine the victor between two great world powers. Had Kenhaund known this, he may not have ever volunteered to fight.
Canxiama, Kenhaund’s opponent, hissed as he came about with a barrage of thrusts and swings, leaving Kenhaund no choice but to parry only. Kenhaund could find no window for a counter, so he let the cat exert all his energy, saving his own for later.
A swish across Kenhaund’s chest tore his shirt, but his mail protected him. He cursed silently as the official called a point for the Feline, and Felines’ side cheered loud while the Canines howled their displeasure.
Kenhaund made a quick maneuver to attack the Feline’s leg, but the cat batted it away with his rapier. Canxiama’s smug whisker twitch combined with that smirk was already driving Kenhaund mad, and they had only met this morning. Kenhaund began to pant, which always embarrassed him.
Tongue lolling out, Kenhaund tried a barrage of his own, quick slices of the rapier and fast jabs with the dagger. Canxiama’s eyes grew wide and he floundered, his parrying sloppy and uncontrolled.
That got his attention, Kenhaund thought.
But just as Kenhaund was about to lunge, Canxiama spun around and cut Kenhaund across the face with his own claws.
Again came the howls of displeasure, this time from both sides. Such a move was illegal, so Canxiama was penalized one point, which infuriated the Felines.
Kenhaund waived away medical attention as it came near. He brought his hand up to his face and then looked at his hand. The blood was minimal, but the smell and sight of it awoke in him the primal Howl of the Hunt, and his fellow Canines joined him. Then he snarled and bared his teeth. For the first time since the match began, Kenhaund saw fear in his opponent.
Now the fight really begins.
(The word prompt today was “Cut.”)