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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

defence against Robert's shield. It smashed Colt in the face, dazing him momentarily and
giving the mercenary commander an opening to drive his sword straight down into Colt's
foot and through into the snow beneath.
Black withdrew the bloodied sword immediately as Colt roared in pain and fell. The
mercenary paused to catch his breath, ambivalent to the screams of his fallen foe.
“Hell of a fight, mate,” Black said to Colt between breaths, “but you never really had
a chance. Still, you've got my respect for almost ruining my whole plan.”
“Are you planning to talk me to death?” Colt snarled between clenched teeth.
“Nope, sword to the head,” Black replied evenly. “I just like to gloat a bit sometimes.
Sorry to bore -” He was interrupted by a diminutive form who attempted to stab him from
behind, having crept up close while he had been speaking to Colt. Black whirled around,
sword first, but met only empty air as it passed over the top of the person crouching
behind him. Aiden was astonished to see Princess Criosa, rapier in hand, attempting to
fight the big mercenary.
“Criosa?” Robert asked, as startled as Aiden. “I don't believe it, you fools brought
her along? This changes everything. I'll be able to salvage this entire situation and hold
her for ransom.”
“You'll have to catch me first,” she replied defiantly. Robert set about doing just that,
swinging his heavy blade around, side on, to try and subdue her. Criosa was extremely
nimble however, and easily dodged the attack. She wasn‟t alone. Sayana was again on
her feet and pressing the attack and Aiden could see a shining breastplate moving in from
another angle as Nellise re-joined the fight.
With Robert's injuries, Aiden figured the y might stand a chance. All he could do was
hold his broken arm close and watch from a snow bank. As Nellise approached to strike
at the mercenary with her staff, Robert's shield impacted her helmet and sent her falling
back into the snow.
Sayana roared aloud, raising her axe high above her head then lunged at the
mercenary, chopping with what strength she had left. The mithral axe held an edge
sharper than any steel weapon, shearing through Black‟s armour and severing the straps
that held it in place, cutting deep into his arm.
The mercenary reflexively spun around to protect his vulnerable flank, dropping his
shield in the process, for his wounded arm could no longer carry it. Sayana tried to follow
through with another attack, but received an unexpected kick to the stomach that knocked
her backwards. Criosa then stabbed at Robert's arm but left herself vulnerable to a
backhand blow from Robert's armoured fist which sent her sprawling into the snow.
Robert was too busy to pursue her, for Nellise had regained her footing and pressed
the attack. He met each swing of her staff with his blade. Aiden couldn‟t believe the man
was still standing, let alone fighting.
Criosa steeled herself and stepped back into the fight, trying to poke her rapier
through a gap in the joints of the plate armour, but Black kept moving around, making
her task all the more difficult.
The princess finally made a mistake, dodging left when she should have gone right,
and received an unexpected kick to her midriff which sprawled her out in the snow,
winded. Nellise stood alone against the powerful mercenary, and appeared to have given
up all hope of trying to take him down herself. S he slowly backed away while keeping
her guard up.
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