The Dance

         The dwarf looked up at the towering barbarian.  “Really?  You’re just going to stand there and watch him fight them all by himself?”

         Viktov peered down at the dwarf, his face expressionless.  “There’s only seven of them.  He can manage.  Besides, I just finished off fifteen of them yesterday.  It’s time that he earned his keep.”

         The dwarf stared ahead, watching the dance unfold.  Elaran’s blades were a blur, the curved scimitar in his left hand and his dagger in his right.  His footwork was exceptional, like poetry in motion.  His blades and feet worked fluidly together, appearing like smoke rising effortlessly into the air, not a break nor bend, just rolling with whatever they encountered.

         The drow elves came at Elaran ferociously, each wielding dual swords.  Blades whirled in every direction, but Elaran never lost balance.  He was immersed in the dance, the Dance of Death.  Today, seven drow would perform their last dance.

         The drow were exceptional swordsmen.  They trained several hours a day until complete exhaustion, and then they continued training, working on every aspect of the dance.  The group of drow Elaran faced now wasn’t any ordinary hunting party.  These elves were the best swordsmen of the highest reigning families in the realm, and they had one objective, to capture the half-drow, dead or alive.

         Elaran blades were moving at an imperceptible speed.  Twisting, turning, deflecting.  He knew he was going to win the fight, it was only a matter of how long it was going to take him.  He could wear them out with his stamina or he could put himself at risk and finish it quickly.

         Finally, Elaran decided to end it now.  He could have fought for hours; however, every minute he wasted fighting these drow was a minute keeping him away from rescuing her.  This dance had kept him from her long enough.  Instead of keeping them at a distance to give him more time to react, he allowed them to come in closer.  His ability to react in time was a risk he was willing to accept.  He allowed them in, making the dance floor smaller and smaller.  He needed them close. 

         Elaran took many indirect hits from the drow’s blades, drawing blood from several places on his body; however, he never flinched, never stopped moving, he knew exactly how this was going to end, all the calculations had already been performed.

         Finally, the opening arrived, just as he knew it would.   Elaran drove his dagger up and under the chin of the drow to his immediate right, cutting through the roof of his mouth and piercing his brain.  Elaran held the dead drow up with his dagger, allowing the rest of them to take in the picture. 

         Full of fury, they all thrust forward at the same time.  Elaran dropped to his stomach, narrowly escaping their blades, which all stuck into their fallen warrior.  Elaran swung his leg out and tripped two of the elves, sending them to the ground.

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