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The Silent War
*Click* sounded the footsteps of my adversary's soldier. He drew back his hand and looked at me, piercing my skin with his cold, calculating gaze. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end as my heart raced not only in my chest, but my throat as well. But still, I could not afford to show weakness. Weakness inhibited the inspiration of fear to your opponent, and fear, not force, was the key in this silent war. And it was the idea being thrust into your mind that frightened, that terrified your opponent, not the weaponry in your arsenal.
I glanced at him, endeavoring to give the most intimidating gaze I could muster. A few seconds passed, and then the understanding of my unshakenness became mutual between the two of us; I could see it in his eyes.
I shifted my own eyes back down towards the battlefield and then, zoning in on the weakest link in his chain of defense, lifted my hand. I watched as it danced across the warzone, putting my thoughts to action, action to idea, and idea to fear.
I lifted my head, once again engaging myself within a more brief and fleeting war than the one more obviously being held. And, for an instant, I saw fear.
He averted his eyes once more down to the mixed battalions.
One minute passed.
And, at the tick of the 180th second, *click*.
This time, we both understood the lack of time at our disposal, and I went straight on to fighting and countering the foe. My eyes descended.
And, for a moment, my heart cried.
Every trap that could have ever been set, every sacrifice that could have ever been made, every move at my disposal fled from me. I could feel terror coursing through my veins down my throat and into my chest. I could see no hope of victory. Panic. Despair. Agony. My soldiers were in danger of dying. And I was left with nothing to do. I put them through hell, while I looked on in safety. The pain I caused them. The lives I dangled as bait all in the name of a selfish victory. Was it all in vain? Had arrogance taken ahold of me and blinded me from my ignorance?
I looked back at my opponent, only this time he wasn't looking back at me. He, as well, was looking amidst the chaos with an expression of terror.
This wasn't right. Where was that atmosphere of joy about him at his victory? Why did I see fear in his eyes and not relief I had expected? Did he make a mistake? Did I? Had I missed something that he didn't?
I followed his gaze down to the battlefield. What the heck was going on?
Then I saw it. And courage welled up inside of me.
Yes, I thought, this is it.
I once again let my hand dance among the warriors. Victory was within my grasp, and joyful, yet somehow devious, wicked smile crossed my face. With my head still down, my eyes averted to my opponent.