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The Nightmare


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Looking forward with the unwavering eye of a marksman, he considered the situation at hand. He had no apparent way of escape due to the tall trees that surrounded him. He was very aware that attempting to climb these trees in his plate mail armor would only lead to snapping branches and him lying on the ground defenseless. That would surely lead to his defeat, and that was not an option for him. The trees were closely knit with thick vegetation sprawled across the ground, and having this vile beast chase him through the undergrowth of the forest was not a scenario he preferred being caught in.

He recognized his own weak points: any gaps in his armor or any ways the beast outmatched him. There were plenty of the latter to count, with size and speed being his two most troubling worries. However, the beast was vulnerable, and not nearly as intelligent as the warrior. He considered his positioning. Applying pressure to his left foot, which was placed ahead of him, he held his claymore loosely in both hands to his right. The beast may not have been as primitive as he thought, as it moved from its battle-ready stance and began pacing the ground in front of the warrior.

The creature’s eyes never blinked, concentrated solely on the large man standing steady before him. It was very aware that he would be making the first move. The warrior was holding his stance with unfaltering precision, and had the strength to maintain it. The beast’s eyes were filled with the red fury of a volcano, its sharp claws black as the night it resided in. Its fur matted, stained with blood. This was surely a thing of nightmare.

There was barely time enough to react. The warrior swung his sword in a low arcing motion, bringing it up to meet the swiping paw of his opponent. Using the momentum of the parry, he turned himself around to see the wolf already recovering, and raised his sword diagonally, burying his back foot into the ground. The beast lunged through the air at him, opening his jaw wide and exposing his dagger-like teeth. As the man thrust his blade forward, the creature bit down on it with the force of an explosion, breaking off part of the sword. Spinning forward past the beast, the warrior dragged his blade behind him, cutting the cheek of the enraged being.

He soon realized, however, that this only made the nightmare more terrifying, as the monstrosity howled and snarled with the wrath of a demon. As another desperate lunge erupted from the beast, the combatant ducked and spun, swinging his blade at the rear leg of the creature. Even after the clenching jaw broke the sword, its edge maintained its distinctness and cut the limb in two. Howling louder now, and scrambling to regain balance, the fiend writhed towards the champion, jaws snapping and claws flailing about.

This was what he wanted. It had lost its mind – the one thing necessary to defeat any true warrior. It had become a thing of raw rage and lust to kill, exposing itself to all harm. Maintaining focus, the contender danced around the savage, artfully dodging and parrying attack after attack. He could see clearly his plan was working, as his rival became even more flawed in his ways. The loss of blood must have been weakening him a great deal, and he became slower and less violent with time.

The beast could not have made any bigger a mistake. It lunged itself forward in a final attempt to destroy his foe, launching off with all the energy he could muster. The loss of his hind leg upset his balance, and he fell hopelessly onto his side. The warrior took his chance while he could, dashing under the monster halfway through its fall and stabbing forcefully at its underbelly, ripping into its stomach and letting loose a surge of blood.

Whimpering with its last breaths, the beast cringed and twitched as its muscles reacted violently to the pain it was feeling. Exhausted, the man dropped to the ground, sword next to him, as he laid his head on the side of the dying creature. He moved with the up and down of the final breaths of his worthy adversary, resting. His serenity was over however, when he looked up.



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