Friday 28 November 2014

Revens Fang - Scent: Part 19

Reven drew his blade in time with Dodger. As soon as he did so Fang pushed into the ring snarling and baring his teeth. 'Hold', Master Powel walked into the ring and went to grab Fang by the rough of the neck but Fang turned to face him snapping at his hand. Powel flinched away and then smiled at Fang. 'Boy, tell your hound to sit out of this one'. Powel stepped out of the ring as Reven led Fang to its edge. He made him sit and then looked him in the eye's, 'Stay here boy' he said before stroking under his chin and returning to face Dodger.

The bigger boy struck without Reven being ready. His wooden blade crashed against Reven's shoulder and he let out a howl of pain. The sword chop was rapidly followed with a knee to the stomach that doubled Reven over. It was immediately obvious that this wasn't the first fight Dodger had been in. He grabbed the material of Reven's shirt at the shoulder to stand him up as his sword arm pulled back for another strike. Reven couldn't catch his breath and he felt his body quake with expectation as violence was done to it. As Dodger pulled him up Reven stabbed up with his sword catching his opponent under the arm. Dodger yelped and spun, releasing Reven's shirt. He still managed to strike Reven on the arm but it was more of a tap, much of it's vigour having been spent recoiling from Reven's thrust. Reven followed with a two-handed downward swing of his sword which crashed against Dodgers blade with such force that it pushed it back letting Reven's sword tip strike Dodger in the face. The boy cried out but instead of swinging his sword in return he dropped it, throwing a punch at Reven with the other hand. Reven saw stars dancing in front of him as the punch connected with his cheek. He staggered to his left reeling from the unexpected fist and was struck with a clumsier punch from Dodgers other hand. Dodger was so close that Reven couldn't swing his sword, instead he reversed his grip and brought the heavy pommel of the hilt straight up into Dodgers chin. The blow landed with a gratifying smack and Dodger stumbled back. Reven capitalised on the opportunity and stabbed the point of his sword into Dodger's midriff with as much force as he could muster. His opponent dropped like a bag of stones. The air knocked out of him he fell to his hands and knees and then collapsed further till his cheek lay against the cold stone of the floor.

Powel stepped forward clapping his hands as he did so. 'A good bout, we've some scrappers in our midst it seems.' He pulled Dodger to his feet as if he weighed nothing. 'You both drew blood, but you fell', he said pointing at Dodger who was still sucking breath. Powel turned to face Reven, 'If those would have been real blades though your arm would be decorating the floor with crimson boy.' then he struck Reven on the shoulder to emphasize his point making him wince. 'Out', Powel pushed both boys aside as he motioned for two other aspirants to take their place. Reven stepped out and stood next to Fang and was surprised that Dodger shuffled through the other children to stand as his side. Reven turned his head to watch his approach and was even more surprised to see a maniacal grin across Dodgers bloody face. He spoke as soon as he sidled up, 'By the Great Bull's balls, you hit like a lad twice your size' he said clasping Reven's hand. 'Reven chuckled, 'and you hit like a hammer' he reached up with his other hand wiping the blood from his cheek which has split neatly across the bone. 'Think we'll get on fine' said Dodger as he released Reven's hand and turned to concentrate on the next bout.

The other aspirants all fought under Master Powel's gaze. Most of the bouts were clumsy affairs that ended up with the combatants rolling on the floor pulling hair and gouging eye's. None of them were particularly gifted fighters but then again not a one of them were more than 16 summers old. A hushed silence fell as it came to the last two aspirants. A tubby boy by the name of Shenk and Fang. Reading Shenk's worried look Master Powel stepped into the ring and addressed the class, 'This animal is worth 100 of you. We have sent for a trainer for the beast but it will take many weeks for her to arrive and as such I have decided that the hound will train whenever possible with us.' he looked around as some of the aspirants faces dropped, none more so than Shenk's. Powel's face was alight with mirth seeing their misery. Reven walked Fang into the centre of the ring as Shenk drew his practice blade. The hound stood there his tongue lolling out of his mouth appearing to quite enjoy the attention that he was getting. As soon as Reven stepped away Fang sat and gazed stupidly at Shenk. Shenk looked to Master Powel, pleading in his eye's. Powel simply shouted 'Fight!' which scared the chubby boy into action. He ran screaming at Fang and smashed him across the snout with his sword. Fang yelped and looked at Reven and it was now his turn to shout, 'Fight Fang'. With that the hounds demeanour changed completely. He skipped back from Shenk's next swing and then jumped forward, landing with one fore-leg on either side of Shenk's head. Fang tore the boy's throat out before he had a chance to react. With no life in him he slumped to the floor as Fang growled and nipped at his corpse. There were gasps from some of the aspirants and many turned their faces away from the scene that was unfolding before them. Master Powel's eyes were blazing, not in anger, but in pure unadulterated adulation. Reven rushed to Fangs side and pulled him away, both arms around his neck. They hurried away from the ring and stood away from the rest of the group. Powel strode in inspecting the bloody mess that had once been Shenk and then stood, his booming voice rang out. 'We will have these bouts weekly. You will all need to be as efficient as the hound if you wish to survive, only the best may join the ranks of The Black Veil. Stop snivelling and prepare for your first lesson.'

They trained for the rest of the afternoon as Powel instructed them on stance and the importance of posture. Most shot disturbed glances at Fang throughout the training but not Dodger. He stayed close to Reven and Fang and patted the hound whenever possible in a show of solidarity to his new found friends.

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