Unexpected Adventure, Part Five
Regis’ twin swords were out in a second. The metal glinted from the light of the snow. “Who are you?”
The figure didn’t answer. The wind became a gale.
Snow came up in a wave. Regis ducked his head and held an arm out. The snow coated him, and worked its way into gaps. Pricks of cold spread until he was nearly numb.
He squinted, trying to see through the wall of white. Something cold and hard smacked his face. He stumbled back, wiping his eyes.
Suddenly, the wind stopped. The lifted snow fell in a silent scatter.
Regis swiped the last of the snow from his vision. The figure was directly in front of him, a puff of white coming from the blackness of the hood.
“Who are you?”
“You don’t remember me?”
Regis swung his swords, one at the neck and the other at the midriff. They clanged against gauntlets.
“You dare attack me with inferior metals?” The man sounded offended. And his middle was wide-open for a quick thrust.
Regis pulled one sword back. Or, tried to. It stuck to the gauntlet. He planned to let go and draw a dagger. His gloves were frozen to the sword hilts. He cursed.
The man cocked his head. Another puff of white. “I expected better.” The man drew his hands down in an arc.
Regis plowed into the snow, face-first.
“I know you are better. Why don’t you fight?” The back of Regis’ neck was grabbed, and he was placed back on his feet. The man was several feet away. How was he not sinking into the snow?
Regis growled. “Fine.”
“Excellent.” Slick-black hands ducked back into the cloak. They emerged, holding two metal disks. The man flicked, and the edges glowed; a dull grey that matched the sky.
They charged each other, Regis going slower than he would have wished because of his snow shoes.
The ring of blows shook the snow from the tops of nearby trees.
The man kept his strikes short and deliberate; Regis blocked and followed them back with his own force. The man caught the strike with his gauntlets. He grunted, and a power struggle began.
Regis twisted to the side and swung. His gloves were torn free, some skin with it. He gritted his teeth and flexed his fingers.
The man skidded across the snow. He looked up. Wisps of white air curled back and gave Regis a glimpse of a smile. “Good,” the man said. “But you’d better luck next time.”
Warmth exploded down his leg. Regis’ vision blurred. He collapsed. The snow beneath him was red.