A single fight scene
Read time: ~2-3 min

Dira tightened her grip on her sword. Leather straps, discolored and worn thin from years of use of the blade by her master before her own time with it, bit into the palm of her hand. She felt it when her opponent decided to make its move. Behind that ridge with the coress-bushes.
Dira tensed her leg muscles, concentrating on the feeling of her feet digging into the ground for good traction. You’re not moving forward; you are pushing the earth away from you – her master had told her. And that is what Dira did. She pushed.
A flickering of air indicated her movement. Before the dirt dislodged by her launch touched ground again, she appeared above her enemy. It was the first opportunity Dira had to take a good look at the other fighter. A starved-looking thin woman, there was barely any flesh on her. Tendinous limbs with so little muscle around that Dira wondered how this woman could move at all.

In a blink, Dira registered scruffy hair. There were scars all over her where more than one blade had left its mark. Ok, so the woman did not look like much, but clearly, she was a fighter. She was a survivor, Dira thought. Threadbare clothes that held more patches than tailored fabric. And lastly, two double-edged, slightly curved short swords with hooked ends tapering to a thin end. Curious, these weapons are typical for the Garesh-guards.
The woman’s eyes widened as Dira appeared above her. She turned her body toward Dira and brought her two swords up in a double guard. The fighter shifted her weight to her back foot, expecting Dira’s attack. She braced herself, widening her stance.
Dira saw all that, but she was not worried. Dira focused on her core. She took notice of the molasses-like energy in her center and firmly established her mental grip around it. Dira started shaping it, encouraging its gyration. She imagined vast streams of Mana circulating for which she shaped ever-tightening banks—reducing the width of the riverbed and forcing the energy to move faster. She had to control the flow carefully; the power must not spill over her mental shores. Dira struggled to restrain the surging Mana. When she felt her body resonate with her core, she forced the current outwards. Toward her blade, she guided the flow, carefully regulating its path through her Mana channels.
A deep hum arose when her Mana made contact with the sword. Dira molded the energy around the weapon, infusing Mana into the glyphs carved along its spine. She clenched her teeth and sucked the last moisture out of her mouth. As the final symbols on the blade formed and her efforts finalized – Dira struck down.
Dira’s sword moved. Excess Mana traced its path, the illumination by Mana more felt than seen. A sweet tang hung in the air, energy dispersed, causing unseen ripples in the sword’s proximity.
When the blade met the enemy’s guard, rather than stop, it effortlessly continued. The unenforced metal of the enemy’s blades was no obstacle. Dira did not know if the fighter did not know any techniques or was too surprised to conjure one.
Dira gasped. Just as her own blade passed through the enemy’s forearms, she lost control over her technique. Thankfully, it was enough. Her sword continued its arch, carried downwards by the force of the motion. She saw when her scrawny opponent registered that the guard had been ineffectual. The mouth started to form an o-shape as Dira’s blade entered flesh again. She split her opponent’s head, killing her instantly.
Dira released her grip on her sword, realizing that now that the technique was lost, it was not sharp enough to slice through flesh and bone cleanly. She turned her forward momentum into a roll, hitting the ground almost perfectly to disperse all force evenly across her back as she moved.
Just as she ended her roll and found her footing, Dira heard a sound.
“I think it came from over there.” She heard someone yell.
“I don’t have time for this.” Dira grimaced.
Before her pulse had time to slow even a bit, Dira grabbed and freed her sword from the still bleeding body of her opponent. Without sparing the dead body another glance, Dira ran away from the voices.
From within bushes, only a few meters away, a pair of yellow eyes observed. As Dira faded away and other shapes came closer, these eyes closed and vanished.

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