What does one do when there is a crisis, no matter its intensity? Most people protect themselves.
For Raul, the unpaid bills of the fleeing customers were a larger concern that the two tumbling bodies in the center of his inn.
‘Martha dear,’ he shouted, ‘Can you block the door and not let them leave until they have paid for what they had?’
Nodding her big head, his wife waddled towards the door. She would manage this task easily.
A knife passed his head, and he had to focus back on the ensuing fight in front of him. The slender woman in black, who had broken down his beautiful door, had Derik down on the floor, and was punching his head.
Bashing into a pulp, he thought.
Pulp… tomato pulp…
‘Who’s watching the damn broth?’ he bellowed.
‘I am, boss,’ a voice replied from the kitchen, ‘its bubbling away all fine, hic.’
Just when Raul made a mental note to fire the drunken fool in the coming summer, there was a movement in front of him.
The girl was stuck on the upper corner of the hall, immediately behind him, like a big black spider. In her hands were shiny knives, which she hurled at Derik. They got lodged on the table he had upturned.
That’s ten silvers more, Raul thought, as he tried to keep a tab on the expenses he had to hold these two fellows liable for.
By then the girl had moved. Out of nowhere, she had taken out two pitchfork like weapons, one in each hand, and was attacking Derik. Derik, on the other hand, was blocking using only his shield. His sword lay unsheathed on the floor. With the ferocity the girl had barged in and jumped on him, it was still a surprise that Derik was still alive.
Swish,stab,stab,swish, ouch, Raul winced as one hit drew blood from Derik’s torso. He was making a second set of mental notes for his new action book. Samurai vs Knight, he would name it. Bad name, but he could always change it later.
There was a sudden gap in her attacks, and Derik bashed the shield on her face. He then lunged to the floor, and drew his sword. No longer disoriented though, the girl threw something on the floor which created a lot of dense smoke. When she re-appeared, there was a long thin sword in her hand.
Katana, Raul thought, recalling from some book he had read on an Oriental empire.
In front of him, the two fighters were hacking, slashing and bashing as fast as possible. Derik’s sword was heavier, so he relied more on parrying. The light wooden planks of the inn floor were smeared with food and drinks, and seasoned with splashes of blood. Every time Derik missed an attack, the girl’s sword would hit some furniture or decor item. Raul’s heart was bleeding more than both of them combined, but he endured the attack on his precious inn, as he was neither a fighter, nor a brave person.
The fight was not to go on for long, though. Derik took a wrong backstep and stumbled. The blow, targeted to his belly, got lodged in his arm, almost carving it out. The girl quickly took out the pitchfork like weapon and stabbed it into his neck. As she watched him fall, her eyes, which were the only visible part of her face, looked sad. That was a moment of weakness for her though, as she did not notice the axe which flew in from the broken inn door, and lodged in her forehead.
As a cook, Raul had butchered a lot of animals. Yet, this was a scene of carnage he would never forget.
He walked up to he dead bodies, moving around the remnants of his beautiful furniture. The axe was of the Town’s Sheildmaiden, who had now stepped in and was blocking the door with her huge frame, her hands on her hips.
Raul was sad that he would not be able to collect any damage money, but he was not worried. This was the reason he had the big stash of coins in the attic. Still, just as a souvenir, and as ornamentation for the inn’s walls, he started picking up the dead warriors’ weapons.