He cautiously looked around them to scout the hills for any danger before he indulged her playfulness and assumed the role of King.
‘Errr...’ he began, but clearly needed to think of his next words. Finally, they came to him and he stood up tall and proud before speaking in a strong tone. ‘O great and honorable warrior of the Circle of Mages, thy powerful blasts have shown that the force of Solin runs strong within you. Will you swear to always be loyal to your lord, to be charitable and to defend the poor and the helpless?’
‘Will you be without fear in the face of your enemies, and speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death?’
‘Yes, my liege.’
‘And finally, will you remain fierce in times of war and vigilant in times of peace?’
‘I will,’ Ninae swore in full seriousness.
‘Then you have pledged your life to the defence of Caldyra and can now be trusted with the power of its secrets,’ he said in a deep and regal voice. ‘By the might invested in me, thy King, by the merciful gods, I hereby declare you a Knight of the Order of Caldyra. Rise now, as a protector of the faith’
Using the sword’s blade, he tapped her upon each shoulder, sealing the deal. Ninae stood again and made a gracious bow, before playfully hitting his sword with her own all of a sudden, the challenge of a duel clearly advertised in the smile upon her face.
Borus blocked the attacks halfheartedly and sighed. ‘We’re not out of danger yet, Ninae. We have to continue our journey.’
Ninae let her sword fall limply to the ground in her hand before she dragged it back towards herself with a pout. ‘Are we ever truly out of danger?’
She knew there was a chance the hunters would follow them but there was no certainty to that presumption. If they were to return seeking vengeance, there was nowhere out there where they could hide anyway. But Borus was clearly done playing around, as he tucked his sword back into a loop around his belt and backed away from her, continuing onwards. Their moment of playfulness had been helpful in distracting her from the vivid flashbacks to her fight, and now that it was over she could feel them begin to creep back into her mind as she followed him, her sword still in hand.
It was an oddly fetching weapon for someone as grubby as that hunter, and was so very unlike any other weapons she had wielded before. It was strangely lustrous and showed very little sign of decay. The leather around the hilt had recently been replaced, she could tell, but the iron of the blade was the original, beautifully crafted and engraved with fine designs. She made a mental note to properly admire it once they were out of harm’s way, as they clearly had no time for that at that moment.
Without warning and just as she was about to sheathe her weapon, her thoughts were instantaneously silenced as Borus spun around and swung his sword at her, barely giving her enough time to hoist her weapon up to block his sudden attack. He then attempted to strike her, a move she promptly avoided by spinning off to the side and swiping his sword with an underhand swing.
‘Aha! You really are swift!’ he called out, a playful smile again illuminating his face—a sight which greatly pleased Ninae. She swung back at him but he was skilled enough to deflect every attack of hers with a carefully planned countermove. There was no doubt in her mind that he was a seasoned fighter, particularly adept at swordwork himself, and she couldn’t help but wonder how.