Orthael felt her blow crash into his guard with a stunning violence. He spun to deliver a pommel strike and felt her duck under him before his shield caught two quick blows. Judgement came back around, its edge silently hunting for the gaps and holes in her guard. It found one and twisted in his grip, guiding itself towards her throat -
The minister stepped backwards, feeling the sword's sullen reaction. No, he whispered to himself, feeling his pastoral pendant clink against his breast. I have already failed her once, I will not fail her again.
The girl came at him once more, swiping high and low, their swords colliding in notes of ringing steel. His will fought Judgement in perfect symmetry, twists of determination and resolve wrapping together like strands of steel in a sword.
You are my Judgement. You will obey my command!
Orthael threw the golden weapon away into the trees. It reappeared in his hand a second later to block the girl's next slash, but the action was what mattered.
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"Orthael!" she spat. "Protector of life, servant of the All-Consumer." Her voice dripped disdain. "S…Flames of the Fire
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