323 The Verses of Victory IV
Rima hit the ground with a smack, the stone floor jarring her arms where she managed to catch herself. Her face throbbed where Gryffyn had hit her with the hilt of his sword, and she could taste the metallic tang of blood in her mouth.
She took a breath, not daring to move as Gryffyn stood above her.
"You are an echo of what could have been, a foul replacement for the heirs I could have had," Gryffyn condemned, "And you're not even good at that. Perhaps I should have done just as Yashi probably thought I would. Perhaps I should have just taken you to my bed, that way at least a part of you would be useful. Your womb if nothing else".
Rima's jaw clenched. No way in the God's Lands was she stepping even a metre closer to this despicable man's chambers. Threat of a beating or not.
Rima's gaze flicked up, and she caught the gaze of the Tribesman nearby, who was still nearly low so as not to insight Gryffyn's wrath. He stared back at her, saw her rage, and his terrified gaze turned to shock.
Rima inhaled, then spat the blood in her mouth onto the ground before she turned to look up at Gryffyn, "You did not deserve my mother. She knew it, her father knew, the entire Blue Suns Tribe knew it, as well as all the Tribes surrounding, and now, as you stand in nothing but your robe while your city burns to the ground, you only see fit to prove them all right. I am not the useless one, I'd bet all I had that if someone got a chance to castrate you, nobody in your Tribe would mourn your so-called manhood".
The room was utterly still for a beat of silence. Two beats.
Gryffyn seethed, gripped his sword and lofting it over his head. Rima shifted, hooking her leg behind his and pulling with all her might. Gryffyn's roar of rage was cut off mid-shout. He toppled forward. It would have been almost comedic if not for the fact that Rima was terrified.
Rima untangled herself from Gryffyn and launched onto her feet to backtrack towards Gryffyn's throne. Gryffyn scrambled to his feet, grabbing the sword as he did so and turning to pursue Rima in an instant.
Rima readied herself. But Gryffyn was a large man, at least three times her petite size, his sword was size of one of her legs. Her eyes registered the swinging pendant around his neck, and she could not help internally cursing at what this situation asked of her. Gryffyn swung, and Rima jumped backwards. But backwards wouldn't get her closer to the Pendant.
Gritting her teeth and working up her nerve, Rima continued to dodge Gryffyn powerful but sloppy blows. As if he'd once been trained in this, but didn't have it in him to persist after years spent doing not much more than tumble behind the curtains with his harem.
Rima registered this, wondering if she could perhaps wear him out. Maybe it wouldn't take her dodging within his guard for her to achieve her goal. But just as the thought registered, Gryffyn lunged forward, stabbing his sword straight towards Rima's waist. Rima gasped, twisting as she breathed in to let the blade pass her by. Shocked by the closeness of the blow, she wasn't able to dodge out of Gryffyn's strong-arm grip.
"Get off me you cockless bastard!" Rima screeched, trying to throw herself forward out of his arms. Gryffyn jolted as he yanked his sword from where it had stabbed into a column, then turned, throwing Rima across the floor as he did so.
The Tribesman who'd been observing the fight from his kneeling position, barely registered the tumbling Rima in time to catch her. They both sprawled onto the ground, Rima with her back to the Tribesman's chest as the air wooshed out of him.
Gryffyn approached with a powerful stalk, lifting his sword up above his head with both hands. Rima clenched her left hand, reaching across with her right to draw the sword from the Tribesman's waist as Gryffyn's sword started to come down.
The Tribesman beneath her registered the danger as she did. His survival instinct kicked in, and knowing that the girl on top of him was far too weak to defend against the blow coming their way, he grabbed her hand to support her wrist and placed his other hand beneath the flat of his blade as he lifted it up. Even with them working together though, the broadsword was heavy and Gryffyn's swing was powerful. Their arms bent and strained before the Tribesman groaned and tilted his blade so that Gryffyn's Broadsword would slide to the left and onto the ground.
As Gryffyn corrected his balance, the Tribesman and Rima shuffled backwards, Rima separating herself from him so that he could use his weapon should he need it. Though the Tribesman paused in a kneeling position as he stared across the few metres that separated him and his Chieftain. Clearly he was in disbelief at what he had just done. Raising a weapon against his Tribal Leader. Her turned to Rima, as if seeking some sort of reason.
Gryffyn growled, "You Traitorous Dog!"
He began to step forward, and the doors to the room burst open.
Everyone turned towards the new arrivals, and Rima could not help the shock that entered her system as she registered Sevis not even pausing as he crossed the distance between himself and Gryffyn, drawing his own sword.
"Rima!" called Tigin.
Rima grinned, her left hand clenching tightly around the pendant she'd ripped from Gryffyn's neck in their encounter. This was it, she could do it.
Tigin skidded to Rima's side, "Are you okay, are you hurt?"
Sevis was clearly the more skilled fighter. More practiced and younger. Gryffyn knew it too. He retreated quickly, reaching up to clutch the pendant around his neck.
His voice cut off, an expression of horror forming as he clasped at empty air. His broadsword clanged to the ground as he looked down at his necklaces, his hands raking at empty air in his panic. His eyes darted around the room.
"Hey, Gryffyn!" snapped Rima.
She raised her left hand, releasing the object she'd clasped close so that it dangled from his snapped cord.
"I think you're missing something if you want to call your Djinn, no?"