“Okay! Let’s get this sparring match underway!”
Sumara said and she smiled, excited despite herself. Nodding in agreement, they turned to look at each other in the face.
“I won’t lose!” Ondine declared.
Lakshman’s eyes opened wide in surprise. Ondine, in turn, was taken aback by his reaction.
“What?” she asked. “Surprised by my words?”
“Yeah,” Lakshman said and he smiled. “You surprised me there a bit.”
“Hmph!” Ondine said. “You shouldn’t be, master. We are going to have a sparring match between us. I expect you to fight to your fullest abilities and not hold back.”
“I guess,” Lakshman said and smiled as he scratched his head.
“So then?” she asked. “You got anything to say to me?”
“Well…” he said hesitantly. “I had intended to wish you ‘good luck’, but… looking at your confidence, I doubt I need to.”
“What?!” she exclaimed in surprise.
“So… I’ll just say: Let’s have fun!”
With that, he smiled and turned to walk away. She furrowed her eyebrows and called after him.
“Sure, if you can win!”
Lakshman sighed and shook his head as he walked away from her. Then she also made her way in the opposite direction. After moving a certain amount of distance away from each other, they stopped and turned around.
“Alright you two!” Sumara called to them. “Listen to the rules!”
Just as Sumara was about to speak of the sparring rules, she suddenly realised something.
She sighed and muttered “Maybe I should’ve told them while they were still with me. Now I have to raise my voice unnecessarily…”
Sighing again in discontent, she began to explain the rules in a loud voice.
“That rules are simple. Fight each other with your skills and strength. Weapon Force, Magic Force and Energy Force are allowed.”
Hearing Sumara say the last statement, Ondine suddenly smiled. Lakshman narrowed his eyes slightly to see the change in her movement. Although he couldn’t see her expression, he guessed she must have smiled. He made a puzzled expression, not understanding why.
“To win, deal your opponent a single blow. It could be to shatter their sword, knock them out or make them give up. However, poking them in the eye or hitting below the belt is plain mean and not allowed.”
“What?!” Lakshman and Ondine shouted in unison.
“Miss Sumara, where did you come up with such an idea?” Lakshman asked.
“Yeah! Why such a ridiculous rule?” Ondine asked.
“Those were the rules I know off from a fantasy novel I read,” Sumara said with a smile. “Why? Did you plan to poke each other in the eye or something?”
“No…!” Lakshman said and he had a strange expression.
“Ah… I wasn’t planning on it,” Ondine said, but her tone betrayed her.
“What?!” Lakshman shouted in horror. “You were planning on poking my eyes?!”
“I… No! I wasn’t!” Ondine said desperately. “It was just a backup- ah!”
Her eyes widened at realising what she just said. He staggered backwards after hearing her words. Even Sumara was looking at her in surprise. Ondine wore a flustered expression on her face.
“It was just a backup… in case I couldn’t beat you by normal means,” Ondine said in a fluster.
For a moment, they stood still and silent except for the wind. Then Lakshman looked at her and shook his head in disbelief.
“You’re not helping your case!” he bellowed.
“Ah?!” Ondine said, suddenly realising at his words.
“Okay, okay!” Sumara shouted. “We got it. In any event, poking in the eye or hitting below the belt grounds to disqualification!”
“Fine!” Ondine yelled and she wore an annoyed expression. “I don’t need such an underhanded method anyway!”
Ondine glared at Lakshman, but he simply sighed and hung his shoulders tiredly. Sumara sighed, but smiled for some reason as she watched the two of them. Then she cleared her throat before issuing orders.
“Okay! We get it!”
At Sumara’s shout, Ondine stopped glaring. However, she still appeared to be annoyed at Lakshman. Lakshman, on the other hand, could not help but laugh out loud. He probably should be used to this by now, but it never ceased to amuse him.
“Not funny!” Ondine bellowed, glaring once more.
Lakshman stopped laughing immediately. The reason was simple: the use of his full name. Sumara would ever use it whenever she began to feel impatient or annoyed at him.
“I’m sorry!” he called and waved at her.
She nodded in satisfaction.
“Good. Now, prepare your weapons!”
At her command, Lakshman unsheathed his sword and Ondine did the same with her two swords. Holding their weapons at the ready, they eyed each other in anticipation. Sumara looked towards each of them before raising her hand into the air.
The tension started to build up as the battle was about to start. The wind stopped blowing, the creatures stopped to look. All eyes were on the two figures standing at opposite ends of each other.
Ondine prepared to rush at him. Her plan was to take him off guard with her speed. However, she saw a cloud of dust rise into the air where Lakshman stood. Then she saw something race towards her at an incredible speed.
Then the silhouette disappeared. For a moment, she lost track of things and became distracted. The next instant that very same person appeared before her. He had his sword raised in the air above him. Her eyes widened in shock at seeing who it was; it was Lakshman.
When Sumara issued the command, he made the first move. He instantly dropped to a position and kicked hard off the ground. At that very moment, Ondine had prepared to do the same, but he beat her to it. In less than three seconds, he reached her and took her by surprise.
At that moment he appeared, Ondine looked up and her eyes widened. She could not believe her eyes, nor at the fact that he beat her to the punch. Then she took notice of his sword held above his head. He smiled as he swung his sword down.
The sound of swords clanging could be heard as it resounded around the area. In a split second, she brought both of her swords up and caught Lakshman’s sword. The impact was so forceful that the ground beneath her cracked. She widened her eyes in shock and disbelief.
Her face contorted as she struggled to fend off Lakshman. Then, Lakshman forcefully swung his sword down at the ground and she rushed away from him. As the dust cleared, Lakshman stood up and held his sword at the ready.
“Wow!” she exclaimed, sounding surprised. “You took me by surprise there, master.”
She was glad she applied Weapon Force to her swords. If she had not, that previous attack would have shattered them.
“Thank you,” Lakshman said with a smile.
For a few seconds, they simply stared at each other. Then he charged at her again, but this time she was ready for him. As he swung his sword at her, she used her left sword to block the attack. Then she used her right sword and aimed at him.
Lakshman lets go of his sword. Then he brought his hand underneath the hilt and grabbed it. Currently he held the sword as if it were a dagger. Then he moved his body leftward and brought his sword along with him.
There was another sound of swords clanging as both his and her swords clashed. Then he swept her sword away as he spun around and did a complete one-eighty. As he spun around, he switched his grip on the hilt once more. Holding it like a sword once more, he brought it to his left while instantaneously moving towards her.
Lakshman swept his sword forward very quickly at her. Ondine brought both of her swords forward and clashed against his sword. Upon impact her eyes widened in shocked disbelief. The next, he swept her away by the force behind the swing.
Ondine flew a meter away and straightened up. She stared at him in disbelief.
“Wow…” she muttered. “He is far stronger than I realised.”
Then she charged at him. This time, his reaction was slowed because of his powerful swing.
“AAAAAAH!” she yelled as she charged at him.
His eyes widened as the swords neared him. Then, they clashed as he blocked her swords by holding up his sword horizontally. He held his two hands and his face contorted as he struggled to fend off her.
“I got you now!” she shouted.
“Yikes!” he said in a panicked voice.
He was actually not panicked, but he was astonished by her skills. She started swinging her swords at him. She was fast and she accurately delivered blows on him. Fortunately, he was slightly faster and was able to deflect most of her swings.
“I’m not done yet!”
She dashed a few meters away from him. Then she started gathering large amounts of energy and poured it into her swords. His eyes widened as he watched the swords glowing in radiance.
“What are you doing?” he asked in a concerned voice.
“Oh, you should be worried!” she said with a grin on her face. “I’m about to win this fight!”
“What?!” he exclaimed in surprise. “I’m still standing and you haven’t scratched me yet!”
“Not yet anyway,” she said as if to correct him. “I’ll soon fix that as soon as I’m ready.”
“And… you think I’ll just stand here and wait for you?!”
“Oh, would you believe me if I say yes?”
“Not a chance!”
With that, he rushed at her. She didn’t even blink when he reached her in the next instant. She simply ducked his sword and kicked him away. He made a pained expression as he clutched his stomach where she had kicked him.
“Why did you kick me?!” he demanded.
“My hands are full,” she said and smiled.
“Miss Sumara, is kicking even allowed?”
Lakshman turned around and asked Miss Sumara. Sumara simply nodded and he sighed in resignation. Then he turned around and saw Ondine smiling. Her swords are now fully glowing with a radiant blue light.
“W-What the?!” he exclaimed at the sight.
“Sorry for the wait!” Ondine said with a smile.
“Who was waiting?” he asked incredulously.
She made a puzzled expression and said “I thought you were.”
“No I wasn’t!” he retorted.
“Then, why didn’t you attack me again?”
“Because… I was talking to Miss Sumara about you kicking me in the stomach!”
“… Did you really waste precious time over something that silly?” she asked him in disbelief.
“I… maybe I didn’t need to,” he hesitated before saying at the realisation.
“Oh well, in either case, you’re going down!” she said and smiled once more.
Ondine took the stance and readied her glowing swords. Then she said “Get ready cause’ here I come!”