I throw my sword into the snow in defeat.
All I can hear is the heavy breathing of two people. Myself.
And the man looming over me, his sword primed to deliver a killing blow.
Snowflakes are whipped around in the air and cluster around the pair of us, blinding our vision and freezing our armour, where small clusters of flakes have gathered. Heartbeats run wild, and I feel madly for my sword again, instincts finally taking over honour.
There’s a bow strapped to my back, but it would be suicide to use it here.
A frozen teardrop drops down from my eye and rolls down the bridge of my nose. I smile through the tear and say,
“So, this is where it ends then?” a hearty laugh resonates through the snowy mountains, shaking the crystallised tops so far away.
Something hard and cold meets my gloved fingers, and I grasp to it with a fleeting glimpse of hope. Just as my fingers enclose around the dark crimson gems embedded in the intricately decorated hilt, the force of his booted foot slams down on my hand, and I cry out in pain as the bones crack beneath the pressure.
Rolling onto my back, my hand still trapped under his crushing weight, I stare right into his eyes, which are almost concealed by the plated helmet which traps his flowing, raven black hair.
A star shaped necklace, a tiny blue gem studded right in the middle, swings away from his body, which is smothered in flawless armour, provided by my people’s armour smiths. His eyes, nothing but slits under the grating of the helmet, are a dark, cold, blue, but the pupils burn a fire red.
“Vi’Arilla.” He sneers at me, and I smile, which proves difficult as my fingers meld into the pattern of his boots. Every second longer he traps me, the more likely the damage is to be irreparable. Desperately I search for a way to escape his clutches. But my sword is probably buried too deep to find anymore, and the quiver on my back is digging through my leather armour into my skin, with my bow trapped under my own weight.
Struggling through the pain, which is slowly numbing, (not a good sign), I push myself up with my elbows, never moving my eyes from his face, battle worn scars decorating his features like trophies.
“I knew this would happen, ever since that day.” I spit at him as I talk, and his grin deforms into a grimace.
“You caused this.” He tells me sternly, and I stop myself from laughing.
“Sure. I’m the one who ran to them.” My voice drips with sarcasm. Seemingly bored of me, he removes his foot from my hand, which sends a fresh burst of pain searing through my arm, making it difficult to keep my position, as I watch him lift his sword from the snow in which he stuck it.
I know what’s coming next.
I guess I always knew that this would happen.
But I’m not going to help it.
As fast as I can, I roll away from the sword as it slams into the ground, burying itself in the snow that surrounds us. Scrambling onto my feet, I run clumsily towards my sword, the hilt of which I can just see glinting from under the sparkling snow, reflecting the sunlight.
With my good hand, I grab it and sheath it, keeping it for later. Then, instinctively, I draw an arrow from my quiver, knock it in my bow and draw the string back.
He laughs at me, as he finally dislodges his sword, sending sprinkles of snow flying through the air. Blizzard having stopped, I can see him clearly, and my fingers slowly begin to release the string.
Hundreds of years of rebellion, and I stand before my leader with a bow in my hand.
All because he spoke to the wrong man.
“Vi’Arilla.” He mutters. I don’t give him the chance to say anything else, and I let the arrow pierce and soar through the air, lodging in his throat.
Wiping sweat from my brow, I look around me and wonder if it’s finally over.
It can’t be. It was too easy. He let his guard down. He never, ever lets his guard down.
I glance down at my hand, and pick up a fistful of snow with the other, pressing the cold ice against my skin, which is on fire.
Vi’Arilla. He didn’t know my name. I made sure that no one ever knew my name.
Dizziness sweeping over my body, I let my knees give way from under me, the snow cushioning my fall.
A human frame, giant, blurry, clouds my vision of the brilliant sun. Squinting to try and see more, I can’t make out any details.
Snakes entwine the hilt of the sword that rises over my head, two heads merging together at the top of the metal to form one snake head, a red jewel acting as an eye. The metal was forged by my people, taken from my people, and then the money my people raised used to enslave them.
And it plunges into my body...