PREVIOUSLY: Cecil won his match, while Princess Charming is in a bit of a bind. Meanwhile, Paige is…?!
[Finally finished with tying the clothes around his eyes, Viktor’s hand falls upon the hilt of his sword, which slides out with the whine of metal. He draws in a breath and then speaks his next words in a murmur, partly to himself.]
Viktor: Ah, I do so loath to strike down a woman. It’s a terrible breach of etiquette, I tell you.
[Paige hears him as she’s already started running towards him.]
Paige: Lucky for you that won’t be happening today.
[She starts the battle with a cross body swing aimed towards Victor’s shoulder.
The sound of the blade slicing through the air comes clearly to him. With a single twist of his body, he sidesteps it. At once, he estimates their distance from where the attack had originated and, calling her height to mind, swings his sword upwards. His goal was to catch the underside of her scythe’s steel curve or, failing that, to strike in the general vicinity of her wrist.
She clasps the scythe’s staff with both hands at either end and twists it so she’s able to meet the incoming strike. She flinches a bit when the sword hits the metal of her weapon. The vibration that reverberates up her arms isn’t pleasant.]
Viktor: I must confess, I’m curious as to the reason behind your weapon of choice.
Paige: It’s the closest I could find to my ‘weapon of choice’ back home. Although, fighting would be frowned upon. I just use it to whack balls around.
[She uses all her weight and strength to lower their interconnected weapons to waist height and smiles a bit as she thinks of her next move.]
Paige: If I really want to take someone down, I use my body.
Viktor: Wait, so you’re a –
[She twists and bends her knees a bit more to gain some leverage as she drives her shoulder up towards Viktor’s chest.
Bo-Peep has all the reaction of a live studio audience. Her eyes pop out and she heaves a great gasp.]
[On the receiving end of the impact, Viktor grunts at the blunt force of the collision. As he takes a staggering step back, his free hand shoots forward to latch onto the side of her waist. Without bothering to regain his balance, he allows the driving momentum of her attack to send him falling, dragging her along with him.]
Paige: Hey! What are you–
[Before they could hit the ground, he would shift his body to an angle that would pin her beneath his weight, ideally with his left palm pressed against her shoulder. However, it was equally possible for his fingers to land on the floor beside it, farther down her arm, or just about anywhere else. He could only hope that it wasn’t in an unusual place. He already felt like he was overstepping his boundaries by far.]
Viktor: I beg your pardon, Miss Paige.
[Paige simply chuckles at the ridiculous circumstances of having a blindfolded man’s face inches from her own, overcoming her previous surprise. She hooks her arm around his left arm currently braced on the floor beside her head, weakening his stability. She uses her weapon and other arm to flip them both so she’s the one on top of him.]
Paige: I suggest you give up now, or I’ll have to take more aggressive measures.
Viktor: Heh…I have to admire your courage.
[It sounds as though he has more to say, but he doesn’t let the words fall from his lips.]
[When Cecil opens the door, it gives way to a beautiful chamber, all red velvet and gold trimmings. Against the far wall, a woman, with her hair bleached orange, lies beneath a spread of plush on the bed. The eyes in her plump, round face are closed fast.
Was she merely asleep…or under a curse in need of her hero’s kiss?
Cecil walks farther into the room, eyes blown wide at the lavish decoration. He’d never seen things like this before, and it all looked very… expensive. He spots the bed at the far end of the room, but…]
Cecil: (Where’s the dragon?)
[He tightens his grip on his brass knuckles and warily walks forward.
The young woman continues to lay very still on the bed. Although, as Cecil approaches, he might notice that her mouth almost seems to be puckering up. Then again, it could just be a trick of their eye. Perhaps, she just had pouty lips.
Cecil notices a certain… change in the young woman’s demeanor as he approaches.]
Cecil: (…Is she really, um, asleep? What’s going on with her lips? I know I’m supposed to rescue her, but… something feels off.)
[Cecil is unnerved by what he feels to be a sudden change in the air.
Seconds tick by in silence. The corner of the young lady’s mouth twitches. There’s a tangible sense of tension now, a calm ready to break forth and set loose a raging storm.
The young wolf presses onward, wary as ever, finally reaching the end of the room and the princess’ bedside.]
Cecil: (Her lips are definitely puckered.)
[At Viktor’s sudden silence, Bo-Peep taps her heel against the ground and crosses her arms.]
Bo-Peep: Oh, come on, Viktor! Don’t tell me you’re really giving up. Pull her hair or something!
Viktor: You must mistake me for some common boor to suggest such a thing! Really, to a pull a woman’s hair…
Paige: She’s kind of mean, isn’t she?
[In truth, he had already thought of two – no, three – ways out of his situation. If this was a regular battle, he wouldn’t have hesitated, but if that were the case, he wouldn’t have even worn a blindfold, not even for the Valkyrie. A handicap like that would almost certainly cost his life, and he meant it when he said that he was rather fond of his head.
He didn’t wish to hurt her, but if he surrendered, he knew that his clan would never let him live it down. He could feel a cold shiver slithering down his spine at the thought of his chief’s reaction.]
Paige: Are you ok? You look like you’re going to be sick.
[Letting out a long sigh, he whispers his next words to himself but not low enough to escape Paige’s ears.]
Viktor: I’m sure to regret this…
[With a flick of his wrist, he sent his sword spinning up into the air in shining arcs.]
[Not trusting her reflexes, he shoved her with his right hand before the blade could come hurtling back down and skewering her back. He had hoped the threat of danger would catch her off guard, and if it had, then he would have the means to reverse their positions. She would no doubt put up a fight worthy of a lioness, and he had half a mind to let her have her way.
Unfortunately, for his well laid plans, Paige’s protective instincts kick in before she considers the battle implications or her own well being. She rolls off, letting him have the scythe while still keeping her gaze locked on the falling blade. She delivers a perfectly timed roundhouse kick to the sword coming down on him, to send it flying elsewhere.]
Paige: Geez, man. Don’t do such reckless things when you’re wearing a blindfold. That was–
[She regains her senses, realizing her opponent is holding her weapon, and she’s unfortunately bare handed.]
Paige: Haha, whoops. Really didn’t think that one through.
[She races towards the fallen sword and grabs it mid slide before bouncing up again ready to fight.]
Paige: I– uh– just trying to keep things interesting. It might be fun to switch weapons halfway through the battle.
[Viktor smiled. Her wit was charming. Here was a woman who had never tasted death, and yet, she didn’t falter in the face of one who had. He could not remember the last time he had met someone untouched by the rust of war. Even Ambrosia, the flower of the island, carried it in her blood. It was inescapable, really. However, he thought that such a treasure, rare as it was, should be cherished.
He could not admit defeat, but he could lead her in a dance like the proper gentleman he claimed to be. (Was that not, after all, the mask that his upbringing had raised him to wear? Yes, let him wear it until he could no longer tell it apart from his face.)]
Viktor: Very well, Miss Paige. It’s no trouble at all. I make quite the dashing reaper this way, don’t I?
[She lightens up, her previous stress relieved, and returns his quip with a playful smile.]
Paige: You certainly look cuter than I did.
[Despite having made the jest, he didn’t really expect an agreement, even if it was tongue in cheek, and he can feel his face heating up. He shakes his head with a small chuckle.]
Viktor: If your affections weren’t already engaged, I do believe I would have requested permission to court you.
[Clearing his throat, he rushes forward, swinging his scythe towards her.]
Wondering who will win this fight? And whether cute Cecil ever do something about that princess?!
NEXT: Ready, Set, Match!