Chapter 10
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Outside of the camp several figures gathered in a nearby cluster of trees, staking out the layout of the encampment.  They had patiently waited for the right opportunity to launch their attack and that time was at hand.  Stepping out of the trees the figures momentarily revealed themselves as they quickly dashed towards the camp, elves were assaulting the camp.

I had heard the faint sounds of them approaching, rushing out of Aura’s tent with my copper blade in hand, I managed to catch a glimpse as they closed with the encampment.  Unfortunately, I was completely naked but there is no time to do much about it. 

…Because one of the elves is charging straight at me. 

She moved with a sublime grace, as if gliding more than running towards me.  Slowly drawing a pair of swords, she was obviously preparing to cut me down as soon as she reached me.

Crouching ever so slightly, steeling myself as I wait for the right moment. 

The elf girl is getting closer, she fully draws her swords.  It’s obvious that she doesn’t even consider me a threat as her swords aren’t pointed at me but towards the ground.  Well, I can’t blame her, considering my current state of undress.

Instead, it seems she’s going for a running kick.  Probably intends to knock me out in one blow, then cut through the tent behind me.

Narrowing my focus to a point, I concentrate solely on my response.

As the elf came within reach I knew this is it.

*SHING*

I drew my blade, shooting it out in an arc.  She barely reacted in time, she clearly didn’t think I would be able to pull that off, my knife made a cut along her cheek and across the nose. 

The elf girl hissed in pain and stopped to check on her wound but otherwise she was fine.  She dropped one of her swords to check herself so luckily, I only needed to deal with one blade, a blade that was probably four times the length of my own.  What’s worse is that her blade seems to be made of something tougher than copper.

‘Dammit.’  I whispered under my breadth. 

How am I going to get out of this?  I’m fighting an elf girl who has superior equipment, a superior weapon, likely had superior training i.e. any training, and by the look in her eyes she’s no longer underestimating me.  It’s not likely that I’m going to catch her by surprise again.

Damn this girl, she comes out of nowhere trying to kill me and do goddess knows what to everyone in the tent behind me. 

The elf girl swings her sword at me with exacting precision.  I just barely manage to deflect it with my dagger, straining my arms to keep up with the elf’s nimble movements.  She pulls her blade close for another strike.

These arrogant, self-righteous cunts just show up to make my life difficult, just like that strawberry haired elf, their all just here to cause problems, like buzzing nats. 

She lunges forward attempting to skewer me in a piercing motion.  I sprint to the side as quickly as I could, then immediately swing my dagger out to intercept the last-minute swing she made after I had moved out of the way.  Taking the blow at a bad angle, the blunt end of her sword raked across my knuckles and even throwing me off balance.

It seems that every time I encounter them, these embodiments of smug vanity try to kill me.  Oh, I relish the thought of putting these girls in their place, to teach them some respect and humility, preferably on their knees.

I block another blow from the elf’s sword, desperately.  My body is on fire, lungs breathing heavily, arms sore and aching, and my legs are growing weak.  Is this it?  Am I going to be defeated here?  But I’ve only just started, it isn’t fair!

…Like hell I’m going to let you do what you want with me!

I can feel my body twisting and changing, the burning sensation within me growing beyond mere exhaustion.  The intense anger I’m already feeling is exploding.

Lunging straight at the elf girl I’ve completely caught her off guard.  She likely thought she could wear me down gradually, but now I’m charging blindly in.  I smack her iron sword out of my way with my free hand, coming right up to the elf I swiftly headbutt her violently. 

Both of us go tumbling into the ground.  Being the one to fall on top, I quickly recover planting my knees on either side of her body, assert my dominance of the space above her, grab her arms with my free hand and place my dagger to her throat.

Honestly, I like this position we’re in.  Me establishing bodily supremacy over this haughty elf, ready to teach her some humility in…a variety of ways.

“Hah, hah…hah?”  It was only after subduing the elf girl that I realized that my body was giving off steam.

*CLAP**CLAP* “Impressive.  Superb.  You’ll make a great warrior.”  Aura spoke calmly while clapping from the tent entrance. 

“Hah, have you been standing there the whole time?”  I asked with fatigue starting to leak from my voice.

“No.  I took my time to put on some armor, though to be fair it doesn’t look like you need any armor.”  Aura’s smirk plastered all over her face as she looked up and down my still smoldering body.

Checking my own condition, I can see that my body is still releasing this steam.  Why?  I have no idea, though I do feel…better.  Not exactly stronger, but more…raw, unrestrained, as if I’m capable of things I can’t even imagine yet.  How I know this I couldn’t say.

This must be one of my blessings.

While I was momentarily distracted (by my own body) the elf girl I currently have nestled underneath me tried to wriggle out of my grasp.  She shifted her hips around while wrestling her hands free from my control.  A fist immediately comes flying at my face, with an audible smack she knocks me off of her.

She jumps up, dashing straight for one of her swords.  She never made it, for in one swift motion Aura lops her head right off.

The elf’s headless corpse dropped to the ground, unmoving.  I stood up to focus my heightened senses on the surrounding camp.  There were sounds of continued fighting echoing about, it seemed that while the remaining elves were facing resistance they weren’t really being stopped.

While following the highest concentration of noise I caught sight of three elves rounding a tent, and they were turning our way. 

Aura stiffened, prepping herself to take on the oncoming elves.  All I could do was take up position next to her, still naked and only armed with my dagger.  It’s not like anybody here will take a short break so I can go get dressed or grab a different weapon.

The first elf came running directly at us, straight short sword in both hands ready to swing at us.  The other two elves following a small distance behind, one wielding a sword and shield combo, the other a staff and short sword. 

The first elf reaching us took a swing aiming for Aura.  She jumped back to dodged it readying her own sword for a counter. 

I saw a small opportunity in that brief moment and so I thrust out my dagger at the elf’s side. 

Unfortunately, she managed to hop out of the way, but it was clear from her expression that I had completely caught her off guard. 

This was followed up mere seconds later by Aura’s sword slashing horizontally, decapitating this elf girl as well.

I watched the body briefly sway about then crumple to the ground, but I didn’t have time to dwell on what I just saw for something blunt crashed into my head.  Immense pain immediately flooded my senses as I staggered back a step clutching my head with both hands.  I have to will myself to focus on what’s unfolding around me instead of the unfettered pain.  Strangely enough my body seems to respond to my desire, since the head slitting thundering agony receded to a dull throbbing or maybe that’s just the adrenaline talking.

The sword and shield wielding elf is fighting Aura, while the staff wielding elf is stalking me.  I’m guessing it’s that staff was what collided with my head.  As soon as I noted that the staff lunges forward, directly for my face.  I only just manage weave to the side, avoiding it by an inch.

The elf pulls her staff back then quickly makes a horizontal swipe with it.  The fast reaction of this elf was outpacing me, I basically crashed to the ground trying to avoid that swing but now she’s hovering over me with that f*cking piece of wood.

This is just great!  Not only am I forced to fight completely naked but now I have to somehow defeat this elf girl who has superior range with her weapon.  All I have is this dagger which means my only option is to get in close.  I’ll likely take some hits just closing in.  I would really like some armor, and more weapons but all I can do is endure with what I have.

The staff crashed down onto me as I scrambled to get back up.  I did my best to ignore the pain and push off from the ground towards the elf.  Once I get in close enough that staff should lose its utility.

As I make my charge with dagger at the ready, the elf swings out with a short sword in her left hand, swiftly coming at my throat.

Damnit, why do I have to do this?  If only I had some armor or more weapons to use, this could’ve gone differently.

With no time to react, the sword collides with my throat and…well, it hurts, but a dull throbbing hurt, not what I would expect for a decapitation, and I don’t see the world spinning all around me as my head flies in the air.  Checking my neck with my hand I feel everything is still attached the way its suppose to.  Looking at my opponent, the elf girl is visibly flabbergasted, her eyes are wide and her posture has slackened.

I have no idea what’s going on but I’m not letting this opportunity pass.  Charging at the elf once more, I ready my dagger for my attack.  The elf recoils a bit from my assault, taking some steps back and thrusting the staff at me.

Hmm, using that stupid staff again.  My body is still screaming in agony because of that thing.

My free hand moves forward, I’m hoping to slap that thing off course, but she leans her entire body towards me at the last moment.  Her staff passes over my shoulder between my head and my right arm that’s holding my dagger.  In an instant I see what she’s trying to do, she’s going to use the staff to disarm me, then disable me, likely with some form of choke hold. 

In a moment of desperation my left-hand jerks towards the elf’s face.  With a smack the elf unexpectedly fell over writhing in agony from a single slap of my hand. 

Confused I inspected my hand to find that the tips of my hand had grown…claws.  I don’t remember when this happened, it must have been just now.  Looking back at the elf girl, she had four cuts along her face where I had slapped her. 

Thankfully she was still recovering from my attack, so I pounced, jumping on top of her and wrestling with her to hold her in place.  In the short contest I sunk my dagger into her solar plexus, killing her shortly thereafter.

Sitting back to take a breadth I can see the merchant woman, who was running this caravan, and several other girls nearby observing my fight.  Checking behind me I see that Aura is also finishing her fight and that her opponent was now lying dead as well.  Turning my head back I saw girls cleaning up, as though this raid was now over.

The merchant woman approached me, for a minute she just stared at me with her inscrutable eyes.  It felt a little uncomfortable being glared at, especially having everything on display right now.  Eventually she opened her mouth.

“Good work.  Several of the escorts were killed in the raid so there are now spare rations for girls who have proven themselves.”  And with that she turned around and walked away. 

Did she just praise me?  I’m not entirely sure but it sounded like I don’t have to worry about food.

“Not a bad fight, eh.”  I heard Aura’s voice from behind me.

“Ha, thanks.”  I paused for a brief moment before asking.  “Were there any strawberry blonde elves in the attack?”

“Strawberry blonde?  Pink?  That’s rare for elves, they come in blonde, platinum blonde, silver and even crazier colors like green and blue.  But red and by extension pink is to my knowledge nonexistent.”  Aura explained studiously.

“Hmm…thanks.”  I said slightly absentmindedly as I started walking off, inspecting the damage as I go looking for breakfast.

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