Cyberrsaur and Iron Rat continued to peek around the corner, watching the only other being who seemed to have mobility in the entire city. Being the taller of the two, Cybersaur’s head was over Iron Rat’s, but the duo currently stood as equals as they studied the being.
“I can take him,” stated Iron Rat, matter of factly.
“No you can’t.”
The duo said nothing for a time, continuing to watch, then Iron Rat asked perplexed, “What do you mean I can’t? I most certainly can! He’s big, but that’s his downfall!”
Cybersaur did not say anything aft first, then after a time, “What?”
“You said I can’t take him.”
“That I did.”
“I most certainly can take him!”
“No, you can not take him.”
“Sheesh, such boundless confidence in my capabilities.” Iron Rat gave a snort at his companion, before continuing, “What a pal you are.”
“We’re not friends.”
“I said pal, not friends.”
“There’s a difference?”
“Yes, there is.”
“What is it?”
Iron Rat illuminated Cybersaur, “A pal is much lower on the totem pole of companions. A buddy is the lowest, a pal is just one rung up.”
“What defines a buddy from a pal?”
“A buddy is a person whose name you know and you don’t hate, but you don’t really do anything with. Or someone you drink with. A pal is someone you will, rarely, perhaps once a year-”
“Too often that timeframe for my taste.”
“Perhaps once a year or maybe more oft, you will amicably-”
“I wouldn’t say that about us.”
“Shut up, or you’ll be the dirt on our companion totem pole, the barest foundation of things.”
The duo gave a slight snort and looked away from one another for a time, though still watching the walking one. Finally, Cybersaur inquired, “Is he…waiting for someone?”
“Sheesh, how should I know.”
“Because you’re supposed to be wonderful about knowledge, are you not?”
“I can only know what I’ve learned before.”
“Namely in books.”
“Yes, in books.”
“Written by those long dead many ages past.”
Iron Rat gave a frown, “So?”
“Seems your knowledge is outdated.”
“What an annoying word.”
“SHEESH!” Iron Rat then snarled, “Let’s see what you know then! Who is he?”
“He is from a neighboring village.”
“So you said. But who is he?”
“He tried hooking up with my one ex-”
“Sheesh, but who is he?”
“His name is…ah….Gri….Sl….Sw….Sn….Slu….uhhhh.”
Iron Rat rolled his eyes, “Sheesh. So the only reason you said I can’t kill him is because you percieve that you know him?”
“Is not that good enough?”
“Not really, no.” Iron Rat then asked, “And have you ever seen me fight? I can take him!”
“I have not seen you fight, no, but you’re half his size.”
“One punch of his is enough to rattle you apart.”
“So I do not let him punch me.”
“One of his-”
“Have some confidence in me! But I’m killing him! Sheesh.” Iron Rat stepped away from Cybersaur, then clung to the shadows as he slithered from where the duo were to a more advantageous position, creeping behind a pillar in the pathway the walking one traversed. He studied his soon to be opponent to see his mannerisms and read his movements, examining the probable combat capabilities of his target.
After the second time the walking one whose name Cybersaur had forgotten passed by, Iron Rat struck. Four quick stings of his rapier pricked at the target’s back, but a heavy armor and a cloak had prevented the fatal blow piercing him. The being simply turned slowly, frowning at Iron Rat.
Iron Rat looked up with a cocky grin, “Hi, want to die now?”
“I thought I felt some member of the creatures vespidae try to sting me. I never thought vermin grew stingers.”
“Rodents! I mean…ignore that.” Iron Rat swung out his parrying dagger, pointing out, “And the blade’s name that will kill you is Scalpel”
Tossing his cloak back, the large northern barbarian casually, slowly unsheathed both of his short swords, giving the smaller assailant a soft grin, “A parrying dagger, how interesting. Very effective if I used but a single blade.”
“Yeah, yeah, shut your trap and let’s get to killing you.” Iron Rat nodded to the swords, “You want to use them on yourself first, spare yourself the pain I’m about to deal you?”
“What a lively, if insipid, little one you are. Is not your little tin blade supposed to slay me?”
Iron Rat gave a faux salute and a cocky grin to his opponent. Then he suddenly lunged forward, Scalpel piercing the air as it went straight for the barbarian’s heart. The large barbarian simply swung his left blade in a lazy arc, battering Scalpel aside. His right blade swung in a likewise casual arc, but Iron Rat ducked beneath it before it took his head off from his body. The blade bit deep into the iron pillar Iron Rat was hiding behind prior.
Iron Rat is both cunning and opportunistic, so when he saw the blade bite into the pillar and get stuck there, he quickly jabbed with the parrying dagger, set the prongs just right, and gave a vicious twist of his wrist and arm, stressing a large crack up at an angle in the blade. Normally, the blade would be shattered, but these swords seemed to be made of a metal stronger than average or an alloy rendering the weapons so. As it is, the blade only became fractured and stressed and not splintered and destroyed. Iron Rat cursed as he jumped back several meters as both blades swung forward before the barbarian.
“Only a little. It’s not often a sword survives a swordbreaker, but I feel a second strike against it should suffice.”
The barbarian stalked forward, swinging his twin blades in graceful arcs that belied his size. Iron Rat noticed that the speed at which he moved was slower than he’d expect, the short swords should be light and easy for someone of the barbarian’s size to swing around. He dared not underestimate the speed at which the blades could be swung, but measured the speed exhibited currently.
“Your armor is either slowing you down,” Iron Rat pointed out, “Or the swords are heavier than their size would state. Or…”
“Or?” asked the barbarian as he kept stalking forward.
“Or you are so strong that you can not reach the speed that a typical twin blade user achieves. That your strength came at the cost of the speed and agility.”
The barbarian kept moving forward, smiling, “And just how are you going to find out which is correct, without costing your life?”
Iron Rat gave a grin, then kicked off the wall he was backing up towards. As he did so, he used the height advantage it gave him to swipe Scalpel in a flashing arc right before his opponent’s eyes, causing him to flinch. As he did so, he kicked again, this time into the right wrist of the barbarian, who dropped the somewhat cracked sword. It clanked upon the metal floor. The barbarian countered by continuing to swing his right arm upwards, originally attempting to slice into Iron Rat, but turning the now aborted slice into a fierce uppercut.
Iron Rat twisted just in time to turn the powerful blow into a glancing one, using the momentum of his own twist and the force of the punch to put him into a controlled spin, dodging the swing from the left blade. The nimble fighter then took two half steps up the wall and pushed off of it again. His movements were as swift as a hundred stinging bees as Scalpel nicked into the armor of the barbarian again and again, though not piercing in any decisive and fatal fashion.
The barbarian grinned darkly, waving the left blade about, “That is all you have? Your sword can not pierce my body. You’re not capable of winning this fight.” The barbarian pointed with his empty right hand to the front door of the building they’re in, “Just walk away and I’ll let it be done at that. Naught else but what transpired this day. Go on. A reward for your bravery.”
Iron Rat smirked, “How kind of you.” He looked at the doorway, commenting, “Perhaps I should take you up on the offer. However.” He dashed forward and ducked into a roll, careening off against the blade bitten pillar to grasp the fallen and cracked blade of his opponent. Then he struck hard and wildly with the off balanced weapon, shattering it as it pierced into the barbarian’s lower back. Iron Rat then shrugged, “I’m not very gracious.”
The barbarian staggered and collapsed on his knees, grunting some, “However, I have some slight revenge.”
“Scalpel did not kill me.”
Iron Rat gave a shrug, “Eh, I could be a liar, after all. I mean, it’s not like I promised it, exactly.” Iron Rat tapped his neck, “You should see yourself. You’re oozing positronium from your very fatal neck wounds Scalpel gave you when I jumped at you before.”
“Then backstabbing me with my own sword?” The barbarian began to cough and struggle as he felt the positronium that was his life essence seep out of him.
“Just a distraction, really. Insult to injury. Take your pick. Mostly, it was to insure you did not feel yourself bleeding. Also, because I could.”
The barbarian sputtered a few vindictives at the one who killed him, before toppling over and making a mess of the formerly pristine floor.
“Eh, now to find my dumb partner. Yo, Cybersaur, you catch all that?” There was no response. Iron Rat quickly grabbed the parrying dagger he dropped to pick up the short sword, and began to sneak around. He asked, “Cybersaur, pal? You there?”
A few moments passed before he heard Cybersaur’s heavy footfalls and the rattling of coins. In a bag of pliant metal was thrown a large amount of coins near Iron Rat’s feet and a grinning Cybersaur commented, “Decided to pilfer the pilferers. You know, just in case.”
Iron Rat narrowed his eyes, “Just in case of what?”
“Just in case my buddy died. I did not wish to see that happen.”
As Iron Rat bent to pick up his bag of coins, he asked, “Which buddy? Me or him?”
Cybersaur gave no response as he walked out the front door and into the city once more.