Spar with me – part of the UnNaturalverse
Scarlet stood before the ornate oak table, the Tepes family crest carved into it centuries ago, even before Vlad was the Impaler. The table was built to hold the family’s heirlooms; twin swords, benza and aprinde. Her father told her their names were Romanian for Dark and Light, two opposites that both were vital to each other.
Benza, like its name suggested had a curved blade as dark as night. It was always wielded by the patriarch of the family, Scarlet’s father. Its twin; Aprinde a longer slightly thinner, more rapier-esqe blade that was as white as snow. It was always wielded by the matriach of the family.
Well that was how it was supposed to work. Her father had often told her that although that rule was followed religiously in the earlier years of the Tepes family, for the last century it was actually given to the one whose skill was greater. Benza become the sword of the best warrior, Aprinde went to the one closest to them.
While her father explained it was only because fighting with two swords was never as powerful as someone fighting with one. Scarlet preferred her mother’s opinion in which it was representative of the struggle of the light to catch up and defeat the dark.
A smile plays across her face as she remembers that conversation fondly. Her father however doesn’t seem to appreciate her trip down memory lane. His gruff voice breaks through like a bull in a china shop.
“Scarlet! Are you going to stand there all day or are you going to train?” Sorin Tepes snaps, tapping his wooden sword against the mat under his feet.
“Sorry father, I was thinking about mother,” Scarlet says returning to the mat picking up her own sword on the way.
“She’ll be back with your sister in a few days. She’ll also be disappointed if she learns you have been shirking your training,” Sorin says stepping forward swinging his sword from her right diagonally upward to her shoulder.
“I never shirk my training father,” Scarlet says parrying the half-hearted attempt at the attack.
Sorin steps to the side another swing keeping Scarlet at a distance. “Then why haven’t you been home, I thought something had happened at the place you worked at, wasn’t it being shut down?”
Scarlet doesn’t respond at first, instead moving left in a feint which her father follows until she turns slightly suddenly darting to the right, aimng for her father’s exposed side. Sorin’s sword blocks the blow and he smiles at his daughter.
“They are still debating what will be done father. I’ve been training…” Scarlet pauses for a moment wondering how best to phrase it. “…with someone else.”
Sorin’s next strike is deliberately focused and Scarlet can barely deflect it. “Who else could train with you?” his voice is sharp and Scarlet instinctively takes a step back.
“Someone I work with, they are special to me,” Scarlet says feeling herself blush.
Sorin pauses sensing his daughter’s discomfort, his frown breaks into a smile and a laugh spills from his lips. “So my little daughter has finally found someone worthy as a sparring partner? Who is it my child? And when will I test him, or is it a her this time?”
“I’ll tell you if you can beat me,” Scarlet says firmly, her father’s laugh had annoyed her too much to let it go.
“As you wish, so what do you want if I can’t?” Sorin says still smiling.
“I want to invite them over for dinner,” Scarlet says raising her sword up.
Sorin smiles and nods. “Granted.”
With a determined cry Scarlet launches at her father…