The Stranger's Strategy (Not What She Expected XXXII)

14 Jan 2023  C. chou  2 mins read.

Xev panted. Though he’d expected it to be harder to disable the beasts, he’d underestimated the thickness of their apparently petrified bodies. Even while infused, his weapon could barely scratch the surface of the enemy. At this point, he couldn’t even say for certain whether he would’ve been able to kill the creature, even if he’d successfully struck it. At this rate, they’d both tire before they could take down a single one of the beasts.

“You okay?” The other soldier asked, as the man backed into him.

“Yeah.” Xev answered, noting the number of preexisting injuries on his opponent. “But not for much longer. How did you make so many cuts?”

“Concentrating infusion to the blade’s edge, and an angled hold.” The other man answered, between breaths. “Try to aim at its upper joints… They aren’t as armored. You should be able to slide your blade between the openings, if you strike from the side… while holding your weapon somewhere between forty and forty-five degrees.”

Xev was almost struck speechless. How many times has this guy fought these things? Controlling the area of infusion wasn’t common practice, nor was it the easiest to learn or master. Even with years of infusion practice under his belt, Xev couldn’t even guarantee his own ability to execute a move like that more than twice an hour, let alone defeat a creature with it. Just how long had this guy fighting those two?

Judging from the number of cuts and his experience, the man had to be fighting for months now, but that was impossible. Even the best soldier had to have time to stop, eat, and rest. With that skill, the man had to be at least a supreme tier swordsman. However, while full-weapon infusion was a supreme tier move, very few supreme tiers could sustain the amount of energy necessary to do more than a sustained infusion, not to mention do more with that energy. The man had looked hardly older than Xiyana. Was there really such a strong newcomer among the ranks?

“I’m not super proficient with it.” Xev shared. “We may need to come up with an alternative approach.”

“It’s fine, if you can keep one of them busy, I should be able to take them both down within the next hour.” The other man answered without wavering.

“You sure about this?” Xev asked.

“I’m certain.” The other man answered, behind him. “As long as I take them one at a time, we’ll be fine.”

“Then fight and win.” Xev answered, deciding to give other man a chance, given the depth of each of the visible cuts on his opponent. “Trust that I have your back until then.”

“I won’t disappoint you.” The other man answered, as the distinctive sound of metal hitting bone rang through the air.

Xev grinned as his opponent charged at him. It looked like the fun was just getting started.

C. Chou
C. Chou

A writer that loves cabbages and bamboo, but also enjoys writing and sharing fiction (particularly the fantasy genre). Find me on Medium at: