„Saoirse Anne Donovan in the Beginning of a Battle”

The sound of metal rang out in the gigantic arena as swords clashed into each other skilfully, each yearning for victory.

Saoirse inhaled sharply as she viewed the on-going battle before her, alongside her fellow candidates. Two young men were partaking in a duel that would determine who would be accepted into the Nevean Academy for Talented Duellists. Only one of them could win. There were 36 candidates left, 18 pairs that had not been asked to enter the arena yet.

Everything she had been training for was nothing if she didn’t win. Seeing the two swordsmen down there, fighting for the same thing she wanted, made her feel anxiety, but also determination to win. She would be next soon enough. She couldn’t fail. She could’t afford to fail either…not after all the time she had spent training for this big day of her life…Besides, she couldn’t disappoint her father. What would he think if she, the daughter of a captain in the Nevean Army, returned home empty-handed, after so many praises of being a prodigy?

Her hands were behind her back, her fingers nervously fidgetting with her gloves, pulling them by the tips.Moreover, she could feel a drop of sweat roll down her cheek. It felt unbearably hot for -5 degrees Celsius, indeed…

Despite the talent the duellists displayed, one of them was over so slightly swifter with his movements, lighter on his feet, his sword so hungry for victory…He didn’t even allow his opponent to blink, having spotted an opening, he lunged forward with his blade and scared his opponent backwards, which caused him to lose his footing and, as such, fell flat on his back. He let out a frustrated grunt when the more skilled fighter nicked his cheek. He failed after just one second…

A loud whistle rang out and put an end to the duel. A voice yelled out: „Anderson wins! Please step out of the arena to receive your new sword and uniform.”

The defeated duellist got up just as the other man walked out and flung his sword to the ground in a terrible anger.

” Saoirse Anne Donovan, please step into the arena!” Her breath hitched when she took her first step, with the heels of her boots clicking and each step echoing in the vast closed space…

She knew the events of the day would change her life forever…


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