The Duel

Steel clanged against steel. The long swords met, parted, and met again. It was like a dance, and Eleanor enjoyed watching. She didn’t understand the intricacies, but she could tell the knights were evenly matched.

When Sir Nathan fell to one knee after a blow to his helmet, Eleanor’s hands flew to her face. He stood, though his face was pale when he removed his helmet. He and his opponent Sir Brian approached the fence.

“It is a draw,” Sir Brian explained. “Sir Nathan has been unwell and is unable to continue.”

Applause rippled through the crowd, but stopped when Sir Nathan held up his hand.

“I want to give this match to Sir Brian. Earlier we struck each other, but my blow did not make a solid hit and, I believe, should not have counted. So I give you the victor – Sir Brian!”

More applause. Eleanor’s applause was for Sir Nathan, the true victor of the duel. Such honor. Such chivalry. He glanced her way and smiled. Eleanor smiled in return and dropped her gaze to her lap. She would sit here a bit longer.

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