Tiragarde Keep (M L): Try to take Pavel down with a kick?

From Create Your Own Story

Pavel remains in his defensive stance, which suits you perfectly. You waste no time circling; you're not sure how long the opportunity provided by his footwork will persist, and you want to take advantage of it. Rushing at the Master Sergeant, you feint a high strike, which he effortlessly slaps aside with the flat of his blade. While he does so, you wrap your right foot around the back of his left knee and pull with all your might. He clearly wasn't expecting the move; leaning back with all your weight, you pull him off-balance and swipe in horizontally with your sword. His arms have been thrown from their guard position, and he's forced to block with the inside of his buckler. Though he turns your strike aside, the little wooden shield flies from his arm.

Twisting his body with surprising speed and agility, he whips his sword over his head and slices down at you. Knowing that the impact could easily dislocate a poorly-placed blocking arm, you step back and to the side while raising your own weapon, allowing his blade to slide off of yours. With your right foot behind your left you're not in a good position to lunge, so you pull your right foot around behind you, keeping your body low and your sword out to your side. Your foot connects hard with the back of his calf, pushing his thigh toward your sword for what would be a crippling strike if the blade were sharp. Somehow, despite being off balance, he manages to dive-roll over your weapon, regaining his feet at the edge of the circle.

"You're a brute, Private! There's hope for you in a real fight, then; allow me to show you a trick or two, and I'll build that hope up a tad." Pavel is still grinning, though it's clear that he half expected the fight to be over by now. You've certainly impressed the spectators, who clap and cheer. Yet despite these successes, you feel sweat running down your face and arms; the opening moments of the conflict were strenuous ones, and though you have the advantage, you're not sure how to press it. The Master Sergeant, however, never seems to have been in doubt. All at once he charges you, the blunted point of his sword headed straight for your chest. You have plenty of time to prepare, and manage to trap the blade between your sword and buckler and pull it from your opponent's grasp.

Just then, a tremendous weight strikes you in the side of the head, sending you reeling. You manage to keep your feet, but all you can see is a blur coming right at you. You try to raise your guard again, but you're too late; Pavel tackles you around the midsection and into the deck, sending the air painfully from your lungs and causing your sword to slide out of your grasp. Raising your left wrist, the buckler still strapped to it, you push it into your opponent's chest and heave with all your might while your right arm tries to keep both of the Master Sergeant's pinning arms at bay. Grunting with effort, you manage to raise him a half inch, then an inch, then two inches; then, all at once, it's too much for you. You finally collapse beneath his weight, your energy spent.

A round of applause breaks out from the spectators as Pavel gets up, then offers you a hand; you're still quite dizzy, and your chest is frantically pumping as your depleted lungs draw in all the air they were denied. Nevertheless, you know you did very well, better than anyone would have expected. "That was good, Private. Just remember: if you use yourself as a weapon, expect a good opponent to do the same. Here, why don't you go lie down. You look a little woozy still; I hit you pretty hard." You take his advice; some marine you don't know gives you a hand back down the steep stairs, and you manage to reach your hammock before falling into a deep, deep sleep.

Code Word Discovered: Dirty_Fighting

You sleep soundly.

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