By: Murasaki

Chapter 3

Marty had ran off, but not without a plan. He knew the Druid would follow, so he ran to the center of Camelot's Battle Dome. His sword sheathed and his hands at his sides. He waited patiently for the Druid. He would fight if he found that the druid would put his family in danger, but he would do all he could to avoid a fight. And so here he stood, in full dress uniform, his sword sheathed. His eyes darted around, searching every wooden post, every large black stone for the figure he had met in the sea of reeds. The posts and stones were used to train the Coilsteemers in battle. The place he stood, a bowl shaped area in the center of the dome with a flat bottom in which he was atop.

When the Druid finally caught up with the young Ford boy he found himself in a dome-shaped structure. The figure silently moved through the posts and stones. His eyes scanned each one as he passed it. His eyes moved upwards, to the ceiling. It was made of some kind of transparent material. He didn't pay much attention to that little detail as he let his eyes drop back in front of him, searching for Marty. He had escaped him, but he had no intention of allowing the Ford to flea a second time without giving him what he wanted.

"So you finally found me," a voice called out. The hooded figure stopped and turned on his heals to face the voice. Marty looked up at the druid from the bottom of the bowl. The hooded figure snickered and moved towards the bowl, sliding down one side. Dust rose up behind this one as he came to a halt at the bottom, in front of Marty. "Who are you and what do you want?" Marty demanded of the Druid in a rough tone of voice. The figure slowly circled the dragon/mortal, looking him over. Marty stood still and spoke again, repeating his question as the Druid came to face him once more. "Who are you and why are you here?" He said with more force this time.

"I heard you the first time!" The figure shot at him. "And I answered your question before you asked it." Marty waited for the answer still, hoping to gain more knowledge about this subject. "I am Darkon," the figure said, it's eyes flashing a ruby red. "I want my gem back. Now give it to me or you and your entire family will suffer!" The druid's voice echoed throughout the empty battle dome. Marty didn't like the done of the figure's demanding voice, nor did he take kindly to threats against his family. He saw that if something wasn't done here and now, by him, this Druid would be a great danger to those in Camelot. He also realized that this may be the one thing that he hadn't done to become a Coilsteemer. Proving his worth may be just the thing to get him in!

And so, with those thoughts on his mind, Marty drew his sword. A ring cried out from the sword as he did and he stepped back into a defensive posture. "If you wish to kill my family, you will have to go through me," said Marty. The Druid growled. "Why must you make this so difficult, child?" 'Child? I no longer a child!' Marty thought. He hated it when people called him that. His mother and father would refer to him as such when they were angry with him. Family always comes first, and fight only to defend and protect, never to attack. Rightfully so, he waited, secret hoping enough noise would be made so everyone would know how hard he'd fought.

"If you insist, Fordling." The druid began. "Your blood shall spill on my behalf!" With that the figure leaped forward, his hood flying off. Marty jumped back, just in time to be missed by the Druid's attack. The figure's sword was pointing straight out at him. He felt a pinch of pain on his wrist and looked down to see a drop of blood fall to the ground. He contorted his face as he shouted out in a tongue that the Druid did not understand. A bright green light burst forth, blinding the druid for a short moment. When the figure took his arm away from his face he saw standing before him Marty in full battle armor. The green armor glistened in the moonlight that shone through the dome.

Again, the figure leaped out at Marty, this time connecting. There was a loud clang as they both fell to the ground, the druid stabbing out with his sword. Marty rolled and got to his feet, his sword still drawn. He swiped down at the nightly druid. Up came the other sword, clashing against Marty's and making sparks. The figure's foot sliced out at Marty's, trying to trip him. Marty leaped into the air, his wings spread, and flipped over top of the odd-looking Darkon. The raging Druid came up in a spin, again clanging his own sword against Marty's. Marty knocked the incoming weapon aside with a flick of his wrist and stabbed forward, slicing in between the Druid's arm and body. The figure let out a growl and came on hard, swiping up left, then down right in an X formation. Marty's sword rang against his attacker's and he grasped the Darkon's arm, pulling him in.

"I will not let you harm my family!" Marty shouted, making the show ever more extravagant. The figure only spat in his face and pulled his arm away. The blue haired Druid put a spin on his attack, spreading his wings and swiping Marty in the face with one. Marty took a step back and jabbed his sword in, stabbing into the figure's arm. The Darkon let out a scream of pain and smashed the hilt of his sword against Marty's armor. The dragon/mortal's face place came loose and fell to the ground. Marty only shook off the vibrations and ran forward to higher ground. The figure followed, swiping madly up left, then down right making an X in the air again. The blade of the sword hit Marty's wings, puncturing them in only a slight. Marty spun, one foot out and the other tucked under him and came down from the edge of the bowl, his sword slicing downward. The attacker's sword rang out with sparks as the druid lunged forward with a flying punch, connecting hard with Marty's jaw. A loud crack rang out between the two and Marty gave a slight whimper of pain, but kept on coming.

The shouts of battle and ringing of swords clashing in the Battle Dome had awakened the rest of Camelot. All the Coilsteemers now stood at the door, watching the fight between Marty and the blue-haired figure. None of them got a very good look at either because of the rapid jumping, running or falling back the bottom of the bowl, only catching sight of his flowing, sapphire hair.

Chris rushed down the stairs form his chamber, Denae following close behind. The man's hair flying out behind him as he swiftly grabbed his jacket and put it on, not bothering to button it up. He walked out the door, his sword swaying slightly from his belt as he walked. He could hear the ringing of steel against steel and a shout of pain as he made his way towards the crowd at the door of the Dome.

"What is going on here?" He demanded as he came upon the Coilsteemers. Each of them regarded Denae with a smile. "It's Marty," one of them said. "He's in there with someone. They're fighting." Denae raised a hand to try and calm Chris' nerves, but he was already pushing through the crowd. The Druid decided to try something different this time. He came running in at Marty, his sword jabbing forward once, twice, thrice, than up right and down left he swiped. Loud screeches rang out as his sword sliced along Marty's chest armor and across each cheek. Marty gave a loud shout of pain as his cheeks opened up and began bleeding. The dragon/mortal spun, the armor on one arm falling to the ground. Marty's sword came up right as he spun, slicing into his attacker's chest and he stabbed forward.

The Darkon winced as Marty's sword swiped across his chest and he took a few steps back. He kicked dirt into Marty's face, and spread his wings wide. Marty stopped coming on, trying to get his sight back. The Darkon flew up high above Marty's head. Held his sword out in front of him, and came down swiftly and hard. Marty shot his gaze up to see the attacker rushing in, his sword coming down at his head. There was nothing he could do but hold his arm out in protest. Marty looked away and closed his eyes, waiting for the pain of a sword slicing into his head. A moment passed and the expected pain didn't come.

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