"Bah, yer just mad I killed more than you!" Grumner said, shooting down his friend's arguments.
Targo shook his head, "By one stinkin' elf! I'da had that one if she hadn't tripped and impaled herself on a spear!"
The two orcs resumed their heated argument, eventually ending up into a fist fight. Tarathen shook his head drew back his bow string. His eight companions did the same, picking out targets among the score of orcs camping in the grassy clearing. They had tracked the group from a small village, where they had slaughtered everyone. His brother had been living there, making this raid personal.
"We must be quick, the main group isn't far behind," Fermin whispered, looking at him out of the corner of his eye.
Tarathen released his string, sending an arrow flying for the throat of an orc reaching in to grab another bowl of soup from their cooking pot. He fell face forward into the fire, sending the soup to the ground and extinguishing the flames. Eight more sleek missiles followed suit, cutting through the trees and finding their targets with perfect accuracy.
Before the group could figure out what was happening, another volley was flying in, finding much less targets than before.
"Elves, in the trees!" an orc screamed, drawing a crude battle axe and charging forward.
Knowing their surprise was gone, the elves drew slender blades and advanced, nine to four. Tarathen smiled wickedly and hopped over a small log, sword sliding from its scabbard.
An orc crouched slightly behind a wooden shield, heading right for him. He stepped forward cautiously and stabbed forward. His sword was knocked to the right by a wicked-looking dagger.
"More orcs! From the trees," Fermin shouted, firing three quick shots back into the forest.
Tarathen trusted his friend's words and jumped forward, sword flashing in the waning sun. His blade was knocked aside three times before he found his mark in the orc's arm. The shield drooped just enough for the nimble elf to strike fast, taking the creature's throat out.
He spun just in time to block a small arrow. The elf started backing up, sheathing his sword and grabbing his bow. More arrows flew in, from all around. It was near impossible to avoid being hit, and so Tarathen caught one in the leg, sending him to one knee.
Orcs appeared from the trees as the arrows stopped. In all, there were thirty – in front of him. No doubt, there were far more behind him.
"Next time, you should really check behind your group when following a convoy," an unusually large orc growled, gripping a longsword with the bottom half of the blade broken into barbs. "Unfortunately, there won't be a next time."
"I beg to differ."
Tarathen was standing now, putting more weight on his left leg. The remaining five elves formed up in a circle behind him, leaving Fermin and another lying full of arrows on the ground.
"Really? Well, we'll see about that."
At that, all the orcs advanced. Tarathen began a slow elvish song, one that many warriors from his land sung to their god when they knew death was upon them, singing as he stood straighter and gripped his weapon tightly. His friends took up the song and broke their circle, moving out to meet the enemy.
Tarathen knew he was going to die, so he went all out, losing himself in his song. He reacted by instinct and reflex, not thinking about a single action he made. An orc in front of him fell, throat cut open. Another took its place and managed to block two strikes before a flurry of attacks had it stumbling back, a dozen holes appearing in its armor.
Again, another stepped up, shield and axe in hand. Tarathen slapped the weapon up high and knifed his free hand – in which a small dagger was gripped – into the creature's forehead.
The elf spun and deflected a spear with his dagger while his sword stabbed three times in the opponent's stomach.
A roar alerted the veteran fighter that the leader of this band of orcs was charging in.
Sure enough, when Tarathen turned around, the orc was running for him, large sword gripped in one hand – how was that even possible? – and a small stone shield strapped to his right arm. The elf crouched slightly and widened his vision, taking in his surroundings before the battle.
Then suddenly, the orc was on him, swinging in a vicious left to right motion. Tarathen leaned back and shot his arm out straight, barely nicking the shield. He jumped back and rolled under a backswing. His dagger cut in for the creature's thigh, but again met the shield.
Barely feeling the air being displaced above him in time, Tarathen rolled to his right as the sword slammed into the ground. He came up running behind his attacker. Another orc noticed his master's danger and jumped in, sword flashing in what little sunlight remained.
Tarathen cursed and blocked, quickly side-stepping around his attacker and digging his dagger deep into the thing's spine. By the time he shoved the body to the ground, the main orc leader was waiting for him, shield held up to just under his eyes with sword held at a slight angle beside him.
"You are a commendable fighter," the orc said, stalking forward slowly.
Not bothering to answer, Tarathen turned his head just slightly to survey the battle. Only three other elves remained, and they were being hard pressed. He jerked his head back to face his opponent, not wanting the distraction to last for more than the three seconds it took.
But, that was enough for the orc to rush forward and try to stab him. The elf grimaced and tried to step back, and succeeded in avoiding a hit to the stomach, but caught the blow in his arm instead; severing the nerves and causing him to drop the dagger it held.
"And in my death, Lorndel shall know glory!" Tarathen shouted, finishing his song as he jumped forward.
His arm hanging limp at his side, the elf attacked furiously, sword working intricate attack patterns that had the orc on his heels for a moment. He growled and threw his shield forward, blocking a heavy swing. The long sword came crashing in, digging deep into Tarathen's shoulder.
The elf groaned and slumped back, backing kicking his legs as he tried to scramble away from the orc. A laugh escaped the creature's lips as he watched.
"Maybe this will teach you that orcs are better fighters than your puny race."
Tarathen stopped his scrambling and glared up at him. "This shows that you are too weak to attack my warriors with equal numbers, shows that we are better fighters than you. And know that my people will hunt you to the ends of the earth and kill you, will cut your head off and put in on a spike for your tribe to see, just before they too are slaughtered."
"I will look forward to it. I will welcome them with arrows, and show them our camp as they are chained and pushed to be our slaves."
The orc raised his sword above his head and smiled. He brought it down, barbs cutting through into Tarathen's neck, severing his head from his body. Tarathen said a quick prayer for his brother as he watched the blade descend. He shut his eyes and knew no more.
A/N: What do you guys think? If you liked it, would you like me to make a full story from it? Drop a review and subscribe.