I feel the blood drip steadily from my nose, probably broken from the last punch to the face. It was a good hit, lucky, but still good. The strike had been a bit high and most of the force had been closer to the bridge, but it had done its job at backing me off. It hurt like hell, too.

Rubbing the blood across my arm, I shifted my stance, my opponent wary of me. Not many people got a hit in and when they did, well things got a lot more serious. That, and I couldn't waste anymore time. I could feel the girl behind me fidgeting with nerves. She was scared and I needed to get her out of here.

My stance widened and my center of gravity lowered, arms coming close to my sides, hands fisted. My opponent zeroed in on my new stance, and tried to counter it, but it wasn't anything he came across before. I took the opportunity to strike, so many openings clear before my eyes.

It was a quick, open palm heel thrust to the bottom of his ribs. He shifted to cover the spot, creating more openings. I brought my leg around, bent, for a horizontal knee strike to the opposite side. He bent in half, trying to protect himself. It was over. I brought my elbow crashing down on the back of his skull and he was flat on the ground. It had hardly been thirty seconds since the punch to my face.

It was time to go.