Tanuk shrugged his dark brown coat off, folded it neatly, and laid it down on the ground, knowing that a fight with the legendary Nat Parks would make him sweat quite a bit. Then he ran forward, leaped into the air and swung down on Nat, only to be blocked. Next, he did three or four more quick, light strikes before the two got into a blade lock.
Nat smirked and asked, "Is that all you've got?"
"You haven't seen the half of what I can do." Tanuk replied as he strained to gain the upper hand in the blade lock.
"Let's see it then." Nat challenged as he pulled his sword away and stood in a defensive stance.
With that, Tanuk went full-force, swinging his flame-sword in all directions. Nat blocked every single blow, although with great difficulty. Basically, the two masters fought on and on, with neither of them doing any harm to the other.
With great difficulty, Dustin and Paulo sat up. They glared at one another before turning their heads to watch their teachers fight. Paulo tried to rise up and give Tanuk a hand, but the pain in his chest stopped him. A few seconds later, Nat and Tanuk were in another blade lock, and Nat quickly glanced at Dustin. Seeing that he was okay, Nat gave him a subtle nod and motioned towards the computer in the back. Tanuk didn't notice because he was focused on gaining the upper hand in the blade lock, and Paulo didn't notice because he was staring at his teacher.
Dustin rose quickly and began dashing over to the computer. Paulo immediately noticed and realized what he was trying to do. Ignoring the intense pain in his chest, he leapt to his feet and began chasing after him. Once more, Michelle and the other rebels tried to shoot at him, but he dodged their bullets and continued on. Moments later, Dustin reached the computer and saw that the data transfer was done. He grabbed the data preserver and attached it to his belt before turning around and noticing Paulo coming up swiftly behind him! He raised his flame-sword to block his heavy blow and pushed back with a heavy force that made Paulo stumble back. Then Dustin rolled on the floor to get past his opponent safely, and he began a mad dash towards Nat, with Paulo in hot pursuit!
After a bit of running, Dustin was a few yards away from Nat. However, just then, Paulo grabbed his arm and yanked back, catching him off balance and making him fall to the ground! Once Dustin was on the ground, Paulo reached out to grab the data preserver off his belt. Just as his fingers began to wrap around it, Dustin jerked it out of his hand and tossed it towards Nat in desperation, feebly hoping that he could catch it! As Nat was blocking a flurry of Tanuk's strikes, he saw the data preserver go flying through the air in his direction, so in the blink of an eye, he swung his sword at Tanuk, cutting deep into his shoulder before kicking him to the ground and catching the data preserver in his left hand!
When Paulo saw his teacher fall to the ground, clutching his shoulder in pure agony, he sheathed his flame-sword and dashed over to him. He helped him to his feet and hurried him out of the palace so he could get medical attention, while Nat simply watched. Dustin started to rush forward to stop them, but Nat held him back.
"Leave them alone now. We've already completed our mission. Those weapon blueprints are safe, and that's what matters most."
"But Mr. Parks, if they get away, they'll just come back and do the same thing!" Dustin exclaimed.
"We'll deal with that when the time comes. Have patience, Dustin. Look at the four of us. Who survived the entire battle without a scratch?"
Dustin thought for a second and replied, "You did."
"Who had the most patience in dealing with his opponent?"
Dustin sighed. "You did."
"Well then, what's that teach you?"
"That patience is the best policy, I suppose."
"Exactly. Now, don't let that fact simply stay in your head; apply it."
Dustin nodded and continued to watch the two Haskarsian knights walk away.
Back in the encampment behind the palace a few hours later, Nat, Dustin, Jude, Kyle, and Michelle stood with Kenneth, talking excitedly about their recent victory.
"Thank you so much for your help, Mr. Parks and Prince Rickland." Kenneth said with his eyes tearing up in gratefulness. "I believe this is the beginning of the end for the Haskarsian Empire, and it's all because of you."
Nat nodded pleasantly. "You're very welcome, but don't thank me. Thank the Lord instead. I'm a bit dusty, but we managed to pull it off with His help."
Dustin said, "You're welcome. With how little I've learned so far, I really surprised myself today."
Kenneth smiled. "I guess adrenaline can be a gift sometimes."
Dustin nodded before frowning and saying, "But I'm confused about one thing: Why was it so important that we keep those weapon blueprints safe? Would it have been the end of the world if the Haskarsians had got their hands on them?"
"Possibly." replied Kenneth. Then he motioned to one of his men standing nearby.
"Yes sir, what is it?" the man asked as he walked over.
"Show them the blueprint for that weapon we were designing."
The man took the data preserver out of Nat's hand and inserted half of it into a projector that hung over a white table. A few seconds later, an image of a queer-looking gun appeared on the table. It had a handle that attached to a big cylinder, which led to a very long, very thin barrel. Overall, it looked very intimidating.
Dustin looked at Kenneth and said, "That looks really scary, but what is it?"
"We call it the de-atomizer. When you fire it at an object, it falls apart at an atomic level. When we finish producing these weapons, the Haskarsians will never be able to keep their hold on us, and that's why we were so afraid of them getting their hands on it."
Dustin shook his head in approval, but Nat was concerned. "That's all fine and good right now, but how can we be sure that Localaku won't use these weapons one day for evil?"
Kenneth looked at Nat reassuringly. "Once Localaku becomes independent, we'll make sure to keep peaceful in our dealings with Moreskoa."
Then Dustin, Jude, Kyle, and Michelle went outside and joined the huge celebration that was being held by the rejoicing Localakan rebels. Some men pulled out old instruments and played festive music for the joyous occasion, while others danced in delight. Those who knew how to cook made a humungous feast of roasted ham, vegetable stew, and many other delicious dishes. Others passed out cups of wine or juice. Never again would Localaku have to suffer under an oppressive Haskarsian yoke, thanks to the efforts of the young Moreskoan prince and his teacher.
Author's note: Well, there you have it! If you enjoyed this story or have constructive criticism to make, please let me know in the comments. Also, if you liked this one, stay tuned for the sequel, which is in the works. Thanks for reading!