The fires grow. Fallen men groan, holding their trembling hands over hemorrhaging wounds. A rancid odor worsens. The mansion that served as a warlord’s fortress begins collapsing in on itself.
Neither of us care. We face each other, ten paces between us. Firelight flickers off of our swords. The coldness in his eyes belies his hatred.
“This is how it ends?” He asks.
“You can walk away,” I answer.
“You destroy everything I created, and expect me to believe that?”
“You brutalized people for your own gain. Now you can become someone else. Someone better.”
His derisive laughter rivals the crackling flames. “I don’t think so.”
He then charges with preternatural speed, his blade slash a blur. I’m still faster; it ends all too quickly.
Like all the others before.
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
out of this stony rubbish?
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