“Chris don’t do it” Maegan begged “What if you lose?”
“Meg’s do you honestly think I can loose to someone like Peter?” he replied, reassuringly kissing his wife on the forehead. Truth be told Christophers talents in the army had never really run to fighting, he was skilled enough to scrape though most of his training and survive the few skirmishes he’d been involved in.
Even during his time with the mercenaries his skill with a sword had not been the reason they had employed him. If he needed to fight any of the true soldiers or and one of the knights he was level headed enough to know he didn’t stand a chance, but Peter did not have much of a reputation as a swordsmen, his fight will Tarik all those years ago had proven him a poor and lazy swordsmen and Christopher hoped the skill he did have was enough to take him down but truth be told he was indeed nervous.
“I can’t lose you” she sobbed, “I don’t care about my honour I don’t care about anything else”
“I care” Christopher replied determinedly, this was about more than honour it was about respect and his family name and while the fuel that fed his was the anger of what Peter had done to people Christopher deeply cared for, he also knew that as a family the Vaux’s needed to maintain their ground.
If he hadn’t demanded this duel if he’d crawled away and accepted what Peter have done his family would forever have lost the respect of the other noblemen and would have forever lived in the shadow of the powerful Hamdun family and that was unacceptable.
“It’s time” Orrick nodded entering the room and laying his hand on his son’s shoulder, “Maegan go and wait with Anya and Raeanne I need a few words with Christopher” he old man ordered.
“Are you going to tell me I’m being idiotic?” Christopher asked.
“No of course not” Orrick replied, “Your defending your wife and sister what could make me more proud?”
Christopher nodded relieved he was nervous enough the last thing he needed was another lecture.
“Is that what you think, Chris I know I’m hard on you, you’re my son I need to be but you are a good son, whatever happens today I will always be proud of you and I will always take care of Maegan for you”
“You make it sound like im not coming back” Christopher chuckled nervously.
“Bah Nonsense… Peter is a piss poor fighter” Orrick smiled “But I didn’t want you to go into the fight worrying about Maegan”
“What if I do die? What will you do with the estate?”
“Don’t you worry about it. I’ll leave Maegan in charge of the Hallows see did a fine job without you before.. as for Fraymont we’ll I dare say Raeanne will find herself suddenly my heir”
Christopher chuckled “God help us all… I would love to see the Hamduns cross Raeanne” Orrick laughed with his son it was a nervous sort of laugh Christopher could tell his father was nervous, nervous but proud he knew then his father supported his decision to duel.
“Anyway it’s time” Orrick nodded, following the pair walked though the corridor’s and out into the courtyard.
Looking around Chris could see a few of the noblemen standing around, the women as expected where waiting inside he wished for a moment he’d said more the Maegan as he’d left, told he how much of a honour it had been to be her husband and how she was truly special.
Peter stood inside the courtyard he’d already positioned himself with his back to the sun, unsurprising as the sun was getting low and the light was glaring. Christopher knew as soon as the duel began his first priority would be to move himself into that position.
Scanning the area his keen eye for tactic’s kicked in looking for advantages, cracks and loose paving stones which could unsettle or trip Peter. Obstacle’s which could help or hinder.. breaks in the shadows or area’s of glaring light anything which could change the tide of the fight in or against his favour.
His eye then turned to Peter, he held the sword in his right hand, it made sence Peter was right handed. How did he know that?? He had no clue.. still there was the fact. He’d naturally not been allowed to see Peter after his injury and nothing about his clothing indicated which shoulder might be the injured one. No bump’s in the cloth hiding bandages.
Casting his might back to when he’d sat on the floor of his room he pictured the dried blood, even though it had been cleaned as well as could be expected, tiny remnants had remained, in the cracks of the stonework and ridges in the bed, they had shown him that not only had Peter held her by the throat with his right hand, but that had also been the arm she had stabbed.
Something didn’t make sense? Why would a right handed man injured in his right shoulder less than a day earlier agree to a duel?? Surely his shoulder would pain him? The injury must have been severe for a doctor to deem him a dead man and yet here he stood, confidently holding a sword without so much as a flinch or grimace to show for it.
He noted then that Baron Dacre wasn’t present, he didn’t think much of it but it was noted none the less as all the other noblemen stood around. Entering the courtyard Christopher moved to sat opposite Peter sword in hand he listened barely paying attention as the steward ran though the rules of the duel. “The duel will begin on 3….. 3 , 2 , 1 Begin!“