At last, he spoke, “This gnome must be quite the terror if the three of you are required to subdue him.”
The men were surprised and stopped their attack. Tossing the gnome to the ground, they moved to encircle Linvin. “This is none of your affair, traveler. Be gone with you or share the fate of the gnome.”
Linvin laughed with aconfident grin. “You three are pathetic. What crime has this fellow committed that warrants such a beating?”
The man doing the talking drew his sword and pointed it at Linvin. The others followed suit. “Like I said, Mister, it’s none of your business.”
Linvin looked at the tip of the sword in amusement. He shook his head and smirked. “Oh, my dear gentlemen, you are about to do something most foolhardy. If you keep weapons out of this, I will deliver a sound thrashing to you. But if you insist on using your blades, I will be forced to kill you. Think,for just a moment,before you throw your lives away.”
The man closest to Linvin was incensed.
“Why, you impertinent little dog!” He raised his sword to strike his foe. Linvin anticipated the move and knocked the sword to the ground with a sweeping blow from his own. In the same motion, he wheeled around and struck the pommel into the man’s forehead, depositing him on his bottom.
Before the other men could respond to the action, Linvin raised his arm and made a forward gesture with his hand. The twins appeared from behind the rocks with their bows drawn and pointed squarely at the other humans. The men froze in their positions, close enough to see the intricacies of the arrow tips.
Linvin saw that his blow had sliced the man’s sword hand. The extent of the wound was obscured as blood flowed freely from the region. He cowered on the ground and pressed it against his shirt to stop the bleeding. Linvin kicked the man, sending him to his back. Then Linvin stuck a foot on wounded man’s chest and brought the blade of his sword directly against the man’s neck.
Linvin held his free hand aloft as he addressed the other men. “Gentlemen, allow me to introduce my cousins. They can strike a sparrow’s eye with an arrow from five times this distance, so cutting down two spineless wretches like you would prove little challenge. If you think that I am bluffing, then by all means, make a move. Otherwise, I need only lower my arm to order your demise.” The men still standing lowered their weapons.
Linvin once again turned his attention to the man on the ground. He pressed the blade with greater firmness against the man’s neck. “Your friends make better choices than you, good sir.
Now you will answer me. Why do you terrorize this gnome?”
The man answered with the question “Who are you?”
“I am the one who’s going to be burying you if you do not answer me now,” Linvin responded ashis anger swelled.
The man shook with fear but managed to speak. “This gnome is a thief and he was getting his due.”
Linvin shook his head. “I do not care if he is the most wanted criminal in the world. It still should not take three men to handle him. You will let him go!”
The man became obstinate. “I don’t take orders from elves or half-breeds.”
Linvin raised his eyebrows at the statement. Then he removed his foot from the man’s chest and ground his heel onto the man’s wounded hand. The human shrieked in pain. “You are in no position to bargain here,” Linvin told him. “Swear to end your vendetta against this gnome.”
The man nodded his head in agreement. Linvin removed his heel from the man’s hand but kept his blade to the man’s throat. “Now tell your friends to drop their weapons.” The man urged his companions to disarm, but they did not move.
Linvin began to lose patience. “You know my cousins are becoming fatigued from holding those arrows. If you wait much longer they might just slip through their fingers. I would hate for such an unfortunate accident to take your lives. So drop your weapons or I drop my arm!”