After gently removing her from the spiked bed, Linvin slung her over his right shoulder and headed for the stairs. He knew he had to reach the top floor before he was found. As he started up the steps he saw a figure blocking his path. The person was too tall to be a goblin.
“Out of my way,” Linvin ordered as he climbed.
The figure came into focus as he drew near. It belonged to that of a young man slightly taller than Linvin with fair hair and complexion. He wore training clothes of a warrior and held a broadsword pointed at Linvin.
“I knew you would come here,” the young man said. “Everyone is searching the palace and the city but I knew you would come back here.”
“I have no time to congratulate you, Child,” Linvin barked. “Now step aside before I am forced to waste more time killing you too.”
“Ha.” scoffed the boy. “You are speaking to Acreas, future Commander of the Imperial Guard. I have you at my mercy. The greatest warriors in the empire have trained me. Your sword hand is holding the girl. We are in a confined space and I have the advantage of height on this stair. I have you beaten.”
Linvin sighed with no sign of being impressed. “So is your plan to kill me or bore me to death with your credentials, Little Acreas?”
Furious at being insulted, Acreas stabbed downward toward his foe. Linvin waited for the right moment and sidestepped the blow. As Acreas’ momentum pulled him forward, Linvin grabbed his wrist and threw him down the stairs. After awkwardly hitting every step, Acreas rolled to a stop on the landing below. Blood poured from a gash above his eye and he narrowly escaped landing on his own sword. Undeterred, he attempted to regain his feet. Upon placing pressure on his ankle Linvin could tell the boy felt a shooting pain that dispelled any illusions of standing.
“You should have those instructors of yours teach you something about leverage,” Linvin called down.
Acreas stretched out in agonizing pain and retrieved his sword. “Come back here.” he called after the ascending Linvin. “Come back and fight me.”
“Some other time perhaps,” Linvin called from the distance.
As Acreas held his injured ankle he muttered, “I will hold you to that.”