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' Alexis' stepped quickly on the slab of stone and with one mighty leap he jumped and lunged

at Kaleb. Anticipating the attack, Kaleb rolled and managed to avoid the otherwise devastating and decisive blow that would have been dealt. No sooner that he stood back on his feet that he found himself again under assault from the opponents swords, which raced towards his head at a phenomenal speed. It was just in time that he managed to bring his right hand, holding only a feeble kiteshield, in the face of the incoming weapon. As the sword became embedded in the shield framework, it gave Kaleb a brief respite from the seemingly incessant attacks he had been under from the very beginning. He wasted no time in securing this advantage and with a vigurous kick succeeded in pushing Alexis away. The kick had not been strong enough to knock the opponent off his balance and he still positioned himself firmly on his feet. It did however manage to earn him vital seconds of respite, and the two warriors were once again in deadlock, pondering their next moves carefully, breathing heavily from the effort they had undergone up until then. Neither detracted their attention from the other nor did they even dare to blink, as even a split second of heedlessness would cause this uneasy balance to shift. The weather-beaten face Alexis displayed showed great experience, only possesed by those with years of training and hard-won battles in the arena. Despite this he showed some unrest by the tremble present in the way he held both swords in his hands. As if out of nowhere Alexis gave an outcry and charged at his opponent. When he was within striking distance he wasted no time and swung the sword in his right hand at the opponent, then his left sword, repeatedly alternating between them in quick succession, only to see his opponent dodge them one by one, falling slightly back each time. He became Increasingly frustrated by the failure of his attempts and the apparent ease with which they were avoided and pivoted to deliver a decisive blow with his right longsword, only to be stopped but a few inches from the head by Kalebs sword. There they stood a few brief moments, swords crossed, neither of them finding the strength to push their adversary back. The failure of this latest attack to bring Alexis the upper hand led his left side to become exposed and Kaleb wasted no time in delivering a powerful blow to his opponent with the kiteshield from his right arm, a strike repeated several times, pushing his opponent back with every hit. He then assumed full attack and lashed at his opponent with sword aswell. It only took a few well-placed thrusts to get Alexis off the ground and land on his back, in the sand of the arena, amidst the scorching heat bestowed upon them by the blazing sun. Kaleb leaped off the ground towards his opponent, with sword aimed at dealing the final blow. Instinctively Alexis rolled across the sands of the arena and evaded the hit that would have brought an end to the duel; 'I wouldn't mind losing the money placed on Alexis if only he put up a better spectacle', said Hayes as he leaned across the wall of the arena. 'He has performed admirably thus far in the tournament. I see no reason to let yourself pray to disappointment and such other uncanny emotions', replied Arvel. 'That's one of the reasons we come here - to disperse the anxiety and dismay from our normal lives. And besides, the fight isn't quite over yet.'

Kaleb repeatedly jabbed his sword into the dry sands in an attempt to subdue his enemy, who had so far managed to avoid the oncoming attacks by rolling across the ground. In what seemed only a split second Kaleb jumped over his opponent, landing where he anticipated Alexis to roll next and planted his shield in the ground, blocking him from advancing any further. With both his hands free he thrusted his sword at his adversary, who lay on the ground, aiming it at his torso. Although Alexis used both his longswords and halted the attack, Kaleb kicked him with his right foot in the head, leaving the fighter laying on his back in the sands, unconscious. 'And now it apparently is over', said Hayes in a lower voice, as if more to himself. He shrugged and went on 'How much does that leave me owing you?' Arvel sipped from his sq'irk juice and after a several moments of pause replied 'Well, the exact figure remains to be decided upon. We shall have to see the amount Kaleb will be receiving from the arena authorities and whatever that amount is we simply double it; and that's the amount you shall owe me.' Hayes cringed at the mere sight of these words, although he tried to hide this and blame his lousy mood on the heat. 'I must go tend to my associate presently. My advisor, Ali, will contact you on the matter when the times comes. In the meantime i strongly advise you to try one of these Kharidian drinks.' Arvel patted him once on the shoulder and went down the scales of the arena walls, eventually entering the compounds of the recovery area where he saw Kaleb being treated by Tafani. 'You ...', he said in a stringent voice as he walked closer to Kaleb. 'That was bloody genius! You played your role to perfection and we will be sparing no expense tonight in celebrating!' 'Gratitude well received. Aswell i think i managed a performance that will not soon be forgotten by the crowds', he replied, giving out a large smile. 'Come, walk with me, Kaleb; we have matters of great importance to discuss. That is if Tafani has nothing to object.' 'It's all the same to me, as long you don't overwhelm him', she said in a low voice. 'He nearly had his head parted from his torso only a few minutes ago and now you wish to fill it with your small talk.' 'Important bussiness matters can hardly be regarded as small talk', Arvel replied while stirring his arms in the air. 'Not that i'd expect you to understand any of it; all you ever used that head of yours for during your duelling days was as a cushion for the incoming blows.' Tafani couldn't help at letting out a slight laughter and calmy went to tend to the other injured fighters. 'Come', Hayes added with a smile on his face. 'I fear if we linger on with conversation my head will indeed be at risk of exploding.' They walked alongside the walls of the arena for some time with neither of them speaking. Both had their attention drawn towards the shouting from the crowds watching duellers undergo fierce battle. The sounds of the warriors weapons hitting against one another could barely be heard as it was covered by the incessant roaring of the spectators.