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The doors to a tavern on the edge of town opened as a body crashed through them. Landing heavily in the dirt, a man wearing a blue cloak slowly picked himself up.

"The next time you want to flirt--make sure she isn't taken!" A man yelled from inside.

Arien brushed the dirt off his cloak and tunic and then hollered into the tavern: "What about my sword? I'm not leaving without it!" He ducked as the object in question came hurtling in his direction--landing at his feet.

"I didn't do anything wrong!" Arien huffed, picking up his sword and checking that it was alright. The bright blue jewel on the pommel was still there and he breathed a sigh of relief. "And besides," he hollered back, "real men don't leave their women unaccompanied!"

Fixing the sword to his waist, he turned to regard the growing crowd with a scowl. "Unless you want to spar, I suggest you scat."
Shayle Rubens (played anonymously)

Shayle had caught sight of the town only a couple minutes ago and had been heading straight for the tavern when someone was unceremoniously pitched outside. Stepping in with the crowd that started to build around the scene during the yelling, he took a closer look at the man. Short black hair, shouts about him hitting on women that were taken... seemed close, that was for sure. Still, he wasn't positive. Until the sword came flying out too.

Seeing the jewel set into that sword, the identifiers he was given were three out of three, not counting the name. Which was enough enough to figure out. The crowd dispersed after the sparring challenge was issued, but Shayle stayed put, sighing and shaking his head. "You really never learn, do you, Arien?"
Disappointed that no one took him up on his offer of a challenge, Arien was considering heading to another tavern, closer into town, when a man with red hair and feline features stepped out from the crowd.

Arien let his grip on the hilt of his sheathed sword relax a little and he smiled cockily. "On the contrary, I never make the same mistake twice. Wasn't my fault that he abandoned her to fend for herself, or that she flirted back." He looked the man over, noting his spear and well-traveled appearance. "If we've met before, I don't remember under what circumstances. Who are you and how do you know my name?"
Shayle Rubens (played anonymously)

"Don't worry, you're not forgetting anything. We haven't met before. I've heard of your reputation, though. You left quite the impression on some people in the last few taverns I've visited." Shayle told him, wondering how best to approach the situation since he had to show himself to be sure it was the right man. Lying would get him nowhere and he didn't like doing it anyway, so he went for a friendly greeting.

"I'm Shayle, traveling mercenary." He said, extending a hand. "I was given your name and description by the man who hired me to track you down and put my spear to use on your... 'damnedable lecherous hide', I think my employer put it. Nice to meet you."
Arien laughed at the description of himself and then shook Shayle's hand. "To think a mercenary would be sent after a 'damnable lecherous hide' such as myself. No offense, but isn't my ranking a little low on a scale of, oh, I don't know--a war maybe? Besides," he said and let his hand settle on the hilt of his sword, his eyes glittering, "I'm a gentleman all the way--with the ladies."
Shayle Rubens (played anonymously)

Shayle crossed his arm and nodded. "From what I've heard from some of the women I spoke to, I'm inclined to believe you are quite the gentleman. The men though, they didn't like you a bit. Most likely jealousy on their part."

"You're right about being low ranked, too. I would be paid more for joining in some war than chasing down someone like you." His head tilted to the side and his tone turned more exhausted than usual. "But friend, have you ever played mercenary in some fool's war? It's too much work and you always seem to get the worst jobs since they don't mind sending you on suicide missions as much as their own people. At least that's my experience. Things like that are made for people who live for bloodshed. Give me an easy job and time to relax any day."

"Anyway... I should probably get to work. Safe bet you won't let me just get it over with even if I offer to buy you a drink afterwards." Shayle took a couple steps back, reaching around and unhooking the spear from his belt. He took it in one hand and rested the end on the ground, trying not to look threatening yet. Not that he normally ever did anyway. "Shall we do this here or find somewhere secluded so we don't get other people involved?"
"Jealousy, definitely jealousy--but it's their own fault for not acting first. And I never did take a liking to mercenary brothers were more geared for that than me. Although, that's not to say I can't hold my own in a fight." A grimace wiped the grin off.

The spear would be a new experience to him. Or would have been, had he not been used to sparring with a staff-user in his past. "I never involve innocents in a fight when I can help it. Since we're on the outskirts of town anyway, there shouldn't be much of a problem holding it here--well, maybe a bit farther from the tavern. Although I wouldn't mind taking out that idiot inside either."

His eyes flickered to the bar he'd been kicked out of, then back to Shayle. That smarmy smile reappeared. "A drink? Are you intending to woo me or fight me? Because I gotta say, the only people I drink with are ladies I'm flirting with or friends--and you're not exactly either."

He headed for an area more suitable for a fight that wouldn't immediately put tavern-goers in harms' way, then drew his sword. "So, is this good enough for you? Or do I need to beg?"
Shayle Rubens (played anonymously)

"I suppose I'm not, am I? Well, maybe we can work on the friend part. Just because I'm planning to give you a thrashing doesn't mean I have anything against you personally." He said, resting his spear across his shoulders and following Arien away from the tavern.

Once they were clear of the place, Shayle held his weapon ready when Arien unsheathed his sword. "Beg if you like, but I'd prefer you just not fight back. It's not like I've been ordered to kill you." He thought for a moment. "Though the suggestion was thrown out that I take something valuable from you before I was finished. Not sure I will, but we'll see how this goes."

(OOC: Er... how do you like to take fights, Pen? Just text or including dice? Combat RPs aren't something I do often (joined this for practice, really) and everyone has their own preference. I'm good with whatever, but thought I should ask first.)
"Oh good, nothing personal--we might become friends after all," Arien muttered, before echoing: "Something valuable? You're sure it's me you're after?" He glanced down at himself briefly. The only thing he had of value was... "You're not seriously after my sword, are you? You'll have to pry it from my cold dead fingers if you want it."

He brought his sword up into a guard position. "For that matter it's an heirloom. And I ain't backing down to your spear." If he was going to win, he needed to be smart--and he had no idea what skill his opponent possessed with the spear. Either way, he had to get within range first.

With a yell, he charged in, ready to deflect the first jab of the spear.

(OOC: I figure text works fine. Dice hate me and I'd rather not have my character fail because of my ill luck. That and I figure so long as we both play fair, there won't be a problem. It's practice for me, too, in terms of writing combat.)
Shayle Rubens (played anonymously)

"As nice as your sword is, I wasn't really talking about robbing you." Shayle said, quickly moving to the right when Arien charged. The information he was given was only about the man's appearance, so he had no idea if the sword was the only dangerous thing he had to worry about. If the guy knew magic, this was going to be more trouble than he expected, luckily he wasn't against pulling a few tricks of his own if it came to that.

Trying to circle to Arien's off-hand so he couldn't counter as easily, Shayle lunged forward when his target was in range, the tip of his spear speeding toward Arien's left shoulder.
Katrina Gale (played by CookieLurv)

Katrina had seen the man being tossed out of the tavern and shook her head. He hadn't done anything wrong. These brutes had so much ego and not enough brain to know that he was simply giving company. After a little while, she went to walk out and found that the man had started a fight with another. Setting her hand on her chin as she watched, Katrina wondered just who would win this. So she stood in the open doorway to watch it play out. Perhaps this will kill the boredom that had been growing the last few days. Nothing seemed to happen in this town except rumors that wasn't even interesting to sit and listen to.

She wasn't a fighter, just a wandering Gypsy. Katrina knew how to fight just that she chose not to. If she decided to fight for any reason it would be to silence those who compare her to the Gypsies who lie around with people just for money instead of the enjoyment of simple dancing and singing. As she was accustom to.

(OOC: Hope you don't mind me joining in.)
Arien cursed as Shayle stepped aside and drove in with his spear. A quick step on Arien's part saved him from being skewered. He pulled back a little, realigning himself with the spear, sword in front of him ready to block the next strike as he searched for an opening.

"Well that's good to know. Care to explain this item of value I supposedly have?"
Shayle Rubens (played anonymously)

Shayle cursed quietly when the thrust was dodged and he fell back a bit as well. This guy was faster than he looked. "Oh, it's not really valuable to anyone but you." He said, wondering what approach to try next. Checking to see if his miss had been because of skill or a fluke seemed like a good start. A feint might be a good test.

"The guy that hired me just offhandedly commented that I should neuter you." Shayle told him, just before rushing at him and hoping that idea as well as a feint might be good enough for a hit. Taking aim at Arien's left shoulder again, he expected the man to move right to dodge, Shayle's grip on his weapon adjusting a little as he prepared to shift his aim to his opponent's right leg before making the strike.
"Neutered?!" Arien sputtered in surprise. He tried to counter the attack for his shoulder, but the surprising words had rendered him a tad slower than normal. Too late he saw that it was a feint...aiming for his leg. And his sword wouldn't stop it in time.

"Shit." His balance askew made it impossible to dive out of the way. All he could do was wait for the inevitable pain of the spear striking and hope it didn't hit an artery.
Katrina Gale (played by CookieLurv)

She covered her mouth and her eyes grew wide as she heard him say neutered, trying to hide her laugh. Moving from the place she watch which was no where near the tavern, Katrina chose to move away from the door a long time ago. Not wanting someone to "claim" her as a partner and start another unnecessary fight. Why were they fighting in the first place, now that she thought about it. Then she saw him fall and wondered if she should interrupt the fight so that he wouldn't get killed.
Shayle Rubens (played anonymously)

The spear dug in just above Arien's knee, slicing along the outside of his thigh. Shayle quickly moved back in case of any sudden reprisals. To him, the wound didn't look deep enough to do any permanent damage but it should be enough to slow him down. Times like these reminded him of how these little jobs could be more trouble than they were worth, if he wasn't trying to just hurt the man, he probably could have just impaled him through the gut with that attack, or at least the kneecap.

"That's what he said." Shayle said, trying to put a little distance between them and holding his spear ready to parry. Letting Arien make the first move would give a better idea of just how much the injury would slow him down. "Lucky for you he hired me instead of some sadistic lunatic that might actually go for the idea, huh?"
Arien's grip on the sword loosened as stinging pain overwhelmed his snarky comeback. It was just a scratch, he told himself, forcing his grip to tighten as though holding the sword would banish all pain.

It wouldn't, but it did cause something else to happen--whether he realized it or not--he moved a bit faster. Even as Shayle moved back, he teleported briefly a few feet forward, coming up just inside the spear's range.

"I never trusted luck," he snarled, and swung his sword, aiming for Shayle's unprotected side.
Shayle Rubens (played anonymously)

Shayle's eyes widened as Arien suddenly disappeared and reappeared inside in striking distance. A mage. It would have been nice if the guy that hired him had mentioned that little detail. Knowing there was no chance of avoiding what was coming, so he did the next best thing and prepared to counter.

Arien's sword slammed into Shayle's side, the chainmail under his shirt taking most of the sharpness from the blow but doing nothing for the sheer force behind it. Staggering for a moment and trying to ignore the pain that could be from a cracked rib, he released one hand from his spear, lunging forward and raking his claws at Arien's throat.

(OOC: Urgh, late post is very late. Sorry Pen. I kinda forgot about this RP for a while there. >_<)
Arien's hands went numb as he encountered chainmail. Of course the man would be armored. Fiery pain lanced across his throat as the man swiped at him. He backpedaled, trying to put a little more distance between them.

His sword tip wavered, exhaustion growing from the blood dripping down his leg as well as from the sudden teleportation. "Wh-why must you defeat me? What's in it for you?"

(OOC: Not a problem. Life can get crazy.)
Shayle Rubens (played anonymously)

Stepping back, Shayle spun his spear around before gripping it in both hands again. Wishing he'd thought of doing that to begin with, now he wouldn't have to worry about only landing glancing blows. It'd take a lot more effort to accidentally kill the guy without a point. Though it looked like his opponent was already wavering from the fight. He attributed it only to the blood-loss and hoped the gash out of Arien's leg wasn't actually worse than he'd intended it to be. That didn't mean he could let up though. Especially not under the current circumstances.

His eyes drifted to something beyond his opponent for a second before he focused on the question. "Did I not mention I was a mercenary? Gold is in it for me, Arien. Not to mention my reputation, losing to a simple womanizer would really hurt that. No offense." Wincing at the pain in his side from the movement, he rushed at Arien again and thrust the blunt end of his spear right at the swordsman's midsection.

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