Wolves at the Door (part 125)

Gil stared at Alfvin open-mouthed. Had his friend taken leave of his senses, or had he badly misunderstood the situation?

“I’m sorry… did you say you think I’ll win because he’s been foolish? Because it rather seems the other way round from where I’m sitting. He challenged me. That doesn’t seem like something a coward would do.”

“There are many types of cowards. Some run from battle, others hide behind walls. Still others hide behind a sword, so they never have to face an opponent on even terms. They challenge those they are confident they can beat, but never risk a fight against a strong opponent. From what you have told me of Fargrim, that is the type of man he seems. A bully picking small fights to hide a big fear.”

“That… actually sounds about right. But not as comforting as you might think. Don’t forget, in this scenario I’m the weak opponent he knows he can beat.”

The grin that spread across Alfvin’s face was as cold as the one Gil had seen on Fargrim just hours ago. It was the look of a cat toying with a mouse that it knows can not escape. Gil hoped that he was not the mouse this time.

“Or so he thinks. In two weeks he will get a rude shock.”

“How’s that going to happen? I don’t know how to fight!

“That is the most delicious irony of all. Had Fargrim had the courage to fight you on the spot, he would certainly have prevailed. He is, after all, an experienced skirmisher and you, for all your good points, are barely more than a boy. But even knowing your lack of skill, and even as far as it is possible to get from a full moon, he was afraid to face you on even terms. He thought he was being oh-so-clever by arranging to face you when you are at your weakest. But his fear shall be his undoing.”

“That sounds great, but I’m not seeing how.”

“The ways he has hamstrung himself are so manifold, if we are to list them all then I suggest you make yourselves comfortable.”

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