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A Quick Dip

Night always came quickly to Sherman Forest. With heavy shadows suddenly about her, Robin, who could fight almost as well with a blindfold as with her eyes peeled, knew she could all but assure her victory if she only stalled for a few minutes.

ROBIN-- But that wouldn't be any fun. [advancing from her end of the log towards a rather still Inego] Don't just stand there. The game frees you from your silly scruples. [she feints high, but attacks low; Inego pivots away and flips his left fist at Robin's head; as she ducks, he flicks his staff, crooked in his right arm, at her feet; Rpbin rolls backwards, coming out in a crouch, sweeping her staff around in a defensive swing, but Inego has not taken a step forward] See? [she springs toward her opponent; the Espagnard counters with a dual handed thrust, just missing Robin's head as she drops down to perform a spinning leg sweep; though the maneuver fails to dislodge Inego's footing, it momentarily locks his forward-most leg at the knee, giving Robin the opportunity to plant a foot alongside his; in a fluid motion, she pushes off her back foot, plants her staff, and launches the crown of her head into the Espagnard's chin; Inego stumbles back, offering Robin a quick upswing of his staff, grazing her thigh; he follows with a powerful slash to the thief's side, causing her to roll with the blow, right off the log, disappearing into the stream below]

INEGO-- [as if coming to] What have I done? [he jumps into the water, splashing about] Robin! Robin!

ROBIN-- [swimming out from beneath the log, laughing] That was awesome!

INEGO-- You are not hurt?

ROBIN-- [holding her side as she stands; still laughing] A few bruises, maybe a fractured rib--I'm fine. More importantly, you're soaked.

INEGO-- [laughing to find himself muddied, wet, and helmetless] It seems I did not win so much.

ROBIN-- Ah, but I promised you adventure, and adventure you shall have. Come with me.

INEGO-- [shrugging] Not much to lose at this point.

ROBIN-- [still chuckling] That's the spirit.

Thus, the evening at an end, Robin and Inego danced on to the thieves' camp for dinner and dry clothes.


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