TITLE: Ravens Rise
GENRE: YA Medieval Slipstream Fantasy
Alexander (Duke's son) and Mitchell (Duke's Ward) have been separated for a week as punishment for yet another stunt. This is their first weapons practice since the best friends reunited, disrupted by the appearance of Alexander's love interest. Mitchell's love of mischief gets both 15 year olds in trouble–again.
"If you keep staring, you're going to get caught."
Heat rushed to his face. Standing up, Alexander snatched the second practice sword out of Mitchell's hand. "A single word and t'will give you bruises to rival those I gave McVarmint."
Shoulders shaking silently, Mitchell bit his lip and moved into a defensive stance. Alexander smacked the sword to the side, Mitchell more focused on containing his mirth than actually defending himself.
"I swear, Mitchell."
He held up a hand and leaned against his knees. Inhaling several deep breaths, he got himself under control. "Fine, fine. I'm good." Mitchell raised his sword again, but the smirk grew. "Just never seen that shade of red on you before."
Alexander attacked. Mitchell backpedaled but managed to parry each blow—his laughter egging Alexander on. The flurry of strikes clanged across the practice field. Vision condensed to only Mitchell and his burning need to exact revenge. The impact across his back from the flat of a sword had Alexander spinning, his body's instinctive defenses reacting to the new threat. A sword point held level at his neck.
"Never concentrate yer focus to just one opponent, Lord Alexander." Corporal Gairdan stared at him impassively; the blade lingered next to Alexander throat. "T'was I the enemy, ye'd be dead."
"But you'd be joining him, Gairdan," Mitchell teased.
"Ye'd naught be close enough to stop me, Mitchell."
Mitchell chuckled and pointed to Gairdan's abdomen. "No, but his dagger is."