Morarmir watched from about with dark satisfaction, as the final test of his fighter began. The fighter and his elven counterpart traded a few words, and then, rather abruptly, the fight began. Leaning forward, the elf picked up a long, slender sword, and lunged, all in one fluid motion. However, the trained assassin of the Balmet didn’t flinch. As fast as thought, he was in a ready position, and brought his sword (that was drawn so fast, it seemed to appear in his hand) in a small circle, throwing the lunge off target. And the fight began. With the grace and speed of a trained warrior, the elf dodged and lunged in what could be a dance, if not for the flashing swords. However, Threunis had spent every waking moment with a sword in his hand, and was able to parry even the most cunning strikes with ease. He fought defensively, conserving energy.
‘She cannot defeat me. Soon, my chance will come to prove myself!’ he mentally congratulated himself.
Megiliel realized this also. She needed to end the fight quickly, while she still had energy enough to properly execute attacks. So, she made an obvious feint to the left, with the apparent purpose of circling his parrying sword, to strike. However, Threunis recognized this and carelessly parried with a double move, to block both the feint and the thrust that it was going to be converted into. He almost starting the riposte before the parry was even finished. But before he could, she converted the feint into a lighting lunge toward his head. The fighter was startled, but with reactions honed to perfection, and incredible agility, he bent backwards at the waist, still keeping his balance, and came back up with a sweep of his sword, knocking Megiliel’s defenses open. Chagrin poured through her, and desperation lent her strength. As Threunis came back upwards, she impulsively let her sword go flying away from his sweep. Threunis’ sword went past its expected mark, because of the lack of resistance. Now sword-less, Megiliel swung her empty, balled hand at her enemy. As quickly as he could, Threunis brought his sword back from its position to stop her. It arrived both too late, and just early enough. Megiliel’s fist collided with his face, dropping him to the ground. However, the sword stroke was too far gone. At a slight angle, the sword arrived, digging deep into her wrist. She dropped to her knees, face contorted in pain.
The young prince Eldarion stood, slightly bewildered, as Lintemir strode away. But once he gathered his wits, the prince realized where the meeting between the King and Queen, and their guard, would likely take place. Of more interest to him, however, was the knowledge of and ideal place to listen. Hurrying there, by a different and slightly longer route than Lintemir, he arrived to hear the somewhat stern voice of Lintemir saying, “Do any of these markings look familiar to you? They should.”
Next came the deep voice of the king, asking, “Where do you recognize them from? I could swear that I have never seen them before.”
In a voice as cold as ice, Lintemir responded in a one short word, “Balmet.”
The name was completely foreign to Eldarion, but judging by the astonished and seemingly horrified gasps from Ariel, the queen, and Merdan, the king, it was an important word. He wondered how such a simple word could cause such a huge reaction. Meanwhile, while he was pondering this, Ariel spoke through the heavy silence.
“Are you absolutely sure. We do not want to make and costly mistakes, and -“
The voice of Merdan broke in. “I too, now recognize these marks. There can be no mistake. Between the attack on Lintemir, and this discovery, only one conclusion can be drawn. The Balmet are rising again, and war could be within our borders before a fortnight is passed!”
That was simply the nature of the Balmet. In all ways, they caused strife and disorder. Their very name means, literally, `End of Power’ in the tongue of the elves, and it could not possibly be more fitting. From Megiliel’s agony, and Merdan’s troubled mind, it was clear to any who could observe it that, even in the gradual rise and resurfacing of their power, that their capability to cause pain and anarchy was great indeed.