Let’s jump to War of Nytefall: Savagery where Clyde met a monster that could toss him around. This was a story that I was building up to without much in the way of foreshadowing. I knew I needed one volume where Clyde couldn’t overpower his enemy and had to withdraw to get stronger. Otherwise, the series would get pretty stale since I could only have him outwitted so many times before he came off like an idiot. This volume is available for $2.99 on eBook and $12.00 Paperback. Enjoy the teaser.
With his friends and enemies standing on top of the highest cabin that is embedded in the back wall of the fortress, Clyde cracks his knuckles and watches Alastyre. The hunter remains motionless on the far side of the courtyard, his eyes closed in meditation and his breathing barely noticeable. Testing out his regenerated arm, the Dawn Fang risks looking at Kai, who is on the nearby porch with his bow raised over his head. Sniffing at the air, the vampire cannot shake the feeling that something is off about the challenge. After years of facing opponents that worked hard to avoid a physical confrontation with him, he assumes that his discomfort is coming from Alastyre’s forwardness. He counts down the seconds while remembering how the man fought in their first encounter and during their more recent encounters. There is no sense of style to the moves the mortal used either time, which reminds him of his own untampered methods. Pushing the doubt and worry from his mind, he releases a hint of his Lord’s Rage and waits for Kai’s weapon to drop.
The instant the longbow clatters on the floor, Clyde and Alastyre vanish for a moment and reappear on opposite sides of the courtyard. The force from their failed strikes create matching blasts of air and they whirl around in unison to face each other once more. Another charge results in the combatants crashing together, the shockwave sending a circular wall of sand billowing away from them. Palms pressing against each other, they appear to be evenly matched until Clyde is struck by a swift headbutt. Having been caught by surprise, his back-leg bends and he loses the leverage that was preventing him from being forced away. With his knee on the ground, he is bent backwards and left open for another shot to the face. It is only by increasing his Lord’s Rage that he avoids falling and musters the strength to shove Alastyre to the side. He dislocates his wrists to free his hands from the hunter’s grip and creates four illusions of himself to gain time to heal. With his own body masked to blend into the nearest boulder, the Dawn Fang crouches in order to pounce on the first opportunity. Instead, he has to leap away when his enemy ignores the decoys and punches exactly where he is lurking.
“I’ve studied your tactics, so your tricks are pointless,” Alastyre says as he throws the cracked boulder over his shoulder.
“Guess I’ll have to take you seriously then,” the Dawn Fang retorts with a grin.
Coming around the hunter, Clyde dashes at top speed to deliver a kick across the man’s broad upper back. The blow sends Alastyre stumbling forward, but he turns the momentum into a spinning uppercut that kicks up a geyser of sand. Knuckles graze the Dawn Fang’s chin and he has to jump to prevent his head from getting torn from his body. High above the ground, Clyde fights through the agony pulsing through his muscles and awkwardly swings his arms behind his back. The clap creates a deafening blast and launches him back towards Alastyre at an unexpected speed. Flipping to deliver a kick, he tries to twist away from a punch that he can see being prepared for his arrival. The massive fist narrowly misses his legs and he hits the man’s chest, but Clyde is caught by the spine before the impact sends his target out of reach. Focusing on healing the damage as it is made, he is defenseless while the hunter casually slams him into the floor, walls, and boulders like a flopping toy. It is only when he desperately swings a leg and skims the man’s nose that the Dawn Fang gets a chance to force the fingers open. With gritted teeth, he slides his strained spinal column out of the hunter’s grip and turns around to block the next attack. Clyde catches the fist with both hands, but his lower body is too weak for him to stand up to the monstrous strength. He slams into the map on the wall and coughs at the sensation of his blood splattering across the stone. Sliding to his feet, his heart nearly leaps into his throat when he takes a gasp of air and feels his body cry in pain.
“How long has it been since you felt fatigue and true agony during a fight?” Alastyre asks before he throws a boulder. He runs ahead of the projectile to grab it, spin, and smash it into Clyde who growls from beneath the stone.
That was a good fight. The hard work involved in keeping Clyde at a disadvantage shows. I guess this is what the writers of Superman go through.
Thanks. I wouldn’t be surprised if Superman writers have that headache every day.
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Whew. Great scene, Charles.
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What a scene! Wow!