In the arm, mind. It was clearly meant as a distraction.
It gave me what I needed. I reversed my blade and brought the pommel into his wrist. The hammer went flying.
“That was fair revenge for your friend joining in.” I swung around and stopped my blade an inch from his throat. “Are you going to acknowledge I’m the better fighter or am I going to have to kill you?”
I wasn’t surprised by the lack of fear he showed. I could kill him. He’d be back, those eyes said. I suppose I hesitated out of some sense of respect. “You’re a worthy opponent,” I said.
And killed him. He turned into ashes, and I whirled to see if there were more opponents. Angrboda had blood on her blade, although it too seemed to be burning off.
There were still others, though. Freya was still holding the shield. And I thought, behind Kanesha, I saw Monica’s pale face, but I only had a moment of breather before a giantess tried to enwrap me in a chain.
She partially succeeded, but I was stronger than she had anticipated. I pulled myself free, and spun her off with the end of the chain. She snarled like a wolf and swung it into me again, keeping me at bay for now.
But one at a time I could handle, and there were enough of us now to improve the odds. I wasn’t sure how many others had gone down, and I saw one of the frost giants shatter into ice.
I told myself it didn’t matter. This would never be conclusive except in showing who was better; and I planned on showing I was better.
I’d wait to get them for real, but for right now, I was getting them to back off. I grabbed at the chain again with my free hand, tugging on it. Pulling her so close, abruptly, that we almost kissed.
I knew it was a feint and twisted to avoid the blow to my groin that came from her off side.
This time she smiled, at least until I finished the twist to slam my elbow into her throat.
She tried to snarl again, but nothing came out. I followed up by running her through.
More fire and ashes. This was almost too easy. It was, in fact, almost fun. My blade was still glowing with flame.
Just as long as I stayed alive. I didn’t want the lecture.