It had been two days since Kamaris took a small retinue of 25 men and women to track and destroy a spying unit of Nii soldiers who had infiltrated Kurai's borders.
The first three times they engaged the intruders party Kamaris and the other veterans of his crew, totaling 5 inlcuding himself, hung on the periphery of the skirmishes as the 20 raw recruits he had picked gained experience from the battles. Kamaris used this time to study what he could of his enemy, such as it was there weren't many skilled fighters in the spying party. The Nii must've known that the information they gained from this venture would be minimal and only needed a few to return alive so did not send their best men to do the job, however there were a few skilled ones, a swordsman in particular that one of the veterans had to keep at bay so the new recruits weren't killed. Of Kamaris' own men there were a few diamonds in the rough as well. A woman maybe two years his senior with blazing red hair whom had made more than a few flirtatious looks Kamaris' way on this venture was among the most skilled trackers he had ever met, where one man saw a singular clue she found 50 and helped them stay on the tail of this retreating Nii unit. Another recruit, a rare young lad from outside the walls was perhaps the most naturally gifted archers Kamaris had the fortune of having on his side, he served to hastle the Nii party at a distance deemed impossible by the other archers in Kamaris' retinue.
But the Nii clan were now getting too close to the limits of the reach of Kuraigakure and no doubt inching closer to whatever rendezvous squad was awaiting whomever returned. With such inexperienced rookies, only Kamaris and a few others could hope to survive a conflict with the two forces combined. And so Kamaris decided it was time to end the pursuit, he took lead and ran his party into the nearby woods that he knew better than the Nii, increasing his party's speed to the limit these rookies could handle while sending a party of two of his veterans to the outskirts of each side of these woods should the Nii party deviate from where the red headed girl was their most likely route. His group emerged from the woods an hour before the opponents retreating party and he found himself a rock in a clearing to sit on as he and his crew waited. As the Nii came out the edge of the forest it was clear they had been pushing the pace as well and were, like Kamaris' crew, too tired for the inevitable fight to come. Everyone except for the swordsmen of the Nii party that had caught Kamaris' eye. He stepped forward with his blade pointed at Kamaris "I have come for your head and my masters title which you stole." he said, immediately changing Kamaris' mood for the worse. Now he knew why the sword style had caught his eye, it was the style of the man who had killed his father after the former King of Avalon had blinded himself by giving Kamaris the full access to his Hart. "I challenge you to single combat and after I'm done I'm going to slaughter all this upstarts you have with you." he continued, eliciting a few murmurs of fear among the weaker members of Kurai's men. "The title of Blademaster hung hollow over your Master, taking it from a recently blinded man with a rusted sword to defend himself" Kamaris touched his metal encased arm "While his wife lay forcefully across the Nii's lap on my fathers throne, and I sit at the bottom of it burning." Again more whispers from a greater number this time among the Kurai party. It was not common knowledge, and more so thought a rumor that Kamaris was actually royalty, and this was the way he preferred it. "Enough lies" Erupted the Nii swordsmen "You die here, if you are too coward to face me in single combat of your own volition, I invoke the rules your title forces you to carry. Battle of Succession, I challenge you to a duel for the title, no abilities, just blades." Kamaris' mood again changed, he could see the hurt in this swordsmens eyes, 2 years ago he had taken from this man a teacher and a title that he probably would've inherited had Kamaris not reclaimed if for the Kingdom of Avalon. "Fool" Kamaris said under his breath. "Very well, I am honor bound, we shall begin at your first move." Kamaris drew his blade and held it loosely at his side.
They say for all the clashing of blades and long battle sequences portrayed in tales, plays, and other productions; a real battle between equally skilled swordsmen truly only takes place within the time span of seven to ten seconds. By Kamaris estimation this would only take 3, and not because of their skill level but simply because that's how long it would take his opponent to realize he had lost the moment Kamaris had unsheathed his sword. The Nii swordsmen looked him in the eye and it was clear he was skilled as they battled with their eyes for the first second, and the Nii swordsman took a long leap towards him. In their minds the fight went by in a flash. The Nii landed hard on his foot using the momentum to carry a hard slash at Kamaris neck to take his head clean off in an instant, if Kamaris had been there and not behind him with his blade in the back of Nii man's skull. Undaunted the Nii man thought of another approach this time stopping and swinging hard down at Kamaris wrist, thinking even if he had time to block it the momentum of his blade would throw the Kurai scum off balance enough for him to turn his blade upward into his opponents chest. Hope turned to despair as Kamaris let the momentum instead play against the Nii and instead of block brought his blade up at an angle parrying the blade to the side and flicking his wrist around to take the Nii's arms clean off at the elbows.
One second had passed. The Nii had planted his foot, now within striking distance.
Desperate the Nii started using multistage attacks, a faint low before flicking his sword above him and Kamaris to grab it again in mid air and bring a slash down on the Vici uncrowned King ending a reign that never started. Instead what he found was a sideways view of Kamaris as the Nii mans head floated to the ground, landing on a torso with its limbs laying in a neat pile next to it. All done with the sword he had plan to flick into the air. No matter, the Nii thought, I should've known such a flashy move would not work here. He found himself now spinning sideways of Kamaris and taking an attack to the man's back, Kamaris stood still facing the man his footwork made the move seem like the Nii was attempting the attack at the speed of snail. He tried a flurry of thrust as fast he could manage instead, Kamaris turned them aside like he was moving a curtain out of his way before cleaving the Nii cleanly in two.
Two seconds had passed.
The Nii began to sink further and further into despair, he could see now that the stories of his masters glorious victory over the King of Avalon were just that, stories. What he was facing now was a real blademaster, and he was outclassed in every way. When he tried to outmanuever the man with footwork, he was made to look like a baby attempting his first steps in comparison to Kamaris. Where he tried strength he found Kamaris an immovable mountain. Where he tried speed he found himself an sickly old man attempting to catch bird mid flight with his hands. When he thought a faint would bring about a movement in Kamaris footwork, he would use the moment of shifting balance to see if he could simply move Kamaris where Kamaris didn't want to move. The Blademaster might as well have been a ghost, untouchable. He might as well have been the goddamn wind, everything the Nii threw at him merely breezed past him or went around him, Kamaris acted as if he wasn't even there, as if he was insignifcant. He was defeated the moment Kamaris drew his sword.
By the third second the Nii had dropped his sword and kneeling infront of Kamaris, finding breath hard to come by as he realized everything he had learned would fail him, ever avenue he tried would be a waste of time and his life. "By the rule I cannot permit you mercy, you have challenged, and a life must be taken." Kamaris said simply, if one looked hard enough you could see a hint of sadness in his eyes, wether it was pity for the Nii or the lack of a real opponent noone knew. "Just don't butcher me like you did my Master. I want something left for my parents to bury" The Nii requested "What I did to your master was revenge, you challenged me fairly and you will die cleanly. I wish you luck in the afterlife." Kamaris said before taking his opponents head off, balancing it neatly on his blade before putting it in the hands on the knees of the still kneeling body. He looked up at the Nii party, fear gripped them tight. He looked back at his own party, some now relaxed and some smiling but most still scared to engage. 'This no way to win your first real fight, killing these men who are already defeated, its how you breed murderers of those who are willing to fight now and how you scar the ones who aren't yet ready.' he thought internally. With a deep sigh he took the burden upon himself and put on an act. "Stay back and do not intefere." He gave a fake murderous smile. "Nii, you have trespassed and I cannot allow you to return home with even a little knowledge. You will die here." he said loud, before whispering under his breath. "For that I'm sorry" he did not enjoy killing, he simply tolerated it as neccesary evil, but evil none the less. Once his mind was made up though he completed his task thoroughly, and he descended upon the remaining 49 Nii men like a bird of prey descends upon an unsuspecting meal. They were ripped to shreds and left there as a warning for any Nii brave enough to that fare into there territory again to stay away.
As they approached the walled city of Kuraigakure some of the party were in awe of Kamaris, but the majority were disgusted. "There were 50 of them and he slaughtered them all in less time than it takes me to piss." "Raven of Death indeed, did you see what he did." "He..he just left them there, like they were meat." Just some of the comments that were within his earshot as he kept his eyes forward. "He did it for you" one of the veterans said finally unable to bite his tounge any longer as they bashed Kamaris "So you could sleep one more night without the burden of having killed a man on your conscience. So you didn't have to..." Kamaris was raising his hand to silence him, he knew the rookies needed to vent and in time they would sort out their feelings. Some would leave the forces now, some would take a life themselves and understand, what was sure though was that the woman with red hair who would give Kamaris those flirtatious looks would not even gaze in his general direction.
Once inside the gates Kamaris dismounted as someone came to take his horse to the stables, on the way down he bumped his armored arm into the horse and bit the inside of his lip as the burn rubbed up against it, bringing pain but also bringing back the memories that the Nii swordsman had again sturred up about the night his Kingdom fell. A shame the red headed woman no longer fancied him, he could use something to take his mind off this. Perhaps after giving his report he would join his friends for a drink, but instead opted for telling one of his men to go turn in the report and he took to wondering the streets hoping to find something or someone to occupy his time, and get him out of his own head.