Victorious by Neha Wadhwa ‘The clash of metal was deafening. All throughout the inn, men were fighting. Leya walked around the inn, running her hand through her long, blonde hair every so often. She passed a group of men who were fighting against a single man from the Dorria gang. Leya laughed and clapped as she saw that all four of her men were still holding cups in one hand, taking taunting sips every so often. In the middle of the room, Jalum stood alone, fighting the First from the Dorria gang. Jalum was smiling broadly as he staggered around. The other man’s face was set in a frown; his brow creased from concentration, as he tried to outdo Jalum’s swaggered movements. Leya laughed again as she walked forward. Pulling her own sword from its scabbard at her belt, she started to duel the man as well. He let out a low growl as he realised that he and his men were truly out numbered. His eyes frantically zoomed in their sockets, trying to catch the attention of another of his colleagues. When he found none, he started to back away into a corner. Leya followed his footsteps, not letting her concentration waver as Jalum disappeared behind her. She stood alone, confidently swinging her sword at her tired rival. The inn had quieted, as everyone watched their duel. Leya’s sword clashed against her opponent’s, as she blocked what would have been a fatal blow. She took the opportunity to speak. “All of you men have fallen. I still have all thirty of my loyal men waiting to take over this fight if I fall. I will give you the opportunity to spare your own life. Leave now, and you will live. Otherwise...” Leya left her threat unfinished. She was sure he would get the gist of what she was saying. With one last glance at his men scattered all over the floor of the inn, the man fled. He scarpered out of the door and down the street, turning into an empty alley. Watching him go, Leya grinned. Turning back to her own men, she raised her sword in triumph. “They have gone. Victory is ours!” she cheered. Many of the men hollered and raised their swords, then turned back to the innkeeper. Drinks were passed around, and the mess cleared. Scanning the room, Leya caught sight of a familiar figure unconscious and slumped against the far wall. She walked up to him and prodded him awake. Stirring slightly, Jalum looked at her then around the inn. She lifted her glass and bumped it against Jalum’s. They both drained it in one go, then sat back to watch the celebrations. Counting the number of her men, Leya realised that they had overpowered the Dorria’s easier than she first thought. By working together, they had highlighted their rival’s weakness. the Dorria’s had been powerful, but not with a large following. Leya smiled again. It had become a lot smaller tonight.