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Friendly Duel

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“What do you say, brother? Care for a friendly duel to liven things up?”

“Indech, do we have to do this now? I am clearly working, and you are clearly bothering me. Go find someone else,” Seteth huffed as he finished signing church documents.

“Macuil refuses to leave the library and Rhea is not here, so who else can there be?” Indech sighed and walked over to the office window.

A knock rapped at the door, and Byleth poked his head in. “Excuse me, Seteth. I hope this isn’t a bad time.”

“Not at all. He was just leaving,” he turned to his brother and waved him out.

“Hello, Indech,” Byleth stepped through the threshold and gave a small bow.

“Good to see you, Byleth,” Indech bowed his head in return when an idea struck him like a bolt of lightning, “Byleth! Perhaps you can come duel me!”

Dueling with a deity wasn’t exactly on today’s to-do list, but Seteth interrupted before he could speak, “Indech, please! You must go bother someone else! We still have our work to do here.”

“Well, actually, I was going to accept the offer. I came to see if you wanted to take a break, but I believe this would be an interesting way to spend it rather than sipping tea,” Byleth grinned.

Indech exploded, “That’s the spirit! You should take note, Cichol!” He rushed over and put his arm around Byleth’s shoulder, squeezing it just a little too tight.

“I have told you to call me ‘Seteth’ here, and I also cannot see any outcome where this ends well. So, I will be there to ensure no harm is done,” Seteth sighed and shuffled his paperwork aside.

It was a warm, spring day at Garreg Mach. The sun glinted off Indech’s helmet and shined on the golden clasps of his archer’s garb. He truly looked like a god among mortals. Seteth thought him a fool to not even try to hide his likeness. It was like he didn’t realize the cathedral had statues of them. Reckless, as usual.

“Should I use a bow or…?” Byleth looked at the training ground’s available weapons.

“Whatever you are most comfortable using. Do not think I am so vulnerable with a bow,” Indech gave a hearty laugh as he tightened the bow string.

Byleth took a sword and made himself ready. Seteth stood against a pillar in the shade and offered him a small grin.
The dual began when Indech fired an arrow that went whizzing by Byleth’s head. It was faster than Claude, or even Shamir, could pull off. He barely even noticed Indech drawing his bow to fire it in the first place. But, it didn’t matter because another arrow flew at him.

He jumped out of the way, landed on his right foot, and launched himself forward to the archer. The only way Byleth could pull a win is if he kept close, but that was his usual plan with any other archer. He swung his sword, aiming for the bow. Indech smirked and deftly moved before firing off another shot.

Byleth had to be quicker. He turned on his heel after dodging and swung his sword again. This time, he used it as a distraction. Indech watched the sword swing down from above, but felt himself collapsing. Byleth had turned at the last minute to swing his foot around to the back of his knees, making him fall. Standing over him with a sword pointed at his neck, Byleth was the winner.

“Where on earth did you learn that!?” Indech laughed.

“I was a mercenary before coming here, many years ago,” Byleth reached out his hand and pulled the archer back to his feet.

“Battle strategy and one-on-one combat has changed, brother,” Seteth snickered.

“Do not undermine Byleth’s actual strength! He was much quicker than I anticipated, and quite the deceiver, too. You must show me that again, sometime,” Indech winked at his dueling partner.

“Goddess, forgive him,” Seteth pinched the bridge of his nose in embarrassment.