"Thank you, Your Excellence." Said Rhode, rising and seizing his blade out of the air. As was customary, he didn't speak a word to his challenger. He simply stepped up onto the platform that the other man was already standing upon.
"The fight can go anywhere on the platform, but must stay there. As seconds, our job is to decide who's won the fight, and we'll also make sure no one backs out or intentionally kills his opponent. Rember, both of you must stop fighting after the first blood is spilt." Then, with a flounce of a handkerchief, which he promptly dropped, a single word escaped his lips, quiet but sharp and solemn: "Begin."
Rhode's heart beat at lightning speed. He heard his blood pounding in his ears as he drew his rapier and saluted. Her long mirror-polished blade flashing out of the plain scabbard soundlessly, heavy but nimble in his gloved hand as he dipped her point down to the left, aligned her blade with his face, and raised her shining hilt high in the air.
His opponent did the same, then went into Guardia de Faccia, with the length of his rapier held straight out in front of his body.
Rhode fell into a combat stance and moved to a more defensive guard; Guardia de Porta Ferro Stretta, rapier held low in front of him, just left of his leg and pointed at the opponent.
The younger man did the most predictable thing, and pushed a thrust directly at Rhode's face. Rhode reacted quickly, stepping forward and to the left of the thrust, at the same time performing a diagonal, wrist-powered cut to the man's temple.
The other man hurriedly parried the blow and jumped back, left foot sliding on the edge of the platform they stood on, then regained his balance and adopted Guardia de Faccia again.
Rhode advanced once more. He didn't fight like most duelist's these days. His master had fought with an older style, near two hundred years gone-by. Rhode's methods often threw people off in the first few exchanges of blows in a fight. After that they got accustomed to it, but since a fight only usually lasted a few exchanges, it was usually far too late that they did. It wasn't that his fighting was less elegant. It was, in a way, more so, relying more on sweeping cuts and parries, and less on the lunging thrusts so commonly taught these days.
He held his sword slanted upward, diagonally in front of him (in a Guardia de Testa) and took a half step forward. The other man suddenly lunged, rapier held stiff in front of him. Rhode parried again, pointing his sword down and to the left, directing the thrust in that direction. But as he did so, the other man rotated his sword into a half-cut at Rhode's neck. Ah, so this chap does know some of the old techniques. Rhode went into a Guardia Alta, rapier raised above him, and caught the blow on his own sword's guard. He then feinted a cut directly downwards toward his opponent, who promptly moved to block, and instead made an upward sloping cut to the man's right cheek, which he had left exposed when he had changed position to deflect Rhode's feinted blow which had never came.
Rhode exalted in the contest, flowing through the cuts and guards as the two duelist's fought as if for their lives. And then, it was over, nearly as quick as it had started. His rapier bit into Cocky's face, cutting to the bone and spirting blood as Rhode started to follow the cut with a pommel strike to the temple but suddenly remembered that the fight was technically over. He stepped back as his fellow duelist dropped his sword and covered the cut with his hand. He saluted the chap again, after all he had put up a good fight, and turned to bow at the Seconds.
Cocky's second came to get him, talking in a hushed tone that Rhode couldn't pick up. Cocky bandaged the wound with help from his second an looked at King Alderbon. "That man you endorse is a sneaky bastard! He tried to use arming sword tactics on me in a rapier duel. I believe that this voids the fact that he spilled the first blood and that we should continue fighting!"
Rhode knew that in reality, how you fought in a duel didn't matter, as long as you had skill and you employed it in an elegant fashion. This man didn't seem to know that however, (he did seem rather new to a good deal of the dueling etiquette) and Rhode was curious how Alderbon would respond. Would he state the real rules? Would he punish one of them? Would he allow them to fight longer? Rhode would definitely not turn down the possibility of continuing the fight, so he remained silent to see what would happen.