|The Fight to Heal|
|Summary:||Healing ministrations, Ironborn style|
|Related Logs:||Bump in the Night|
|Bloody Keep, Pyke|
|Various chambers and corridors|
|Fri 20th Jan, 289|
The steady roar and thunderous crash of the surf, far, far below is a constant thing, when one is graced with the leave to live and toil on the isle of Pyke. Over time, it becomes a comfort, a reassurance.. to the point where silence itself might be considered more unnerving. Of course, of late even the ominous halls of the Greyjoy seat have been far from quiet. The mood has remained doggedly optimistic and for good reason; they still hold Seagard in an iron grasp. And that is something to be proud of. Or at least a good reason for much ale and bawdy games, of an evening. The whores are walking bandy-legged and jingling, the men satisfied and ruddy-faced. Most, anyway.
Within the Bloody Keep, higher still above the great halls and fine chambers belonging to the Prince and his trusted kinsmen, a few are still recovering from injuries sustained in battle. Little more than a brief respite as they grow new silvery scars. But there are worse places in the world to be. Particularly when Rodrik has seen fit to send none other than his own witch to tend to them. In fairness, most of the lesser healers accompany the main brunt of the Ironborn force along the coast of Westeros. But that's neither here nor there.
Late is the hour. The other two occupants of the main chamber are soundly asleep. Nares? Who knows. But the Silver Witch makes her way into the area, as she does every few hours, to make her checks by flickering candlelight. Because shadows make her stark white hair and macabre midnight garb so much more appealing.
It's been long enough since the nocturnal attack on the Roost that Nares' wounds are healing nicely. Cuts are closed and bruises mostly dissipated but bone is still re knitting. This has brought him to the point where he wants to be up and doing things but can't quite yet actually achieve them, which leads mostly to frustration. Mostly what he wants to do mind, is get back on a boat and kill more Riverlanders, but it seems that the fates, or at least, Maron and the healers present, are thwarting his ambitions.
For now though, he's awake. Late it may be but he's restless again. There's a war going on, and he's no where near it. There's glory to be won, and he's laid up well behind the lines. It counts for a little that he's at the centre of the Grayjoy kingdom, surrounded by the new King's closest and most trusted, but on the balance of things, he'd still rather be out on other shores with his sword him his hand. At the sound of someone approaching he turns his head to catch sight of who it is, but in his head he already knows. The silent witch. He doesn't doubt her skill at healing, but that silence took a bit of getting used to. Responding in kind he follows her progress silently from where he's sat. Her rounds are not a new thing, but are faintly more interesting to watch than it is to dwell on all the action he's missing.
There's only a very quiet jostling of clay bowls and cups as Morvydd sets to tidying away some concoctions used earlier for poultices and such. Nothing goes to waste; every last scrap is scooped into waiting jars, or simply back into larger herbal batches, for later. After all, supplies aren't always plentiful, out on these desolate rocks.
Sweeping her ivory mane back behind her shoulder with an absent-minded toss of her head, though, the young woman - presumably she is young, though nobody seems to know for sure - turns her vivid amber eyes upon the reclining but very much wakeful Nares, by the far wall. Finding his own gaze already upon her, she quirks a half smile, pivoting slowly on a heel to face him, then gliding unhurriedly toward his cot.
So many are fearful of Rodrik's silver-haired guardian. Even some of the staunchest warriors have been known to show deference to her, and the Drowned Men practically consider her among their number. But this patient has been here long enough, perhaps, to have grown… well, more comfortable in her silent company. She has done nothing to cause him undue alarm, anyway. Arriving by his bedside, the witch draws a candle closer along the carved, rugged stone shelf that comprises the cots 'frame', perching on the edge of the rush-stuffed pallet and drawing back the covers down to his hips in a businesslike manner, that she might check his wound. Removing the arrow was the easy part. Cauterising the deep penetration left behind? The most agonising. But aftercare is everything, and Nares has had the best of it, for certain. He hasn't even needed a dressing in a week, and a few light presses of her fingertips along the divots of his ribcage seem to leave the healer satisfied. There's a single nod of approval, anyway, before she flits a glance up into his eyes. That smirk is back.
It's almost become a challenge, sheer stuborness, who'll break the silence first? For now though, it's not Nares. Silently she approaches, silently he watches, eyes not leaving her as she draws near. He's heard stories, even heard some of those that accompanied Maron telling tales, he's keeping an open mind though, trying to work the witch out form himself. As she sits he moves his arms up to rest behind his head, giving her a bit more space to work with. He's still watching though.
Seeing her start, somewhat predictably, for his ribs he tenses slightly, well aware that there is still a great potential for pain there. Fortunately for him, it's the upper wound she tests, rather than his bottom ribs which, by their very nature will take longer to heal. Finally turning away from her for a moment he glances down his own chest, seeing Kathryna once more binding those very selfsame ribs such a short time ago. Maybe they hadn't fully healed before being cracked again by Raffton's sword, maybe the turncoat raider had struck lucky. After a couple of moments he returns his gaze to Morvynn, still ready in case she should decide to do a similar investigation where it actually stil hurts.
Honestly, Morvydd's silence is more habit than intent. Most people have no desire to linger overlong in her presence, let alone strike up conversation. So she's simply used to going about her duties in quiet, unobtrusive. A long, silky tendril of silvery-white falls forward with the downward cant of her head as the witch shifts her gaze to the other, more troublesome injury, the glossy strands gleaming in the dim illumination. It must be said, unsettling as the woman may be, her touch when it comes to her patients is featherlight and careful. Those cool fingertips drift very gently across the palpable ridges of the break, not pressing, but merely exploring through the vulnerable cover of his skin.
Aware when his gaze flits back to her, following that moment of distraction, she calmly looks up again to meet his eyes. Then, out of nowhere, she's addressing him, albeit in a whisper so hushed it's barely audible. The strange, echoing timbre of her voice is for Nares alone.. not the other occupants of the chamber. "Breathe. Tensing will only make it hurt more." The instruction is almost a sigh, so lilting is her tone, and her fingertips continue their contemplative exploration all the while. In the fire of candlelight, those honey-colored eyes of her are quite honestly unnerving. If one is bothered by such things, of course.
Well. That discounts at least a couple of the stories that Nares has heard since arriving at Pyke. Surprise registers on his features briefly, before it is replaced by the pained expression that is the usual response to such ministering. It must be getting better though, as there is no immediate and vocal exclamation of how much it still hurts, just a grimace and the continued tenseness in his frame. If he had tried to relax as instructed, it doesn't seem to have worked, but once the inital response starts to die he does his best to at least try and seems to be rewarded with a modicum of success. A moment or so later, once he's sure it isn't going to get any worse, he takes advantage of her new found tongue and asks straight up, "How much longer?"
With her strange eyes downcast again upon the still-bruised flesh, Morvydd doesn't even bother to glance up at the question. Perhaps it was inevitable that these would be his first words to her. She also doesn't immediately reply, waiting until she has felt her way along the worst of the righted rib and satisfied herself that it is re-knitting in a proper manner. Drawing back then, straightening, she smooths the blankets in an absent-minded fold across his stomach before quirking a brow, her expression giving nothing away. And still, her voice never rises above that melodic whisper, for him alone. "..you tell me." Affording him a fleeting look, the woman permits another of those half-smirks to play across her mouth, tugging at one corner. "You wish to move, yes..?" Well, that's hypothetical. Of course he does. "Tomorrow, we will practice stairs. Walk. Run. Breathe." Pushing to a stand, with enviable ease and no hitch to the lungful she draws, perhaps pointedly, she regards the man consideringly. "You do that, then you can fight. Don't? I keep you here another month." And yes, she most certainly has the authority. He has to be strong and determined -now-, or she'll waste no more time upon him. The creature has grown in the company of Kings and Princes. Her expectations will be met, if Nares wishes to return to the mainland.
With any other healer, Nares might be more abrupt and dismissive. With the chosen of the Drowned God herself though, he actually pauses to listen. Some of it he even takes heed of, mostly the bit about maybe having to stay for a month. That bit he frowns deeply at. Not he doubts she could, but he certainly has no intention of giving her cause to. Determination he has in spades and his strength is certainly returning, only one way to find out if it's enough yet though. As she stands he takes the opportunity to push himself up into a seated position and swing his legs round to the floor. It hurts, no doubt about that, but he manages it without any actual hinderence beyond that imposed by due care. "Why wait?" he asks, not really expecting, or desiring an answer. "I'm not doing anything more important right now." She might have other plans, but then she can mention it if so. That said, he takes a deep breath, as deep as he comfortably can, and pushes himself up into a standing position, taking a moment to steady himself once he makes it up there.
The fey woman doesn't move as Nares rises, remaining perfectly still right where she is and merely observing him with those strange golden eyes. Is that the hint of a smile tugging at her lips? There's something admirable even in the most foolhardy of stubborn warriors and she's not going to prevent the man from testing his limits.. it's one less task for her. "Impressive." she remarks, sardonically, even as her gaze wanders with a practiced, assessing eye over his standing form and carriage. Does he hold himself comfortably, or favor that wounded side? Is his breathing too shallow to support anything more than standing?
Now that they are more evenly matched, at last, her diminutive height becomes far more apparent.. she barely reaches his shoulder. But such things don't seem to concern the witch. She certainly doesn't shrink back from him. "..but that will not be enough. Standing still on the battlefield? No." Shaking her head to emphasise her clipped words, voiced still in that soft-spoken, lilting manner, Morvydd is silent a long moment, studying Nares' features in evident contemplation. Then, she simply beckons him to follow her, turning on a heel and striding briskly across the chill flagstones toward the arching doorway of the chamber. He wants to have at it? Fine. She's bored, too. And few things in life are as entertaining as toying with a man of such blatant pride and willfulness.
<FS3> Nares rolls Body: Success.
While it's true that he's not expanding his ribs to their full extent as he breathes, Nares does seem to be managing a reasonably deep breathing action. Certainly deeper than when he'd first arrived on Pyke after the withdrawal from the Roost. Once he's sure of his feet he rolls his shoulders back a little, ignoring their protests after the prolonged lack of use. He glances down to Morvydd as she speaks, his own expression clearly showing what he thinks of her initial remark. For a brief moment he's aware of the cold in the chamber and shivers, which does produce a slight wince as the muscles move around his damaged ribs, but it's just a fleeting thing. At her beckon he follows, his bare feet making rather more noise on the flags than her progress had. Still though, the noise signals progress and all progress is good. His gait is shaky and cautious at first, muscles lethargic from time spent resting, but after a handful of paces he's into a steady, if not particularly long or impressive, stride. Yes it hurts, yes it shows, no he doesn't let that stop him, even if he isn't actually quite keeping up with the retreating form in front of him.
What does the woman care if he keeps up? This is no companionable stroll. That he follows is good enough. Though, she does slow once out in the dank, echoing corridor, looking back over one shoulder and through wisps of errantly trailing silver hair to briefly regard him as and when he steps through the door. Not bad. Inciting a man to defiant contrariness always works better than tender cajoling.
It's easy enough to follow the witch, despite the scant illumination in these halls of the Bloody Keep - that mane of hers is a gleaming, ethereal contrast to the shadows, rippling moonlit silk. Her gait is not unfairly swift, but bears a certain predatory grace, with soft tread and rangy stride despite her petite height. Morvydd doesn't pause until she reaches a vast, echoing chamber, where the corridor becomes a landing, overlooking the floor below; twin staircases of carved stone meandering down either side of the room. It seems some time since this place was used for entertaining; a film of dust is settled upon the scattered tables and benches and the fireplace has long seen warmth. Maybe it has merely been forgotten, over the years? Regardless. An ideal place for Nares to work in some solitude.
Turning to face and await him, the woman keeps her expression impassive, only gesturing sharply when the man draws close enough, a flick of her fingertips toward his arms. "Up." Raising her own, she folds them, but holds them aloft before her chest. He's working his legs, yes. But he doesn't fight with his legs, does he. "So." Is she really going to make him march these aged steps? In the middle of the night? …yes, it seems that way. He's the one who wanted out of bed.
<FS3> Nares rolls Body: Success.
Nares doesn't particularly want to get too far behind Rodrik's witch as they make their way through the Bloody Keep. She knows her way, he doesn't. Ideally, he'd like to stop for a quick breather, but her pace and the lightness of her footfall force him to keep going for fear of loosing her, and thus himself, in the echoing corridors. By the time he reaches what appears to be an old hall of some sort, it's fair to say he's started to work up a sweat and his breathing is not quite as neat as it was before. He's still on his feet though, and there's no sign of a let up in his determination. As he draws to a halt he turns his head slightly and spits on the floor to one side, clearing his mouth after the exertion.
His eyes spend a moment taking in the chamber around him before he turns back to the priestess-come-healer-come-who-knows-what in front of him. The command given is clear enough, but he waits a moment or two until she's finished her own movements, before responding himself. "Like that?" he asks, sounding somewhat sceptical at the unnatural position she's adopted. Still though, he rolls his shoulders again before slowly edging his elbows up on out until his fists meet knuckle to knuckle in front of him at shoulder height. It's not the same stance, but it's a decent stretch to test the waters as it were before he gently eases one over the other. It's fair to say, that that hurt, although beyond a facial grimace and a couple of small grunts he gives no sign. Painful it might well be, but it's not the ground glass in his side that it had been before.
A breather. Pah. There's no room for weakness on Pyke. But yes, she is deliberately pushing him. In a cryptic sort of way, because she cares.. or because their mutual superiors do, anyway. He'll learn, and quickly, that she'll work him twice as hard as the others who are recovering and easing back into training, merely because her expectations are twice as high. Half-hearted just won't cut it.
Nodding in assent as the man raises his arms, the woman quietly steps closer, moving to pace a slow circle, taking note easily of where his tensions lies, what makes him wince, what catches his breath. It might be worth it, almost, to brush her knuckles across the troublesome wounded spot when he's not anticipating it.. but why afford him such an easy reason to backhand her? Morvydd refrains, instead simply musing aloud. "..you are not ready yet. Not fast enough. Not strong enough. You must work." Nodding out toward the murky chamber spread below, she continues. "Every day, you will come here. You will stretch, march, carry. When you are ready, you may fight me." A wry smirk as she glances to him sidelong, then a flash of crimson revealed as she grins. "..or your fellows, if you prefer." No point healing him just to beat the everliving shit out of him as soon as he's recovered. "Do well, I release you. His Majesty will have orders."
Nares knows well enough from previous experience, not to underestimate an Ironborn woman's ability with a sword, but neither are such contests something he's been known to shy away from. It's not as if those women whom he's faught before have been the retiring, delicate type that the Riverlanders seem to favour. "Give me a sword," he says in answer, tone flat, and almost obstinate, "I've fought with worse before." Not usually at the start of the fight mind, but the scars visible across his torso tell of a somewhat active career. He lowers his arms in a slow and measure manner, watching Morvydd closely for her reaction. Face set firm he takes the few moments required to steady his breathing again into a constant rhythm then tilts his head slightly to one side. "Well?"
The witch doesn't bat an eyelash. More than likely she expected this response. Ironborn men. Half the pain threshold, but doubly thick skulls. Not that there's any point telling them that. They'd either not understand, or they'd argue. After a few beats, her smile having vanished as swiftly as it appeared, Morvydd narrows her honey-colored eyes thoughtfully upon the man's features, lets them drift down over his battle-scarred form, then brings them back up. A single, curt nod is all that's given by way of response.
Reaching one hand beneath the weighty sweep of her fur mantle, the petite creature carefully draws a long, curved dirk from a sheath at her hip and tosses it to Nares without preamble, forcing him to snatch the hilt from the air if he can and wants to. The other is left untouched, still slung from her belt. Apparently, if he wants to test himself, that's fine. But she's not going to take a live blade to a wounded man. Finishing her slow circle and halting, facing him, she lowers to a subtly defensive stance and beckons him forward toward her. The curling gesture of fingertips is no insult in itself.. though that smirk of hers may very well be intended as a languid taunt. Come at me.
Morvydd's nod is greeting with a slight smile, and there's something almost predatory about his features as the challenge is accepted. Not that he's expecting this to be easy, he's heard stories after all, but then, not all stories are true. Still, he knows enough not to under-estimate a fresh opponant from the get-go and once he's caught the hilt of the unfamilar blade he takes a moment to move it round in his grip, getting a feel for it's weight and how it moves. Once he's happy with how it handles he adopts a more combat orientated pose, dropping his centre of gravity slightly and ensuring he has enough bend in his knees to move himself around as needed. "Not going to join in?" he taunts quietly, having moved from actual conversation to literal fighting talk. "Sad, I'd heard such tales. Afraid to show that they're nothing but hyped up fancy?" He's hoping for some sort of reaction, although he'd be the first to admit that he doesn't know anywhere near anough about his oppoant to know where to fling the barbs. Either way though, if they hit or miss, he makes a move. It's nothing spectacular, just a simple forward thrust, testing both his actions and her reactions. A warmup to the real game perhaps.
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Nares=body+blades-1 Vs Morvydd=body+unarmed+1
< Nares: Success Morvydd: Great Success
< Net Result: Morvydd wins - Solid Victory
The dainty, silver-haired woman doesn't move. She just watches him with that unnerving little half-smile as he weights her blade. It's beautifully crafted, truly. Light, well-balanced, with a sweeping arc of a short blade and a well tended hilt wrapped in soft black leather. No doubt it's razor sharp, too. Hyped-up fancy? Perhaps. But she's still not going to scythe a blade of that quality at someone she's meant to be healing. No matter how arrogant he is.
That initial thrust is easy to see coming. Morvydd doesn't even shift her feet; she just keeps her arms folded and twists her upper body, with a fractional backward lean, to let the jab move by her. It's going to take a lot more than that to get under the creature's skin, in more ways than one. She straightens again slowly when Nares withdraws, studying him with feline amusement and sharp awareness.
Nares would be lying if he claimed to be surprised that his initial strike went did not hit home, he's still testing the waters though. And what has he learnt so far, his opponant is not a complete moron when it coms to a fight. He'd suspected as much, especially give the chance to examine the blade in his hand, but it's always nice to have one's suspicions confirmed. Time to liven things up a bit, if only a little bit for now and his next strike is much like the first, only slightly quicker and with a slight faint to the side for good measure. In truth, he's more testing himself and his own reactions for now, although if asked he'd certainly make some comment about allowing the Witch to warm up her own reactions before he took the fight to her fully. Such a gent.
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Nares=blades-1 Vs Morvydd=unarmed+1
< Nares: Good Success Morvydd: Success
< Net Result: Nares wins - Solid Victory
Even now, she's watching the man closely for signs of weakness. Perhaps too closely, as that second strike clatters off the side of her leather cuirass, catching her despite an absent-minded lean away. All it rouses is a smile, though.. one of almost encouragement. "Don't over-reach." Her words are curt, though not exactly unkind, as she watches his fighting form. "You lack the strength to back it." Moving now, she takes up that slow circle again, wicked amusement readily apparent in those feral eyes.. tempered now with a trace of grudging respect, though. And that's no small thing, from Morvydd. "Don't favour your side. But admit your weakness and find a new way. For now." Her silver hair sweeps in a gleaming curtain across her back, vivid against the ebon of her attire and the velvety shadows surrounding. Though the eyes adjust, given time.
Nares' smile returns as the flat of the borrowed blade finds it's mark. "You sure you don't want to join in?" he taunts as he moves back out of her strike range. Not that she's attacked yet, but it doesn't do to get complacent about such things. He turns to follow her circle, keeping watch for an opportune moment to strike. Confidence and adrenalin levels rising he can still ignore the pain in his chest for now, even ifin the back of his head he knows this is not going to be a long exercise. "Combat adivce?" he retorts, "from a girl who can't even lift a real sword? Your knives are all well and good as toys but what do you know about a real fight?" It's on the word 'real' that he moves, and 'fight' that his blow should land, nothing spectacular, just keeping things simple and uncomplicated for now.
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Nares=blades-2 Vs Morvydd=unarmed+1
< Nares: Good Success Morvydd: Good Success
< Net Result: DRAW
Those golden eyes remain impassive aside from smouldering amusement. That may well be more of an irritation to Nares than outright defiance in response to his jibes. Nothing he does appears to gain her ire. Instead, she just offers a quiet observation. "..which of us is the injured?" The next few moments are rather fast-moving, all things considered. Dodging his first attempted jab, Morvydd then sweeps a hand along the blade by the flat of her palm, twisting her arm at the last minute to prevent Nares from bringing the slice farther. She just stops him in his tracks before he can land it, .. and puts herself in sudden and dangerous proximity. With a sinuous motion that seems to come from the knees up, her lithe form bends in order for her to snap a direct shot at his jaw with one tightly-balled fist.
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Morvydd=unarmed+1 Vs Nares=reaction
< Morvydd: Good Success Nares: Good Success
< Net Result: Morvydd wins - Marginal Victory
DUMP: Alek drinks the database.
"Which of us was doing the fighting?" comes the quick retort from Nares. An easy one, too easy really and the faint smug satisfaction of the reply almost leads to his downfall as he doesn't catch her attack until almost to late. Fortunately for him though, he's always had remarkably good reactions and they don't fail him this time. He pulls backwards as soon as the threat becomes apparent and turns what could easily have been a nasty shot into nothing more than a glancing blow. He takes a pace more backwards though, rubbing his chin with his free hand and reassessing the situation for a moment. "Welcome to the fight," he says, predatory smile once again crossing his features. "You going to play properly?" he asks, a faint taunting tone still apparent as he notions to her other blade, " or are you just going to gift me the advantage of range as well as steel?"
"The enemy, it would seem." replies the witch, blithely. After all, what did it take to fell him, despite his stubborn shield of masculine swagger? Not that much. If she's disappointed in not quite snapping his head aside with her blow, there's no trace of it. She watches him step back, then slowly shakes her head, looking genuinely amused by his 'taunts'. "You are not my enemy." As if that ought to settle the matter. Yes, she has easily surmised that it will irk him far more if she refuses to play along. Go on. Get angry. Her amber eyes challenge, silently. I dare you. Circling again, her long skirts sweeping across the floor in the wake of her careful steps, Morvydd keeps her hands pointedly down by her sides, content merely to watch Nares in motion.
Nares turns to follow the circling witch with easy steps, this part of a spar he's well used to, the waiting, the teasing of words. It seems, for now though, that he's giving up on the words, there's only so far they can go and if she hasn't drawn her knife yet.. oh well. The attack when it comes is rapid. Several sweeps in quick succession aimed to distract and confuse her defences to enable one, or hopefully more to get through. It's not a style he could sustain for long though, as the exertion cuases him to breathe deeper, where the worst of the pain lies. Adrenalin can only get him so far but he figures he's already lost of this goes down to a slow game of stamina, so short and sharp it has to be.
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Nares=blades-3 Vs Morvydd=unarmed+1
< Nares: Good Success Morvydd: Good Success
< Net Result: DRAW
The flurry of strikes is surprising, she'll give him that. But the young woman avoids all but one with dizzying ease, twisting and weaving with a co-ordination and sinuous way of moving that borders on the otherworldly. Or at least bespeaks a well-practiced warrior. The final strike, she almost seems to intend to bat wide with the heel of her hand. Instead, she clasps her fingers around the blade and meets Nares' gaze. For the first time, a flicker of annoyance shows upon her pale features. "Stop. Think. Still you over reach. Your next opponent will not be so gentle." Keeping the weapon at bay, she steps closer, tilting her face up to regard the man through heavy-lidded amber eyes. "I am gentle.." A splitsecond later, her knee is brought up sharply toward the crux of his thighs. He better hope he can move fast.
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Nares=alertness-4 Vs Morvydd=unarmed+1
< Nares: Great Success Morvydd: Good Success
< Net Result: Nares wins - Marginal Victory
Nares would have to confess to being a little disapointed with the results of his flurry, but the brief moment of surprise on Morvydd's face is a moment he'll remember. As the last blow is nudged aside and the lecture beings he foolishly lets himself relax and start to draw back for another lunge. As she steps up he just glaces down at her and smirks slightly about to make some kind of lewd retort when he spots the sudden tenseness in her body just before the strike. Thankfully though, for his sake at least, he does spot it and he draws himself back rapidly, leaving the knee to pass through only air. It's a close run thing though and he makes a solid mental note to not let his guard down so badly again. He's tiring fast though, and the rapid movement to dodge the podshot really did not do his ribs any favours at all. His breathing is once again ragged and getting more painful as the fighting progresses. For now though, stubborness and defiance rule and he darts back in for another attack
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Nares=blades-5 Vs Morvydd=unarmed+1
< Nares: Good Success Morvydd: Failure
< Net Result: Nares wins - Solid Victory
Damn. It would have been entirely satisfying if that knee had struck home, particularly having seen the lascivious remark so blatantly forming on Nares' lips. Ah well. Still with a careful eye upon the man's labored breathing, the witch lets him continue in his efforts. He'll exhaust himself eventually. All she needs do is play for time. When the circle is taken up again, she moves to match him unhurriedly, her attire trailing her fluid motions. Maybe it's pure dumb luck. Maybe she's let her guard down, or been distracted in thinking of his healing ribs rather than the blade in his hand. Whatever the reason, when Nares moves in abruptly for another swing, she dodges first. But she doesn't see the next move coming, in a rare slip. Finding herself off-balance and with the keen edge of the sword pressed firmly to the vulnerable curve of her throat, Morvydd freezes.. and a flash of undeniable fury makes itself known in her eyes, just fleetingly. "Very good." She's forced to admit it, if only in a whisper.
Nares doesn't hold the position long, just giving himself enough time to savour the fury in Morvydd's eyes at the predicament forced upon her. "Thank you," he replies with a slight smile, although a further victory taunt is sidelined due to his increased need to breathe. Lowering the blade slightly to allow her to regain her balance he takes a few paces backwards, out of reach. He's intending to leave it there, but it doesn't hurt to make sure of it. He still has the adrenalin on his side, although he knows well enough that that won't last so he tosses the blade back to her, aiming slightly to one side so as not to accidentally impale. "Tomorrow," he starts, firmly enough, "I'll use my own blade." Another couple of panting breaths and he turns to head back the way they'd originally come. Best to get back before the exaustion hits after all. He really doesn't want to win the fight and then have to be helped back to his bed. Not acceptable. His progress will undoubtably be slow and pained, but he'll do it himself.
Straightening and reaffirming her stability as Nares withdraws, the silver-haired woman pushes aside her annoyance and once more dons that inscrutable veneer of detached calm, beginning to smile a little as she watches Nares withdraw so carefully. Snatching the dirk from the air deftly, then sheathing it once more by her hip, shaking out her overcoat to cover, Morvydd offers a gentle, purring 'hmm..' at first, before replying in better voice to the injured man's determined statement. "..and tomorrow? I will use a weapon." She doesn't follow after him, when he turns to leave. But he can likely feel the weight of those honeygold eyes on his back as he walks away.