For a moment, it looked as if neither of them would win.
He was exhausted. The sword was suddenly starting to feel very heavy in his hands. His arms burned from the dozens of small cuts. But his enemy was not backing down, so neither could he.
Gripping his sword tighter, he stepped forwards and swung at the cloaked figure. His silver blade was blocked by one blacker than the surrounding shadows.
Crimson sparks flew where the blades met. Their swords locked, each tried to push the other off. Their faces almost touched. If his opponent had a face.
Beneath that hood, only darkness could be seen.
He heard a faint grunt, and at that very instance he knew, that this was the moment he was waiting for. Taking quick step back, he drew back his sword and thrust it forward in one swift movement.
With a hissing sound, his sword sank, right into where the heart should be. The figure stepped back, quivered and appeared to split into two. For a moment he saw his own face in one of them.
Then the figure dissolved into the darkness, melting into the shadow itself.
He let go of the sword. Finally, it was over. His eyes widened. He looked down and saw his own sword sticking out from his chest. Falling backwards, his eyes still wide, he saw the shadow coalesce.
The hooded figure was looking down at him, silent as always.
His eyes were starting to lose focus. He was still staring at the ceiling in his room. The amber bottle fell out of his hand and rolled along the cold, sterile floor. Empty.