My First Royalguard  //    By: Maro


I found my face becoming intimate with the blades of grass (once again) in our backyard. 

DAMMIT! Why does he have to be so good?  

Just because he practices all the time.........but I still give a good two hours a day into fencing(ah, who am I kidding? I suck...a lot). But if it where anyone else, I would've won. 

"Want to call it a day?" Vergil asked. "I'll understand if you're too....tired to keep going." 

"Nah," I replied with my best effort at a cocky grin. "I've(what was that word Vergil keeps using?) STRATEGICALLY led you into a position where I'm sure to win." 

"Which is why you've kept blocking my attacks with your ribs, right?" 

"It's a piece of wood! You wouldn't be nearly as good with a real blade!" I replied angrily.  

Geez get over yourself Vergil. It isn't even a real katana. 

"You're right, Dante," Vergil answered solemnly. 

I looked at him with surprise. 

"I'd be better." 

At this point I didn't think Vergil was bragging. I knew he'd kick my ass eight ways from Sunday.....but that didn't make me any less angry. I may only have practiced two hours a day, but I put real effort into it.  

But I knew he was also trying to get to me. Luring me in with his taunting. And the worst part was that even though I knew I was still letting him do it. 

Mom knew a few things about fighting. Not as much as Dad, but she knew it was important to attack knowing when you could strike. 

Which was right before an attack. 

But before that, I needed to know how Vergil would attack. I already know he was fast, but it was the instant that he connects is what I need to worry about. 

Vergil of course, no matter how calm he appeard on the outside, was always eager to win. 

I needed to turn that to my advantage. 

A mere taunt however, wouldn’t work. He would see right through it. 

Something subtle, but enough to get my point across. 

I held my sword out and pointed it at my brother. 

“Bravado will get you nowhere, Dante.” 

In response, I dropped my weapon. 

“Go back inside, Dante. You can lose to me tomorrow.” 

I said nothing. 

Not to keep Vergil guessing, but to show him that today, I will stand my ground. Even if it meant another beating. 

We never broke our stare. Vergil knew it meant showing a sign of weakness. 

Usually I would hate just standing there. But today, and for the rest of my days, I knew I would have be patient if I ever were to win against him. 

“Go back inside, Dante.” 


“Go back inside, Dante!” 

Any second now. 

I went into my stance. 

Vergil, never one to feint an attack, made his move. 

He knew he would have no problem connecting. 

That’s what I was counting on. 

I didn’t see him coming....even my eyes couldn’t adjust to that speed, but I knew it was coming. And that was all that mattered.


Again, we made eye contact. I’ll never forget the look on his face. 

It would only be later on that I would realize that things would never be the same between us again. Maybe it saddened Vergil that I wasn’t just his little brother anymore. Not because him always being able to win, but because maybe he felt he wouldn’t be as capable of protecting me, as he always had been.  

But Vergil, always in denial in the face of defeat, swung again at me. 

And again. 

And again. 

And all three times, I had blocked his advances. 

A savage scream unlike anything I had ever heard from him escaped Vergil as he went in for one final strike. 


His weapon had not been three inches from my shoulder when I went in for the final blow: A palm strike to the chest. 

In the next moement I had found myself behind my gasping brother. How I had gotten there, I had no idea. 

We stood there, back to back, for a long time. I don’t think either one of us wanted to see each other at that moment. I knew Vergil wouldn’t even want to look at me. I walked forward, without looking back. 

That’s when I felt a hand upon my shoulder. 

Then Vergil turned, and started back towards the house.


—The End—

© 2006 Maro