Now this. This she knew how to do.
Aoife ducked beneath the nearest spider and slashed at its abdomen with one of her daggers. It opened at the touch, showered her in warm ichor. Not a wound that would kill it, but perhaps one that would slow it for a moment or two. For long enough that one of her blades would find its mark.
She felt the battle-rush, and the calm came upon her again, taking her away from the world at large, and placing her in one singular moment. The constant chatter in her mind – whatifshouldhavedonewhynotyouWHYNOTYOU – receded and the world slowed. Time stood still here. Here there were no regrets, no anguish.
The spider moved slowly in the gap of her perception and between two of its legs she saw one of her companions surrounded by more of the giants. Then she rolled, easily and safely, avoiding another of its legs as it attempted to crush or skewer her.
The view cleared again for a moment. A different spider sank its venom-laced fangs into whoever-it-was, but they were obscured from vision and the moment was gone.
She heard her every breath, felt her heart drum slowly inside her, every beat an eternity to plan and execute her next attack. She could see the monster’s movements before it made them, perhaps even before it knew itself what it was going to do. Her body moved of its own accord, rising to its feet in front of the spider.
It hissed and opened its mouthparts wide, then attacked again. Aoife sidestepped easily, turning its fangs with her twin blades.
There was nothing but the battle.
Aoife’s heart sang to her, and she placed her blades in time with the music, caught up in the moment. Her mind was empty of fears and regrets and weakness and the darkness, and even as she fought she longed for the encounter to hold for longer, so that she could stay here, caught in the moment where everything was well and nothing was wrong.