Luca sank into a wide stance and concentrated on remaining silent. The cold of the cave was making his breath visible, but he could only tell because of his ability to see its heat. He calmed his mind and deepened his breathing to slow his heart. This was instinctive to him; years of combat training had left him as much a creature of reflex as one of control.

The orc was looking for him. Its torch had sputtered out and now it was moving towards where he had been a few moments before, jabbing with its weapon randomly, in an effort to stab Luca by luck.

Luca watched, waiting to see if the stupid brute would turn back, but it seemed that the sudden loss of light had robbed it of any remaining wit. Silently Luca closed the gap between them, moving close to the ground and transferring his weight carefully and evenly so as not to disturb the cave floor. Once he was within a sword’s length he chose his moment and sprang, driving his sword in through the neck and down, killing it before it even heard him move.

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