The last time I saw the rock knight, he sent me running up the tower in despair. His image was that of an unbeatable enemy, and I still had the idea that I could somehow avoid the harder enemies, like him, and somehow make it through with cunning. It was a smart trick against the Taurus Demon, but I could never stay alive without being able to beat enemies on sheer technique alone. I could not be a second time scared by an enemy like the rock knight, because it could just send me running in the direction of a sorcerer or worse.
But proving my worth and regaining my debatable honor wasn’t the only reason I had to fight him. There was a door behind him and I wanted to know where it led. One thing I could figure by this point was that there were interesting and powerful weapons left all around by warrior who tried to conquer Lordran before me. One of these could be a game changer for me, and it could be just laying there right behind that door. I didn’t know, but I wanted to find out.
So there I went. The bodies of the hollows I had killed “weeks” before stank and rotted on the open, to the extent that I had to cover my nose. Over their long dead bodies I saw the ghosts of other warriors, fighting the same hollows in their own worlds. I tried not to think about that too much, however, because it scared me that I couldn’t understand it.
When I came to the tower, I changed my pace and walked more slowly. I felt fear and let it ring in my heart. A great part of a warrior’s training is simply learning to think while being afraid, while acting on reflex, while breathing heavily, while bleeding and being attacked. The common man will frequently fantasize about acting quick, about moving faster than a snake and catch things before they hit the ground. He will picture duels when his every move is a response to the enemy’s previous move. “He went for his knife but I hit his knee with an arrow. So he threw the knife at my face, but I dodge in the last second”. None of this actually exists. All there is is chaos and a helpless mind struggling to reason inside it. Every action happens in a split second and it’s over so fast that you have to check your back for a second, perhaps there’s a knife there you didn’t notice. Sometimes you kill an enemy, look around for danger, check you body for wounds, convince yourself you are now alone, feel amazed at having survived, and only then you hear the enemy’s weapon hit the ground.
The same goes for the struggle of the weapons itself. There is a logic to it, but it is not apparent to anyone involved, not who watches it, not who uses it. Most movement are motivated by nothing but reflex, but have a logical reason why they were proper, and most of the times exactly what they are supposed to do actually happens, but you can’t explain why, because the two blades hitting each other do not feel like words and thoughts. The only explanation to the duel would be the memory of the duel, that is, if you had any, which you don’t. The warrior’s life is intense but leaves no memory.
The fight against the knight itself was surprisingly uneventful. I parried his attack a couple times, not without some difficulty, but I was well prepared. Most of the momentum was already naturally deflected away from me just by a simple body movement to the side. The dragon bone he used for a weapon was so heavy, it took him too long to recover from one attack, he depended on hitting the first two or three times for an instant kill. He could only survive this many mistakes because of his heavy armor, but it wasn’t a fortress, it couldn’t take too much pounding. I hit him three times on the shield side of his shoulder amor and it cracked open. By the fourth hit, I cut through meat and bones. Then I kicked off his helmet and crashed his skull.
I couldn’t believe a normal human being could carry around so heavy armor without magic, so I took out his arms’ armor to check for rings and sure enough it was there. A big gray ring made of some petrified material. I took it out of his dead hollow finger and placed it on one of mine. The effect was instantaneous. I suddenly felt like my armor was weightless and could move is if I was naked. This is was certainly one of my most important discoveries along this journey so far. I was so excited, I wanted more, so I opened the door that he was guarding.
Bad idea going that way. The crystal monsters just behind it were clearly out of my league and there was a huge water hydra in the distance spitting water around. I wanted nothing of it and just headed back to where I met Solaire before, past the battlegrounds of the Taurus Demon.