“Good guys are the only people who get dire prophecies you know,” Belinda didn’t even look up from sharpening her sword. “We get them too, only ours are a little less vague, since our Gods are bothered by that whole ‘free will’ debacle.” She ran a finger along one of the dents, and sniffed in annoyance. She might have to get a new sword soon, this one was about done in.
“So you knew I was coming?” The boy’s voice was rapidly descending from confident to confused. “Everything I did, you knew I was going to do?”
“More or less,” she gave the blade one last swipe with the stone and stood up, turning to face the would-be hero. “There is that whole free will issue, but I’ve only seen a handful of ‘chosen ones’ that turn back.” She eyed his poorly bandaged shoulder. “You certainly didn’t.”
“I thought I had to,” he frowned.
That was unexpected. Belinda causally took a step towards him, but her adversary was lost in thought. The prophecy was quite to the point about heroes, they would show up and die heroically, until the last one finally killed her. There was nothing about them changing their minds.
“So, I suppose you’re going to kill me now,” he sounded disappointed.
“That was the plan.” Wait– was? She kept talking, hoping he’d miss the slip. “The hero shows up, challenges me to a fight and I kill him.” She certainly wasn’t going to mention the exception. “So it was foretold, and so it’s been. Almost ten years now.” She raised her sword and stepped closer.
“I haven’t challenged you yet.” They boy gestured to his shoulder. “If you aren’t planning on killing me in my sleep, I think I’d like to rest up first.” He paused, “The prophecy did say challenge and then death, right?”
Oh. She blinked and lowered her sword, running through the sing-song verses looking for any loopholes. “No, that’s right. Challenge, then fight. Huh.” She sheathed her sword. “Well, no rules against it I suppose.”