The Empress sends Opera out to provoke Duran into following her into a trap. Ever impulsive, the Siren lets her tarnished ego and buised feelings get the best of her...
His simple defiance shattered her seemingly effortless bravado as if he took a hammer to glass. A flush of what seemed to be a mix of anger, impatience, and disappointment struck her pretty face, but the emotion soon cooled and melted into a calm superiority. She glared her beautiful glare.
"Is the mighty northerner, Duran the barbarian, afraid to hurt his little sister?" She questioned playfully. "Or afraid he might lose?" Her second comment seemed more like a statement than a rhetorical question.
"Stop this, Opera." He ordered in a commanding tone. "What are you trying to accomplish? Look at yourself. You fight alongside tyrants and your empty threats come without reason."
His verbal assault bounced off of her confident demeanor.
"They are merely steps in my rise to power."
"You are not the Opera I used to know."
The same flush of rage washed over her. "You never used to know me!" Letting her emotions take control, she violently lashed out at him. The whip cracked and bit into the skin of his right shoulder; Duran staggered as the whip embedded itself into his muscles.
Opera yanked her whip back to her side, and the barbs in the end of the whip viciously tore flesh from his upper torso, causing the mighty barbarian to grunt and grasp at his wound.
The wound began to gush blood. Opera's calm, amused gaze returned to her face as Duran's expression changed from surprise to rage. He shouted her name in anger, a figurative master reprimanding his dog.
"Draw steel, barbarian! Do not underestimate me." She cracked her whip in the air to symbolize her threat.
"Opera! This is pointless. There is no reason for you to-"
A second lash of the whip interrupted his protests and tore a second hole in his physique. Both wounds bled heavily.
"I did not ask for a head start, barbarian. I have waited too long to fight you, and you have followed me so far. Let me show you some new tricks I have learned!" She cracked her whip at him again and the barbs on her whip spiraled towards his face.
This time, though, he had his axe drawn and raised in a defensive stance. The metal barbs drew sparks against the great axe as he deflected the attack. Opera smiled at the accomplishment of forcing Duran into battle. Her gaze narrowed as she prepared for a fight she knew she would win.
Duran readied himself, angrily. Angry at Opera for this nonsense. Angry at himself for fighting her. Angry at Fayette for leaving. Angry at Limon and Iona and all of the other selfish politicians for starting this whole mess.
He coerced his rage-filled adrenaline to pump through his body as he charged at full speed towards his sister, swinging his axe wide. She laughed her beautiful laugh and danced out of the way as his axe swung a mere inches from her exposed flesh.
The sibling rivalry ensued, and intensified.