How we think the fight might go...
Ai Ling walked through this new place with trepidation and more than a little fear. This placed looked similar to that last world, but the buildings were taller, more angular. It seemed darker too somehow, though there were more lamps on the street.
The world was deserted and she felt like a ghost walking in this strange realm.
Something flickered in an alley and a figure emerged from the shadows.
“I've been waiting for you, little Downwolder. I'm Jace, not that you'll need to remember the name long,” the young man said. A long sword was in his hand. He was swinging back and forth lightly. Ink or some other kind of paint covered his arms. From the lamplight Ai Ling could see his eyes were golden, like Chen Yong's, but she also noticed something strange. Scars covered his body, but they were silver. He was not a normal creature, and this fight would be nothing like with the boy in the graveyard. She drew out her long knife, made to kill demons.
He barked out a laugh. “You? With that tiny thing? How on heaven, hell, or earth did you win the first fight? If I hadn't seen that vampire chase you here, I wouldn't have believed it myself.”
He crossed his arms and smirked. He left his guard open, just waiting for her. So arrogant, she thought. She would show him he was up against more than he guessed.
“You look like a kitten. Do you want to play, little kitten?”
Ai Ling rushed out across the street, her knife at the level of his and her heart. She was tall for a girl and that would be an advantage tonight. Jace countered her attack, stepping out of the way as if he were in a dance. He tapped her long knife lightly, not even enough to make her arm ring. He was playing with her.
Fine, she thought, and reached toward his mind. It was buzzing, mostly with how to kill her and how much fun he was having. But there were other thoughts. A few of a girl named Clary, but some others, deeper down. She pushed all the rest aside but these. These were his secrets.
“You're name isn't Jace, is it? It means something else, doesn't it?” she asked, smiling. The golden boy with silver scars stepped back, blinking. It passed and he attacked, harder than before. She twisted and bent her body, grateful for the training Li Ro and Chen Yong had given her. But for a moment, it had been there. He hadn't liked what she had said. He was fighting worse than before, erratic, and less confident. She reached for his mind and tried again.
“You're keeping secrets, Jace. Your family–”
“Shut up!” he screamed at her, slicing dangerously close. “Get out of my head!” He came at her, more animal than human now. It was all instinct and fury.
Ai Ling sucked in a breath. She didn't know it would set him off like this. She had to end it now. She reached for his spirit with her own, but it was difficult. He was moving so fast. In two moves she was on her back. The ground slammed up to meet her. Her skull rang and her eyes were black around the edges. She could feel him standing over her. She didn't have to focus to know his blade was already above her heart or throat. His breathing was ragged.
“Die, freak,” he said.
She raised her knife. She wouldn't give up. She would die fighting to the end. As she felt the air before the blade, her jade pendant grew hot. Light and heat shot out from it, blasting him backwards. It flooded her body with strength, cleared her senses, brought her back to where she needed to be. She had seconds, less than that before he recovered. She stood, shaking and went into a trance, throwing her spirit out toward his.
It locked on, and she was inside him. There was pain. Her knife wounds had cut deeper than she thought, but the pain inside was almost too much for her to bear. It's all an act. She thought. He's like a vase from spun sugar. One crack and it all crumbles to pieces. For a moment, she pitied him. She felt everything as he did. She knew his secrets, and they were deep. But he channeled it all wrong. He hurt people with his facade, even those he cared about. And he was unstable. And instability was dangerous.
Forgive me, she whispered to him, and she knew he heard her, because his body jerked in response. She tried to comfort him. Then swiftly, so it did not hurt, she tightened her spirit around his, extinguishing that bright light forever.
Her spirit snapped back into her body. She jerked and coughed, still feeling the remnants of his old pain. She moved silently over to him and knelt. She stayed that way for a long time. Then she moved away, disappearing into the empty streets, hating this gift the gods had given her.
Predicted winner: Ai Ling
Ai Ling is from Cindy Pon's Silver Phoenix and Jace is from Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments