I liked this. What do you think would have happened if one of them was more merciful than the other? Or do you think it's possible one of them would have let the other win?

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lol, I like that! One of the things I love about fiction is how readers bring new ideas to it. In my mind, no, they were going to fight to the best of their ability, but that would be a cool twist. The problem is, they were both raised in the propaganda of pride in their respective countries, so it's not just their lives on the line.

Of course if the story continued, they could also refuse to kill each other and maybe lead the way to reconciliation between the kingdoms by showing mercy to one another.

I love the possibilities mercy opens up here.

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yeah, nothing would change, in any way, one of them has to win, being merciful and hesitating will just make it quicker for the other guy to finish the job, hard truth.

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