Chapter 7

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I woke the next morning, slightly confused to why I was in my bed because I hadn't slept there in a while, then the events of the night before hit me like a brick. Rory and Billy and my back... I contorted my arm around and felt the slight rise on my back where the frill was now pressed to my spine.

Everyone was waking up now and heading to the mess hall. I didn't feel hungry though, so I skipped breakfast and headed straight to the training field, picking up my leather armor and and practice sword on the way.

In the training arena, as soon as I got to one of the dummies, Caelea immediately started screaming out not sequences, but random moves. Left backhand! Right slash! Duck and block! Diagonal slash!

I complied, fluidly moving from attack to attack, the movement blurring together. Thrust. Slash. Jab. Block. Caelea ruthlessly shouted different moves in my ear, and I immediately responded. Sometimes she would change her command halfway through, and I would be forced to switch, mid swing.

Finally: Alright, Fin. The rest of the trainees are beginning coming in. You should probably stop now.

I stopped, panting hard, and turned around to find that Caelea had lied. My fellow trainees hadn't begun to come in, they were all already there, standing slack-jawed at my performance.

Sir Aaron walked up. "Well," he said, "That was... Um... Quite excellent. I was going to have you sparring with Billy again today, but I think I'd like to take you on myself."

Now it was my turn to stand in shock. "Wha- but- Sir! I'm not that good!"

"On the contrary, Thielsen." He smiled slightly. "Not only was that the best performance I've ever seen from you, but better than some graduating Knights. Whatever you're doing out in the forest, keep doing it. Now then, are you ready?"

"Um." Crap. Sir Aaron wants me to spar with him while the whole rest of the class watches? Caelea, what do I do? Having you tell me moves and sparring with those moves are two completely different things! "I guess so...?"

Sir Aaron held out his hand to one of the other trainees and he passed the sword he was holding to Sir Aaron. Sir Aaron then motioned for me to stand in the center of the training field and the rest of the trainees made a circle around us.

"Ready?" Sir Aaron's mouth was drawn in a strait line.

"Yes, Sir."

We began to circle each other, swords at the ready.

Fin. He's bigger and stronger then you but you might have a chance if you strike fast and first. You see how when he steps with his left foot his sword drops just a bit.

Still trying to appear to be looking at his face so Sir Aaron didn't catch on, I looked though the corner of my eye at his sword. Sure enough when he shifted his feet to move his sword dropped about an inch, leaving himself just an inch more exposed.

Aim for his chest when I say, OK? Sir Aaron was on the brink of taking another step. NOW!

I quickly jabbed to his chest, he looked slightly startled for a moment but quickly blocked, intercepting my sword just a moment before it his the space over his heart.

Jab left, quick block! Right slash! Caelea shouted instructions in my head and my body quickly responded, blocking and jabbing were ever Caelea deemed it necessary.

Soon she wasn't even yelling out where, just what. Block! Strike! Block! Strike! Again! Again! Again! Again! Just then I saw Sir Aaron's sword moving in, and before I could maneuver my sword to block his, I felt the rap of the wooden sword on my ribs and we both dropped our defenses. Sweat coated my face and dripped into my eyes.

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