Chapter 8

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The next day, at training, I stood in line with the rest of the trainees

"I want Ryan, Jordan, and Fin to come here, the rest of you can pair up for sparring." Sir Aaron shouted, and I and the other two trainees moved forward.

I hesitantly walked up to Sir Aaron. I didn't think Billy told anyone it was me that broke Rory's ribs, mainly because Sir Aaron hadn't told me to pack my things and get out of the Knights' Academy, instead telling all the trainees that Rory had had an "accident".

I stood at attention next to Jordan and Ryan.

"Because you preformed so well yesterday," Sir Aaron started, addressing me, "I'm going to have you start fighting multiple people. Ryan and Jordan are both going to attack you, I just want to see how well you preform against more than one attacker."

I nodded my head, and Sir Aaron positioned Ryan and Jordan around me, one to my left and the other to my right.

"Okay, you two know what to do, attack him, but if he fails to block, control you strikes. You two don't stop fighting, even if he hits you, until I say. Ready? Begin."

Jordan hesitated only one second before rushing me. Caelea shouted in my head and I quickly blocked, before sending out a strike that thwacked against his side.

Ryan's coming up on you left! Watch out!

I peered out of the corner of my eye before spinning and blocking Ryan's incoming stab.

At another shout from Caelea, I nimbly twisted aside from a stab of Jordan's blade, before countering with a slash of my own.

About then everything began to blur. I once again was lost in the adrenaline rush, in Caelea's shouting in the dragon tongue. I slashed and blocked and jabbed and dodged, whirling around faster and stronger than I had ever felt before.

Before I knew it, though, things were over. I had managed to twist Jordan's sword out of his grip, but the action had left me unbalanced, and Ryan was able to deliver a strong slash to my knee, whereupon I collapsed. I lay where I fell, my breath coming in ragged gasps and wheezes.

"Fin...?" I vaguely recognized my dad's voice in my exhaust. Slowly, as Caelea fed me more energy, I rose to my feet, to see my dad standing in the entry to the arena, aghast. "You can't seriously be the same son I left a week ago. That's just not possible."

"Hi, Dad." I panted. "Gimme a few minutes, and I'll spar with you, If you want." Caelea, I'm going to need a lot more energy.

Yep, you are.

Are you going to share? I asked her as my dad nodded, still looking a little surprised.

Fiiiiinnnnneeee... I felt Caelea's energy flooding into me, and I stood up straighter.

"Okay, I'm ready."

The rest of the trainees had stopped to watch. My dad got a sparring sword from one of them, and stepped up to face me. We stood for a moment, sizing each other up. Then, abruptly, he lunged.

I quickly blocked then sidestepped so I could send my own thrust to his chest. He blocked and countered, aiming for my neck.


I did, and with Caelea's quick instructions, I sent a feint to his side then quickly reversed and aimed for his chest.

We sparred for a few more minutes, blocking, counterattacking, counterblocking, and countercounterattacking, with Caelea shouting in my head.

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