Marco Learns to Swordfight

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The three friends had set up camp in a small clearing in the woods. They were quiet, reflecting on what had just happened a couple hours earlier. It had sickened them. They neither slept nor ate, just sat in silence. 

Sooner than they thought, the sun began to peak over the trees, and they got up and started on their way. They were all mentally and physically exhausted, but they knew they had to keep going if they were ever going to complete their mission. Pretty soon their hunger caught up to them, though, and they stopped in a little field for lunch. Salia had cut large slices of bread and passed them around with a bit of fruit jam. It wasn't much, but it was enough to keep them full until they could get to Queen Lanie's castle.

When Ren was finished eating, he stood up and wiped the crumbs off his pants, then he turned to Marco.
"I must train you in the art of sword fighting."

"What?!" Marco spat his bread out, "N-n-no! I wouldn't be good at that!"

"After what happened to Jumper," he paused and shook his head, "You need to be able to protect yourself if need be."

Salia nodded as she took a bite of bread, "He does have a point."

"I'm not good at fighting with weapons, I'm more of a hand-to-hand combat kind of guy," Marco argued.

"Hand-to-hand combat is great and all, but what if another dragon shows up? Or a shapeshifter? It won't be enough to keep you alive. What are you going to do? Punch the dragon in the nose?" Ren laughed at the thought, "You're nothing but a mere snack to a dragon."

Marco sighed, Ren had a point. There was no way he could fight a dragon with nothing but his bare hands. He had to find another way to defend himself, a better way. "Alright. You're right. I'll train with you."

Ren unsheathed one sword and threw it into Marco's lap, then unsheathing the other one for himself. "I find the best way to learn is on the job. Don't worry, I'll go easy on you."

"W-wait, what?"

Ren pointed his sword at Marco, "Come on then. Get off your butt."

Marco stood up, awkwardly holding the sword in his two hands. "I-I'm not sure what you want me to do."

That's when Ren lunged forward with his sword, Marco automatically reacted and blocked Ren's sword with his.

Marco's eyes grew wide, "H-hey! I did it!"

"Good job, Marco!" Ren beamed with pride for his new student. "Now block this one!"

They spent the next half hour like this, with Ren making advances and Marco blocking with his own sword. Marco was surprisingly a natural! He managed to block every one with ease. Even Marco was surprised by his new found talent.

Ren grinned and resheathed the two swords, "You did great Marco! You're a natural!"

Marco smiled proudly, he had never done anything like that before. Maybe all the martial arts and sword fighting movies paid off.

Salia floated up to the two, embracing Marco in a tight hug. "Ohh! I'm so proud of you! That was amazing."

"Thanks," Marco hugged the girl back. "It was actually pretty fun."

Ren gave a small smile, "We'll practice more, I have other techniques to teach you. But now we must continue to Queen Lannie's castle."

Marco nodded excitedly, "Lets go! I'm ready to fight some monsters now!"

Ren and Salia laughed at his excitement. It was a good change from the sadness they had all felt the night before. They could do this. They were almost to the castle.

Queen Lannie wasn't far away.

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A/N

Hey guys, short chapter I know. But I wanted to explore a lot of Marco's character development during his time in the alternate dimension. One of the things I imagined him doing was honing in on his fighting skills, I know this is all just a head-cannon, but I thought it was interesting how different he seemed to be when he came back home. He really  seem to become mature, and I really wanted to explore that. So thanks so much for putting up with me and my stupid head-cannons. Haha! Love ya'll!

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