Calm The Fire: 23

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Standing in a row with seven other figures, Náriel looked around blank faced. Or as blank faced as she could. She was standing trying to figure out how she now stood in a row, surrounded by Dwarves. She stood in the front row, either the same height or a little bit shorter than those who surrounded her, and of course vastly different in both appearance and build.

When those surrounding her paired off, Náriel looked oddly up at a lone Dwarf by her side. He too looked at her strangely. “Sigrek, at your service, Princess.”

“Please, Master Sigrek, just call me Náriel.”

“Only if you just call me Sigrek.”

“You have yourself a deal,” Náriel smiled.

“I didn't realize this was a place to socialise,” Dwalin appeared at both their sides.

Náriel looked up at him, “I didn't realize when I offered to help earlier on, that I would be dragged into a sparring session.”

“Now, now, Princess.” Dwalin said dryly, he wasn't even attempting to defend himself on the obvious. “You can't train alone.”

Náriel raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms. “I can.”

Dwalin's expression went blank and he stared down at her, Náriel was much smaller than him, he practically towered over her form. Regardless she still stood there serious faced and unmoving.

“Think of this as a trial.”

“Trial?” Náriel repeated confused while uncrossing her arms and looking up at him.

Dwalin sighed and looked from Sigrek to her. Sigrek still stood by, he did try and take a step away when Dwalin started to speak, only this caused the older of the two to shoot him a look which stopped him dead in his tracks. Now Sigrek stood, listening to Dwalin's words too.

“Perish the thought, but a time may come when you both need to fight.” Dwalin said as simply as he could. Fighting was a regular thing, nearly every generation faced battle, it wasn't an unknown thing. “Now, I’m not saying we're going to be at war,” at this he gestured to Náriel and then himself meaning the Dwarves and the Elves. “But a time may come when you both have to fight against an unfamiliar foe.” He looked between the two. “Sigrek here has no knowledge of your fighting skills, likewise you know nothing of his. As far as a sparring session goes, I think it's a bloody good one.”

Náriel stood nodding slowly, “Gûr nîn be hen.” She whispered and looked up at the two Dwarves. “I agree.”

“Well with that being said,” Dwalin said while thrusting a sword into her hand. Náriel frowned, it was weightier than she ever thought. It's weight was so vastly different to the lightness of Elven weapons. Stepping back he gestured to them two, “Commence.”

Náriel frowned and looked to Sigrek. “Do not look apprehensive!” She exclaimed lightly. “I am a lot tougher than I look. You won't hurt me, trust me, you won't.”

“And if you do,” Dwalin chimed in while walking past them. “Suffer the wrath of Thorin!” He took great pleasure in laughing over this, even more so considering the colour drained from Sigrek's face and he suddenly looked even more apprehensive than he did before.

----

It had been hours since Thorin and Náriel last crossed paths. He had asked nearly everyone he passed if they had seen the missing Princess. Upon being informed that her and Dwalin had been spotted he suddenly felt an even more desperate need to find her.

Needless to say, the last thing he expected to see when entering the space used to train in was Náriel standing, guard up and dodging out of the way of a couple of sword strokes from a young Dwarf. He couldn't help but wince, she was doing a lot of dodging and running. It was clear she wasn't much for attacking.

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