"Ok, then go die in battle. Fight by these principles and live, or you can die under my sword" he replied to her disgrateful reply. He threw a sword at her and held his up, poised for battle.
He threw a sword at her. Not only did she barely catch it, the sudden shift in weight threw her off balance. As he stood, perfectly prepared for battle, she tumbled over the chair. Suddenly discombobulated, she stared back up at him. The sword was not even in her hands, it had crashed a good four feet away. She turned crimson. “I…dislike swords,” she managed.
"Ok, then you can die" he said, slashing at her thigh, leaving a small but long cut across her leg. "Now fight if you really want to live. Use your instinct. Be an animal. Fight me" he said.
She gritted her teeth at the new cut. She was angry, to be sure, but she wasn’t going to pick up the sword. She wouldn’t touch that evil thing. That thing that allows you to feel a person’s life being taken. That thing that sliced up her cousins, slowly—piece by piece. “You are just like your father,” she snapped, rising to her feet. She would fight. But she would do it her own way. Her insignia was bold and strong. Fueled by her beliefs and will to honor her people. She began uttering a spell of great length.
He cut her side, abruptly cutting her off. "Ah. Ah. Ah. No cheating. This is man to man." he said. "I'll keep cutting you till you run out of blood. You need to fight" he said, trying to get in her head.
She could’ve easily sputtered out a few one word spells to disable him. But then what? If she won he’d just do this again. She glared at him, her eyes fierce and hateful. “Do it, then,” she growled, already shaking from the loss of blood. “You will have to kill me; I won’t disgrace my people. You can’t understand what I fight for. You don’t know where I’ve stood.” She took a step closer to him, challenging him to cut her down. If this was the end, so be it.
"I don't kill an unarmed person" he said, cracking his neck. "You will die on any true battlefield without sword knowledge. Long range is all you'll ever be good at. You are worthless on the battlefield without a sword. So pick it up and fight" he said simply, waiting for her to pick it up.
She narrowed her eyes, disbelieving that he would listen to anything she tried to say. He hadn’t before. Maybe that was partially due to her own attitude, though. Still, he had got his way with everything else, and she wasn’t going to allow him this one. She sighed. At least he wasn’t hacking away at her right this second. “Weapon wise, you are right that I’ll only be good at long range. I have mastered it; I’m not useless with my bow. On a true battlefield, if I wasn’t a sniper, I would use magic. My magic is much more useful than a sword would be, in my hands,” she glanced at the grounded sword, then back to Ziad. “I’m not capable of skillfully wielding a sword, like you do. My strengths are different. My weaknesses are different.”
"You must elarn to become an all-rounder. A person is nothing without everything." he said. He picked her bow, that he had salvaged from the forest. He loaded it with an arrow. "You see that owl on that tree" he said pointing to a tree, that was atleast 150 feet away. He pulled back the string and let it loose. The owl fell from the tree, an arrow lodge in its eyeball. "Bullseye" he whispered.
She felt sorry for the owl. It didn’t deserve that. “Excuse me for a moment,” she said, darting towards it. Knowing that Ziad would stop her immediately, she cast a quick transportation spell and materialized by the poor critter. She took it in her arms and started walking back, removing the arrow and whispering to it. By the time she had reached Ziad again, her magic had done its job. “He’s fine,” she smiled. “You are skilled with a bow, and obviously well rounded. But that’s irrelevant. I said I was incapable, not you.” She shooed the owl out of her arms, watching it fly away. “You say to fight well, you must use your instincts. But everyone has different thought processes and instincts. The instinct to fight like an animal is yours, and it serves you well. But mine are different.”
"Ok. What else can you do then?" he asked, giving up on her sword training. She seemed to be very stubborn. He shook his head and sat back down.
“I can do a lot with my magic; I’ve almost mastered the entire book. I’m good with a bow, obviously. Poison. Throwing knives. Pressure points if I’m in a pinch,” she said, “For the record, our fight yesterday doesn’t count. I wasn’t focused—any other day I wouldn’t have been spotted; I would’ve used magic from the start.”
"Let's see you aim with a knife" he said. He handed her knife and pointed to a target off in the distance. He sat back in his chair and folded his arms around his head, watching. He smacked his lips and yawned.
She gathered that he liked sharp metal things. If not sword fighting, it was knives. She glanced at the target and made her throw—not even using magic to assist her. It landed just shy of a bullseye, towards the side of the center dot.
"Well done." he said, throwing a light clap her way, an eye brow raised, a smirk on his face. "Anyway, I think that's enough for today. You can go outside or whatever but stau within a mile please" he said, standing up and stretching. He went into the garden with a yawn.
Wow, big difference from earlier. She considered what he had said. The graves were much farther than a mile…they were a good five miles out. She debated whether she should take this newfound freedom and just go…or if she should try to listen. Obviously, complementing his skills had gone a long way in improving her situation. Maybe listening would too. But she needed to go home—visit the graves. She didn’t do it before the assassination attempt yesterday.
He laid down on the soft grass of the garden, the rays of the sun hitting his body. He felt warmed and alive. He sighed in content.
She had to play the game from now on, and he was much easier to deal with when he was happy. Okay, she needed to be a good girl. She would try to get his permission. Walking over to where he was in the garden, she slid down next to him. "Where I want to go, it's farther than a mile," she said.
"Where is it?" he asked with a sigh. Couldn't she just leave her alone. He cracked his neck and sat up. He opened his eyes and looked over at her. She looked...pretty with the sunlight radiating on her.
She looked down, fidgeting with a long blade of grass in front of her. “About five miles east…It’s my…um…village. Part of it…..” she said, her resolve faltering a bit. “I was…on my way there yesterday, before the king gave me…an extra job.”