Result 13 – Part 3

You are awoken by the sound of someone knocking on the door. You stare up at the ceiling of your room in Slaryn house and immediately screw your eyes shut as a wave of pain and dizziness wash over you. Your head throbs with each heartbeat, and for a moment, you wonder if someone struck you with a brick. But, as you think that, the intense pain lessens slightly. Another knock causes the pain to flare up once more.

You haul yourself up. You’re on top of the bedclothes, and still wearing your evening wear, even your shoes. You hear Ameronis calling you through the door.

Slightly less dizzy, you make your way over to the door and open it. Ameronis looks satisfied when you finally answer the door, greeting you in her typically cheerful way.

“Good morn–what happened to you?” Her expression changes to one of confusion.

Sleeping in your evening wear must’ve left you looking quite dishevelled, and as you begin to smooth yourself out and explain your less-than-ideal sleeping situation, Ameronis points at your face.

“You’re covered in blood!”

10 minutes later, you’re sitting on your bed with a hand mirror, inspecting your face. The curtains are open, filling the room with bright morning light, and your face is now washed and dried, allowing you to see what you’re working with.

For all the dried blood that was on your face, the source, a fine gash across your cheek, did its best to kill you by ejecting as much of your blood out of your body as it could, apparently. Despite how much it bled though, it’s a very minor wound; it’ll heal without a mark, especially now that you’ve cleaned and dressed it with salve.

Ameronis sits in the chair opposite the foot of the bed, with a bemused expression.

“You really are some kind of misfortune magnet.”

You grunt and pack away your medical kit. Though your dizziness and headache have faded just a little, your understanding of what happened remains completely obscured. The last thing you remember is going to Stardust. Or, wanting to go there anyway… You definitely remember leaving Josey’s. Then, you woke up asleep on top of the bed covers, your face caked in dried blood. You also have a painful bruise on your side, which you discover only after leaning on it and temporarily sucker-punching yourself with more pain.

Continued attempts to fill in the numerous blanks are fruitless. Ameronis sighs and leans back in her chair, staring up at the ceiling.

“I suppose if we wanna figure out what sort of antics you got involved in last night, our best bet would be to retrace your steps. However, I don’t expect Stardust is open this early..?

Now that she mentions it, you didn’t actually check the time; you glance at the clock now. It’s 9:10. That’s right… You and Ameronis had made a plan to leave here around 9, go on a little detour to give the beggars the buns you bought yesterday, then arrive at The Warrior’s Edge with plenty of time to spare, ready to try out the duelling and possibly some general swordplay lessons. Already your schedule is slipping out the window.

Ameronis is right. Stardust might not be open yet; it was after 10 when you met with Lomack, but even so, it directly conflicts with the lesson plan.

You can get engrossed in this weird mystery later. For now, you might as well salvage your schedule. If you change your clothes and quickly inhale some porridge…

Ameronis looks at you with a little concern. “Are you sure? Wouldn’t it be better to rest, recover-…”

You dismiss her concerns with a wave. You’re fine now, you say, ignoring the headache.

With that, you shoo her away. You tell her to give you 15 minutes; you’ll have to reschedule the beggar visit to come after the lessons, but if you hurry, you can still make it there for the 10 am start.

A little hot and bothered, with a persistent headache (and a mild case of indigestion), you and Ameronis arrive at The Warrior’s Edge and sign up for the lesson just as a few other students sign in; most of the others are ready and waiting for the lesson to begin. With barely a minute to spare, Captain Cedric starts at 10 am sharp.

He is heavily built, with tan skin, narrow brown eyes, and short, red hair. He strides into the centre of the room, greeting you all; there are more than a dozen attendees. He acknowledges you with a brief nod, his gaze lingering on Ameronis for a moment longer as he acknowledges her. He doesn’t say anything though as he turns his attention back to the rest of the class as a whole.

“Good morning, gentlemen. We’ll continue with disarming techniques today, so let’s begin.”

The other students quickly begin arranging themselves and collecting gear, passing out a bunch of wooden training sabres. Before long, they are dotted around the room in pairs, with chatter and sabres clattering as some start to practice their techniques, while a handful of them wait for the captain. He takes a moment to make sure they are set before turning to you, Ameronis, and the last of his original students, who does not have a partner and is wondering which of you he should face off against. The captain decides for him and pairs him up with you, telling Ameronis that he’ll handle her himself.

The man introduces himself as Raynard, and he is built like a tank, with dark skin, short, curly blonde hair, and blue eyes. His perfectly pressed, fashionable clothes contrast against your slightly rumpled, plain brown trousers and white top.

He asks you if you’ve ever duelled before. You tell him no… Not official, structured duels like this. Unregulated scraps? You’ve had plenty of those. He laughs as he hands you a wooden sabre. His voice is booming, though maybe everything sounds a bit too loud right now.

After a brief instruction on the rules and the correct stance, you face off against Raynard, getting to grips with it for the next 10 minutes or so. With the basics down, he invites you to try striking him and then to avoid his strikes. You don’t do too badly, managing to strike and dodge a fair few times. Unlike with the more desperate fights you’ve been in so far, there’s a lot more waiting for the right moment involved here.

You’re busy trying to find another opportunity to slash Raynard when the captain materialises beside you. This minor distraction gives Raynard the opportunity to slap your sabre aside.


Raynard chuckles and apologises for his cheap strike, but the captain interjects. If this were a real duel, that would be a valid move and you’d probably be dead by now. No; you can’t let anything distract you. Your life and your honour are on the line. Defend them both properly!

You sigh and get back into your stance, preparing to go again against Raynard, but Cedric calls for the students to swap partners. Everyone shuffles around, while the captain takes a stance before you.

“Let me see what you’re capable of”.

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