Arvid dislikes the militia leader at first sight. The guy is just too good to be true. While these people are generally slightly lower than people back in Norway, this guy is actually taller than Arvid is himself. He is of course also well muscled, very athletic looking. And despite his role as the chief warrior here about, there is not a single scar to mar his handsome, regular features. Some of his rich, golden hair escapes his helmet, and Arvid notices with a twinge of disgust that it is curly. The guy looks like some mythological idol. Bet the girls are all over him from dusk till dawn.

"So, you are the legendary Genius" says Arman flatly, looking at him with a thin smile that does not reach his eyes. "I look forward to working with you." "Hey, it wasn't my idea" replies Arvid. "I'm a genius, not an athlete." "So I see. I am sure you shall learn something, even so." "Good!" says Avdyra and smiles to Mr Handsome. "I'll leave you two for now, then."

Arman is wearing a light armor that seems to be made of thin metal bands. He also carries a sword by his side. But right now he holds two wooden swords. They are fairly good replicas, but of course lighter and blunt. "This" says Arman, "is a sword. Real swords have sharp edges to cut enemies with. I shall show you how to hold one." Arvid frowns at the patronizing tone, but he still looks while the other demonstrates the best ways of holding and handling the practice swords.

"Now try this one." The trainer gives him one of the wooden swords, and Arvid tries to hold it the way the other man did. He gets an amused bark. "Try to hold it like a weapon, not a flower!" Arvid feels his face grow slightly hot. There is no reason for this guy to insult him. But he has acceded to go through this training, mainly because Avdyra seemed to think it was a good idea. For all he knows, there may be limits to how much magic a person can cast at any one day. Perhaps it's like in some role playing games, where you have a limited amount of mana to use before you must rest and recharge.

"Now try to hit me with the edge." Arvid shrugs, and swings the sword. The other man easily parries it, and makes the weapon fly out of his hand. "Throw it not at me, try to strike me." Blushing, Arvid picks it up again. He holds really hard, and tries again. The athlete easily deflects his weapon every time, hardly even moving. His sword just seems to move by itself, as if a part of his body, while Arvid struggles to make his go where he wants at all. Soon he is hot and flushed, his breath hard and his heart pounding. However much he steps around and tries to get through the other's guard, it is just hopeless.

Then Arman laughs. "You fight like a small girl!" His sword jumps out, and strikes the wooden weapon from Arvid's hand, sends it flying. Then, just as quickly, he trips Arvid, sending him headlong on the grass. As Arvid rises to his hands and knees, the other whacks him over the buttocks with the flat of the blade. "Down, girl!" he laughs. And suddenly it happens again.

It's years since last time, but suddenly it happens again. All color drains from the world. It is as if there was a colorful, halfway transparent curtain covering all things, adding their usual color and texture, hiding the glassy clear reality, glass and black and white. And in the terrible clarity behind the illusion, Arvid sees. In a moment he sees it all, leaving no room for doubt, no room for emotions. He knows what must be done, the only way to go.

Rolling over, and over again, Arvid is suddenly by the tripod. He snatches the staff and, stilly lying on the grass, points it at the swordsman. Then he chants, emulating the senseless doggerel rhyming of Marisfar:

O va du et egg
og degg og degg ...

Arman stares, mouth open. For a moment he stands there, eyes bulging. Then he drops his weapon, turns, and runs. The guy can certainly run fast for one so big. In a matter of seconds, he's left the field and thrown himself into the large house. Arvid grins evilly, and gets to his feet, panting. He can still feel the whack on his backside, and will probably do so while sitting for some hours at least. But he got his revenge. The super-soldier running like a scared kitten. Heh. These folks are as superstitious as they get. There are two things it seems he can count on, regardless of which world he is on: The day is too short to fully develop both your mind and your body. Or, in short: Jocks will be jocks.

And there come both Avdyra and Marisfar, half running, Arman trailing cautiously behind. Marisfar seems shocked almost speechless, and very far from happy. "Genius! What happened here? What did you do?" "I'll tell you instead what I am going to do. If you people sic that butt-crazy sadist on me one single time again, I'll crush my Clearstone to powder so fine that you can mix it in water and drink it. And you and that arrogant piece of meat can fight your Shadow on your own. I certainly have other hobbies, back in the real world. Is that clear, mr sorcerer?"

Marisfar stares at him, his mouth working soundlessly. Then he catches his daughter's eyes. "So be it then. The two of you seem to not go well together. Come with me, and we shall continue your scholarly training instead."


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