Hours later, Simon stood at the front of the Asterius, allowing the wind to pass through his red spiked hair and goatee. It was something he had been tormented about in his youth. His brothers had dark hair, never red. They seemed to think he was some sort of demon.
A red light came into view. It was most likely the sunrise, seeing as they had been sailing through the night for some time now. Two men came up to him, both newer members that had been on for only a month, to give him a report. One was a spindly youth who stared at the shadows of the ship, the other was massive, with a large sword upon his back. Interesting.
"Th' Capt'n wants ta know how thins be going, Mr. Labrav," the large man said.
"Tell her good for now and we should hit the town of Grenshaw soon. We can resupply there." With that, Simon dismissed the men. Just as they were walking away, though, Simon stopped them. "You," Simon said to the little man, "go deliver that message." He ran off. "As for you,, how good do you think yourself with that blade?"
The man smiled and pulled the sword. It was a remarkable blade, really. Almost as remarkable as the Counts blade Simon wore on his own back. "I reckon I could best most these men," he said confidently.
Simon smiled. "I hope you can." With that, Simon pulled his own blade. Maybe this man WAS good. That would make it even better. Now, if the man could beat Simon, that would be just amazing. He could finally have someone to spar with that would actually make him better!
The man waited for a minute, most likely for a signal to start, then attacked impatiently. Simon frowned at that and blocked with ease. The man seemed to grow annoyed and struck with another inaccurate attack. Simon just ducked under the blade and swung his sword to the man's leg. He would hit him with the flat side of the blade and end this sham of a duel. This man was-
The large man jumped over the blade. How had he seen the attack coming? Simon rolled to the side as the other man's sword smashed into the Asterius' deck. It was the flat of the blade, so it did not go into the ship's wood, but it also told Simon something. The man was holding back.
"You're good," Simon said, regaining his smile. He stood and readied his sword once more. No more games. Inside, the rush from battle bloomed. Maybe this man was his next step as a swordsman.
The other man smiled and charged, this time placing his blade parallel to the ground. Straight swords could mean a multitude of things. This man either knew his stuff or was trying for a stab.
Simon ducked as the blade once again passed overhead, then sliced upward. His blade met the blade of the large man's sword. He had managed to pull it back in time. Interesting. Simon pushed and was forced back, being the smaller man. The other man was confused by this move, but took the opportunity to shove Simon further back. Perfect.
Simon rolled with the force the man provided and came up just beside the Asterius' guard rail. Waiting until the man was near, Simon pressed one foot against the railing and shoved himself forward, swinging his blade tactically. As he thought, the man tried to block. But, with the force Simon had given himself, the man's sword flew from his grip and across the ships deck.
The man backed up, prompted by Simon's sword at his throat. Simon lowered his blade instantly. Though he knew himself a better swordsman by far, he appreciated the man's skill. He needed rewarding. "What's your name?" Simon asked.
"Grepher," the large man said with a smile. Simon smiled as well. He turned the Count's sword in his hand and offered it to Grepher.
"You need two swords, in case yours breaks," Simon said, then walked back to the front of the Asterius. Simon was satisfied. Maybe Grepher would get better and be able to actually face him even-
In the distance, Simon saw what truly made the light. It was not the sunrise. "Grepher!" Simon called. The man had just grabbed his own sword from the deck and looked Simon's way. "Go tell the captain that we need to speed up. Grenshaw burns!"
The man ran off in a haste. Simon just stared at the distant flames, cursing into the air. Grenshaw was one of their only places to restock. Who could have done such a thing?