Prince Robert

I went out the watch a few of the other suitors' swordplay. I took my own sword, but I did not plan on using it. My own skills were more of the type to fight from afar, using arrows or throwing knives. Swords I only used for close-up matches.

I sat by the side, closely calculating the moves each were using. Sir Serené had very good balance, and the timing of his stabs to the dummy was perfect. I took my sword, finally, and started hacking at a dummy. "I wouldn't think that would be nesesary, Robert." Sir Serené said. "I'm sure someone else would gladly take up the blade in a match against you."

"No, no." I said. "I'm trying the perfect the moves of death. See? I f I nick a person right there," I pulled my blade in close, then whirled it out, "they'll die. I don't need to cut someone's head off. That takes strength. I just need to make them die of blood loss, cut off a nerve of two, distract them. I fight with deception, as best I can."

"Ah!" he said. I moved onto another dummy. I held the blade in one hand, and using the other hand for momentum, swung it, aiming at a key point on the shoulder of the dummy. A real person would have dropped their sword, unable to hold it. As it was, I casually continued to dissect the dummy until the only thing that lay there was a heap of straw.

A while later I went to practice with my bow and arrows. Prince Allan and Kaedin were already there. I gave a quick nod to both of them, and started shooting. In the heat of a moment, I would have to fire quickly, so I took multiple arrows out of the quiver at a time. Almost all landed on the target.

Sweating and tired after retrieving all of my arrows, I watched the other two shoot. Allan was not hitting all that many, but I could see him getting better.

I sat on a stump and grabbed a piece of grass. I chewed on the end, watching well. Many others were coming out, too, and soon it was quite crowded. I stood up, and walked back to the castle.

The End

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