Max stared at Reks for a moment, and nodded. He tightened his grip on the branch and charged, attacking with a downward slash. Reks parried the blow effortlessly. But Max wasn't done just yet, he held the stick with both hands and using all his strength, he swung it in an arc. And once again, Reks parried the blow effortlessly, without even moving from his spot. Max, a bit frustrated now, started swinging the stick ever-which way, trying to at least land a hit. But it was futile against the agile mercenary. Reks was just too quick and even stood strong. Each blow was parried with minimal effort.
Max noticed Val watching. She seemed to be enjoying Max's humiliation. "Have you ever held a sword in your hands?" Reks asked him, after once again parrying a blow. "Do you have any combat experience whatsoever?"
Max recalled on his thirteen's birthday when he father had given him a toy Star Wars sword and he had spent hours playing Jedi with the other kids. "Kind of." He said.
"You lack technique." Reks explained.
"I doubt he knows what technique is." Val interjected.
Reks ignored her once more and said to Max: "Your attacks are too random and too uncoordinated. You're too focused on trying to hit me, and not thinking on how you're going to hit me. You should be more focused on your swordplay than on landing blows. Everyone knows how to swing a sword, Max, but very few know how to use it. And learning how to use it is the hard part."
"Then teach me."
"I will." Reks assured him. "But it's not that simple. First you need to learn the basics. I'll explain things as we ride and test you during our sparrings. Now, lets rest for the night and continue tomorrow."
"Okay." Max was feeling a bit tired anyway. That night, like he did every night, he contemplated on the last few days as he starred up at the stars. He knew the training will be harsh and even painful, but he didn't mind. In fact, he was planning on letting Reks know, not to go easy on him. Max wanted to become stronger. For some reason that's all he wanted and he knew he had to potential to do so.