Chapter Thirty-two

Ariel and Hardwin left, Ariel looking almost giddy. Steven guessed it wasn't just the new sword that was making her happy.

"Alright, let's get back to work!" Steven's trainer said. Steven grabbed his spear and flipped it in his hand.

"Let's go," he said.

Korbin walked over to Alex. "Hey," he said.

"Hello," Alex said.

They practiced quietly for a while with Korbin's trainer watching him. After a while the trainer walked over to Korbin and said, "I've got something I need to do real quick. I'll be back in a minute. Keep working, you're doing great."

When his trainer had left, Korbin turned to Alex. "So, you ready for this?"

"I haven't even started my training yet," Alex said.

"I know, I meant helping Ariel lead all of us. I mean, most of us are older than you."

Alex shrugged. "I think I can handle it. It's not as though you'll revolt or something, right? We have a job to do, we'll do it, and then we'll go our separate ways."

"I'm not sure it's as simple as that," Korbin said. "I have a feeling this is going to be the hardest thing any of us have ever done. Harder than anything anyone's ever done."

Alex shrugged again. "I'm sure I'll be fine. So, about Ariel. How old is she?"

"Sixteen," Korbin said gruffly, feeling a bit protective of Ariel.

"Hmm," Alex said, glancing toward the door Ariel had walked out of. "That's only four years younger than me."

"Four years is a lot when you're young," Korbin said. "I think you should focus on the task at hand."

The doors opened and Nikanor walked in.

"Look, there's your trainer now," Korbin said. "Why don't you go learn to be a leader, boy."

The End

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