Chapter 3 – Learning the Ropes

Roshaun quickly came to the conclusion that if there was any day in his past that he once considered hard, it paled in comparison to the workout the Chrono put him through. The morning started with hand-to-hand sparring with Sharon.

“We’ll go with an easy practice since you are so new to this,” Chrono said as Sharon and Roshaun stepped into a sparring circle. The soldiers who had been also been practicing their sparring nearby had stopped to observe Sharon in action. Roshaun’s anxiety flared when he noticed their inquisitive stares.

“Is there really a purpose to this?” Roshaun asked with hesitation.

“Of course,” Sharon responded, “There will be times when you won’t have a weapon readily available but will still need to defend yourself. Your body will need to be in peak physical condition when these times arrive.”

“Oh,” Roshaun said, “that makes sense I guess.”

“Good,” Sharon nodded, “Now I want you to hit me.”

“You’re not going to show me how to do anything?” Roshaun asked, “I don’t know that much about fighting to begin with. You’ll destroy me!”

“The best way to learn is to experience it in the moment,” Sharon said, “Don’t worry, I’ll go easy on you.”

“All right…” Roshaun replied unconvinced. He carefully approached Sharon, who stood undefended, and swung at her abdomen. However, the punch never reached its target. Sharon turned her body so that the momentum of Roshaun’s punch carried him past her leaving him wide open. With one swift motion her knee sprang up into his abdomen while her elbow rocketed down onto his back. Roshaun coughed as the air was knocked out of his lungs and he collapsed on the dirt.

“Again,” Sharon said as Roshaun struggled to stand. He took a deep breath and began his approach again. He knew that a direct approach would never work if the last attempt was any indication, instead he tried to a feign by jabbing at her face with his left hand, but following it up with another shot at her torso. Sharon was read each of his moves perfectly. She blocked both of Roshaun’s hands simultaneously, grabbed them and spun him around leaving his back exposed. She struck him in the back of his knee which caused him to fall once again. This cycle of attack and fall continued on for an agonizing thirty minutes before Chrono finally called it off.

“All right,” he said, “I think that is enough.”

“I agree,” Sharon said, “I believe I have a good enough idea of what areas we need to work on.”

“Basically everything,” Roshaun miserably rubbed at one of the bruises Sharon had left on his arm.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Sharon smiled, “You did quite well.”

“As one of these training dummies maybe.”

“Nonsense!” Chrono’s boisterous voice echoed across the yard, “Let’s move on to the next event. Weapon selection!”

It took the rest of the morning for Roshaun to find a weapon that he was comfortable with. The whole process would have taken significantly less time if Chrono had not decided it be in Roshaun’s best interest to describe each weapon type in great detail: its strengths, it weaknesses, and what was Chrono’s personal favorite, how to kill an opponent. After making it through Chrono’s lecture, Roshaun took his time to walk among the weapon choices that were in the armory just off the training field. There were a wide assortment of blades and clubs that each had a unique personality to them. There was one blade in particular that stood out among the rest. The silver blade’s sharper edge curved upward into a fine point which connected with the duller edge as it flowed back toward the hilt like an ocean wave. The cross-guard was also silver with gold interlaced in a spiraling pattern that followed upwards toward the grip which was made of a black leather and cloth mixture. The pommel was much like a circular medallion with the design of a serpent spiraling around a shield engraved on it. From the moment Roshaun’s eyes fell on the sword he felt a pulling to it; he knew somewhere deep in his heart that this blade was fashioned for someone like him. There was a sense of familiarity to it that he could not explain and instinctively he reached out and took it off its display. He gave the sword a few swings and found to his delight that the blade was surprisingly light for its size and allowed for a flexible style of fighting as the hilt was long enough to hold with both hands if necessary.

“Have you made your choice then?” Chrono asked.

“I think I have,” Roshaun replied his eyes still examining the shape of the blade.

As always, you can find the rest of the chapter here: Wattpad

Also!  For those of you who follow me on wattpad, you will get full access to the chapter on the Monday before these blog posts.  That’s four days early access!

Next week I hope to have a special guest for you all!

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