“So, where is this swordsman you said you found?” Gul was leaning against a wall, smoking his pipe.
“He should be here any minute now,” replied Meleth, looking up and down the busy streets.
“Most likely he backed out. That’s what they’re all like, empty words and loud voices.”
There was a shout from across the street, and then the clatter of metal on cobbles.
“That would be him.” Meleth groaned, as they caught a glimpse of Megil, sprawled in the middle of the road, an array of different items scattered around him.
“Megil!” she called out, “we don’t have all day, come on.”
He scrambled to his feet and began stuffing all his belongings back into a small bag. Gul rolled his eyes and Meleth thought she heard him mutter something about fools and ladies, but she couldn’t be sure.
“You’re late.” Gul stated coldly when Megil finally reached them.
“I’m sorry but I went to say goodbye to my parents’ grave, and time got away from me. Then I couldn’t find my sword. It turned out Cabor had stolen it and was planning on using it as a poker. He refused to let me have it back until I said I was leaving town, but I couldn’t go without my sword. Then he was only too happy to give it back. He gave me his grandfather’s old one too, in hope that I’d never come back.”
“Don’t get your hopes up yet, boy. I’m making sure you can actually swing that sword before I’m offering you any kind of deal.” Gul said, disdainfully.
“Ok by me.” Megil shrugged, drawing his sword and spinning it round his hand a couple of times, “Ready when you are, Grandfather.”
“I’m not your grandfather, boy” Gul said, as he leapt forward, drawing his own sword and attacking in one fluid movement. Megil responded swiftly with a parry, and then attacked, driving the old man backwards under a barrage of blows.
“I’m not a boy, Grandfather.” He said, smiling slightly. Then suddenly, his sword came in contact with nothing but air and he stumbled forward. He recovered quickly, but it was enough time for Gul to attack, and now Megil was the one in retreat.
By now a crowd was beginning to form, and money was exchanging hands. Meleth watched, as the two men battled back and forth, neither breaking through the other’s guard. Finally, Gul disarmed his opponent and called for a halt.
“Not too bad.” He said gruffly, “You could become quite good with some practice.”
“Thank you, sir.” Megil grinned.
“A lot of practice.”
Megil’s face dropped, then brightened again as he asked, “Does this mean I can come?”
“Well, we couldn’t find anyone better, so I suppose you’ll have to do. Come, let’s find you a suitable horse.”