---Chap. 26: A new trainer---

At 8am both Mazin and Leila were waiting in the training fields for their new trainer. Minutes flew on leaden wings and although Mazin and Leila grew weary of standing, Master Dhol's previous training urged them to stay standing and alert. About a half hour later, Mazin and Leila were still standing, still waiting but growing anxious about the lack of the appearence of a trainer. They had almost given up when out from the minature forest strode a tall, lean, muscular man carrying swords, bows, quivers and daggers. He placed them on the ground and turned to examine Mazin and Leila through black beady eyes. Seeing that they were already armed with their own weapons he let out a sigh.

"I didn't even need to bring all of these," he gestured to the pile of weapons, "too bad. Hello, Mazin, Leila I am Bret, your trainer. Today I'll be testing your skills, although I would first like to commend you for standing alert for a half hour even though you didn't know that I was watching you. I can tell that you have already recieved some training but, how accomplished you are I have yet to learn. We'll start with archery, follow me."

Bret led a bewildered Mazin and Leila to the archery practise fields, Mazin went first. He shot 3 arrows, all of which flew swiftly from his bow to the bulls-eye.

"Very well done, Leila you next."

Leila shot and repeated the same feat.

"Wow, you guys are exceptional archers. Did you learn this at the Darkness?"

Mazin answered swiftly, "I know that I did not learn my arching there, I'm not sure about Leila though." They don't need to know how proficient the Zenypi are.

"Nope me neither," said Leila. I agree.

"I see. Next the dagger toss," said Bret.

This time Leila and Mazin threw there daggers simultaneously, both landed side by side on the target. Both were near the bulls-eye.

"Amazing, next sword fighting. I'll go get my students, what do you say to a tournament?" Bret asked.

"No thanks, just let us face your best student. You can judge us like that," said Mazin.

"You lack respect," remarked Bret.

"I'm sorry sir, but I truly believe that we could last against your best students and I'd rather not have to fight multiple times," apoligized Mazin. I sound so...humble.

"That's alright, I suppose I could let you try. Leila do you feel the same way?"

"Yes sir," replied Leila.

A few minutes later Bret returned with one student, around 21 years old with a gentle face. He did not look like he could hurt a fly.

We'd better be careful, he must be very good if he is the best.

Yup, never underestimate your opponent. I'm going to go first.

"Sir, I will fight first," stated Leila.

"Ok, Jez, Leila prepare to fight. Start."

With that Leila and Jez drew their swords and surveyed each other waiting for an opportunity. Leila struck first and Jez barely had enough time to block that stike before she was hammering him with her sword. She weaved her sword past Jez's defenses and was about to win when he twirled around and the tables turned. He was gaining speed and strength as the fight wore out. Leila remained undisturbed although it seemed that she was stuggling to block his strikes. In a sudden whirl of steel, Jez was on the ground panting with Leila's sword resting on his collar-bone.

"Never underestimate your opponent," she said smugly.

"Very well done Leila, few can match your skill. Mazin your turn."

After giving Jez sufficient time to recover, he returned to fight, this time he faced Mazin.

"Your friend may have bested me but you have no chance whatsoever," mocked Jez.

"I thought that Ritew were supposed to represent light," countered Mazin.

Don't let him get to you Mazin just fight stay indifferent, he needs you to make a mistake before he can win.

I know that! I'm just trying to fool him, now be quiet so that I can concentrate.


"All right, Mazin, Jez are you ready? Alright start."

This time, instead of staying calm, Jez was blinded with a desire to defeat Mazin. Jez abandoned all technique and began attacking Mazin with brute force, making his blows powerful but slow and sloppy. So within seconds Mazin was able to disable Jez and thrust his blade onto Jez's shirt right on top of Jez's heart.

"Nicely done Mazin, Jez I am truly disappointed in you. I must say that I wonder how you ever bested my other pupils, you will recieve rigorous training from now on. Mazin, Leila, it seems that you have been taught well. However, have you two ever fought while wearing armor?" inquired Bret.

"No sir," replied Mazin and Leila.

"Then you will learn how to fight while wearing them. Everyday at noon you will join my class, however feel free to use the training field whenever it's free. And if you wish to fight someone other than each other, at 9am everyday I have my sword class. You are free to do what you wish," said Bret dismissing them. "Now Jez, about your training..."

Well done Mazin.

Of course I did well, what do you think I am?

I didn't mean to offend you.

Why can't you just leave me alone?

You're lucky that I didn't follow you last night, you know that I could have.

You followed me!

No! You are so..so...rude!

Leila stalked off, fuming.

"Thank goodness," murmered Mazin.


A/N-One of my longest chapters yet, but this is the last chapter (yet again) that I have written so, hopefully I'll be able to post another tomorrow but as always, we'll see. And by the way, if you can think of a better title tell me.