Part 53 – A Warrior of Great Reluctance
Theomin’s heart sank as he knew the decision of his was a difficult one to accept. “Do not worry, my son, you will be well taken care of. Now forgive the haste. Our journey to Evendim begins today.” A sudden shock flowed through Theomin’s body as he did not realize how close the impending battle was to be. “We were to prepare the final count of men and women going but, as it turns out, we have one more to account for and he looks to be without a weapon. What manner of weapon do you carry?”
Theomin looked at Athegdir and gave a slight chuckle, “I used a staff and had a sword by my side but that was all taken from me in Bree.”
“Bree, you say,” Athegdir said. “Never have I had weapons taken from me in Bree.”
“Why it was taken from me is a very long story,” Theomin said. “An experience I would not like to speak of for a very long time.”
“So be it, if that is your wish. Any other type of combat experience you can speak of then?” his father asked, desperate for some type of experience.
“I learned a little swordplay in Langhold back in Rohan but I was more of a master of lore than swords.”
“We can test some of your skills against our rangers here in Esteldin. The central courtyard is a training ground, of sorts. We train new recruits here and there in all manner of weapons.” He led Theomin back from the forecourt of the compound to the central courtyard. He grabbed a sword, just a regular sword worn and sliced and damaged from a stand and examined it. He swung it here and there and then handed it to Theomin. “Here you go. It may not be the best or shiniest sword but it is well balanced and deadly in the hands of a person who knows how to use it.” Theomin backed away for a moment when he caught his father’s hand shoving him toward the trainees. “Do not be afraid, they know not to injure you. They are all skilled in swordsmanship. He pushed Theomin toward one of the men in charge. “Hello, I would like to know how well my son, here, can swing a sword.”
The man glanced at Theomin, giving a quick size up, “You may try your luck with one of our novices.” He looked at one of the other trainees, “Herion, come! He knows some swordplay but he is very young. Go ahead, give him a try.”
“Try your training out on this man,” he looked at Theomin, “What is your name?”
“Theo…” he paused for a moment and realized that among his family he had a different name, “Enedioin. My name is Enedion.”
“Right. Enedion,” he nodded knowingly. “The whole reason behind that party last night. Welcome to Esteldin.”
“Thank you,” Theomin gratefully said.
“You will be training against Herion,” he patted him on the shoulder. “The way I train is not so much with dummies but with live trainees. That way I know who is advancing faster and who is not. Herion is new to this compound, strait from Treslebridge I believe, right?”
“Yes I am. Me and my dog Helerhu.”
Theomin’s heart sank. He knew what happened in Treslebridge but did not want to explain for fear it would devastate the boy. “Good,” was all Theomin said.
“Okay,” the instructor said, “You may begin.”
With that the ranger immediately swung his sword at Theomin faster than Theomin could anticipate. Theomin quickly backed away in fear as the novice struck down Theomin’s sword. Saddenned by what just happened, he looked at Athegdir who shook his head in grave disappointment as did Sergee. Theomin picked up his sword and looked at the instructor and then at the novice ranger, “Give me another try.” The ranger immediately swung at Theomin whom parried and swung right for the ranger’s neck but stopped.
“Good,” the instructor said, “Try again.”
Theomin gave the beginning swing which was too strong for Herion for it knocked the sword out of the novice ranger’s hand as Theomin pointed his sword at the novice’s face.
“Stop!”the instructor yelled. “Clearly he has out matched you, Herion. It would be a safe bet he is more of a journeyman than a novice. How about you try our next fellow. Taidir!” he hollered over to one of the other rangers. “Come!”
The ranger came up to meet his master. “This man would like to spar with you. Will you accept?” the instructor said.
“I would be honored,” the ranger eloquently agreed. “I have seen you around and am delighted to finally meet you in person,” with grace he eagerly said.
“Alright,” the instructor said, “Let us leave the pleasantries for another time, shall we?”
They readied their swords and the ranger swung first but was deflected strongly by Theomin. Theomin, with no hesitation, powerfully and with proficient skill forced the sword out of the hand of the ranger and attempted to thrust it toward the ranger. The instructor pulled out his sword and tried to stop Theomin but Theomin slammed his sword into the instructor’s, pushing it up as he then kicked the instructor in the stomach, forcing him far back.
“Enedion!” Theomin paused and realized what he was doing, “ease up please,” Athegdir with surprise and trepidation commanded his son. Theomin realized what he was doing and stopped as soon as he heard his father. “It is clearly certain you are way more than a journeyman at swordfighting. I might even venture you might be an expert at it, would you not say?” he looked at the instructor who did not look delighted in the least.
“I would say with skill like that, I cannot instruct him. He is skilled enough,” the instructor barely said, humbled by the experience as he grabbed his stomach, the wind knocked out of him.
“But how?” Theomin asked, confused. “I was not that good in Rohan.”
Sergee answered, “You said you were not as good as your friend but you were good enough to your instructor. It is my guess you were quite the swordsman but you compared yourself to your friend. Your instructor must have pushed you quite hard and for a very long time for those moves of yours to be almost second nature. Was he some great worrior of Rohan?”
“No,” Theomin said, “he was but a simple instructor of Langhold. I cared more for lore than anything else. On my way here my staff was my weapon.”
“That was impressive,” Saeradan came with Eleswith behind. “Eleswith and I were watching from afar and we believe you have quite the skill.”
Eleswith looked at Saeradan and then at Theomin, “Saeredan and I had business to attend to.” To that Searadan looked upon Eleswith, “nothing more.”
“Business,” Searadan spoke up, “to which we shall all speak of later.”
Teryndir came from the forecourt of the compound. “Father,” he said coming up to Athegdir, “the hour is growing late and we must review our strategy before we march west.”