I had been watching him for a little less than a week. He was an extremely graceful man, with a truly awesome sword, definitely blade-master quality. Never having seen him fight, I wasn’t sure if Joel himself was up to that lofty standard. Every morning while I completed my ritualistic sword patterns, stretches, and whispers to Mirth, Joel did similar activities. His were slightly more aimed at maintaining muscle, while mine are mostly just to wake myself up. This morning his activities were the same, but something in his stance begged to be challenged.

“Spar with me?â€