Saturday, June 23, 2018

Page 1842

((Triple Saturday -- Page 3 of 3))
As had quickly become the norm, Hector started the next day early by training with Zeff. That may have been another reason for his persistent exhaustion, actually. The Lord Elroy did not hold back. At times, their sparring grew to have such ground-shaking intensity that Hector worried they might wake up everyone in Warrenhold despite the increasingly long distances they traveled from it.

A sudden surge of ice water knocked Hector off his feet, and the shield in his hand went flying from his grasp. He clattered to the ground like a sack of iron potatoes. Half of his armor was cracked or crumbling off of him already.

“Not good enough,” said Zeff. “If you plan to keep using that shield, then you had better learn to keep it in front of you.”

Hector appreciated all the effort the man was going through for him, teaching him personally. Truth be told, tough, he was getting a little tired of the condescending lectures. “I’m trying,” he said as he climbed back onto his feet and reformed his armor.

“Try harder, then.”

Something in the man’s inflection made Hector immediately think that another attack was already coming at him from behind. Zeff had also made a habit of doing that, attacking him before he was actually ready to keep going.

Sure enough, he sensed something there with the Scarf of Amordiin, but even by then, he was already moving, having predicted what Zeff was going to do.

However, the attack did not arrive, and Hector ended up dodging out of the way of nothing at all.

Then a block of ice clobbered him from the front, and put him right back on his ass.

“Where are you trying to dodge?” said Zeff. “You face an opponent who is familiar with your capabilities. You can try to predict my actions, but I can predict yours as well, you know. Maintain your awareness at all moments and react accordingly. And keep your shield up, for god’s sake.”

Hector exhaled and just lay there for a moment longer.

“This is not the ferocity I witnessed when you were fighting that worm,” said Zeff.

Yeah, because this was just practice. Why would he--?

Oh shit.

Hector shoved himself out of the way of a half-dozen frozen spikes and was back on his feet again. More were coming, though, and he had to keep dodging, just barely skating out of the way and occasionally losing chunks of armor to them.

“Better, but not perfect,” said Zeff, raising his voice as the distance between them grew. “Are you ever going to get around to counterattacking, I wonder? Or do you plan to keep on like this forever?”

The swirls of water were only growing faster, Hector noticed, and some had the sharpness of blades in addition to their speed. Everywhere around him. So much to keep track of.

He split his focus and materialized a thin, moving layer of iron beneath Zeff’s feet while simultaneously launching a boulder down on the man from above.

Perhaps the Lord Elroy hadn’t been expecting a two-pronged attack, because the man lost his footing for a moment, and the boulder nearly hit him before being slapped away by a tower of ice.

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