Octavia saluted Breccan with the wooden training sword he’d given her and snapped her shield up into place as he came at her. He fought like no one she had ever faced before, all shouts and spins. He was fast and mobile, leaving her spinning to try to keep up with him. Finally, she locked his blade between her blade and her shield and slammed him to the ground with both. He went with a whoop of surprise and the wind left his lungs as he slammed into the ground. He lay there for a moment, dazed. When he came to his senses again, he realized she was standing over him with her sword point at his throat.
“Alright, alright, I yield.”
She tossed the weapon aside and offered him a hand up. Instead, he pulled her down into the grass and she laughed, letting him.

Breccan held his shield as comfortably as ever but felt odd with this strange and much longer weapon in his other hand. Octavia promised him he’d like the spear once he was used to it, that the range was worth the time it would take to learn to wield it well. It was also hard to focus with her hands on his arm, on his waist, on his shoulder. She kept moving, repositioning him and helping him through the movements until he was sure he must be as red as an apple or the paint on her shield. But he had to admit, he was starting to like this, if only for the promise of a great many more days of practice to come.

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