The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival
location. So, what did that have to do with a sport? It wasn't until he was translating an “Encyclopedia” that he
discovered fencing meant the same as swording. (It would probably never be known why the English words
"fence" and "fencing" defined totally different concepts.)
After translating and studying the “Encyclopedia” it became apparent to Ben that swording (fencing) on
ancient Earth had defensive tactics, which made it somewhat different than present day swording in the Galactic
Empire. On Earth many of the rounds of each match were very quick in duration, lasting oftentimes only a few
seconds. But in the Empire, because of the defensive tactics developed through the centuries, matches would
most often last all three rounds for the entire twenty-four minutes. The winner would be declared by the most
Ben wondered what it would be like to be transported back to Ancient Earth and to competed in one of their
fencing tournaments; probably something like a jet versus a biplane, or like Ben squashing a bug under the heel
of his boot.
He rose from the couch, walked back to the table and picked up a sword.
As he made a thrust with the sword the door slid open and an usher walked in. "Excuse me Grand Master."
He said, and then waited for Ben to answer.
Ben straightened up. "What can I do for you?"
"There's a lady with some people sitting in your box. She says she's a friend."
"And her name?"
"Her name is Lyil Zornburst, and I can tell she's G-staff by the clothes she's wearing."
Ben needed no time to think it over, and he was happy to hear she had decided to come early. "Please inform
her that she and her friends are welcome to watch from my box."
"Thank you Grand Master." The usher walked out.
Five minutes later the door slid open again and the Heralder, in his lively, colored clothes, stepped into the
room." It's time for your match, Grand Master."
"Thank you," said Ben.
They exited with the Heralder leading the way.
Ben was still wondering why there were so many hurricanes on Earth and how the atmospheric conditions
could create them so quickly. The late Dr. May had said it was impossible.
It was close to start time and people were still filing in. The box seats had long since been occupied. The
city council members and their families had taken up five sections of the box seating shortly after Rand's match
ended, and other dignitaries and celebrities were seated in the remainder of them.
The crowd was becoming restless. The combined noise of loud talking, yelling, and laughter was beginning
to sound like the roaring of a pride of Chaision lions smelling the blood and seeking the kill. It wasn't
something Lyil had ever experienced in her new-found spectator sport, as she had never been to a match with
this many spectators.
Rand finally returned. He handed a mead to Lyil and then one to Tam as he sat down. "You should see the
lines out there. Horrendous is the only word I can think of." He leaned back in his seat and took a drink.
The names and scores on the scoreboard were cleared away leaving a blank array of red lights. "There goes
my name," said Rand. The names of the next two contestants appeared: Ben Hillar vs. Xil Kilter.
"I've never seen so many people at one of these matches," said Lyil in a slightly awed voice. "There must be
more than a hundred thousand spectators, and they all seem so anxious as if they were waiting for the match of
Tam said, "That's because you weren't here last year when the man who placed number eleven in the
Galactic Games was in the tournament."
"You know I had to work or I would have been here."
"I know, but it's always like this for those who place in the Galactic Games."
This pleased Lyil. "It'll be fun to watch Ben compete against a swordsman who has placed in the Galactic
Games," she said. "I'm glad I took the time." Lyil figured it was likely Ben wouldn't win, but if he did or
didn't, it would be exciting to watch.