The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
Suddenly he had that feeling that someone was staring at him, and he looked up. Talman was standing in front
of him and Curt was walking up beside. Sharpie stepped onto the mat and joined the other two.
"What's going on?" asked Talman.
"What do you mean?" asked Curt in return.
"What I mean is, are you playing some kind of a joke on me?"
Curt just gave him a puzzled look.
But Sharpie said in a hurtful tone of respect to her swording instructor. "This is no joke. I assure you."
"Then why did Professor Hillar not make one offensive move the entire round?" Angrily he turned around
and walked back to his corner.
Sharpie gave Ben an unkind look.
"I know. I know," said Ben.
"You know what?" asked Sharpie.
"I know you want me to prove who I am, but I thought I would prolong it for the five full rounds, and give
the spectators something to watch." Ben paused, and then said, "I didn't realize Talman would take it as an
insult. He is a fine swordsman. And I would, by no means, belittle him."
"It appears you have," replied Sharpie. "And I didn't set up this match for the spectators. So, let's finish it."
Curt grabbed Sharpie by the shoulder and spun her toward him. "I knew this wasn't Ben Hillar," he said.
"You don't know anything," retorted Sharpie. Now she was becoming angry. "Ben's just playing a little
game," she said under her breath to keep from shouting. She turned back to Ben. "Well?" she asked.
"Okay," he said, "I'll finish it."
At the disappointment of the crowd the next round lasted five seconds. A thrust to the right rib cage and the
buzzer sounded. Tal was shaking his head while standing in the middle of the ring. He said, “In all my years in
the arena I have never sworded against a man with this expertise."
The crowd, knowing Talman's accomplishments at the Tarmorian tournaments, figured it was just a lucky
The next round lasted seven seconds, and the final round lasted eight seconds. Tal started to turn toward his
corner when Ben pointed at the digital display of the time clock and quipped, "You're getting better."
Tal smiled. "I guess I asked for that," he said. "But up yours anyway."
While Gaal sat on the couch reading a book, Sam paced back and forth on the bare, living-room floor. His
eyes were vacant as he stared into thought. His fingernails tapped rapidly on the butt of his phasor strapped to
his right hip. He glanced from time to time at the front door of the small apartment. Finally, he came to a halt
and reached with his right hand to massage his painful shoulder.
Fortunately, it had just been a severe sprain with no dislocation nor broken bones. "Where the hell is she?"
he muttered to himself. He pulled on both handles of his long, red, handlebar mustache. Dahms had left the
apartment three days ago with the intention of contacting Rogae X. Now that the three of them had escaped,
they would never be able to go into public life again, at least, not until Hurd’s reign had come to an end. So,
what were they going to do? Maybe hide out in the Mountain Nation. Everette would find a place for them,
and they would do what they could to help the rebel cause from there. It would be almost impossible to
continue hiding out in Newusa. Their freedom of motion would be greatly restricted now that they were being
hunted. They didn’t know anybody in the other three major cities of Ar. So, that wasn’t much of a possibility.
No, thought Sam, we’ll probably end up in the Mountain Nation. Rogae X will pull whatever strings he has to
in order to get us safely out of Newusa and into a new hiding place.
Rogae X was high in the chain of command. He was a man of considerable power. It occurred to Sam long
ago that Rogae X was probably one of the city councilmen. He had hoped, and believed it was probably his
father—the only one of the city councilmen who would stand up to Hurd. He remembered the time Hurd was
planning to tear out the city park and build a large military complex in its place. “It’s for the protection of our
city,” he told the city council. But Sam’s father knew Hurd was planning to build another scent tower to insure
his hold over the people, and more specifically, his hold over the rebels.
Juez would have none of that. He brought in several environmental experts.