The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
"That’s right.” She smiled sweetly. “I may have inadvertently seen you. It's difficult not to when we have
to check you out, but there is never an intent to 'check it out.' The fact is we are too busy doing our job and
making sure that you are of no threat to the Galaef to be looking or to be taking a personal interest.”
"Nevertheless . . ." said Ben. Then he hesitated and seemingly changed the subject. "You seem to be a fair
person. I mean you haven't even read my files."
"Then I think it would only be fair if I got a quick glance."
"Of me?" Lyil laughed. "In the nude?"
"Forget it. The only way you'll ever see me in the nude is if my clothes catch on fire, and you have to help
me rip them off."
Ben looked around, but decided not to ask for a light. "So what do you like to do for fun besides eating at
extravagant restaurants and going to the theatre?"
"Among other things, such as vacationing on a white sandy beach, I like to watch swording matches," she
replied. She leaned forward and swept her long red hair over her shoulders. "As a matter of fact a friend of
mine took me to a swording match last night."
Ben grimaced. "A friend?"
"Yes, Tam. She's a Tarmorian, and her husband is in the tournament. Actually she was too, but she lost in
the second round."
"You like swording?"
Lyil thought for a moment. "Not when I was younger, but after I moved to Galactus I made friends with
some of the Tarmorians, and they got me interested. Now I really enjoy it." She paused and then asked, "Do
you like to watch swording?"
Ben nodded his head, and then shook it. "It goes beyond that," he answered. "The fact is I am a
A delicate smile crossed her lips as if to say that was one more thing they had in common. And then she
asked, "Why don't we go see a match tomorrow night? Rand, my friend's husband, is still in the tournament."
"Actually,” said Ben, “I'm going to be in the tournament myself."
There was a puzzled look on Lyil's face. So Ben added, "I signed up yesterday."
"Signed up? But they just finished the third round, and I've been told they only let in expert swordsmen after
the third round." She paused, waiting for Ben to say something, but he remained silent. "Are you an expert
swordsman?" she asked.
"I'm the top Master Swordsman on my planet, and . . . "
"I thought poll ball was the international sport on Cyton?"
"That's true, but there are a lot of other sports and swording is one of them."
Ben smiled. He didn't know why it mattered since they weren't going to have a relationship, but he liked the
idea that she was interested in swording.
"I would really like to watch you in a match," she said. "If you're a top swordsman on your planet, you must
be pretty good."
Ben noticed she said 'a top swordsman' instead of 'the top swordsman,' but he decided not to say anything. It
wasn't important, and it wasn’t in his nature to be boisterous.
She took a sip of her drink and then set the glass down. "What time is your match?" she asked. And then,
with a second thought and in a questioning tone, she added, "You know I have to work tomorrow?"
Ben shifted in his chair for a more comfortable position. "My first match is three o'clock tomorrow
afternoon, and if I win, then I have another one at seven."
"That's great," she said. Then her smile was quickly supplanted by a concerned look. “I just want you to
know that if you lose your match, it’s okay, and win or lose," she continued, "I know a great little restaurant in
the Outer City."
She looked at the watch on her wrist and then stood up.
Ben knew it was time for him to leave.
For the second time that week she said to him, "I have to be at work early," and then she added, "Why don't I
meet you at the front gate of the arena at six o'clock? If you've won, I can watch your next match. If not, we
can have dinner."
Ben stood up and before he could answer Lyil moved in a little closer. He gave her a good night kiss, which