The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version

tournament—to the fourth round. And now he was going to go against the swordsman who won the third
tournament last year.
Even if Rand lost, which everyone expected, he would still gain a lot of prestige. And the loser's share, 10%
of the gate, would be a handsome prize since the seats were usually half full for fourth round matches.
Lyil deliberated for a moment and then said, "I'm going to put in for vacation time starting at noon, that way
I can make it by 1:30."
"Okay. Come to the main arena and I'll meet you at gate B."
"See you then." Lyil punched the off button just as Tam finished her 'good-bye.'
Mandril smiled. "Now you're using your vacation time? I thought you were saving it for Critton, the
vacationer's paradise."
"I have enough for both." Her fingers raced nimbly across the keyboard as she put in the necessary
information to start her vacation.
Lyil looked around at the people as she and Tam sat down in the box seats.
The arena was a little more than half full with a few spectators hurrying through the gates. Most of the
crowd was made up of Tarmorians, but there were some off-worlders, and Lyil even saw some G-staff.
It was five minutes before start time.
Lyil sat back in her chair. "Looks like a big turn out," she said.
Tam looked at her with a smile on her face. Her dark-brown eyes sparkled portraying delight as she shifted
in her seat to get a better view of the audience. Tam was a typical Tarmorian—a race that had no variance in
color from one person to the next. Her hair was black, eyes brown, and she had light brown skin. All the
Tarmorians had this look. Their features had a rugged exterior, and, indeed, the Tarmorians had had fierce
battles and bloody wars throughout their history on their home planet, and because of that they were a people no
one would want to fight in a war, especially hand to hand combat. Another quality of note, was their ability to
make money. Their history showed that they were good in business, crafty in their business sense, and smart in
finding a good deal.
"Isn't this great?" Tam said in her husky, Tarmorian voice. "Doog has a big following; especially since he
won the third tournament last year—the first Tarmorian to win a tournament in five years. And to do it he had
to beat the swordsman who placed eleventh in the Galactic Games. It was the biggest upset in twenty-three
Not only had Lyil heard this story many times, she had seen the highlights on the viewer. Still, she didn't say
anything. She knew the Tarmorians loved to retell stories, especially swording stories. They eagerly
anticipated their tournaments, and they had great respect and admiration for the Tarmorian swordsmen.
Actually they showed great sportsmanship and gave credit to all the swordsmen of the Galaxy.
Tam was watching the tunnel, where Rand would be making his entrance. She kept looking, but sat back
and asked, "Did you check the board to see where your boyfriend's match is going to be?"
Lyil always spoke in a reserved and dignified manner. Calmly she said, "Ben? Ben's not my boyfriend."
"Oh, I just thought . . . "
"It's okay. It seems Mandril has the same misconception, but the truth is I've only known him for three
"But you've been out with him twice in those three days, and I get the impression it would have been three
times if you hadn't already had plans to come to the matches with me."
"Probably, but when I think about it there are too many reasons why we shouldn't get involved, the main one
being that we live so far apart."
"Why is that a problem? I've known a number of Tarmorians who married off-worlders and then one of
them would relocate. Zord, the top matre de at the Gala hotel met a tourist, fell in love, and got married. This
just happened two months ago. Before they got married they decided that he made more money in his job, and
she could get a job working in one of the hotels, so, she relocated to Galactus. And I've know a couple of
Tarmorians who relocated to another planet for the same reason." She paused, and then said, "Hey, if you like
this guy, and I think you do, then don't worry about it. Just let it happen."