The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version

She was thinking about their last kiss when Rand stepped into the box and sat down beside Tam. He slid his
sword case under the three seats that he, Tam, and Lyil were sitting in. "Well my sweetheart, what did you
"You were great!" Tam leaned over and gave him a kiss, and then patted his cheek.
He smiled broadly. "Did you see all the people? The place was more than half full. And you know what
that means."
Tam laughed in her husky voice. "It means tomorrow morning I'm going to pick up your check, and we're
going to pay off our bills. And next year you're going to practice everyday, and make it to the fifth round, and
then it's money in the bank and retirement on the horizon."
Rand leaned forward. He looked around Tam, and said, “I’m sorry. In all the excitement I forgot to say
"Hello Rand," returned Lyil with a pleasant smile.
Rand leaned back in his seat. “About the upcoming match between Xil and Ben Hillar . . . .”
Tam put her hand on Rand’s arm. "Actually, I just found out that the match between Xil and Ben Hillar is
the match Lyil wants to watch, which means we can stay here."
"Stay here? Hey, that's great. I'll get us a refreshment. Would you ladies like a mead?"
"Sounds good," said Tam.
"Fine," said Lyil. She pushed her long red hair over her shoulders. She liked Tarmorian mead. It had a
slightly distinct, bitter taste, but, nevertheless, was pleasing to the palate.
Rand pushed himself up from his seat and walked up the isle.
Usually all the spectators would file out after a match, but this time most of them had stayed—even though it
was a half hour wait. Obviously they had purchased a ticket for Ben's match, too. The ushers were busy
collecting tickets. And more people were starting to file in.
Just then an usher walked up the steps and stopped in front of the box in which Tam and Lyil were sitting..
"I'm sorry,” he said with a tone of indifference. “You'll have to leave now."
Tam looked him up and down. You seem like a nice young man—just doing your job. And since it’s on the
spur of the moment, I’m sure you haven’t been informed. So, let me introduce you to Lyil Zornburst. She has a
friend competing in the next match, and that means we can stay here without purchasing a ticket."
"A friend?" asked the usher.
"Yes," said Lyil. "Ben Hillar."
"Professor Hillar is a friend of yours?" An expression of doubt crossed his face. "He didn't report any friends
or family."
Tam looked up at the young man. "Like I said, we decided at the last moment to come to the match."
"I see. . . . But you realize I have to check on this?"
Lyil knew it was a matter of procedure. "Of course, I understand," she replied. She didn't take it personally.
The usher hurried away.
The private locker room, in which Ben would be waiting for the announcement of his match, was located on
the ground floor near the back of the swording complex. It was situated so the top swords could gain entrance
and avoid the masses of people waiting for autographs.
The athletic director was escorting Ben to the locker room when he said, "It's an honor to meet you, Grand
Master Ben Hillar.” He nodded his head as if showing respect. “I have followed your career since you became
Grand Master of Cyton. I knew then that anybody winning that title at such a young age was bound for greater
titles. I might add, I made quite a lot of money off my speculations; especially when you came in third at the
Galactic Games," he suddenly paused, and then said, "but that's of the least importance,” as if he realized he
shouldn’t be wasting Ben’s time with such trivia, and then he said, “What you're going to find in the Outer City
is that the Tarmorians give Grand Master's preferential treatment.
“When it's time for you to enter the arena we will send a heralder. It is our custom, as a show of respect, that
a Grand Master be announced before he or she enters." The director touched the palm lock to the locker room
and the door slid open.