24th of Ymiden 643
from the ground, Oberan felt his father’s hand firmly around his upper arm.
“Up you go, boy,”
the man said.
his feet, the man let go, and the child tentatively felt his ribs, flinching as the bruise throbbed under his touch.
latest blow from his training would produce a new ache for several trials, not something he looked forward to.
“Street thugs and other scum won’t let up when you’re down, Bran,”
his father spoke sternly, brow furrowed.
it even matter that Oberan had heard those same words many times before? Memory was and had never been his father’s strong suit, but it seemed to have become worse recently.
“My boy, you are Audrae’s son--”
and time again, that line would be repeated as well. Always the same story, always told when he didn’t perform well enough. It was supposed to fill him with pride, and it had the first few times, but when it was repeated at nauseum?
“—took you in because she wanted me to,”
he continued, unaware Oberan wasn’t listening.
queen," Oberan’s father would say, "she put her faith in me, provided me with an opportunity I was not worthy of". Did he know he’d repeated it every single time he started one of his rants? Did he know how much of a bother it was to listen to it every single time, lest Oberan be punished for not respecting Audrae’s greatness and generosity.
were slim. The man’s memory was riddled with holes large enough to comfortably push a herd of cows through.
“--went out of her way to give me an opportunity to redeem myself,”
Lethius finished. His eyes seemed to water, though it could have been a trick of the light.
man gestured for Oberan to get back in position, to get ready for what came next.
“Distance is important,”
Lethius said, nodding to himself. “The distance between you and your opponent, the distance you or your opponent can cover with attacks –the range, if you will. It’s important.”
the boy was listening, nodding as his father spoke, trying to soak up the information like a sponge.
“I’m even inclined to say that being aware of this at all times is the most important part of the battle. If you know the ideal distance to strike, you can become untouchable. Monitor the distance between you to stay out of the range of your opponent. Dash in and out to strike when the opportunity presents itself.”
He gestured with his finger.
and forth, back and forth.
“On my mark, you will circle around me. Try to keep far enough away. I will move as well, so pay attention.”
He waved for the boy to take his position, then gave the signal.
shuffled through the dust as Oberan strafed around his father’s looming figure, keeping an eye out for—
as he noticed a lapse in concentration within his own mind, his father moved.
fist struck him on the forehead, and the boy flinched back.
the man said, an odd expression on his face as he spoke, as if he felt the phrase wasn’t used correctly.
“And try again. Pay attention this time.”
father narrowed his eyes.
“Will do, father,”
the boy said, getting back in position when he was told to do so.
“To say it is one thing,”
his father said sternly, “to actually do it is another. It’s not something we can’t fix with loads of practice though.”
He paused, spacing out for a moment. “You know what your mother said to you when she told me to raise you?”
Another pause, his eyes fixed on Oberan’s.
the boy stated with certainty, and his father nodded.