Prae would have been lying if he'd said he didn't expect this, but it was still something of a shock to see both Cassandra and Kaldwyn lunge immediately for each other. They were both of them filled with more pride than sense, Praetorum concluded. Cassandra had separated herself from her partner, leaving her in a two on one fight for those vitally important first few trills, whereas Kaldwyn had drawn the entire attention of a fighter twice his bloody weight, and even worse, closed the distance between himself and his quarry when his only advantage over her was range.
He glanced up, locking eyes with Cassius across the ring. There was a moment of exasperated understanding between the two, an unspoken commiseration between two sensible men forced to wrangle their idiot allies. 'You see what I have to deal with?' Their eyes said. 'I do. It's a hard life for those such as us, forced to work around the follies of others. I'm glad that we, of course, have no such problems of foolhardiness.'
Then the moment was over, and Prae broke off eye contact with the other Ithecal, throwing himself into the fray. Ignoring Cassius, still a few paces away, Prae swept his scythe towards Cassandra's exposed right leg, taking advantage of her intense focus on Kaldwyn to try and get a good, properly debilitating strike in. If he could get a good strike in at her hip, that might slow her down enough for one of them to get a slice to her neck.
The training weapons the legion had them use for these exercises were wooden and blunted, but were much heavier than the real weapons would be; partially to build up their strength as they trained so that in real combat their weapons would feel light in comparison, and partially, it was rumored, because those who had earned Raskalarn's favor would be able to imbue their weapons with greater weight and force, and these weapons mimicked that rather well.
Whatever the reason, it worked out in their favor in this case. The long reach of the weapon, and the weight of the 'blade' meant that when he got in a long, uninterrupted swing, the impact was closer to a horse's kick than an ithecal's blow. His training scythe crashed into Cassandra's leg, and she grunted, dropping down to one knee.
There was a flash of movement in the corner of Praetorum's eye, and he raised his shield on instinct, feeling the impact against the metal before he ever got a good look at what hit him. Shoving roughly back with his shield, he saw that Cassius had made his way to them. That was fine, Praetorum could hold him off while Kaldwyn finished off Cassandra. Then the two of them could—
Before he even finished the thought, Kaldwyn approached Cassandra to deliver the finishing blow, only to be caught off guard when she surged upwards towards him, gladius flashing out faster than Prae could follow from this angle. Prae's eyes widened under his helmet, and he scrambled backwards to buy himself some time and space. Had Cassandra been feinting? Apparently so: Kaldwyn was on the floor, and the twins were now advancing on him. They'd turned the tables in a matter of trills, he realized with admiration.
Well, there was nothing for it. Boldness in battle, that was his mother's philosophy. The question was, should he target Cassius or Cassandra? If he'd gotten a better look at their capabilities.... no use complaining now. Cassandra was already injured, so he'd go for her. With his shield raised between himself and Cassius, Prae lunged forwards, his scythe darting forwards in an aggressive thrust that bounced off of Cassandra's shield. She stepped back, and he manuvered forwards, pressing his advantage.
That was a mistake, he realized the moment he did it. Cassandra hadn't been moving away from his attacks; she'd been moving away from her brother. And Prae had just stepped between them, like an idiot. Whirling around, he raised his shield to block an incoming attack from behind, sweeping with his scythe to try and keep Cassandra away.
He felt the scythe jar against his hand as something impacted it; then Praetorum yelped, grabbing on as the scythe was very nearly pulled from his hand. When he tried to pull it back, he found Cassandra's grip on it was secure, and was forced to let it fall as she stabbed at him with her gladius. Praetorum tried to dart out of the way, only to find himself being swept off his feet by a thick tail. Within trills, there was a blade at his throat, and a foot on his chest. Above him, the twins grinned cheekily, before backing off and letting him get to his feet.
"That's a match." The judge said, somewhat unnecessarily. "I see we've got quite a lot to work on. Well, never fear; I'll have you two in fighting form soon enough."
Kaldwyn, sulking as he rolled his shoulders, frowned at the other human suspiciously. "Wait, what exactly do you mean by that?"
"I mean —" the human straightened up, looking down his nose at Kaldwyn and Prae, for all that both were taller than him "— that as your quinctus, I'm going to be in charge of your training from now on. So come on. The five of us are going on a run; and then after that, we'll talk tactics. By the time I'm through with you two, you'll be able to hold your own against Cassandra, no problem."