Billy Jo studied Jiranee’s movements. She was fast and efficient, dancing just out of his reach until he let his guard down then she would strike. All in all she wasn’t a bad thing to being studying, she was smoking hot and her lithe movements were entrancing.

WHACK! She hit him in the left arm.

Billy Jo stifled the expletive before it could escape his lips. That would just earn him another whack from Jiranee. It hurt when she hit him; she wasn’t holding back like she had at first. She said pain was a good motivator and she had learned that he had very high tolerance for pain. It was his own fault, he’d let his attention wander again. He was much more focused than he used to be, but Jiranee was very distracting.

He made a lunge towards her, but she dodged away. She was so graceful it was almost like she was dancing. She continued smoothly from the dodge into slash of her own, but he was ready this time and managed to block the blow. He started to swing his wooden practice sword in retaliation, but switched to a side kick at the last moment. He caught her off guard, which was very hard to do with her centuries of experience, but she used her superior speed to twist away at the last second reducing the impact of the blow.

Dang. He was hoping to get in a good shot. He was getting tired of being on the receiving end of the sparing sessions. Jiranee held up her hand indicating the match was over. “I would like you to teach me this kickboxing style of fighting you know. Brawling is common in the kingdom, but the techniques are not as refined as the ones you use.” Great. She’d be kicking him in the face in no time.

“Edward. I’d like you and Billy Jo to spar again.” Edward had been practicing on his own while she “instructed” him. Beat the crap out of him was more like it. He never complained out loud. He knew that he had to do this. He had said again and again that he was a carpenter and not a warrior, but it was going to take more than carpenter to take down the Snake and Gator people. He doubted he’d ever find a better teacher than Jiranee. There weren’t many or probably any other people around that had centuries of combat experience. Besides he knew he was improving, he’d learned a lot of new moves from Jiranee and was getting better with the sword.

Edward and he faced off and started sparing. Edward was getting better too. They had been having marathon training sessions. Jiranee said she usually didn’t push new trainees this hard, but both Edward and he had shown exceptional stamina. Edward was in much better shape than he appeared. He was still somewhat overweight, but in another month he’d probably be thin at the rate he was going. Of course the weight didn’t seem to slow him down. Edward was light on his feet and faster than Billy Jo. Billy Jo had a hard time hitting him and only landed about one blow for every two of his. Of course he hit a lot harder than Edward. All in all they were pretty evenly matched, though their fighting styles were very different. Edward went for the fancy maneuvers and Billy Jo just kept it simple and to the point. He preferred the Tomas Beckett one-shot one-kill method of fighting taking down each opponent as he encountered them. Edward always went straight for the boss in the most dramatic way possible. Billy Jo supposed there was some sense in that, if you took the boss out the rest may surrender, but it had landed Edward in some bad situations. While a sword to the gut probably wouldn’t kill him now, it still hurt like hell and he’d rather avoid it if he could.

Return to The Well Of The Worlds