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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2190728
Rated: 18+ · Chapter · Action/Adventure · #2190728
A young dwarf discovers his own abilities
         Dopey's Mom                    Started 10/14/18

Chapter 1

The dilemma


Darcey Stands in front of the stone wall that arches out in front of here where the council members sit high above the council floor. Lars had called to her once more to make another request to change her son's name from Mortog to Dopey like she was supposed to name him.

"I don't see why-n' we hafta' keep naming our boys the same name. My son couldn't possibly be da prophesized one cause we can'no' even leave dis place. Aint no sleeping girl out dare needing a rescue, besides, don' ye be thinkin' if he was da prophesized one, his name'd be Dopey an not Mortog?" She stood defiantly, her fists clenched at her sides, tears being held back by sheer rage and yet still one manages to find itself trickling down her hairy face. "So why in da nine hells are ye meanin' to shame me family's good name for a stupid thing like dat?" She says through clenched teeth.

"Cause its tradition and ye don'na stray from tradition. An dat's all dare is to it. Now ye's gottin te find a way to either have another boy er we's gonna hafta give yer husband a try at someone else." That thought made her cringe visibly. Lars took no pleasure at making that threat as he couldn't even look into her eyes directly.

"But where-n the nine hells did dis stupid tradition come from and why-n dees specific families?" She asked trying desperately to get an answer to something at least.

"I'm no fer knowin dat Darcey. Ye just hafta follow da prophecy an there just ain't no way around it. Now until ye pop out another boy we aimin to shun poor Mortog cause of yer own failure as a mother o' the prophecy." He simply stated as she recoiled knowing that Lars Thunderbelly meant business. "Now ye go an' make another litt'lun until ye have a boy again; I's fer knowin that ye don't mind tryin an Forge is more an happy to help ye on that matter. Now be gone wit ye or we'll hafta do what we say we gonna do."As she turned and stormed out of the council hall she heard the council deciding to disperse as there was no further business for that day. 'No further business my big lumpy arse there aint', were her final thoughts as she walked away in udder frustration.

She bowed her head as she walked away. 'They can't keep me down ferever!' She thought with both tears and fire in her eyes. She could taste the salty shame as one of her tears made it to her lips. 'ugh! I just want to scream!' She also knew that it would be near impossible with war looming just outside their doors, so she just grunted and grumbled her way down the halls.

'Why in da nine hells are they going after my son's stupid name when they are facing some kind of war just outside these doors?.
After all, what could me boy possibly do when none o' dem could even go outside the confines o' the citadel?' Was all she could think of at this point, her gut still wrenching in pain as she walked away from the council chambers.

Instead of heading back home or to the market, she decided to go to the sparring rink.

'Beating up me son almost always gets me feelin better after a day like today, Maybe he's dare.' She thought she might find him there since he was almost always there sparring with Dargus.

She was the most feared mother in the entire citadel; she was so feared that the battle commander, Dargus, was afraid to face her at times. She often sparred with her son so she could make him stronger and smarter to beat the other boys with ease; now that he was older he had begun tutoring some of the other boys so he might win a chance at having a challenge with someone his own age. He had been awarded the armor for his merit proving that he was, indeed, the best in his class. In this way, it gave Mortog some measure of arrogance. He would act invincible to his peers at the rink, in fact, every time he donned the armor he would think himself invincible, then again he always thought himself indestructible even as a young boy. He would often pick fights with the other kids in class and had just become a nuisance at times at school. That's why Darcey took an interest in training him, she wanted him to fight smarter and with a good sense of honor, and if nothing else it would give him the chance to fight at home with her rather than in school against his peers.

She marched through the majestic halls; she marveled at the workmanship of the stone and mortar work and stared at the many statues of the kings and heroes of the past that lined most of the halls. 'I really hope our current king, Keldron, doesn't make it up here, but knowing him, he's already planning his bust right now.' She had to keep thoughts like this to herself lest she be executed for treason.

She ran her hand across the smooth marble stone of the statues and could feel no imperfections, even after hundreds of years. The shadows of the torches seemed to make the statues come to life and dance on their own, though she knew they were just statues still, she liked the effect.

This is one of the smaller citadels in the realms but no less magnificent or powerful. It was true that the citadel was akin to a hole in the ground, but most people have never witnessed its beauty in all its glory. The stone statues, most of them, made of marble were of the utmost quality. The stone stairways that lead to the upper chambers were breathtaking and carved with perfect precision. The churches and political buildings were all adorned with golden accents, even the marketplace was of incredible craftsmanship. They took immense pride in all of the work that goes into building these citadels. Dwarves are certainly the most apt to work with stone and they are proud of it.
She walked past the market circle where people showed off their wares. It was dwindling since the threat of war, most of the people acquired goods from across the planes. Ever since the citadel closed its doors there have been less and less of the more exotic trinkets and baubles. There has also been a drop in the exotic foods that many families have gotten used to, showing how this war is truly affecting the dwarves of this citadel.

Ahead and down the worn cobblestone street is where the council member's homes stood. They were expertly crafted and even had gold accents. They only got to live in the homes as long as they sat on the council, once they were off, they had to move out. It was that simple. Many of the council members had their own homes outside this street already.

She walked past the streets where the common dwarves resided. These were moderately built homes. Most had the main necessities such as refrigeration and some electric lights powered by the water turbines found near the river banks. Her house had some handcrafted furniture such as the dining room table and her handmade wooden desk as did many of the nobles and council members thanks to her husband, Forge. He had made them when he was a carpenter a couple of years ago. He had always wanted to start up a furniture business and was doing very well until about a year ago when the tensions began to rise between the elves, humans, and Dwarves. All wood stopped coming into the citadel. Now he mines mythrill with most of the rest of the population. While most mined for the material, others were crafting the indestructible weapons that the rare element made. The craftsmanship of these weapons were unmatched even by the elves who made masterfully elegant weapons.
She wasn't headed home; she started off to the sparring where her son was honing his skills. She was hoping he would be there to take out a bit of her aggression. He would spar with his instructor on a frequent basis; when she got there this time he was nowhere to be found. 'Durned kid! I's be needin te get some aggression out, an he's not even here when I's needs him.' She wondered if he was with that wretched girl Telis.

She hated her; Telis thought herself better than everyone else. She pursued Mortog based on his fighting prowess and his cockiness, pursuing him relentlessly. In Darcey's mind, all she wanted was the fame in dating the head of his fighting class. She had known many girls like her when she was in school, and she hated them all. 'He's gotta learn on his own.' She had decided that he would have to learn the hard way that she was just a gold digging little bitch!

Dargus was the only one at the rink. He was leaning against the wall of the stone built classroom where he would teach textbook maneuvers. He looked at her with some concern. He was a big dwarf with a large blackened beard and red hair. He was odd looking to say the least. He was just standing there in his leathers. 'Must be a classroom day.' She was frustrated out of her mind and to look at her wrinkly face anyone could see the anger building up inside her so bad that the instructor may even fear her.

"Well met Mrs. Darcey. Lookin for Mortog? Ye just missed im." Dargus told her without moving an inch. With his arms folded across his chest, he continued. "It looks like ye frustrated again. Da meetin with da council ended da same way as last time, didn't it?"

"Yes, an I don'na know when they're gonna pull their heads out o' their collective arse's an look at things from me point o' view!" She snipped back.

"Give it more time Darcey."

"Time! How much more time do they need? It's only been fourteen years!" She spat.

"Well Mortog's not here can I offer my services as your sparring partner today?" He asked to lighten her mood knowing she could use a good fight to wipe her angst. He knew right away that he would most likely regret that move.

"Naw, I'd just put ye in traction again like me did last time." She said with her head down, almost sporting a smile remembering how awful she beat him last time.

"Now now, I learned a bit since last time, I know the move ye used on me an have even begun teachin' me more advanced students dat maneuver." He said trying to encourage her. "It might-n just help with dat pent up frustration I's see all balled up in ye." Now he was hopping from one foot to the other with his fists up in the air, blocking his torso and chest. She knew he meant well, but she wasn't in the mood to spar anymore; now all she wanted to do was sit down at home and cry, both in anger at herself for defying the council as she did, and for Mortog who could be shunned by the council and the rest of the clans. She dreaded that thought greatly, after all he was a champion fighter, but he also excelled in his academic studies. 'He didn't even have a choice on what I's named him, poor Mortog, I wish I wouldn't have done it, but it's too late anyway an me passive husband really didn't even put up no fight about it either!' Oh, how she wished he was here now.

Dargus jabbed her shoulder once and went right back into the defensive stance with a smile on his face, daring her to hit him back. When he saw that she didn't respond he did it again, this time he saw tears begin to flow. 'I's sorry ye's has te feel dis way, but I's fer knowin dat dis'll help.' He thought. She was still a dwarf and needed to get it off her chest by sparing with him or anyone else who felt up to the challenge, and she was a challenge.

Finally, she looked up at him, she was considerably shorter than he was, and jabbed him back with one arm, easily blocking her jab, tears now streaming down her weathered smiling face. He let her hit him three or four times before he came in with a hit and a shoulder press almost knocking her over backward. 'Durned council, now he caught me off guard!' she was so distraught that she almost gave up right there but she let that fuel her fight and she took it to him now using one of her knees to come up to hit him in the gut and shoved him backward. He stayed on his feet and prepared to receive more hits from her. He wouldn't fall for the limber Darcey's signature move again. She came at him this time with her shoulder and he ducked down low as to not get flipped again, but with all her grit and rage she was able to slide forward against his chest to grab his wrist; positioning her arm so she could grab it in a nerve hold and flip him anyway, almost releasing his shoulder from its socket as he hit the ground hard on his back. 'That's it Darcey, I's feelin better already.' He hit the ground dazed for a brief moment as she tried to step hard on his chest but he rolled away from that easily. He made it to his feet once more as she immediately came in with another low shoulder push. He dropped his shoulder and ducked into it, the two slammed hard into one another. In all this time he made no move to attack, until now, as she came across the front of him sidestepping a direct punch he simply stuck his foot in between her ankles to send her wide-eyed and tumbling to the ground landing on her face. Normally this would not have tripped her up, but for some reason the hearing she had just attended, had a more profound effect on her then she realized and she wasn't paying the proper attention that she needed too against a battle commander. 'Durnet girl! Get up and throttle him, it's what ye be needin.' She thought in her own head but then, she smiled at him. He took up a strong defensive position knowing that she was now at full strength. The look in her eye told him all he needed to know. He felt the anxiety welling up inside him; this was the most dangerous time to be fighting with her. It was time to be extra vigilant with her knowing that she really could take him down, she was now focused. She came in with a flying downward punch that he stepped away from. She reached behind her in a flash with her elbow striking him hard in the face, to which he just shook off. She twisted on her feet and moved slightly behind him as she quickly and forcibly took out his legs from underneath him. Before he knew it she was above him punching straight down at him while he lay flat on his back, moving to the side, her fist slammed into the ground hard. He twisted up and around to get her in an arm-lock behind her back. She snapped her head backward forcing him to let her go by slamming the back of her head right into his nose, breaking it. Not knowing what she had done, her eye's still full of tears and anxiety, she swiveled around to grab the back of his head which was already down due to the pain and blood that now dripped on the ground and slammed her knee right into his face bringing his head into her knee, making his nose explode with even more blood. He stumbled backwards with his head still down and brought his hands up to surrender, after all, this was just a sparring session. She snapped out of her angry tirade and looked at him in awe. She realized that he was too fragile to go on with this sparring session, she felt proud of that. She quickly ended her onslaught against him. She was by far the quickest opponent in this citadel and beyond. "I's could easily do his job, if-n it weren't fer these stupid laws!'. She would be a most formidable ally should the war be taken inside these walls.

She backed away and saw the blood pouring from his face and all her senses returned to her in an instant, because she was female she felt more compassion than did males. If this had been a real battle, he would be dead already, but knowing that he was a friend made her pause for concern for his well being. She had done it again; she had hurt this monster of a battle commander whom she respected dearly. With all her wits about her, she ran to get a cloth to sop up the bleeding and some bandages not knowing how bad it was. With tears in her eyes from all of . . . this, she began taking care of the dwarf who was, literally, twice her size and a dear close friend.

"I'm so, so, sorry." She whispered in his ear as she tended to his nose, now realizing she had broken it. She couldn't talk for fear that she would fully break down in front of him and she promised herself she wouldn't show that much emotion and weakness in front of anyone let alone a battle commander; she could wait until she was home and alone, or could she? She started to weep right then and there, at first quietly, and then fully when he put his arms around her comforting her with his own degree of compassion. For a male, he had a much more developed sense of compassion than most males. She sobbed uncontrollably in his arms for what seemed like an eternity while he held her with one hand and his bleeding wound with the other. 'She really needed dis, dis time.' She cried for her boy first, then for herself for being so selfish as to break tradition and go against the council, and thirdly for this kind and gentle man holding her now as she sobbed, that she had throttled so. He didn't deserve her wrath or her friendship. He had always been a good friend to her family, but he has always said that he is a tough dwarf and is always willing to help them in any way he can. She felt bad that she had taken out her grief on him so. Yet he sat there bleeding, holding her and comforting her as she struggled to get away from him as she sobbed. It wasn't until she stopped sobbing that he held her by the shoulders holding her at arm's length with a sympathetic smile on his bloody face. Seeing this made her chuckle a bit.

"Ye' feel better now? I's sure hoppin so, I don'na know how much more o' that I's can take."

She busted out a laugh spittle flying out of her mouth, tears still streaming down her face. She nodded and he hugged her one more time as her crying ceased.

"Let's not mention dis te anyone, okay?" The old battle commander asked of her.

"Please, I don'na want anyone te know how I's broke down like this, I's fer bein strong fer me family." She told him with a weak smile on her face.

"Ferget that!" He said with a bloody smile. "I's not fer wantin te let people know dat I's beat up by a girl!" Jesting, he made her smile once more. She grabbed him and held him to her.

"Yer secret's safe with me Dargus." She whispered close to his ear.

She helped him to his feet and walked him carefully to his classroom.

"Ye should go an see a cleric Dargus. They will heal Ye' up in no time." Concern rang out in her frail voice.

"What? It's only a flesh wound, besides it gives me character an it also serves as a reminder te meself te never piss ye off." He looked back at her with a smile. "If-n ye feel better ye should go an get ready to welcome yer family home." He smiled and walked into his classroom. She can almost hear a hint of jealousy in his voice. "Next time ye be needin me, feel free te come back an kick me arse again. Next time me be wearin full armor, let me tell ye!" He yells from inside his classroom. She chuckles a little and turns to make her way home to her husband, remarkable son and all three of her daughters, with her head down still feeling the shame of the day.



Unbeknown to Darcey and her husband Forge, Mortog was down at the banks getting ready to have some fun.

"So ye think ye's all dat an a box a cookies do ye?" The leader of the boys teased.

"Yeah, are ye dat good or are ye just playin us?"

"Or worse yet, payin off Dargus?" The third boy said.

Now Mortog, while well versed in fighting and knowing what his mother had taught him about multiple opponent fighting was beginning to sweat just a little bit because he's never had to face multiple opponents yet, and this wasn't a normal situation. These kids were from the advanced fighting class. The way they held themselves, they were here to fight him, he knew it, there was no talking his way out of this one. Where were his friends when he needed them?

'Dat's okay, mom taught me how to git out o' these situations.' He told himself. He had never actually been in this situation so he couldn't be completely confident that he could get out of it. 'I's gotten outta worse I's can git outta dis, after all, I's da best in me class.'

"Lets see how ye do outta yer armor an against da tree o' us." The leader said.

It was at this time that the other two moved to his sides, one left and one right, leaving the leader in the middle.

"Let me introduce me friends, on yer right, to cause ye facial damage, Motradum, he's here so yer girlfriend won't recognize ye in da mornin. And on yer left is Grukrog the fierce makin sure ye donna walk away from dis fight. We gonna give ye some trainin lessons ourselves."

"And who might I's be speakin wit right now?" Mortog askes getting into a defensive posture, one that his mother had shown him how to get out of immediately after the fight begins.

"Why, I'm yer new friend Branthony, the head of me class." He just had to mention.

Now Mortog felt fear, these were upperclassmen who wanted nothing more than just to keep their honor safe and keep their reputations where they were by beating him down.

"Dat girl o' yers might think twice about bein yours when ye come home wit a bruised face and a limp in yer step." The boys just laughed and he felt his blood run fast now as he got ready to face these three boys who were better than him, in most respects. His mom had taught him about multi-opponent battles but he had never actually done it. This would be his first fight. He had to chuckle slightly as he knew that these foolish boys wouldn't recognize half of his moves. He just had to have the upper hand at some point in the fight.

"I's heard yer ma went to see me paw today, did she cry when he tol' her to go shove it . . . again?" He hadn't known that she went to see Lars today. "She was devastated, I bet she even cried!" He told him trying to get Mortog to make the first move, that would be a rookie mistake, but he wasn't falling for it. He just gritted his teeth and clenched his fist and readied for an attack from somewhere. "To bad, she really didn't name yer arse Dopey, it woulda suited ye nicely!" His mom had taught him not to be the first to attack, always wait for your opponent; you can more easily find weak spots that way. He also knew that these boys fought multiple opponents all the time in the rink at school and they would be somewhat seasoned. "So whater ye waitin fer? Show us what ye got." He knew that as the Branthony stepped in for the attack at least one of the boys on his side would jump on him also. He wasn't prepared for the both of them to grab his arms as Branthony came forward and so he got the wind knocked out of him as Branthony's fist hit him in the solar plex. This brought Mortog to his knees where Branthony then connected his knee to Mortog's face as a splattering of blood erupted from his nose and sparks of lightning shot up Mortog's face leaving him hunched over on the ground as Branthony's fist came down striking Mortog in the side of the head sending him fully to the ground.

Mortog's muscles strained against the weakened form of his own body as he tried to get up to an upright position.

"Oh, he thinks he wants more! What a fool! Don't ye be knowin when ye been beaten down?" Branthony says as he and his friends began to walk away.

Mortog made it to his feet, wiped the blood off his nose with the back of his hand and then onto his shirt.

"Where ye be goin Branthony? We be just gettin started." Mortog stated, then he gave a light smile as he got fully to his feet. He was now stable and ready for another attack, but he knew what to expect. The two other boys weren't in position anymore and they stood on either side of Branthony.

"Let me take 'im Branthony." The one on the right asks him and Branthony just gestures for him to do so. Mortog was walking toward them as he came up to him. Mortog sidestepped a punch and grabbed the boy's head and as he brought it down to his knee, he brought it up to break the boy's nose and send him squirming and yelling to the ground. Mortog could feel his strength returning to him as he took another few steps closer to the remaining boys. The other boy started to go after Mortog but Branthony held him back.

"Mortog knows what he's doing against one o' us, we both need to go after him together." The other boy just looked at Mortog and nodded. Mortog stopped. A small smile appeared on his face as he wiped the blood off his mouth. Mortog now knew he could handle this fight.
'Thank you mum.' He thought to himself as he smiled.

Both boys now stood in front of him now.

"We been through dis a hundred times in da rink, he canno be dat good," Branthony told him as Mortog just looked back at the boy still squirming on the ground moaning in pain as a reminder to them of what he could do.

Mortog knew that they would both attack at once, they did. Mortog spun around the other boy and elbowed him in the back of the head spilling him onto the ground as Branthony just slipped by. Mortog turned quickly as Branthony hit him in the ribs. Mortog knew that it was coming and prepared for the sharp pain that ensued. The other boy was now back on his feet coming at Mortog with some fury in his fight.

'Good, I made ye mad, now ye'll make them mistakes.' Branthony was as level headed as ever. He tried to get the other boy to stop but was too late. He ran up to Mortog and ducked at the last moment to grab him around the waist, pick him up and slam him to the ground on his back. All that did was knock the wind out of Mortog. He reached up, grabbed the back of the other boys head and slammed it into his own as he brought it up. The other boy went dizzy and Mortog rolled him off of him as Branthony came in to kick Mortog hard in the ribs. The pain was starting to get to him. Mortog knew he needed to stop this fight soon because he was starting to feel the pain of this battle now and he still had Branthony to face off with. The other boy had gotten up and ran off somewhere. Mortog couldn't see him but had to behave like he was there; an invisible assailant. Just in case he was there somewhere to make a surprise move against him, he kept himself aware of his surroundings.

Branthony now had about a four foot stick in his hand.

"Ye be needin a weapon? Really Branthony, yer da big cheese in yer class, can't beat me one on one then, so be it." Mortog realized that if the other boy were to attack from out of nowhere he could be in some real trouble.

The dance began. Branthony took a jab at mortog's ribs, where he hit him before, he knew that spot had to be sore but Mortog just blocked it before he could even get it to its destination. He blocked several of his shots before he was able to grab the stick in his own hand. He tried to disarm Branthony but found that he was too stubborn and had to break the stick in half instead. Branthony just threw it down to the ground and immediately charged Mortog and ducked at the last minute. Mortog was quicker sidestepping his charge and tripping up Branthony to send him hurtling to the ground.

When Branthony stood Mortog almost gave out a bit of a chuckle as he saw the scrapes and blood all over his face. The first boy now stood up next to Branthony.

'Great, there's two o them again. Oh well, one an a half really.'

Grukrog stood next to Branthony ready to enact his own revenge. It seemed he knew what Branthony was planning because he moved about four feet away from him and faced Mortog with his hands out in front of him as if he were going to catch him.

Mortog's nose was still in pain as he gritted his teeth to try to ignore it. He saw both of them while still being aware of what was behind him, the other boy had disappeared, now would have been the perfect time for an attack from the rear as they were both in front of him if the third boy was indeed gone then this would be a lot easier.

Branthony came forward first. Grukrog made a big movement to Mortogs left causing him to look toward him briefly. In that instant, Branthony took this opportunity to elbow Mortog in the back of the head sending him directly to Grukrog and as he was on his way, he got his nose smashed again by Grukrog.

'Well played, got me back.' Mortog's face, now in excruciating pain with his nose being hit twice in the same night. Mortog took the opportunity to take Grukrog down with him as he hit the ground. Grukrog tried to get up but Mortog grabbed his left ankle and twisted it until he heard a loud snap echo in the corridor as well as the howling scream that followed. As he lay on the ground Branthony's foot came into Mortogs ribs again. Branthony kneeled down to strike Mortog's face as it faced up from the ground. Mortog evaded the hit and in turn, grabbed Branthony's arm and twisted it sending him to the ground as well. With that last movement, Mortog used that momentum to get back on his feet. This time Mortog made the move that put Branthony's face into the ground with a loud thump, punching down at his face.
Mortog stepped back allowing Branthony the chance to get up to regain his balance. Mortog was nothing if not fair, besides he now knew that he had won this battle, he just had to wear down Branthony to the point that he would either give up or be taken down. They both threw rudimentary punches at each other, seemingly neither of them wanted to throw any dangerous or damaging punches. It seemed that Branthony was almost afraid of Mortog and he was just toying with Branthony.

"Have ye had enough Branthony?" Mortog asked knowing that it would just entice a more aggressive move from him. It came in the form of a rumbling roll, a move whereby he rolls into the opponent on the ground taking out the legs of his enemy. Mortog simply sidestepped it. The problem with that move is that once you start it you can't see your enemy anymore. Mortog kicked him in the side hard enough to knock the wind out of him. That was also the danger of that move. The pace of the fight was now considerably slower now and Mortog saw the end of the fight coming.

Branthony looked over his shoulder at Grukog and watched him writhe in pain. Mortog saw the look of anger on his face and knew that this was Branthony's final move. He charged Mortog, but as his mother showed him, he dropped his shoulder and landed it squarely in Branthony's chest as a gasp of air escaped his lips and his eyes went wide with pain, Mortog then flipped him landing him square on his back. Mortog kept hold of Branthony's arm and brought it up to his chest twisting it slightly and placing his foot on his throat.

"Yield te me Branthony." Mortog calmly demanded. "Go tend te yer friend." Branthony, breathing hard, just nodded his head so Mortog slowly released his arm and watched him crawl over to his friend and, grabbing his own shoulder, picked up Grukog by the waist. Mortog watched them hobble away before he turned to go to his own house to tend to his poor mother, he knew what to expect when he got home, he's seen this many times before.

Even though the sadness was in him for his mother he still couldn't help but strut his way home from feeling both the sadness and his own arrogance of beating these three boys. He considered it three boys because he was able to scare the other boy away from the fight. This was a remarkable win for him because the fight started out so bad but he ultimately won in the end, like he knew he would. Now, if only he could find a way to win back his families honor he would be happy.

As he strutted home to the power of his own arrogance a plan started brewing in his head, yes, a grand plan indeed.


Little did he know, that boy he scared away had watched the remainder of the fight from afar. Not wanting to be part of the losing team, he ran straight to Dargus to report what had just gone down.

"He took down tree o' yer advanced student's sir. He was both thorough and honorable. I could no' believe what I's seen. He could beat da best o' us, I's sure would rather be his friend than his enemy, i's tell ye dat much."

"Thank you." Dargus dismissed him with a wave of his hand and sat down at his bench. 'Like mother like son.' He thought chuckling to himself and shaking his head. 'Now. . . what to do wit him?'





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