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   Chapter 132 No.132

The Book of Deacon By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5928

Updated: 2018-01-20 12:02

Her time with Lain was the most trying. Over a week of battle was needed to finally convince Myn that Lain and Myranda were not fighting out of anger again. This, however, was not completely true. Myranda's apology for her behavior prompted no response at all from Lain. He fought in almost complete silence each day. She managed a pair of well-placed counter attacks, several days apart, but they differed from her other achievements. She stumbled upon them less in a moment of epiphany, and more through some new instinct that she was developing. They were almost mechanical in nature. Lain's only words on the topic were to remark that such was as it should be.

Further trying was the fact that, with each passing day, sparring with Lain was becoming more difficult. A bit more speed and a bit more accuracy found their way into his maneuvers every time they fought. He was keeping his skill level just beyond hers. Before long, the clear openings for her to attack vanished, and the split-second openings for counterattack were shaved thinner and thinner.

Five weeks after starting her work with Cresh, the dwarf indicated that it would be a fine time to offer her the final test. There had been no warning that the end was near until now. At least, none that she'd managed to understand. He produced an apple from his pocket, proclaiming it to be, apparently, the last fresh one to be had in the village. Myranda wondered where the others had gone, and how many there had been, considering in all of her time in Entwell she'd seen neither an apple nor an apple tree. The latter fact, it would appear, would soon be remedied.

Cresh took a bite of the fruit, dug his fingers into its core, and retrieved a seed. The dwarf launched into a speech that was apparently v

ut found the lowest of them just be out of reach. He raised the crystal-tipped root he used as a staff. The tree lowered its branch as though it had a mind of its own, and shook an apple free into his hand. The dwarf sniffed the fruit thoughtfully before taking a bite, considering the flavor as a connoisseur might sample a fine wine. Finally, he declared the endurance test to be complete.

Myranda heaved a sigh of relief, as she had far more strength and clarity left now than she had entering into any of the other tests of dexterity.

Myranda was led inside of his hut, and the door was shut behind her. A table was in the middle of the room, and a chair had been grown before it. Atop it was set a bowl filled with gray sand. A pair of empty bowls was set beside it. Cresh spread a pinch of the sand on the palm of his hand to reveal that there were actually fine grains of black and white mixed thoroughly enough for the bowl's contents to seem uniformly gray. He then produced a blindfold, which he secured over her eyes. She was to separate the black and white into the separate bowls without the use of the eyes or her hands. With that, Cresh retired to another room.

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