Thal's balls, just when you think you've seen it all! The world's full of surprises!
What am I talking about, you ask? Oh, nothing much─just the most amazing bladework I've ever seen!
It wasn't even the main card, either, but light entertainment. A Far Eastern fellow, old enough to be my grandfather, appeared and called for challengers. But who should answer him but a brute of a gladiator?
People thought it was either mummery or a sick joke. After all, what could one expect from such a mismatch─the old and infirm versus the young and in form?
But when the action began, the old man proceeded to drop everyone's jaws─his opponent's not least of all─with his blistering bladework!
The most riveting moment, though, was when he had the challenger on the back foot. For instead of finishing the job, he went and sheathed his blade!
Putting your steel away in the heat of battle...well, that's akin to committing suicide. This wasn't lost on the gladiator, who lunged in with a mighty swing.
The spectators gasped collectively, thinking it was over. And it was...but not for the old man. For in the next instant, before anyone could comprehend what had happened, his opponent was crumpled on the ground!
In one fell stroke, and with impossible speed, the old man had drawn his sword and dealt the telling blow. A few heartbeats passed in stunned silence, then the stands erupted in riotous cheering. Gods, just recounting it gives me the chills! The speed, the precision, the elegance...simply sublime! How's it possible I had never heard of these Far Eastern warriors? These “samurai”?
W-Wait, are you thinking what I think you're thinking, and you want to face the old man? Well, that silver-tongued showmaster was looking for a new challenger, but you don't want to do this. Let someone else be the fool.
If you've a mind to take on the old man, that silver-tongued showmaster was
looking for a new challenger. But trust me when I say that you don't want to do this. Let someone else be the fool.