Bare feet flat to the padded floor of the practice room, he just brushed 6 feet tall, making him a good hand-span or two taller than the blonde man stretching in preparation across from him. His limbs were long and toughly muscled, as opposed to bulky – built for distance and endurance over brute strength. When not tied back from his high forehead, and matted black with sweat, his shoulder length hair was the dark brown of polished delan wood. Rough chopped ends testified to his impatience with guild rules which dictated hair could be no longer, and with custom which had short hair as the province of the ruling Houses.
“So you’re actually going to take the trip? Sim hadn’t been at the ale after all?” The other man on the mat gripped his practice sword in a two-handed stance and prepared to attack.
Luk shrugged and raised his own sword in defence.
“Seriously? You’re going past the borders?” the blonde shifted forward and then circled before lunging.
This time the only answer Luk gave was a grunt as he easily parried the blow and started an attack of his own.
“But with Tribal guides?” The shorter man stumbled backwards from the force of the attack, but kept up his stream of questions. “And one a woman?!”
“They’re the best”. Luk swung his wooden blade up under the guard of his opponent, twisting it so the other blade flew to the floor with a clatter, and his own ended up resting at the base of the other’s throat. “You weren’t even trying, Jac”.
“I had my mind on other things!” Jac – Pirael Jiacomo, as he was listed on the guild rolls – retorted as he stooped to collect his blade, then made to return it to the racks at the side of the room. “Enough. The only time I ever could best you was when you’d had the hide thrashed off you by a Master and even then you were fighting with your right hand tied behind you in forfeit. I’ve had about all the humiliation I can handle at your hands today. Time we sat down with a brew and you explained to me how the best mercenary on the Guild’s books got himself marked for guide-dogging a merchant through the borders with just the backup from some tribal scurf of dubious descent”.
“And a scholar. Don’t forget there’s a scholar as is one of those I am to guide too”. A tiny grin lifted the edge of Luk’s wide mouth.
“How could I forget the scholar!” Jac threw his hands in the air and pushed his tall companion out the door towards the changing rooms. “Shower – beer – explanation. And in that order. I’ve a feeling I’m going to be needing as much fortification as I can get down my throat to get a handle on this news”.