“Have the Champion train her. Surely he is better suited than I.”
Riza shook his head. “She needs the best!” Riza’s anger flared.
“The Champion….” Deliss yelled.
“Is not the best!” Riza roared forcefully. “We both know it, Deliss. You were the best.”
Deliss snorted derisively. “Thank you for qualifying that remark, Riza. My pride might have gotten the best of me.” Turning to go, he hobbled slowly toward the door leading from Riza’s office.
“She needs you, Deliss. Her mother just died, her father is very ill. You know the work they do. None of the others will treat her with fairness.”
The crippled warrior froze. “No, the daughter of slaves must find it difficult,” he whispered, remembering his own humble beginnings. Sighing heavily, he put his hand on the door. “All right, bring her to my quarters. We begin tomorrow.”
Riza watched the door shut and allowed himself to sigh with relief. “Thank you,” he addressed himself to Dajed the patron god of duelists. “For the sake of them both, thank you.”
© 2017 Dellani Oakes