It was the third time his instructor had told him to try once more. He was growing tired of the games. Somehow, Rethalar managed to stand up - he had fatigued well past what he was used to. But he knew he had to do it, knew this was his last chance to beat the instructor, knew that if he could accomplish what some found impossible he would become the Grand Master's apprentice.
They both brought their weapons to bear, and Rethalar waited for the first move. He knew that making one was useless - both combatants were deathknelve, so naturally both would be focused on the other with a unique intensity. And then it came: the instructor went for a basic stabbing lunge. Rethalar deflected to the side, and attacked with his off hand in an attempted slash.
Back and forth the two went, the instructor hoping to break Rethalar's will, and Rethalar hoping to find a weakness. The constant whack of two wooden training swords reverberated through the halls of the whisperblade chateau, which had been empty nearly an hour now; the trainees had all gone home. Between swings, Rethalar managed to catch a glimpse of something he thought he wouldn't see for another few years - the Grand Master had entered the sparring arena and taken a seat, watching intensely.
The instructor noticed Rethalar's distraction, and probed for a weakness, but he had underestimated how fast Rethalar had recovered. The prince managed a sloppy parry, and then closed in to the instructor. He punched in the soft spot between the ribs and hip with his strong hand, and then backed off for a swipe with his off hand. The instructor stumbled back, aware that the slice had been fatal, or would have broken armor if he was wearing it. Rethalar spun quickly and brought both of his swords level with the instructor's throat. A quick spurt of magic brought the wooden training implements to blaze, and he then discarded them to his sides. He bowed to show his respect, and then turned to face the grand master - he had left before Rethalar could plant the final blow. Or so he thought.