The Training Grounds

"Well then, I have the perfect excuse!" Nieve said, twirling her sword idly. "If I lose I can blame it all on fatigue, and if I do well I shall be gracious enough not to mention it. Besides, I really ought to be working on my stamina. Don't you think?"

Breathlessness aside, she did seem poised to fight: feet slightly apart, knees bent, blade just a flick of the wrist away from readiness. She bounced on the balls of her feet, brimming with energy despite what she claimed. Part of her was regretting breaking off that embrace, and she wanted a distraction to throw herself into.