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En Garde, Little Man (Open) | Wednesday early afternoon

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Unlike the Northern Terrace, the enclosure known as the Eastern Terrace was not merely an expanse of stone. It was instead a more gentle garden, with the familiar geometric shapes in almost perfect symmetry that allowed for a protected stroll without getting lost. Its structure was reassuring and quite different from the wild park beyond the walls of the Castle proper. With its lush greens and neatly trimmed edges and hardly a flower in sight it was perhaps most suited for those in need of contemplation.

The terrace was enclosed by a half way wall, inviting people to lean across it while enjoying the farther view over the Little Park.


The Duke of Buckingham may have been...older in years...but he was renown as a premiere swordsman. Even at his age and with more girth to his lithe, tall figure, gentlemen were wary of insulting him for he was just as known for his history of (illegal) dueling. He had, in fact, never lost a duel. 


Today, however, he had not chosen an opponent to duel, nor even an opponent to provide much of a challenge for sparring. No, today, he had chosen entertainment value, exercise, and fresh air.


It was not the first time he had given Francis' little ginger ward the honour and privilege of crossing swords with him, but he generally did not find the entertainment overwhelmed the state of his patience (or lack thereof). That was to say, Tom did not frequently get the opportunity to be thoroughly pummeled by Buckingham. 


Not that Buckingham did not find the boy to have some skill for a youth of sixteen, but he was the Duke of Buckingham.


With a slick motion, the duke divest the lad of his practice rapier yet again, when the boy got brazenly too close, and gave him a nice elbow to the cheek for his trouble. 


The ginger went sailing onto his arse in the grass. "Dead again," he taunted. "You are going to be bruised from root to tip, darling little carrot, if you don't grow some regard and patience."


With a chuckle, he added, "My sister has more skill with a sword than you." True, but he also wished to keep said carrot annoyed enough to have to work through it with some intelligence and less foolish bravado. A good lesson for the young.


He encouraged the boy back up by the collar of his shirt and handed him back his rapier. "Again."

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