“Oh, so I’m being tested too? Shouldn’t I get an exemption though, since I’m already a Solune Agent?”
Astore asked Janna.
“Yeah, well, you’d think that, eh. But it turns out dad, er, the King wants to test you in a group combat environment. You’ve been working primarily as a stealth unit, so it’s not entirely unreasonable.”
Astore was a short man. All Riley are short, but Astore was particularly short, only three and one fifths cubits. [For those unfamiliar with Dawngale/biblical units, a cubit is 17.5 inches. Astore is 4’8″]. His height stands out further in the Solune capital, as the Solune people average at four cubits [6 foot]. Like all Riley, he had shaggy black hair and darker skin around his eyes. The eyes themselves were a pale brown.
Astore nodded to her, “Okay. That makes sense actually.”
So, Astore waited. He had a few days before enough people had submitted to the King’s call, so he busied himself with personal tasks.
Astore was a very particular young man. He liked everything to be in their place, and his sword, a Riley Lungeblade, was starting to get damaged. He usually kept it sharp but at this point it was accumulating so many chips and cuts that he would need it repaired, or replaced.
He took the sword to a smith, Sarah and Jheffrey’s. He usually got his work done in Baracus, but he wasn’t planning on leaving town when he might be needed.
“You sure put a lot of use into this blade, huh.” Jheffrey said.
“Sarah can fix it for sure, but are you sure you don’t want a new one?” He asked.
Astore said, “I’ve been using this sword for a long time, it has never failed me.”
“Well, at least consider a new blade. Or, if you really have emotional attachment, we can reforge this one, maybe give you a bronze edge.” Jeffrey offered.
“What? Why bronze? What’s wrong with iron?” Astore asked.
“Bronze is a more expensive material for a reason. Well, I guess that reason is that copper is harder to find, but hey. Bronze keeps it’s edge better, it’s not as easy to bend.”
Jeffrey pointed to the warped blade.
“It looks like yours bends sometimes. I’m guessing, as it is a lungeblade, that you use it for thrusts quite a bit, right? Well look, a bronze edge would help, but I think a bronze core would be better. Or even go full bronze!”
“Hang on,” Astore didn’t just buy into anything, “What are the downsides to bronze?”
“Well, you can’t really repair it as easily. You basically have to melt it down and reforge the blade.”
Astore didn’t like this, it sounded unreliable. But bronze still interested him. He came up with an unusual idea. This happened frequently, Astore would come up with something that didn’t seem to make sense, but sometimes it would work out and be ‘awesome’ as he put it.
“Okay. Fix this one, thin it down, but keep the edge as sharp as you can, then put a bronze edge on top. That way I still have something I can repair in the field if the bronze breaks or whatever.” Astor explained. “Can you do that?”
“Umm, I think so.” Jheffrey said. “I’ll ask. In reality, Sarah does all the technical stuff, I’m just learning from her.”
He discussed the idea with Sarah, and she nodded a few times and laughed, then came to Astore at the counter.
“Yeah kid, we can do that. It’ll cost you though.” Sarah told him.
“How much are we talking?” Astore had saved about three hundred Solune from all of his missions as an Agent.
“Easy.” Astore handed over the blade and the money. “When will it be done?”
“Well, you’re basically asking for two swords worth of work, so eight hours maybe. Come back tomorrow.”
Jheffrey took the money and began processing the request. Sarah took the sword and headed for the stock room to get copper and tin.
Astore said goodbye and then left himself. He wondered what the new weapon would look like. What would he call it? It wasn’t really a Riley Lungeblade anymore.
Then, the perfect name came to him. The Astore Lungeblade! Of course, Astore didn’t realize or care that it sounded cheesy. He liked the name, so he used it.
I don’t know where I was going with this one. Ended up as a flash fiction about a sword. Astore, if you’re reading this, I hope I got him down pat, and I hope you see a bit of yourself in the character.
The information on bronze vs iron is scientifically accurate according to my historical research.