“Oomph,” Ho-Boe grunted as his back hit the ground. Musa stood over her father, blade pressed against his throat.
“Do you yield?” She asked, panting from exertion. Ho-Boe simply smirked as he twisted his legs, knocking Musa’s feet out from under her before rolling away to retrieve his own twin blades. Musa grumbled under her breath as she righted herself and turned to face her father who was posed to attack again. Musa barely had time to raise her weapon as her father lunged at her. They continued to trade blows until Musa lost her grip on her ring blade while blocking one of her father’s strikes, having it thrown from her grip. Ho-Boe took the opportunity to cross his katana blades over Musa’s throat.
“Do you yield?” He asked. There was no malice or mockery in his tone.
“Yes.” Musa muttered in annoyance.
“Don’t look so upset Bǎobèi,” Ho-Boe said with a soft smile on his face as he lowered his swords. “Your ability to use such a complex weapon in combat is improving wonderfully. To properly weld any weapon during battle is difficult to accomplish, especially one as perplexing as the ring blade. I have no doubt you will soon master this just as you have mastered hand to hand combat.” Both he and Musa stored their weapons away and turned to leave the abandoned court yard.
“Not soon enough,” Musa mumbled under her breathe.
“You are driven and strong willed my sweet, but also stubborn and impatient. Masters of any trade have to start somewhere. I was much like you when I first attended Red Fountain. I thought myself such a skilled fighter until our first sparring matches against the other specialist. Within moments I was knocked onto my behind and my pride was bruised as well,” Ho-Boe said with a hearty chuckle. “With how bad my temper was the first few days after that I’m surprised I was able to befriend anyone let alone someone as gentle and kind hearted as Rhodos.”
“The fact that he was stuck with you as a roommate probably had something to do with it too.” Musa mocked with a kind smirk. Musa loved it when her father reminisced about his past, about her mother and his time as a specialist. The happy far off look he would get always made her smile.
“Yes that probably had something to do with it too,” Ho-Boe said with a laugh. As they made their way back to the old house that Ho-Boe grew up in, they spotted Flora and Gantlos sitting on the steps leading up to the door. Little Penelope curled up in her mother’s lap with a soft small on her face. They saw Symphony off to the side chasing Duman who was shifting between different small animals as he evaded the tiny fingers that tried to pull his fur.
“It’s seems history likes to repeat itself with this family.” Ho-Boe mused as he compared he’s old friendship to that of Flora’s and Musa’s. He cut his eyes to the side to look at his daughter as he realized how much weight he words actually held. A sad look crossed her face as silence fell over them. Their light hearted moods starting to ebb away.
“I’m sorry sweetheart, I didn’t mean it like-”
“It’s okay daddy.” Musa cut him off. It was true, It seems history did like to repeat itself with her family: Two people with completely different personalities becoming unexpectedly fast friends. Finding love and starting a family young. Then having their spouses ripped away from them. Leaving them to raise a child on their own and mend their broken hearts. “Perhaps they’ll be able to write their own histories.” She added as she looked at her little family. Gantlos and Flora both had soft smiles on their faces as they watched the little girls rolling in the grass with Duman, who was in the shape of a large dog at the moment.
“Hey Flo! Quick spar, you and me? My ring blade against your little Tofu swords?” Musa asked as she walked up to them. A challenging smirk on her face.
“Tonfa,” Flora said, emphasizing the “N” and “A”. “They’re Tonfa-style blades. And they’re not swords! Their elbow blades Muse, they’re suppose to be that short,” she huffed in fake annoyance trying to hide her smile, “and sure, I could use a little more practice.” With that both women walked back to the court yard with their weapons in toe. Within moments they both had their blades out, ready to strike. The men and children watched from the house as the women traded blow after blow until the sun set.