"Ominous Orse!"

I wheezed as I got up from where I was sprawling.  "Why don't you stop heckling and DO something to help me?"

"Oooh, Sire," one of my Ixies groaned.  "Knowest not that that is Serene Adoyret Learned Votary Sam, the most formidable Lengra-Cha Gnostermonger monk in all the world?  What could we do against the likes of him?"

"Swarm him!" I suggested.

"Interfering in the fight would violate the terms of our wager," another Ixie complained.  "I have too much riding on this."

"Please go ahead and demand our assistance, Sire," Typantronn chirped gleefully.  "Give us an incontestable direct order.  Thou'lt make me rich!"

"How dare you!" I huffed.  "I've warned you about betting on my actions -"

"Fifth rule," Sam murmured as he flicked my ear.  "Be distracted by bystanders, you must not."

"DAMN IT, SAM!!" I shouted, whirling around only to see him dart out of reach.  "Why couldn't you have been a genial Mephitist monk like Brother Matthew?  He at least would have brought food and Edifying Sacred Scrolls."

"Soft, such things make you," Sam retorted.  "Sit and listen to you quote Precepts of Fuma, enemies will not."

How could I best this annoying Vulpitanian?  I briefly toyed with the idea of transmogrifying myself into something faster and possibly more dangerous .. an owl or a cat, maybe?  But it would require a few minutes of concentration to get the form right - a few minutes which Sam would surely not grant me.

And besides .. what was I thinking??  There could be nothing more dangerous, more fearsome, than a scion of Irenaeus when his dander was up!  I didn't need to turn into ANYTHING to beat this annoying monk!

For that matter, on further reflection I realized I didn't have to beat him at all.  What did I have to prove here?  Nothing!

"Forget it, Sam," I said with a dismissive wave, as I turned and walked toward the dolmen Gate.  "Go away.  I'm not doing this."

He whacked me on the ankle-bone with his staff.

"Rule six," Sam explained as I hopped around and howled curses.   "Decides when over the fight is, the winner does.  Not you."

"You are playing a dangerous game," I hissed as soon as I could stand on both feet again.  "I'm starting to get angry, and I don't think you've ever faced a descendant of Irenaeus in his Battle Fury."

"If fight better it makes you, then all for it I am," Sam replied coolly.

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