"Oh I will,"

I muttered while giving him my best Irritable Glower.  "I will stop you.  Eventually."

I turned back to the menhir and began polishing it again despite my aching biceps.

"Ahead of my lessons you are," Sam sighed.  "Rule nineteen:  With a more skilled adversary, pick a fight never.  Gotten to that one yet, I have not."

I suppressed a chuckle.  The old fool thought I had given in!  But, quite to the contrary, I had just thought of a plan to catch him off guard and give him the pummeling he richly deserved.  He wanted this stone to be shiny, did he?  Well, I would make it shiny!

I silently mouthed an appropriate Gramarye, and the surface of the menhir gleamed like a mirror.  I heard Sam step back and raise his arm to shield his eyes.

Instantly I spun around and lobbed a sponge right at his face.  While he was busy swatting it away, I dropped the other sponge and swung my fist for a mighty Irenaeid punch!

"Very clever," Sam declared approvingly as he caught my hurtling fist.  "Almost impressed I am.  Trickery, a fundamental part of Vulpitanian Style is.  Finally ready to learn, you are."

"What I'm ready to do is pulverize you!" I snarled.

"Not until to control your anger you have learned," he scolded.  "Reckless it makes you.  Also, until blocking you have mastered, pulverize no-one you will.  See if block my attacks you can as easily as the stone you polished."

With that, he swept his staff upward in an arc toward my head.  I could see it coming.  Was he moving slowly on purpose?  I thought about ducking, but instead my arm whipped up in a tight circle - just like the motion I had been using for hours to polish the menhir - and knocked the staff aside.

"Good!  Again!" Sam barked.

As I blocked Sam's strokes, he increased the tempo until they were coming rapidly from left and right in no readily predictable pattern.  I blocked them all.

"You're a fool, old man," I chuckled grimly.  "Now that you've taught me how to defend myself, you can no longer touch me - ARGH!"

"Rule seven," Sam announced as I hopped around clutching my ankle where he had whacked it.  "Cocky, do not get.  To become a Vulpitanian Style master, more than one trick it takes."

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