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."