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Link parried the spear’s thrust. Damn, pole arms are tough, Link thought to himself. The pole doesn’t just give him extra range, but extra leverage it creates gives the tip speed that my sword can’t possibly keep up with as well as giving it extra power. He retreated and resumed his on guard stance. It doesn’t matter. I can keep just outside of his range with footwork until I figure out his weak point.

The spearman shifted his grip and feinted a thrust, then made a lunge. Link confidently held his ground. I’m out of rang- ?!?!

Link tried in vain to evade the spear’s tip, but it was too late. It had been to late the instant he let down his guard. Gray chalk dust erupted into a plume from the sparring tip of the spear, coating Link’s solar plexus. “How’d you do that?”

Fheredin pulled off his face mask. “Remember the attack carefully.”

Link closed his eyes and replayed the fight in his mind. Just before the fight Fheredin had shifted his grip… but from the angle Link had seen, he couldn’t tell exactly what had happened. “I can tell that you changed your grip somehow…but I can’t see how.” Link sighed. “The spear’s tip was in the way.”

“Let me tell you a trick for remembering attacks.” Fheredin removed the ball of cloth from the end of the spear and checked the amount of chalk in it. “Try changing your point of view. Instead of remembering what you saw, try to remember what happened, then adjust your point of view to see what you missed.”

Link closed his eyes again and remembered the fight from his own point of view again, then visualized the attack from the side. In slow motion he saw Fheredin’s hand open and slide down the shaft, then as his forward hand closed his back hand copied the move. At real speed, the move was so fast that the only thing that betrayed it was a feinting flare of the tip and the faint “thuthup” of his palms sliding along the shaft. “You shifted your grip further down the shaft of the spear. It slows the tip down, but it increases your range.”

Fheredin nodded as he closed the cloth ball and reattached it to the tip of the spear. “The spear is not a weapon to be underestimated: A novice spearman can give even the best of swordsmen difficulties…but like all weapons, it has a weakness.”

A horseman rode along the shore of Lake Hylia towards them. The horse’s hooves thumped across the ground, three beats at a time.

Fheredin exhaled. “I’ll be back in a moment. While I’m gone, I want you to think long and hard about what that weakness is or might be.” He started walking toward the horseman.

Link sat down on a rock and stretched himself out. I would have never thought a spear could be so ferocious a weapon he thought. After all, it’s just a big stick with a sharpened poker attached. Any old blacksmith can do that in five minutes. He looked over at Fheredin: The horseman had stopped to converse, but at this range Link could barely make out a mumble. The spear is too fast for me to safely approach, and if I get him to extend his reach to slow his attacks down…it just might slow down enough for me to grab onto the shaft, but then I’ll be so far away from the spearman my attacks won’t be able to reach him.

The horseman handed Fheredin a letter. Orders to go on maneuvers? He’d know soon enough.

There’s gotta be a trick.

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