Tala was returning home with the Third Swordlord’s reply to her master’s message when she came across the fight on the borders of her master’s demesne. Angel versus vard, one on one, with spears. Tala didn’t recognise the brown winged angel but she did recognise her master’s symbol on his shoulder brooch. She didn’t know much about fighting either but she thought her unknown brother was in serious trouble. She wanted to help but she didn’t have a weapon and didn’t know how to use one anyway but as she looked at the fight she got an idea…
“She yanked on its tail,” Gadiah told Dorthiel and Lasrial while Tala stood to one side in admonished silence. “Threw its balance and guard off so I could kill it but I don’t know how she managed to pull it off without getting herself hurt. I didn’t see or hear her coming and I’m sure the vard didn’t either but getting away without getting its spear through her, that was just sheer dumb luck.” He looked at the much younger, female angel severely and she looked down at the floor.
“Tala is a very fast, quiet flier,” observed Lasrial.
“She is,” agreed Dorthiel. “Do you remember those close-order, flying combat drills Hadural used to insist on? Tala would have been good at those. She can turn inside half her wingspan at full speed. I don’t know how she does it. Well,” he corrected himself, “I’ve seen how she does it but when I tried it I nearly broke my wings.”
“She shouldn’t be jumping into fights if she doesn’t know what she’s doing,” Gadiah said severely.
“But you’re my brother and you needed help, what was I supposed to do?” Tala looked at back at him with her dark, silver-speckled eyes.
“Go for help,” he snapped.
She crossed her arms and snapped back, “I meant more useful help than driving that thing away from your body.”
“Do you have any idea what it would have done to you if it had gotten its hands on you?” Gadiah was beginning to lose his temper.
“Nothing worse than it would have done to you. I have actually read the texts with the educational pictures of those things in them.” Tala was fired up as he was.
“Enough! Both of you!” Dorthiel held up his hands and spread his black wings in emphasis.
“You both have a valid point,” added Lasrial, “and I have another. What if the vard find out Tala is our lord’s messenger? They might well target her.” The looks the three older, male angels gave her chilled Tala to the bone.
“So?” The question came out in a very small voice.
“We teach you to protect yourself,” said Lasrial cheerfully. “Gadiah will give you your first lesson this afternoon on the practice lawn.”
“I will?” Gadiah’s question had a bewildered air of ‘how-did-this-get-to-be-me?’ to it.
It balanced out Tala’s response of unequivocal delight beamed at all three of them. “Thank you!”