"-Can it wait 'till after I've finished eating? I don't want these to go cold."

"Shut up and duel me - besides, they're just pancakes..." The challenger's voice trailed off as Oliver vi Aurigena's sea-green eyes slowly dragged themselves towards him.

"Are you saying it's okay to just let Laelinae's pancakes go to waste?" Oliver's voice was as cold as steel and twice as sharp, and a more intelligent challenger would have taken the opportunity to back out while they still could. Unfortunately, Brandon ii Ursa had the mental capacity of a boiled potato, so he pressed on.

"Whatever - it's not like you'll be the one actually fighting anyway. Just call Galahad so I can get him back for yesterday."

Oliver sighed and waved for Galahad to pause his assault on the toast he'd buttered so thickly that it was threatening to fall apart in his hands. The squire - or was he a full knight now? - swallowed the rest of his breakfast and wandered over to Oliver's table. He rolled his eyes when he saw Brandon.

"I thought you said you were going to leave us alone."

The challenger smiled, "I said I was going to leave you alone for now - but it's not 'now,' anymore, is it?" It took a few moments for Oliver and Galahad to translate Brandon's sentence into something that made any sense.

"Galahad?" Oliver sighed again.
"Class starts in five minutes. Can you wrap it up before then?"

Galahad shrugged as he grabbed a fistful of cutlery from the table, "Probably. You just make sure those don't go cold."

Oliver nodded in thanks and turned back to the humble stack of Laelinae's golden pancakes that were quickly losing their warmth to the cream and syrup that he had so carefully poured over them. He only had a few minutes to enjoy them at their proper temperature - he had to act fast.
His champion had only left him with a single fork to eat with, but Oliver was a professional, and he used the side of the fork to slice a generous portion from the stack without causing too much damage. His days of accidentally crushing the bottom pancake were behind him.
As always, Laelinae's work was incredible, and the first bite was enough to restore his faith in humanity, equality, and world peace all at once.
Oliver savoured the sensation for as long as he could, but the clock was ticking, and he knew he'd never forgive himself if he left a single crumb on his plate, so he cleared his mind, focused on his mission, and began to systematically dismantle his breakfast with the precision of a surgeon.
It took two minutes for him to clean his plate, and he heard Brandon surrender just as he put the fork down and started to get out of his seat.

"Ah shi- I yield!"

The challenger was stuck to the back door by a breadknife that stapled his jacket to the heavy wooden frame, and his sword had somehow ended up in the hands of his opponent. A fork was embedded half an inch into his upper thigh, and a pair of junior students were drawing on his face with a permanent marker while he flailed helplessly.

"Total defeat..." Oliver mused as Galahad cheerfully handed Brandon back his sword before promptly leaving him to hang right where he was until one of the senior students were feeling generous enough to let him down. Oliver figured it would take anywhere between ten minutes and ten days before that happened.


About the author


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