TITLE: The Guardian of Sudner
GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy
Jaden Andreist stalled at lunch as long as he could. It was time for battle class. There was no getting out of it… at least none he’d thought of. Reluctantly, he put his elements book away and walked out the door. He’d been practicing for months with Klevi, one of the top battle students, in exchange for tutoring him in runes. A week ago he felt confident. He’d been sparing better than ever. He’d even beaten Klevi twice. But, today was different. The knots in his stomach gave him doubt.
The other boys in his class loved sparring. It was the best part of turning twelve. No longer were they trapped doing nothing but endless boring drills in battle training. Now they got to show off their skill going head to head in real duels. For the other boys it was a dream come true. For Jaden, however, it felt more like a nightmare. He preferred books to battles. If you made a mistake with a book, no one died.
By the time he reached the practice field, most of the other boys were already suited up.
“I didn’t think you’d have the guts to show up today, Jaden,” Berach said as he pushed past him and grabbed some chain mail. “Couldn’t think of an excuse to stay with Daddy?”
The rest of the group sniggered as they filed out onto the field. His face grew warm as he grabbed his gear and a practice sword, hurrying out behind them.