“Luke, I appreciate you taking the time…”
“But you’re weak and wanna quit?” Luke retorts lightly, easily parrying Percy’s incoming strike before circling the younger boy with a teasing grin.
Percy huffs, half out of mounting exhaustion and half out of mortification because he can’t think when Luke smiles like that. It makes his heart skip a beat and a half because he can never tell if it means that the son of Hermes will let him take a break or if another strike is coming down with frightening speed. He shrugs and Riptide glints in the light that passes through the trees.
“It's just...When am I ever gonna use this stuff?”
It’s a strike this time and Percy barely blocks the slice coming his way, stumbling back as Luke lines up another attack alongside his answer. “I told you-”
“They'll come for me, I know! They have. A Fury tried to claw me, the Minotaur tried to skewer me! But I don’t think a disarm or high guard will-”
Riptide glances off Luke’s blade, which is ironically in a high guard position at that exact moment, and the son of Hermes isn’t even sweating as he swings their stance back in his favor. Percy keeps going, searching for an opening while he rambles.“Or... repost will do any…”
“Reposte, Percy.” Luke corrects with the slightest bit of mirth and then his sword’s too close to Percy’s chest and the son of Poseidon trips backwards, only just catching himself on his knees before Luke’s tilting his chin up with the flat of his sword. Riptide tumbles from Percy’s fingers and he manages to get out a few more words before his brain blanks again - Damnit Luke .
“My point is, they don't fight fair . It's not like there are rules.”
Percy tries very hard to ignore the way the sunlight gives Luke a halo as he stares up at him, the way it encircles the brunet’s messy curls and reveals the brown highlights hiding in his previously black hair. Did Luke dye his hair? He didn’t seem like the type to…Percy couldn’t imagine the older boy popping into Cabin 10 for a bleach and tone…
“...there are rules. See, that's what warfare is. Knowing the rules ...so you can use them against your opponent.”
Percy nods as he catches the second half of what the son of Hermes says. Luke cocks his head and those damned big brown eyes crinkle about corners as he hauls Percy backup without so much grunt because of course Luke is big enough to manhandle his small scrawny form but he never does it too harshly, he's too nice to, which Percy appreciates greatly. The brunet has both their weapons in hand now and he hands Riptide back as he goes to speak again but Percy blurts out something quicker.
“What’s an example?”
He needs to know, he has to know. He has to get better at this, he wants to be able to hold his own at the very least. Because the way things are going, he’ll be dead the second he takes a step past Thalia’s tree. He knows he got lucky with Mrs. Dodds…and the less said about the Minotaur the better. He winces slightly when his heart pangs at the thought of his mom…and he blinks back the tears that have been a constant companion every night since he’s gotten to camp. He can cry later, not in front of Luke…not where Luke can see and think that Percy’s a big baby.
Luke is quiet for a moment, having noticed the change in Percy’s demeanor. Seeing the shiny glint of tears in the blond’s blue eyes and the way Percy’s fingers unconsciously press against his chest like his heart hurts. Luke purses his lips and slips his fingers into the front pocket of Percy’s jeans, taking Riptide’s cap and tapping it on the aforementioned weapon, handing Riptide, now in pen form, back to Percy. He sheaths his own sword with practiced ease.
“There are all kinds of examples, Percy. I’ll teach them to you, I assure you. But right now, I think we deserve a break.” Then the brunet takes Percy by the shoulders and pushes the younger boy ahead as they start the trek back into camp proper.
“But like I said before - you’re part of something bigger than yourself. We all train to keep ourselves safe, sure, but that also makes us stronger as a collective. You’re never alone…and so long as you’re one of us - you’ll always have someone in your corner if you go down.”
Percy’s lips stretch into a weak grin at Luke’s words and he fiddles with Riptide as the trees get thinner and the dining pavilion comes into view. “You mean that?”
Luke smiles, it’s an easy assured thing, and his hand comes to cup the back of Percy’s neck. “I do. And even if it's not all of camp behind you - then it’s at least me . I won’t let you fall, I promise.” Percy swallows at the conviction with which Luke says that. His cheeks are warm as he stares up at the son of Hermes. The silence between them stretches for a long moment before Percy nods slowly.
Luke lets his hand slip from Percy’s neck with a blink, “Okay.” Then he’s walking again and calling over his shoulder, “You like rocky road ice cream?”
Percy smiles in earnest this time, a small laugh leaves him as he speeds up to catch up to his friend, “There’s no way you’ve got ice cream back at the cabin, Luke-”
Luke chuckles and tugs the son of Poseidon’s hand to keep him close, “That’s what you think, Percy, you’d be surprised….”
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
As an expert in swordplay and combat training, I can confidently say that the passage you provided showcases a deep understanding of the concepts involved in a fight scene. The author demonstrates their knowledge of various techniques, such as blocking, striking, disarming, and high guard positions. They also touch upon the importance of strategy and understanding the rules of warfare to gain an advantage over an opponent.
In this particular scene, we see Luke and Percy engaging in a friendly sparring session. Luke, the son of Hermes, effortlessly parries Percy's attacks while maintaining a playful demeanor. Percy, on the other hand, struggles with his exhaustion and is distracted by Luke's charming smile, making it difficult for him to concentrate.
Percy questions the usefulness of his training, wondering when he will ever have to apply these skills in real-life situations. Luke assures him that danger will come for him, as evidenced by encounters with a Fury and a Minotaur. He explains that although there may not be "fair" fights with set rules, warfare itself has its own rules that can be exploited to gain an advantage.
Amidst their training, Percy is overwhelmed by emotions, thinking about his deceased mother and the challenges he faces as a demigod. Luke, perceptive to Percy's distress, offers comfort and reassurance. He emphasizes the collective strength and support within their community, assuring Percy that he will never be alone and that he will always have someone by his side.
The passage concludes with Luke's playful invitation to enjoy rocky road ice cream, hinting at the camaraderie and unexpected delights that can be found in the demigod cabin. This exchange between Luke and Percy showcases the bond and friendship they share, highlighting the importance of trust and support in the face of adversity.
Overall, the passage effectively incorporates various concepts related to combat training, emotion, and camaraderie. The author's understanding of these concepts is evident in their portrayal of the characters' actions, dialogue, and the underlying themes present in the scene.