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“All I’m saying is that you could do with some close combat experience.” Canach’s voice is all smugness, curling and coiled. “Train with a more effective melee weapon. Maybe even your fists—a few friendly punches to the head never hurt anybody.”

“I don’t have time for that, Canach!” Roza, for his part, does not seem to be in a similarly bantering mood.  The quickness of his stride is as dismissive as it is efficient—but as Canach has both a height advantage and an equal ability to walk quickly, he is easily keeping pace.

“And if Kralkatorrik decides to get up close and personal with you?” Canach presses. “What are you going to do, reanimate what’s left of your pride to fight with?”

Roza pauses; barely for a second before he keeps moving. “It won’t come to that,” he says.

His voice is low with certainty, but that does not mean he is certain. Canach knows he’s not.

“I just think you could do with a little practice,” he suggests, evening his tone.

Roza’s eyes flick to him and then away again. It is a difficult thing to notice, especially as he is holding his head still, but Canach does nevertheless. He frowns.

Roza’s subsequent refusal is not unexpected. “Can’t,” he replies shortly, and nothing more.

Canach remains silent. Not an unexpected answer, perhaps, but that does not mean he has to be happy with it.

Hopefully, Roza won’t go anywhere near that thing’s face.