Eustace, Silver, Harry, Zac, Eyeblink

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Every time Eustace thought he’d seen it all, he’d been right.

The problem with that was, they kept inventing new things for him to see every damn time he shut his eyes, which kept making Eustace see new things when he was really quite content to have seen everything.

The three new boys were too old to start training when they came through the gate. Not necessarily a problem, but starting older than most students graduated was going to make it hard for them to fit in. In Eustace’s experience, fully half the ones who dropped out of training were the ones who’d struggled to make friends. It was hard to make friends when everyone was four or five years younger and just as good—or better.

But Eustace had seen older boys come in before. His old squire Devin had been older when he’d walked into he school too, and now he was in line to become the next knight commander. And these three were clearly together, which would help them.

He’d never seen a werewolf or a dragon come into the school, though. He’d been expecting the former, since rumour was Sir Owen’s son was planning to become a knight, but nobody had said anything about a dragon.

But nobody ever told Eustace anything, so he just stood there, watching them, letting them approach. They did so confidently enough, the prince the in the lead. “Hello. We’re here to enroll to be knights.”

Eustace blinked. Everyone said Prince Darby was deaf. This boy didn’t sound deaf to Eustace. His Daolo was rough but understandable. He’d been given to understand Owen’s lad was younger, too. Perhaps this was a different werewolf. “Very well,” he said. “Do you have names?”

“We do!” said the werewolf, nodding seriously. His tail was wagging, just a little. “I’m Silver. This is Harry and Zac.”

Eustace nodded, grateful that he hadn’t voiced his prior assumption out loud. “Do any of you have any prior training?”

Silver nodded back. “I’ve been practicing since I was little. I’ve been teaching Harry and Zac a little since we met.”

That would be a problem, but not one that was insurmountable. Lots of boys thought they came in knowing how to use a sword and had to be un-taught whatever nonsense they’d taught themselves before they could learn anything useful. The ones who’d taught each other their nonsense were the worst. But it was all easily enough fixed. Training around the yard had paused as everyone had started to notice the new boys, the students and even a few of the instructors whispering to each other.

Eustace looked at the other two. “Do Harry and Zac ever talk, lad, or do all their words belong to you?”

Silver went a little red, and Zac the dragon let out a small growl. “We talk just fine,” he said, his Daolo a little clearer.

“Calm down.” Harry seemed human enough, and he put his hand on Zac’s arm. “Silver’s very excited to be here, sir. He’s been waiting for half his life to come be a knight in Dolovai.” He spoke with no accent, but there was an odd echo in his speech that made him hard to listen to.

Eustace nodded, wondering why he hadn’t shown up years ago, then. Or why he hadn’t tried to join a fighting force closer to home. But those weren’t important questions. “There are training swords over there. Let’s see what you can all do.”

“Thank you!” said Silver, and he and the other two darted off, towards the racks.

Eustace looked around, which was enough to get everyone back to work, then headed over to survey the new boys. Silver was competent enough, but Zac held his sword like a club and Harry gripped his like it was his cock.

All fixable. Eustace would fix it, just like he always did. They’d be just fine as knights in the end, if they were willing to stick it out.

Eustace went back to teaching, giving the new boys some obvious pointers to start with. He kept his eyes peeled for every movement, every mistake, all of which he’d seen before. Now he’d really seen it all.

Until he next blinked.



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