With their numbers now at fifteen it would discourage most of the bandit from attacking them. The Halfling woman from the temple refused to wear more than the barest clothing or touch a weapon. She insisted that these items hindered her natural movements. Alexander was unsure that someone as small as her could defend herself even if she had armor and weapon. As Alexander was about to send her away she begged to prove she was capable of defending herself during the track to the holy site of Aaryon. Not wanting to harm the woman he agreed to test her but only with a paddled practice sword. She agreed that she had to win 3 of 5 bouts. Alexander wanting to end this test he feinted a sword slash. She anticipated this move and countered this with a sweep of his legs. When his vision cleared from bouncing his head off the ground he saw her over him with a neutral expression on her face. Her speed was incredible. Learning from his mistake Alexander took the second and third bout scoring hits to her arm and shoulder. What he failed to realize was that she was studying his movements so she could adjust her style to maximize her advantage. The fourth bout was over as soon as it started. He raised his weapon slightly to gain momentum when she was striking the palm of her hand under his jaw. The strike was so quick that he was unprepared and staggered backwards several steps.
Pride was on the line for the fifth bout. Alexander was not slacker when it came to unarmed combat but not where near her skill. She had his timing which meant he had to change up his style and go for less power and shift to a using a single hand to keep a hand open to guard against her ability to get inside his sword swing. Whether she won or lost this bout she was going to be allowed to stay with them. The two combatants took their marks and the match was started. Alexander feigned a sword swing. She rushed to get inside the swing that wasn’t coming. He spun out of the way and hit her square in the back with his elbow sending her towards the ground. Unlike him she rolled into the fall and came up into a fighting stance. There was a momentary loss of control as her expression neutral to anger back to neutral. She bowed low accepting defeat.
“I shall level your camp and follow my own course of enlightenment. You are a worthy opponent.” She said
“Please stay and forgive my ignorance in your ability to protect yourself. I have a feeling your talents will be needed.” Alexander said after he returned her bow. “You are by far the tallest of your race that I have ever seen.”
“My entire line is nearly a head taller than most of my race. The saying in my village is we are part human.” Even though she had just told a joke a she still had the same neutral expression.
At this time a crowd had gathered to watch the fight. Juniper didn’t like this woman from the start. She was going to get in her way of having Alexander. She just hoped that she would not have to do something drastic to get the woman to leave.