The martial music of swordplay rang out as the two blades clashed. The combatants sprang apart, circling. The older man, hair and beard as white as moonlight, feinted, then brought his weapon arcing up and around. But the younger man was quick and deftly blocked the blow. Sparks flew, and the colliding blades glinted in the sunlight.

“Nicely done,” Genn Greymane grunted even as he lunged.

Again, the youth parried. “But one of these days, you’ll have to go on the—”

Greymane barely got his sword up in time to prevent King Anduin Wrynn’s blow.

“Offensive?” Anduin grinned. He bore down with the weapon, feeling the older man’s blade straining against it. His suncolored hair had come loose and was falling into his eyes, and he grimaced as he realized Greymane had noticed.

The Gilnean king abruptly pulled back. Caught off balance, Anduin stumbled forward. Greymane whipped his blade around with a speed almost equal to that of the young king’s, turning his hand at the last minute to ensure that only the flat of the weapon would strike Anduin’s body. Growling with effort, Anduin

managed to block the blow. His father’s sword, Shalamayne, caught it, but the impact jarred his hand. Shalamayne fell to the grass of Stormwind Keep’s garden area.

“Before you say anything,” Anduin said, panting as he bent to pick up the sword, “I’ll be wearing a helm in battle.”

“Under ideal circumstances, yes,” Greymane said. He smirked. His cheeks warm with embarrassment as much as exertion, Anduin didn’t begrudge him a little gloating. “In the meantime,” Genn continued, “I suggest you get a trim. There are enough things to worry about in battle without being blinded by your own golden locks.”

Anduin laughed. “I’ll be fine,” he said. “I’ll secure it better the next time we spar.”

“You Wrynn men and your predilection for long hair,” Greymane said, shaking his head. “Never understood it.”

One of the Stormwind guards approached, saluting smartly.

“Your Majesty,” he said. “Spymaster Shaw has returned with news.”

Anduin tensed and glanced at Greymane. Little sobered both men like hearing that Mathias Shaw awaited an audience.

“Urgent?” Anduin asked.

“At Your Majesty’s pleasure,” the guard replied.

The young king relaxed slightly. “That’s a relief,” he said. “Give him refreshment and tell him King Greymane and I will meet him in the map room shortly.”

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