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Game of the Neví - Chapter 20 - A'mara Books by viking-ventures

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Game of the Neví - Chapter 20 - A'mara Books


## 20
(Tharnday, cont.)
### Joton Shaze Academy
Jessten Sipper fell into the foam, breathing heavily. She felt frustrated by the new footwork Mathis had given her. Her feet kept getting caught up on the other.
“That’s because your weight was on the wrong foot,” Frey explained, helping her out of the pit. “Once you’re used to it, it will come more naturally and will help you so much.”
“Believe it or not, I’m teaching you some dance steps,” Mathis explained. “Not because you’re going to be doing a salsa out here, but because the same dexterity of foot that can make you a good dancer also makes you a good shazeplayer. Half of dancing is keeping your weight on the right foot. Same thing in here.”
Jessten nodded, trying to quell the frustration. She could see an evening or two filled with learning dance steps! Even Se-orna would laugh, but she was on her way to Zley Falls.
“What’s worse, looking bad for your roommate or for the guy you’re trying to impress?” Frey asked. “And yes, you do need to work on that skill a bit more.”
Jessten sighed again. So many things to learn. Again, she felt anger at her father for stealing so many years of training time from her. Now, she was forced to play catch up. She wondered whether her half-brother would suffer the same fate or whether her father would allow him to train.
She forced her mind back to the subject at hand.
“You’re pushing yourself too hard,” Mathis said.
“More!” Jessten demanded.
“You’ve got to learn those feet, but let’s work on another strike position. Frey will demonstrate how you defend against the furious onslaught of someone taller than you,” Mathis said, flicking a glance towards the balcony.
Jessten followed the glance, but saw nothing.
“You are too distracted today,” Mathis told her.
“Show me!” she demanded.
Frey stepped up to her, his shaze coming down aggressively. Jessten automatically turned her shaze to block him, creating a bind.
“Step in towards him and knee him!” Mathis shouted.
Jessten did, bringing her knee into Frey’s groin pad.
“That feels like I’m fighting dirty,” Jessten complained.
“It’s still an important thing to remember. Not every opponent you have will be in a sparring room,” Mathis reminded her.
“But I want to win a tournament.”
“The same move applies, though maybe you won’t want to disable your opponent in quite the same way,” Mathis said with a wink. “This is where your footwork comes in. You may have been tall on Irola, but here, you are only average height for a woman. So, use that to your advantage. Be nimble, sometimes slow, sometimes fast – keep him off balance. Frey, give her a good fight,” Mathis instructed.
Jessten grinned.
Frey came at her more aggressively this time. “I’m not going to go easy on you,” he warned in their first bind.
“I don’t want you to!” Jessten replied, deflecting his shaze to the side and advancing to whack his unprotected arm.
He returned a whack to her leg, knocking her into the foam.
“Too distracted,” Mathis said. “You must learn to focus.”
“Again!” Jessten demanded.
“Your emotions are ruling your battle arm,” Mathis censured. “You cannot give anyone a good fight like that. Go home and rest. We’ll try again tomorrow.”
Jessten couldn’t stop the blush that filled her face. It angered her that she couldn’t push those emotions away as she knew she should. The fact was; every time she was in the foam, she remembered Laisen’s face and how she wished she’d kissed him when she’d had the chance, before he told her to forget about him.
She left quickly, before the tears could come and embarrass her. Even so, she could feel Mathis’ pitying gaze on her as she hurried out the door.
She started to form the thought in her head. Maybe she could get transferred to Towani – where she’d wanted to go last year. It was too painful to be so close to Laisen when he clearly didn’t want to be around her.
As she’d told Se-orna, she’d go to her grave loving Laisen, but she didn’t have to keep torturing herself.
When Se-orna came home, she would tell her what she’d decided. But she didn’t know how long that would be.
She sighed again, then walked out into the night, grateful that it had stopped raining. But she wasn’t alone.
“Do you mind if I walk with you?” Frey asked.
“Not at all. We have something in common tonight, we both miss my roommate.”
“Yeah.” Frey smiled as they walked. “By the way, it’s Laisen you’re interested in, right?”
Jessten felt the instant stab to her heart.
“Sorry to upset you. I just wondered because he watches you every practice. It’s like he can’t help himself.”
Jessten forced a smile and looked at Frey. Then she turned away again, unsure what she’d been planning to say. “It won’t matter much longer,” she finally replied quietly. “I’m going to transfer to Towani.”
“But you can’t leave!” Frey said. “Not with everything you have going for you here.”
“It’s too painful to stay!” Jessten said. “I’ve tried to put everything into shazeplay, but every time I fall into the pit, I think about him. Every time I close my stupid eyes!”
“At least wait until you’ve won your tournament. If you can leave Joton with at least a silver in shaze, you’ll be well-respected anywhere you go.”
Jessten nodded. “I’m sorry I poured out on you. I didn’t mean to.”
“It’s okay. Love can be a confusing thing, can’t it?”
“Yes. I’ll be better off without it, I think. Less pain.”
“I disagree, but I understand. Come on. Let’s go eat,” Frey encouraged. “My girlfriend isn’t here and your man is being stupid… let’s drown our sorrows in some mujani and fast food!”
“I’m not hungry.”
“I won’t eat unless you do,” Frey goaded.
“All right,” Jessten replied with another forced smile.



If you have enjoyed this book, I would be grateful if you could put your thoughts as a review on [Goodreads](coming soon) for me.
Buy at: (coming soon to Books2Read, Scribl, LBRY and Lulu - paperback.)

## Other Chapters of this set
**Birth of the Neví** - [Chapter 1 on Whaleshares](

**Name of the Neví** - [Chapter 1](

**Mind of the Neví** - [Chapter 1](

**Game of the Neví** - [Chapter 1](

## Maps and Guides
* [Kri'enden & Joton]( - 830 TCE (New/imprived map coming soon)
* [Character Guide and Image Credits](
* [Calendar and Glossary]( - for **Name of the Neví** but these two parts are true throughout.

**Writing and artwork copyright myself 2005-2019 – all rights reserved.** 
If you are interested in helping me publish these works, please contact me on [Facebook]( or Discord, viking-ventures#2883. 

Asking @popcornexpress to bring popcorn!

**Lori Svensen**
author/designer at **[A'mara Books](**
photographer/graphic artist for **[Viking Visual](**
verified author on [Goodreads](
find me on [Twitter](
blogging on:  [Steem](, [Whaleshares](, [WeKu](, [Hyperspace](

[![Discord Link](](



<sub>Join us in the Official Whaleshares server in the text channel "the-phoenix-project"</sub>

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