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two,' said Durhan, motioning towards another pair.

Vance limped back toward the crowd of trainees and found himself standing next to William, who wore a wide smile plastered across his face. 'Well,' he said, still beaming, 'that wasn't so bad, was it?'

Vance looked over at Merreck, who stared forward, impassively. Somehow, Vance knew his defeat in a sparring bout would not be enough to pacify the Minbari. Did all Warrior Caste hate humans this much? Or was this Merreck a special case?

The next - and thankfully final - class of the day was philosophy. Vance didn't hear much of what was taught, failing to remember even the name of the philosophy tutor. He was too busy consoling himself at his defeat. It wasn't the fact that he'd been beaten, as even Vance could not win every bout. But Merreck had beaten his defences so quickly, cutting off his every chance to even attempt a counterstrike.

Vance went over the bout in his head again and again, trying to think of what went wrong. Obviously his impatience was one major factor, but even so he hadn't been able to implement his first sequence of attacks, nor mount any successful counters to Merreck's attacks. Further evaluation would have to wait. Merreck would certainly not be satisfied with Vance's humiliation, so there would be more opportunities to face off against the Minbari.

By the time he stopped dwelling on the combat, the philosophy session was well under way. Vance expected to see a list of great Minbari prophets and their teachings, but this class seemed to keep focusing on three simple tenets: delight, respect and compassion. After combat training, the last thing Vance expected was this. Would there be much room for compassion after learning to stalk in the shadows and kill without being seen? Were they
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