Galdor sat in the stands on the edge of his seat watching the pair sparring in the practice arena. The match had lasted longer than any other, even though Gil-galad had been sparring since early in the day. Círdan’s captain gave his grudging respect to the youth as he studied his moves.
In the sand of the arena the two combatants faced each other, their spears twirling and thrusting almost faster than the observers could follow. As they met, the dull thud of wood against wood or the sharp clang of metal echoed through the air. Sweat dripped off their brows and bodies as their lungs wheezed, gasping for air. Finally, Gil-galad’s twirling shaft caught his opponent behind the knees and Círdan went down. Applause and shouts broke out from the crowd that had gathered.
Gil-galad stood over his mentor, concern lining his face and darkening his eyes. He offered his hand to aid Círdan to stand, “Are you well, milord?”
Círdan readily accepted the help and stood, the twinkling in his eyes belying the groan. “You are not the first to knock me on my arse, young one, but I hope you are the last.” He embraced his student and clapped him on the back. “I am getting too old for this!” Círdan winced as he turned toward the baths; he would feel this for a day or more.
At Gil-galad’s still concerned expression, the elf-lord rested his arm lightly around his protégé’s shoulders. “I am quite well and very proud. You have bested me, even though I came to our match well rested. Few can claim that honor.”
Suddenly nervous, Gil ducked his head, “It is only because I have had a peerless instructor, milord.”
“Peerless no more, young one. I do believe the student has surpassed the teacher. We will still spar.” He groaned, loudly, but it was more for effect than from real pain. “I obviously need the practice... and a bath. Come find me once you are done here. I have something I want to give you.”
Gil-galad grinned after Círdan. He had made his mentor proud. There was no better feeling.
It took more time than the impatient and overly curious youth would have liked, but finally Gil-galad tracked down the busy lord. As he knocked on Círdan’s office door, his curiosity was piqued.
Círdan looked up from the papers on his desk, smiling. “Enter, young one.” He well recognized the impatient knock.
When Gil walked in, it was obvious that he was burning with curiosity, and the elf-lord was not above teasing him. “Would you like something to drink? Or a snack? These peaches are heavenly.”
Gil thought he would explode from the waiting. He shook his head. “Nay... uh, no thank you. Please? What did you have for me?”
Círdan’s eyes twinkled and he stroked his beard thoughtfully. “Did I have something?” He glanced around the room. “Hmmm… I seem to have mislaid it...” He chuckled at the expression on the youth’s face. Relenting, he took a cloth wrapped package from the dark corner. He placed what was obviously a spear in Gil-galad’s outstretched arms. When the youth did not move, he nudged him. “Open it.”
As if awoken from a trance, Gil shook his head and rapidly stripped the long spear of its protective wrapping. When the spear was revealed, he gasped at its beauty. The long shaft was of light blond wood, with no carvings to mar the natural beauty of the swirls and lines of the tight grain. The end cap was long, of mithril, with Fingon’s crest on it, but it was the blade that drew the eye. The mithril gleamed as though lit from inside. When turned, the razor sharp edge caught the sunlight and sent rainbows dancing on the wall. It was breathtaking.
Gil-galad was stunned, speechless. He had no words to describe what he had been given and the feelings it inspired.
Círdan merely smiled. The expression on Gil’s face and in his eyes were reward enough. “It is Aeglos.”
“I... I... But... my majority is not for another year.” Gil protested, unsure that he truly deserved such a gift.
“This is not a gift. You have proven more than worthy of such a weapon, young one. This is a reward for your dedication and hard work. You have earned it.” Círdan nudged Gil’s arm holding the spear aside and hugged him tightly. Pulling away, he grinned, widely. “You have even made a believer of Galdor. Now if that did not earn you this, then nothing could.”
Gil-galad’s blue-grey eyes were shimmering and his smile was shy. “Thank you, milord. I will use it well and always make you proud.”
Círdan was pleased at the delight in Gil’s eyes. He had made his protégé happy. There was no better feeling. “I have no doubt you will, young one. None whatsoever.”