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The Way of the Sword


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May, 75CE

The Aventine bathhouse was one of the finest parts of the city in Gaius' opinion. If only he were here to bathe himself. Instead, he had been assigned to a detail accompanying the young imperial prince to the baths, ensuring his safety along the way. It could be worse, though, the optio thought. At least he could watch the various people who came here as he watched Titus to make sure no funny business happened. Gaius had little reason to speak with the imperial, but he had watched him interact with others and determined from that that he was a fine young man. He considered what he would be like after going through the legions on the course of honor. The legions had a way of shaping a man in many ways, most particularly making sure he was good at following orders, and then giving them later. 

As the party made their way through the various rooms of the bathhouse, Gaius considered his own time in the legions. Of course, he had been raised to join the legion. His childhood had been strictly regimented by his father, filled with hard work and exercise, so that the transition to military life was not shocking. He was the man he was now because of the military.

Soon, the group had arrived at the exercise area of the baths. Several men were sparring half-heartedly with swords, and it prompted Gaius to wonder how much Titus had practiced with weaponry. He turned to the prince. "Are you interested in practicing, dominus? I'll spar with you, if you want."


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