Thy father's son

Thy father's son

Author's note: This is an untold story from Minas Tirith. Boromir is around 20 years, Faramir app. 15-16. Boromir's thoughts are between **.

Boromir moved quickly to the left, dust awoken by his fast moving feet swirled. Cold, heavy blade stabbed into the space where only moments ago was his head.

As he eyed his opponent, Boromir felt his frustration building in the back of his mind. He pushed it down resolutely and continued in patient searching for a weakness which could help him to decide the duel. Boromir was aware that he could not allow himself the luxury of being inattentive, or side-tracked by his feelings. Particularly in a fight with more experienced swordsman like this.

As a confirmation to his thoughts came a skilful, quick blow at his midsection.

Boromir reflexively twisted to his right and within the movement repelled the attack. Through the ringing of the sharp blades meeting, he heard someone call out his name.

Boromir let his sword-hand sink down slightly and carefully took a step backwards. He bowed and traditionally thanked his opponent for the duel with his sword. Beregond greeted him back,

"Getting better day by day."

Boromir smiled at the compliment. A praise from his former teacher and the first-line knight was one of the highest. He was no longer Beregond's pupil and he overmastered his teacher in many ways, but Beregond's opinion was still important to him.

Boromir hid his proud smile and turned to his younger brother, who stood patiently a few paces away. Faramir was several years younger, just of the right age to join one of the companies near Minas Tirith and often observed Boromir by training. Despite their differences, like in body so in mind, their kinship was apparent and Boromir was secretly proud of it.

Faramir bowed slightly to both of them,
"I am sorry I interrupted your drills, gentlemen."

Beregond grinned and waved the apology, "Do not worry, young one. I would have to leave soon anyway." He clasped Boromir's offered hand tightly and left towards the gate of the Citadel.

Faramir's head turned after the leaving Beregond, but then quickly returned back to his brother.
His hands flew from behind his back, holding a paper.

Boromir, studying the silvery blade of his sword critically, gave the paper a side-glance. He did not have to pay much attention to it for he recognised it immediately. He sighed inwardly.
He knew he should have been expecting that Faramir would sooner or later come to him with it. It was only logical that it happened this year since Faramir was finally old enough.

"I have found this in the Sixth ring when I was on a visit by Kiriel. They yearly swordsmen tournament begins in a few days!"

Boromir smiled grimly. He was the last year's winner what made him this year's challenger, a role he relished immensely. He knew everything necessary to take part in the tournament again and maybe successfully defend his victory.
"It seems like you want to participate as well. I am sorry to be the one to tell you, Faramir, but the last day for sign ups was the day before yesterday. I do not think you can be accepted anymore."

Faramir's voice jumped a little with impatience as he exclaimed, "I know. I went to Malich immediately. I hoped that as the man responsible for sing ups he would be able to help me. I had to be a little persuasive, "he smirked confidently, "but I convinced him to count me in."

Boromir raised a questioning eyebrow.
He had handled with Malich several times before and found him unnerving. There was no way to force him do anything he himself did not want to.
Boromir was really curious what exactly his brother meant under 'a little persuasion'.
Faramir ignored the implied question though and carried on excited,
"I remember the last year's final when you fought with Beregond. It was incredible, but I did not doubt your victory, not for a single moment."

Boromir sat down on a near bench, effectively hiding his smiling face behind his long hair, as he did so. He cleared his voice from amusement so he could not provoke Faramir and asked,
"Are you sure you want to participate?"
Faramir straightened and squared his shoulders, "I have already said so. Do not challenge my words!"

Although his voice was not loud, several soldiers passing by looked at them disturbed.

Boromir shrugged and with fluent moves started to polish the blade of his heavy sword.
It was indeed pointless effort trying to persuade Faramir, or make him waver in his decision, if he set his mind on something.
"Very well then. But there can be only one winner and I will have no mercy."
"I do not ask for it."

Faramir's reply was light, but Boromir knew that he meant it seriously. For one of such a young age, Faramir was an outstanding swordsman and always stood to his word.

"Prepare thoroughly then. You have less than two days for it."
"I need no preparation. I am so full of strength and eagerness that I could fight even right now."
Boromir smiled again. Sometimes he wondered, whether in Faramir's veins was not flowing liquid silver.

* * *

Boromir looked out of the window of his chamber to the gate of the Seventh ring.

Unlike many mornings, it had been opened, bathing in the rays of the awaking sun. People were streaming through it in and soldiers by the huge pillars of the gate controlled them.

Although Boromir was convinced about the loyalty of the people to Minas Tirith, he also knew that there were many who craved steward's death.

For a short moment he contemplated about the difficulty of the guard's task - to keep the steward safe.

There were many people coming and in uncertain times no one could be trusted. Boromir scared the thought away.

*Ridiculous. There is no other city with equally strong guards.*

With a certain feeling of childish pride he stuck out his chest,
"Soldiers of Minas Tirith are the strongest. Yet even the best of you will not be good enough to defeat me!"

Boromir smiled to himself. The idea of being the best from the best was very appealing. He leaned out of the window and drew a deep breath. He could clearly feel it- in the air was a fragrance of feverish expectation mixed with the presage of the victory.

There could be only one winner and Boromir did not doubt who would be it.

* * *