Obi-Wan could sense the Force flowing around him, within him. He could feel the living Force in Bruck, the dark ripples caused by Bruck's anger. His impulse was to match that anger with his own. He had to resist it.
Obi-Wan assumed a defensive stance as Bruck lunged. He let the Force guide
him as it had done earlier. He blocked the next blow easily. Then he
jumped high to avoid another blow and landed behind a pillar. Lightsabers
smashed together, sputtered and burned, then whisked apart. The air felt
thicker, clogged with the energy of battle.
For long minutes, the two students fought as if in a graceful dance.
Obi-Wan leaped away from every attack and blocked every jarring blow. He
did not try to hit Bruck.
Let him see that I'm not clumsy, Obi-Wan thought bitterly. Let him see that
I'm not stupid. Let him see it over and over again.
Sweat began to drench Obi-Wan's clothes. His muscles burned. He could
hardly breathe fast enough to get the air he needed. But as long as he did
not attack in anger, the Force remained strong with him. He tried not to
think about the fight. He lost himself in the dance, and soon he felt so
weary, he did not think at all.
Bruck fought slower and slower. Soon, Obi-Wan did not even need to leap
away from Bruck's weary attacks. He merely blocked them, until finally
Bruck gave up.
"Good, Obi-Wan," Yoda called. "Learning you are."
Obi-Wan switched off his lightsaber and hung it on his belt. He used the
blindfold to wipe the sweat from his face. Next to him, Bruck was double
over, panting. He did not look at Obi-Wan.
"You see," Yoda said. "To defeat an enemy, you do not have to kill. Defeat
the rage that burns in him, and he is your enemy no longer. Rage the true
Obi-Wan understood what Yoda meant. But Bruck's glazed glare told Obi-Wan
that he had not defeated his opponent's anger. Nor had he won the boy's
The two boys turned to Yoda and bowed solemnly. A vision of his friend Bant
rose in Obi-Wan's head. One of the best things about beating Bruck would be
telling her about it.
"Enough for one day," Yoda said. "Tomorrow, a Jedi Knight comes to the
Temple seeking a Padawan. Ready for him you must be."
Obi-Wan tried to hide his surprise. Usually, when a Knight came to the
Temple in search of a Padawan, rumors beat the arrival by days. That way,
if a student wanted to earn the honor of becoming the Knight's Padawan, he
or she could prepare mentally and physcially.
"Who?" Obi- Wan asked, heart racing. "Who's coming?"
"Seen him before, you have," Yoda said. "Master Qui-Gon Jinn."