Rander was incensed by the insult. “Let us see about that.” He entered the kitchen and returned with a thin metal plate from the stove. He placed it against the outside wall of the hut and walked across the rope bridge, to the next tree. In all, he was roughly twenty paces away. Drawing back the bowstring as far as he could, he sent an arrow into the plate. It pierced the metal and poked just through the other side.
“How about that?” Rander asked with obvious pride.
Linvin looked at the plate and then at his cousin. “What is your point?” Linvin asked. “So you can pierce armor once the person is close enough to charge you. You would be dead, long before your arrow was airborne. If you are trying to impress me, you will have to do better.”
Rander was enraged. “You could do no better.”
Linvin did love a challenge. “We shall see,” he said as he picked up the plate. “Let me show you a real shot.” Linvin climbed down the rope ladder and walked down the street. He stopped roughly one hundred paces away and hung the plate in a tree, using the arrow Rander had lodged in the metal. Linvin turned and walked over to his horse. He retrieved his compound bow and a single arrow. Climbing back to the landing, Rander was indignant.
“I will laugh so hard when you miss this shot,” he gloated. Linvin smiled and drew his bow. The butt of the arrow nearly touched his mouth as he eyed his target.
Rander suddenly realized that there was a chance Linvin could make the shot. In an effort to distract his cousin, Rander began talking very loudly and making gestures aimed at drawing Linvin’s attention. The juvenile tactic had little effect on the seasoned concentration of Linvin.
Letting the arrow loose, Linvin watched it slice through the air and bury itself dead center in the plate. The concussion of the blow knocked Rander’s arrow to the ground, leaving the plate dangling from Linvin’s arrow.
Bander and Rander were speechless in the aftermath of the display. Linvin patted Rander on the shoulder and said, “Keep practicing, but please do get a real bow. It is embarrassing for an elf to use a child’s plaything.”
Just then, Caritha yelled from the house. “Where is my plate from the stove?”
“Linvin used it for target practice, Mother,” Rander called back. Linvin shook his head and climbed down to retrieve the plate.
At that moment, Anvar emerged from the hut. “What are you boys doing out here?” he asked. Bander had been stupefied by the display but managed to stand before his uncle and say, “You should have seen it. Linvin put an arrow through one of ma’s cook plates from all the way down there.”
Anvar bent over the rail and observed Linvin retrieving the target. “I am not surprised,” Anvar concluded.
“He got lucky!” Rander snorted. “Anyone could have made that shot when there’s no pressure. That didn’t prove a thing.”
Anvar shook his head and lovingly shook Rander’s shoulder. “Now, Rander,” he began, “I know all about your history with Linvin, and I care for you both. However, you need to stop and consider what he brings to the party. Your cousin is one of the finest generals in the world. He walked away from more than you realize in order to come with us.”