Wooden swords clashed ahead of him. The dull thump of practice weapons and stamp of booted feet was loud in his ears.
He stopped. He reached out his free left hand and touched cold, smooth marble.
All sounds stopped. He walked forward, cane clicking on the salle floor. One step. Two. Three.
Chilly winter air brushed over his bare arms. No doubt the windows were open. Six steps. Seven. Eight.
He reached the slightly raised round platform in the middle of the room when he counted forty steps. He climbed on and started counting again, back from eight hundred. Time for the students, teachers and guests to gather in front of him.
Than he started his speech. A cautionary tale about how a warrior could lose his sight and yet still win.