After dawn Samira and Uldred are permitted to heal Corthen’s wounds from the Honor Duel that he was engaged in the previous day. Erith suggests to Corthen that he ask for mercy if he is outmatched. He says that this would let the noble house regain its honor without Corthen being nearly killed in the process. The elven warrior turns down his friend’s suggestion.
Corthen returns to the Field of Triumph before Highsun to face the Zulpair House champion. Corthen meets the warrior named Zanben on the field. His opponent is dressed in chain armor and wields two short swords. Corthen is optimistic because he is better armed and is better protected in his plate armor. The two face off in the center of the arena and cross swords. The clash of steel and the cheers of the crowd fill the full stadium. Corthen soon learns that Zanben is lightning fast, striking quickly and often.
As skilled as Corthen is, Zanben is better. He finds several gaps in the elf’s defense and his swords pierce Corthen Nightglade. It is clear to everyone present that the Zulpair champion has the upper hand. He swiftly ends the duel on another critical blow to his elven opponent. Corthen collapses before the gathered crowd. Corthen is revived by the physics of the Field Master. Corthen gathers his gear and limps home in defeat with his friends to aid him in his journey.