aggressive [agresiv] adj.
If someone is aggressive, then they constantly want to fight.
—*•Nobody liked to play games with him because he was always too aggressive.
a m n e s t y [aemnasti] n.
Amnesty is a pardon given to prisoners of war.
—»She was denied amnesty for her involvement in the war.
arena [amna] n.
An arena is a building where people can watch sports and concerts.
—*•The new arena was all set to hold the championship match.
auditorium [d:ditd:riam] n.
An auditorium is a large building used for public events.
-*■People have gathered at the school auditorium to watch the play.
captive [kaeptiv] n.
A captive is a prisoner.
-* The guards told the captive that there was no way he could escape the prison.
combat [kdmbaet] n.
Combat is fighting between two people or groups.
—►The two warriors were locked in combat.
commonplace [kamanpleis] adj.
If something is commonplace, then it is ordinary.
—►There is nothing commonplace about the way Morris dresses.
compound [kampaund] n.
A compound is an enclosed area such as a prison or factory.
—►The workers waited outside the compound for the gates to the factory to open.
C o rp s [kor] n.
A corps is a division of a military force.
—►The army had a corps of archers who trained apart from the regular soldiers.
distract [distraekt] v.
To distract someone means to stop them from concentrating on something.
—►The phone call distracted him so much that he forgot all about his homework.dumb [dA m ] adj.
If someone is dumb, they are unable to speak.
—►She did not share the secret. She remained silent as if she were dumb.
foe [fou] n.
A foe is an enemy or opponent.
-+ It was hard to believe that anyone could be his foe.
hack [haek] v.
To hack something means to cut it into uneven pieces.
—►My uncle used the ax to hack the tree into many logs.
meditate [medateit] V.
To meditate means to focus or think deeply in silence.
—*She liked to meditate for several hours of each day.
nick [nik] V.
To nick someone means to cut them slightly with a sharp object.
—►While cutting the carrots, the cook nicked his finger with the edge of his knife.
provoke [pravouk] V.
To provoke someone means to annoy them on purpose to cause violence.
—*The older boy provoked Paul by calling him mean names.
realm [relm] n.
A realm is any area of activity or interest.
—►He was not very active in the realm of business.
reign [rein] n.
A reign is the period of time in which a ruler rules.
-» The emperor’s reign lasted for only two years.
rust [rASt] n.
Rust is a red and brown coating on iron objects caused by water and air.
-* The old metal gate would not swing because the hinges were covered in rust.
sacred [seikrid] adj.
If something is sacred, then it is worshipped and respected.
-> One religion in India will not harm cows because it believes that they are sacred.


The Soldier’s Decision
A soldier was captured while fighting in an enemy king’s land. It was well known that
this king would make captives fight one another. This was commonplace during his reign.
For these fights, the king had built several large arenas. He often awarded the winners by
setting them free or even having them join his elite army corps.
The soldier, however, decided he had seen too much violence. He now felt that all life
was sacred. The night before his first match, he made a risky decision. He decided that he
would not engage in combat. He knew he may never be set free, but it was a decision that
he was willing to accept.
In the morning, he was led from the prisoners’ compound to one of the king’s arenas. A
gate coated in rust stood between him and the auditorium’s floor. He was worried, but he
knew what he had to do.
When the gate opened, he calmly walked to the center of the arena and sat. He started
to meditate. His foe Darius, who was skilled in the realm of sword fighting and was typically
not very aggressive, would not fight the quiet soldier until he attacked Darius first.
Darius tried to provoke him by hacking at the air close to his head with his sword. But
the soldier was not distracted. He sat quietly, as if he were dumb, and looked calmly up at
the sky. Even when Darius nicked him on the cheek with the edge of his sword, the soldier
did not move.
At last he threw down his sword and shield and gave up.
“I can’t fight someone who refuses to fight me!” Darius
shouted to the king.
The king was very impressed with the soldier.
Never in any battle had he seen someone so
brave. As a result, he gave the peaceful soldier
amnesty. The soldier’s actions proved to the king
and everyone in the arena that peace was more
powerful than fighting