"Yes." Rei's soft one-word response confirmed his guess. If he had been able to see her, he was sure she wouldn't have said even that much. In their conversations at home, she generally preferred to nod or shake her head if that was enough to answer the question. Taciturn, not to say secretive even -- that was the gist of San and his friends. Though there was something about the way Rei was that made him wonder what had happened to her, though of course he knew better than to ask. Even if people didn't give him the credit for having any tact to speak of, Seveth took some things seriously.
Having had his hunch confirmed, Seveth broke out into a grin. "Great! So, are you going to keep watching me from the shadows like a cool secret agent, or are you going to do some demonstrations for me? What do they call teachers in Xin? Shifu, or something like that?"
There was another pause, though now that Seveth was prepared for it, he didn't fuss about not receiving an answer right away. The ear cuff was still working, he was sure; and Rei did often converse rather slowly, as if sometimes the words came from a long way down. More often though, Seveth suspected that it simply took her a long time to figure out how to respond to the things that he said, specifically. That wasn't a rare thing, in Seveth's acquaintance; and if she had been working with those efficient taciturn types all her life, there was probably understandably something of an adjustment period in getting used to dealing with someone like himself.
At length, the response came: "Go back to the training hall. I'll meet you there."
"Roger that, shifu!" said Seveth, though he wondered if he would be able to spot her once he went back in.
Based on what she said, presumably she wouldn't be hiding herself anymore, but she was pretty small, and sometimes he lost track of her even in the confines of their little apartment, which was so small that you would think you couldn't lose anything in there, and yet Seveth still did, all the time. Luckily there was a spell for objects, so now he didn't have to worry about not being able to find his keys and other important things like that. And as for his companions, well, if they needed to make themselves known, they could. But it was equally possible for them to avoid him if they didn't want to be found, and he had learned over the last year or so that San's friends were very good at that. As well they would be, considering what their original line of work must have been, but even so.
And the question still remained of how Rei would teach him, though that would be answered soon enough, one way or another.
As it was, he had some trouble finding his way back to the training hall again, even though he hadn't gone very far. It was just that he had focused so much on finding a place without anyone else around that he hadn't actually bothered to keep track of where he was going. Eventually he did re-emerge into that depressing former ballroom space again though, and once you saw the doors they were pretty impossible to miss. They were nice doors. He wondered what kinds of people they had greeted, once upon a time, before they were relegated to guarding this sweaty unhappy space.
People looked up as he entered again, but now they were pretty much ignoring him as soon as they laid eyes on him.
Typical reaction, and given how the rest of this day was likely to go, it was probably good that they'd already gotten most of the gawking out of their systems. Seveth brushed it off; they weren't what he was looking for right now. He tried to see if he could spot Rei, but as he suspected, it was tough to find her in a big space like this.
"The training dummy in the far left corner," said Rei's disembodied voice. Seveth turned to look in the direction that she had indicated. He still didn't see anyone, but if she said to meet her there, well, her word was his command. That was going to be even more true once she started whatever dread training techniques San saw fit to impart on him through her tutelage, though the prospect of being able to do what he did with a weapon was still pretty exciting.
The training dummies hadn't looked like much from a distance, and getting up close to them, as it turned out, only enhanced the effect. He supposed training dummies weren't supposed to look glamorous, given their purpose, but... Come to think of it, he couldn't remember ever having had the occasion to see them up close. They were, to a one, beat up looking old things. The ones with padding had stuffing coming out of them, and all of their various surfaces were gouged and scratched and scuffed. It made him think of old furniture, the kind that should have been thrown out ages ago, but ended up being kept by people too sentimental or, more often, too poor to replace them. Except they weren't going to replace these, because the point of these dummies was for them to get beat up, and until they were broken, they were fit for the purpose still, weren't they?
It was only when he drew up close, too, that he saw Rei there, tucked into the shadows around the neck -- or what passed for one, anyway -- of a padded dummy. She didn't look his way when he drew close, but he could see her tracking him with one of her ears. It was often this way with Rei. He hadn't heard it so much from anyone, and he definitely hadn't asked, but he had an inkling that eye contact might have been hard for her. But that was fine; Seveth wasn't the type to take offense, and she didn't seem to mind him looking at her, anyway. Averting his own eyes for every conversation would have been harder. He would have done it, if that was what it took to make her comfortable with him, but it would have been trickier to remember.
"Rei-Rei," said Seveth, smiling. "Ah, wait, no -- it's shifu now, right?"
He saw her ears twitch. It was the only tell, but Seveth laughed a little, sheepishly. A moment later, she shook her head. "Okay, okay, I'll knock it off. So! What's the plan today? Not more running drills, I hope. You wouldn't have brought me all the way here for that, surely." He'd run until he'd been ready to throw up trying to hit San's training targets, and even though it had gotten better, he hadn't exactly enjoyed it. He was sure today's work wasn't going to be less strenuous, but if it could be at least a little more interesting, that would be something.
Rei didn't respond with words, but pointed at something off to the side. There was a rack of training weapons arranged along a wall. Some were wood, but Seveth noted with a little surprise that not all of them were. There were weapons with metal blades as well.
He approached them, eying the array of options on display. There were spears, swords of a surprisingly varied range of shapes and sizes, and even some more unusual weapons. Was that a whip he saw? Was that a flail? "How the heck are you supposed to fight with this?" he said, picking up a flail. He gave it an experimental twirl, then regretted it as he lost control of the ball's momentum and only narrowly avoided nailing himself with it. He hadn't been swinging it very hard, but this thing wasn't light.
Seveth hadn't seen her move, but now Rei moved into his field of vision, hovering near the daggers. "This one," she said, pointing one out. There were only a few wooden daggers, Seveth noted; most of the practice ones were metal. The one that Rei had pointed out was metal too.
"Really? This one? You're not going to start me out with one of these?"
Seveth pointed to one of the wooden ones, but Rei shook her head.
"The weight is too different. You need to learn the balance," she said. It was probably one of the longer speeches he had heard from her in some time, though he supposed if she was really here to instruct him, he'd be hearing even more as the day went on. After all, it would fall to her to explain to him all the things he was doing wrong, and why.
"The balance, huh..." Seveth picked up the dagger she had indicated. Upon closer inspection, he realized that the edges of the blade were dull. Inclining his head, he picked up another one, and saw that it was the same. So these were practice weapons too, without a real edge to them... Though if someone took the pains to sharpen them, he was sure they would still do the job.
He thought of the knife that he had seen in San's stash. It hadn't looked quite like any of the weapons in this training room; the metal of the practice knives weren't polished to a shine, but San's blade had been matte except for the very edge of the blade, almost seeming to suck in light rather than reflect it back. The whole thing had been black too, from blade to grip. Just another piece in the pile of mounting evidence that San had been some sort of assassin or something. Maybe he still was, though Seveth couldn't imagine how he'd manage with their current predicament.
He put back the practice dagger he'd picked up, then drew the one that Rei had indicated instead. He couldn't feel a great deal of difference between the two, though he probably just didn't have enough experience to tell. If Rei picked this one, then this one it was.
The weight, or maybe the distribution of it, must have been important if he had to learn with a knife that resembled the one San used. "Am I going to throw it?" he said. He didn't think it would be sharp enough for the point to stick in anything, but maybe he was wrong about that too.
But Rei shook her head. "Hold out your arm," she said. Seveth blinked, then held out his free arm, the one without the knife in it. Rei shook her head again, so he swapped arms, bemused. She flew down to hover around his hand, studying it for a moment, before holding up her own. "Like this," she said, miming a different grip than the one that Seveth was using. "Fingers together, tight."
The way she was holding her hand was almost like a fist. Seveth mimicked her position, though he felt strangely childish holding the knife like that.
It was the same hamfisted grip with which a chubby toddler might swing a stick around, so it was a little hard to believe that this was the proper way to hold a knife.
Rei must have read some of the doubt in his face. "This is safest," she said. "The knife won't slip, and you have full control over it."
"Oh, a beginner's hold, then. I guess that makes sense," Seveth said. Maybe babies had more sense for these things than he had given them credit for. He wanted to take an experimental swing at a dummy or something, but with Rei still hovering close to his knife hand, he didn't dare make any sudden movements. Though that might have been the point of her lingering there, come to think of it. "What next?"
"Hold the knife out in front of you. Hold your other hand out to the side. Bend your knees."
Rei landed on one of the weapon racks so she could demonstrate for him what she meant as she meted out instructions. Both elbows bent, and the knees bent too -- a ready sort of position, he thought, though he didn't know enough about bladework or sports to be sure. Seveth did his best to copy what she did, though she had a few pointers after studying his first attempt. Shift this foot forward, the other arm back a bit, and something about his center of gravity that took him several tries before he did it to her satisfaction. By the end of it he still hadn't actually figured out what his 'center of gravity' was, but if she was satisfied, that was good enough for him.
"Remember this position," she said, and Seveth tried gamely to commit his current arrangement of limbs to memory, awkward as it felt to him.
It was becoming clear that this whole knife fighting business -- or at least what was being imparted to him, anyway -- wouldn't be cool and stylish at all. Instead he was standing here in a semi squat, looking half as if he was getting ready to wrestle someone; the only difference was the presence of the knife that he was brandishing in front of him. Surely this wasn't what San did when he was training.
"Do I strike like a fencer then? Lunge forward and hyah! and all that?" Seveth stepped forward and made a stab at the air in front of one of the training dummies, smiling cheekily. He was joking -- mostly joking, anyway. Okay, he was definitely joking. Rei was shaking her head again. She was probably going to be doing a lot more of that today.
"That's for longer weapons," she said. "You have to be careful with a knife. It doesn't give you any reach."
Zenjesi: Hey Silv - how do you pronounce Kodakai?
Nov 17, 2023 18:23:56 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Not to mention the baby mosca with wolf skin from Elvye and the sparkling owl of Xentus. <3
Nov 14, 2023 10:27:52 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I like the Donnor one not just with looks FF, but the description, funny as heck.
Nov 14, 2023 10:26:27 GMT -6
Zenjesi: yours both made me laugh, FF! They're very expressive
Nov 13, 2023 21:57:46 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Woooow Twilight, I love that witch drawing!!! :0 It's so pretty! And Zenjesi I think Spectral is my favorite out of yours lol. Just looks happy to be included. and silver now i wanna know which pets youd pick for the other legendary beasts. XD
Nov 13, 2023 21:37:45 GMT -6
Silver: Ah I'm so glad you guys enjoyed it! I love everyone's drawings they're all so cute. ;o;
Nov 13, 2023 17:31:37 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I like that one as well yeah, loved the old nootnoot image from quest prizes, so that one went perfectly with that particular costume being based around it. X3
Nov 13, 2023 15:23:13 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: The jewelry on tail or at the head definitely tends to be their most recognizable feature for a Mosca, and sadly their pharaoh chin piece as well. XD
Nov 13, 2023 15:21:07 GMT -6
Zenjesi: Your peanut costume is hilarious and adorable too!
Nov 13, 2023 15:14:29 GMT -6
Zenjesi: Yes you're correct! I guess I did a decent enough job with the drawing!
Nov 13, 2023 15:05:27 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: It still looks good on Synkka. She is a shaman Mosca I'm guessing? Its mostly the tail that makes me think of it.
Nov 13, 2023 15:00:42 GMT -6
Zenjesi: I definitely like Spectral's the most too! I sort of cheated by drawing Synkka with a cloak because I do not know how to draw feathered wings, haha ^^'
Nov 13, 2023 13:45:15 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Which one do you like the most out of the three you made?
Nov 13, 2023 12:09:48 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Thanks for that compliment! Though I know with the water it doesn't look entirely great, I love the latter one I made the most.
Nov 13, 2023 12:09:30 GMT -6