There was no room for it, and he would have found himself in quite an uncomfortable position if he tried.
All the restraint he could exercise, therefore, were required for him to keep progressing forward. It was a good thing that he was apt to the purpose, and that much of the motivation for doing this training was now his own, or he might not have borne it even as well as he did.
It was slow and often arduous going for the creature, but at length he finally arrived at the end of the row of poles. Once there, he let loose from all the discomfort and frustration that he must have felt while completing the course, growling and thrashing not only his tail but very nearly the full length of his body back and forth. It seemed to be some kind of great release, as it happened all at once, and then he calmed and appeared again as though nothing had happened.
Well, it was for the best that he didn't carry the frustration with him. She would have to monitor him carefully over the course of the session to make sure he wasn't building up too much of it though. Anger made it easier to make mistakes, and she wanted the experience to be a constructive one for him. That meant setting him up for success as much as she could, which included forcing him to take a break when he was in no fit emotional state to have those successes.
But this was only a first attempt, and with time, he would almost certainly improve. Even the creature felt that it was too early to call it quits, and without any prompting from Rabbit, turned around and began going through the poles again once he felt ready.
His second attempt was better, certainly, than the first, but to say that the improvement was dramatic would have been untrue.
He still was forced to stop often, and his speed didn't really change from the first attempt. It was only that he didn't stop quite so often, and when he did, it tended not to be for quite as long as he had before.
Still, any amount of progress was progress. She could only hope that he felt it too. She restrained herself from remarking upon it, however. To call out praises to him in general seemed to insult his pride somewhat; he had a level of thought on par with a humanoid, and was of an independent, proud disposition. She doubted that he saw her in any position of authority over him either. At best she could give advice, and no more.
Besides this, to offer praise for so small an improvement would have added to the insult. Rabbit did not feel these emotions herself, but in working with him, she had learned and guessed at some of his moods.
Occasionally she still had to consult Aster a little on the logic behind them, but what she had gained was at least a good working knowledge of his temperament.
The creature shook himself off again, but the motion wasn't quite so violent as it had been the first time. Either he was growing a little more used to it, he could sense his own improvement, or both. It also took him less time to recover himself enough to turn around and attempt them once more.
The third attempt improved upon the second, and the fourth improved upon the third. By the fifth time he went through the poles, he could do so without stopping at all, though he was still going no faster than he had before, if one discounted the amount of time wasted on stopping. At least, however, he had gotten accustomed to moving his body back and forth with the regularity imposed by the poles, which he hadn't managed to do before.
The one advantage of the fact that he was going so slowly was that the creature had thus far only really exerted himself in the mental sense. It was a little easier for him to recover from it, given some time and some distraction, and this way it wouldn’t tax his physical resources, which were still inclined to be a bit scant. He had come a long way from the beginning, when they had first taken him to Aster’s property, and when his state could only have been called a dire case of neglect. But Rabbit was still inclined to be concerned with the extent to which he exerted himself, and to watch him carefully for signs of exhaustion.
Rabbit called a break now, not out of concern for that exhaustion, but merely to give him a chance to refresh his mind. The fact that he did not protest was a sign that he must have felt the need for it too…
Or perhaps a sign that he really did not care much for this particular training method. It could well have been both, but Rabbit thought it was more the former than the latter, as the creature was not one to withhold expressions of distaste for something when he felt it.
She brought him some water to drink while he rested. He wasn’t breathing very hard, or indeed looking very thirsty, but keeping hydrated was always important and she didn’t want to miss an opportunity to promote this if one came up. Once more, she added the special vitamin water that she had purchased, the blood flavored one that he had approved of in their previous training sessions. He had approved of the taste, but he hadn’t always had the patience to wait for it to be added before, so impatient was he to begin drinking at all that he didn’t care for any entreaties on her part to wait for anything.
Now, without all the impetus brought on by more vigorous exercise, she was at her leisure to add the supplement. The creature even followed this development with a very mild sort of interest, though one that must have stemmed out of a lack of much else to do.
After all, the gym was very much a space devoted to one particular purpose, and as such, it was laid out and decorated in a way so as to facilitate not very much else. In fact, to have called it decorated at all would have been too strong a descriptor for what was actually going on in the space that was the gym facilities. Almost everything she could see here, in either the interior or the outdoor spaces, appeared to serve a practical purpose.
Thus, there was not much for either of them to do but to train. It was probably for the best, in the end.
The gym required a membership, so it could not exactly have been called a ‘public’ space in the strictest sense, but it was nevertheless a shared space. Rabbit imagined that they couldn’t have appreciated loiterers who intended merely to waste their time occupying the space.
The creature had his drink, dipping his muzzle into the bucket, but he didn’t drink as much or with the same enthusiasm as he had done on other occasions. Rabbit considered telling him to drink a little more, but ultimately decided against it. He was smart enough, and Rabbit couldn’t have known his body and its state of hydration better than himself. Against exertion, he had shown enough recklessness and lack of care before that she did not quite trust him, but this creature had never been one to deprive himself of food and water. So in matters of that nature, she felt it best to defer to his judgement after all.
When he was done, the bucket wasn’t even half empty. The drink was as much to refresh himself as anything, and he hadn’t really been drinking to replenish deeply depleted resources. Rabbit merely set it aside after he was finished, and the creature rose without any prompting on her part, returning to the row of poles that had been set up for him.
There was, she found, some distaste on his part for the exercise after all. She could see him sighing distinctly before he began again. This did not stop him from beginning again, but there was a show of reluctance, which suggested that it was not what he would have chosen to do if not for… other considerations, which in this case must have been the weight of the benefits. But then, Aster had said that gym training was seldom something anyone, or any creature for that matter, enjoyed for their own sake.
He was a little slow to readjust to the movement required of him while weaving through the poles. The break that he’d had had been a short one, but he wasn’t really accustomed to doing this, so even with such a short break, it took him some time to remember what he had learned again. It didn’t help that this wasn’t exactly a natural sort of movement for him, so he had to think more about where he placed his feet, and how he held his body; it wasn’t something that he could have settled into unconsciously, not before a great deal more practice had been done.
Rabbit didn’t rush him, opting to simply observe what he did. This was how much of their training generally went. She provided the tools and the guidance, and gave ideas about how he might progress further, especially when he seemed to be having trouble with anything in particular.
When he lacked for motivation, sometimes she would attempt to convince him on the necessity, or at least the merit, of doing what they were doing at the time. But on the whole, she relied on him to provide much of the impetus, once he had what he needed, as he generally seemed able to do it without too much interference on her part. Now was one of those times.
The creature went slowly down the line of poles, stopping occasionally, then turned around and attempted them again. For the first couple of passes, there was really no improvement over what he had been doing before. But this was merely because he was recovering what he had learned, and since he had gone through it before, he was a little faster on the uptake after that. On his subsequent attempts, he managed to get through a little faster, so that it approached more of a normal walking pace.
Thus far he had been forced to go at a slower speed, even when he wasn’t forced to stop, just to keep his feet and his body moving in the proper way to avoid the poles.
That he was already seeing some improvement in his rate of speed was something that Rabbit hadn’t expected. She supposed she must have underestimated him in that regard. His attempts in the beginning had been so stilted and awkward that she expected this to take much longer than it had. She had no way of judging whether this was attributable to his particular skill and aptitude, or if this was merely a reflection of the general learning ability of creatures in general. Here, her lack of experience in training in general was apparent. But she was glad to see…
… No. Not glad. Glad was a human word, and gladness was a human concept. She was… satisfied… or something like that, in seeing him make such progress towards their mutual goal. Yes, that was it. Wasn’t it?
As she experienced this stumble in her thoughts, she caught sight of something on the edge of her visual range, and she turned slightly to see that the creature had stumbled too, after all. What a strange coincidence, that it should happen at the same time as her own mental lapse. Perhaps he had gotten overconfident with how quickly he had been moving after all, and lost his footing at the last moment. There was something to be said for measured progress, and not for getting ahead of oneself too soon.
But then, there was also something to be said for tenacity, and the willingness to try and push beyond one’s limits. And that was, in the end, what this sort of training was supposed to facilitate, wasn’t it?
The creature began the motions of shaking himself off, but could not do it. She saw him force himself to stop, and to concentrate again, before stepping around the next pole with very deliberate movements.
He had slowed down again, possibly because he was in no mental state to go any faster after having had that slight hiccup. But he managed to make it around that pole without any difficulty, and then the next one as well. After clearing a few more poles, he had regained enough confidence or ease or whatever it was that he needed, and he could quicken his pace again. The quickening being a relative term, of course, for he was still going no faster than his normal walking speed.
He made his way around the poles a few more times, and as he did so, he found his pace more and more. His body had, at last, become accustomed to the movements in a real and visible way. Towards the end of this stretch, Rabbit could see that he was expending less effort in thinking about where to place his feet, where to bend his body.
There was a trick to it, a sort of rhythm, as the poles were all placed an equal distance apart from one another, and he had gone through them numerous times already. Thus, when he made one movement in the sequence, his body was now anticipating the next one, learning by rote what was to come.
However, only so much progress can be made in a day, and unfortunately Rabbit also could not be spared indefinitely from her other tasks. Eventually, she had to call an end to the session. The creature actually looked somewhat disappointed by this. He must have felt that he was just finding his rhythm here. But Rabbit did not compromise on this, and he was convinced without too much prompting that it was time to call it a day. It wasn’t as though he was really enjoying himself anyway, and there was also nothing stopping him from working on it once they went back to the estate.
Silver: I'm so glad! I really want people to feel like they can 'do stuff' with their sentient pets, and Draconics especially! I'm excited to see what you guys come up with. :3
Jan 17, 2021 17:59:39 GMT -6
Morgan: I like the update overall.
Jan 17, 2021 17:51:56 GMT -6
Morgan: I'm legit so happy now that draconics will basically be able to communicate in draconic instead of being completely unable to communicate from birth unless classically trained or 7+ intelligence. It was so weird to try to do story breedings like that.
Jan 17, 2021 17:51:21 GMT -6
Riku: I hope things work smoothly for you, Jack. <3 // The new update looks awesome.
Jan 17, 2021 10:58:47 GMT -6
Jack: Thanks for sticking with us!
Jan 16, 2021 20:33:33 GMT -6
Jack: So for those of you not on the Discord, I would like to say I'm still around, just not as much. Had to quit my job to watch the kids, opened an Etsy shop, and I'm trying to just keep things rolling through my current bad depression.
Jan 16, 2021 20:33:29 GMT -6
Riku: I am doing well. I also hope everyone else is doing well! <3
Jan 10, 2021 13:32:14 GMT -6
Morgan: I hope everyone is doing well. c:
Jan 9, 2021 15:20:41 GMT -6