Flashback [Proving Grounds] A Sword's Length Away

Alistair has a one on one lesson with Eleuia.

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[Proving Grounds] A Sword's Length Away

Postby Alistair Vaetryn on March 27th, 2016, 9:15 am

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10th Bell. 21st, Summer, 514AV
It was a pleasant day in Spring with the midday sun shining bright above. Birds chirped on the rooftops, yet they were barely heard over the roars of the Dragoon’s soldiers at the Proving Grounds. Alistair had grown used to the noise a few months after joining. This was his second year in the Dragoons now, and a lot of things had become second nature. Being thrashed by Eleuia during training, for example.

“Come on Alistair, is that all you have?” Eleuia taunted. “This is nothing.” She closed in the distance, slashed at him lightning fast. Alistair didn’t dare blink, he stepped forward, swung, and barely managed to parry her blade away. She anticipated that, her kick arrived before Alistair knew it. It hit him square in the ribs and he fell with a pained grunt.

Training was necessary, Alistair had realized that long ago. Was the pain necessary as well though? The throbbing in his side felt like it had been charged by a warhorse, he breathed but nothing went into his lungs. Was she even holding back? He staggered back up to his feet trying to regain his breath. Eleuia had no sign of letting him rest.

“I told you the first day you got here, don’t watch the sword; the sword is not your opponent. I am. Watch my movements, my steps. Where are my limbs?” Eleuia thrusted her sword out without warning. Alistair - still panting for breath - spun back in a clumsy half-crescent to avoid it, just barely stepping out of the blade’s reach. He had only just learnt of the footwork a few days ago, the lack of practice was evident. She lashed out with a hook kick right after, Alistair ducked, only to have a debilitating pain impact his chest. Her fist bashed into him after she spun back around from the momentum of the kick. It felt as if he had been crushed by a warhammer. He collapsed right onto the ground, gasping for air. It felt as if he lungs ceased to function. Alistair found the answer to his previous question - No. No, she doesn’t hold back at all.

“Use your eyes, read my movements. Watch my limbs, my arms, my legs. Look at my eyes, where am I aiming for? Where will I strike next? The moment you ducked without looking you lost sight of my attack. If I were some Daggerhand wretch you’d be dead ten times over by now. ”

Alistair could only grunt in acknowledgement. The wind was completely knocked out of him. He writhed on the dirt, staring aimlessly into his instructor’s boots. The corners of Eleuia’s mouth raised into a pleasant grin as she watched over him. “That being said…You have improved since our last session. You learn quick Alistair, sharp mind and quick insights, but skill only comes with practice.” She picked up the sword at his side and returned it to the rack, along with her own. “Take a break, seems you need it.” Eleuia teased. Alistair grunted again. The pain from the kick was still there at his side. If Eleuia’s the more patient of the two, I’d hate to ever be taught by Itzel. He thought to himself.

It was a while before Alistair was ready again. The two returned to their positions, five feet apart from each other with their weapons ready.Watch her. Observe her movements. Alistair reminded himself. He kept his eyes fixed on hers. Eleuia’s eyes were a deep ocean blue, sharp, piercing. The eyes of a warrior. None of them moved, she blinked first.

Now.

Alistair dashed two steps forward, swinging into an upslash. “Taking the offensive now?” Eleuia remarked. She near effortlessly spun and countered with a slash to his ribs. Alistair saw it coming. He parried the swing and thrust out into her guard. Eleuia ducked, twirled into a hook kick again, the exact same move as before. Not this time, Alistair smirked. He stepped back to avoid it, feeling the wind of the blade graze past his face. His left leg shot forward and he brought his blad toward her neck. “Good, you’re learning!” Elueia laughed. She caught the blade with her sword guard and slid it outside of her shoulder, forcing away Alistair’s sword. He spun with the momentum, and before he could do anything else made a slight trip over his own foot. "Shi-" he gasped. His balance was only lost for a mere moment, but that was all Eleuia needed. She stepped to his side, placed her leg behind his and - in one clean motion - swept him off his feet. A dull thud and some risen dust later, Alistair had his back flat against the ground again.

Three sparring sessions this lesson, and all three ended with him on the ground.

"Still a long way to go, Alistair." Eleuia laughed while she pat the dust off of her legs. "Definitely better than when you first joined. Hell, even better than our little spar just earlier, but still a long way to go."
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[Proving Grounds] A Sword's Length Away

Postby Alistair Vaetryn on April 3rd, 2016, 2:06 am

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10th Bell. 21st, Summer, 514AV
“Good effort. But you die.” She mockingly swung her sword down. “Up, again!”

Alistair clambered back up. There was a dull throbbing in his chest from the impact, he coughed a few times then raised his weapon again. Against Eleuia he had no hope of winning, that much he knew. He readied his stance. This time Eleuia struck first.

She hacked her sword down toward Alistair’s head. He blocked it head on, the swords rang with a clear clang of metal. He blocked the kick that came his way with his elbow, barely dodged the fist that followed and fumbled to parry the incoming slash. Eleuia continued her advance. Alistair ducked dodged blocked and parried, stumbling all over. The Captain laughed at the sight, but had no intention of slowing her attacks. Alistair swung his blade faster to keep up, twirling it around him in a frenzy. It wasn’t so much to methodically intercept Eleuia’s attacks as it was just a desperate attempt to keep her at a distance. “Aaaagh!” He yelled at the top of his lungs as he flung his sword around. She backed two steps and stared at Alistair, puzzled.

“You’re going to get yourself killed. Did I ever teach you something like that?” She asked, the disapproval obvious.
“Er, Iztel did.” Alistair lied.

“Did she now?” Eleuia leered at him. “Have I ever told you how bad of a liar you are? And using the Marshal’s name at that.” She closed on him again in the blink of an eye. “Let’s see what else she’s taught you, eh?” Eleuia grabbed Alistair and attempted a sweep with her leg. This time he was prepared. Alistair latched out his free arm and grabbed onto her for dear life. She failed the sweep but almost put Alistair out cold with a palm strike to the chin.

Bloody hell that hurt. He stumbled a few steps back, trying his best not to fall over. The world seemed to spin more than it was supposed to.

“My limbs, Alistair! What did I tell you earlier!” the Captain thundered. “Open your damn eyes!” She jabbed toward his face with her free hand. Alistair could only make out a vague shape coming his way, but he sidestepped it by pure reflex. He ducked another hook before being hit on the shoulder. The impact almost knocked the sword out of his grip. Almost. Ignoring the pain he twirled from the outside into a backhand slash. Eleuia leapt backwards out of the way before she pounced to his side. He twirled his step and brought the edge of his blade back over but missed. Alistair panicked and began to flail his weapon just like before. Eleuia ducked and rushed in. In the blink of an eye she caught Alistair’s arm under her armpit, and with an upwards jolt lifted him clean off his feet. Alistair felt himself lose sense of weight for a moment before the ground came up to meet him.

“So, did my sister really teach you that?” Eleuia smirked, standing over him.
“No.” Alistair groaned. “I lied.” he confessed, not that she needed a confession. The Captain knew from the start. He felt like his body has taken enough abuse for one day.

“No indeed.” Eleuia laughed as she helped him up. “There’s your lesson. Be in control of your fight, always know your own movements. Swinging like a madman only leaves openings for your opponents. You were completely open just at the left.” She lifted her sword. “When you bring your blade to the left, carry the weight with your torso, twist at the hips. Watch my ankles…”
Alistair mimicked her movements. It felt sharp, accurate. Quicker as well.

“Excellent. Now imagine if I hold a shorter weapon. A shortsword, or even a dagger. You will need to distance yourself from me to gain the advantage.” She slid back off her hind leg, spun while guarding herself with her blade and recovered into her stance two steps away. “The enemy will be unable to follow your retreat when you guard your pirouette. Now you try.”

Alistair moved his back leg in a crescent, spun back as he swung his blade in a whirl. Two steps later he recovered back into the first sword stance. Now he understood. In this position he would be setting the tempo of the fight itself, leading his opponent on with his own pace.

“Good, now even faster. Forward thrust after the spin, followed by a slash.” Eleuia instructed.
Alistair retreated two steps in a guarded pirouette, leapt back in for a thrust, then flicked his wrist and brought the edge of the sword down with gale. No unnecessary movements, no flourish, no show. Only the quickest, sharpest way to bring your sword into your opponent. I’m getting better. Alistair couldn’t help but grin at his improvement. I’m improving! He almost laughed aloud.

“Don’t get too cocky now, you’re only slightly better than the riff-raff rabble on the streets.” Eleuia warned. “…but I’ll see if we can make a swordsman out of you yet. Again! En garde!” She seemed clearly impressed. Alistair couldn’t help but grin wider. Perhaps he was going to become someone after all.

“Now, Alistair.” Eleuia spoke at the end of their session. It’s been a long time since I saw anyone work so hard. Your diligence in training must come from something within. What is it you look for in fencing?”

It was simple, really. Alistair wanted to be someone, not just some person that filled the ranks. He still remembered what he thought when he squired for Captain Dronic, that he wanted to become someone important. He wanted to be the one making the big decisions, the one that turned heads when walking down the grand roads of Syliras. Now it was no longer possible for him to become anyone of import in Syliras, and instead he found himself in this lawless wreck of a city.

But still, he wanted to be important. Even if it was in the chaos that was Sunberth.

“To be recognized.” Came his answer.
Eleuia gave a nod. “Then you have much to work toward.” She picked up her sword again. “Shall we?” She struck out.

We shall. Alistair parried, and went on the offense.
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[Proving Grounds] A Sword's Length Away

Postby Konrad Venger on April 3rd, 2016, 7:30 am

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Nice job! Your work has pleased The Sloth!

Alistair

XP:
Observation - 2
Bastard Sword - 2
Acrobatics - 1
Tactics - 2
Endurance - 1

Lore:
Proving Grounds: The Roar and The Rush
Watch your Opponent, Not their Weapon
Eleuia: A More Patient Instructor
Tactics: Don't Try the Same Move Twice
ALWAYS Control the Fight
Bastard Sword: Pirouette Guard

Click Me! :
Once again, try stretching out the posts a little more. Means more XP, AS LONG as the quality and content is up to scratch... which, as before, this one certainly was. I liked the contrast between the instructors, too.

And by the way, your template coloring and art is AWESOME!

One final thing: rather than include a note in your Request post, go ahead and make a record of the cost of the lesson - for anything, actually, if it comes out of your Assets/Ledger - in a Spoiler or OOC bubble at the end of the thread. You can find out how to do so in the BBC Code Link at the top of the page, if you don't know already.

Oh, and please make sure you go back and edit your post in the Request Thread to reflect the fact this one is now done and dusted. PM me with any questions and later 'tater!

||Common||Thoughts||Pavi||Fratava||Myrian||Other's Speaking||
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Note: As of Fall 517AV, Konrad is known only as "Hansel" in Endrykas
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