Vhalar 4 717, Midday
Location: The Fields of Gauthrel
Their walk totrial had started early with minimum rest as they had plenty of ground to cover, Kayleigh had been determined to keep herself strong for Uphrisca. She had to if she wanted to show she wasn't incapable anymore, even if her determination merely amused the elder woman. Anything can happen in the wilderness out here and they were still in the eastern part of Gauthrel, and Kayleigh had yet to forget the dangers that awaited them just within the grassy plains. "Worry not my dear," Uphrisca called out to her as Kayleigh scanned the top layers of the grass, "I've a feelin' that today is merely a relaxed day."
"You say that everyday Uphrisca." Kayleigh pointed out with a soft smile.
"I suppose I do don't I?" The older woman admitted her folly with a short laugh, both ladies easy to agree it had been a common practice. Even so Kayleigh somehow trusted her words, for whatever reason Uphrisca seemed always sure that things were going to be okay. She felt the breeze of the wind blow in between them, cooling Kayleigh off as she sighed a hint of relief from the fresh air.
"It's almost gorgeous out, were it not for that overwhelmingly warm sun." She admitted with a hand on the head of Uphrisca's ox. "Poor thing's probably worn out already from hauling all our luggage."
Uphrisca laughed aloud as she turned to look behind her with a smile cast at Kayleigh. "He's a stubborn oaf! Been able to haul more than just a caravan's worth of goods!" Kayleigh's lips tucked into a smirk as she looked from Uphrisca back to the ox. "But yes it's warm today! Gauthrel isn't well forgiving for it's weather most days, soon though all this green is going to turn and the weather will be much cooler!" Uphrisca seemed to slow for a moment and then suddenly completely stopped, her hands on her hips as Kayleigh walked up next to her. "Now what's this?" A band of Stekir had covered the road, mostly all just rabble rousing amongst themselves as they appeared to be two smaller herds. "Damned pests are blocking the roads!"
"We can't just march right past them?" Kayleigh inquired with a glance down to her elderly companion.
"No." Uphrisca sighed heavily. "Not unless we want to scare the ox, which is risky since he's pullin' the caravan."
"Right." Kayleigh noted as she watched the squabbling band of creatures fight one another. "Hang on Ms. Uphrisca." She added as she started forward with a hand clutched at the hilt of her weapon, Kayleigh grasped the bottom half of the scabbard while she drew out her one handed blade. At first Uphrisca seemed against the idea, but then stood back and watched how Kayleigh handled the situation. She walked forward quietly with her sword pointed downward at first, just enough to approach the group of animals with a modest gap between them. Several yards at least. Finally with a raise of her hands to the air she yelled at them, and in doing so alerted the herds that another was in the area nearby. There had to be up to twelve of them at least, when she finally got a count, but the moment she startled them nearly half decided to flee already. Eight. There were now seven left, all riled up and their sights set on her. "Oh Seven help me." Kayleigh murmured as she altered her posture and stood ready in position.
With the sword angled downward behind her and her left forearm bared out before her torso, Kayleigh stood on the defensive as three took to charge immediately her way. "Kayleigh dear, be careful!" Uphrisca called out as two seemed determined to jump in a straight forward lunge, Kayleigh spun out of their trajectory though and went in for a downward cut at the third one. Surprise seemed to hit the third as it's target became volatile, as Kayleigh had now closed in with her weapon swung hard into it's mug. "Ooooh nice!! Get 'em girl, get 'em!" Uphrisca took to cheering now as the one Stekir she hit was sent reeling, with a well made cut into the jaw of its mouth, and Kayleigh somewhat stammered to stand back in her position. The other seven Stekir all encircled her, going both clockwise and counter clockwise to confuse their opponent.
Kayleigh's eyes narrowed sharply on the ones that kept running around, until Uphrisca seemed to cut in with insight. "Behind you dear! Behind you!" Kayleigh reacted accordingly with another twist around, the lunge of another Stekir barely avoided as she pulled herself out of the way. The moment it landed near her, Kayleigh changed her position from defense to offense and pounced from her spot. The one foot she'd used to catch herself in the dodge now pressed into a spring, she hopped forward with the sword behind her form and brought over her head into a downward motion. A direct hit on the creature, the Stekir felt the blade cut into it's spine well enough while Kayleigh went in for her next attack. Her downward strike had been chained into another swing from her right, and sliced into the side of the creature as it too had been sent reeling back from her attack. "Yes! Yes!"
Kayleigh withdrew back and ignored the pained shrieks of her injured target, her eyes back on the group that encircled her still. Six. She could do this! She had killed Stekir before and she could do it again, a whole herd of them wasn't going to overwhelm her. Her eyes narrowed once more as she watched them more intently, apt to point out their next move before they would even think to make it. "I can do this!" She whispered encouragement to herself, determined to see this battle of her's through to the end. She picked a Stekir and watched it's pattern, noticed that they were just running around in a straight circle. Except when one of them considered it, the creature would slow or even almost zigzag to keep up the facade. And when it finally stopped to turn and face Kayleigh, the sword maiden seized the initiative for herself and went in for the kill. Her sword went forward in a relentless jab as she stabbed the creature through the shoulder, her pull back down in a downward angle so that the blade wouldn't tug the creature with her. Five more.
"You got this Kayliegh! You can do it!" Uphrisca cheered eagerly as though she were ecstatic.
I can do it.
Kayleigh promised herself as another pair lunged at her together, likely to change up their tactics and overwhelm her. Kay gasped for a moment but held her breath the next, with a firm hop backwards as she brought the blade back from her right into one of the Stekir. When her feet hit the ground beneath her she staggered back a little, and then darted forward to kick the other Stekir where it landed. The other Stekir stopped and ran to regroup with their beaten up comrade, the whole lot of the four glared at Kayleigh as they scrambled about and headed into the grassy fields they'd struggled so hard to fight for.
"Wooohooo!" Uphrisca bounced up and down in her spot with eager claps, while Kayleigh counted the carcasses that remained from her excursion.. Four? She was getting better then. Before she could only handle two at once, now it seemed she'd learned enough from Fridgar to manage. At least just a small group of them anyhow. "My, my, my!" Uphrisca cheered as she waved her hands at her face. "That was exciting dear! Good stuff, very good stuff! You had me goin' wild back here!"
"Thanks Uphrisca." Kayleigh weakly smiled as she noticed the one wounded Stekir still squirming, by now it'd lost the capacity to reel and writhe with shrieks like it had before. "My apologies." She murmured to the creature at her feet as the animal watched her with terrorized eyes. "Moseke's warmth keep you, and Vri's embrace take you." With that prayer she sent her sword into the neck of the creature, her eyes forced shut as she witnessed the blade plummet into it's hide. At the sound of it's demise she'd taken a deeply held breath that she only later released, once she'd felt the creature had in fact been slain. Better to put it out of misery than leave it to suffer. "Now the way is clear."
"Indeed!" Uphrisca cheered as she moseyed over next to Kayleigh. "You did well dear, still got a lot to learn! But you are well on your way, compared to the shy young'un you were when we arrived in Uthaldria." The older woman took to examine the carcasses of the creatures, while Kayleigh took a step back and smiled at how much praise Uphrisca had given. Had she really improved her time in Uthaldria? She remembered being timid before, but not as timid as Uphrisca seemed to describe. Or maybe she'd never noticed it before. Now though Kayleigh felt at least somewhat capable, able to handle herself with some decency in a sticky situation like this one. "I know how much you dislike bloodshed dear, but do you think maybe..." The older lady hinted at the dead animals, as in requesting Kay to maybe help skinning them for pelts or something.
"Oh. I'm sorry Uphrisca, I would but... blood and I don't share a friendly presence together."
"Not to worry." Uphrisca carried the two she could hold with her to the caravan, and Kayleigh felt she could at least help move the other two. "I'll handle the skinning, how about you and I work on the cooking later then?"
"Cooking? I can handle that I think." Kayleigh encouraged with a hearty grin. "It's just the skinning part I'm terrible at I'm afraid."
"I figured as much dear," Uphrisca murmured with a soft chuckle, "not a thing to worry about on that note. Thanks for killing supper for the next few Trials." Kayleigh felt a soft pat on her back follow with a few rubs, a short laugh given as she answered the peddler in turn.
"Glad I could be of assistance."