• Memory • A scholar of blades

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.

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A scholar of blades

Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:19 pm

Zi'da, 3rd, 710th Arc
Early morning, Andaris training grounds

There weren't many people who still took advice from their parents about a season after they had died. Of those that did, Sin was sure he was the only one not entirely out of his mind. While his entire social circle was trying to give him whatever it was that he needed to overcome the harsh reality of his parents' death, the only thing Sin really needed was for them to continue as they were because nothing had changed for him. True, his mother didn't give him anymore advice on his style of dress in the morning but she picked up all the slack during the night. Uleuda, once a haven of freedom for him, had quickly turned into a prison in the past hundred trials or so.

Dressed in his thick winter outfit, Sin walked towards Andaris' lowtown, a melting pot for all sorts of people who were less off than the rest of the city. The guard presence here was much less than in midtown and definitely nothing compared to high town so Sin was walking quickly, making his way straight to where he was supposed to go. A few trials ago, Sin had left a letter for Doran, an old friend and former colleague of his mother, telling him in the most direct but respectful language he could muster that his mother, Beira, had ordered him to teach her son to wield a weapon. For his own protection, of course, and not in any way in an attempt for her son and her friend to maybe finally get along. As instructed by Beira, Sin had put his mother's name on the letter. Included with his mother's words and name, Sin had left a location, time and date, in the message, which would be in fifteen bits.

Sin still remembered the day he'd met Doran for the first time. It was also the day he disliked, if noted hated, Doran for the first time. While time had most certainly lessened his feelings for the man, he had yet to stop feeling that way. The cold air cut through the crack in his cloak and pulled Sin from his thoughts. Even when she could no longer physically influence him in Idalos, Beira's power over her son hadn't faltered even in the slightest. He still listened to her when she talked and he still did as he was told without really thinking about it.

The Iron Hand training ground provided people with everything they needed to train and improve themselves where physical aptitude was concerned. Sin had spent countless hours with his father in this place, watching others train, training himself and preparing himself to step in his father's footsteps. He never managed to get there before his parents left him in Idalos, on his own. The training grounds were mostly empty, with a few people here and there doing early morning training. Some were running laps around the grounds, others were practicing together or by themselves.

With the cold cutting through the open space, Sin pulled his hood a bit further up, hiding the light scars that ran rampant across his face and the empty white eyes that marked his race in Idalos. Unlike some Eidisi, Sin had been lucky and most of his scars were nearly invisible from more than two arm lengths of distance. The unlucky part was that, while light and thin, the scars that covered his face were very eye catching from up close. Even their pale blue coloring wasn't enough to make them blend in with his naturally pale light blue skin color. While Sin definitely looked more like his mother in every regard, his scars and their coloring definitely came from his father.

Walking over to the beginner area, where all the weapons were made of wood and wrapped in various types of cloth to lessen the blows even more, Sin looked over the racks of weaponry put on the side, under a roof to keep them dry. Here, total beginners like Doran would most likely be able to learn something in regards to weaponry without cutting pieces of themselves off. He ran his fingers over the weapons, creating a rhythmic tapping noise as he touched the hilts of various spears, halberds, long axes and lances. Like his father and most Knights, Sin preferred to use the sword in combat so he left these long handled weapons where they were and moved over to the shorter weapons. Swords, axes and maces of various shapes and sizes were lined up.

Without much hesitation, Sin lifted one of the long swords out of the rack and walked over to the open area. Even made out of wood, Sin could feel the weight of the blade pulling down as he raised it up in front of him, two hands on the handle. He did a quick one-two with the blade, cutting large swathes of air in front of him with his broad cuts. Putting the blade with the tip first into the grass below his feet, Sin reached into his pocket and pulled out a thin strip of cloth. Pushing his hood back and running his fingers through his hair, he gathered all of the long black strands together into a ponytail behind his head and tied it off with the strip, keeping it from getting in his face during the upcoming beating he was about to give this annoying scholar.

Raising the blade back up from the ground, Sin held the sword up, his right hand low but the tip of the wooden blade high, about an arm length in front of his shoulder, his left hand hovering in the air, ready to support his right where needed or punch an enemy if given the chance. His knees bent ever so slightly, lowering his stance and giving him an easier time to spring into an attack, move to defend or even get out and evade. A basic stance for anyone classically trained in the art of cutting people up with swords.
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A scholar of blades

Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:53 am

For the Mortalborn who knew nothing about the Yludih and Uleuda Beira had died the final death. He had almost not attended the ceremony to commemorate her passing – because he would be there. Even after all those arcs he could not bring himself to liking the boy and could sometimes barely stand looking at him because he reminded him of all the things that had gone wrong in Beira’s life - in both of their lives, as far as he was concerned. No, he was a man, he corrected himself. Sintih had to be about twenty now.

In the end he had come, but. not for Sintih. He had come for her, because he owed it to Beira even though the chance of discovery increased with every arc that he spent in that family’s company. He had not aged a bit since they had first met. While they talked about her – and her husband who had died with her – he had remained in the background, thinking.

She had been too young. The Eidisi he had known in Viden had lived much longer. He could not help but wonder if the life she had led had destroyed her. He should have taken her with him the trial that she had first asked him to take a look at her son, even against her will. In time she would likely have realized that he had done her a favour, that he had in fact saved her.

He should have taken her to Viden or another place where she could have realized her full potential, where she wouldn’t have had to take care of a sick child and endure a husband that would never be her match and satisfy her completely. He should have told her who and what he was back when there had still been a chance, when she had not been married to that fool yet.

For a moment he had even considered begging Vri to save her, to bring her back because her death had clearly been a mistake, but the Immortals had never listened to him before – they had let his daughter as well as his lover die - so why should they start doing so now? In the end the only thing he did was to place a single rose on the ground after everybody had left, a single red rose for a woman that he had only ever loved in secret.

---
When the second letter arrived, he almost threw it away, but then he decided to do what was being asked of him after all. Teaching her son, making sure that he could defend himself, might have been her last wish, and who was he to deny her? Even now that she was gone, and it was unlikely that she would ever find out what he was doing, he couldn’t say ‘no’ to her. He would do anything for her.

He would even try to be kind to Sintih and take care of him, even though he was, as far as he was concerned, at least in part responsible for her death. She had loved Sintih, more than anything else in the world and sacrificed everything that she had for him.
---

When he entered the training ground, he noticed that Sintih was already there. He didn’t approach the false Eidisi immediately, but stood in a corner for a while and observed him quietly. It was only after Sintih had taken a longsword and swung it that he came closer. The boy’s technique was unrefined and lacking in many ways, he realized, and his stance was fairly basic.

The Mortalborn had brought his own weapon, an old sword that had already seen a few battles, but was well taken care of, but upon realizing what he was dealing with, he decided to take one of the practice weapons as well. Judging from what he had witnessed so far, the boy might just accidentally impale himself on the tip of his blade and bleed to death.

He looked different from the scholar that Sintih was used to. Gone was the elegant suit. Instead he was dressed in dark leathers that were much more appropriate for a fight, and his hands were encased in fine gloves.

He swung the wooden sword he had picked a couple of times to try to get a feel for it – it had been centuries since he had used a weapon that was not lethal, and he found the practice weapon to be somewhat unwieldy and much too light-weight – before he abruptly lowered it and turned to face Sintih. The boy was quite tall, he noticed, but painfully thin, and thus he would have to adapt his usual combat style that relied in part on strength for Sintih.

“Your mother asked me to teach you how to wield a weapon”, he informed after he had made that first assessment. The tone of his voice was cool, but nonetheless polite, and the expression on his face was carefully neutral. Personal differences had no place in a combat situation, as far as he was concerned. “Tell me, Sintih, have you ever held a sword in your hands before this trial? Do you have any prior combat experience at all?”

As he awaited the false Eidisi’s answer, he settled into a stance of his own. His legs were roughly shoulder-width apart and slightly bent at the knees, with one foot in front of the other one and pointing forward and the back foot pivoted so that it pointed out at an angle, for the sake of maintaining balance. His right hand was near the guard while his left hand was near the pommel of his sword that he still held in a somewhat relaxed position, for now.

“You are too tense”, he observed. “Relax your shoulders. Being tense results in choppy motions and slow reactions and may eventually lead to defeat.” Doran himself was completely at ease. His body was upright, and when he stepped forward with the front foot to show Sintih what the proper footwork was supposed to look like, he did so smoothly and fluidly. “Move like this”, he informed him. “And then show me how you would attack me. Surely you have already given this some thought?”
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A scholar of blades

Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:54 am

In the middle of his exercise, the footsteps had gone unnoticed by the young Eidisi as he shifted his stance forward, leaning into his swing and sliding his right foot forward over the grass. From there he moved his left foot in an arc, twisting his entire body away from an invisible attack, kept turning, raised his blade... and came face to face with Doran. The scholar looked silly, in his dark leather outfit. If anything, Sin thought he looked like a very big child pretending to be a knight by wearing their father's helmet or something. It just didn't work. He would've smiled at the thought had his mind not been flooded with his feelings for the man.

He wasn't about to show this man what he was capable off. Sin stopped his exercise and lowered his blade, resting the tip on the grass as he looked at Doran. The doctor threw his blade around a few times, cutting through the air with moves that Sin could only describe as clunky and useless. Why would his mother ever have asked this man to teach him? It was obvious that Sin could wipe the floor with him even in his sorry state. Doran swung and turned to face Sin, speaking to the Yludih for the first time in arcs. He knew that underneath that layer of nice and friendly, the man disliked Sin as much as he did him.

"-I- asked you. And I have held a blade, I've been training with it for arcs." He sounded very tough saying all that but the truth was that most of the time, Sin had been playing along, rather than actually training. His father had spent countless breaks with his son, doing the exercises, teaching him the forms, the swings, how to attack, when to defend, where to strike to kill, where to disable. The list of things he knew about combat were impressive for someone who had never actually fought someone to the death. But in that lay also the problem. He knew all the theories, all the lessons, to such an extent even that he had helped others improve their own swordplay, but he had no actual experience in applying it himself.

"I've never killed someone with it, no, but I've been training with my father." It sounded childish. It was childish. But Sin stressed the last word a little more than was necessary, figuring that it would hurt the man who had tried to get with his mother and failed. The words seemed lost on Doran as he moved into a position. It was one of the many basic stances of combat, giving the user no obvious advantages but it didn't provide disadvantages either. What did this scholar think he could teach Sin on the subject? With the anger bubbling below the surface, Sin dropped into a near copy of Doran's stance, his feet a little too far apart and leaning too forward, his two handed grip too close to the guard.

Too tense? Sin clicked his tongue rather loudly, his dislike for Doran showing more and more as the man kept talking about his own performance. When Doran explained the footwork that went with these types of stances, Sin's eyes were glued to the man's face. He could see his eyes moves as he explained, his lips parting as he spoke, how his smooth skin seemed to work really well with the trimmed beard and the slick hair, how he still looked young after all these years. Nothing of what he said managed to get past the rushing sound in his ears until Doran said attack.

His sword tilted to the left, the tip dropping down as Sin stepped forward. His footwork was sloppy, rushed and unbalanced. His step had been a little too far, trying to close the distance between him and Doran quicker. With both hands gripping tightly on the handle of the wooden longsword, Sin pulled it across, trying to go for a big swing at Doran's head. The blade started from a horizontal position about waist height and went up from there. If he could muster enough strength from the swing, he could cut right through this stupidly dressed scholar's defense and get this lesson over with. One good smack to the head would show him who was teaching who here.
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A scholar of blades

Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:54 am

“But Beira was the driving force behind it, was she not?” the Mortalborn asked as Sintih insisted that he had asked him. As the boy proceeded to claim that he had been training for arcs, he bit back the insult that rose to his lips. Instead he simply raised an eyebrow and asked, somewhat mockingly, “Is that so?” The boy was in his opinion either lying or he had indeed trained with Rudi who had been even more incompetent than he had thought he had been. He wondered what Beira had seen in the man. Sintih barely knew how to hold a sword correctly!

“Then you should know that your hands are too close to the guard and that your feet should be closer together. You probably think I’m being petty …” Here his eyes darkened somewhat. He had thought that the boy would change once he had grown up, but he realized that he was still as stubborn and childish as ever. Some people apparently never learned. “… but these things are essential. Do you want to lose your balance when your opponent attacks you – and ultimately your life?”

He didn’t wait for the boy’s answer – he doubted that Sintih would say anything that was worth listening to – but instead prepared himself for the oncoming attack. He was quite capable of adapting his fighting style to suit a student’s needs, to hold back somewhat and give them some sense of achievement, some sort of encouragement, but in that case, he thought, it would be better to teach Sintih a lesson first of all, to make him realize just how little he really knew and end the fight quickly – and go from there.

As Sintih stepped forward, the Mortalborn assumed the Plow Guard, with the sword hilt held just below his waist and the tip of his blade pointing forward and upwards. Upon realizing that the false Eidisi was aiming for his head though, he quickly stepped forward and slightly to the side and raised his sword above is head, making a circular motion with it as he did so. At the same time that Sintih’s sword landed on the strong of his blade, the Mortalborn struck his opponent’s head before he made a step back. He finished in the Ox Guard, with the hilt held to the side and slightly his head, on the side of his back foot.

“In a real fight you would be dead now”, he informed the boy coldly and lowered his blade somewhat, although he did not let his guard down in case Sintih decided to attack him unexpectedly. “Be glad that we are just using wooden swords. Your footwork was sloppy, you were trying to move too quickly, and your clothing is woefully inadequate for a fight.” Having said that, he raised a hand, palm facing outward, in case the boy wanted to protest – he almost expected him to in fact - and continued, “What I just did was execute a Cross Strike. It can be used to defend yourself against an attack coming from above.”

“You should never just defend yourself though and wait for your opponent to make the next attack. Such behaviour will only wear you out and eventually lead to defeat. Every defensive move should be followed by a counter-attack. You need to try and gain control of the fight”,
he continued and gestured for Sintih to come closer. “Now try again. This time I will give you the opportunity to defend yourself and devise a possible counter-attack. Let me see what you come up with.”
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A scholar of blades

Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:25 am

Somewhere, in that little piece of your mind where you're totally disconnected from everything you feel and just think properly, Sin couldn't help but chuckle at the current situation. He would hit Doran on the head and prove who was boss. The pain that shot through his head when the sword connected did nothing more than anger Sin even more. His eyes had been so intent on the man in front of him that he hadn't even seen how or why his head had just blocked the end of a wooden sword. Use your head. When the blade connected, Sin's unbalanced stance pushed him back as he was suddenly looking at the side of the training field, his head turned from the impact.

He stepped back and once more before he found his balance again. Pain. His right hand let go of the sword as it moved up to his head, touching the spot where he'd been hit. Anger. His anger, released against this man pushed him through the pain as he turned to look at him again. Kill. His eyes were burning with it as he faced him. He could see his lips moving and the meaning of the words that reached his ears pulled Sin right out of the whole mix of feelings and thoughts. He absolutely loathed to admit it but Doran was speaking the truth. He was dead. If this had been real, all of Sin's desires, plans and knowledge would have been gone, turned to worm food in an instant. His life would have flickered and faded into obscurity, no second chance. Done and finished.

The tip of his wooden longsword dropped down, resting in the grass of the training ground as Sin stared at Doran. He saw his lips move and heard what he was saying but he didn't consciously register any of it. Unaware of the surprised expression on his face, Sin's mind turned further. He'd just died in a battle with a scholar who looked like an idiot in his uniform. He'd just taken a hit to the head with a wooden sword from someone he thought more worthless than a rat, good for nothing but delivering disease into his life. He had just been on the receiving end of what he had decided was the quickest way to show who was the teacher and who was the student.

The last of Doran's instructions did manage to reach him fully as he gripped both hands back onto the long sword's handle. His head was still hurting where he'd taken the hit, a fresh and powerful reminder of his most recent defeat. Sin pulled the sword up in front of him, hands low, stabbing end pointing towards Doran and sucked in a deep breath, releasing it slowly and doing it again, never letting his eyes wander from the man in front of him. He stepped in, sliding his right foot forward as he turned his torso right, swinging his arms from his left to his right, the blade tilting to his left before cutting towards Doran, aiming low for his knees.

If he couldn't beat him in a single attack, maybe taking out his legs first would do the trick. Cut him up little by little, just force his way through the man's guard and onto legs, arms, hips, feet or hands, whatever he could get to. Even if he managed to guard against an attack, if Sin brought enough power forward into the swing he could still hurt him. His attack was made with more force than the first but neither his grip nor his footwork had improved from the previous attack.
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A scholar of blades

Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:05 am

The Mortalborn had expected Sintih to talk back and was pleasantly surprised when he didn’t. Maybe he was learning. Or maybe, he considered, the boy had just come up with so many possible insults that he didn’t know which one he should throw at him first. He wondered if Sintih had inherited any of his mother’s traits. Beira had been amazing and talented beyond measure, but Sintih had only proven himself to be rude and willful so far.

“I didn’t hit you hard”, he remarked curtly as Sintih touched the spot where his sword had come in contact with his head and then added, “The pain should fade within bits, if not trills. That is another skill that you will need to learn”, he pointed out and trained his gaze on Sintih. He had noticed the murderous look in the boy’s eyes, but decided that the best course of action would be to ignore it for now. It was laughable more than anything else. “To use your strength in moderation when the need arises.”

It seemed as if the boy possessed some sort of imagination after all, however small it was, the Mortalborn thought as Sintih decided to aim for his knees. He thought he would just try to thrust his sword into his chest. For a moment the Mortalborn considered using the Fool’s Guard to defend himself, with his sword pointing towards the ground, but then he realized that follow-up attacks from that position would be too slow.

Instead he made a half-step backwards, just in time, so that Sintih’s blade would strike nothing but air and raised his arms high, aiming for the boy’s vulnerable head once more in a move that was called the Parting Strike. This time he moved a little more slowly to give Sintih the opportunity to react to his attack. Of course it remained to be seen if the false Eidisi would be able to come up with a suitable defense and follow-up attack.
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A scholar of blades

Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:21 am

It seemed like he was doing well as his sword cut the arc towards Doran's legs, the beginnings of a smug smile on Sin's face as it did. Let's see how you handle pain. As if Sin didn't know what pain was or if he needed to learn to handle it. What did he know. For all his life and every day he lived today, Sin carried the risk of his own body choking him to death. He couldn't imagine a more horrible pain than the lack of air in your lungs, the burning of your body as it demanded to breathe but couldn't. With Doran speaking like he knew all about Sin, he couldn't help but be excited about the pain he was about to deliver.

The blade cut through the air and as Doran stepped back in the last trill, Sin's smug smile turned to one of pained understanding. The best way to defend was to not be there at all. His sword cut through the air where Doran's knees had been and traveled on, carried forward by its momentum. The weight of the blade and Sin's limited strength caused it to swing to the opposite side of where he'd started and further. Sin's body turned with the weight, the cold but slippery grass providing little in the way of grip for him to stop himself on. While he recovered from the surprise of missing, Sin's body had already turned so that his side and shoulder were towards Doran.

The sword was coming, he could sense it more than that he could see it from the corner of his eyes but it was definitely coming. As he jumped forward, towards the left for Doran, the only thing Sin could think of was not dying. He wasn't going to die at the hands of this puffed up scholar with his dull looking armor and ever trimmed beard and hair. The sword still traveled, now unbridled in the young Eidisi's hands, his body continued to spin, landing him fully with his back to his enemy. He could feel the muscles in his arms and shoulders protest at their use as he pulled the sword up again.

His head spun around to the right, trying to connect with Doran in that moment so he could aim better but it was mostly a spinning blur what he saw. On the slippery grass, the full body spin went easily as his boots slipped across the green. The sword traveled the full distance, completing the circle but ending higher than it had started as he aimed it for the broadest area of the human body, the chest. The muscles in his right side were protesting against their use, stinging as he planted his foot on the grass. In the last moment, Sin was betrayed by the, so far helpful, ground he stood on as he slipped, his attempted three-sixty swing aimed at Doran's chest suddenly cutting up towards his head, unintentionally but no unwanted, if it hit.

From his shoulders, a park of complaint rose and shot through both arms to his fingers, numbing them for a moment. The pain that traveled through his arms showed on his face as he came back face to face with Doran. It had always been like that ever since he really got into his father's fighting style. The longsword, much like the purple of his squire's outfit, were inherited from his father. Sin had never even been in Gawynne but he still registered as a knight of the place. The fact that it represented values he could stand behind had been a bonus.

As for his father's style, Sin had been so happy to spend more time with his father after his retirement that he'd started copying the man, including his choice of weaponry. By the time Rudi had died, Sin had gotten so used to fighting with the weapon that he'd stuck with it even if he was never any good at it and could only use it for short amounts of time before running out of breath. The weight of the real weapon had always been on the edge of Sin's ability to wield and while he'd thought about using other weapons, he had focused on this one, refusing to give up his father's teachings. Perhaps somewhere underneath all that explaining, Sin really just wanted for Rudi to approve of his choices, despite what his mother always told him.
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A scholar of blades

Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:29 pm

The Mortalborn began to notice a certain, subtle strain on his muscles as well. While he was in far better shape than Sintih likely ever would be it had been a while since he had stood on a battlefield – he had been more focused on his academic progress in recent times. He knew better than to let the boy know that their little combat training session didn’t leave him entirely unaffected though. He would push himself and keep going and use the pain as an incentive to get better, to exercise even more regularly from then on.

The boy nearly slipped and fell, he observed and suppressed a sneer. While he had expected any number of stupid mistakes from him, he hadn’t thought that he would go quite that far. Once the fight was over, he thought with some manner of contempt, he would have to teach Sintih how to fall correctly in order to prevent injury. He was not only weak and lacked endurance, he was far too clumsy for his own good on top of that.

He jumped around, nearly slipped again and generally made him wonder what exactly his intentions were. His fighting style – if it could even be called that – was completely chaotic. There was one thing that he had to give Sintih credit for though – he was reasonably fast, perhaps a consequence of his comparatively low body weight. If only he could knock the nonsense out of him, he thought, he might not be an entirely lost cause, although he doubted that he would ever excel in combat and become a knight or something similar.

As he noticed that Sintih was aiming for his head, probably quite by accident, he made an abrupt step towards the side rather than executing another Cross Strike as hitting the boy’s head was getting slightly boring. Immediately afterwards he would step forward again though and thrust his sword towards his chest. “You are dead again”, he proclaimed. “You are not only wearing the wrong clothes, you are also wearing the wrong shoes. If you want to prevent any more such incidents, I suggest you invest in a decent pair of boots so that you don’t slip again in a most crucial moment.”

He gestured towards his own boots that were made of heavy leather and had thick soles. He had had them custom made a while ago, just like the clothes that he was wearing. They were sturdy, but nevertheless quite comfortable.

“In a real fight”, he continued and trained his gaze on Sintih, hoping that at least some of his words would get through to him, against all odds. “your opponent would have killed you the moment you began to slip rather than waiting for you to recover and make an attack. In a real fight people don’t have mercy on you and go easy on you due to your lack of combat experience.”

“I also noticed that you are already having trouble holding your weapon. This here …”
He pointed his wooden sword at Sintih’s chest. “… is much lighter than a real sword. When I first met you, I told you how important it was to exercise regularly to build up your strength and endurance. Did you do that or did you think that you could just pick up a sword and excel with it through sheer force of will?”
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A scholar of blades

Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:26 pm

Sin wondered why he was surprised that this wild and way to broad swing had missed Doran's head. Maybe the surprise was more for the fact that he didn't receive any follow up blows to the head this time. His eyes were trained on the scholar, focused on his, trying to determine what would work on this man. What would turn off that smug look on his face and make him shut up? But there was nothing there that he could use. There was a lesson in Doran's words, that was for sure, but he refused to learn it now. He would remember the words afterwards and would learn the lesson once they were done but for now he just wanted to hit the guy. Just once.

Deep within, Sin knew most of what Doran was saying was true. His clothes were plain midtown citizen clothes and his shoes matched with those. His cloak was the only odd thing out, thicker, heavier and definitely winter wear. Sin listened to the talk, arms hanging down as he was sweating. The tip of the longsword was resting on the ground, his entire stance nothing more than an exhausted youth with a way too heavy practice sword in his hand. While defeat was easily read from every part of his body, Sin's eyes still brimmed with the same defiance and anger he'd had at the beginning. What he lacked in physical ability, Sin definitely had in spirit.

Doran's lesson continued on to the fact that he'd be double, if not triple, dead by now. The part that stung the most wasn't the fact that Doran was right or that he was dead yet again, it was the fact that despite all his efforts to this day, Sin still hadn't improved as much as he thought he had. Standing there, his chest moving up and down with his breathing, he listened to everything Doran had to tell him, calling into question all that he had worked for so far and he couldn't muster up a single word in his defense. He refused to acknowledge it but it wasn't wrong either.

When Doran ended his criticism of Sin's ability with a question, Sin took a moment to himself. He took in a deep breath before he answered the scholar's question. "I've spent breaks, trial in, trial out exercising. Walking, practicing, helping around the house and the farm, lifting small things to start and then heavier things. Hiking and camping with my father, seeing the world outside. I was doing that since way before I ever met you. But then we suddenly moved to this overcrowded city and I lost all my freedom. I didn't get better, no, it was all for nothing. I wasn't suddenly better. Or cured. I had nothing. No more place to move around. People everywhere, suffocating me even more. Horrible smells, horrible noises, horrible times. No nature, no life. Never a moment of quiet, all because some trumped up scribe thought he could get with my mother if he got her to move to the city. She never liked you anyway. Screw you! You never did nothing for me! The only thing you ever did was make my parents fight! Move to the city?! It's all your fault! Go and DIE!"

For Doran, one of the only men alive who'd ever seen Beira work herself up to such an extent, the scene would be eerily similar. Sin had always taken more after his mother than his father and his natural physique only helped to accentuate her features more. As he was working himself up through his own words, Sin showed the same tensing of the eyebrows and the gritting of teeth as his mother, the same lines tensing in his face. And for a moment, Sin looked much like his mother as she had defended herself against Doran's verbal attacks against her actions and person so many arcs ago.

Fueled by frustration and strengthened by rage, Sin might have mixed some things together in order to blame it all on Doran. Most of what he was yelling at the man wasn't even possible to be his fault but it all made sense while he was yelling it. In that moment, working himself up from upset to angry, Sin found some source of strength, his second breath. The longsword raised up from the ground and in one quick move above his head. Both hands on the handle, gripping tightly on the weapon's hilt, Sin grasped for the only other skill he had, the only skill that didn't require a good physique or strong lungs, that didn't care about his experience with a sword or his ability to take hits.

The pocket of ether behind Doran sucked him in as he blinked towards it. Time seemed to freeze around him as the world turned a shade of purple only he'd ever seen. In the same half trill he disappeared from in front of Doran and reappeared behind the scholar, leaving behind and appearing in nothing but a purple humanoid sized cloud of mist that dissipated almost immediately. In his worked up state, his anchor to the ether had been slightly off and Sin appeared back too high, the ground about half a meter under him as he swung his longsword down towards Doran's head. The sword felt incredibly light as he brought it down to cleave the man in two, his hands flashed down, cutting Doran in half as he landed on his feet.

Sin dropped forward the moment he landed on his feet. Blissful blackness consumed both him and the aching pain that spread out from his lungs and upper body muscles as he dropped forward. His knees hit the ground behind where Doran was and he toppled forward, his body about to collide with Doran's. The sword had slipped from his powerless fingers in mid air before he'd ever even begun his downward swing and was sticking out of the ground behind him, waving back and forth from the impact.
word count: 1036
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Doran
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2016 3:43 am
Race: Mortal Born
Profession: Alchemist
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A scholar of blades

Mon Dec 12, 2016 7:20 am

The Mortalborn listened seemingly calmly as Sintih threw false accusation after false accusation at him. His face was nearly expressionless. He might as well have been taken part in a conversation on the weather or another trivial and slightly boring matter. Only after the boy had stopped speaking did he finally react. As he did so, the tone of his voice was as cold as ice. The tip of his sword was still pointed at Sintih, perhaps in order to show the boy who was in control at the moment and that he’d better not do anything foolish.

“You know nothing”, he informed him and looked directly into his eyes. “If you had stayed on that farm, you would have died. There were no doctors anywhere nearby. Your mother would have passed away much sooner than she had. Have you ever thought about her, you stupid boy? Have you ever thought about anybody besides yourself? She was dying a little more inside each trial that she was trapped on that farm. She was a brilliant scientist when I first met her, but she sacrificed everything to take care of you. Beira deserved so much more than that.”

“How dare you …” If Sintih had been a few arcs younger, he would have slapped him. Even so, the temptation was quite strong for a moment – a man that behaved like a child deserved to be treated like one - but in the end he held back, for Beira’s sake. She would not have approved of him laying a hand on her only child. Instead of hurting him, the Mortalborn took a step back and informed him, because he wanted Sintih to finally know the truth,

“Yes, I loved your mother. I loved her nearly since the moment I met her, more than anybody else in this world, but I never even touched her. I would never have forced her to choose between her husband and me. I persuaded her to move the city because she needed to do what she loved again, because she deserved to be happy and not because I thought it might increase my chances with her. But the concept of selflessness is probably foreign to somebody like you.”

“Did she really?”
he asked as Sintih claimed that Beira had never liked him. His voice was tinged with amusement now. He remembered all the evenings Beira and he had spent in front of the fireplace together, talking, and knew Sintih’s words to be spiteful lies. Although he did wonder … if Beira and Rudi had fought because of him, did that mean that she had reciprocated his feelings, if only for a moment? Could there ever have been more between them than a friendship based on secrets and lies? Or had they only fought because Rudi didn’t want his wife to work again, because he wanted her to remain a mere housewife?

He had thought that Sintih had not inherited anything from his mother, that he was a copy of Rudi through and through, untalented and rude, but as the boy stood in front of him now, he found himself painfully reminded of her. The expression on his face was exactly the same. He pulled his gaze away for a moment because the sight of Sintih looking so much like Beira was almost unbearable. Why had she had to die? Why had the immortals taken her and not her son? Beira had still had so much to offer to the world!

So the boy wanted him to die. Anger was replaced with mild curiosity. How did Sintih plan on killing him, a man that was so much more experienced than he could ever hope to be? He had the answer as Beira’s son suddenly disappeared. He spun around, just in time to watch Sintih fall. He dropped his sword then and instinctively extended his arms to catch him, to keep him from getting hurt. Curiosity made way to surprise – he hadn’t thought that Sintih had what it took to work magic – and then fear, for mages were among the few that were truly able to hurt him. To flay a Mortalborn is to taste divinity, he remembered.

Eventually the fear disappeared as well though. As he frantically checked if Sintih was still breathing and if his heart was still beating, he suddenly realized that this foolish young man that had nearly accidentally killed himself with magic was the only thing that was left of Beira in this world. The woman that he had loved with an intensity that had bordered on madness sometimes, that he still loved, was dead, but her son lived.
word count: 785
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