The second trial and she was tired and sore from riding. But there was not time for her to wallow in such, she had duties to perform around the camp, to make sure that Lord Venora was comfortable and fed and when he was settled, she would go and practice some more. Because it might be the difference between life and death for a noble lady and it might also mean the difference between life and death for her. So, she would ignore the aches and pains that she felt and she would practice. Faith considered with a small smile that she had grown soft in the time since Master had bought her. She was concerned about a few aches because she had grown used to sleeping in a bed and being well fed. It was a foolishness and she banished it from her mind. Instead she focused on making sure that Lord Venora had the best food he could have in order to sustain him on the journey. With one small fire when they camped, that was not easy, but she could relatively easily produce hearty stews or chicken with meat or pasta. She had packed enough that they could eat on the road as needed, so when they did she thought about how best to ensure that Lord Venora was well fed and nourished for the journey. She could not bake bread, of course, but she was able to quite quickly produce flatbreads which she nestled on hot stones and which were crunchy on the outside but soft and light on the inside. Stuffed with meat which she flavoured with herbs and spices, they were a delicious snack for Lord Venora, she knew.
During the trial, as they had ridden, she had again spoken to Damien, mentor to Lord Venora. When he was able to if Lord Venora was not talking to him, of course. He was a generally quiet man, but she was discovering that he had a sense of humour and she was starting to wonder if he, in fact, knew that Lord Venora was deluded about horses. Maybe he'd made Lord Venora believe it. Either way, she considered, she was growing to quite like the man and he seemed most kind ~ a gentle soul, she considered. "Well"
she replied in response to his question, thinking about it carefully "The issue with the stance is that it is ideal. It is an ideal thing to be able to do in an ideal context. Considering the situation we find ourselves in, Sir, I would doubt that I will be able to rely on an ideal context"
Damien nodded his head. The girl was quick thinking and sensible, there was no doubting it.
"But that doesn't mean that I can't use it"
she said, thoughtfully "My dresses are long and I could sew a bone corset into the skirt, a sort of frame that holds the skirt slightly wider, like a ball gown, but must less in the effect. That would, so long as I let down the hem, cover my legs and the position they are in"
Damien raised an eyebrow and watched as she went through the problems and fundamentally tried to solve them, one by one. "That would also mean that I could bone the corset entirely, and some of those bones could be sharp, like stiletto daggers. Sewn into my dress, that would be easily taken out and I could pass them to Lady Burhan. Or, I could not overcomplicate and just put the dagger in there in the first place"
she shot Damien a grin and considered that this made much more sense.
"But more than that... well, the act of being on the balls of my feet helped. Helped my balance and helped me to stay balanced but still shift my center of gravity. So I can do that. Amend it, I suppose"
Damien spoke to her, then and suggested that she should practice at moving from standing to sudden movements. Build up her speed and, then after that, practice to minimise the time between standing still to lethal move without anyone being able to see the build up. That made sense to Faith and she looked at Damien with interest "Are you combat trained, Sir?"
she asked and he just shook his head but offered no more information than that. Faith didn't push, but instead she considered what he had suggested; he was right, she needed to be able to move and to do so quickly. But more than that, she needed to be able to move without being detected before she moved. Because no matter how much she trained, in the time she had she would not get herself strong enough to fight in an actual honest-to-the-Immortals face to face fight. She was, in fact, stronger than she looked and she wasn't really aware of that. Her lifetime as a slave meant that she had endurance, too, that she was unaware of, but still she was probably not wrong in her assessment either.
That evening, after her training, Faith took the time to sew up the dagger, wrapped in cloth so it did not "clink" and she sewed it into the back of the dress, making sure that she padded out the boning above and below it, so that it was not obviously a different size. She sat and focused entirely, determined that she would be able to smuggle this to Lady Burhan if necessary. Because she was going to be useful and fulfill her role to the absolute best of her ability.