66 Ashan 712After an entire season to get the new recruits familiarized with their new roles and responsibilities, it was the moment they have been waiting for. To actually get some practical experience in and show their worth. Before that could happen, they were first told to choose a weapon. The reliable partner for them while they performed their duties. If the previous season was any indication, a lot of them were already confident of the weapon they were going to use, normally the one they have already trained for their entire life. Most aukari were already quite competent with at least one at that point. After all, they were meant to be the weapons of Faldrun and not even the Immortal would be fool enough to make use of dull blades.
Which was an aukari unable to wield a weapon or incapable of striking at the heart of the Immortal's enemies.
They may as well be a burden, a reject relegated to the work meant for the lesser races. Nauta was familiar with the system all too well as one of the few he could take advantage of as a person with some influence over his lessers. All the same his weapon of choice would not be changed despite the impression he knew his peers would have of him because of it. His father had performed and proven himself on the battlefield over numerous campaigns. The weapon he demonstrated and taught Nauta to wield whenever he had the chance would never fail the younger aukari. Such was the venerable position the man placed his elder at, elevated far above any other aukari.
Even if it was more than an arc since his father last trained Nauta, he felt it was still much better than the demonstration the instructor made for the new group. It was predictable that it was the just another sword which the man chose to demonstrate first; a weapon common enough in Sirothelle that it was visible on anyone who would need to bear arms. The reason other than the ease of smithing the swords to meet the demands for weapons or salvaging such weapons from their enemies was demonstrated by the instructor a few bits later. It went well with a shield or another weapon if the wielder chose. Why leave a hand idle when it would be more efficient for it to carry something else to better triumph over an enemy?
Unsurprisingly, most of the trainees rushed for the swords as soon as the instructor finished his demonstration of the weapons available to them. A majority of them Nauta observed, also took a dagger or a shield before they returned to their place in line. Among them the aukari also saw some hesitant to pick a sword first as they paused with an eye on some other weapon before they relented to the pressure. Those fools. Nauta was not going to waste his time training with a weapon he knew he was not going to use over his own preference. It would be better spent to learn something else which would make him more effective in his duties. There was an idea it would be worth it for the times he might be disarmed or would be without his prefered weapon and that idea he decided, was just as big a waste of time to entertain as it would be to train in a weapon he would rarely use.
With no hesitation despite the audible reactions of the other trainees and the scowl of disapproval he could feel from the instructor, Nauta picked his weapon of choice. It was a rapier much more pristine and well made than the weapon he had been given to learn from arcs past but, a weapon he felt comfortable to have in his hand. He definitely would not regret his choice to pick a weapon he was more familiar with. The point he hesitated at although it was not because of any regret, was when he should have returned with his choice. If the demonstration of the instruction had any effect on him, it was nothing which would sway Nauta from his weapon of choice but to impress on him the utility of a shield. The added protection would be useful to ensure his longevity and it would not be a betrayal of his father as the elder Geey had always put that as the most important consideration.
A dagger would have been the only other choice but that was a weapon every aukari was expected to use even by their enemies. Nauta felt, he would eventually have to learn that anyway and the pitiful excuse of a tiny sword would do nothing to defend himself, even if was demonstrated to him it could be used for that purpose.
The process of choosing their weapon was only the first step for the new recruits. It was strange as Nauta's father's stories of his experience in the military was nothing like this but, it was no secret some of the outfits which made up Sirothelle's military had the discretion to deal with things including, the training of their people. For the particular group Nauta was stuck with, a mock battle was the means for the superiors to figure out who would be placed where. One by one the new recruits with were made to fight one of their superiors and surprisingly, some of the recruits were even able to beat their opponent. While nothing was done to acknowledge those recruits accomplishments, there were no doubts those people were going to have a head start in their rise to a great position in the military if that was their goal.
Then came Nauta's turn and in response to his own abnormal choice of weapons, he was asked to justify his choice before they would continue. His question of "why?" was not entertained and as an order of sorts, he knew he had to answer anyway. It was quite simple; they were trained to become guards and would never be expected to go into the field unless promoted far enough for those responsibilities. As they will be stationed in Sirothelle, the rapier was obviously the better choice. Even if no one would care for an armed guard, Nauta knew there would be times he will have to work without his affiliation visible. As opposed to true troublemakers in Sirothelle who would carry swords, spears and all sorts of giant harmful weapons which would be under observation immediately, he would able to move around without interruptions with only a rapier.
His explanation was accepted although he was told if that was the idea, he might as well use a dagger. The weapon's size made it a much better choice to have anywhere and anytime but Nauta rebutted that as well. While he could bring a dagger anywhere without people immediately being suspicious of him, there was one problem with the weapon. Its benefit was also its weakness, its size would force him to get too close to his enemies and would make him vulnerable in turn. The rapier did not suffer from that problem. While not as big as some of the weapons the other recruits have picked for themselves, it still had a much more desirable reach compared to the dagger. Enough to keep Nauta away at a safe distance against most opponents.
There were skeptics as always. People who would not believe what the young aukari said although unlike this verbose spectators, he noticed the instructors said nothing, neither to support or disprove the reasons Nauta had given. At least there because otherwise, they definitely would not be able to approve his actual choice of weapon in the field. To go right at an enemy to the face, both able to strike the other at any time was not the Geey way. It was too much of a risk with too great a price just to kill an enemy when there are so many others. However the bow Nauta took pains to learn how to use for arcs was not the weapon in contention that trial.
With his rapier in one hand and his buckler in the other, Nauta was made to face another one of the recruits. The other aukari he was against had an obnoxiously large sword of his own, as if that came as a surprise to Nauta. He was still concerned with the weapon though as even if it was just another training weapon, it was still large and heavy; it may be no good to cutting into him like any other weapon but it would still hurt if it hit. Nevertheless if his opponent was just like the rest of the gathered recruits, it was more likely than not that he would not be used to the unorthodox weapon Nauta had chosen for himself. If he was quick enough to take advantage of that fact, he might be able to end the fight before the other could get used to the rapier and successfully end the fight on his own terms.
All Nauta had to wait for, was the signal to start. He was already at ready, the point of his weapon lined up right at his opponent's chest which was the largest of targets while his buckler was held out to the front as a barrier to the other's weapon. Like his opponent which he anxiously looked to and then to their trainer in quick succession, Nauta may very well miss the beat but he did not and with the signal, his leg struck out forward quickly. As the only thing he needed to do while it looked like his opponent was still trying to heft his weapon, Nauta quickly followed up with his blade which was directed with purpose and it hit clean on the other aukari.
He was down and, so was Nauta as well unfortunately.
While he was obviously the victor, he was still chided for his poor recovery. What the trainer said was true. Had it been a real fight and with other opponents or if he had missed, Nauta had to get back into position for another attack or to defend himself. He was lucky and while he was allowed to remain with his choice of weapon without much of a fuss, he was going to have to be a lot better at it. Otherwise it was back to the start of training for him.
And Nauta did not want to waste another season on that.