He raised one shoulder in a casual shrug. "Leading isn't about size, strength, speed... it's not even about fighting capability, or even basic competence. It's about making the judgement calls and owning up to your mistakes and yeah, living by example, I suppose. Though honestly it's as much about your followers as it is you. I can't lead a wolf that doesn't want to follow, or bring one into the pack that doesn't want to come here." He glanced to Greyhide and Myrth, both stretching into the squire's hands and flicking their ears playfully under his curled fingers. Tongues hanging from their muzzles like they didn't have a care. "I mean. I think you could, if you wanted. It's just about attitude, carrying yourself with a little more weight to your step, being open, y'know. But you want to lead, and you want to know how to do it right, and that speaks volumes." He didn't really know how much comfort his affirmations could offer, but he gave them willingly. Aneka struck as a nice one. They could do with a few more nice ones around here.
Opening his mouth to ask some more questions about these strange creatures, Nir'wei was suddenly cut short by a yell across the training ground that he was sure shook the ground and sent half the yard twisting their necks so fast they might pop straight off their shoulders. Xithyria, apparently finished with lashing the four others for their paltry performance, stood with his tree-trunk arms folded over a chest rippling with tensed muscle, staring with such vehemence at Nir'wei and Aneka that it was a sheer miracle the two didn't combust into flames on the spot. "I'm so glad to see you're hard at work with your training," he said, sarcasm dripping like foam from between his bared teeth as he marched forward. "In fact, why don't you do me a quick favour and come over here, show me all the new techniques you've been perfecting, hmm?" The imitation of a winning smile vanished under a furious snarl when he reached down and uncrossed his arms, drawing a massive-looking sword with a blade as long as Nir'wei stood tall from his back, along with a square wooden shield that could have blocked out the sun. "NOW!"
In a snap Nir'wei bolted to his feet, and it was as if a wave shot through the rest of his animals at once. Greyhide and Myrth's whole bodies went rigid, before they pulled back out of Aneka's hands and ghosted up to Nir's sides, Greyhide under his right palm and Myrth under his left. Cold jumped upright but his head was lowered, bright eyes locked on the knight. At once, there was an energy to them all, an understanding that something big was about to happen. And then Xithyria's eyes turned to Aneka. They burned with an unnatural, very inhuman fury. "The hell are you sitting there gawking for, huh? This ain't a training sword, short fry. Better run back to whoever's got your leash, unless you want to be sent back to them in neat little slices. GET OUT!"
"It was great talking to you," Nir'wei whispered over his shoulder. "We should definitely do it again sometime! Uhh, sorry. I... think you should probably get out of here." Another bestial roar snapped his attention back, and with a buzz of activity, the initiate, the three wolves and even Vabina quickly rushed back to resume their training. Or rather, their beating. Against four, Nir'wei could hold his own, just about. Against Xithyria, he couldn't even get close.