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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Dedicated Weapons Class [Repost]


tismeb4u
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Arath stood in the early morning sun of the training grounds, enjoying this time of day before the murderous heat arose. His black coat and shirt thrown over a nearby log he began to stretch as he waited for his students to arrive. Sword training was always a ... messy ... afair here. Too many trainees at the Tower thought conventional weapons beneath their notice. Hopefully they would learn otherwise today.

 

As he finished warming up, his hand strayed toward the dragonfang scar over his heart. He rarely went without a shirt because of it, but the heat and the nature of the class today made it necesary. He still cursed the darkfriend who had given him the mark, and killed his mother. He dreamed of finding the man some day and making him suffer.

 

As the dedicated began to assemble, Arath promptly shielded every one of them and gave his instructions. "Enter this storeroom and choose your weapon. Today you learn battle plan 'B'; what to do when you can't channel. Move!" As the Dedicated filed through the weapon storehouse, Arath wove his own weapons into being. Earth, Fire and Air wove together into a pair of short blades. He used less fire than usual, since he didn't want to injure his students with the flames, but his weapons still seemed to glow a faint reddish color. An interesting effect. Weapons at his side, he waited for everyone to return. He couldn't wait for this one to be over and done with.

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OOC: I guess after months without training, I finally have to get Ged's classes done, so *hops in*

 

~Ged~

 

There were these days when Ged couldn't help but ask himself what in the name of the Light he was still doing here and this one was another one of them, he knew as he strode down to the training grounds, grim resolve on his face, yet inside he felt more uncertain of what he was doing here than ever. Of course he had sworn himself to pass this, pass whatever might come and get to where he was headed on his strife for absolution, yet was that really what he wanted? Was even the Creator himself able to grant something that had been forsaken once and for all? From early childhood he had been told that everything was predestined, that the Wheel of Time wove as it wills, making all of them, all ages, all peooples, everything around the world into a Great Pattern and everyone of them was nothing but a single thread in it. And if they all were but the tiniest, most insignificant piece of a piece of the Pattern, how could they ever be interesting enough for anyone to care to get their flaws fixed, frayed threads mended?

 

No, as much as he wanted to believe in a Creator and a Wheel that would guide his path and see to every single hole in the Pattern being fixed, Ged knew there were way too many factors that could enlargen holen, snap single threads, threads that could be replaced easily. Religion is opiate for the people, a wise man once said and as days, weeks and months drudged on, Ged got more and more convinced by this simple statement. Believing was easy. Believing meant you'd have someone to watch after you, someone to accompany you in your lonelyness or despair, but realizing that that someone had never been there and would never be, that was the hardest part of all. That and not despairing over it as a familiar world shattered, breaking into thousands of splinters, each of them unknown, fragile waste land.

 

But even so, what was left, but taking it as it was, taking it and walking across this threatening wasteland in search of something familiar, a scattered memory, thoughts of better times, of things that were still worth fighting for. There was still his cause and his oath that was worth living for. Even if he'd never succeed in fullfilling it, he would do his best and die trying to find the sanctuary he longed for and if it happened here and today, who was apt to change anything about that, but himself? There was no Light, Creator or Wheel that would protect him, there was only him, Saidin and whatever he could lay hands on.

 

One of them, he had to realize as soon as he entered the Training Grounds and faced Arath who would be their tutor for this lesson, wouldn't be to his disposal. Not for now at least. Unlike his fellow trainees, it didn't sock him to suddenly find himself be cut off the Source, matching the scared and surprised gazes of his classmates with a feeling of utter calmness and...indifference. It didn't matter to him whether he fought with or without Saidin and unlike most of the others, he rather preferred to fight without the One Power. Too much damage could be caused by using it in ignorance. A simple truth and yet one that had altered his life and ripped whatever he had known from him in one bloody night of death and fire. One night that would haunt him forever, yet also one night that had made him learn and understand how precious knowledge and control was. What he was here for. He wouldn't make the same mistake again. Saidin was so much deadlier than the sharpest sword and it nearly seemed to him as if they all were holding but toys in their hands compared to the surge of power that he felt coating Arath's gear. And yet even the bluntest wooden toy sword could become a deadly weapon if its wielder willed it to serve this purpose.

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Aslan was walking to class, he had weapons straped to his belt, really prefering to keep to his own and learning to know them well. He was glad it was Arath beeing the teacher, for all of the bad start they had goten things had worked out quite well. And he did now see the use in learning the skills of this lesson, beeing shielded had thougth him to think difrently, not for that with where he been raised it had been natural for him to be given lessons from a younger age as well.

 

 

Of course as such in the traditonal ones of his family from their emblem, The Double headed axe crossed with the Quillion Dagger on a blue field.

Once again he wished for a horse, like he had in similar classes here, it was how he was used to it from his day growing up as a nobility. But he learned, and adapted.

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Mentor to Pe Ell, Loranflame, Cu'chulainn & ObliviousShadow

 

 

Arath stood in silence as his students returned from the weapon shed. Once all were assembled he walked down the row and wove a solid strip of air over the edges of the blades, to prevent accidents and protect the weapons from his own power wrought ones.

 

"Now then, as you should all know, these weapons are not your ideal choice for combat. Therefore, this is not the most important aspect of your training. You will most likely never become a blade master here, but we do expect you to be able to hold your own against an enemy soldier. So first off, I want to see just how experienced you are. You will pair off and spar for three minutes. Your objective is to take your oponent down. Get him on the ground, disarm him, whatever it takes. I don't care if you fight pretty, or if you fight dirty. Once you are finished, I'll pick some of the best of you for a special assignment. Three minutes. Get to it."

 

OOC: Spar with each other (a couple posts each), OR with NPC's if you prefer (one big post each). However you two want to work it out.

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The dreaded heat from a cloudless sky; it's embrace that of scorching and relentless pain washed over Linten as he made his way to the training area and the instruction of an Asha'man that had begun to strike curiosity in him. There were things at work in the Black Tower, agenda's with dark purposes for some of it's members. With Arath, there might be an option. But that was for a later time, for now Linten needed his focus on the light weight of steel strapped to his back. Isha his old mentor had been the first to teach him how to use the blade. Training interrupted when he had abandoned Linten to the nightmares that walked the Borderlands. An thin strip of steel who's edges had preserved life and became the comfort in the dark when tears had fallen from his cheeks; the witches searching the boards above him. Nightmare and more nightmare, all plagued his nights and days when his mind was calm and his thoughts unguarded.

 

He arrived as Arath began his passage through the group and could feel Saidin filling the other man. Still as the shield settled on him the voice sobbed softly in the corner of his mind. Never would he get use to that separation, knowing how near Saidin was and not being able to touch it. Nothing about that sensation was normal or comforting. Stifling any outward appearance of the uneasiness that swept him and the silent urge to hit the man as he turned his back to walk away, Linten continued to study the group he would be training with. The thought of how any man could falsely believe that a ruby eyed dragon pin at their throat could save them from all was a foolish mistake and would eventually lead to their death.

 

~You a fool boy; strike an Asha'man here at the farm? Have you forgotten so soon the last time you drew steel on a member of the black? Someone help me, I'm trapped in the mind of an insane boy. Someone ... anyone help me.~

 

Oh, now you have scruples, but if he wore a shawl you would have me rip the throat from her before she even turned. What kind of monster shares my mind?

 

~I ask that often.~

 

Movement around him pulled his mind back as the trainees broke off to collect weapons from the shack nearby. Several like himself remained; their choice already familiar to them and brought in preparation to this training session. Taking a moment Linten looked over some of the competition while Arath wove Saidin once more, only this time the threads where air to create a non lethal covering over the blade that had served him well so far. In truth it had served a purpose while he had been exiled. But it had also been part of the problem; memories of the soft hiss that same blade had made as it drew on Rion the night Isha had taken Linten away to the Borderlands and later left him there to die. The continued line of thought was spiraling down into a dark place and with it his mood.

 

The opportunity to release the tension that had built from all these dark thoughts was like the sweetest drink of cool clear water during the heat that bathed them as it did now. Lightly his grasp on the swords hilt loosened, sword slipping from his hand to the ground at his feet. With a mumble of apologies Linten collected the blade once more; discreetly his hand collected a small amount of the dry dusty earth. He needed the release; a method to free his mind from the chaos that threatened to sweep him away once more. Turning slowly he scanned the group as it began to break up and spotted on fellow who's brow seemed weighted with his own internal daemons. He was the perfect target, someone else who needed to find a purpose through the use of force. Stepping slightly to the left, creating an open space around him for movement, Linten caught the man's eyes before his opponent was briefly blinded by the dirt tossed from Linten's hand.

 

With the man's eyes tearing and covered Linten took full advantage of the opportunity and swung out hard with the blade, both hands added his full weight to the strike as he dropped to a knee and brought the blades protective edge against his opponents knee. Ged dropped quickly to the ground one hand still over his eyes. Spinning to the right as he stood back up Linten brought the blade in a full arc whistling softly across the space in front of Ged's face. The curse that bubbled silently from Linten's mouth at the miss drove him to move close; the heel of the hilt driving into his opponents ribs; the soothing sound of air rushing from the man's lungs with the force of the blow adding to his elation.

 

The opening volley had been quick and decisive, perhaps too decisive. They were all cursed with the same future destiny; a cold and lonely death. He may need this man in the future, need all of them in the future. Dropping the blade from a guarded stance he stretched out a hand to offer his opponent assistance back to his feet and perhaps a fair fight.

 

 

OOC: Okay Faile .... left the choice to you if Ged wants to take advantage of the opening left to strike Linten or if he wants to collect himself again and try for a fair start to the fight. I'm good with either choice. 

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~Ged~

 

Blindness.

 

As if a handful of glass splitters had been thrown into his eyes, Ged felt small sandy crystals stinging his retina, making his eyes clench shut and swim, as sandy tears stung him, increasing the effect a simple handfull of earth had on him.

 

I've always told you: Caution is the thing that keeps you alive. But what did YOU do? What-

 

Pain came as the other voice inside his consciousness began to wail at him. Pain that he hoped would receed if he ignored the bodiless voice and yet all it did was increase, pounding behind his temples.

 

"Shut up!", Ged groaned under his breath as he tried to control the voice as well as get rid of the blindness cast on him in treacherous ambush.

 

Treachery? Boy, what did you expect, being around madmen as you are? What else could there be for you but treachery? Betrayal? Death?

 

As if the inanimate voice had spoken premonition, a gasp eluded Ged's battered self as a blow to his ribs knocked the breath out of him and made his knees buckle. There was no point of fending off a villain, helpless and still blinded as he was, hands shielding his face. Hands that were too busy trying to catch his falling form as well as rubbing the sandy sightlessness out of his stinging eyes.

 

Lightblinded fool! Do you see where your cowardice gets you? Where carelessness gets you? Do you see?

 

Yes, he did, Ged thought between grinded teeth as he already awaited the finishing blow. There was no doubt it would come, that whoever had attacked him like that, even though he wore a black coat, would take this oppurtunity his disability and pain-shattered state gave him.

 

Yet he wasn't as ready to give in just now as his weakened state might suggest. Anger and defiance boiled in him and despite his disgust of the lessons they were taught, there was something inside him - not the voice, Light he knew this had nothing to do with it - something that made him grab the blade tossed from his hands just the minute before and strike at the hand reaching down for his. If this one wanted to have it the hard way, Ged was all too willing to grant him his wish.

 

Eyes clearing, the surprise on the other man's face provoked a quick smile lightening Ged's face. This one surely was ready for a lesson.

 

Yes! Teach him! Teach him what he gets for treachery! Teach him what death means! TEACH HIM!

 

The voice started to shriek inside him, his temples throbbing worse than before, pain exploding inside his head. Pain that not even the void could entirely conceal. Pain he would have to endure and bite back for the time being.

 

"I don't think we've been introduced", Ged spoke, sword diving for the other man's body. "My name is Ged Maevere and it's nice to meet you on such...fair conditions."

 

His face blank, Ged lunged for the other one, his mind entirely calm and free of anger. Yes, he would teach him a lesson he wouldn't forget so easily.

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Aslan hefted the axe in his hands, it was still so unfamiliar to be on the ground instead of the back of a horse, it also ment he needed both his hands to manage to create the swings of the thing. That again lead to the dagger still beeing stuck in its sheat hanging off his belt. He moved his hands back and forth a litle till the axe was balanced in his hands, and looked up to meet the eyes of a oponent with sword. A stray thougth went of to the wish of having his horse once again as he bowed his head in respect before taking a step back into batle position, some things was still with him from his noble upbringing.

 

He waited till the other started moving then moved into a withdrawing dance, using the axe as best could to divert the sword off himself while testing the other. Slowly moving in circles though his feet tence and at ready for any opening to swing the axe. It was not a good weapon as such on the ground, not against a sword, but it would do and hopefully he would learn. He saw the opening and swung the axe around, the other stagering and stumbeling in his own feets to get away. Aslan smiled and danced back to let the other get up, the upside was if you could get in a good swing it wasnt easy to par with an blade either and if it struck it would often make more then a litle rift, the force of a swing and the heavyness of the head would see to that.

 

Again he was into a defencive batle, he knew he would have a few bruices tomorow, but the ackwarness of a strange weapon in the oponents hands went both ways luckely. And the other was carefull not to come to close, a missed stab bringin him within reach of even just Aslan bringing the flat of the axe against a knee could cause injuries. As he changed direction he hefted the axe again, the other used the opertunity , and he though could deflect it some felt it slide off his arm, at the same time as the axe hammered into a leg, thoug not with enough force to cause any damage.

 

Both stalked back and regrouped, Aslan could feel Jakar swirl in his head, and did his best to surpress that as well keeping focus. If Jakar took over it could get nasty, luckily Arath was here and Aslan trusted him fully, it was what made him able to still keep enough focus on the spar.

 

Not enough thoug as he felt the sword briefly touch his ribs before he twisted away, if nothing else he was somewhat agile from all the dancing lessons he had hated. He got his feet back under him quicker then the other and managed to put the flat of his axe to the mans bunny so he stumbled into the dust. Aslan smiled as he stood back and watched the other get up.

 

5 minuites later it was his turn to bite the dust thoug, and he landed hard with his hip on the axe as well. Grinning his teaths he got up and with a sweap of his hand dusted off his hip as if he could also dust away the pain, it was no time now, he would deal with it later. Instead he sougth the flame for consentration, and was happy to registrer that with that Jakar disapeared.

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Sympathy ... the bond mate to weakness had no right in the Tower grounds or a man in the Black cloth of its inhabitant's. Weakness was the first sign of defeat and surrender, both of which were never an option. Especially if the Light blinded witches were involved. Yet it was that simple and so innocent a fleeting feeling that marked the change in the dance and Linten's complete control of the scenario. In his pathetic offering of reprieve and assistance he missed the other man's recollection of his blade. A blade that slashed down with surprising suddenness across his arm. Had it not been for the weave of air that covered the blade it would have left a nasty gash that would most certainly have left him in a dire state and a great disadvantage. Stepping back quickly as his own blade returned to the guard position in front of him Linten shook his arm briefly to work the sting of his opponents contact. His eyes watching the man gain his feet like he was watching a snake rearing back to strike.

 

Sidestepping, Linten's good arm parried the thrust away from his chest and then returned the blade to the front guard. His right arm, the bruise beginning to set in under the skin, swept up to collect the bottom half of the hilt. “It is nice to meet you Ged Maevere, I am Linten al'Dracian.” his voice was light, the corners of his mouth curling slightly toward a smile. “I look forward to our dance,” once more he side stepped a thrust toward his chest and countered with a low sweep toward the man's knees. The blades bounced off each other and he stepped back. Cross stepping had him circling Ged, his blade once more at the mid guard, tips tapping each other; probing. “What ... no emotion my friend?” His voice twisted the word friend as if it held a bitter taste. The sword in his hands raised to the high guard as he continued to circle. If the man was foolish enough to attempt a straight thrust again at his chest he would find a mark across the back of his shoulders to match the one he had so generously given to Linten's arm.

 

“Come, I won't hurt you much.” As he circled the man he occasionally kicked dirt toward him as if he was going to move; tested the man's plan to defend this high guard stance. “Lay down your sword and perhaps Arath will let me spare you further humiliation.” Habit had him reaching out to Saidin, his grasp falling short of the sweet pool of vile torment. Wrapped in the moment he had forgotten the shield Arath had placed on them. It would be old fashion pain and exertion for this lesson. His arm throbbed dully trying to pull his attention away from the task. Feeding the pain into the candle's flame that he summoned up in his mind he followed the short exercise into the void. Flat dispassionate eyes regarded Ged, “shall we dance?”

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How to teach someone who obviously was incapable of any reception as well as so self-confident? Light this one's screaming: Hit me!, Ged thought only barely restraining himself from rolling his eyes. There was no doubt: this Linten was a strange one. One who had disappeared into nothingness, his presence wiped out from the face and minds of the Black Tower as no one talked about him anymore. Untill he came back like that. Strange...that didn't even do close but hit how he was. Linten Dracain, another one who appeared unwilling and unable to learn. Ged sighed, gritting his teeth.

 

Parrying his attacks lightly, Ged tried to bring his mind back to matters of hand. Light, he knew this tendency of drifting off to other totally irrelevant - at least for now - topics would render him death faster than he thought...

 

What did I tell you, boy? Let me deal with your mind and you deal with the rest!, the Voice cackled arrogantly. Shooing it off his consciousness, Ged allowed himself a dry grin. Whatever Linten thought he was, he would never get as crazy as he was already. Even though he didn't favor killing, Ged would make an end of it before it got too close to the brink. Yet who was to decide if he wasn't past that invisible brink already and death would be a mere kindness?

 

How about just hurting him for now? Make him feel death...slowly...calmy. Make him feel... A growl emerged Ged's throat as he slashed at Linten, mentally slashing at the Voice. Light, I am not mad yet!, he yelled at the receding cackle inside his skull. Not yet...

 

He wouldn't give in yet and neither would Linten, he knew. Slowly and calmly, grinning about the irony of him obeying the voice's commands - no, just heeding what he had known before - Ged didn't answer but proceeded going back and forth, dancing through forms he had grown accustomed to, carefully avoiding to hit Linten directly. He didn't want to hurt him. He wanted to tire him maybe. But most of all he wanted to show him what control about his own emotions meant. Even though the other one might be the superior fighter, he was the superior mind and damn the Voice's discord. He would hold on and he would dance along the brink for how long it would take till the deed was done.

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Arath supervised his sparring students with a pained look. Most of them weren't taking this seriously. Only a small handful of the dozen or so dedicateds seemed to show any promise. Letting them carry on for a few extra minutes he picked out those who would take part in the next part of this class. Once the choice was made he called for attention. Almost everyone immediately broke away except for a pair of Cairhienen who were too caught up in trying to kill each other to pay much attention. A small earthquake beneath them brought them around quickly enough though, and the class continued.

 

"Most of you," Arath said loudly, "are horrible. You wouldn't last 5 minutes against a farmer with a pitchfork, let alone a Trolloc or a Fade. Thankfully, not all of you are total losses. Aslan, Linten, Ged; you three will stay here. The rest of you, run a Koras lap and assemble back here."

 

Once the rest of the disgruntled class had left, he addressed the remaining three. "You all have something to offer the rest of the class. Aslan, you seem to have had some prior training, and know what you're doing. Ged, you control yourself well. Linten ... you do whatever it takes to win. If we could put the three of you together we'd have a decent fighter.

 

"What I want you to do then, is explain to the rest of the class when they arrive why your particular trait or ability is useful, and why it will help you to defeat me when I spar with you. I expect you to at least hold your own long enough to make your words credible."

 

OOC: Okay, whoever wants to go first, give a pretty little speech to the class about why you are better than them  and attack me. Whoever posts first gets first beating, then so on and so forth. 

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Aslan stood to the side as told and waited while Arath instructed the rest of the class to start runing. His focus shifted onto Arath as the teacher told them what was expected of the three, he knew he wasnt the best if he had stayed at home it wouldnt have needed to be the three who could be made into one usefull soldier, he would have been on his own.

 

But there was no time to dwell on what had once been. As peoples asembled he figured he migth as well get it over with, knowing well enough he should get a fair beating from the older more experienced man.

 

"I had prior learning of my weapon, though from horseback which gives a whole other swing radius. On a spar on the ground against a sword it does produce some oddity to the situation, even so it does allow for a longer strike zone. The axe is n ot the best to spar with as you either have to use the head to divert strokes or catch them on the handle, however as an advantage...for the oponent to be within striking range, the head is heavy and even a hit with some force hit with the flat side can cause damage to joints and legs, as well as painfull bruices. Of course a well struck hit with force of one of the edges is almost sertaint to sever something or make a leathal cut."

 

He hefted the axe so as when he spun the spin made the axe move, thus using both surprice as well as the axe's swing radius to demonstrate how it would force someone to be carefull to stay clear. Forcing Arath back and then finishing the swing by going into a roll on the ground to come up at safe distance instead of leaving himself vaunerable and open for an attack while finishing the bane the forcefull swing would bring him into. He had but no choise even less so then in his last spar, he knew, then to keep his aponent on the edge and use his swing radius to an advantage. Against a new sword handler he was at disadvantage in close combat, against Arath he was sure to get a proper beating if he let him to close.

 

Not that Aslan expected to win anyhow, and in the following minuites he would take his share of sandbaths to keep his distance..

 

ooc..feel free to demonstrate to just what disadvantage a axe is on the ground..specialy when the untrained combatant has the axe and the trained a sword  bruices and nicks even cuts turned to scars later is fun *grins*

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Arath stepped easily out of Aslan's swing radius and barely nodded in approval as the other man dove out of the way. Axe's did leave one vulnerable after a heavy swing like that, putting the dedicated at a serious disadvantage. He allowed Aslan to make a few more similar attacks to give the rest of the class an idea before stepping the demonstration up a notch.

 

Weaving his own twin blades around in quick patterns, Arath poked at Aslan's defenses from several different angles, exploiting the defensive drawbacks of the heavier weapon. The dedicated was competent enough to catch at least one of his swords with the axe, but spent a considerable amount of time dancing backwards to avoid the second attack. As the attacks sped up however he gave up trying to parry many of the blows and made use of his only defense; a strong offense. Heavy blow after heavy blow came back toward Arath, which was exactly what he was waiting for. When a heavy sideways blow came, Arath stepped into the attack, spinning inward close to Aslan past the axe head. His spin continued inbehind the dedicated and twin blades arced out, one catching behind the knees, one across the flat of the back. Aslan fell to the ground and Arath stepped on the axe handle, pinning it and Aslan's hand to the ground. Resting the sword points on his chest, Arath turned back to the class. "Heavy weapons are good for large battles, because there often isn't a lot of room to evade like I did. But speed is best for a one on one fight like this."

 

Arath reached down and pulled Aslan to his feet, nodding to him in approval. He had done well all things considered. His gaze turned back to Ged and Linten, silently beckoning either one of them forward for their turn.

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The tip of his sword seemed to call to him the need to find flesh to taste, but this was an exercise and not a true fight. He had to remember that and not get caught up in the moment. Repeatedly he reminded himself it was not the blight; the misshapen forms had not found him again. His edge pulled back ready to arc out for Ged's mid section when Arath's commands tickled his ear and reluctantly brought the sword down to his side; eyes still watching warily the man who had been his opponent.

 

Being singled out with the other two did not help ease the tension growing between his shoulders as the rest left for their run. It would appear that they were to be made examples of. A position Linten drastically regretted. His comfort was in the shadows; see but not be noticed. That chance had past and now it seemed it would be a new lesson today. A lesson in how far he could push a man with all the control and skill in his favor. Aslan stepped up immediately upon the return of the runners. The axe handler was brave if not stupid for his choice of weapon and opponent. He had seen the axe used from the saddle of a horse and it indeed was a deadly affair. But from the ground it was like running at death with arms open wide. A fact that Arath made pointedly once he stepped up to Aslan. One thing that was a benefit to watching the axe handler take his marks was that it gave Linten a moment to see some of the style Arath employed with his blade work. Not that it would help him all that much, but it might give him a chance to stand toe to toe for a moment longer then Aslan had managed.

 

Two swords ... bloody ashes, two bloody swords. Take the fight to one for a moment perhaps but two. Any attempt at attack would be met with both a parry and a counter attack all at the same moment. His mind whirled trying to find a solution to crack the nut he would face. Watching Arath help Aslan back up he drew a deep breath in preparation for his future speech. He hated speeches. They were games of nobles and commanders of great armies. He was neither and wanted nothing to do with either of those professions. But if there was to be an end to this morning before the heat took it's hold then he had to get this rashness taken care of. Arath's eyes swept over Ged and himself in silent command, it was their only note that one of them was expected to move next.

 

Stepping forward Linten brought up his sword and ran a finger along the flat side of the blade. “Steel, folded many times in a forge to produce a blade light and strong. The sword is one friend you can count on when you need it. It does not have the heavy head of an axe that will throw you off balance. Nor the distance of an arrow shot from a good Two Rivers bow. But close in, it can protect you like no other save that of Saidin. He swung the sword back and to the side, it's flat surface contacting the back of Ged's hand still wrapped around his own sword hilt. The touch was benign and seemingly harmless but the look that floated across Linten's vision when he met Ged's gaze spoke of a promise to finish the spar they had started. “But it is a tool, only as good as the hands that wield it. I will challenge Asha'man Arath like Aslan before me and you will see how easily any weapon is turned away when a skilled handler meets one of lower quality and training. This you will always find so you must remember that nothing in fighting is fair. You fight to win, to survive. Not for honor. That is a fools goal and a quick way to the grave. If you fight then it is to survive; survive any way you can.

 

He lifted the blade across his chest again, free hand running over it's surface as if trying to pull memory from it. “Survival is not fair,” the words had barely left his mouth as the blade arced out and around at chest height in a slightly wobbling sweep. An attempt to take his new opponent by surprise. But the blow stopped decidedly short as it met both edges of Arath's blades. The dance was on, and the man had already seen some of his tricks, reducing the likelihood that any might be effective enough to land something. Stepping back quickly to imitate the mid guard stance he had seen Isha use so many times in the past. Linten's mind worked to find the next opportunity while his tip thrust toward the man in random patterns. He would not strike with those. To ensure he did not take a quick blow that would end this he had kept himself outside the range of either of their weapons. Drawing back as if to swing for the head once more, Linten slipped a knife from his sleeve and sent it toward the man at the start of his movement. With the knife fluttering winks of flashing silver from the sun's reflection toward Arath's head. Linten dropped to a knee again the arc still in motion but the lowered stance brought it in line with the man's thigh.

 

Fruitless; the desperation move saved the counter attack for a moment as one blade deflected the knife and the other his blow. Sweeping a hand across the ground Linten collected once more the soft earth. But held it for a moment; waited for one of Arath's blades to commit to an attack. Then the debris from his hand hurled toward Arath, Linten spinning to the side in an attempt to make the back of the other. Once more his blade bounced harmlessly away as it met the power shaped edge of Arath's. Frustration was in full force now. His mind reached to Saidin to even the hands dealt them. He would not get away with this humiliation. But he came up short once more, the shield still in place. Arath began his attacks in quicker succession. Panic tried to grab Linten; memories from the dark north battering the void's surface while his mind hurled itself at the clear smooth glass that held him separated from Saidin. A slight smile seemed to curl the Asha'man's mouth as internally Linten battered wildly at the shield trying to seize Saidin. His attempts even more chaotic as Arath began to press him; Linten's steps backing as quickly as he could, but his opponents blades seem to come from everywhere at once.

 

~You will learn now boy, you will never be a match for an Asha'man. Fool!~

 

His head seemed to fill with the mad cackling laughter of his mind's trespasser.

 

OOC: hope you don't mind the assumption of the smile with Linten tries to get through his shield. Also, Linten would tend to try and swipe at you if you at the end chose to assist him as you did Aslan. After all you did say any way 

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Arath couldn't help but keep the smile off his face as Linten struggled against the shield. It's a good thing nobody's taught him how to break through a shield yet or this might be really interesting. As it was the tied off shield was straining to hold him. Deciding to minimize the chance of an accident Arath held the shield, making it impossible for Linten to break through by accident.

 

The duel stretched on a couple more minutes, Arath examining his opponent, Linten frantically throwing himself against the shield. Surely he knew that he couldn't break through, but he persisted, and seemed to grow more frustrated and angry with each failed attempt. Which Arath was going to exploit. The class had seen enough of Linten's tactics to get what he had meant, so now they'd see another perspective.

 

Arath went into a flurry of motion, making carefully angled strikes from all sides, allowing the dedicated to intercept each one, but just barely. Linten's sword was much faster than an axe, but Arath's short power wrought blades still gave him an unfair speed advantage. As Linten struggled to keep pace with the speedy attacks, Arath let a wide grin pass onto his face. It had the desired effect. His opponent’s anger surged, and he began to be careless. A small shift in his stance was what Arath had been waiting for.

 

Both swords sliced across from opposite sides, one toward the chest, and one at the stomach. Linten’s sword came up predictably to catch the attacks. At the same time, Arath stepped forward onto Linten’s foot and pushed forward with his knee and blades. The dedicated hit the ground hard, flat on his back. Arath stepped up and pressed his blade to his downed opponent’s chest. “Fighting a skilled opponent is like fighting Saidin. If you lose control of your emotions, you die. Don’t let your anger cloud your judgment.”

 

Arath reached down to lift Linten up from the ground, snatching his hand back just as the other man’s sword arced up. He was startled for a moment, but then laughed slightly. “At the same time, being angry can give you that last little push you need when you’re already beaten.” Flows of air wrenched the blade from the dedicated’s hand and hauled him forcibly to his feet. “Never give up until you’re dead.” He looked the other man square in the eyes and handed him back his sword. “But learn limits.”

 

Pointedly turning away from Linten, Arath motioned Ged forward for his part.

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Oh come on...just DO it, Light burn you..., Ged thought barely keeping himself from rolling his eyes about Linten's apparent efforts to cut him in half. Just as apparently as he might have managed just that without the protection of their blades, without this being a training lesson only and last but not least without Arath cutting them off just before his opponent could at least have given him a bruise that'd have kept him painful company for at least a couple of days.

 

You actually wouldn’t have cared if he HAD killed you, would you?

 

No, but you know that.

 

I do, but then again, you’re too mad for even me to see through your plans half the time.

 

Says the voice talking to me in my head.

 

Says the one who’s talking to the voice inside of his head.

 

Light, SHUT UP and leave me alone…

 

Shooing the Voice out of his awareness, Ged had to struggle not to slump. Light, was he that close to the brink of going mad? Had he already passed it? Who was this Voice anyway? But then again did he really want to know? Should he?

 

Shaking off such thoughts, Ged decided to put them off till he was in any better state of mind to tackle the matter. If ever at all…

 

Directing his attention back to matters at hand, he couldn’t help but actually grinning at Linten’s meaningful looks cast in his direction. Oh yes, we’ll finish this…some day…He wasn’t quite sure if he would Linten have his way with him quite so defenceless though. He might have done for him today, yet Ged’s dying wish hadn’t assumed the grade of openly running into this maniac’s blade though. You will get your lesson, no worries. Yet would one like him ever learn? Was it even worth it? Yet when had he ever wondered about what a thing was paying off with? He would just do what he always did. Keep on trying.

 

And so he stood, desperately clinging to the promise that kept him alive. A promise of redemption, an oath to make well what could never be, mend what had been broken into a number of irretrievable parts scattered in all winds. “Oh Mother…”, he thought, eyes closing as he fought against all too familiar images to form in front of his inner eye again. Breathe in, breathe out. What else was left? Living every day, trying to get any further, striving for a quest of impossibility, for something that could never be attained.

 

For what DO you fight boy if you know you’ll never get it? Why are you standing here, raising your sword against your opponents instead of drawing it against yourself? End it quickly and be over with it. Isn’t that what you want to do? Have it all easy? End the struggle, end the guilt, end every bit of pitiful emotion still left inside of you? Why are you still here?

 

This time he didn’t even try to silence the voice, fading away dimly inside his mind, leaving behind a trail of lethargic admission, as Ged knew that whoever He was, he was right, yet it also made him clench his fists in determination, his grip on his steel tightening in new resolve. He knew even if everything he fought for would fail, he would still die trying. Even if he went mad, he’d seek a quick end, but until his time came he would keep on making the best of it. He would never forget the words, even though his Fall had made him forget who had said them to him.

 

There’s always hope. Giving up is nothing but the most convenient way out. Don’t make it that easy for you.

 

Even if his memories had been scattered and incoherent since he had fallen through Dovan’s roof, what had survived with him were some of the most important parts of his life. Being that close to death had revealed some truths to him. Had made clear what really mattered in life, even to him. There’s always hope. Even if he had to walk this lonely road all alone, he would walk it all to the end. Even if he had to fight a hundred of this Linten’s kind.

 

Thinking of him, Ged could’t get a grin from showing on his lips, just for a brief moment as he was watching the other Dedicated fight. Like a cornered animal, the whites of his eyes glowing in a face red from exertion, Linten gave clear evidence to every symptom of the anger that derives from panic. The panic to fail. He shook his head, nothing but expecting how Arath finally ended this fight that had become a farce. Even though he had been a member of the Black Tower before him, Linten obviously still had a lot to learn, he mused. He might best him, yet it was only a matter of time till this one overstepped the brink to be embraced by the binding madness of the taint. Somehow Ged figured he wasn’t that far from that fatal step at all. Judging from that half-mad expression in his eyes….Ged shuddered. Even though he didn’t like him, he wouldn’t want to see this fate befall his worst enemy. And yet it would catch each of them one day, no matter how much they struggled. It was inevitable. Just a matter of time…

 

It took him a while to realize that his turn had come though and he still was less than eager to comply Arath’s motioning him to come forward. He knew he would fight him because he had to, yet he wouldn’t enjoy it, even less afterwards, licking his wounds, but neither at the actual moment of their blades clashing together, a moment that made everyone’s adrenaline rush, filling them with lust, with power to kill. All it filled him was contempt though. And now he was to tell this lot how and why he thought he of all people might be able to best Arath, a fighter much more learned, experienced and apparently also much more eager than he was. What a farce, he thought not for the first time this afternoon and yet he did what he had to and actually brought himself to speak some words he believed in himself. More than in anything else he had heard before in fact.

 

“A wise man once said “The blade itself incites to deeds of violence”. Yet I don’t think he would have tolerated this wild hacking and slashing about, do you?”, he cast a meaningful look at Linten. “No, indeed he didn’t. He also said life is more than that, more than a battle that isn’t good against bad but bad against worse. And it is upon us to decide on which side to stand ready to face death. If we are honest we have to admit that battle is nothing but that. Glory and immortality are tales we are told as children, yet growing up we’ll see what it really looks like, the life of a fighter.” Ged snorted. “If you look for glory you best put your swords down and try to master life first and I wish you’d never get to know the sounds of steels exterminating life. There is no art, no grace in it. In the end every single one of us will run like hell to survive, panic written on his face. Remember that and brace yourself for what is to come. Don’t expect to be spared. Take every opportunity given to you and blend out emotion. Thus the teachings of the void tell you. Yet give me one who is actually able to master this ability? Give me one who wouldn’t shy back. I myself certainly would, if I had the choice. Yet who of us can afford the luxury of choosing? We are in this, so let’s get through this.”

 

He knew that wasn’t anyone of them wanted to hear and probably Arath least of all, yet he couldn’t help that it just felt like the right thing to say, no matter what consequences might await him. Raising his sword, he approached Arath, actually less than half-hearted, yet still trying not to get himself all covered in bruises and aches by the end of the day. He knew the disadvantages of his former farmboy self were seeping through here again. He had never really felt comfortable handling a sword and somehow knew he never would. He would prefer to be anywhere else right now but as he had said, he had made the same choice as all of them had and he’d stand up to it.

 

OOC: Feel free to teach him, Arath 

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Arath chewed his lip as Ged spoke. This wasn't exactly what he'd been hoping for, but that was risk you ran when you let a student teach. More than anything he seemed to be trying to provoke Linten, but that was his own problem. After all was said and done he might be able to turn the dedicateds words into something useful.

 

Watching carefully as the dedicated approached him with sword raised, Arath tried to decide what lesson he would teach this time. Ged moved . . . hesitantly. As though he would rather be anywhere else. Understandable, but inexcusable. There was no space for half-hearted actions here. Smiling slightly, Arath dropped into a ready stance.

 

The fight nearly ended before it really began. Arath surprised his opponent by leaping forward in a wild attack, crossing both blades in front of him and pressing the dedicated back. One foot snaked around behind the other man's leg causing him to slam to the ground instead of stumble backwards. It would have been over if Ged hadn't had the presence of mind, or perhaps the dumb luck, to swing his sword around at Arath as he fell, keeping the Asha'man from rushing forward to finish him.

 

Taking a step back, Arath let Ged stand up to continue, but rushed forward again and pressed on him with a flurry of attacks. Nothing overly difficult to block, but quick, and in overwhelming quantity. If he had been giving his all he wouldn't have had too much of a problem staving off the blows, but as it was he soon sported an impressive set of bruises on his arms, legs, and sides. Through it all, Arath was impressed that the other man could keep his cool. He could only imagine how Linten would be reacting right about now.

 

Deciding to spare the poor dedicated some punishment, Arath kicked up the intensity of his attacks to end it quickly. Crossed blades snapped down on his foe's sword and wrenched it from his grasp, sending it flying away. Reversing his grip on the right hand blade, he brought his arm upward and drawing the blade across the other man's chest. If the weapon had had an edge, Ged's vital organs would have spilt out all over the ground. Instead, the force of the hit only knocked him to the ground where he lay panting for breath.

 

Arath walked over to the prone dedicated and addressed the class. "There is no room here anyone who is willing to give less than their all here. No matter your sitation, no matter your weapon, no matter your opponent, you give until theres nothing left to give. If you are up against a dreadlord, or one of the forsaken, anything less than your all is death. They won't hold back for you." He looked down at Ged and tapped his forhead with the tip of his earthen blade. "If I had been a fade instead of your instructor you would be missing your arms instead of collecting bruises." Stepping back and looking up at the others he continued. "We may not aspire to glory, to have the bards and gleemen sing about us, but your efforts should always be worthy of a song. Be a legend in your family. And know that if you do give up in the middle of a real battle, if the enemy doesn't kill you, I will. Any questions?"

 

When nobody said anything, he let the weaves holding his swords unravel and reached down pulling Ged to his feet. As an afterthought, he wove healing and removed a few of the more painful bruises forming on Ged's arms and sides. Clapping him on the shoulder, Arath sent the dedicated back to the rest of the group.

 

"Now then, as useful as it is to know how to fight when you're shielded, you should also know how to get out of such an awful predicament. Some of you-" he stared pointedly at Linten, "-have figured out that shields give and bend if you push on them hard. If you push hard enough, you can break through it, but only if the person shielding you is much weaker than you are. However, there is a way to get through if the shield is tied off, no matter who did it. Everyone examine the shield between you and Saidin. You'll find a point that's . . . hard. Not the same is the rest of it. This is the weak point. It can take a while to do, but you have to work your way into that point and . . . break it. Flex. It's hard to describe, but you should be able to figure it out.

 

"So, your final part in this lesson is to break through your shields. But thats too easy. Form up with a new sparring partner and duel. You are to take down your opponent. Disarmed, on the ground, beaten. Hold nothing back. At the same time, you are to break through your shields. First man through gets to channel at the other. So work quickly. Loser's gets to run three Koras laps before lunch."

 

Arath smiled as the dedicateds launched themselves at eachother, determined to get out of the extra laps.

 

OOC: Thought I'd make your last posts interesting  To finish this class, I want 1 more post from Ged, 2 more from Linten and Aslan. So you might want to duel accordingly, or have a big drinking party afterward, or whatever. 5 posts total.

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Aslan turned to see an oponent, though none to happy about it, from what he had seen the two other picked out had been rather intense. He had no need to make any foe's in here, he prefered often staying to himself studing his talent. Hefting the axe in his hands till it was balanced he poked at the shield.

 

His feets grew ligth as they started circeling, he migth as well get this over with. Waiting for a sligth opening of any sort before taking a swing to force the oponent back, though without really coming in danger of striking and such neither opening himself. If he could stall till he figured out how to loosen this shield, he had felt it before as well and he had the tingeling sensation each time.

 

Aslan well knew what that ment, Jakar knew this, he knew this he but needed to remember, and there was no bether time. He blocked a spar with the shaft of his axe and steped left to get out of reach. Poking and proding, there was a point in this bow that was difrent it had to be that, but how to get through it.

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Getting up a part of him wanted to howl with pain, aching muscles screaming, bringing the want to just drop back and collaps to an extend that wasn't resisted easily. Once again he was asking himself why he was doing this, taking all those batterings and beatings that seemed to take him nowhere. He had become muscular and much more enduring with the time he had been here, alright and yet there was this part of him that simply wouldn't take it any longer. That simply refused cooperation and wanted nothing more than lay down, close his eyes and never rise again. And yet things worked differently here. No one should know that better than him, from the vantage point of being different again from anyone around him. Sighing, he got to his feet. What did all the brooding get him anyway? Best to get it over with as quickly as possible.

 

Determination flashing his features, Ged's fingers closed around the hilt once more, even though his mind was much more intent on breaking free of this Shield that wsa holding him so impenetrably, seemingly unbreakable. Yet there had to be a weak spot somewhere. A hardness. Feeling frantically, he gasped as steel and One Power struck at nearly the same instant. He had found the spot. Now to strain...to strain and avoid being beaten to bloody pulp.

 

Come on, boy, the Voice urged him, getting shriller by the second, not even you can mess it up right now. Try harder. Harder!

 

"I am trying...", he growled between clenched teeth, shocked and paralysed at once when he found himself actually answering, conversing with that inanimate voice that he would usually shoo off. Yet now it seemed to be different. Now it seemed to make his senses run like a hunted animal, as if it wasn't even him who finally seemed to crack the Shield. Just one more push...

 

OOC: I thought Jakar might want to have a bit fun with Ged too as his shield's breaking so go ahead 

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Aslan was frowning, the more he consentrated on the shield, the less well he did in fending off the other in the spar. Yet he knew time was draging out and if he didnt break the shield soon he migth well loose. That was when he felt the pressing feeling, and sudenly his focus was turned 3 ways, he had to fend Ged off, at the same time figthing through the shield so close, he sudenly knew it was to much. It had been a while, but Aslan knew Jakar was back and he was loosing control to him, dreadfull he fended off another attack and instead of pressing the opening towards Ged he pulled away out of reach, his last act beeing calling out to their teacher before all went black.

 

Jakar blinked off the sun, he barely registrered motion in his left eye and moved on instinct snarling and reaching for the source. He was on his foot and facing his oponent within the next seconds just as he realised he was shielded. Angry he slamed all his strength against the shield before the other could attack again, and broke through.

 

The face was familiar, so someone had turned on him, well he wouldnt go down easily. Moving he was already channeling as he started an attack of his own, the axe in his hands moving with the spead of the adrenaline surging through him. He could feel the other channeling, but he would beat him to it he was sure, the weave was simple even in its complexity, but he knew it well enough. Air formed around him just as he was ready to release his own weave, patetic air wouldnt save the other from the doom he was ready to unleash, and when the other died the air would be gone. Just a litle strand of air now and it would...gone, the source was gone.

 

Nooo it couldnt be true, yet the shield was there strong even as he slamed against it. Not his oponent, other batle sounds reached his ears, finaly he took in the soroundings around him. Practise field, spars, it had been a class. He could still move his head and twisted, he recognised the face at once, knew beyond doubt that the man on the way over was the teacher. He knew cause it was the teacher who had first thougth him to break the shields, hatred glowed out of his eyes a moment before he could mask it.

 

He would need to play composed if he was to get out of this, play it like he knew what was going on, as it all had been good game. A smile grew over his lips, his mind already working at what to say, how to explain all away and be respectfull, they liked that.

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The words had barely left Arath's mouth when Linten threw his full force into an attack on Aslan. It was a perfect plan, take out the man at the disadvantage. He would not be able to maneuver the axe that well on the ground and if he rushed enough force at the beginning he might be able to force him back enough to allow himself time to break through the shield. But Aslan was lighter on his feet then he had looked during the training and parried the rush. They began the dance and Linten noted how the man seemed battle wise. Linten presented several openings that would have allowed Aslan a small less detrimental hit but at the same time leave him open to Linten's blade in several kill patterns.

 

Frustration began to mount as the man once more moved back and away from another opening. It was only then that Linten remembered the extra part to the new spar; the man was baiting him. Holding him at bay long enough to break the shield. Frantically he sought the shields surface as he eased back on his attack. Felt it's smooth glass like surface and began running his imaginary hand over the surface delicately probing for a difference in its consistency. Movement off to the left drew his attention and brought Ged into the mayhem, or created mayhem threefold. Stepping just shy he felt the breeze as Ged's sword slipped across the air just short of his cheek. Anger surged over the void's surface; the study of the shield once more lost and he focused on the new intruder, cursing the man under his breath. He moved as if to return the near cut only to have Aslan's axe dislodge his sword from one hand , the cut swinging wildly off to Ged's right. Quick foot work saved him from the second blow by Aslan.

 

Again the man backed away, a reminder of the need to break the shield. Stepping back to allow Ged access once more to Aslan, Linten put the greater of his focus on the shield and it's formed surface once more. Fingertips slipping over satin, he probed and moved on, probed again and moved on.

 

~Fool its child's play~

 

The difference suddenly seemed to leapt to the invisible fingers. He had found it ... or it had found him. He was not sure how it happened but he could feel it now. Timidly he worked the spot and found almost like a thin looping. His focus followed the loops slowly slipping further into the abnormal surface of the shield. Saidin called stronger to him now, but still refused his touch. Light flared around Ged and Aslan almost simultaneous. Need filled Linten, he knew the other two held the source and he did not. The loops end abruptly, still trapped from Saidin, yet so close to it's caress. Linten let out a howl and dropped to a crouch on the ground hoping to avoid what ever weave the other to were working. As he dropped he pressed out on all sides of the deadens loop in the shield; threw himself against it and felt Saidin rush into him. A torrent of pain and stench washing through him as the light surrounding Aslan winked out. Ged, the man must have re shielded Aslan. He threw a weave of air toward him, and watched as it struck nothing and dissolved.

 

Teeth clenched into a rictous smile as he threw himself at Ged, River undercuts the bank swept toward the man's stomach and contacted with full force. Even as the motion carried him past his opponent he could see the man doubling over. It was the last thing his eyes recorded before the ground under him seemed to burst up, launching him into the air. He felt his jaw jar as he hit the ground and blackness took him. How long he was out he could not say. But as he came to and his vision slowly slipped from it's fuzzy first impression to clarity he became aware of the lack of battle sounds around them. Arath was standing next to Aslan, they seemed to be discussing something. He cared not for what the man had done, his beef with Arath was his own. The man Linten's eyes sought as he slowly claimed his feet once more was Ged. Cold fury offered in the intense stare while his hands brushed the dirt from his shoulders.

 

 

OOC: I guess I loose, so if Arath is kind enough to post a quick something for Aslan or the training group then I'll post the laps and how much I loath Ged 

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ooc slightly confused, if someone could send me an updated plan on what is going on? if not then i will post acording to the plan already made tomorow or such whenever i get on again

 

for record the plan so far was jakar took over and ged caugth him in air, while arath after aslan last shout before blackness caugth on to things and reshields jakar again, so whatever changed from there?

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Ata

 

 

 

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