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Well isn't that embarising...(Attn: Rasheta)


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Bladework. It the second most important thing in Arath's mind, the only thing barely more important than it was physical training. The basis of being a warrior revolved around bladework (or weapon-work, if one did not weild a blade). Arath had recently finished instruction today, and had been told that he was progressing excellently. He was pleased to note that he was indeed becoming stronger. Of course, he was a long way from being proficient, but he had mastered the basic forms, and the months of training had done him some good. Also, he was feeling more confident than he had when he first started. Arath was just reaching the point where he was stronger than a good amount of the other trainees.


Just as he was about to call it a day and do more physical training, he saw something out of the corner of his eye- an Aes' Sedai was watching him! He was about to turn to her and bow, before he realized that she didn't know he had seen her. He was not facing her, and his blade was still naked. In a spur of confidence Arath didn't know he possessed, the trainee began his forms again; however, this time he was doing them as fast and graceful as he could. The Arc of the Moon became The Cortier Taps His Fan became Tower of Morning. Arath went through all the forms he knew, doing them much better than he ever had! Because of his great success, he decided to throw something else in there. Today he had just began to learn a more advanced form, however he didn't know it very well. Finally Low Wind Rising became Striking the Spark. The form was a little uncomfotable, but Arath was doing it very well.


About to finish the form, pleased at his performance, Arath put down his foot and shifted most of his weight onto it. However, the next thing he knew, he was on a one way collision with the hard ground. It took him a moment, but he realized that he had placed his foot on a patch of slick mud. Humilliation didn't even begin to describe what he was feeling. Arath had tripped, in front of an Aes' Sedai of all things! And if that weren't enough, he had managed to cut himself on his arm on the way down. It wasn't anything serious, but he cut himself on his own sword... in front of an Aes' Sedai! Arath quickly prayed to every diety that existed that the Aes' Sedai had gotten bored half way through and left.


"Are you alright?" Arath heard from behind him. Blood and bloody flaming ashes! He wanted to sink into the ground, to turn invisible, for the Creator to have mercy and send a lightning bolt fromt he heavens into his skull. Unfortunately, nothing of the sort happened, and so Arath was forced to get awkwardly to his feet, making sure not to cut himself (or much worse, the Aes' Sedai) with his fallen blade, and begin to stutter a responce.

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Rasheta had no reason to return to the training yards today, other then that she had been pulled along against her will. She had been avoiding the yards of late. She remembered that some time ago she had met her future warder there and since he had died she had decided that it wasn't worth her time to look for another warder. She knew that the other Greens were amused by her lack of interest in the warder yards. A green not interested in having more then one warder, it was almost unheard of. Someday she was sure Jaydena would ask her to find another and then Rasheta would have to find someone she could never care about other then for protection.


Today however, Rasheta had been pulled along by a few of the younger Green sisters and so now here she was staring out at the men training in the sword and staff. She pushed her black hair off her face. She had forgotten to put it in a braid and now it was getting into her face and eyes. She pulled her green shawl closer around herself as though it was a shield and listened to the banter of the younger sisters next to her. Some were pointing at one trainee or another, speaking of his desirability of being a warder. Rasheta almost rolled her eyes at this but kept her face expressionless. One of the greens said to her "He's a bit short for a warder isn't he?" Rasheta looked where the green was pointing and sure enough a shorter man was practicing the sword forms. She watched him for a moment and he seemed to notice and tried to show off and cut himself on his own sword. Rasheta winced and her sisters laughed. She glared at them and then walked toward him. That may have been embarrassing but he’d paid enough her sisters didn’t need to laugh.


“Are you alright?” She asked when she got close enough to him. He stammered a reply and she smiled and took his face in her hands embracing the power she wove a healing weave and then let go. “You’ll be fine now." She stepped back from him and looked him over slowly starting at his feet and working her way up to his head. When that was done she added


"My name is Rasheta Ardashir, I am Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah.” She laughed adding, “Although I’m sure you could tell by the shawl.” She winked at him and continued, “What’s your name? Maybe you could show me how to do the various forms.”

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OOC: Oh dear, you brought friends too, poor Arath ;D


IC: Arath's eyes widened as the Aes' Sedai Healed him. It was the first time that he had ever been Healed by the Power, and it was definately a strange experience. When the Green sister touched him, he felt like his entire body was being dunked into icy water. His breath was knocked out of him, and he suddenly felt a little weakness that he hadn't felt before. However, one sensation that was absent though was the stinging pain of the shallow cut on his arm. "Th-thank you Aes' Sedai," Arath stuttered slightly, before he cursed himself. Standing before him was a genuine Aes' Sedai, and he was stuttering like a fool.


"My name is Rasheta Ardashir, I am Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah.” Her laugh was melodius, like the purest of bells. “Although I’m sure you could tell by the shawl. What’s your name? Maybe you could show me how to do the various forms.” She was nothing like Arath had imagined an Aes' Sedai would be like. Her voice was kind and gentle, unlike the strong, merciless bark that he had imagined all Aes' Sedai to use. Arath had no earthly idea why she would ever want to spend more time with him than was absolutely necesary. Maybe if he was a strong warrior, but he was just a lowly trainee, with lowly heritage. However, she had asked him his name, and he was not about to refuse her.


Using every formality that he knew, Arath bowed. "I am Arath Talavin, Rasheta Sedai." Arath's tone was low and almost timid, but he was proud that he didn't stutter. "And of course. Uhh..." Arath looked around until he spotted a couple of wooden training swords, for the newest of trainees. He fetched them and returned. He didn't know why an Aes' Sedai would want to learn how to use the blade, but he had heard rumors that the Green sisters often learned up blades, and some of them could even beat many of the Tower Guard! He handed Rasheta Sedai the blade carefully and politely, while keeping his eyes politely averted downwards. He didn't want to offend her and have her call forth lightning and fire and destroy him where he stood, like the stories insisted happened to every man who offended a Sister.


"Ok, hold the blade out in front of you, like this," Arath demonstrated, "use both hands, your dominant one should be on top, and make sure to keep your elbows in, but not so tightly that you prod yourself in the ribs. If you keep them too far out they are prime targets, but too close and they constrict your movement- yes! Like that!" Arath did his best to imagine that the woman in front of him was just another trainee, who asked him for a bit of advice. "Your feet should be no wider than shoulder length, so you don't get off balance, and put your dominant foot in front, about half a pace. Ok, uhh, bend your knees a little bit more, if you stand up too strait you will be easy to knock over. Good. Alright, this form is call The Boar Rushes Down the Mountain; it's a good one to learn first. Raise your blade strait up, so that your hands are just above your head, and then bring it strait down. It should end with your blade pointing strait out."


Arath watched the woman do the form a few times. "Wow, you must be a natural! I mean- You have done very well, Rasheta Sedai. Not that I didn't think you would! I mean..." Arath drifted off and fought back a blush.

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"I am Arath Talavin, Rasheta Sedai."


For the first time he didn't trip over his own words and Rasheta smiled wider. She hadn't been around a trainee in awhile who was worried about the impression he would make on the Aes Sedai. Most seemed to come to the tower knowing that the Aes Sedai weren't terrible people who were anything like the stories.


Arath picked up a training sword and handed it to her. She sighed inwardly it had been a very very long time since she'd done any kind of weapons work. She moved a little ways away from Arath and dropped her shawl she returned and he explained what it was she needed to do and she tried it. She wasn't the best person to do this and she could hear her sisters laughing. The young man praised her anyway and she laughed pushing her hair off her face again. "I am not a natural Arath I am simply determined to get it right." She winked again and asked "How long have you been at the tower? You must not have met many Aes Sedai to be a little uncomfotable around them." She laughed merrily to put him at ease with her words.

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"I am not a natural Arath I am simply determined to get it right."


Hmph, determined or not, Rasheta Sedai still did better than most people on their first try. It wasn't the form- no, the form was just about as easy as it gets. It was the entire thing, her stance, the way that she quickly corrected all of her errors with only a breif mention, everything. The form might not have been the flashiest or the cleanest, but with some work she could be very good with the blade. Much better than those wen- women over there laughing at her. If he got his information right, then members of the same Ajah were supposed to be like sisters, how could they laugh so cruelly? He was tempted to send a dark glare over to them, but his fear of their wrath- for they were still Aes' Sedai- stopped him easily.


"How long have you been at the tower? You must not have met many Aes Sedai to be a little uncomfotable around them."


"Oh, uh, a few months, Rasheta Sedai, enough to learn the basic forms anyway... And no, you are the first Aes' Sedai that I've seen in Tar Valon, and the first one I've talked to at all... I used to live in Caemlyn, so I've seen the Queen's advisor, but she wasn't really the type to talk to the pe- people, common people that is." He had nearly said peasants; Arath wasn't ashamed of his heritage, but for some reason he wanted Rasheta Sedai to think highly of him, and not know that he was once the lowest of the low. Of course, then he realized that he was chattering... to an Aes' Sedai! Regardless of how friendly... and kind... and pret- no! Just friendly and kind... No matter how friendly and kind Rasheta Sedai was, she couldn't possibly care about his origins. After all, all that mattered was that he was a trainee now.


Realizing that Rasheta was still listening, and that he knew he didn't want to let the conversation stagnate, Arath struggled to think of something else to say. "But, um, don't worry about what they think," Arath briefly nodded towards the other Greens, "it's not just the form that was good, you picked up on the stance very well, especially for a woman. Not that I'm saying women can't become warriors, because they can! I mean... especially for an untrained woman. Not that an untrained man would do any better, of course!" Arath fought a blush, and attempted to straiten out his speech again; he refused to stumble over himself. "Learning the forms isn't the hardest part. Anyone can learn to wave a big metal stick around with enough practice, but what you have can't be taught- that instict. I bet you could become really good with a sword, but you probably don't need one because of the Power and all..."


Arath decided to stay on the topic of swords and swordsmanship. It was a topic he knew well, so he wasn't as likely to stumble over himself talking about it. Also, it helped that when he was talking about the sword, he could just imagine she was another trainee, or forget that Rasheta Sedai was an Aes' Sedai, she certainly didn't act like he would imagine one to act. "One thing that a woman can train easier than a man is speed and agility, as well as flexibility. Since most warriors are used to fighting with brute strength, grace and skill of course, but still brute strength, a warrior who can weave around their attacks can usually win. It's what I'm trying to do. Because of my size, I can get around their guards and attack them, and me being small just makes it easier." Arath shrugged though. "But again, swords probably seem really useless when you can just use the Power to fight and beat anyone you want."

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"Oh, uh, a few months, Rasheta Sedai, enough to learn the basic forms anyway... And no, you are the first Aes' Sedai that I've seen in Tar Valon, and the first one I've talked to at all... I used to live in Caemlyn, so I've seen the Queen's advisor, but she wasn't really the type to talk to the pe- people, common people that is."


Rasheta almost asked how it was he hadn't met any of the Aes Sedai if he had been in Tar Valon for months. She looked him over again and realized that he probably hadn't because he was a little short and most of the Aes Sedai preferred the gaidin from the Boarderlands who were tall and imposing to the shorter ones. She could well imagine he hadn't had much interaction with the Queen of Andor. She was a hard woman to get any kind of attention from unless you were an Aes Sedai or the Amrylin Seat. Rasheta pulled her attention away from her inner thoughts and turned her attention back to Arath.


"But, um, don't worry about what they think,"


She turned her attention to her sisters who were now watching her intently. She smiled brightly at them and turned to Arath. "Don't worry I do not care what they think." She was enjoying herself suddanly it had been awhile since she had found any enjoyment in the tower. Jaydena would probably get a report later saying that Rasheta had been on the training yards again. That would make her Captain General very happy she was sure. Rasheta hadn't been paying attention to Arath and she realized he had been speaking for awhile. She forced herself to listen.


"But again, swords probably seem really useless when you can just use the Power to fight and beat anyone you want."


Rasheta laughed again at that and answered. "I don't use the power unless I have to. I prefer to use other means to get what I want done." She shrugged "I had a warder that used to teach me sword skills but it has been a long time since I have worked with a weapon I am a little out of pratice." She tried the form he had taught her again and smiled.


"I suposse it comes back to me easily." She tried it a few more times and found it came to her easier each time.


"You are a good teacher Arath maybe when you become one of the Gaidin I will come back and you may teach me how to use this properly." She handed him back the pratice sword and picked up her shawl.


"Train well so I can come back and you can teach me everything I need to know about the blade." She laughed and turned away from the young man to return to her sisters. She had something to tell them about laughing at another sister.

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OOC: Ooh, harsh. Ignoring his long, encouraging speech like that... ;D


IC: So she didn't use the Power when she didn't have to? It just made Arath admire her more... Rasheta Sedai didn't seem like an Aes' Sedai... she was kind, conciderate, and also humble. Her laugh was more beautiful than a thousand symphonies, and her voice more swee than a bard's song... not that he had ever heard a symphony nor a bard's song. Arath was so caught up in his thoughts that he almost missed her say that she had a Warder. Warders didn't just retire, they were killed, and he had heard that it wasn't very pleseant to the Aes' Sedai. He was curious, but he respectfully held back, for he refused to open any old wounds Rasheta Sedai had.


Arath felt a rush of pride when he saw the Green repeating the form, performing better and better each time. It was his teaching that made her do so well, not any other master Warder, or some huge Tower Guard. Him. Arath Talavin, short, puny little trainee. "You are a good teacher Arath maybe when you become one of the Gaidin I will come back and you may teach me how to use this properly." Arath couldn't fight back a blush, nor a grin. He basked in the praise, as well as the promise. Arath couldn't wait to become a Tower Guard now, if it meant spending more time with Rasheta Sedai.


"Train well so I can come back and you can teach me everything I need to know about the blade."


Train well? Arath would train twice as hard now, for Rasheta Sedai. Rasheta Sedai... she had done what no other woman had done before- given him a chance. Because of his height, and his reputation for being weak, no woman had ever looked at him twice, and Arath had never imagined any woman would ever willingly talk to him. Arath was not deaf, he had heard all of the other Aes' Sedai laughing at him. In that moment, he was ready to give up on being a warrior completely, dig himself into a hole, and lie in it. After all, he screwed up in front of a group of Aes' Sedai, who would ever take him seriously? No other Aes' Sedai would look at him twice, and no Warder would ever even glance at him. But then, Rasheta Sedai came... she not only Healed his body, but also his pride.


Where all of the other Sisters imediately decided that he was a weak runt, Rasheta Sedai gave him a chance, and not only spoke with him, but asked for his help! For all she knew, he could have taught her completely wrong and screwed everything up. That trust that she showed, that faith in his abilities, it had made his heart swell to twice its size. No woman, Aes' Sedai or not, had ever been as kind to him as Rasheta Sedai was. Once again his pride was broken, but Rasheta Sedai picked up the pieces and reforged them with her power, and not the One Power. Arath felt a burst of superiority... Rasheta Sedai, this kind, perfect Aes' Sedai had chosed to train with him, not any of them.


Before, Arath had become a trainee for him self, so that he could prove himself to the world, and become the greatest warrior ever. This was still his goal, but he swore a new Oath right then and there. He would always protect Tar Valon. He would protect Tar Valon because by protecting Tar Valon he was protecting Rasheta Sedai. Even if the woman never kept her promise, even if she forgot about him completely, Arath would protect her, so that she would live freely as long as he breathed. Arath owed Rasheta Sedai more than he could repay, for being there for him, for trusting him, for rekindling his fires.


Once Arath saw that the Aes' Sedai were out of sight, he picked up his blade and went over the forms again and again, until they were perfect. Then, after they were perfect, he continued, blurring them together, until finally, he got to Striking the Spark. Arath danced through the form, striking imaginary targets, until finally he ended, still standing tall and strong, panting slightly. Arath chuckled, he did it, he completed the form, and without falling like before. Arath grinned while he sheathed his sword. "Don't worry, Rasheta Sedai... I won't make you wait for long."

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