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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Settling in to a New Life (Open to All)


Aiolus
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  As the light of the rising sun filtered in through the window of a nearly empty barracks room, Aiolus rubbed his eyes sleepily, sitting up.  It had been his habit to wake well before the sun rose, but the past few days had been quite tiresome, and he found himself sleeping until the first rays of the morning sun spilled into his room.  Even though he'd had a full night of sleep, his body still ached as if he had just laid down.

 

  "Look at you, you are so scrawny I don't see how you could ever hope to hold a sword in combat," the Mistress of Trainees had said.  Before Aiolus could raise his voice to argue, she continued on.  "However, I will not have it said that I turned away any who had a real desire to learn and serve.  Whether or not that desire burns within your heart is still yet to be seen, but if it is not there, then your first few weeks of training will definitely show it, and you will be dismissed."

    Aiolus thanked the Mistress of Trainees, bowing before her.  "Thank you ma'am.  I promise that I will not disappoint you.  My life to serve."  He was not sure where he had heard that last part before, but he was sure that it would help settle any doubts the Mistress had concerning him.

    Smiling so quickly that Aiolus almost doubted he'd seen it, the Mistress reached into a small closet and pulled out some worn clothes.  "These should fit you.  The clothes you have on now are barely held together by their stitches, and that will never hold up through the rigors of the training that awaits you."  Pulling out what looked like a register or ledger, and pointed Aiolus towards one of the buildings that lined the training yard.

    "Barracks, no doubt" Aiolus thought to himself.

    As he turned to leave, the Mistress of Trainees cleared her throat.

    "Was there something else, ma'am," Aiolus asked.

    "Yes, before you begin your actual training, take two or three days to try to put a little weight and muscle on your body.  You are no use to us if you can't hold a sword or last a full day of training without having to be sent to the Tower to be healed from exhaustion or injury."

    The Mistress of Novices gave Aiolus one final look of appraisal before turning and going back to whatever she had been working on before Aiolus had been brought in as a potential new Trainee."

 

    Thinking over the events of the last few days, the amount of exercise and physical training he had had to go through, brought a grimace to his face.  Running his fingers through his hair, Aiolus shook his head, half in an attempt to clear his mind of the memories from the past few days, and half to clear the remaining fog of sleep from his mind.

 

    Getting up from the floor, he eyed the bed and frowned.  He'd constantly thought to himself how much he'd love to be able to sleep in a bed with a steady roof over his head and his stomach being filled without him having to steal for his food, but now that he had all of those things, he found that he wasn't able to sleep in the bed.  It was just too soft compared to what he was used to, and it left him even more sore when he woke up then when he went to sleep, and the food kept him full, but many times he found himself feeling ill after eating a complete meal.

 

    Sighing to himself, Aiolus decided he'd have to worry about the bed later.  The sun was already up, and he knew that it would be time for breakfast to be served and him to again start his personal training.  Slipping on the outfit that the Mistress of Trainees had given him, Aiolus rushed out of his room and headed for the mess hall.  With any luck, he could get some food, eat, and be out in the Yard without it taking too long and without having to see too many people.

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Sandre was only passing through the yards when he spotted the boy. He shook his head. (Hes has to be sixteen, seventeen maybe. Hes a man, just underfed.) he thought. Sandre, though noble born, recalled what it was like to live on the streets and to be alone in the yards when you arrived. He seemed to be looking for something so Sandre walked up. He was to meet Edana in a bit but she wouldnt mind if he told her what he had been doing.

 

He stood in front of the man and looked down at him a moment, with his height he didnt have a choice but to look down at most men. The man was starved, looked like he had seen too many hard days, and it was hard not to wince at the man's scent. Though undoubtedly the man was starving he would not make a good first impression if everyone in the mess hall could not stomach their food for his scent. There were marks on his back as though he had seen the effect of a quarter staff.

 

"Im Sandre Kaldun. Are you a new trainee? You look hungry but I would suggest seeing to a bath before heading to the mess. The bath house is over there." He said pointing to a nearby building. "Its co-ed so try not to blush. The mess is over there." He said pointing farther off to a mess that was not in sight from where they were standing. "Be there within the hour or the Mistress of the Kitchens will have you hauling garbage to the carts on your first day. When your done the barracks are over there." He pointed to two sets of buildings close to the gate. "Do not go into the Tower Guard barracks... or at least dont get caught. When you are all set up there ask for me at the Tower Guard barracks. I have some training clothes that will fit you though I fear they arent in much better shape than the ones you are wearing. I may be able to provide you a belt to carry your weapons and some silver if you are willing to run letters in your free time."

 

 

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    Aiolus stared at the man explaining the layout of the Yard.  He had technically been a Trainee for a few days already, but since he only ever left his room to eat or bathe, he didn't hold it against the Guard for assuming he was a new recruit who had no idea where anything was.  As the man finished what he had to say, Aiolus smiled.

 

    "My name is Aiolus... Aiolus Taragol.  If you have work for me, I would be more than happy to perform whatever chores you need done.  Provided the Mistress of Trainees does not have something else that requires my attention.  I am quite sure you understand.  And I thank you for the offer of clothes.  These are all that I have for now, and so any other clothes are definitely welcome.  It is hard to remain clean when all that you have is one set of clothes."

 

    Bowing respectfully, Aiolus turned to head off toward the bath house.  He had never seen anybody else when he had been bathing and had just assumed that there was one bath house for males and one for females, and now, knowing that the bath house was co-ed, he hoped that his luck would continue to hold up.  He did not know how he could handle bathing if any women were in there as well.

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Corin was beginning to wonder if all these delays and antics where even having the slightest effect on his task mistress. Oh he made sure each task Lavinya Sedai assigned to him was done. It was, as often as not, done to his time line and not hers. But she could not say it was not done. The latest had left him with very little sleep; of his own doing. Though he vehemently would say it was hers. The whole situation had kept him in a foul mood and most others at a distance. That he liked. He was getting tired of all the side glances he still received. Some as if he was a rabid dog that could strike at any moment. Others like he was part of one of those traveling shows and expected him to grow a third eye or something.

 

Spar was not helping either. He poured his frustration into it and had already had a lecture about the number of partners he had sent to the infirmary. That had been a very long lecture, longer still in that it was delivered in those cool aggravating tones that Lavinya Sedai seemed to have perfected while he had been gone.

 

Corin was wallowing so intently on his own plight that he almost did not notice the scrawny fellow that seemed equally distracted. Stepping slightly to the side he watched as the boy, yes he was definitely only a boy, almost stepped passed him without seeming to notice Corin's presence. Had he ever been that young? Of course he had, everyone had. But still the boy looked to young to be in the Tower service. He was certain he had never looked that skinny and malnourished before. 

 

“Hey boy. Shouldn't you be breaking your fast? If you ever plan on being a guard you need to eat and get to training. When I was your age”, those youthful carefree days seemed so long ago. “We had respect for our mentors time. They have a full day to put in and not just looking after you to make sure you don't cut yourself. Have some respect for them and make sure you are on time, not exploring the yard at your leisure.” His voice was a little harsher then he meant it to be. But then Reiken, his old mentor, would have had him running laps until he was unconscious if he looked like this boy did. Reflecting back Corin remembered a rather troublesome pair that were put to laps with him. If it had not been for Rosheen, he might not have survived that first day at the track. A slight smirk cracked the stern expression for a moment at the memory before he noted the boy again.

 

“Come come now.” the smirk faded from Corin's face faster then a bolt from a crossbow. “Off with you now or I'll have words with your mentor about seeing you on the running track until dusk, and in full armor.” That will put some meat on your bones. The thought tried to bring a memory of his old bunkmate Orion but he forced it down. Grabbing the boy by the shoulder he started to turn him back toward the kitchens when the scent finally registered. “Whew!” Corin's nose wrinkled briefly, “what did you fall into lad? Hygiene is apparently new to you as well.”

 

 

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"Tower Guard!"

 

Grinning as she saw the man's back straighten Saline smoothed it into a smile when Corin turned around and faced her. She had seen the exchange between the pair from a distance, and although she couldn't really hear what was said, she fancied Corin had overstepped himself a touch. Lavinya Sedai kept his days filled, accordingly. Not that Saline cared about any rift between those two, they were other peoples' problem. She also didn't have an issue with helping new arrivals on principle, but she disliked people giving commands when they were being nothing but lazy, if Lavinya Sedai's lament of Corin's procrastination was anything to go by.

 

Besides, Saline had something to tell Corin.

 

"I hope your inspection with Captain Mitya was satisfactory, Guardsman. Because you'll be training with them in the upcoming month. Lavinya Sedai wants to keep you sharp while fighting multiple opponents." Her smile widened as she exchanged a look with D'Ashan.

 

There was much an Aes Sedai could get away with and, she had more leeway than the Tower Guards.

 

Saline almost wondered if he thought his day couldn't get any worse, because she was about to prove it could. Corin always seemed to be extra wary with her around, as though he were being polite to a possible volcanic eruption. But comfortable or no, she wanted to meet the boy Corin was talking with. "Would you like to join us? This is D'Ashan, freshly minted Tower Guard. We were just about to celebrate his raising."

 

Ooc: D'Ashan's a newly made Tower Guard. Saline's a Red Sister. We were just taking a walk when we saw Corin talking to you. I was thinking if Edana or Thera wants to join in and meet us somewhere we could make the excuse be an after ceremony celebration. And new beginning thread for you. Hope you don't mind.

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Adela had the morning off and like most mornings she spent it in the yards. She watched the older men and women spar and train, hoping to learn from watching their mistakes. It was a way to pass the time anyway. Ever since she’d been caught drinking with him she’d avoided Lone like he had the plague. It wasn’t as if his actions landed her into hot water. The brandy after all had been her idea, she just couldn’t face him. Not yet, it was too soon after their humiliating dance.

 

Here and there a trainee pointed at her with a smile, but she met each smirk with a small grin. If she was going to play the fool she may as well do it all the way.

 

A few feet away she saw another scrawny trainee who was playing the fool. At least his face was a little red and he seemed abashed by whatever the Tower Guard was saying. Hoping down from the fence post she’d been sitting on Del walked over and stood next to the new trainee. She was known as having a rather smart mouth, a reputation she deserved and enjoyed, and hated to see a new recruit being run over by any but Mistress Thera. Even Del had sense enough not to say boo to that woman.

 

As she approached the boy she did notice a rather foul aroma. Ribbing her nose with the back of her hands she looked between the Tower Guard and the trainee. Unsure of why she really decided to speak to the pair, other than to annoy the guard, she stood for a moment staring them both down. Her dark blue eyes always gave people a moment’s pause.  “Be nice to trainee, he’s new. He shouldn’t be fed to the wolves until he’d been here at least a week.” The guard frowned at her and Adela made ready a few smart remarks that would get under his skin. The Guards really did think themselves beyond holy. But those were the only words Adela got out before an Aes Sedai approached. Dropping a curtsy she murmured respects to the sister before snapping her mouth shut.  It was one thing to poke at a Tower guard with a sore tooth, it was entirely another to try it with an Aes Sedai.

 

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Saline nodded as the girl rose from her curtsey.

 

"You know, you have really nice eyes. Remarkable. Reminds me of the distinctly blue underbellies of fish that Rory's pa used to catch for dinner." Astonishment showed in the girl's face. Just as it was about to be replaced by indignation, Saline spoke again. "But first, what do they call you sweetheart?"

 

Saline was a self-possessed woman but even she found it hard to begin. Then she remembered the gravedigger's girl N'Daye and that experience nerved her. "All of you are invited to come to the party. If memory serves the bathhouse is very near here for anybody who needs freshening up and their noses powdered."

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OOC:  No it's fine, I don't mind at all.  Just because I'm a Trainee doesn't mean that I intend my time in the Warder's to be all work and training.  All work and no play makes Lan a dull Aan'allein  ;)

 

Aiolus frowned as he was verbally criticized by a Tower Guard and a Aes Sedai both, especially by a Red Sister.  He hadn't been in Tar Valon long, but he knew enough to know that most Red's hated men as a matter of principle, even if they couldn't channel.

 

Perhaps what hit him hardest though, was the trainee who managed to say more about his odor with her body language than the other two combined had said with words.  He had been to the bath house every day since enrolling as a Trainee, but it would take many more visits to cut through the stink and grime of so many years living on the streets.

 

Placing his fist to his heart, in the best salute he could give, Aiolus acknowledged Saline's invitation to join her and D'ashan for his raising celebration. 

 

"It would be my honor to attend, Aes Sedai."  Aiolus was not sure if that was the proper way to address the woman, but since she did not give her name, it would hopefully do.

 

Remembering the way everyone had seemed to react to the smell that seemed to follow him, he blushed and bowed before continuing.

 

"However, I must first ask leave to bathe.  And I must first locate Mistress Thera to ask permission to leave the Yard."

 

With that, Aiolus glanced over each of the four people standing around him and turned to run off towards the bath house.

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A striking day it was to be. She discovered in the trainee a soft-spoken boy with upbringing! First off, he appeared equipped with a nice sense of social propriety, and could not seem to bring himself to ignore . . . an invitation. Saline found his willingness refreshing from the exacting forms of appropriate yet aloof behavior she usually encountered in the Yard.

 

From that wonderful moment matters had developed at an incredible speed, and before long the trainee went away like lightning darting from the group. This sparked a shrug from Saline, rightfully interpreting this behavior as her final pronouncement on the situation. Although, she had to do something she rarely did and raise her voice when she realised he wouldn't have heard her otherwise. "You would do very well to remind Thera Gaidar, Saline would appreciate your presence at the party to-night . . . chaperoned by Thera herself if necessary!"

 

Turning to Corin, D'Ashan and Ms. Blue-eyes, Saline said, "hmm . . . are we getting ready to leave?"

 

D'Ashan said, "I think so. I'm trying to decide where we should go to-night."

 

"If we do get to the tavern dance you were thinking of," Saline reminded, "we'll need to dress fancy. They'll expect us to try and mumble along to bardic songs."

 

"Yes, I remember Saline. I mainly like it for its space. Hopefully a lot of people will turn up."

 

All said and done, she wasn't fussed. "Alright then, it's your call."

 

D'Ashan & Saline

 

Ooc: Like I said, welcome to the Yard. And we're looking forward to seeing ya at the party/inn thread which Tai'Dashan will be coming up with. :)

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Completing a full Circle Corin had the boy once more facing toward the bath when another trainee appeared before them on the path. She stood there as if she was in command of everyone with the darkest blue eyes he had ever seen. Taking in the girl and her measuring gaze one could almost make the mistake of thinking her one of the Towers children if she had been wearing the White. She certainly had the air and contempt for the part in her stance and attempt at a measuring look. A vision that might have brought a question of heritage had he not already been agitated this morning. With his hand still gripping the scrawny boys arm Corin prepared a litany for the girl blocking his way when she finally spoke. Her comments washed over him adding to the agitation already firmly awash inside of him. The girl was stepping far to high for her statue and needed to be slapped back down into place. Something, in his present mood, Corin was actually willing to do.

 

The thought, like the slow steady thread of smoke from a candle flame vanishing under the guidance of a strong wind, swept to the side as a familiar voice twitched his ears from a distance. Corin’s hand fell to his side and his back straightened to his full height in ridged form as the authority in the voice registered. He had only met Saline Sedai a few times but he could recognize her voice. Turning slowly at a controlled measure Corin’s eyes fell on the form he had envisioned to the voice. Saline Sedai greeted him with a pleasant if not telling smile, a newly raised Guard on her heels in perfect attendance. The pair made another invisible finger poking at his ribs. The picture of sublime submission to authority rightly deserved and displayed in honor. Nearly the opposite of the farce Lavinya and he made in their interactions. But then Saline was a complicated puzzle that might just remove one’s face if a misstep at the wrong instance was made. Or at least from what he had heard of the woman and her loose hold on reality. Something that Corin could contest to from the few times he had been present with her at the meeting for this little trip of hers.

 

“Good Moring Saline Sedai, it is a pleasure to see you again.” Corin offered her a crisp deep bow suitable her honor while issuing a dark glance at the trainees. Rising he met Saline’s gaze with a steady return of his own, waiting for the ensuing scolding for his treatment of the trainee. A scolding that never arrived. Instead he was greeted with a comment about his skills and training with the mercenaries, all wrapped up in those cool detached Aes Sedai tones. So the puppet was now to be displayed to the mercenaries. What a wonderful thought. First they had come up with this loose sketchy plan and decided to use mercenaries in it. Then instead of leaving him some level of authority in which to deal with them he was now to be put into their training roster. He could already see the bruises that little plan was going to birth. Once more his taskmistress had found a conspirator it seemed.

 

With the equal speed in which Saline Sedai had stepped into Corin’s morning and dropped a darkening cloud, she seemed to dismiss his presence as her attention turned to the trainee at his side. He had not even broken his fast yet and already he was looking forward to the day ending. The wheel only knew what trouble Lavinya would have for him when she found out about this little escapade. Not to mention the argument that was ensured to ensue once she tried to pop her little surprise training idea on him. If there were any good in this meeting so far is that it would allow him time to formulate a direction for his argument in regards to the mercenaries.

 

Corin patiently maintained his stance while Saline seemed to be rather enthralled with both the trainees and the new guard she held in tow. It was not uncommon for a guard to be in discussion with an Aes Sedai; most especially if the Aes Sedai was the one to act for him in his raising ceremony. Corin’s own ceremony played back in his mind while Saline conversed with the trainees. It had been a huge honor in his mind to have Sirayn there to stand for him and to allow him to secretly vow himself to her. Only it had failed, had left him in ruin and Sirayn gone, dead possibly. His eyes ran over D’Ashan’s form next to Saline, a reminder of how he had been. A glaring reflection of what he would never be good enough again to be.

 

Waking from his revelry Corin suppressed the hiss that rose in his throat as the scrawny trainee saluted the Aes Sedai. A strong phrasing of words rose to his tongue but dried there as his eyes once more found Saline standing before him. Sometimes it was better judgment not to beat the bushes for their inadequacies for fear of wasps. Instead he made a mental note to have a discussion on protocol with the boy at a later date. One that weighed heavily on awaiting permission before leaving. Watching the exchange between D’Ashan and Saline, Corin’s shoulders tensed further as the new Guard left off the honorific for Saline Sedai. Her neglect to pay it notice only causing him more pause in his attempt to pin the woman down. Saline Sedai was proving a workout for him to understand and map out.

 

Cutting one more dark glance at the girl who had still not offered her name Corin dropped into another bow, “your invitation is an honor to be included in Saline Sedai. But you will understand, if under the present circumstances, that I request leave to …” Pausing Corin cast another dark warning glance at the girl before continuing. It was bad enough to have to admit it to another Aes Sedai never mind in the presence of a trainee. “To request approval by Lavinya Sedai on the matter.” He could not keep all of the contempt from his voice but was able to mask at least the stronger edge of it. “As you have said, she wants to ensure I am in proper form. To which I am to work with those others.” Sarcasm shadowed his word while his mind mentally pictured the glee that must be coursing through the girl’s head right now. He would have to find her later and see what measure of mischief she got herself into that perhaps he could straighten out.

 

Corin

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"Oh you're still here?"

 

So Lavinya Sedai's little guardsman was this amusing to tease! No wonder others found it easy to spar verbally. Almost too easy.

 

Tut-tut, why did she have fun at others' expense? At least the man had initiative. She could respect a man who liked thinking for himself.

 

Although Corin's last comment brought a bite she found hard to resist. 'Run along, kiddo' was her initial response considering her age compared to his, which she luckily did not say. Saline had not been utterly oblivious to the worried glances he shot the girl. No amount of fun and games short of actually winning Rory back could induce her to alienate one of the few people who was willing to accompany her. Folks could forgive you for a personal upbraiding in private, but a public burning even if it appealed to the wisdom of others was hard to get over. Besides, humiliation was not her intention. And the spirit was in form of celebration for D'Ashan's raising after all, and Saline could show some restraint.

 

She mustered as much sincerity as possible into her smile. "Good idea, dear thank you. I'd love to hear your assessment of Captain Mitya's crew at the party. As well as Lavinya Sedai's."

 

Yes, it was definitely too easy.

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Her dark blue eyes grew even wider at first the complement and then being called sweetheart.  Who did this woman think she was?

 

“Adela Naurel, Aes Sedai, I am a trainee as well.” As if it wasn’t obvious by her uniform and presence in the yards. Making a mental note in her mind she vowed never to try and help out a new recruit again. All it ever did was get her into one kind of trouble or another. She had no real desire to attend a dance without Lone or Adamin, especially after being so thoroughly ignored by the trainee she’d tried to help, but she could see now way to refuse. Saying no to an Aes Sedai was a good way to land in hot water, and she’d felt far too much of that lately.

 

“Thank you for the invitation Aes Sedai. I can show this trainee where to shower and we will meet you there?” It was formed as a question, and she awaited permission before grabbing the trainee by the arm and dragging him along. Once they were out of ear shot of the Sister she rounded on him with fury in her eyes. “Look kid! I don’t know who you think you are but I will NOT be ignored.” Blue fire, like the depths of a volcano raged in her eyes and she poked a finger into his chest. “Thera will never let you leave these yards, and you are not sending me to that party alone. So…” Del realized that she still did not know his name. “ Whoever you are..you will go in to the bath house and then meet me at my rooms.” Giving him directions to which room she bunked in she added in a few threats to make sure he would show.

 

It was only a quarter hour before he was knocking timidly on her door. “It’s about time” she barked and pulled him into the room. She’d had just enough to time to change from her uniform to her more usual manner of dress. She also borrowed a few of her brother’s things, they would be a little big on him, but better than the rags he wore. “You can’t go to a party in what you stand in. Put these on, they are my brothers but they will fit you well enough.” Taking a seat on the bed she rested her chin on her fist, and stared at the scrawny trainee. “While you dress you can tell me who you are. I should at least know that since I’ve already gotten on the bad side of at least one Tower Guard. Not to mentioned roped into this party.” 

 

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OOC:  Trying something here as a bit of an experiment in creative style, if it's too much work let me know and I won't make a post like this again.  It will not be in a linear fashion.  Paragraphs contained entirely of italics are events that happen in the "past", while the non-italicized paragraphs are those that are occurring more or less in the "present".

 

 

Aiolus attempted to bathe as quickly as possible.  It would not do well to anger too many people on his first or second encounter with them.  Especially when, in his mind, his crime had only been to do what he thought was being expected of him.

 

Sliding his clothes off and lowering himself into the bath water, he found himself thinking back to the girl who had asked... nay, ordered... him to escort her to this gathering in celebration of D'ashan's raising to Tower Guard.  There was a certain fire about her, something he could almost appreciate and admire.  Not that he looked at her  as a possible romantic companion, but he had spent enough time on the streets, observing people who didn't seem to notice him while he was just a simple beggar, to know that most people who showed such a fiery nature had some deep hurt that they were trying to hide from the world.

 

Rushing towards the barracks that Adela had directed him towards, he hoped that he would not be questioned about why he was not busy training.  It seemed that none of the Guards or even Gaidin seemed to think that it was possible for him to be a Trainee, though not yet actually taking part in training of any organized type.  Many times it had earned him a trip to the Mistress of Trainees, where he was treated as though he were up to no good before she set things straight with whoever had brought him to see her.

 

As he lathered up with soap, Aiolus caught his mind drifting to what might happen at the celebration.  Drinking, most certainly.  A lot of carrying on and well wishing from other Guards who attended.  Probably some advice from Gaidin on whether or not  D'ashan should consider bonding.  And possibly dancing.  That last thought caused more than just a hint of crimson to stain Aiolus's cheeks.  Bloody fool.  You don't have the slightest idea of how to dance.  What a way to make a great impression.  Showing up in rags, and then probably causing Adela a great many bruises from your flailing about like a fool caught in a net!

 

As Aiolus started down the hallway to Adela's room, he realized that he'd been in such a rush to arrive as quickly as possible that he had forgot to notify the Mistress of Trainees of his plans for the evening.  Turning on his heel so quickly that he almost fell flat on his face, Aiolus dashed off to Thera Gaidar's office, hoping to find her there.

 

Just as Aiolus was finishing up his bathing, and trying to relax a little, letting the heat of the water work out some of the kinks and knots in his muscles, Aiolus heard the door to the bath house open.  Sinking down into the water so that only his head was showing, he watched as a female Trainee began to disrobe.  With a sigh of exasperation, Aiolus waited until the girl had her back turned to him and quickly climbed out of the water, wrapping himself in a towel, securing it around his waist just as she turned to climb into the water.  He did not care if it was normal for men and women to bathe together, he doubted it was something he could ever make himself grow accustomed to.

 

Arriving at Thera Gaidar's office, Aiolus rapped softly at the door, hoping that he was not interrupting something important.  However, when he entered at Thera's beckoning, he saw that she was alone, a great many papers spread out on her desk, but she looked as though she had been taking a short break from whatever business lay before her.  “I couldn't be any more fortunate if I had the Dark One's luck,” Aiolus thought to himself.

 

Eyeing him questioningly, she spoke briefly and to the point.  “Well, are you going to stand there all day like some fool of a lad who's tongue was nailed to the roof of his mouth, or are you going to tell me why you saw fit to bother me?”

 

Swallowing hard, Aiolus grimaced, sure that with her present mood, there was no way she would give him leave to enter the city.  “Ah... yes... begging your pardon Mistress.  I was asked to attend a celebration in the city this eve.  It is for celebrating Tai'Dashan's advancement to Tower Guard.  Seline Sedai asked me to attend, if you will be so gracious as to give me leave.  I am supposed to attend, and I am asked to escort Adela Naurel as well.  Again, if you will be so kind as to grant us leave to attend the celebration.”

 

Aiolus frowned as he slipped into what clothes he had available.  All he had in his possession were hand-me-downs from other Guards.  Not at all the type of clothes one would wear to a celebratoin as important as the one that would surely be held for a newly raised Tower Guard.  Shrugging into his shirt, he sighed.  ”Well I suppose it will have to do.”

 

Thera sat quietly for a few moments.  Appearing to be weighing whether or not to allow two Trainees leave to attend the celebration.  After a few minutes, though in Aiolus's mind it seemed to be lifetimes, Thera finally nodded approval.  “You are given leave to attend, however both you and Adela are to head directly to the Celebration, and return straightaway once the celebration has ended.  And if you cause any trouble between leaving the Yard, and returning to your barracks, you will wish that your mother had never kissed your father after the chores you will be set to complete for penance.”

 

With a slight nod, and a definite hint of gratitude and excitement in his voice, Aiolus saluted Thera.  “I greatly appreciate this, Mistress.”

 

When Thera nodded to the door, letting him know that it was time for him to leave, Aiolus walked out slowly, yet deliberately.  However, as soon as he was out of the building, he ran full speed to Adela's room, and knocked at the door.

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