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Learning the Blade (Attention Reki)


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It felt like a perfect day as Grey strolled into the training yard. It wasn't too hot and it wasn't too cold. The sun was shining and everyone was content to go about their business. His business was to learn how to use his sword. He had been trying to practice more recently because the truth was that he was woefully bad. He was afraid his teachers would lose patience and he'd be asked to leave or serve as a stable man or some other job that would equate to complete failure.

He picked a spot away from everyone else and tried to ready his stance. He had trouble with every form they taught him. His legs were long and lanky and he got them tangled up. His feet always got tangled up in each other. Likewise, his arms were also lanky and awkward making each attempt look more like a comedic performance than anything else.


He was not phased however. He would continue to give his best effort until they told him it wasn't enough. He focused on setting his feet and then reached his hand to grasp the hilt of the sword. He drew the sword in a smooth motion and brought it up perfectly into place. He was so shocked he almost dropped his sword as he stumbled backwards and stared down at his hands in surprise.

He sheathed his sword and planted his feet preparing to draw his sword again. Maybe he was getting better. A broad grin spread across his face. He drew the sword again with a flourish and barely avoided cutting off his other hand in the process. That had not gone exactly the way he planned.


He tried again and somehow managed to trip over his feet despite the fact that he was not even trying to move them.


Again he tried. It wasn't a half bad attempt if he had been a blind cat drowning in the river. He drew his sword again, this time he managed to look more like someone having a heart attack. He grit his teeth as he stood back up to his feet.


He wiped the sweat off his brow and tried again. He tried dozens of times. A few times he felt he had succeeded and part of the time he had not been too bad. Just as often he had nearly killed himself in the process though. This was one of the main reasons he had picked a spot away from everyone else.

Edited by Arinth
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  • 4 weeks later...

Rekinu was up, as usual, and working his forms from the early light of the sun rise.  It truly was the best time to do it, with less heat than there would be in just a few hours.  It wasn't full summer, but it was warm enough.  He still liked it colder than hot.  He remembered his time in his home town.  He thought of it less and less, but the lessons learned as a bastard orphan never are forgotten.  It left him hardened, in a way, he didnt feel physical pain, well, not as much as some anyways, and hunger didnt bother him.  Like most days, he had not eaten breakfast, nor was he likely to eat lunch.


As he practiced, he assumed the oneness, and floated.  Noting things, and not.  He vaguely noticed as people made their way to the practice yards, some younger, some older.  Satisfaction floated just outside the oneness over being the first this morning.  It would not happen often he was sure, but today it had been a goal.  The last time he had failed, he had made himself practice two hours longer into the day to regain his lost honor.  It did not matter that he was the only one who knew.


He was wearing his bells, and he smiled in the oneness at the noise from every movement, slightly exaggerated to make them sound better, clearer.


After a few moments, he noticed one of the newish recruits, recognized by his lack of variation in movement, and the jerkiness at which he performed his steps.


He stopped his forms, and released the void, observing as the lad (not really all that younger than himself in truth) tried to slash his sword out of its sheath.  It nearly would have requred the aid of one of the Aes Sedai that were there observing.  Probably be a bad cut if he didn't get stopped soon...


He walked over with a jangle, and introduced himself.


"Hello, I am Rekinu, might I have a moment of your time?"  He said in a very mild tone.  He wanted to be nice... it was always paid off to be nice, besides, Rekinu did not have a mean bone in his body.  You would have to attack someone he cared about very much to get him angry at you.  




After the introductions, Rekinu offered to show the young man how to draw his blade.


He stood to the side, facing him, and showed the first way to draw.  Holding the scabbard with one hand, while drawing with your dominant hand.  "Drawing swiftly in exactly the way you mean to..."  he started to repeat some of the instructions given by the Gaidin when giving classes, and the shook his head ruefully.  "No, thats not what you are looking for.  Practice.  thats what you need.  Pull"  That last was a command, and the youth jumped to it, and swung wildly again.  That would not do.  "Slowly, lets try it again.  I will pull my blade very slowly, and you are to pull yours no faster, ok?"  Waiting for the nod, he started very slowly indeed.  It was maddening to do it this slowly, but repetition at this speed would hone the muscles that would then do it faster than the blink of an eye.  He himself did not pull his that fast, but he still practiced it, trying to improve his speed.  And it would come in time, as this young man before him would become an extension of his self as well.

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Grey had found someone to help him. The man had probably intervened just in time to save his life if truth be told. It wouldn't look good on the tower or the warders if one of their recruits killed himself and he certainly didn't want to get thrown out for being completely inept.


It turned out that the path to greatness, or even moderate success was with practice. When you boiled it down all that practice really was, was a bunch of well repeating whichever act you sought to perfect. And for Grey that meant he was spending the entire morning slowly drawing his sword from his sheath in a controlled manner. Quickness was nothing if the blade was not controlled.


Again again again he drew the blade. Each time he became more comfortable with the weight and balance. Slowly he began to improve and so that by the time Rekinu called for a half he was safely drawing his blade and bringing it up into a defensive position more often then not. He wasn't fast enough to stop anyone who had the idea to try to attack him but then again he wouldn't need to draw his blade for a long time in the face of danger if he was lucky.


I do not mean to take time away from your own practice. Surely you are not learning or developing your own skills when you are helping me like this. However, if you do have a few more minutes I would appreciate going through one or two of the basic defensive forms. My feet and my arms always get tangled up.”


Grey smiled awkwardly. Rekinu seemed nice enough, maybe he would help him a little bit more. If he was going to get better it would be a little at a time. One form at a time.

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  • 2 months later...

After a time, Grey was starting to get a hang of it.  He spoke up, just as Rekinu was going to move to something else, I do not mean to take time away from your own practice. Surely you are not learning or developing your own skills when you are helping me like this. However, if you do have a few more minutes I would appreciate going through one or two of the basic defensive forms. My feet and my arms always get tangled up.”


Smiling, he said "No need to worry Grey, no matter how good you are at anything, taking the time to go over the basics is a time to review yourself, and relax.  In order to be a good tower guard, or even Warder if an Aes Sedai takes a fancy to bond you, is to be one with your weapon.  It truly needs to be an extension of your arm, and nothing less.


You can draw it smoothly, now we will sheathe it.  If you are running from a an overwhelming force, sometimes you need both hands for lifting a burden, a wounded comrade, an important parcel, throwing something into the path behind you, anything to keep the enemy even further from you than they were.  To do that, you must be able to sheathe as fast as you can pull.  Again, repetition.  Just pull your weapon out till the tip of the sword is just inside the lip of the scabbard, and then back in, gently though, we want your sword to last you many more seasons.




(ooc: do this just like twice, and then have Reki teach you a particular move you want to learn)

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  • 3 months later...

Grey nodded as he listened. Learning to sheath his sword quickly and efficiently was very important. There was so much more to learning how to fight with the sword then he had ever imagined and yet at the same time that appeared harder in a way it also seemed to get easier. He just had to break it down into simple steps and learn them one at a time. It already felt much more natural just to hold the sword. That had to be progress.


He began to practice sheathing his sword. It was still awkward at first. He practiced several times and though he did not speed up much he did begin to feel more comfortable with the process. He decided he would take more time later to practice. He wanted to be able to do it without looking, without even thinking about it. He wanted it to be natural and he was resolved to make it so.


“I am ready to learn more.” He said as he drew his sword back out. Reki showed him two defensive stances and had him pratice transitioning from one to the next and back. Each time he switched positions Reki would tell him to lift his sword, drop his shoulder, shift his balance until the adjustments became fewer and fewer as he switched back and forth until he was able to assume the form in an acceptable manner.


He thanked Reki when he was done. He felt he had made a lot of progress for one day and this man had been a big part of it. Though his arms and legs ached from the work he was already looking forward to taking up his training the next day. He couldn't help but smile. It would only take several more years before he was a blademaster.

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