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  1. Ful leaned on his chair with a faraway look. He was inside the kitchen of Isha's house. A pot of tea and two cups were set out, next to an untouched plate of cut cucumber sandwiches. "Just . . . what did you say?" "Oh I mentioned it yesterday. Weapons training. I recommended you join in it." "Wait, wait a minute . . . what?" Hands clutching at his cup, Ful frowned. Weapons training again? But he was too slow to qualify for Skechid's private class; he had made sure of that fact. "It's a great opportunity for you to learn with others." "But . . . so sudden!" "Don't plan to go?" "Since I wasn't fast enough during Saidin class I wouldn't be able to keep up with the rest of the class. Besides it's not good for my body to not get any rest." Sa's cold gaze rejected Ful's suggestion. Ful wondered if he should even bring up that he had previous training with the sword under attack leader Isha's instructions, although considering what had happened to Isha it might not have been the best reference to mention. The training would take place in an open area next to a certain . . . dormitory, even though that was more like barracks than student dorms. "More reason for you to go. How long can you find shelter under the name of a dead man? Sooner or later you will be stripped of Isha's protection, and you need to learn nothingness and other disciplines only the way of the sword will bring you." "Yeah well," Ful smiled, troubled. Isha was the one who taught him the flame and the void. "I'd better get going huh? Excuse me, Asha'man. Please enjoy the rest of the afternoon tea." Sa would let himself out of the house afterward, as he'd always done. The training ground looked and sounded as bleak as ever. He watched as Skechid demonstrated some sword forms for them. It was truly beautiful to watch, but Ful knew they'd not be able to execute the elaborate forms anytime soon. When they were asked to reproduce the forms, Ful could remember a little of what had transpired since he was always a visual learner, but doing them was really difficult. He couldn't follow what their instructor did at all. "Excuse me . . ." Ful raised his hand "I don't have a partner." Glimpsing both Nandiel and Baran in the group didn't give him much confidence. As nice as it was to have familiar faces in the participants, they were two who suspected him of poisoning them, so much so that he himself was unsure anymore. It spoilt peaches for him that was for sure. But maybe, maybe Nandiel would like to partner up with him? Ful sent a hopeful look toward the first soldier that had been friendly toward him during training, rather like one Blaze would wear at a particularly juicy cut of rabbit meat.
  2. Frowning, he shuffled behind Nandiel to get "healed" at Baran's suggestion. At least the boy had tried to spare Ful's feelings, but he shouldn't have eaten if he were just going to doubt Ful. He crouched so Nandiel wouldn't see him at the tent, although when the dedicated heard Ful's story he was doubly horrified and asked if anybody else consumed any peach crumble. "Just a dog" Ful said, and the dedicated said the dog was just going to have to fend for itself. Ful didn't want to get healed, since he didn't think it was necessary, but it seemed better to fit within the crowd even if he knew they were wrong. Peaches were only poisonous if prepared improperly. After all they had been Blair's favourite and he lived to be quite old. Fresh peaches in particular were quite scrumptious and rare. But Ful remembered his mission at hand to get to know the new recruits and fit in, even though coming here was rather unlike him. He knew that his arm hurt after the training so at least healing was good for that. Coming back, a young man named Gavin approached them. His brother's name was Gavin but this Gavin seemed nothing like the Gavin Ful knew. The Gavin he knew was serious and mild mannered while this person seemed to have the flare for theatrics, resorting to using saidin for cheap tricks such as channelling air to move his cloak even. For either Baran or Gavin, did he not know how dangerous saidin was to himself, and all of them? It seemed much more than a peach crumble which lay untouched. He decided to try some pheasant. It was the most delicious pheasant he'd ever consumed. Healing was hungry work, since his body was forced to repair itself and consumed quite a good deal of energy in the process. "Mmmmm! Storytelling was the wrong profession for you." Ful praised "Mortisane is an odd family name. Where did you say you were from again?" He'd always wondered where they get trained, the gleeman.
  3. When he came to, he saw Tirzah's face. "You awake?" Ashley frowned with an expression that did nothing to ease the girl, who said, "really, fainting again." "If it's a lecture about eating more, I know already. I just . . . forgot and then the mess hall was closed." he said to his friend "how's the situation?" "Not sure," she shrugged, "but you're now late to your first ever weapons training class!" ". . . Aaaah, I forgot about that too!" Now standing up and struggling into his white and black uniform, Ashley took a look at the sky. At least it seemed to be a nice day. "Wait, eat this scone before you go." "I hate something heavy to force down in the morning. Besides I'll be more late!" "So what? You're already late and it's not like you want to pass out in the middle of your class. I'm sure Visar Gaidin would find that more troublesome if he had to carry you to Vera Sedai to heal you." Ashley shook his head at Vera Sedai worrying over him. His entire body made noises. Tirzah really knew which of his buttons to push. "What?" "Nothing," thinking about all those faces staring at him, he concurred "you are right. I'll eat this on the go, thanks!" "The other way, dork!" "Ah, right, the yard's confusing still." Ashley Wilkes Trainee
  4. Pretending--although he didn't have to pretend too much--to have more trouble with saidin than he actually had, Ful waited for the first three to finish before he got started. There was no way he'd actually want to be in a weapons' training class with this man if chucking logs at dummies was his idea of a fun task. He observed that Nandiel had been one of the three to finish first, but didn't have too much time to reflect on this new development since the clock was ticking and Ful wanted to make sure he wasn't among the last three to finish this task. In truth Ful was having a great deal of trouble manipulating the flows of air. Separating them then wrapping them around the log was difficult enough without having to judge for accuracy as well. Plus it felt weird throwing with a log as though he had an unseen arm that was both powerful and long. Ful much rather preferred being able to pick things up with his own strength even if his real arms would not be able to lift one of those logs. Still. After a few fumbles, he was successful in hurling his log at the dummy which burst upon impact. Wincing as the log thumped back onto the ground, Ful couldn't wait until the lesson was over. Air bending was tiring.
  5. How embarrassing. Can't even give away sweets without somebody accusing you of murder. Ful hated the black tower. The suspicion, the distrust, the absolute madness that was the place he now inhabit. But he needed to get along with them, otherwise all that power Baran had would be released on Ful. He frowned. What bad manners! "Really! You could have just refused instead of sparing my feelings," Ful said, slowly removing his gloves "mama Ful's cooking is not poisoned. I'll eat any piece of that you want. See?" Picking up a part of the crumble he ate it and deliberately licked his fingers. "Nandiel, you believe me right?" Without waiting for confirmation Ful stared at Baran rather than reach for the power himself. It would only make the situation worse. "I know you want to protect Nandiel and all, but are you that confident in your ability to control saidin? If you lose the struggle here, not only will you die but you might take out everybody within a certain radius of you. Not that I really would mind if my mission was to kill you, but since my purpose was just to give Nandiel this, it seems to be a shame if you were to turn our bodies into mince so carelessly. Please don't do something reckless and kill all three of us." "Aaah it smells nice" setting down the pan, Ful laid down near them and closed his eyes as though to nap "you don't have to eat it if you think grey fennel's in it. But peaches aren't poisonous by themselves, and I haven't put any . . . extraneous spices in it. Fennel for one would taste nasty for dessert." That was the most, Ful felt, he's talked in ages.
  6. " . . . Ha" Rydia replied. She lifted her head and saw Miahna standing over her, nodding. They had the same reason for being here. A chore. Rydia cocked her head as she calculated the intent behind the accepted's presence. Though she didn't know Miahna's intent, she was sure the accepted had some sort of purpose. Or maybe the aes sedai just felt like sending the accepted here to supervise a mundane task? No, but even Miahna said the reason was usually more obvious for the accepted. The plan seemed obvious. To gather more information about the accepted, and then assess the situation once again to see if anything will get cleared up. Coming back from returning the bucket and cleaning brush, Rydia called the other as she was preparing to leave the room. "Shall we go together? Now that I'm no longer sleepy I could use some time in the library for studying too." What was the worse that could happen? Miahna could refuse, but refusals were nothing regrettable. Rydia Burgess had never let refusal stop her from getting her way before, and wasn't planning on letting it get to her this time.
  7. Lillian nodded. The answers the boy had given confirmed the knowledge most women in the circle already knew. She didn't understand some of it in the past, and it seemed like she still couldn't get to the bottom of it now, but she was here. Right here where saidin is being taught at the present. It wasn't like her to worry about strength. She was still insisting on doing this. That's her style. After all, nothing was more important to Lillian who was tortured by a sense of impotence than "what can I do" in any given situation. She quickly sorted the messy flow of saidar and gathered the source to her, feeling the power increase in her veins as she placed herself on the brink of channelling. When they linked she experienced the oily taint of saidin, but it comforted her to feel a resonance of similar emotions within her link partner. Creating a giant fireball made from both halves, Arath drew from their reservoir, more from her. But she let him take more power from her. Because her body was strong and wouldn’t fall. Strong and wouldn’t be torn apart, no matter how much was drawn. She watched as its density and amount continued to increase. Saidar increased in her body too, particularly with the addition of a new member. She ignored the overwhelming exhilaration and fright that accompanied the jolt of power running through her. They were not her feelings. When control of their link passed to her, Lillian didn't hesitate from accepting the responsibility. The power density had increased to a level she hadn’t experienced before. It hadn’t reached the level of when she linked with her sisters in battle against the shadow, but she had never experienced this amount of saidar being produced by herself. She no longer knew what her expression was, or what her body looked like to others. She was focused on the power stirring within. "In that case!" Lillian wove spirit and let out the incredible rumbling energy within her. Flash. She recalled Saya's words when demonstrating the flash technique before. There was no trick to it, although Lillian had adapted it as a technique for her strongest fights, against other channellers. One didn’t have to use strange moves no matter how delicate a change the battle experienced. The strategy was to attack decisively and stop the opponent from using their strategy. Inability to carry this out meant defeat and weaving a counter tactic also meant defeat. Inability to last was also defeat. Because of Lillian's weak strength in the power, she had to utilize all the potential in her--by being smarter and quicker--in a fight that was overwhelming in the favor of her enemy. And though it was counter intuitive, she had to attack to keep testing her boundaries. It was not like her to worry about strength, like she had before, because she couldn't fight stronger opponents if she kept worrying about how to confidently protect herself. And that was the essence of the flash technique. How can one weave threads when s/he cannot see? Was she smiling about that or because she was soaking in both halves of the power? As everybody recovered from Lillian's demonstration of flash, Lillian asked "Kathleen, would you like to try?"
  8. "Really," he gave an expression of being in low spirits. He was patting his chin while looking at the surrounding scenery. It was an attitude that suited the reputation of Ful as someone who hated socializing. But for some reason, he had come here to where the other soldiers were. It was a spacious area at the outskirt of the farm. Why was he here rather than at his own house? In one hand Ful held a small pan. He wore a pair of leather gloves with white padded tips to protect his hands from the heat. Also worn was the pink apron with ribbons Isha said suited Ful. No matter how many people got swept up in Isha's pace without fail, he thought, they were never enough. Nonetheless. "Peach crumble." Ful said without varying the tone of his voice. "I made this for you." Turning from Nandiel and Blaze to Baran, he tilted his head "please try some too. I'm not good with measuring and made too much. And since my . . . housemate doesn't like sweet things, it'd be still a shame to just throw it away." Some of the ingredients, like the fresh peaches or the browned sugar for the topping, weren't easily accessible after all. Ful Haert Access to AL's Kitchen :P
  9. While the woman muttered her question, Lijah drank his own kaf. Ruan's letter always gets this reaction. The caution with which the woman spoke was tinged with reverence. Particularly, false responses were seldom uttered. Not by those who lived under the dominion of the empress and her royal family. Hence . . . for the time being, nobody must know about lady Ruan's disappearance. He reached for the letter and tucked it back into his sleeve. At any rate, the woman needed to act natural and not draw attention. Lijah was glad she didn't try, as some unfortunate informants had, accusing him of stealing the letter and pretending to be a listener. The punishment for such an imposer was death to be sure, but a very slow and agonizing end. But, if falsely accused, the punishment for the accusing party was of similar magnitude. Such was the authority and stakes in the gamble. Luckily for Lijah and this woman however, it was his letter to carry. And his task here was not only to look for lady Ruan, but also to assess the current strength here and report back via post. Though Lijah hadn't been to Tarabon before, he still had sufficient understanding of how the land worked. Before landing here, he had researched both the panarchial system and knew that the current panarch, head of the lords, was to be made one of the empress's da'covale. What about the other assets to the empire during the conquest of Tanchico? He cut right to the problem. "You are a sul'dam, I take it? To start, what is your name and house? Are you training any girls at the moment? If so, how many are natives here and where are you currently quartered? Of the girls, are there any who are bald or have very little hair?" Taking another sip of his kaf he waited for the woman to respond. It was also to quieten his nerves. He did not mean to ask the last question. Not that he would expect Ruan to pretend to be a slave, much less have the ability. But what if these girls weren't tested yet? Even so she would have worn a wig, had a disguise. He wished he hadn't asked that. Now the woman might become suspicious.
  10. Although it was technically the mistress of trainees' task to ensure that the recruits were properly placed, sometimes she would find people who were already doing their own stuff to assist with the training process of newcomers. Be it as may, it was a short-term placement that places the trainee into the care of the person until they get settled in and assigned to a more permanent mentor. Visar Gaidan, at the mistress of trainees Thera Gaidin's behest, had found himself in such a situation. Lillian wondered if he was happy to be pulled away from whatever he wanted to see Thera about. Probably not, but he's making the best of it. She thought as he introduced himself to Tandis. "I would call it neither kind nor generous, Gaidan. But it would be far less kind to Tandis here if I were to adopt him as my relative." Lillian laughed, taking in the warder's courteous expression. "After being called to magistrate a few mock trials first thing in the morning, I needed to stretch my legs and it is a fine day for such an endeavour." She did not know a lot about the handsome Tairen other than his bondmate and that he seemed respectable not to mention tactful. That was enough for Lillian to go on asking after the fierce green: "How is Rasheta nowadays?" Listening to his prompt reply, they made their way together to the armoury. "My katana!" Lillian went right to the newly worked blade and restored it to the hilt at her waist. "This feels wonderful." Up until now, Tandis just listened quietly while the other two conversed. But since Lillian got her weapon back, she was ready to go try it out. The katana had saved her before in situations where channelling was inappropriate, so she wanted to work on her skills more. "Well, Visar, I leave this brat in your capable hands. Don't eat him before I get to play a game of stones with him." Lillian said with a straight face as she walked out. It took all her aes sedai restraint to keep in the mirth. She didn't do mean, but she did like to tease. Ooc: Lillian is only WS 7 so she's no match. She knows enough to teach basics and keep up in formations :)
  11. When a sister lived the majority of fifty years in the tower until fairly recently, she would naturally come into contact with many people who made their homes here. Lillian had gotten to know Thera Gaidar well on a campaign to the borderlands in which Thera was protecting Serena and a few other sisters. It had not ended positively, with the interference of an unnamed dreadlord, but at least the months they spent travelling exposed the white to much useful knowledge, particularly concerning the other members of her group. Most of all, Lillian became familiar with whenever Thera became distracted, as she so often was whenever she was away from her bondmate for too long, even if Jaydena Sedai had ordered Thera to go without her. Or maybe Thera was thinking about her child, wherever it is stashed when Thera worked? Of course, out of an interest she didn't even know why, Lillian had already decided she would wait for whoever assigned to Tandis to arrive. Thanking Thera with a carefree smile she moved Tandis and herself to wait for Thera's assistant outside the office. Just in case. The fresh air was nice upon her face. Her smile widened when Visar arrived.
  12. Forgetting his stomach for a moment Ful took a good hard look at the puppy. "Waaaah so evilly cute!" Ful tittered. "So he's got you whipped!" What, he was fifteen after all. Then their instructor wanted them to perform another task. This time moving three logs with saidin. He spoke as though it were the most matter of fact thing to do in the whole world. His nausea returned as Ful regulated his breathing with eyes closed, restoring, with a few fumbles, saidin and the oily crap that was the taint. Ful couldn't believe that stuff was battling within his body. It was so horrible. He also found out that he was no good at separating the flows of air. It took several attempts just to budge the first log. He didn't want others getting hurt. And he certainly didn't want to burst into flames himself. Was this what they call plunging somebody into water so they were forced to learn to swim, or drown? Being the weakling he was, Ful took this moment to succumb to his bodily maladies. "Excuse me" cupping his hand over his mouth and trying not to faint, he shoved past Nandiel in a wide-eyed and staggering form of nausea and fear. Yet now was no time to relax. There were still the second and third log to go, and he didn't want to be the last three finished.
  13. Miahna thinks I've done something. Though it was a staggeringly hard opinion had to accept, Rydia's head was lowered and she did not argue. She just kept her head down, scrubbing at the same spot. Her body felt heavy, as though she were feeling all of her exhaustion at once. She recalled the aes sedai leaving the room with her skirts swishing after waking and assigning Rydia to this task. Was it really something she had done? At least her back was still turned so the accepted couldn't read her expression. Rydia wasn't sure what expression she was wearing at the moment, but it probably wasn't very nice to look at. Do students only get chores when they're being punished, even the accepted? Rydia was angry that the free day had failed her expectations. Of course, one reason was that she held too much expectation, to want to sleep past noon. Normally she'd just laugh off the chore, but not today. Then the accepted spoke again, and Rydia sensed more than saw the thread of fire wrapping around the bucket of water. "Thanks." Rydia pondered, pondering in her confusion at the act of understanding and kindness how to respond. She did like warm water. Finally she knew what to ask. "Um. You mentioned before there was a reason for you to be sent up here?" Picking up the brush, and feeling very thankful for the warm water in the bucket to use this time, Rydia continued to work. She was feeling better about the situation already. Plus, there was only half a wall left to clean. "Also, please tell me that accepted no longer have to scrub floors and walls! How can it possibly help with discipline and character?" Even using a brush, her knuckles felt dry and raw from the soap. One could not have beautiful skin this way . . .
  14. Kohl darkened blue eyes narrowed over her kaf and soon he heard the two inviting knocks, one after the other in quick procession. He could ignore it, but having made the first move, the sounds strongly attracted him. He walked toward the woman, carrying his mug of hot kaf in his hands. Nodding contently he set the kaf down in front of him and sat next to the woman. But, for sure she was . . . No, it was better to proceed officially since she appeared cautious. Rightly so, thought Lijah in approval. His voice was soft, lilting but still holding an accent. "I am strange to this land. If you do not mind, I would like to ask some questions. I have proof of my identity." At that, he produced a letter from his sleeves, although it looked tight enough not to conceal anything more than paper. A letter without an address. A letter not specifically written for anyone or any organization. It was for anyone, any city no matter what that city was, as long as it was passed into their hand to read. It was also quite new. Except for the rough edges of the four corners, there were no traces of any damage on it. It retained a nice sort of smell, at least to Lijah, the smell of flowers and of the outside. Ruan had named that scent, Ruan standing on the world. It was his lady's scent. Taking the parchment out, he placed the letter on the table and waited for her to pick it up and read it. On it was the seal of the high lady asking for the co-operation of the reader for her servant. The words, neatly scripted, were by a feminine hand.
  15. The Return had gone well in Amadacia. Here in Tarabon too, they were scouting out the area, sending out feelers. All good and well, as efforts go, but where was lady Ruan? She wasn't there, and she wasn't here either. Still there was no way Lijah, as her Soe'feia, would speak the truth about her disappearance. Nobody must know that Ruan had gone missing. Running his fingers through his beautiful golden hair, Lijah leaned back into the chair and sighed. What did he do wrong? He thought of the possible reason she might have ran off and abandoned him. It connected to what had transpired between Ruan and Lilune, the seeker. Lijah had always felt Lilune hid her own strength well . . . too well. She was investigating a case connected with Ruan. He knew her secret involvement because she had denied any knowledge in a low voice, but her gaze didn't directly touch his. Which meant she didn't want him involved. He could have said something though. Anything was better than avoiding the subject altogether. The opening of the door let some of the chill in, distracting Lijah from his thoughts. Grey eyes soft as soot regarded a woman with dark hair and bright blue eyes. It was nice seeing familiar features in this land. "Pardon me . . . " Lijah called out to the passing waitress. Her movement stopped as she peered over. "Could you get that lady over there what I have please?" Smilingly he slipped a silver unto her tray. It was more than adequate to pay for the kaf, which he thought she might appreciate. She looked about as tired as he felt. Lijah Opeth Voice
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