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Nock! Ready! Release!
Wed Jan 10, 2007 4:10pm

In all honesty, Myrth was pleasantly surprised when Lysander made his return in good time. Sensing a sizeable undercurrent of annoyance sweeping through the bond, Myrth smiled, watching his Illusioned form lumbering across the grounds, encumbered by the awful burden of his archery paraphernalia. She was not above lending him a hand, though. Plucking a few of his possessions with some well-placed threads of Air, Myrth helped Lysander arrange the archery field before, at last, releasing her hold on the Source.

She had never learned a weapon before. Not even close. She had taken one lesson in her time as a novice among the Gaidin, though falcons were a far cry from a tangible weapon, really. Light, but it seemed so silly, so ill-suited to her. Still, it was the unique relationship–the mutual, dangerous enmity they beared–that made her realize the necessity of self-preservation. And, if the Power should ever falter . . . ? Skilled with certain aspects outside of the Power she may be, Myrth doubted considerably that a flute or a harp or a swaddle of goosemint would do her any real good in protecting herself from whatever might wish to do her harm.

Hence the archery lesson.

Lysander was a capable teacher, she supposed. He did not lose his temper. He never once criticized her. Still, at the same time, there was nothing the least bit inviting about his tones as he went on about dominant eyes and standing and proper bow-holding procedure. To delve further into the issue, she was a wee bit unsettled by his observations. There was nothing surpassing human capabilities in one’s ability to spy ink smears and calloused fingers, but Myrth did not like him of all people knowing who she was. She didn’t know what she’d do if Lysander learned of Adriel’s existence, much less the Brown’s name.

As Lysander spoke, his words soft and of a pitch higher than his title might imply, Myrth assumed form. Her feet were a solid shoulder’s width apart, and the bow was pointed downward at the M’Hael’s recommendation as she nocked it. Three of her narrow, pale fingers were in place to hold the string, which she brought back close to her jowl. Eyeing the target through her dominant eye, her right, Myrth readied herself. Myrth took aim. Myrth fired. And, when the arrow landed in the snow barely more than an arm’s reach away from her, Myrth frowned.

“What did I do wrong?” she inquired quietly, peering curiously at the bow.

Subtle rivulets of white-yellow amusement trickled through the bond, stemming from Lysander, and the man’s smile was barely more than a subtle touch at his lips. Oh, the fool. “Not every mistake holds therein a lesson. Sometimes, failure happens. Your discharge was unconditioned, and if you wish to condition it, you simply have to try again.”

She’d be silly to say the man was wrong, really, but the tiniest part of her wondered if he had set herself up for defeat. She wouldn’t put it past him. Where Lysander might be expecting her to break in her endeavour to learn, to fold, Myrth would not. Light, but she would learn archery, no matter what the wicked man said. And, oh, he was wicked.

The same position was again assumed, and Myrth paid all the more painstaking detail to the placing of her feet, her hands, her fingers, and even to her own posture. She kept her emotions level, her thoughts smooth and fluid. She was . . . she was the riverbank, static and unmoving, yielding to the flow of the current. Myrth held her focus behind her navel, barring the cold from affecting her. Smiling, she even embraced saidar, embraced the sweetness of the female half of the True Source, and allowed her heightened senses to guide her every action.

Myrth nocked the arrow, calibrated her aim, and, ultimately, released.

Soaring a polished arc over them both, the arrow cleanly sliced through winter’s brittle air, landing on the target, even puncturing the white-dyed sheepskin. The arrow landed on the furthest ring from the centre, dangling precariously from the frame, but she had done it. And she smiled appropriately.

She grinned. Oh, Light. She did like archery.

Myrth made several more attempts over the course of the next hour; some were better than the initial attempt, while others fell short. Altogether, though, she was able to attain a distinct feeling what she was doing, even understanding with Lysander’s explanation of conditioning. Her motions became smooth, refined, and she spent less and less time adjusting the little things as she gained a greater awareness around the bow. Myrth was getting better.

“You’re making progress,” Lysander asserted, breaking what cold silence had gone unmarred for the course of the session.

“Thank-you,” she said, grinning, as she nocked the bow once more. Her fingers were beginning to feel sore from grating continually against the coarse fibres of the bowstring, though she did concede that her fiddling around with her harp helped them stand up to the wear of the activity. “You know, you really never replied to my question earlier.” She released, watching the arrow tear through the air, snatching the outer edge of the sheepskin.

He said nothing.

“You know which one I’m talking about. I asked you how you knew about the two favours, and you didn’t answer.”

Lysander blinked. “I did reply. I told you that the answer was not important.”

“Okay,” Myrth said slowly, “let me rephrase that. You never answered my question satisfactorily. I suppose you did tell me that the answer was of no bother, but, well, I think I’m starting to disagree. After all, you’re my Gaidin, and a sister and her Gaidin are supposed to harbour no secrets.”

“Gaidin? I am many things, Aes Sedai, and you might even have made me a Warder, but I am no Gaidin.”

“No, I suppose not in the traditional sense, but I think me bonding you makes you a–”

“Besides,” he interrupted, “regardless of what I am to you, I will not say.”

Myrth smiled, holding her bow comfortably at her side. She refrained from leaning on it, even though it seemed like an archer-ish kind of thing to do. Still, should the yew snap and should she tumble foolishly to the snow-strewn ground, Myrth doubted that would do much to intimidate the Asha’man before her. “I’m sparing you your dignity. I could compel answers from you, but I don’t think that’s very considerate. Please, just accept this concession I’m giving you and tell me from where this prescience stems.”

A pause transpired, barred if only again by the distant reminder of a festival happening in the far-away of the Tower grounds, as Lysander looked as if to contemplate her words. Finally, he replied. “I can Read Auras. It is my Talent. It had never manifested itself before the night during which the bond occurred. My first aura was that I would be bonded, though I was not then sharp enough to interpret the apparition for its true meaning. That was the only reason I could not have countered your attempt.”

Myrth said nothing, peering at him. An Aura Reader? Oh, Light. Light, Light, Light. This was naught short of wonderful. An Aura Reader! Myrth knew the very reason why she had decided to keep Lysander’s bond: Myrth wished to use the circumstances to propel herself up her Ajah’s hierarchy. And what was this if not the perfect chance to accomplish such? Inside, she revelled in her glee, but outside, Myrth wore a stately shell of serenity.

“I would like to learn what you have to teach me next, Gaidin.”

  • With Yew and BalsaM'Hael Lysander, Fri Jan 5 11:29pm
    Lysander, if anyone, knew the practical grace of coercion. Battles were won on steel and flint and swords and saidin , but wars, on the other hand, required a much less tactile approach for victory... more
    • Nock! Ready! Release!Myrth Sedai, Wed Jan 10 4:10pm
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