Lease this WebApp and get rid of the ads.
No Place
Sat Jan 6, 2007 19:31
220.239.5.115 (XFF: 192.168.1.3)

Clack, clack, clack!

The wooden lathes made sharp, loud noises when they collided, and in their quick succession, Pigarin’s ears were ringing. Sweat beaded his forehead, and his arms ached, screaming for him to stop. But he couldn’t, he had to defend himself, and that is what he did. Dyson, his friend and sparring partner, brushed his dark fringe out of his eyes before bringing another assault of sharp jabs and agile footwork. Pigarin was untrained and somewhat uncoordinated on his feet, and it took all his ability to simply halt the attack. Of course, even with that, bruises marked his torso, and he was sure the hit to his arm that was burning must have opened in a bleeding wound.

As if in a sense of finality, Dyson raised his lathe above his head, swinging it down upon Pigarin’s outstretched arm, causing him to drop his weapon. Before he could even think to react, Pigarin’s legs were knocked out from under him, and his back crashed into the ground. A throbbing pain pulsed down his spine, as the air was knocked out of him not for the first time that afternoon. The powdery snow burned his neck, reminding him just how much his body ached.

“Well, guess that’s another point to me, one day I’m sure you’ll get one” Dyson said with a small grin. The man had no right to be cocky, he had trained with the sword for many months, and indeed had probably more inborn skill than Pigarin, who was the beginner by far, could ever hope for. However, Dyson took any excuse to tell the world how good he was at anything, and this would be no different. Grunting heavily, Pigarin dragged himself from the ground. He wasn’t sure just how much longer he could take the beatings, the lack of food, and the constant abuse from those Asha’man and Dedicated who loved their pins far too much.

If I could just have a little rest…

And, as if by miracle, this young soldier got his wish.

From nowhere, Asha’man Anin, the irritable middle-aged swordsman who had taken a strange personal interest in Pigarin, appeared as stone-faced as ever. During only his second day, he had heard people talking about Anin, referencing his past in the Borderlands. Pigarin could claim no in-depth knowledge of the countries that guarded the Blight, but all knew that life around the border was dangerous and somewhat short-lived. That little fact very much explained the hard, no nonsense attitude that Anin seemed to carry in his shoulders.

“I’ve been watching you boys spar, and the arrogance of you has interested me somewhat,” explained Anin, completely disregarding Pigarin after his initial comment. It seemed his focus was entirely on Dyson, and, if Pigarin interpreted the situation correctly, on teaching him a lesson. The idea was very satisfying.

“Sir-”

Dyson was cut off abruptly.

“I think we should have a round, just to see how well placed that arrogance is.” Anin’s mouth twitched in what might have been a small smile, maybe. It had not lasted long enough for Pigarin to tell. Either way, it didn’t stop Anin from snatching up Pigarin’s lathe, and instantly initiating a spar with the comparatively untrained soldier.

Dyson, who had previously appeared skilled and quick, looked now like Pigarin must have. His footwork was misplaced and clumsy, and his swordsmanship would be considered amateur at best as he struggled to fight off his enemy. Even worse for the young trainee was that Anin seemed to be barely exerting himself, as if the entire ordeal was simply something to fill in the time. And quite frankly, it probably was. The clashing noises, however, did not cease for many moments, as Dyson maintained his defence, fighting to hold his own against a vastly superior opponent. Pigarin couldn’t help but respect his determination, however silly it was. Not many had the nerve to try and outplay an Asha’man at their level, mainly because each and every time you would find yourself on the losing end.

Perhaps that thought itself had brought about the end, yet either way within a bare second; Dyson was knocked to the ground in sharp collision to the legs. A groan escaped the younger man’s lips as he curled up, his lathe falling perhaps two or three paces from his person. The fall, however rapid, had obviously been rather painful, and Pigarin was by no means envious of that. Anin showed no sign of pride or accomplishment, he simply glanced at his opponent, ensuring with that one single look that he was the winner. Right from the off, there had been little doubt as to who would be the victor of that little fight, but even so, it was something different when it was finished.

“I would expect one with Officer training who is supposedly very close to being made Dedicated would be much more skilled, particularly when one boasts, yes?” lectured Anin bluntly. It seemed Dyson had been put in his place, for the berated soldier said nothing in return. Fortunately, Anin required no answer, and Dyson was able to avoid further humiliation. Pigarin felt like smiling, he had never really had anyone stand up for him before, it made him feel safe, and when he opened his mouth to iterate thanks…

“As for you, Soldier Pigarin, I’m somewhat embarrassed for you.” Pigarin blinked, feeling a familiar redness burn his cheeks. Why was nothing ever going the way he had expected? His mother had always said he was very proficient at the Great Game, truly an artist of manipulation, and yet everyone’s intentions surprised him, as if he could not see even a little depth in another’s actions. “At least for Soldier Dyson, his arrogance, while perhaps not currently appropriate, will likely prove true soon enough. You, however, completely lack direction, and I will not find you wandering around aimlessly or fighting so abysmally again. I would say its time for you to select a Track.”

Pigarin remembered faintly at his seizing lesson, the Dedicated teacher had spoken of Tracks, of the role each individual played. He had, however, forgotten that he was yet to find that place. That little detail had been lost amongst the thrill of saidin.

The request, while not describing a typically terrifying ordeal, made Pigarin shiver behind his flushed appearance. In reality, it was the continued attention that caused that rattling of his nerves, and not really the decision of choosing a track. The presence of the Asha’man was, at the very best, off putting, and this situation was by no means the best.

Blood and ashes! Light, can I have anyone but him?

By the look on the Asha’man’s face, that little quirk of a smile, he could read Pigarin’s thoughts.

    • Iuri's PlaceSoldier Pigarin, Tue Jan 9 21:16
      Pigarin waved a solemn goodbye to his friend, before falling in line behind the much larger Asha’man Anin. Dyson had looked defeated upon Pigarin’s exit, but also strangely motivated; he had always... more
      • Hanle's PlaceSoldier Pigarin, Wed Jan 10 21:17
        Pigarin could find nothing else to describe how he felt in his new training position, he was bored! Iuri, after giving him quite the lecture on the importance of clean hands when working, had left... more
        • Another PlaceSoldier Pigarin, Wed Jan 10 21:20
          After three days, Pigarin was quite ready to toss his body from the battlements. Each day that had followed, he had woken early for morning exercises, and then spent the day either exhausting himself ... more
  • Click here to receive daily updates