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Part of the Excited Crowd
Thu Aug 31, 2006 06:42
63.238.223.66 (XFF: 172.20.24.56)

Pulling at her hair, Kat twisted the dark brown locks into a plait once more and fanned her face. The day wasn't particularly warm or cold, but she had just spent the last two hours putting her body through a vigorous workout, dual blades of light and shadow whirling about her in forms that had been taught by both Jield and Talaban Gaidin. In the months since the Gaidin had swept into her life, taught her a new way of using a blade—or blades—and then swept back out again, Kat had noticed a distinct change in everything. How she perceived the world, how people saw her and how they treated her. In the three months after receiving the special blades, Kat had made the effort to smooth over any rocky roads between herself and the Head Gaidin and had found, what she hoped, was a nice middle ground for everyone.

For all her training and her ability to fight with deadly accuracy with a sword or even the two shorter blades she'd been given, Kat disliked confrontation. If a fight could be avoided, she'd seek it, if a confrontation could be side stepped by brushing aside an insulting comment, then Kat was happy. She didn't go out of her way to avoid fighting—it would certainly negate everything she was trained to do—but where others might be considered prickly by nature, too honorable to bend, Kat preferred to be the willow in the storm, bending with an onslaught and letting everyone walk away from a confrontation feeling good.

Word had spread quickly around the Training Grounds in only one short day that the Head Gaidin and the Keeper were going to pair up and allow the Trainees and channelers an opportunity to work together. She thought it was a fine idea given that most of the Novices spent a great deal of time down at the Training Yards watching the Trainees and Gaidin. It would build solid relationships for those boys and girls in finding someone they might wish to bond, and in turn it would give the Aethan'Tar and Sei'Tar the chance to learn.

Not that the Head Gaidin and Keeper needed her approval.

Enough Aethan'Tar and Sei'Tar alike were intrigued by the possibility that the yards were beginning to thin out as everyone moved toward the main hall. She could hear the excited murmurs from the younger Trainees, wondering if they'd get paired with a pretty Novice or not. Juri sauntered up to her as she made her way as well and gave her a smile. "Heading off to the exercise?" He asked.

Shrugging, her smile was warm. "Of course. It sounds interesting and different. And besides—I wish ever so much that I shall be paired with a strong, handsome Novice or Accepted!" The glibness in her tone made the elder Sei'Tar laugh before he shook his head and walked off. He was close to the fancloth and probably had been through exercises like this a dozen times.

She wasn't among one of the first to arrive by far—a small sea of white surfed among the greens, browns and occasional splash of color of the Trainees. The din was quieter than a party but the walls and high ceiling caused every hushed word to echo a dozen times over. It raised the volume of the hall almost to a quiet roar while Jield Gaidin and Demetri Sedai looked on. Kat edged her way through the loose crowd to approach the woman who had brought her to the Tower and she bowed deeply. "Demetri Sedai, it's an honor to see you again."

The Green Sister's smile was faint in her sharp angular face. "So formal, Kat?" Her murmur was soft but it touched her ears as if the woman had shouted. "I thought we were friends."

Kat straightened and smiled. "Yes, but if I show you any less respect than you deserve, I might have to start beating any of the Trainees who see and think they can do the same. And my arms are tired from practice this morning."

The Keeper's laughter was immediate and genuine, her blue-green eyes sparkling. "Indeed. Well, we'd best not set a bad example then, you think?"

"No, ma'am." Kat said promptly, her own hazel eyes sparkling. "I've heard whispers, any clues you want to give me on what we're going to be doing?"

She saw the Head Gaidin frown slightly in disapproval for her forward conversation, but he remained silent and neutral next to the Keeper, evidently allowing the Aes Sedai to set precedent. "Let's just say that you, as a Sei'Tar, will be afforded a very interesting perspective into how a bond feels once it's laid on you. And you'll get to play at being a Gaidar just like the Novices and Accepted get to play at being Aes Sedai." Her mirthful eyes sparkled still as she surveyed the sea of heads. "It should be—interesting—for all involved."

That was more than Kat had hoped to hear and she gave a few more words of idle conversation before stepping back among her peers to wait for the Head Gaidin to begin. It was no wonder to see that the hall was nearly filled with eager Trainees, Novices and Accepted, and his voice rang out as he called the exercise to a beginning.

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    • Part of the Excited Crowd — Kat Tenzin Sei'Tar, Thu Aug 31 06:42
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