Writing 2014-06-28

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Larrikan is a little surprised by this, and wonders if it is a trick to get Djarlee to drop the subject.

Djarlee says, “That’s what I told you in my letter, isn’t it?”

Raven ignores the mild rebuke, and asks, “When can we start? Do you need him for anything soon?”

“He’s all yours.,” Djarlee tells Raven.

“Good!” says Raven, adding, “Let’s begin now. The sooner we start the sooner we will finish!” He turns to Larrikan and says, “Come, Larrikan. We will go to the dojo and get started.”

“Yes, sir,” Larrikan replies. Raven got his name right, and will train him. The worst must be over.

Raven moves quickly, with a surprisingly light step for someone so stocky. As they walk, he tells Larrikan, “You were right about the city guard having a dojo, too. It was a good thought. I went there last night and we talked and sparred a little.”

Raven continues, “They aren’t bad, and certainly better than most of the people they will have to challenge.” He adds, with no boasting, as a matter of simple fact, “I could take the whole lot of them, of course, even without magic.”

Larrikan is somewhat impressed by that, and has no trouble believing it. He asks, “What are you going to teach me?”

“How to win fights,” Raven replies. “Fighting is not enough. You want to win! Otherwise, surrender or run away, and save yourself a beating.”

“Running away is how my people often handle confrontations,” Larrikan mentions.

“All that means,” Raven tells him with a wicked grin, “is that they will be even more surprised when you step in and break their jaw.”

“Ugh,” comments Larrikan.

Raven gives him a look and says, “You didn’t hesitate to kill a bogle. You knew that he wouldn’t care if you growled at him and told him his mother was ugly and dresses him funny. That judgment – how much force to use when – is a hard thing to learn,” explains Raven, “and one of the reasons I agreed to go ahead with this.”

“Oh,” Larrikan replies. This seems to surprise him.

The two wizards arrive at the dojo. It is run by the city guardsmen, but most anyone who wants to practice is welcome. There are several outdoor parts, but Raven takes Larrikan into the building. It is one story, the sice of one of the larger lecture halls, and padded floors.

Raven shows Larrikan the ground rules, and all the parts of the dojo. He is a knowledgeable and surprisingly patient teacher, who encourages questions and likes it when Larrikan realizes things or makes connections on his own.

“Today, we’ll do some simple tests to see how fast and strong you are, and see if you know anything,” Raven tells Larrikan. “And tomorrow we’ll begin from where you are now.” He adds, “Nobody likes the first part, but it is really critical. You’ll have to get through it, like every other martial artist.”

The first day worries Larrikan. Raven asks him things, and has Larrikan try to hit him, or trip him, or not get hit. Larrikan doesn’t succeed much, but Raven is encouraging. By late afternoon, Larrikan is slowing down, and Raven sends him home. “Be here an hour after dawn.”

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