Writing 2014-06-30

hw20140630-01.jpg hw20140630-02.jpg hw20140630-03.jpg hw20140630-04.jpg

After four days of being thrown, tripped, flipped, and generally tossed around until the world was a little wavery around the edges, and then a little more, Raven tells Larrikan, “I think you have that well and truly understood! Now I can try and teach you something without constant worry I’ll break your arm, shoulder, or tail!”

Raven teaches Larrikan a Nipponese form of martial arts which uses no weapons. He tells the fox, “Your innate speed will be an advantage, and this requires less strength than many.”

They spend the first half of the day drilling the motions. They start deceptively simply, but Raven is constantly asking, “Why grip here?” or “Which direction must you push?”

Larrikan is surprised that there are so many reasons, and finds that part of the lesson fascinating. He isn’t good at it yet, but Raven seems patient so far, and encourages the fox’s questions.

The second half od the day has some kind of knowledge to learn, often by demonstration, then practice with a ranged weapon. The demonstrations are sometimes shocking, particularly of nerves and pressure points. The weapons practice is surprisingly difficult and frustrates Larrikan.

He finally asks, “Why are we trying both throwing knives and the bow? Wouldn’t it be better to focus on just one of them?”

Raven grins, and says, “Two reasons. First, if you are without one, the other may be at hand. The more different tools you know, the better your chances to survive a tight spot. People will assume if they take your bow, you are harmless, until you put the dagger from your boot through their eye.”

“Also, it seems to make the lesson stick better,” he adds, “if you do something different in between.”

The training goes on. Raven gives Larrikan one day a week off to rest, and pushes him on the others.

Raven sees Larrikan with Sakura, who is wearing her big sword. He approaches, introduces himself, and asks if she knows how to use it.

She tells him she does, and that the trolls trained her.

Raven says, “Trolls? Well, they certainly know their stuff. Did you spar with any?”

“Just some of their students,” Sakura replies, with her usual modesty.

Raven is suitably impressed, and tells her, “Even trollish students will be a good fight. You’ll do fine in a real fight if it comes to that.”

“I did, thank you, Sensei,” Sakura replies.

Raven pauses, blinks twice, and says, “Tell me of it, please?”

Sakura explains she cut down a human guard to protect Feina and her crewmates.

Raven is delighted, particularly when he realizes the size of her sword. He tells her, “You give me a few more weeks, and we’ll have your fox sparring with you! It will be good for both of you.”

He grins wickedly and adds, “It’ll surprise the hell out of some folks, too.”

Comments are closed.