... now they must watch their abundance of luxuries fall away, making room for the tools of survival, and witness this time of relative peace wither into the same fears that harper's ballads had warned them about for generations.
 
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 A test .. of heart.

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Eloaene

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PostSubject: A test .. of heart.   Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:49 am

Afternoon was upon them, and Toshiro had arranged a time for individual assessment for each of the Blood Moon Squad members who’d arrived in Telgar River Hold. He would have to completely assess their abilities in order for them to bypass having to go through further training before taking the Guard Exams. So, one by one he was meeting with them, gauging their knowledge of protocol in various situations and their tactical thinking. He even tested their skills in one-on-one spars against himself.

When he felt as though Kevarre possessed a more than worthy level of knowledge to pass the Exams in the next few days, the Captain decided to test the boy’s confidence in his bow skills -and his gumption. After all, that was Kevarre’s specialty. Toshiro had witnessed him in archery drills with the regular class and found himself impressed to say the least.

“Kevarre. When I go to stand a few paces away...I want you to shoot me. Twice in quick succession..” Toshiro stood there for a moment, pausing before he completed voicing his command because he wanted to know that Kevarre understood how serious he was. The Captain met Kevarre’s eyes, watching closely for any quiver of doubt. What he was asking Kevarre to do would be considered the hardest test he could be put to. Not to mention, the fact that Toshiro asked it of him, very explicitly defined the great amount of faith he had in the boy’s abilities -and the goodness of his heart.

“Aim for my heart, Kevarre. Don’t hesitate.” Naturally, the Captain waited for Kevarre to object or at least question the order. He expected it, and it was fine if he did; but he was still going to do it.

Turning from the young man, Toshiro walked a decent distance from him, about half way across the training grounds that were empty but for the two of them. Toshiro turned back around to face him then, beginning to focus his energy. The Captain’s prepared in a stance with his right hand leveled near the hilt of his longsword. His eyes rising to meet those of Kevarre, he watched and waited, almost like a wild cat ready to spring; his muscles were perfectly tensed for the draw of his weapon.

Of course...he didn’t say it, but the Captain knew his life now depended on the Blood Moon Squad member’s true aim and the strength of conviction in his heart -only a compelling heart could wield a weapon in the manner Toshiro was asking of him. If Kevarre wavered or if he hesitated in the second shot, Toshiro might easily miss cutting the arrows from the air because of the timing required for it. Toshiro too, would have to have a heart compelling enough to cut the arrows before they reached him.


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Caoimhe

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PostSubject: Re: A test .. of heart.   Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:52 pm

The afternoon was warmer than he thought. He felt sweat droplets appearing on his forehead. The mountains were much cooler in the summer than here. He was both nervous and excited to have his assessment get started. Kevarre had dealt with strange training techniques in the past but he never had an instructor or trainer tell him to aim for their heart. He could hit the target. That was not the question rattling around in his brain but more he struggled with what if he actually hurt Toshiro? He didn’t mind doing dangerous drills but he wondered if maybe Toshiro was underestimating his skill level.

He knew he was overthinking things, “Yes sir.” He said acknowledging the Captain’s order. Taking the bow from his back he held it in his hand like an old friend. He knew this game, he knew this beautiful friend of his like he knew himself, taking an arrow from the quiver on his back, he notched it and brought the string back to his ear. Captain Toshiro ordered him to do this. He would be smart enough to duck or block the arrow, Kevarre reassured himself.

Taking a deep breath in and out, he loosed the arrow, eyes never leaving the intended target. The arrow left the bow swiftly, quietly, moving through the air like it belonged there. The arrow never wavered from its path. Kevarre knew where the other arrow was but had already released the second, which followed its brother through the air, gliding without wings to fly. He did not relish the idea that he might fail but perhaps he was supposed to defy orders and say he wouldn’t shoot Toshiro. He would rather not have but he would follow orders when they were given to him.


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PostSubject: Re: A test .. of heart.   Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:33 pm

[center]Toshiro[/center]


The Captain wasn't underestimating Kevarre's skill level; he was counting on it. He was impressed that Kevarre repressed his inward desire to question Toshiro's order, and put his mind directly to carrying it out to his best ability. He could see the waver at first, in the young man's eyes, but Kevarre had been able to focus himself to complete the task. Again, Toshiro was glad to know that his high expectations of the young men coming from the Blood Moon Squad were being fulfilled. It was definitely something that he would make remark of to Rihan in their next meeting.

It was a rare thing that Toshiro ever tested a student's ability, or his own, by having an archer target himself. It was a risky drill to say the least, but Toshiro was not afraid to tempt fate, and if he was going to do so, he wasn't going to do it half-heartedly by asking Kevarre to target anything other than a vital point. If Toshiro made a wrong move now, his life would likely be over -very quickly. Right hand hovering above the hilt of the sword at his hip, the short moments in which Kevarre drew his bow string back, were tense with anticipation. His focus sharpening with a measured breath, just prior to Kevarre's letting the arrows fly, Toshiro's eyes were trained on the boy.

Arrows flying with great aim, the Captain's sword draw was perfectly timed. On the draw, the first arrow was cleanly cut from the air into two halves; even before having fallen to the ground, Toshiro's sword returned across the same path in a backslash that severed the head of the second arrow from the rest of its body. Straightening from his stance then, the Captain glanced across the training field at Kevarre, nodding somewhat reassuringly.


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PostSubject: Re: A test .. of heart.   Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:10 pm

Kevarre having never allowed his eyes to move from the place he intended his arrows to go, watched, still in position with his bow, as Toshiro blocked with his swords. The man was a living legend, in Kevarre's young mind. When he came back to his senses, he slung his bow back where it belonged.

The blood moon boy walked towards the Captain. He was grinning from ear to ear. Now that it wasn't so shocking he was kind of excited by the whole thing. He knew he was good, he had not realized he was that good.

"Sooo I take it I passed." He said with a cocky smirk spread across his face. If Kevarre was not good at what he did then maybe there would be no need for his complete pride in what he was able to do. The statement was fairly accurate of what he was thinking though. He had to have passed this test. No one was dead!



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PostSubject: Re: A test .. of heart.   Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:33 am

The Captain's mouth pulled into an amused smile of sorts as Kevarre lowered his bow and began walking toward him. Meeting him half way, Toshiro rested his arm over the scabbard of his weapon. "Exams will be held at the Training Hall in the morning, after breakfast. They'll take about half the day. By dinner, results will be announced on the board outside the hall. After that, at some point, graduates will be met by Lord Rihan."

Eyes drifting skyward to gauge the time, Toshiro turned, waving a hand in dismissal. "Unless there's anything else, the rest of your day is free. Just be there in the morning."

[end scene?]


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