Skye parries her opponent's strike and quickly launches onto the offensive. He steps back once, twice. A sheen of sweat soaks through his short hair. He falters in his defense. A few of her strikes ping smartly against his armor. The muscles in his jaw tense as her onslaught continues.
"The last shot disabled your left arm, Kayvin. It's useless now." Someone calls out from the sidelines. Kayvin's shoulders slump at the loss and he dangles his left arm as if injured. Skye takes advantage of this new weak point, and before long the referee announces an end to their bout. Skye drops her fake limp, a lucky shot to her leg during a desperate moment. Kayvin isn't so fortunate. In a real fight, he'd have an injured arm, a sliced up right leg, and her sword between his ribs.
Skye wipes the sweat from her forehead and accepts a glass of water from one of the students in this advanced group, which follows her special unit in this training area. "Great job Kayvin, you've improved dramatically! Takes me longer and longer to kill you."
Kayvin acknowledges her compliment with a salute and leaves the sparring area to stretch his newly sore muscles. Skye glances upwards at the vibrant pockets of blue peeking through the canopy, smiling at her fortunes. Any residual anger towards her brother for the previous day's assignment is long gone. He's as stuck with the bug as she is. Wonder what Fox promised Chancen to get him to agree to train the woman? Whatever it is, it must be good. Skye knows she should get back to him, but is fully enjoying her time away from the icky insect Lady.
Murmurs begin as soon as the thought finishes its path through her head. Skye quickly spots the reason. Her brother stands at the edge of the training ground, arms crossed, the smug bug beside him.
Well, it couldn't last forever. "I see you've come to return my charge. How thoughtful." Day winces at the sarcastic tone. The voice inside Skye's head, sounding suspiciously like her mother, admonishes her. Skye studiously ignores her inner voice.
"Indeed I have, sister dear. My work won't finish itself, unless you'd rather volunteer for shift reports?"
She snickers at the cautious hope on display. "No way! I remember the last time you conned me into reports. My eyes practically bled from the monotony of it all. I'll take Daystorm, thank you." Perhaps not the lesser of two evils, but it prevents me from being chained to a desk.
Chancen shrugs, expecting as much. "I'll see you at supper then." He waves and takes off leaving Skye alone with Day, who curiously examines the training area.
"Don't get any ideas Daystorm. Until Chancen clears you, you can't train in anything." Besides, no one wants to partner with you. People tend to like their heads attached to their necks - a small conceit, really.
"I understand, no heads rolling today. So DL, what usually happens during this time of day?"
Skye tenses at the abbreviation of the annoying nickname. She resolves not to let it bother her. Eventually, if she doesn't react, it'll stop.
The training area slowly empties of people, a few of the students shooting her apologetic glances before making their escape. No timely rescue from them, either.
Day notes their departures as well, a not-going-to-let-it-bother-me mask settling into place on her features. But not before Skye catches the hurt wince and clenched fist. Again, her inside voice murmurs this treatment isn't fair.
No, what isn't fair is being chained to an outsider when other responsibilities require her attention.
Skye sweeps her inner voice under the carpet and swallows her pride.
YOU ARE READING
The Paths of GreythornFantasy
The dream paths, accessed by a chosen few, reveal the most likely future following any given choice. Unfortunately for the human dreamwalker Daystorm, the decisions made by the fairies of Greythorn make her long for the simpler days of sweat-induced...