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Lucas completed the form with precise handwriting, far different from the man beside who who frequently asked for assistance. Years of study allowed him to write with no difficulty while the average citizen could barely sign their name. Nevertheless the Guardian seemed to be rather patient while dealing with Hobien, Lucas was surprised. After being tackled and threatened by the man he expected more harshness, but this man seemed to have all the virtues of an excellent teacher. Lucas finished his form before Hobien, so he was free to watch the gentle aid the Guardian imparted on Hobien.

When the two finally finished the Guardian took his paper and lead them both to the back room. "Remove your shirts please." Hobien seemed a little confused but Lucas dropped his canvas covering with no hesitation, he had been through a physical evaluation before. Hobien glanced to the side, apparently intimidated by both the toned abdomen Lucas possessed and the symbol carved into his chest. But at last he removed his own shirt, standing uncomfortably. Lucas glanced over out of the corner of his eye, the elf was not fat and fairly muscled. But there was no doubt he fell short in comparison to Lucas.

The Guardian started with Hobien, placing a hand over the other elf's chest he instructed him to inhale deeply. Next he checked Hobien's teeth and put him through several simple exercises. Lucas had to admit the elf was agile though not physically imposing. After he concluded the Guardian turned to Lucas hesitantly. "You are next, I will be . . . " Lucas interrupted him before he got any farther. "I have done this before." Confusion flashed across the Guardian's face, "what? When?" Amazed Lucas stared at him, "I completed training as a Guardian. . ." The elf stared at him, "I was not informed."

Exasperated Lucas threw up his hands, "Why do you think the Guardians were so desperate to recruit me?" The Guardian stuttered and turned red, clearly embarrassed. "Let me guess, you don't ask questions." His accusing tone seemed to ruffle the other man, "Of course I do, I mean I wonder. I just thought that you had angered someone, or that someone wanted your wife. So you were to be sent to the wars out of the way." Shame colored the elf's tone deflating Lucas's anger.

"What's your name Guardian?" Lucas spoke softer now, more understanding of the guardian's position. The elf seemed surprised at the sudden formal tone, but mostly relieved as the anger disapaited. "Amana." Lucas nodded, "A good name. You should carry on with the Analysis." Bewildered by the abrupt change in attitude Amana stepped forward and began the paces again, privately amazed at the ease with which Lucas completed them. His action now was far removed from the slow weak responses just a few days ago.

Out of the corner of his eye Lucas saw Hobien and couldn't help but smile. The other elf was standing dumbstruck, eyes as wide as silver coins and shirt laying forgotten on the ground. As Lucas completed the final exercise Hobien had been put through he was lost in thought, and continued onto the next Guardian exercise without thinking about it. In a smooth motion he swept Amana's legs out from under him and pinned him down with a hand on his throat. Not expecting the motion Amana went down easily, painfully he grabbed at Lucas's face bringing him back to the present.

Flushing red with embarrassment Lucas pulled away and extended a hand to help Amana up, "Sorry lost in thought." Amana shook his head good naturedly, "If I doubted your status as a Guardian before I don't now." Lucas reacted suddenly, angrily, "Don't call me a Guardian. I may have completed the training but I left the order for a reason." Amana was startled but he just nodded and gestured for Hobien to put his shirt back on.

The confused, and slightly awestruck, elf complied pulling the cotton covering over his torso quickly. Lucas pulled on his own shirt, flowing slightly as his muscles tingled. It had been so long since he used them for combat he had almost forgotten what it was like, the rush. Ruminating on the feeling Lucas followed the other two from the room and towards the Guardin Academy.


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