"Cal you will not be needing that today, this is going to be done with actual weapons. No training gear will be used, I want to test your skills in as close to the real world as we can get. So grab your katana so we can begin."
Throwing my training vest aside I grab my katana from the table beside the weapons rack. Sliding it out of the sheath, I gently run my finger along the blade checking the sharpness. I catch Raea at the edge of my view and feel blood starting to trickle down my finger. Turning away from her i can feel that she is looking at me. I turn back wink at her and laugh.
"Raea I can't even unsheath my sword with you in my presence how am I supposed to fight a beauty like you!"
"Cal quit joking around! Take care of your finger and lets get this started. You know we both have other things to do today."
"Okay, you want to kiss it and make it better?
I could just catch the smirk on her face as I gathered a small amount of energy to quickly mend the wound on my finger. Once I saw it was closed up, I sheathed my katana and strapped the sword belt on my waist. Walking in to the training area i got into a forward fighting stance leaving the blade in its sheath. I had become accustomed to a sheath fighting style, that focused more on speed than power. I would not call myself weak or short but my body was better built for speed, so the style worked quite well for me. Raea also was in the forward stance, but unlike me her katana was straight up in down in front of her. She had a more muscular frame then me and was not required to use the inertia from speed to power her blows.
I advanced slowly, my hand never leaving the hilt of my sword. I could see her muscles tensing, she was getting ready to attack me. With a grace that would impress even a swan she came at me. I quickly drew my katana, to parry the blow that was coming from above. As our swords met, something started pulling at my thoughts. Trying to stay focused on her sword, I paid no mind to the pull. Her sword came at my right side, I parried it with my sheath and brought a backhand swing toward her side. Then I felt the pull again, this time it was slightly stronger, but before I could focus on it she parried my swing and quickly pressed me from straight on. Raea was faster and stronger than any opponent I had faced and I was still managing to hold my own against her. We traded blows for awhile longer each of us taking some superficial scratches as the others blade touched up but was not enough to wound. As the fight went on I could feel the pull at my thoughts even more. In the process of parrying on of her attacks with my sheath, my left hand stopped as I tried to attack an opening she left. Then she was pressing me even more, moving faster and more fluid than she was before. On top of fighting her, I was now fighting for control of my own body. With two quick motions she had my sword out of my hand and her blade was at my throat.
"Cal," she said panting, "This fight is over. Do you know why you lost?"
She stepped back and sheathed her katana as I leaned over and picked up my own.
"You are just a stronger fighter than I am."
"Yes, that is true but not in the way you think it is. This was a test, but not of your swordsmanship, it was a test of your mind and your barriers. If we were only dueling with katana's there is no way I could have beaten you. You have come a very long way and are truly a blademaster, but there is always a chance that whoever you are fighting will come at you with more than a sword in hand. I beat you because you did not expect to have your mind assaulted. I know you are being trained at the Sublimus School, but knowing how to control sword and control magic does you know good if you cannot control them both at once. You must be able to shield you mind while you fight or you will lose everytime. This is why I am your new training partner. If you can spar with my and keep me out of your head than you should be able to fight anyone."
"So you were what was pulling at my thoughts. I did not even think of that. Why have they not told me this at Sublimus?"
"They cannot tell you how to form barriers, you must work it out for yourself. Everyone's barriers are specific to them and in some cases to the task at hand. One cannot go into a fight with their mind completely blocked off for they will not be able focus on the fight itself. That is why it is me who is doing this training with you. I have a more personal knowledge of you then anyone else in the palace, so if you can fight me and keep me out no one should be able to use your mind against you."
"So now I get to see you more than just at night?"
"Yes, but speaking of night, your training is over for today and there is a dinner reception for the Tri'Leths that you need to get ready for. So hurry back to your room and get ready, I will see you after the festivities. Please try not to drink too much, you're no fun when your drunk, and I think we could both use a little bit of fun tonight."
This will probably be the only post until Saturday, sometimes life takes over and time vanishes.