Kitan woke up, yelling and feeling the side of his head.
that woman has a rock for a fist! he thought feeling the
blood returning to his skull.
As his vision returned to normal he decided to look around
and check out his surroundings. he was lying on a
feather-stuffed bed in a house. When he looked towards the
window he noticed Gnal laying on a similar bed. Gnal was
still sleeping even though mere moments ago he had woke up
screaming. He looked out the window and saw the building the
two of them were in was on a hill. He realized he was in the
house of the village healer, Ruwanda. Her family has been
making sure the people of the village were healthy since
Kitan can remember. Ruwanda wasn't in right now, he figured
she was making her rounds and teaching her little sister the
family trade. Kitan decided to get up and have a look around
until either she returned or Gnal woke up. He hadn't made it
even five steps when Gnal sat straight up and reached for
something that wasn't there, then lay back down. Kitan saw
Gnal's eyes were still closed.
Is he moving in his sleep? only one way to find out, Kitan
thought to himself.
Kitan moved cautiously towards Gnal. He was standing to the
side of Gnal's bed when he felt his stomach rumble.
Gnal suddenly shot up and yelled, "No! That's my chicken pot
pie!" then laid back down. Kitan just smiled to himself and returned
to looking around. Inside the room was the two beds and next to
each was a dresser. On the dresser next to the bed he was on was
his bag. He just figured one of the other students had brought
it, along with Gnal's bag. It was about an hour after He had
woken up when the door opened. Ruwanda's little sister
Malinda, had run inside to greet Kitan, who was now sitting
on the bed writing in his notepad he had dug out of his bag.
Ruwanda was a couple paces behind.
"Hewo mister, you wook happy, are you feewing better?" she
asked trying to sound like her older sister.
"I am fine. My friend and I are grateful for such great care
you have given us."
"It wasn't just me but my big sis too, she did most of
the wapping up."
Kitan looked to Ruwanda, he smiled and said his thanks.
Kitan returned his notepad back to his pouch on the side of
"When were we brought in?"
"Early this morning, about an hour or two after sunrise. I
had just woken up an opened the door to make my rounds when
I nearly tripped over your two bodies. I must say this time
I actually thought you WERE dead!" she said shaking her
She was fixing a cup of tea for him when she stopped and
turned with a letter in her hand, "when you were brought by
one of the other students they gave me this letter. He said
to give this to them when they wake up."
She handed the letter to him and glanced over at Gnal, he
was still sleeping but now chewing on his pillow and
mumbling something about how good his pot pie was. He opened
the letter and began reading.
To my idiotic students;
You morons were lucky. I must have had a cold today to have
been able to get cut by you two I mean come on you two never
show up on time, never showed any enthusiasm in my teachings
Kitan decided to skim past all the berating comments.
...but I will stand by my word. If you two morons can move
fast enough to make it to my house, you remember where it
is? just think back to the last time I caught you trying to
give me my own 'lesson'.
oh and be here by sunset tonight or the deals off. Try not
to let your little boo-boo's stop you.
Kitan crumpled up the letter and threw it in the fireplace,
even though it wasn't lit he wanted it out of his mind when
he got back. Kitan got his stuff together and tossed Gnal's
stuff at him, waking him up. He was mumbling again about
some kind of food.
"Who the hell took...OW!" Gnal was clutching his chest, the
memory of the fight was returning to him. "Why did you do
that? I had her right-"
"I'll explain later, but we gotta go now if we are going to
get a chance at her again."
While Gnal was getting his stuff together Kitan was getting
him up to speed on what happened while he was out. He
decided it was best to not tell him what he did while he was
"Alright! I'm gonna make that old windbag pay. Thanks again
Ruwanda, and of course Malinda." She just hid behind her
sister and giggled.
"The fastest way to her house is along the mountain trail
remember, she lived outside of the village next to the
Kitan nodded and the two of them set out. As they were
nearing the entrance to the village Gnal's little sister
came running up to them. Gnal motioned for him to continue
and he'd catch up once he finished. Kitan went on ahead. It
was a few moments but Gnal came jogging up to join him.
"So you work everything out?"
"Yeah she was just worried when I didn't show up for lunch,
oh here this is for you from her" he handed him a box filled
"So we have till sunset to get there?" Kitan nodded, "that's
too long, you know she will have a few surprises along the
Kitan nodded again and said, "Rule four: A trap forseen is
another day lived."
The two had left the outer edges of the village and were
just rounding the last hill before the beginning of the
mountain trail. Kitan looked up and saw the sun was sitting
just above a distant hill.
"If we are going to get there in time we are going to speed
it up, after we take a break." Gnal was about to argue but
Kitan continued, "unlike you who was taken down by me, I
took the full force of Master's fist. I think a couple of my
ribs are broken and a couple are bruised." Kitan couldn't
hold it this time and coughed up blood.
"Damn, Kitan couldn't you have told me this before we set
out? I could have carried a little more of the supplies."
"No I couldn't do that to you, I didn't-"
"No this is going to hurt us even more, she's going to take
advantage of that and when she does..." Gnal said
interrupting him. After a few moments of quiet he spoke
again, but calmer.
"I have a plan...if she tries to take you out first but its
gonna be tricky. I can explain it to you on the way. We don't
have enough time so lets get you bandaged up and we'll have
to jog the rest of the way."
Gnal helped Kitan bandage his mid section up so he had some
sort of support to help with his ribs. Once he was bandaged,
they sat and rested while eating the lunch Gnal's sister made
"So, what do you think the old windbag has planned for our
'private' training?" Gnal said munching on what was left of
"I don't know... and why don't you ever refer to her by her
title? it's disrespectful." Kitan said shaking his head
finishing his food.
"I won't show her respect until I beat her, when the student
surpasses the teacher." Gnal said not caring if some of his
hatred seeped into his words.
Kitan chose to sit quietly and not respond. Gnal's anger was
just for show and Kitan knew that. He hated not being able
to protect himself or those close to him. When he was saved
that day it sparked something in him. Kitan wondered how
long this spark would keep him going before...
"Lets go we have to jog the rest it'll be sunset soon and we
wont be able to judge how much time we will have once we are
further in on the path to her place."
Gnal and Kitan gathered their stuff and began jogging up the
trail. Every now and then they would trip traps she set to
catch her food or the occasional bandit who decided to hide
out until it was safe. It felt like hours had passed before
the trail began to widen.
"It looks like we're getting closer, be careful I know she's
going to try to pull--"
"You moron, with a voice like that, even the village idiot
could sneak up on you and you wouldn't even have a chance."
The familiar voice of their master came not from before them
but from behind them.
Gnal whirled around and struck wildly with his spear into
any nearby bushes within his reach.
"Yes because stabbing randomly is the obvious choice of
tactics here." She said sarcastically, taunting him.
She knew about his hatred for her and was using that against
him. Kitan had to bring their game to an end. Kitan drew his
blades and tried to pin point where she was. He focused hard
but couldn't tell where she was. He had to admit when she
didn't want to be found she REALLY didn't want to be found.
He decided to take a page out of Gnal's book. He also began
to stab randomly into areas around them.
"I thought you'd come up with something better than that
Kitan. I obviously have my work cut out for me getting you
two morons ready."
Kitan wondered what she meant by that, getting us ready... A
small object shot out a tree to Kitan's left. He easily
knocked it away with Hirohira, but as soon as he knocked it
away another two objects shot towards them from two
different sides. Kitan and Gnal switched to defending
themselves until they could find a break between objects.
Unfortunately they weren't fast enough. For every object
that didn't hit them, two did. The barrage felt endless.
"We have to go on the offensive! I am tired of being pelted
by these damn pebbles!" Gnal shouted to Kitan.
"You don't think I know that!" Kitan retaliated, "you don't
think I feel the same way, how do we go on the offensive
when she has us pinned?!"
As if to taunt them further the pebbles ceased. Keeping
their guard up they swiftly moved to a wider, less covered
area. As they moved every few seconds a pebble would shoot
towards them. It was easily avoided but Kitan felt like it
was part of her plan. He had the odd feeling of being like a
cow being herded to the pen. The trail ended abruptly
leaving them standing facing a small open area with a
waterfall in front of them a few yards away and her house to
the side of the waterfall.
"Alright now she has to come at us from behind us or from
somewhere we can see her" Gnal said, "ya hear that ya old
windbag, come get the poundin you deserve from me!"
Sometimes you can be oblivious Gnal, Kitan thought to
"Master, why are you doing this? you told us to be here
before sunset and we did, the sun...." Kitan started to say
and then thought about what was happening. She said to be
here before sunset so we could have a fighting chance, so we
could see our attacker... this is it... He thought trying to comprehend
her strategy, then it hit him and he realized what she was doing. She's
"Gnal shes testing..." Kitan started to say to Gnal but he
had already figured it out, he was trying to use her own
tactic against her. He was always faster than Kitan at
analyzing the situation. Gnal was using his spear to hit
pebbles the way they came and was shouting insults.
"Ah, so you two already knew what I was trying to do huh?"
She stepped out from behind a tree to the side of them.
Kitan didn't even hear any rustle of leaves or breaking of
twigs. Gnal just cursed under his breath. and smacked a
pebble at her. She caught it with her open hand and crushed
What did she do before she came to the village, Kitan
thought seriously to himself.
"Today's lesson is over, tomorrows will be a little tougher"
she said walking past them dropping her handful of pebbles.
One actually looked to be a fairly large rock. Kitan was
grateful she decided to stop when she did. He didn't want to
imagine what could have happened. "so in order for you two
morons to handle the strain I want you both to put your
stuff in the house and go wash under the waterfall, if you
want you can think of it as meditation."
she made a face and sniffed the air around Gnal. He tried to
push her away but she twisted his arm and used the momentum
to pull him to the ground, slowly putting pressure on his
twisted arm. "but actually you just smell like failure. Lets
see if I can change that after I get done with you."
She let go of him and walked casually to her house. Once
inside Gnal grabbed his stuff and followed her, grumbling
curses he didn't think were possible. Kitan looked towards
the top of the waterfall and saw the last rays of sunlight
shooting over. He picked up his stuff but it became hard for
him to breathe. Gnal was just opening the door when he saw
Kitan struggling. He rushed over to him, shouting.
"Hey, windbag, help! Kitan's hurt from earlier this morning,
and he can't breathe!"
Their master was there in moments, lifting him effortlessly
and rushing him to the waterfall. All Kitan could see or
hear was the soft pounding of his heart as its beat went
from speedy to a soft pound every few seconds, and the way
she looked as she rushed him to the waterfall. It was the
only time he had ever seen such fear in her face, she looked
older than he remembered. He suddenly felt the ice-cold
water as it splashed across his entire body. Now he was a
little afraid she had lost her mind and decided to drown him
under the falling water. Gnal was close behind trying to
help him escape from her iron clad grip. With a single sweep
of her leg she kept him at bay as she stood under the water
holding Kitan's body. After a few moments under, she walked
out and laid him on the ground. Kitan spat out what water he
"What the hell are you trying to do?!" Kitan said getting to
his feet, "first you say your going to give us special training,
then you chuck rocks at us for fun, then you try to drown me?
I think Gnal's right, your nuts!"
"You moron your worse than your other, more idiotic side.
How do you feel? hows your breathing?" She said waiting
until it dawned on him and then walked back inside.
"Kitan! You alright?" Gnal said rushing over to him just in
case, "How you feeling? Do your ribs hurt?" Gnal asked
question after question.
Kitan didn't answer any of them. He was still trying to
figure out what just happened himself. Gnal grabbed Kitan's
stuff and told him to stay there and relax while he put his
stuff in the house. He didn't want him to strain himself in
case the pain came back. Standing, he just stared at the
Too many questions, he thought to himself, Too many
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