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A Hopeless Apprentice.
(2013-01-13 - 2013-03-07)
No description.
Leida As usual in the desert, the night is filled with an eerie silence and a deep chill that sinks into the bones with the absence of the sun. There is little wind this evening and only the faintest of pale glows from the crescent moon overhead paints the landscape with a soft wash of white tint; not much but enough to navigate by for anyone foolish or hardy enough to travel the dunes in the dark.

There are ofcourse monsters to be found here but even they seem to be disinclined to venture out without the warm embrace of the sun to bring fresh prey to feast upon. As such the small girl who wanders here now often finds herself quite alone. Normally a frightening prospect for the shy and timid princess but in recent days she has come to desire the peace of mind that being alone with her thoughts brings with it.

The events of the previous evening are fresh in her mind and the wooden training blade that was given to her by Angantyr is clutched loosely in her arms as she walks back towards the meeting spot. Leida's expression is downcast as she marches barefoot through the dunes, still unsure of her path and the choices placed before her.

The arguments were equally valid in her mind and both equally frightening. She had no desire to become a warrior or a killer and did not want to believe that the simple truth of her situation was that she had no choice. But if she merely sat back and waited, who knew what kind of horrors she might unleash again. It was an unfair burden but one that she had forced on herself those many months ago. Every choice had consequences.

She pauses a moment as her path carries her by a small pool of tepid water, a tiny oasis in the sand surrounded by several cacti and desert shrubs. Her reflection stares back at her, sickly yellow slitted that were even now beginning to show traces of red where the whites should have been. Every day her appearance seemed to get more and more demonic in nature. Imi and Shida had told her that she was not a bad person, no matter what she may look like.

Kneeling down at the edge of the water, she gazes quietly at the liquid mirror. Would that always be true? Or would her past come back to haunt her with more than a disturbing reflection?
Percival After his meeting early in the evening, he found himself patrolling the city of Fluorgis, and the surrounding desert. In part it was because he was a creature of habit, and it was in his nature to protect. But tonight he had an ulterior motive for such. To scan for any unusual signs of heartless activity, and also to see if the unusual travellers he met in the desert were still out and about.

When the majority of the desert consists of endless sand dunes and rocky outcroppings, an oasis tends to stand out, and it was not long before his patrol took him overhead.

He could not say he was entirely suprised to see the young lady back, but he found the fact that she was without escort disconcerting. He descended without a second thought, circling about the oasis until he came to a soft landing upon the brush behind her. It was becoming easier at least, even the chronic aches and pains were fading a little more each time he slept. Folding his wings about him like a cloak, he tried to make himself as unthreatening as possible as he approached. "Fair evening to you Madame. All is well I trust?"

Clearing his throat, he tried to decide the best way to approach the shy young lady. "I do not believe we ever became properly acquainted with each other last night, what with the argument that took place. Perhaps we could rectify that?"
Leida 'Hey, kitten, looks like the flying rock is back.'

And naturally where Leida goes, so to do her 'partners'. The twin balls of green fire float lazily at her shoulders as before though the one on the right seems to be nestled in the collar of her shirt and from the soft sounds coming from it, might even be sleeping. Do spirits need to sleep?

The warning comes just in time to catch the girl's attention and she turns away from the pool to see the massive gargolye landing in the shrubbery. Her first instinct is to flee but considering how far they are from the city and the fact that he can fly, she realizes that if he means to do her harm running won't help her any. Besides, he seemed to be a nice sort and Imi did vouch for him.

Setting the wooden sword aside, Leida quietly pushes to her feet and returns the greeting with a deep bow, her hands folding together infront of her waist. It was somewhat of a surprise to see the monstrous man again so soon but he did say he was visiting the city so perhaps it wasn't completely strange.

"O-oh... good evening. I... I am sorry for leaving so suddenly..."
Percival Percival approaches at a slow pace to show her that he definitely means no harm. The bow takes him off guard though, and he reciprocates with a smile. These were mannerisms that he was accustomed to, and before long he came close enough that he might place one of her hands within his as gently as possible. Lowering himself to take a knee, he brushes his lips against the back of her hand. "Madame, no offense was taken. There is no need to apologize."

After a moment, he lets her hand slip away, as he rises. "Might I be so bold as to ask what brings you back to the desert, this time of night?"

His gaze falls upon the wooden sword that she had dropped. "Ah. Were you expecting someone? Or did you desire solitude?"
Leida Ack, personal space invasion! Leida starts to worry as the large man approaches uncomfortably close but she promised that she wouldn't freak out because of his appearance so she does her best to stand her ground despite the natural instinct to shy away.

When he grabs her hand, the princess blinks in confusion and then blushes a bright red when he plants a kiss upon it. Now why would he do that? Was this another strange custom from one of these new worlds? Why were they always so touchy feely?

'Hey, hey, I think he's hitting on you!'

"H-Hitting...? But he did not--

'He's smoozing! Getting fresh! Macking! Checking you out! Trying to hook up! You know?'

"O-oh... not really..."

'Gah, why do I even talk to you?!'


Suddenly remembering that the entire reason for this little argument is still standing infront of her, Leida gives a start and lets a hand go to her face in embarrassment. "Oh...! Forgive me for being so rude..." She looks down at the sword for a moment then shifts her eyes to the ground at her feet, never making actual eye contact with Percival. "No, but... I... I cannot decide if the choice he offers is the right one..."
Percival "Ah, my apologies. I pray that I did not cause offense. Your jesters are incorrect though. In my world it is simply considered courtly etiquette, and that was simply how one greets a lady. It is admittedly, a bit old fashioned, but it is the custom and tradition of my clan to maintain such mannerisms regardless of any changes to the world around us."

He walks over towards the wooden sword, hefting it with a single hand. "While you certainly are a vision to behold for a human, Madame, my interest is only in fine company, and perhaps friendship in time."

He takes a few steps towards her, his tail twitching as he processes her statement. "I don't know all of the details behind what he offered you. It is right that you learn to defend yourself. I only took issue with his means." He takes a knee once more, and holding the wooden sword with both hands, offers it to her, hilt first. "Perhaps you might explain why he is teaching you, so that I might better understand your reservations, and why he chooses to teach you in such a severe manner."
Leida 'Who you calling a jester, chump?!'

'Ugh, must you make all this racket? Can you not see I am trying to get my beauty slee--oooo, it seems we have a visitor to these dark and chilling parts.'

"Oh..." Well, tradition was tradition. She quietly wishes that someone would have a tradition that did not involve touching other people for once. But no harm done so she lets it slide. And his sudden application of flattery causes her to color up again. Seems it does not take much to provoke some sort of response out of the girl.

Hesitating at the offered sword and even more so at the question that comes with it, the princess slowly reaches out and accepts the weapon, holding it in the flat of her palms as she stares at it quietly for several seconds. This was always a hard thing to talk about even more so because he knew nothing of the truth. She could lie to him or avoid the question and he would probably leave it at that. But running away was exactly the thing that she could no longer afford to do if the words of the Shadow Lord were to be believed.

"I... I made a pact... with a... a demon." Her fingers tighten on the wooden blade and she shudders a little. "I killed many many people while it was inside of me. It was sealed away... but..."
Percival Shock, disbelief, then sadness. The expression on his visage runs the whole gamut of emotions. In the end, only one question comes to his mind, and that to elaborate on it any further might be too accusatory. "Why?" He remains on a single knee, which given her relatively short stature, keeps him at about eye level.
Leida "I... I do not know any more..." The girl lowers her head until her chin is almost resting on her chest, trying to hide herself from the piercing eyes of the gargoyle behind her loose bangs. "My family was always cruel to me. They said I did not matter. I was a disappointment and was always making mistakes and never did anything to prove them wrong."

She shakes her head again and sniffles, emotions she had thought dealt with welling up with the retelling. "I just... I just wanted them to love me...! B-but then I betrayed the one person who did... And he... he..." The girl swallows hard and takes a moment to wipe her eyes but continues to speak in her soft wispy voice.

"Even then they cast me aside. S-so I took my own life. I just wanted everything to disappear... and then /it/ came out... I-I remember its voice. It said it would take the pain away..."
Percival The story is horrifying to the young Squire, both the act, and the consequences. And yet he could not bring himself to judge her as he ought to. Everything he had been taught about God told him that this woman had commited a grave sin, one that was worthy of death and judgement. And yet he had to believe in his heart of hearts that all things could be forgiven, and that his God is a merciful one. He lifts his gaze to the heavens. The darkness seemed even gloomier, the stars dimmer. He would find no answers there. He wanted to at least try and offer some comfort, even if it be cold comfort, but he felt the woman would be put off by any sort of touch. He speaks gently, and evenly, with a touch of somberness. "Some days I wish that I was more than a squire Madame. My tongue is now eloquant enough, and I am not wise enough to be called a knight."

He levels his gaze off to meet hers once again, there is only sadness within his grey eyes. "And yet here I am. I need not ask if you regret your actions. It is plain that you are a kind soul, and are of gentle disposition. I need not judge your actions either. We will all be judged eventually by a being far greater and wiser than a fool of a squire. All I need know is if you wish to repent of your act." The bestial face manages a smile of encouragement.
Leida Religion, unfortunately, was not a force that tened to bring people together. Infact, the opposite was quite often the truth and many wars had been fought over such simple things as differing beliefs. Demons, in the world from which she hailed, were not entirely evil nor gods entirely benevolent. They were simply powerful and power brought with it responsibility that was just as often misused by the spirits as by humanity.

The vague mention of higher powers is thus lost on the small girl, though his assesment of her character is a welcome one. There are days when she does not feel very kind and being forced to relive her past is one way to bring about such a sour mood.

"If... if I could take back all that I have done... I would not hesitate. Even now that I have such wonderful friends, I... how can I justify my happiness when so many have suffered worse than death at my hands...?"

'Woah, easy on the emo there, kitten. You didn't bring enough eyeliner for all this self-hate.'

'Yes, it is... not so bad, once you get used to it.'
Percival Religion often is a dividing force. But the young Gargoyle seemed to value spirituality more than simple dogma and zealotry. He lived in a world where the myths of old might be gods, or just beings of indescribable power. He kept the faith though, and allowed it to guide his words. "Repentance is never easy. But it will bring you salvation in the end. In the eyes of your friends, to start. Then it will bring you peace and happiness. But first there is suffering, and heart-wrenching pain."

He rises, and takes a step back, removing the shield from his back, to slide it upon his right arm. She would note that he now carries a blade, that rests comfortably in a scabbard upon his back. "But enough of that. You've experienced enough sorrow for one lifetime, it would be unseemly of me to add to that. Do you still want to learn? If so, then I'd like you to hold your training sword with both hands so that the hilt is just above your brow. We'll start with a high guard."
Leida The sudden shift in the direction of the conversation causes the girl to look up suddenly, yellowed eyes flashing in the dim light. "Y-you want me to...?" Leida peers down at the blade in her hands again, unsure whether or not this was a good idea. But she was all the way out here already and that tell-tale trace of backbone she had displayed the previous evening was all used up for the moment so she could not muster up the will to refuse.

Rolling up her sleeves a little to expose the soft delicate fingers within, the princess grips the sword as she has seen others do though even with both hands on it barely half of the hilt disappears. She struggles with the balance for a few moments, the weight of the weapon clearly giving her some trouble until she opts for a spread grip with one hand near the cross guard and another near the pommel to provide some leverage.

The practice weapon is then hefted up slowly, the surface of the sword only a few inches from her face until it rises to the requested height. Leida peers up at the gargoyle sheepishly. "Um... like this...?"
Percival Percival smiles patiently. His twil swishing in a relaxed manner as he watches her "A little closer together with your hands, but you have the right idea on the positions. Now I want you to keep one foot a step or two in front of the other. Footwork is important. While its easier for my kind given the bone structure of our feet, humans tend to have a heel. Keep on the balls of your feet, and keep your heels off the ground. Now, there are several other guards besides this one, and an expert will make use of most of them. However, you will need to be more used to holding a blade first. This higher guard will help you build your strength, and make use of what you have for the time being."

He readies the dented heater shield upon his right arm. The lack of a coat of arms drawing his attention for a moment, and his the sadness in his eyes shows that it is incomplete, for the time being. "After every swing or thrust, I want you to try and return to this position. It is not a static position, but a dynamic one, which allows you to ready your next strike, or to counter your opponent's."

And now the difficult part, he had the feeling that she would object to this, but he had to try. "I will wield only this shield, and thus will be your target. I will not strike you, it is my role in this exercise to be struck. Yours is to try and slip beneath my guard. You need not worry about harming me. My skin is tougher than a human's." He readies himself. A half-truth really, while his hide is far tougher than a human's, it is far from impenetrable, and a wooden blade would still sting mightily. "Remember to return to this position after each of your strikes or trusts, unless it would compromise your balance."
Leida Leida listens quietly as he lays out the basics for her though, if her blank stare is any indication, it might be a little bit much for her to absorb all at once. Even simple combat procedures such as this are completely foreign to the girl but she waits until he finishes talking to try and make any adjustments.

Her hands move a little closer together upon his instruction. With the blade still held aloft, she then scoots one foot forward, having little trouble with these parts so far. The princess wobbles abit as she tries to take the weight off the heels of her feet but manages to keep from falling over just yet.

She looks up at him again, timidly peering around the edge of the wide wooden blade once her position is stable. "A-Are you sure...?" She'd never actually hit anyone before on purpose. But he did say it was safe.

'Go on, give em a smack, kitten! Here, like this!'

Lefty hovers up into the air away from her body for a moment then spirals forward to slam into Percival's chest with a mighty thud. Ofcourse, the rock solid body doesn't budge an inch from the impact and the green fireball bounces off harmlessly, neither burning nor bruising the skin.

'Jeez, what are you made out of rocks?'

'I believe that is the case.'

Percival Percival chortles at the display by the rambunctious spirits. He couldn't even bring himself to be irritated at them. They were too harmless, and being angry at their misbehavior would be like being angry at a pair of untrained kittens. "Only during the daytime. I'm afraid that I'm only flesh and blood right now."

He then turns his attention back to the reluctant pupil. "And yes, Madame, I'm certain. It is a wooden blade, I do not bare naked steel without cause, and neither should you. You are learning an artform, but the artform is a martial one. You will not learn unless you are willing to strike at your instructor." Still, in anticipation of the possibility of being struck, he unfurled his wings, allowing them to move out to their full wingspan behind him.
Leida The girl's demonic eyes widen slightly as the wings spread out, clearly impressed by them. It must be handy being able to fly. She wondered what it was like. However, after a moment she nods, returning her focus to the training at hand. That the spirit had left no impression on Percival gave her a little courage about not hurting him by accident.

"Um... well then... here I come..."

Taking a soft but deep breath, Leida quickly closes her eyes and brings the wooden sword down at him with a gentle push. There isn't much strength behind the blow; infact gravity probably does more to accelerate the strike than her arms. Upon feeling it strike either the shield or his body, the princess slowly opens one eye to peer back at him to see if she did it right or managed to mess up as usual.
Percival Percival's personal code was always to tell the truth. But there were different degrees of truth when it came to encouragement. He could have intercepted that blow with his bare hands, possibly with his eyes closed. But he wasn't dealing with an energetic young hatchling that thought themselves a master of a blade already. He was dealing with a delicate flower that needed encouragement and reinforcement to come out of her shell. As he intercepts the blade, he gently states. "Well done. Keep your eyes open though. And return to your previous stance. Strike, then return to your guard position, then strike again, each time with less delay than before. Consider the blade as an extension of yourself, and consider always where you want it to fall. Let thought become action. You're doing well, just keep it up."
Leida "O-oh... right..." She pulls the sword back up to rest against her forehead with a little effort, holding it there for a few seconds while he reiterates the basic premise of the exercise. When she is sure he is done and she won't catch him off guard, Leida nods at him gently and then takes another breath.

The next strike is about the same as the first though she does manage to remember to open her eyes before swinging this time. The soft crack of the wood on his shield makes her cringe a bit but the girl only waits for a few moments before repeating the attack, always swinging at his shield as best she can.

A decent steady rythm seems to get going and she manages to get off a good dozen or so swings before her clumsiness catches up with her. A particularly badly angled swipe causes the sword to ricochet off the shield, adding extra momentum when she goes to draw it back and the combined force brings it solidly against her forehead.

The princess lets out a girlish squeak of surprise and tumbles backwards, her footing unsure thanks to the strange posture, and she goes down on her backside in the sand.
Percival Percival tries to vary the position of the shield just enough that the young lady has to reconsider her aim once he realizes that the shield is in fact what she's aiming at, not his body. And after each swing he always tries to offer a word of encouragement, followed by one of advice. When she unbalances herself, and takes a tumble, he does not hesitate, he steps towards her and offers a hand to help her up. "When I was but a hatchling, I went through similar exercises, and ended up in the same position time after time. We fall, but then we rise again. It humbles us, but it makes us stronger. It is much like life, isn't it?"
Leida Leida rubs gingerly at her head but takes the offered helping hand up, blushing with embarrassment but also smiling slightly. "Ah... thank you..." Well atleast making a fool out of herself wasn't completely underheard of. Actually, she was more surprised when it didn't happen at this point in her life.

'Hey, she almost managed to look cool there for a moment.'

'Like you would know what cool is.'

"I... I suppose it is..." Some falls were harder to recover from than others though. The sword is lifted back up again, her feet spreading apart as instructed and she waits for him to raise the shield once more before resuming her weak wailing away at it.
Percival She wasn't hopeless, she was either afraid of what might awaken if she inflicted pain upon another, or just too gentle a soul to imagine harming another being in this way. Percival couldn't decide which at this time. "You're doing very well Madame Leida. But the spirit of the exercise is for each blow to have purpose, to slip under my guard. A little fear is always healthy when wielding a blade. But you should not be be so paralyzed by fear that you cannot make use of it properly. Please, I am asking you to actually try and strike me. You have my permission."

He smiles his encouragement, though it might almost seem comical on so bestial a face. "You're doing so well, don't allow your progress to be halted by fear."
Leida "O-oh..." She pauses mid-swing but the sword continues regardless of her intentions and sends another dull clonk echoing through the empty expanse of desert. Leida stares down at the ground for a moment, the blade resting on the shield as she considers this new morsel of wisdom. Fear was all she knew, even with encouraging friends and helpfull allies, everything she touched seemed to turn to ash. Figuratively speaking, ofcourse.

But, if the entire purpose of swinging this stick around was to try and defeat his guard then there was little reason to continue if she couldn't try to accomplish this. So the weapon is drawn up again and the princess closes her eyes for a moment, drawing in another deep breath to gather her focus.

Her expression becomes one of determination when they open again, though it is the kind of look a child might have when they are being stubborn about attempting some task for themselves and only succeeds in making her look cute rather than threatening.

"H-here I come...!"

The sword is brought down against the shield just like before but the follow up strike is angled to the side, swinging at the bulk of his arm. She has no idea where this idea came from but it flows naturally and Leida begins to alternate back and forth with her swings, trying to get at him before he can shift the shield. Ofcourse, she's still as slow and weak as before.
Percival Its possible that he could have shifted his shield in time to block the second strike. He was no novice after all. But the goal of this exercise was to encourage the girl. When the blow taps his arm, it stings despite the lack of strength behind the blow. Still he takes it stoically. He doesn't mind if the strike is weak, strength will come in time. What matters is her 'conviction' and her followthrough. Her ability to think tactically and strategically with the blade. And she'd done so, she'd taken the first step. He couldn't help but smile with pride.

"Well done. Can you do it again?"

The question is more 'will' she do it again, but he puts a bit of a challenge into his words, to try and help her along. Pride is important in a warrior after all, just not too much pride.
Leida Leida almost drops the sword when it smacks him on the arm but the lack of pained response causes her to exhale in relief. Perhaps she really is just that timid. "S-Sor--oh..." Right, that was the whole point. His praise is met with more bashful smiling as she returns to the guard stance.

'Hey, I guess she can do it after all!'

'Indeed, I knew she had it in her. Well done.'

The girl nods softly back at his question, seeming to gain some of that elusive confidence as she becomes more familiar with the rules of this game. The training sword is swung a few more times in the same manner, first at one side then the other.

However, before she can try to adapt or Percival can give more instruction the two spirit balls dive into the fray, swirling about the gargoyle's face in a dizzying frenzy.

'Raaaaah, surprise attack!'

'Have at you!'
Percival Percival parries a few of the blows which are obvious. He accepts a few whenever she attempts something original. Whenever she repeats a similar action from before, he usually intercepts it though, to try and teach her that opponents do learn and adapt. Constant encouragement and reinforcement were key, and he keeps that up.

And then he swears there are two flies buzzing around his head, except they're imminently irritating. Remember, they're like rambunctious kittens. Kittens. Why did the ladies of his clan like kittens again? He preferred the dog-like beasts that his clan had a few of. Besides the point though. He fought the urge to swat them out of the sky with his shield, and instead brings his wings over his head to ever so gently flick them away, if they proved to be solid. He wasn't sure if they would prove to be or not.

"Oho! And so the little lions bare their fangs. If you want to join your mistress on this lesson though, you'll need to pick up a wooden blade of your own. It would be hardly chivalrous of me to best you while I am armed, and you are not."
Leida They are indeed solid or atleast enough that the gentle swat sends them spinning lazily away into the air. It takes them a few moments to recover but they quickly float back down to hover over the girl's shoulders in their respective spots.

'Hmm, he's tougher than I gave him credit for.'

'Indeed, my pride is quite damaged by such a casual dismissal.'

"S-Sorry, they are hard to control..."

Leida continues to strike though she seems to be a fairly slow learner, often trying the same tactic several times before switching to a new one or just using an old one again. She manages to keep this up for a few minutes but it is not long before the sheen of sweat is visible on her pale skin and the oversized shirt she is wearing begins to stick to her back. Her attacks start to become erratic as well as she is forced to take longer and heavier breaths to keep her strength up.

But she doesn't complain. She might even actually be having fun with this. The spirits make a few more attempts to distract Percival as well, darting in to try and get him to flinch or look away just as the princess strikes.
And so it continues for a time much as before. A strike, a parry, or acceptance of a blow. His elbow actually felt sore from the occasional swat she managed to get through, or he allowed. Oh and then the suprise attacks. He swatted them away much the same way as before. It was time to change things up a little. But he had to take small steps, very small steps. It would be some time before he could strike back after all. He wanted to build her confidence before he ever got there.

"A brief respite Madame. Collect yourself, drink some water as well." Let's see, it was an oasis after all, perhaps he could find, ah yes. That desert shrub's branches didn't look particularly stout, but it'd do. Approaching it, he tears off a branch of about the right length, and then approaches her once more.

"Now the exercise changes. I have two defenses. The branch, to represent a blade in hand, and my shield. I will be parrying with both."
Leida Leida is more than happy to take a break by the time he calls for it. The wooden sword dips in her hands, planting its tip into the sand heavily as she seems to lose all of her strength at once and flops down on her rear ungracefully alongside it. "Ah... ah... t-thank you..."

The princess turns and scoots over to the edge of the water, kneeling infront of the cool liquid to scoop it up in her hands, rather than burying her face in the pool. She shows a sort of quiet dignity as she drinks, taking her time despite the clear fatigue of her body.

Strangely, it only takes a minute or two before her breathing returns to normal and the pep returns to her movements. Leida pushes back to her feet, wiping at her face with the back of a sleeve as she turns to see this new addition to the game. And here she was just getting used to the shield! Perhaps this meant she was doing well?

Gathering up the sword, Leida nods back at him and puts on her 'serious' face again. "I will do my best..." She goes into the guard stance and lunges at him. However, caught between the rock and a proverbial hard place with two obstacles to dodge she hesistates and this causes her to lose focus. And as usual, this causes her true clumsy nature to spring to the fore.

Tripping over her own feet, the princess squeaks in surprise and pitches head-first toward Percival, likely making a rather surprising if unexpected attempt at a headbutt.

'Ooooh, that's using your head!'

'My word, she is bold!'
Without even giving it a second thought the branch and shield are dropped, as he moves forward to catch her before her head would ever strike him. His race was innately one of Guardians and Protectors. It was second nature, and he did not even consider the embarassment that would follow. Well, not until afterwards. After catching her, he lifts her ever so gently, and places her back down on her feet.

"Begging your pardon Madame." He states, as his way of apology. And then, almost as an afterthought.

"Am I even addressing you correctly when I say that? There are so many customs from different worlds that I'm unaware of." He bends down, to pick up the branch and shield.
Leida And so Leida found herself cradled in the gentle embrace of a tall man's arms. This happened a little too frequently. Or not frequent enough depending on your viewpoint. She colored up as usual but his monsterous nature made it a little less awkward as she viewed him as more of a spirit than another person and spirits were treated with nothing but respect. What exactly he was a spirit /of/ was something she was still puzzling out. Japanese demons were confusing sometimes.

"A-ah... thank you." When her feet touch the sand, she smoothes out her shirt and self-consciously tugs at the hem to make sure it hasn't ridden up too far. Ivo's shirt was certainly big enough to do the job of a dress for her but only just barely protected her modesty.

To his question, she also looks slightly uncomfortable as explaining this sort of thing was something one did for children. But then he was an outsider so she figured it would be alright in these circumstances. "W-well, where I come from we have special suffixes that are used for names to denote relationships. Since we are not very well acquainted it would be more proper for you to refer to me by my title than my name. S-so you could call me hime-sama if you like... and I would refer to you as Percival-sensei... because you are teaching me."
Percival Percival picks up the branch and the shield, dusting himself off as he listens, then his tail jerks suddenly to the side, as he straightens suddenly. Hime, where had he heard that word bef....Oh no. Her name was Leida, and Hime meant....and once again he was down on one knee, his wings cloaked about his shoulders, his head bowed low, his hand across his chest.

"Your royal highness. This lowly squire begs forgiveness for his presumption."

It could be that he was entirely mistaken, after all he didn't know much Japanese, and she almost certainly came from a different world. But still he was finding enough similarities between worlds, such as multiple Merlins, that his honor wouldn't allow him to just call it a coincidence.
Leida The princess' eyes widen as he kneels, somewhat taken aback that he had recognized a word from her homeworld. Or perhaps the strange magic that made her understand everyone she met also had translated the specific phrase for him? Either way, she holds her her hands in a dismissive manner towards him.

"O-oh, please, you do not have to do that. My world is gone so... it is more of a traditional name now..."

'Ooooh, look who's eating dirt now Mr. Big Bad Wings!'

'I suppose we should have mentioned that earlier...'

"S-stop that, you two. Please... you can stand..." Though she was outwardly dismissive about it, some small part of her enjoyed having someone bow to her again. Secret dominant streak?! Or just a tiny glitter of homesickness. Either way, she smiles at the gargoyle knight and picks up the sword again. "Um... shall we continue, sensei?"
Percival Percival slowly collects himself. "If that is your will, M'lady."

He then rises to his feet. Good God, he thought this was going to be difficult enough as is, now once it came right down to it he wasn't even certain he could strike her in return, once they came to that lesson. She was royalty after all. And then another thought struck him. What if she was the princess of the Heart for her world, but that the demonic corruption made it impossible for her to fulfill her destiny? The possibility saddened him, but he didn't show it outwardly. The branch was held outward, at a position where he might intercept most of her blows with little effort. He stood slightly sideways, which made him an even more difficult target, and then there was always the shield as the last line of offense.

"By all means, strike at me whenever you are ready." He knew it would take some time for her to be more than a novice, but he was prepared to take the time. Learning this art took discipline, and now that he better understood the context of her situation, he realized that discipline is what she needed, more than anything else. He only hoped it would be enough to help her maintain control, if she did decide to take up Angantyr's lessons. Curse the man and his cold pragmatism!
Leida Seeing that he was not going to do something silly like decide she was too important to teach, Leida smiled softly again and gave him another bow, bending at the waist to tilt her upper body towards him for a few moments. "Thank you for this instruction."

The practice resumes after getting the formalities out of the way. The princess swings her blade from the overhead position, using the assistance of its natural weight to add some extra power to her strikes, if the difference between a falling leaf and a falling twig can really be measured as such. Lefty and the other spirit, who has yet to be named, continue to cheer and interfere as they see necessary. She uses a variety of tactics from trying to push the branch aside with sheer force (a laughable concept) to swinging rapidly to try and speed past the guard, always returning to the upper stance between each swing, ofcourse. When she put her mind to it, Leida could be a good student.
Percival continues to give her encouragement and advice throughout the long hours of the night. The princess definitely had endurance, he'd give her that! Once she stopped attempting tactics that were patently ridiculous, he'd intercept the majority of her blows, but allowed others to slip into his guard. Once again he never allowed the same type of blow to hit twice, so that she would continually have to mix things up. To consider always where the blow was going to fall, and how. The interference is always taken in stride, and he always swats them away with his wings. Upon looking up at the horizon, he chortles.

"M'lady, it seems that our time together for the night is nearing its end. I won't have time to make it back to Fluorgis to roost. I'll have to find a secure location nearby."

He gives her an earnest smile. "Further lessons will be forthcoming if you desire them. Your endurance ane enthusiasm are admirable. But you need to practice, and build up your strength. And to steel yourself, for soon we'll have to teach you to accept blows as well as you give them."

He wanted to speak on Angantyr and what exactly he planned to teach her, but he decides against it for now. He was speaking to royalty, and royalty had the divine right. It was presumptuous to give moral advice unless it was asked for. He doesn't ready himself to leave quite yet. Perhaps he is waiting for her leave to depart. Or maybe he is just lingering to see what her response will be.
Leida It was true that for such a spritely small girl who seemed to have little in the way of strength her endurance was almost unnatural. Even after several hours she seems to have energy left to spare and gives him another deep bow as their training session draws to a close for the evening. She did not know much about gargoyles but their time had been productive and entertaining so the princess is inclined to let him leave without much questioning.

"Thank you very much for the lesson, sensei."

'Yeah, you're an alright... winged... rock... thing...'

'Thank you for being gentle with the young lady.'

Leida stiffles a giggle behind her hand at the formal language, never having expected to find someone who paid such heed to her royal blood in these strange worlds. Many of them did not even /have/ royalty, as baffling as that was. Putting on her best courtly face, the girl quickly combs at her messy hair with her fingers and clears her throat.

"Ah... oh... We appreciate your efforts and... will take your advice under consideration. And... ah... oh, please come and see us again soon..."
Percival Percival bows at her dismissal, with his hand across his chest. He tried his hardest not to crack even the tiniest of smiles at her formal yet girlish dismissal. "Farewell then, M'lady. Until next time. My only regret is that I cannot escort you out of the desert myself. You will have to forgive me for not keeping track of the time. In the future, if your royal personage allows it, I may be able to fly you to a safer destination before dawn threatens our time together."

A lingering pause, as his wings unfurl again, and he readies them. "If you do not feel it would be safe to cross the desert again, then wait in this oasis until twilight, and I will be there to assist you." Feeling he cannot delay any longer, lest his sense of propriety actually endanger his life, he heads for the largest tree, pauses to feel out the air currents, and glides towards a rock outcropping in the distance that he believed might have safe caves.

This scene contained 38 poses. The players who were present were: Leida, Percival