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Clandestine Whispers
(2013-01-17 - 2013-03-07)
No description.
Percival After his time with Zia over the evening, he had continued to impose on the Shard Seeker's hospitality. Or at least he thought that's what he was doing. He hadn't in fact 'seen' any other Shard Seekers around the headquarters. After his encounter with Angantyr and his subsequent scolding, he'd used the time for quiet introspection. In the garden he would be found kneeling near the tangled fountain, a sword within its scabbard held point down. His head is bowed, and his wings are cloaked about his shoulders. While his tail usually twitches from side to side, for the moment it is still. He speaks a prayer in a quiet voice, his accent changed from a terribly fake American one to one that would be archaic even in Great Britain.

"Almighty God, Eternal Father, Lord of Lords, have mercy upon me, a humble squire in thy divine service. Oh Lord, I pray for thy indulgence and blessings. Forget not thine servant in his trials, nor his Order of Knighthood. I pray, that thy Will be done in all things, both great and small."

"Let me always be worthy of thee, let me not forget thee in good times nor bad. Armor me with the armor of thy righteousness, give me the sword of truth that I shall confound thine enemies."

"Oh Lord, in my hour of need, be with me. Let me never forget my sacred and holy vows unto Thee, that I should not be prey unto demons and devils nor the dark things of this world."

"Let me always be a beacon unto those in distress, never allow me to forget my obligation unto the homeless nor the poor: let me serve thee and thine eternal throne all the days of my life. Let me always remember the obligations that I have taken upon me. Lord, if it is thine will, let me serve thee forever."

This continues to go on for some time. It is obvious that he praying for repentance of some sort, but his words do not indicate what for.
Leida The reason that there are often no people around the Shard Seeker's home was that most of them spent a great deal of time out doing jobs or running errands necessary to keep their little unofficial clan afloat. Food and supplies cost money and mercenary work often pays rather poorly so there is always something that needs to be done.

The one main exception to this is the princess who hasn't the skills nor the courage to operate on her own in such a capacity. Most of her day is usually consumed with small menial chores like doing laundry and tending to the garden. Keeping the building clean is also a task that required constant maintenance as sand manages to get in through every nook and cranny, building up all day long.

Today, Leida has been out in the Market for most of the afternoon, helping with some of the continued efforts to clean up after the Heartless invasion. While she can't really do much heavy lifting or rebuilding, every extra hand helps things move along more smoothly and she's getting a small sum for the effort as well.

The stark white of the girl's shirt is smeared with dust and ash when she walks in through the front door, as well as her skin, to the point that it would be hard to argue if she claimed to have been sweeping chimneys out. Sometimes to get things clean you have to get messy. She puts a basket filled with fruit on the table, part of the day's haul, and heads out into the garden, intent on throwing herself in the soothing waters of the hot spring to unwind.

That is until she hears the strange chanting. Pausing in the archway that leads out into the garden, the princess peek carefully around the corner to see who it is that might be out there. She is rather surprised to find her friendly gargoyle mentor though it is not an unpleasant one. Seeing that he is apparently rather intently concentrating, she slowly move up from behind, listening quietly to the prayers or vows or whatever they might be.
Percival Despite the fact that he seems quite distracted, his hearing was actually quite good. Another small advantage granted to him by his heritage. Since there was nothing threatening in the sound, he continued, but cut to the final stanza of the prayer. "...power beyond power, pillar of strength, refuge of the homeless, let me serve thee all the days of my life. Amen."

He rises slowly from his kneeling position and turns. Upon sighting Leida though, the girl had perhaps never seen anyone fall to their knees again quite so quickly, his hand upon his chest, his head bowed. His accent changes abruptly as well, to his incredibly fake American one. "Your royal highness, this lowly squire begs forgiveness for his imprudence. I did not think it was you. Had I known you were here, I would have made every effort to see you greeted properly."

His sword is held out within its scabbard, hilt first towards her, as if stating that his sword was hers, and that his very life was in her hands.
Leida Despite the fatigue filling every nook and cranny of her body at the moment, Leida finds her good cheer returning upon seeing the gargoyle knight practically stumbling over himself in the effort to acknowledge her heritage. It wasn't that she felt entitled to such respect, just the opposite infact, but his insistence on clinging to the tradition, despite there being no court or kingdom for her to be the princess of, was amusing.

"Ah... n-no, that is alright, Percival-sensei..." She wards off the offered blade with both hands held up defensively, smiling at the theatrical drama of his offer. Though she had not asked nor learned of him enough to know the full extent of his personal code of conduct, it seemed to share some aspects of behavior with that of the warriors from her homeland. This made her somewhat nervous about giving off the indication to him that she might be displeased or upset as such things could prompt the prideful samurai to commit rather rash forms of self punishment or send rumors spiralling out of control that could harm their reputation. A princess was a powerful force in her own right.

"Please, rise." She motions for him to stand and gives him a traditional bow of respect in return. "What were those mantras you were chanting? They sounded similar to Reize-san's Knightly Vows."
Percival Percival rises, slowly, but attempts to keep his posture lowered enough as if to imply that he's not trying to tower over her. The scabbard he places back upon his back, the leather strap he'd affixed to it running across his chest diagonally. He clears his throat. "Ah, M'lady those weren't actually my vows. My vows are simply those of obedience to my master in chivalry, my Lord of chivalry, and the almighty Divine." He'd begun to use the word 'Divine' rather than 'God' as of late, for it seemed to be less offensive to all the disparate faiths of these many worlds.

"That is all that is required of a simple squire. One day, if I am ever found worthy then I shall actually say my vows of Knighthood. That was simply a prayer. While it asks for many things, I was mainly asking for the unworthy to be made worthy. That is to say myself, given that I have many vices which mark my unworthiness." He breathes out a sigh. "For now, I merely follow a code. A set of guidelines which if followed, will lead me upon the path to true Knighthood."
Leida "Divine? So you were speaking with the... with your gods." The princess nods at this. Not all warriors were devout in her world and religion was more of a tradition than the sort of society governing force that had given rise to holy warriors and mass sermons. The spirits and gods of the land were given their due as was only fair and there were many to whom one could beseach for aid. Whether or not they actually listened or cared was another matter.

Leida smiles up at him, tilting her head to the side in amusement. "Oh? Well, I have only known you a short time, Percival-sensei, but I think you are very kind. I am sure that you will achieve your desire to become a knight one day."

Turning away, she wanders casually over to the edge of the garden and sits on the stone lip of one of the many aqueducts running through the city. The water spills from several cracks in masonry thanks to the tenacious grip of vines and roots from the many flowers and plants for which the city is famous for, providing a constant trickle of moisture for their own little slice of vegetation.

"So, um... why have you come here? I seem to recall that you had business?"
Emi Dennou Imi and Shida are heading into the garden. Shida knows gods exist, because she's met one. The two are not, however, religious in any way shape or form. They're not anti religion, they're just nonreligion. They don't engage in these rituals. Perhaps this is simply due to not having been in a situation where they were especially advised of these rituals, and indeed they probably never really had much opportunity to examine the opportunity of engaging in such rituals. They had no need, their fate was assured.

The two look up when they notice Percival present along with Leida. The tilt their head--simultaneously--to the left with an identical quizical expression on their faces. Nevertheless, they are easy to pick out. Shida has this white blue outfit thing going on and Imi has managed to get a flower in her hair.

"Le i da." Imi says. Then Shida also says, "Le i da."

And they walk closer, and closer, clooooser.
Percival "Ah, actually God, or three entities who are one God, depending on your point of view."

Dogma was not something he often considered, especially human dogma. He was typically more spiritual under all but the worst of circumstances, such as personal failing or when faced by what he considered to be evil. His clan was all but forced at swordpoint to convert long ago, and their modern views would be considered heretical by all the churches from his world. He clears his throat. "My flaws are great M'lady. I am not nearly as optimistic as you might be. I am quick to temper, and slow to forgive grave slights. I am too proud when it is best to be humble, and am foolish when one ought to be wise. I am idealistic when one must be pragmatic. No, I don't think I will be saying my vows for some time."

He does not move to follow her, standing stock still where he is. He decided honesty was the best policy. "I was sent to meet with Zia. She is one of my kind and may play an important role in our future plans. I've decided to repay her hospitality by patrolling the city of Flowers for a time to stave off the heartless threat."

His shoulders seem to stoop ever lower as he hears Imi and Shida approach. As if his shame were not enough. Still it was hardly their fault, their sister only spoke the truth and pointed out what he already knew. That he was unworthy. He puts on his best smile. "Ah..." He pauses for a moment to recollect any subtle differences which might give away which is which. Let's see, each favors a certain style of clothing, and a different hair style to fit their personality. Which is which, he'd hate to offend. "...Imi, Shida. It is a distinct pleasure to see the two of you again. Have you come to look at the flowers, Imi? I did promise after all."
Leida The girl nods at this. Zia was also one of his kind so it made sense that he would come and visit her. However, his self depreciation made her frown slightly. "Oh... you should not be so hard on yourself, Percival-sensei. No one can be perfect... I am happy that you will be staying for a while, in any case." The arrival of the sisters goes unnoticed by the princess until they call out her name to which she gives a bright smile that seems to light up her ash-smudged face. "Ah! Imi-chan, Shida-chan!"

Hopping off her perch, Leida moves quickly over towards the two of them and bows quickly to each of them in turn. For a moment it almost looks like she's going to hug them herself for a change but then she remembers that she's basically a walking pillar of dirt at the moment and thinks better of it. "I am glad to see you both, as always. Please forgive my appearance, I have been helping around the city all day. There is a rather surprising amount of dirt to be found in collapsed buildings! You would think with no one inside to make a mess they would be cleaner..."

A hand goes to her face suddenly. "Oh! Where are my manners? Have you met our guest?"
Emi Dennou "Of course, we met him at the same time as you met him, remember? Shida of the Network reminds it was that time with Angantyr and inquires whether or not you are still upset."

"Thank you for looking after the city, then, Percy." Imi says with her own smile. They probably didn't catch most of that stuff before Percival noticed their own arrival. But it's hard to miss his shoulders slooping and the like. "Do you mind if this one uses Percy? The Network affirms that it can return to Percival if it is determined to be preferred."

She then skips forward and gives Leida a hug anyway. She was intending to get all up in the garden anyway, you see. "Le i da!" She singsongs. "The Network assaults metaphorically!"

Shida laughs into her hand a bit before looking over to Percival. "We did. Imi really likes the garden."
Percival Percival was flabbergasted, his clan typically didn't use shortened nicknames, but epithets which equated them affectionately to some historical figure. He almost spoke the words 'absolutely not' instantly. But perhaps out of simple humility he states otherwise.

"Yes, you may call that Imi. Perhaps you might consider staying in our company for a time, to look upon the flowers. I have an obligation to continue..."

He almost stated 'The princess' but after a moment's thought, changes the title to something not quite as royal, realizing that she might prefer to keep it a secret. "....Madame Leida's lessons. You're welcome to watch if you will. Then afterwards I can horrify you utterly with my complete ignorance of botany and flower arrangements in general other than when one looks aesthetically pleasing to me." He steps towards the training dummy that Zia had set up earlier. They would each note multiple places where it had been charred terribly. An idle bucket of water sits nearby. Picking up two wooden swords from the stand next to it, he then walks over to Leida, offering one to her hilt first.
Leida "You... you did?" Leida looks up at the sky thoughtfully, placing a finger on her chin. She stares into space for several seconds before the memory fully returns to her. "Oh...! That is right. I... ah... completely forgot..." The girl blushes at her mental deficiency and taps the tips of her index fingers together nervously. "S-Sorry, Imi-chan..."

Imi's 'completely unexpected' display of affection causes the princess to squeak in delight and she playfully hugs the girl back getting them both thoroughly covered in dirt and soot. It seems her bashful nature has begun to recede a little, atleast when her best friend is around. She giggles a little then lets go when Percival approaches with the mention of training.

"Oh... well... I am a little tired right now... " She pouts for a moment but then sighs. "But I am already dirty so I suppose a little exercise will not harm anything." Leida takes the sword with both hands and bows to the gargolye upon receiving it.
Emi Dennou "Aww it'so kay." Imi says, getting dirt all over her. Omi would be horrified. But she came here intending to muck around in the garden anyway. MORE IMPORTANTLY SHE NOTICED...that Leida didn't hesitate at all that time. Heh heh heh... soon Leida... soon you will be hugging people... ON YOUR OWN!!! HAHA! HAHAHAHA! GWA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

Imi smiles sweetly, sitting down on the ground. "Certainly," She says.

Shida says, "More lessons?" Gosh, it seems sometimes that's mostly what Leida ends up doing! Lessons, lessons, and more lessons. She fans her hands in front of her and looks at her fingers, shaking them from side to side. She hops from foot to foot a few times, as if restless or perhaps afflicted with the ADHD.
Percival Percival returns the bow, but does not unsling his shield. Instead he holds the wooden sword with an easy posture near his hip while he stands to the side. His wings remain furled as if to show the point of remaining a smaller target. "This is a lower guard. You can use it with one hand, or two. However, given your stature, M'lady, and your current level of strength, I would recommend you continue to practice the higher guard. I would teach you the art of drawing, which I suspect is common from where you come from, but I only have experience with straight broadswords, and hand and a half swords, not curved ones, which are essential for that particular artform. The guards though remain the same across all cultures, in my world, and thus far, amongst every wielder of the blade I have seen across the worlds here."

He regards Leida with a sort of somber dignity, he was uncertain how she would take this news. "On your first night of practice, you learned a few of the basics. You were allowed to swing away without reprisal on my part. Once you have warmed up adequately tonight, though, I will be returning the occasional blow." He tries to soften the blow of this knowledge though by adding quickly. "...but only on occasion. Most times I will stop short, but on occasion I may sting you slightly. You however, are to hit me as hard as you can, as often as you can. It will not anger me. Always remember though, that a true master of the art only strikes when they wish to. By stopping short, it proves to their opponent that they have both mastery and mercy. But tonight, you are a novice. You are to put all your strength into each blow." He then states in a very gentle tone of voice. "Begin whenever you are ready. Warm up by trying to strike me, and I will only parry at first."
Leida There may come a day when Leida gives up her deeply ingrained cultural fear of PDA. But not yet... not yet.

The girl moves a few steps away from Imi to ensure that her eventual wild flailings that Percival has so mercifully named 'practice' do not actually endanger her friend. She watches as he demonstrates and explains another of the basic stances, nodding occassionally to prove that she is paying attention. His mention of sword drawing causes her to think briefly about the flashy techniques of the samurai back home. Every motion was an artform in itself and even the act of unsheathing the blade could be deadly. There were entire schools of combat dedicated to that particular motion, infact. That Percival is aware of this surprises her a little but she doesn't interrupt.

The news that he was going to up the ante and start swinging back causes her eyes to widen a little, despite his reassurances. She was already sore and tired from the day's work. Knowing his reverence for her birthright, she could probably weasel out of it at this point if she really wanted to but Leida decides against it. He was doing this for her benefit afterall.

Instead she just gives him a faint smile and nods once again. "Ah... alright..." Bowing yet again, Leida holds the sword up just as instructed in the upper guard stance, spreading her feet apart and waiting a moment to ensure that her balance is good. The fact that her friends are watching makes her a little nervous but she tries to put on a serious face. And then she starts to swing, much the same as before. The blows start off light and slow but she gets her rythm going soon enough and changes it up, throwing in the strikes from alternating sides that seemed to work fairly well before.
Emi Dennou Neither Imi or Shida are really into ... /knight/ lessons. At night. Because...knight...nigtt. Right. Imi quietly observes and doesn't make any comment as the lesson is passed on. She has little to add in any event.

Leida sure seems pumped for these particular lessons, Imi wonders if Percival and she had some chatter at some other point about working on some training of some kind.

"Hmhm, seems like you're fitting in just fine, Percy." Imi says, grin growing on her face.

Shida just watches. FOR NOW.
Percival "Fitting in, Imi?" He couldn't help but chuckle. "Perhaps. I hope so at least..."

Any classic cinema buff from Percival's world might note that he's actually being a bit playful with his parries. He seems to emulating Errol Flynn and theatrical swordsmanship, just a smidge at least, even if he is in fact, teaching her the real basics. He does on occasion, for her benefit, allow a strike to slip through, but he never allows the same strike to fall twice, forcing Leida to think on her feet and be original. "You're doing well. Have you practiced? Quite impressive..."

He continues to offer compliments to each of her more original blows. Were she a hatchling in his clan, he might have been a bit harsher and less complimentary approach, but he instead he keeps up the gentler approach. He had never tried to train a shy and delicate flower before, much less one that was a princess; and after watching Angantyr's attempt to teach her he realized that such approaches would only cause her to retreat further into her shell. After she warms up for a few minutes, he uses the oppurtunity parrying one of her blows creates to slide the wooden sword inside her guard, to see if she would manage to stop it, evade it, or if he would be forced to stop short. Regardless of how she reacts though, he stops it just short of tapping her arm.
Leida Despite any evidence to the contrary, Leida has not touched her sword since the last session. Nor has she altered her approach to the training in any real way. Many of her 'moves' such as they are, are are used over and over again, merely in various orders. She does not seem to have any real grip of tactics as they pertain to swordplay. What few openings he allows her to create she fails to capitolize upon or in many cases even notice a difference other than the fact that some of her swings hit and some do not.

Still, she tries to put up a good fight, recalling memories of watching the warriors of her father's army train in the courtyard. The few times she tries to employ these clearly advanced techniques are obvious as she is overtly flashy and ambitious, over-extending and usual loosing her balance, forcing the girl to hastily hop about on one foot or stumble to recover.

It is during one of these ill-fated special attacks that he chooses to move in and make to strike at the princess. Still recovering from her own poorly executed attack, her eyes go wide and she panics alittle, wildly bringing her own weapon back around to counter. This pendulum motion causes her to spin about even as she teeters to the side and ultimately goes crashing over on her back in the soft dirt. Fortunately, she doesn't land on any of the flowers.
Emi Dennou It's kind of nice to see that Leida can still be clumsy and tumble into things, for Imi. Who is Leida when she's not falling into something or over something? Well she's not Lei-ing down so she must be Standa instead.

She still cringes, though, as does Shida. Simultaneously again.

Imi, sitting down, is a little slower to move than Shida who jogs on over and offers Leida a hand up.

"Are you alright, Shida of the Network offers a hand up." Shida says, smiling down encouragingly at her. "Do you desire lifting? That was pretty neat!, Shida of the Network refers to pre tumble maneuverings."
Percival Percival had already dropped the wooden sword, and was bending over to offer her a hand, but he stops short when Shida bounds over. He smiles affectionately at Leida. She wasn't his first pupil, but because of her circumstances he cared far more about her progress than any other. "Remember our first lesson. A little bit of fear is healthy, but it cannot paralyze you. When you fall, you get up again, stronger for it. They may seem like failings right now, but they only serve to grant you more confidence and discipline."

He picks his weapon back up, and stands, waiting to see how she handles her little tumble.
Leida Leida blinks after a moment, staring up in the face of Shida who she smiles sheepishly at. "Ah... t-thank you, Shida-chan. If you do not mind..." She accepts the helping hand up and scrambles back to her feet, casually dusting herself off afterwards.

The princess looks no worse for wear from her little spill. If there is one thing she has become particularly good at it, it would be falling over. She does it quite frequently and has built up quite a strong tolerance to it, both emotionally and physically.

The practice sword is collected from the ground and Leida shyly moves back over to her place opposite the gargoyle as if nothing strange had happened. Another bow is given and she holds the blade up, ready to resume. "Um... I will try to be less scared..."
Emi Dennou "Leida-Chan..." Shida murmurs. "Fall down as much as you'd like. So long as you keep getting up, right?" She smiles brilliantly at Leida. "But Shida of the Network supposes you already do." She pauses for a moment, looking over to Percival as he more or less gives that advice too. And then she adds, "We'll help you up as often as you'd like." She steps back a bit so the two can continue. Imi seems a bit distracted, however.
Percival Percival smiles at Leida. "That is all I ask. Now what happened there?" He gently reaches out to grab her sword, and places it against his, then slides it in a way to show how he moved within her guard, twisting the blade in a way to stop short of her arm. "Now that you see that. How would you defend against it?"
Leida The princess beams back at Shida. "Thank you, Shida-chan..." The encouragement does a lot to boost her spirit so she turns back to face Percival and focuses on the lesson again.

"U-um... well..." Leida squints at the two weapons, noting their positions and trying to think of a decent example that might serve as a hint from her memories. Most fights were over in handful of seconds, the winner determined by some intricate mix of technique and strategy that was mostly performed in the mind's of the two combatants before a single strike happened. Atleast, that's how the instructors fought.

Still, she did recall some basic deflections at one point in time and Percival had mentioned parrying before so after a few moments of deep concentration, Leida slowly rotates her sword to the side, pushing the gargoyle's weapon with the blade. Afterwords she peers quizzically up at him for confirmation or denial that this was the right answer.
Emi Dennou Imi continues to look distracted.

Shida continues to look chipper. She doesn't really know sword fighting, honestly in a pure sword fighting match even Leida could probably beat a Dennou. So in a sense, it is all very interesting. She observes, intend on understanding. After Percival's latest radio comment, Imi actually looks rather confused, squinting tightly, but she doesn't comment out loud.
Percival Percival smiles at Leida. "That is one way. But there are others." He points to her feet, tapping a single talon lightly on the stones near them. "I realize that your feet are not so graceful at times M'lady, and we will work on that. But sometimes the best way to prevent a blow is to simply, not be there. It is not cowardice, but prudence. Now let's try again. Whenever you are ready." He stands apart from her at a slight distance, sword at the low guard, waiting for her to strike.
Leida Leida looks down at her feet as if realising they exist for the first time and blushes fiercely at the rather gentle manner in which she is told that she is clumsy. This was not a new revelation but having it pointed out in a delicate fashion somehow makes it even more embarrassing.

"O-oh... ofcourse..." As if to illustrate that she does indeed know how to dodge, the girl lowers her sword and steps away from Percival to collect herself for a moment. The weapon returns to the default stance when she is ready and Leida starts her assault anew, strike and return, strike and return.
Percival Percival parries all of her blows this time, offering similar words of encouragement. None of them are actually insincere. She is much better than she was before. While she is still barely a novice, he is in fact quite proud of her progress relative to how she was at the start of his lessons. This time, instead of parrying, he evades the blow by ducking low. And given her relatively small stature, that means he's nearly on all fours, yet not quite. He wonders secretly if she'll show the initiative to follow up while he's wide open, instead of simply dodging, as he aims a very, very slow blow towards her leg. Almost at a lazy pace in fact.
Emi Dennou Imi stands up at this point, stretching her arms up and behind her. She shakes out her hands and adds, "Oof, I think my legs were falling asleep." She looks over to Leida. "I think this one will go for a walk for a bit, The Network nonetheless will encourage you...through the bonds of our connected hearts...despite the distance of our bodies we will never be apart."

"I'll watch for you Imi." Shida says, no doubt happy to not be part of a heavy conversation.
Leida The sight of the gargoyle bent over to evade her blows makes him look almost beastial were it not for the clothing and the easy grace with which he dodges despite the size difference. Ofcourse, the princess is not the most fearsome of foes and quite handily telegraphs her attacks to him making it a simple matter of actually moving as opposed to needing to anticipate where. She's more likely to tire him out before landing any of her clumsy swings.

Percival's valiant efforts to give her an easy strike to counter are handily thwarted by his failure to account for precisely timed embarrassing statements from the princess' friend. Imi's rather bold declaration causes Leida to seize up and her entire face turns bright scarlet as she stammers out a response. "I-Imi-chan... That's--eek!"

The arc of his sword is noticed mere moments before he connects. Despite having been told that he would hold back, Leida again overreacts in her skittish manner, swinging her own weapon down at it as if whacking at a snake with a golf club. This technically counts as a parry, right?
Percival It sure does. No matter how poor her form might be, or how panicked, it was in fact a parry, which is why he then follows up by swinging his tail around as if to sweep her legs out from under her. This time it comes at very high speed, and yet he stops short, merely showing her his intent as the tail wiggles in front of her face briefly before standing back up. "An excellent first step, Hime-sama. You show promise. But you must tighten up your form. Show more confidence, and less fear." Percival smiles, then winks at her. "Always remember that your opponent may have other weapons as well. So while you need to watch their sword, you need to make certain they aren't drawing another weapon on you, or simply using unarmed methods of attacking."
Leida The counter strike is much too fast for Leida to deal with and she ends up getting a face full of tail. Or atleast would have if hadn't stopped short. She opens her eyes after a moment, which had instinctively slammed shut to brace for the blow that didn't come, to find a tail wiggling infront of her.

She stiffles a giggle behind her sleeve even as he warns her of the dangers of natural weaponry that some enemies might possess while providing a rather amusing example. After a moment, she lowers her hand and tilts her head to the side. "But... how can I watch two things at once?"
Percival Percival smiles at her despite himself. "Well M'lady. It is a sort of thing that warriors must train to prevent. We call it tunnel vision. If one focuses so much on a single target, then they become vulnerable. You must use the entirety of your field of vision to get a full picture of what is going on, upon the battlefield, or even against a single duelist."

He puts up a taloned finger in mid air. "If you focus your vision upon this talon too much, then your periphery becomes blurry. You see little else but the talon. But what if you don't focus upon it, even as it moves. You become aware not only of its movements, but everything around it as well. In other words, you're trying too hard. I think you should rest for a time. Perhaps try another exercise, like trying to keep track of several different dishes that you're cooking simultaneously. Or performing different chores simultaneously. The mundane exercises can teach you much about even the sword, if you try hard enough."

He kneels down before her, placing a hand over his chest. "M'lady, I'm afraid that I am beginning to tire, which means that I'll have to roost in the garden today. If it would not be too much trouble, might I ask for the boon of making certain noone disturbs my rest?" He would perhaps have said more, except a moment later, he turns quite literally into stone.

This scene contained 33 poses. The players who were present were: Leida, Emi Dennou, Percival