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No title.
(2013-04-01 - 2013-04-02)
No description.
The mission was a hard one, the day after was recovering, and now where it should be more recovering the Judge of Ambition found himself most of the day out in the sparring floor. Practicing his form with two training blades and even staff.

He did this alone, for hours really. Each swing calculated, trained, focused. At times the Imperial troops moving by would watch, sometimes other Judges. Most knew better then to enter the area when Gabranth was practicing his form; most knew this could result in your getting in a spar with his honor and probably getting bruised up.

But most importantly, they all knew he shouldn't have been out here yet. The stitches were still fresh and pushing his body so soon after would not be good for his health, yet who was going to argue sense into him? Who was going to question a Judge Magister in what they did?

So as the sun starts to set over the floating city of Archades, the Judge Magister at last finds himself stopping. Several training dummies down, a few swords broken and even a few staffs. He walks over to the metal wall ring, leaning against it before reaching up to remove his helm.

In his hands he draws the helm down, before he rotates it around to stare into the very eye slits. Looking into those soulless eye slits as if expecting something to be looking back at him. His own true blades still hanging by his hip and sweat was gently running along side the sideburns on the side of his face.

Yet those amber eyes just continued to stare, before he gently moved to rest his forehead against the helm. Closing his eyes tightly shut in the peace of silence that was now the training room. The peace and quiet that he was sure was only him now standing here.
Riku Riku had shucked most of his armor and his duster in his room, wearing clean but indistinct clothing in dark green and tan. The only white was the bandages wrapped around his hand, his fingers still itching and occasionally twinging with pain when he moved wrong.

It would take another day or two to heal up from his folly but if he got away from that island with only a slight case of mist poisoning and a punctured hand Riku considered himself pretty lucky. Considering he had just seen Judge Constantine punch her way through a solid slab of stone, he had perhaps wisely stayed out of her way for the rest of the voyage.

He let his feet meander where they would and trying not to return, in his mind, over and over to that floating island and how it could have all gone wrong.

He knew what would calm him and so he came here, to the beginning, to when life still made sense. To the forms and the endless practice--Riku slowed to a stop and stood there, halting just outside the training floor room where a window shadowed by a tree threw dying twilight and shifting shadows across his face and body as he stood absolutely still. Riku watched the pattern as it danced across the ground and slipped out of consciousness for a moment and into fugue, staring across the middle distance as though chasing something without really seeing.

A long minute, then five passes before he realizes it and shifts his attention upwards. Thankfully he was not really in the way, awakening to find himself leaning against the wall.

He finds Gabranth across the way, not too far distant. Riku turns his face away, feeling almost like an intruder as he recognizes the Judge Magister and the teenager takes a small breath, letting it out quietly as he shakes off the momentary paralysis and.. he does not know what to do now.

Continue to walk? Approach them? He wasn't sure. He wasn't sure at all. Riku slipped into the training room in silence, and although he knows there are things he /should/ do, he doesn't do any of them. He pretends Gabranth is not there. And if it's terribly a breach to leave a man to his thoughts, then he'll apologize for the breach of rules later. He throws only a glance in his direction, and then moves to warm himself up, ignoring the twinging of his hand.

Gabranth doesn't lift his helm away, even as he hears the feet moving across the sand floor. He inhales deeply, before he lowers the helm. Those amber gold eyes peering across the way toward where Riku was at. Watching the young, perhaps future Judge warm up.

He tucks the helm under his arm, as he pushes himself off the wall. Ignoring the minor twinge of pain in his side as he does so. Then he carefully makes his way over to Riku, yet he keeps his distance. Standing there for a moment, watching. "I am.." He words pause on the air for just a brief moment. "..I am surprised to see you here, Judge Riku. How is your hand doing?"

Start the conversation with something light. Something light was good, gave a feel for the air after all. If a good time to talk, to remain quiet, or just take his leave. After all, he had been hogging this area most of the day, about time someone else had a turn right? Even if most have already gone home or were getting ready to relax down for the night coming soon.
Riku "About as good as I deserve for attempting to bore holes into it, your honor." Riku stretches out his shoulders and chuckles, smirking at the Judge Magister and not letting the moment of wariness or awkward concern flit across his face. He swings his arms back and forth a bit and seems almost cheerful while he is focusing on such a task as this. He raises an eyebrow slightly as if deflecting the question back on the owner as he goes rooting through the supplies for something to use. He needed more practice with normal weapons.

He makes a sound of disbelief and scorn at the word 'normal' crossing his mind but he bats it away like a cobweb. If he chased all the threads, he'd wake up half a world away and days later. Not a pleasant thought, especially with the implication of how he got there from here.

So he kept his focus, but didn't let himself dwell on anything for too long. "I'm surprised to see you here, myself."
"A job is never done." Gabranth remarks, continuing too watch the youth. "If I even took a moments rest, the paper would grow larger then my bloody head. I may become lost in a forest of them." He playful states with a slight smile attempting to creep over his face.

"I also have a promise to keep to some men. They wanted me there for a training mission, to, well, help rough up some new recruits." He chuckles softly before lowering his gaze. His body shifted, trying to ignore his moment of tenseness, anxiety perhaps.

There grew some silence once more. His leather glove tipped fingers gently tapping against the helm. One would think by now he could find himself talking more freely to Riku. Zargabaath made this look always so easier then it really was.

"Do you," He pauses almost seeming to unsure if he should ask. It was as if his own words chocked in his throat for a moment as he stared down at the ground, before he looked back at Riku, " you still have the necklace?"
Riku Riku snorts. "Well you might as well take that moment. Lull the paperwork into a false sense of security maybe." he rests the practice sword on his shoulder, continuing to move and pace with agitation not quite perfectly masking his internal state.

"As long as it's not a thrashing like you almost gave me in front of his majesty, I won't feel sorry for those new guys..much." The silence falls again as he passes the sword from hand to hand.

Riku draws himself up and the familiar weight in his hand is soothing. When he closes his eyes and listens to the silence he can almost grasp the fading edges of memory. Almost see a distant shore.

He moves through the first half dozen movements before the next question breaks into the silence of his concentration and his longing thoughts. Riku slows to a stop, he turns to face Gabranth.

Rather than say anything, he simply reaches into his tunic and pulls the leather cord with the token out enough for the Judge Magister to see it. A look of uncertainty and a flicker of something wounded passes across his eyes and he blinks several times as if not know how to react now.
Gabranth hints a slight sheepish look with his eyebrows. He didn't mean to throw Riku off, it seems the youth had yet to learn how to concentrate on battle, while still remaining concentrate of thought as well. Something, he must admit, he had trouble with as well during training. It wasn't till Zargabaath decided to teach him history during those spars and ask him quiz questions after did he start to really get the hang of such an art.

Yet, perhaps he was to quick to judge Riku, perhaps the youth could do such tasks.

Gabranth nods his head softly, a small minor smile at the pendant. He gives another nod of his head before his eyes shift to the sands. "The pendant has a story, perhaps one day I will tell it to you and why it means a great deal."

The Judge then goes to rest down his helm on part of the wall. "Yet, I do not believe you are here to hear stories, but to practice your form. Unless I be mistaken, this perhaps I could tell you the story, during perhaps a more.. friendly spar?"
Riku Riku starts his form again, chuckling as he parries an imaginary thrust and thumps the same imaginary Sora for not paying enough attention (some things happen so regularly he just worked them into his routine. Or perhaps he's just feeling too good, and focusing too hard on remembering to leave anything out)

"I already knew." he says idly as he continues through the form to the next half dozen. He's not sure whether to stop or keep going so he indulges himself in his memories, trying to not be alarmed. Trying not to let the sadness creep onto his face when he can't.. quite.. seem to remember things all the way. The smell of the ocean. Voices. The chuff of sand.

Riku eventually winds to a stop again, staring at the sand underneath his feet for a few moments. "You wouldn't have something like that unless it was important. I guess I just got to live up to whatever it is. And maybe you'll that story sometime."

Riku says. "It won't be very hard. Any fight we have after this is probably not going to quite so.. uhh.." he coughs. "..Antagonistic." Riku gives a sheepish and chagrined smile up at the Judge Magister, he's still looking for the rejection. For the realization.. but it never came. The Judge Magisters saw everything that he was and didn't turn him away.

He still fears, and a little of the fear leaks into his expression.. but he turns his face away and starts the combination again before it can register for too long.
"Good, because it suits you better then I." Gabranth says as he turns away. He then kicks up one of the practice swords. "Now then, show me some of your form against a living, moving target."

The Judge of Ambition rotates the weapon with his arm as he takes a stance. "I assure you, I wont strike back, but do give me your best. If you are not going to use your powers," Yes Gabranth did in fact notice this. "Then you will need to work on the form and how to move past given defenses."

The Judge Magister does ponder on telling Riku more about the Pendant. Its history really. Riku had shared so much of his own. So much trust, yet Gabranth was unsure how much information he could give away, not that it may matter now. The Dungeon the traitor was in was taken by the darkness, surely he did not escape? No. There was no way to escape, not in the state he was in. That silently moment of though caused just a hint of pain in his eyes before he eyes refocused on what needed to be done.

Focus on Riku and block the incoming strikes the best of his own ability. To be on the defensive for once, instead of on the aggressive.
Riku Riku hesitates for a moment, and then sighs. "I will have to eventually. I felt crippled and uneasy on the island, and would probably go half out of my mind." he pauses and adds. "..again.. If I had to bottle them up for too long." he pauses again, then chuckles. "Maybe I just need to learn to be sneakier."

With this he braces himself before lunging forwards at Gabranth, aiming several slashes at the midsection and one towards the shoulder and one towards the knee.

Always changing targets while trying to keep the rhythm of the movements and the footwork.
With each strike, Gabranth quickly moves the training blade to parry the blow. His own feet only stepping back as much as he needed to step back. The two wooden blades impacting one another made an almost rhythmatic sound across the area. Clack clack clack.

Gabranth couldn't help but hide back that small twinge on his face as the swords clashed. When Riku paused for another go, Gabranth fixed his stance. "Sometimes one does need to stretch there wings. That is only natural." The Judge of Ambition states.

Once Riku comes again, Gabranth does as he did before. Though about half way into the motions he grimaces a little and it almost causes him to about miss the defense on the strike. "I also spoke with the Senate. They are glad to see everyone came out alright and you did well. They look forward to seeing your future progress." The Judge Magister however narrows his eyes. There was a few on the Senate that seemed a little testy about Riku passing, then again-- Gabranth knew that stance all to well.
Riku Riku grumbles. "I bet they do." under his breath as he shakes his head and continues the form. He glances up at Gabranth, not asking with words but raising an eyebrow slightly as the blade halts at the last second with a resounding, arm numbing clack.

He doesn't relent but silently wonders if the Judge Magister is doing something like he has seen them do before in which they hide that their still injured until the moment of falling over sideways.

If anything, he starts to push harder. "I'm going to have to ask Zargabaath about that. I sort of need wings to stretch them but.. basics first. Always basics." he snorts. "And more reading. Ugh. Paperwork in training, I guess."

Riku comes in harder, Gabranth starts to go on a much harder defensive. "Aye. Reading. Enjoyable when it is books of fancy, but annoying when it is books of education." The swords continue to clack, but its obvious in those amber eyes that he is hurting with each strike. Each time he moves the blade to swiftly block the blow. Yet he doesn't give in. He seems to refuse to give in to the pain.

"Judge Magister Zargabaath would be indeed the best one to ask to be trained. He trained I and several others. He is a master of weapon types, but that perhaps come with his inability, or perhaps, undesire to use magic."

The final blow from Riku almost catches Gabranth and the Judge Magister has to do a quick step back. The wood sword didn't even more up to block the move. Gabranth almost lowered his head a bit, gritting his teeth before he shook it off.

He does motion to halt for a moment as he tucks the wooden sword under his arm and starts to fix his bracers and gloves. "I believe he also spoke about getting you a present, though what I do not know." He then inhales deeply, though he grimaces as he does, closing his eyes for that moment. Trying to get his mind to refocus, to relax.

Gabranth then opens his eyes once more, before he takes the wooden sword in hand once more. "One more time. Lets see if you can break it." He almost says with a dark smirk. Like that wouldn't be asking for it.
Riku Riku shakes his head, smirking between grit teeth. He makes a low noise of annoyance deep in his throat as he watches the Judge Magister and begins to circle. The mention of a present brings him up a little short and returns the confused wariness to his manner. "..Why?" he asks, then shakes his head. "..nevermind. I'll ask him later." he looks markedly uncomfortable for a moment then pushes it aside, like with the rest of his thoughts, by plunging in on the assault again.

With not even a warning burn of slipping control to his movements, he's completely certain that if Gabranth wanted him to push harder.. he might as well do what the Judge Magister asked. It was safe enough. For him at least.

"Alright." he says in a slight singsong, circling and then striking. Circling and striking, up high and then low and finally rushing inwards with a fierce double handed slash towards the ribs.
"Does one need a reason to give a gift?" Is all Gabranth had time to say to Riku before the youth moves in for the attack. Those amber colored eyes almost snap gold as they suddenly snap onto Riku, there may been even something off for a moment before they returned to an amber color once more.

Each blow came in fierce and quick. The Judge Magister keeping up at first, the steps and movements matching with equal ferocity that Riku was placing out. The wood smacking wood echoed loudly in the silence and Gabranth slowly, mentally realizing he shouldn't have pushed for this. He would feel it in the morning; if not while he slept.

However the final blow, the double handed slash was enough to break the very training sword Gabranth had. The wood shattered and splinters flew into the air. Riku's own slamming into Gabranth with now no defense, causing him to nearly stumble over from the heavy impact.

The Judge Magister quickly moved his hand to his side as he stood there, other hand resting on his knee. One would expect many anger or snarls, yet Gabranth actually was laughing a bit, before he forced himself to stand up. "..very good." Gabranth rubbed the side area, glad the leather did in fact as a bit of a protection.

"There may be a time soon enough not only could you defeat me in a spar, but perhaps even Judge Magister Bergan or Zargabaath." Gabranth slowly lowers his hand down as he tosses what remains of the practice sword off to the side.

He then starts to walk back over his helm. "..Perhaps when I get back tomorrow, I will tell you a bit of the story around the pendant and the history behind it."
Riku Riku does look a little angry now. His control slides a little bit under the lash and his eyes glow for a glimmering instant as he stuffs the frustration back down, swallowing it as he forces himself to laugh and relax.

Riku looked at the training sword in his hand and then shrugs with chagrin as he looks at the shattered sword and turns to put it away. When he returned he hissed a breath through his teeth and regained his composure.

It really wasn't any of his business. So the glaring at the Judge Magister for sparring when he was obviously hurting just continues for a few more heated moments, boring into Gabranth's back as he goes to fetch the helm. Riku grumbles something inaudible and then ppfts, snorting softly. "Well. I hope that doesn't come too soon." he smirks a predatory smile that is still slightly angry around the edges. "Who else will I have to spar with when I've gone down the list?" he groans faintly and just gives up on the notion, waving it away as he swings his arms and stretches out a little bit more. "I'll hold you to that, your honor. It's a story I've got to hear."
Gabranth places on his helm as Riku speaks to him. He can pick up the inflections in the voice, but chooses to ignore them. Either the youth was upset by lack of control or something else. He was not going to press however, though the comment of 'gone down the list' does cause him to chuckle faintly.

"I am sure we will find you someone." He then turns to face Riku once more with that helm on before he starts to walk past the youth. "Thank you for the spar, Judge Riku. I leave you to your own personal training.."

As he continues to walk by, he glances over his shoulder a bit. "..and I will make sure the story does not bore you." Though it sounds serious, there was a hint of playfulness in the Judge's voice. Yet deeper in the edge of the words, was perhaps also a hint of concern. Gabranth then looks away as he continues to walk. "Good Night and don't stay up to late. The training dummies may come to life and attempt to prod you with papers."
Riku "Oh. I would never attempt to push myself like that, your honor." Riku grumbles under his breath as the Judge magister leaves. "That'd be stupid." he grunts and throws a wave over his shoulder then.. stops.

He turns around very slowly and inclines his head, bowing stiffly in their direction as he then spins around and attacks one of the training dummies with a little bit too much enthusasim. "Good Night."

This scene contained 18 poses. The players who were present were: Riku, Gabranth