91w, 2dHuman in Equestria
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69w, 2dOh my d'aww. Io writes Gilda's backstory. 1 comments · 100 views
Death......... pain....... vengeance........... wrath.....
I decided to put off the interviews till tomorrow, since all the ponies that had come from a distance to get here were rather tired, and I had the feeling that many of them had not yet gotten over the shocking fact that there was indeed aliens among them. So, I let them settle in and instead, I tried to get some rest, only to be plagued by the disturbing images that swirled in my mind.
"Stupid Celestia......" I muttered under my breath as I awoke from yet another nightmare. This has gone on long enough. Time to send her a message.
Dear Princess Celestia,
What the hell did you do to me? Ever since you went all psycho on the ship I've been having nothing but nightmares when I close my eyes, and I can't remember them when I wake up. I don't know what you hope to accomplish my driving me crazy with these visions, but cut it out. It's not funny anymore.
With the letter sent, I decided to head down to the mess hall to get something to eat. After all, I told Aoi I'd meet him there for dinner.
"Attention crew, make your way to the galley for the evening meal." Cable's voice came over the PA system just in time.
As I ate my meal, I got to wondering, where the heck is Aoi? He said he'd be down for dinner, and the announcement went out, so where the heck is he? The rest of the crew, as well as the recent additions are here. Oh well, I guess he misses out. I should still find him later.
And find him I did, an the top deck, leaning next to the banister, looking at the moon and.... talking to himself?
"I've been on plenty of airplanes before, but something about an airship... i don't really know..."
"It has a certain serenity about it, doesn't it?" He turns around, slightly startled. So.... he CAN be snuck up on....."I thought I'd find you up here."
"I feel a lot less cramped, that's for sure..." He replies, turning his gaze back to the horizon. "Finish your meal?"
"Yes, although you seem to have missed yours."
"I wasn't hungry anyway, besides, there's no way I could get through the crowd in time..."
"They certainly are enthusiastic when food is on the line...." I laugh. The things those cats do to get their nom noms.
"Hmm, who isn't..."
I walk up to the banister and rest my arms on it. "You know, this could always be more than just 'hitching a ride'. We've got the same goals, and we could always use another skilled hand. More importantly, I like you, and I don't say that lightly."
"Duely noted," He smiles, "But I do have a clan to get back to. Maybe if we do cross paths again, I'll help if you need it..."
"True enough. I figured you for a 'lone wolf' if you'll pardon the pun. You'd rather be leading your own pack than joining another."
"That's the thing, I learned a valuable lesson when working with a team. One, you need to have ABSOLUTE TRUST when working with them, the second..." He pauses for a moment as if to recall something. "... never let them out of your sight..."
"The paranoid are only fools till it pays off, eh?"
"Paranoia has nothing to do with it..." He turns around to look me in the eye. "I paid the price for thinking that I had covered everything, every single loophole, thinking we could pull it off without a hitch... The cost was my entire team dead and me in a hospital for over a month..."
"Of course it does. Look at me. I would have never gotten this far if I hadn't planned for every single situation, and contingency plans as well. Soon as I let my guard down, soon as I stopped worrying? Trixie got shot in the chest. She could have DIED, and it would have been entirely my fault. That's the thing isn't it? In this profession, we CANNOT afford to make mistakes." I let out a sigh. "But, nobody's perfect. Eventually, we DO make mistakes, and when we do, it hurts. So long as we know we did everything we can, that there's nothing more we could have done, and we did our best, does it really matter?"
Aoi gives a smug grin. "I guess we can't change it, only move on, knowing not to make it again..."
"Even me. I was looking for meaning in my life, so I decided to save that of another. It came back to bite me, and I always hated that fact but...... how was I to know? If I hadn't done what I did, would things have been any different? If so, how would they have changed? I'll never know, and it's pointless to think about it. Every decision we make all lead to where we are now, and thinking back, do you have any regrets?"
"And that is?" I'm genuinely interested in what this lone warrior looks back on with shame.
"... I say that I was helpless... I say that I could have done nothing...." He starts to laugh, an uneasy laugh that puts me on edge. "But I could have tried... at least TRIED to take that bastards knife and drive it straight through his HEART!...........But that wouldn't have helped.... It wouldn't have brought my parents back.... Who knows... I probably wouldn't even be here..."
"Damn straight, and in all odds, you would have died right then and there. But, you had patience, and prepared yourself. Either way, you got your vengeance, this one only took a little longer."
"Griffin?" He says as he sighs, turning back to lean over the railing. I give a 'hmm?' to tell him I'm listening.
"About Ember...... what do you plan to do about her?"
"Dodge her as long as I can. I know that look in her eye, she's not about to give up just because I keep ahead of her. She'll chase me to the ends of the world and beyond. When she eventually does catch me, I just hope I'll be able to handle her by then. Certainly can't right now, she beat the stuffing out of Luna, and she's way beyond me."
"Dodging may help temporarily, but you have to know whether or not you are ready to face her. I have an idea of what she's going through, after all, I've been through it myself..."
"I have no idea what to say to that. To her, I'm a monster that killed her father. To us, her father was a monster that was trying to kill us. We see each other as evil, something that needs to die. But then, who's right?"
"Neither of you... If you two actually decide to fight, at least without listening to each other first..." He sighs again. Something is on his mind. He's thinking about something, and it's putting him off. "Little known fact, I've been on both the giving, and receiving end of a vendetta..."
"I'd be willing to listen, but something tells me she won't be so talkative. Unless........"
I put on a devious grin. "I find her first. I take the initiative. I track HER down. It should at least throw her off guard long enough for me to get a word in."
"But what to say..... I don't think she would be in the mood for 20 questions Griffin..."
"I wouldn't need twenty. Just one. 'Why do you want me dead?' I know the answer, but if I can make her explain it fully, I can find holes in her reasoning. There's still no guarantee, and I'll probably wind up dead, but then that would happen anyway, wouldn't it?
"Depends, do you want HER dead?" I pause to think about what he's asking. He apparently takes this for deceit. "Be honest now..."
"Honestly? No. To me, she seems like a kid who's pissed off that her dad died. I mean, barring me, since I happen to hate mine, who wouldn't be? So of course she'll try to get revenge. I'm not upset with her at all about that. If she tries to kill me, yeah, I'll have to fight back and try to do the same, but I don't want her dead. She's just another person who the game of life said 'fuck you' to and gave a bad hand."
At my explanation, he seems at ease, and gives a warm smile. "Then you have nothing to fear now. Congratulations you just passed step one in dealing with the loose ends in your past..."
"Worst case scenario, I die, go to Tartarus, and have a few 'words' with the fates. Most of them being 'I can swing my sword-sword'. Best case scenario, I gain a valuable ally to my cause, but I can't hope for too much...."
"Wouldn't hurt to have another dragon on board." Aoi states.
"Of course. After all, they're just part of life as well. They do what they do because they don't want to starve. That's it isn't it? Everyone only looking out for themselves. The dragons don't want to starve, the diamond dogs don't want to starve or be eaten, and the griffins and ponies don't want to be enslaved or eaten. We're all just looking out for ourselves, and that's what let the rest of the world get into this situation. From what I can tell, even as an adolescent, she's far more powerful than most grown dragons. If I can get her, they could be made to listen to reason, and that makes this a whole new ball game. But that all hinges on her being willing to listen, because she DOES want me dead, and she may just see me talking as an attempt to snake out of it."
"If she was willing to apologize something tells me she has a voice of reason...." Aoi offers, and that is quite logical, except that she went berserk at the gala. She has a voice of reason, she just elects not to use it.
"She didn't seem too reasonable with Luna....." I pull a gem from my pack and hold it before him.
"Infernus." I allow the flame to burn for just a few seconds so he can get a look at it. "Extinguo." And then I snuff them and pant slightly.
"The fires of Tartarus. They burn using magic itself as fuel. As a dragon, magic is her lifeblood. It's lethal for any with magic in their veins, so, basically, anyone in this world, but it'll be far more intense on dragons, unicorns, or alicorns due to their massive reserve. I'm restricting it's use to anything princess level or higher. I haven't tested it as a human yet, but I don't really want to. The problem is, it takes a SHITLOAD of magic to use, and maintain, and it spreads faster than wildfire, so it would most likely kill me while I'm at it. After that tiny flame, I'm wiped. And, I gotta actually hit something to pass it, and if I miss with it or run out of time....... well, game over."
"Such is the price for power..." He stares at his paw for a bit, while I look out at the clouds, a small storm off the starboard bow. Pegasi most likely set it up during the day, then set it off over night so they can clean it in the morning. That reminds me....... I'll have to see about building my own version of Cloudsdale once I've got a sufficient land base to warrant having one. Right over the ocean, so it's not like there'll be a lack of water, and we can totally pull off the tornado thing...... but I'll worry about that when I get there.
"Well, then you might as well settle in. We're headed to Masonry, and it's not a long trip, but it would suck to spend it all out on the deck."
"I can't... There's still some things I need to find out... I can't shake the feeling that... somethings out there calling me..."
"I'm gonna get some rest. I put off the interviews today so I could let them settle in and we could all sleep, since I'm still recovering from the gala debacle and they traveled a long way just to get on board. I don't think the shock of seeing us for what we really are has worn off yet either."
"Of course... by the way... Do you happen to have a pen and paper?"
"Not on me. You'll find a room down in the hold with your name on it, and a desk, fully stocked with crap like that."
With that, I headed back to my room where I found Gilda waiting for me, wearing a scowl.
"You know, you haven't been treating me very well these past few days.... I've been getting...... anxious......" Her frown turned into a smirk as her tail flicked and she shifted her wings, that lusty hen has really gotten needy lately. If I didn't know better, I'd start to think she was just after me for my body.... my extremely attractive body.....
"Heh.... sorry about that. Haven't been myself."
"Well then... let me put your mind at rest for a while."
She leaned in and nuzzled me, which is the griffin version of a kiss since, you know, no lips. I closed my eyes and lay back on the bed, knowing that I'll enjoy what's about to happen next.
I awoke the next morning thoroughly refreshed with a scroll sitting on my end table. Must have burped it up last night, I'll read it later. Gilda was wearing a calm smile on her face as she climbed out of bed. We were up before the rest of the crew, so we decided to head down for breakfast before the announcement to avoid the rush. I find Aoi already sitting there.
"Well well, someone's up early for having such a late night." Gilda chided. In all likeliness, he hadn't gone to sleep in the first place.
"I'm not a stranger to insomnia..." Was his reply.
"I figured I would get used to it with this goof," She elbowed me, "except then half the time he decides to sleep like a rock. Do all humans have such a screwed up way of sleeping?"
"Only when they're actually trying..."
"Fair enough." She slumps herself in on one of the pillows that are set near the table for quadrupeds instead of chairs so they don't hurt their backs, basking in the afterglow of last night's activities. Aoi looked at her strangely for a few moments before shaking his head and getting back to his meal. Maria noticed us come in, and immediately began barking orders to the kitchen staff.
"Well, today's the day. Gotta get through chatting with all the newbies, then I figure we you and I do some training so I learn how to use my sword properly, letting them watch of course, then I teach them some fundamental magic.
"Might want to tell them to stand back... I'm not only teaching sword tricks..." He pointed out.
"Of course, same here. Wouldn't want any non combatants getting hurt."
"Well, you're all up early." Maria says as she walks up to the PA system and pulls down the microphone. "Get your lazy asses up here, it's time for breakfast!" She releases it, turns to us and smiles shyly. "Enjoy your meal." I swear, when she's around others she doesn't know, or someplace new, she's the griffin version of Fluttershy, but as soon as you put her in her own element, she becomes a drill sergeant. The meal she laid out before us was simple roasted sweet potatoes, along with some steamed salmon. Not exactly a breakfast food, but again, I was still trying to get my iron up. I may not have taken that much damage in the fight at the gala, but I had been bleeding out, and running around like mad while I did. I lost a lot of blood before I smartened up and found a doctor to pass out on.
"Smells delicious." I was about to dig in, but remembered Aoi was there. Instead I lowered my head for a moment in thanks before proceeding. Once I was finished, I went to the training room and used the speaker system to tell Cable to make an announcement in fifteen minutes for all the new recruits to get down there.
"Alright, listen up. I'll come and get you, one at a time, so we can chat and get to know each other a little better. The rest of you wait here while I give whoever I'm with the run through. Once you've all had your turn, I'll begin classes on basic magic."
"No offense, but most of us are unicorns....... we ALREADY know basic magic..... Won't this be a waste of time?" A lime green mare with dark brown mane asked.
"Well, after the interview, I'll be the one to determine if you're exempt from my classes. Perform well, and we'll see....."
"So then, this isn't a verbal interview, is it?" The lone earth pony stallion spoke up.
"Only partial. The other part will be you showing me what you're capable of." I smiled.
"Sweet..." He replied. The other ponies looked at him like he's nuts.
"Oh, by the way. Celestia may or may not have a spy among us, keeping an eye on me. If they happen to be here, listening, I'd like them to know that I have nothing to hide, have been completely straightforward with her for as long as I've known her, she really ought to trust me more, and she can spy all she wants. I don't care. It's a waste of her time and if she wants to know something, she can just ask me. So there. Anyways, with that done and over with, let's begin, shall we?"
"Alright..... first up is..... Starlight Wisp...... Unicorn, mare, ocean blue coat and algae green mane, special skills, intangibility? Is that right?"
"Um.... yes, it is."
"Very well, step forward." She did as I instructed, standing in the middle of the room. I picked up a bow, as well as several arrows that had their heads removed. If they struck they would hurt, but not injure. At most, they'd leave a bruise.
"Think fast." I quickly drew the bow taut and fired. In that instant, she got the 'deer in headlights' look, froze, and was hit on the right shoulder by the blunt projectile.
"Ouch! Hey! What was that for?"
"I thought you said you could turn intangible, so solid objects pass right through you?"
"Well, I can......"
"They why didn't you?"
"Listen, you might not be fighting actively, then again, you might. If you get attacked, which is possible, you'll need to know how to defend yourself. Train your reflexes so that instead of freezing up when faced with a threat you cast the spell instead."
"But, it takes longer than that to cast it........."
"Well then, I suggest you figure out a way to speed it up. See you in magic training at four this afternoon. NEXT!"
The next pony was a white pegasus with a poofy yellow mane, and three pink balloons on her flank.
"Hi! My name is Surprise and I'm Cloudsdale's number one party pony!" Oh no.......
"You wouldn't happen to be related to Pinkie Pie would you?"
"Who? I don't know that pony, but she sounds like lots and lots of fun!"
"Hmm, yeah....... you know what? Chief morale officer, and vegetarian chef. Head down to the kitchen and meet Maria, She'll fill you in and act as your superior officer." Poor girl is gonna have her claws full with this one. At least she likes Pinkie. Can't put her on the battlefield though, that would just ruin the poor kid. Let her do what she's best at.
"Yay! It'll be so much fun, making all those yummy treats and making everypony smile!"
"Aye. Magic classes at four, see you there. Next!"
"Dusty Trails." The earth pony said. "I actually used to be an adventurer, a traveler really, until I ran into a pack of diamond dogs. Got out of it almost unscathed, except for the arrow in my......"
"Don't even THINK of finishing that sentence. Show me what you've got....."
Ten minutes later, a very sweaty and exhausted griffin and earth pony walked out of the training room.
"Very good. You like the greatswords too, eh? I never thought about using it like that....... I'll see about getting you set up with one, and some armor. Oh, you may want to head down to the medical bay and ask Geirmund to replace that knee of yours, you're gonna need to be in top shape. Welcome to the front lines kid." Except that he's probably twice my age. "You'll be training with me and the cats regularly, in addition to the magic classes everyday at four. Next."
After two hours of interviews, they were finally done, and I had a fair idea what each of them was capable of, as well as if they could handle themselves in a fight. I had worked up a bit of a sweat, so I headed out for a fly to cool off in a cloud. I return to the ship and find the wolf on deck, giving a speech to his pack mates. I think it's about time for that training session.
"Hey Aoi, there you are." He only gives me a quick glare to tell me I'm interrupting before following through with what he was saying.
"As always, things work best with a demonstration, along with hands on experience." He takes his sword and puts it on the ground, up against the wall. "No personal weapons, please..." Eol and Ubi (I can finally remember their names, but not which is which...) look at each other before taking off the belts that held their weapons, laying them on the deck.
"You too Griffin..."
"Aye." I remove my weapon and armor, placing them up against the wall. All my other stuff was in there too, vials, potions and such, so there's not going to be any tricks up my sleeve. Aoi walks around, passing each of us a pebble, and taking one for himself, then has us form a triangle around him.
"Nobody throws until my stone hits the ground, are we clear?" I get it, he's gonna toss his up in the air, then try to dodge as we throw ours. He holds the stone high above his head for a few seconds before releasing it, all three of us ready to throw.
'Three........ two...... one......'
The stone hits the ground with a loud smack, The white one is the first to throw, and he has perfect aim, right for the wolf's eye. Aoi swipes with his hand, catching the stone midflight. He spins and deflects the other one's stone headed for his shoulder with the one in his hand, followed by tossing it at mine, making them collide in the air and drop.
"Hmm.... impressive reflexes... I guess I'm next?" I ask.
"If you'd like."
I gather up the stones and pass them to their owners, taking my place in the middle of a triangle formed by the three. Some of the ponies start watching from a distance. I slowly turn in a circle, letting my eyes rest on each of the three canines surrounding me, taking in each of them, judging them.
'Alright, the normal looking one was the airsick one, his coordination will be off, the white furred one has pretty good aim, but not perfect, so Aoi is the one to look out for with his precision. Focus on dodging his while keeping an eye on the other two.... the problem is it's a triangle, I can only see two at a time, unless I leave it.... yeah. Soon as the stone hits the ground, I'll rush the sick one and vault over his head, he'll get put off by it, screwing up his throw. I'll fake a landing after, coming down but using one flap to move myself back a bit more.... That leaves Aoi.... the rules are they don't throw till the rock hits the ground..... wait....who says I have to throw it straight up?'
I grin deviously at the wolf, having formed my plan. "Everybody ready?" They all nod. I turn to face the seasick one and look over my shoulder at the other two periodically, bring my arm below me, but instead of throwing the stone up, I send it straight for Aoi's face. As soon as I let go, I jump towards the ill dog, pushing off the ground with my claws and a flap, going over his head. The white one throws his stone, sending to straight for me. I grab the dog I just vaulted over and put him in the way of it, making it peg him on the shoulder. The one I just grabbed spins and throws, but a quick sidestep makes it miss by a wide margin. I drop to the ground, Aoi's stone zinging over my head as I do, brushing my feathers in a narrow miss.
Having dodged all three stones, I stand back up and look to Aoi, only to feel a slight, sharp pain on my forehead, followed by the wolf saying. "Headshot." It took a moment for me to realize what just happened. That clever bastard.
"Heh, Aoi, ya got me. Even if the others had hit me, you were the only one to throw your stone after mine hit the ground. Wasn't counting on you catching that and slinging it back at me as a distraction. Good move."
"You better get that patched up, I may have it you too hard......sorry about that..." He replies while smiling. What does he mean by that? I bring my hand to my forehead and rub off a small splotch of blood that had appeared there, and lick it off my now red talon.
"Nah, it'll be fine on it's own."
"Well, if you are sure about that, don't come complaining if you get an infection..." He says while standing up and dusting off his paws.
"Given all the citrus I eat, I'm not at all surprised I haven't caught so much as a cold since coming here." They look at me strangely. "Hey, it's good for you and tastes damn good too. No way in hell I'll let there be a case of scurvy on my ship."
Accepting my explanation, Aoi walks over to the training weapon rack that he had brought out here, and grabs a quarter staff as well as a great sword, both made of wood. He passes me the large blade and cocks his eyebrow.
"You are familiar with this kind of weapon, am I right?"
I grab the handle of the blade, having never used a training sword since before this morning with Dusty. "Although this is a bit lighter than what I'm used to, it'll serve the purpose of us not killing each other." He nods, then puts his katana back on, draws it, and cuts the staff in half, leaving a slightly sharp edge. Be begins swinging it in test, having just made it into a short sword.
'Uh oh. Let me guess, he knows that I'm no good versus the small, quick ones, so that's exactly the type of weapon he's using. Well, I may get to try out Dusty's stance after all.'
"Tell me, Griffin, are you familiar with kendo?" His question interrupts my thoughts.
"Not beyond the basics. Mostly I evolved my own style by figuring out what works. You know, best techniques passed on by the survivors? I'm lucky enough to still be alive after something doesn't work to find something that does."
"Hmm, I see your point," He takes a low stance, like a lunge, with his makeshift blade down low as well, "But how well can you evolve your style?"
I place the sword in front of me horizontally as a shield, with my eyes just over the edge. "Let's find out." By now, the entire crew, including the new additions, had come up and were watching us on the deck from a fair distance away.
"Ikuzo." I'm guessing that means go?
He runs straight at me, closing the distance as he goes for goes for a low slash. I drop the point of my blade, blocking it. He turns and sidesteps past him, moving his sword over my neck and jerking it forward. I lean back and just barely avoid getting 'decapitated' performing a backflip then crouching low and charging. I try a short thrust with the blade, only for him to parry it, sliding his own over and smashing it into my beak, followed by a kick to the chest landing me on my back. He puts the point of his sword to my neck and taps his temple twice. I swing my sword from the right, making him block while I sweep his legs out, roll, and dart away. He jumps to his feet again, and we both take the low stance once more.
"Hmm........" I stand and think for a moment before thrusting forward in another stab. He parries it again, making my blade become a flat wall between us. I move my left hand to the flat of the sword and push, bashing him right in the muzzle. He takes a step back to get some distance, and avoid a horizontal slash that brings my sword back to stab position. I pull back and push forward with as much force as I can, the let go of the sword. He jumps over it and, clearly expecting me to still be holding it, is completely off guard when I deliver a right haymaker straight to his nose, knocking him flat on his ass.
He takes a breath before bringing his legs up, flipping over his back, and releasing it, then smiling wide.
"Now you're getting it." He stands up straight and starts clapping, as does our audience.
"Let's see, smaller weapon, designed for getting past defenses.... more like a long dagger. In terms of strike speed, so long as I held that thing, I wouldn't be able to hit you. You'd just parry every attack. The downside is bashing. There just isn't enough leverage in such a short blade to parry or block a good bash. Once I figured that out....." Aoi smiles again. Normally you don't smile when someone figures out your weakness.
"Now then...... I wonder........." I say, standing up on my hind legs, flapping my wings for support and balance.
"Go on..." He seems interested in what I'm thinking of.
I bring my sword up vertically, holding it like a spear, pointing the tip at the ground with the hilt above my head. Then, I move my arm under it draping it over so it's on a 45 degree angle.
"How would you deal with this kind of defense?" This is what Dusty showed me in the training room. With my blade like this, it covers my entire front from attack. The only open points are my wings, except that since he's using a shorter weapon, he wouldn't be able to reach them. With it like this, I can quickly stab at my enemy's legs since using gravity to my advantage, use a quick bash to interrupt an attack, then a flap of my wings and pivot the sword using my arm as the fulcrum to do an uppercutting bash and throw the enemy off guard. Then I slide the blade forward again to either stab them in the stomach if they stand, or the neck if they fell to the ground. The downside is that I don't know when the opponent's attack is coming. I can only guess, because all I can see are my enemy's feet. Well, that's the theory anyways. A theory I'm hoping to test out here.
Aoi stands still for a few moments, trying to figure out a way past this. His stabs forwards with his blade, only for it to be knocked off mine, which is held in a solid position. Horizontal or vertical attacks to both sides, neither getting through. I close the distance and stab at his legs, making him jump backwards. I jump forwards to close the distance and bash again, catching his whole body with the strike. He steps back again, unsure of what to do. That's when his feet, my only guide to know where the attack is coming from, disappear. I hear a clang on my sword.
'He dove at me? No, wait, not enough force behind that strike. There was no weight at all...... he threw the sword!'
By then, it's too late. He grabbed my hand at the top of the blade and twists it behind my back. He uses his weight to pull me over, onto my back, as I feel his feet press against me. He pulls on my arm more and kicks off, sending me flying into the wall as my tangled wings can't get a gust under them to slow myself.
*Slam!* Several ponies cringe at the sound. Luckily, he wasn't trying to kill me, or I would have been dead. Things are getting more dangerous, and that's precisely why I'm doing this. I need to keep up. Wait.... when did I lose the lead? After the gala, suddenly I'm playing catch up.
"Ow.... fuck...... I wasn't expecting that. I'll have to remember that next time I use that stance. You figured it out in what, four seconds? You really are an assassin, aren't you?"
"It helps..." He laughs.
"That's the problem, ain't it? I'm just not built to deal with the quick ones. Then again........ that's why I have this." I walk over to Hades and put my claw on it. "Accelero." The glow vanishes and the whole world slows down. I release the sword and walk over to pick up my wooden one once again, then speak in an extremely fast voice. "Besttwooutofthree?Readysetgo!"
I dive at him again, this time leading with the hilt, aiming to put the rear end of the wooden blade in his stomach. I simultaneously use a left thrust with my palm, and hook with my right wing. "Letseeyoustopthreeattacksatonce." Aoi dodges, sliding on the ground, and unsheathes his sword, knocking the blade upward.
"Hoki no Kiba!" Wait, that's his REAL sword! Oh shit shit! Dodge, dodge dodge! I quickly roll out of the way of his strike, corckscrewing and driving my right wing into his diaphragm knocking him down, then back off. He slowly stands up, rubbing his neck.
"What the hell Aoi! WOODEN. SWORD." I point to the clearly nonlethal blade stump that he just countered with a potentially deadly normal, totally deadly when magically infused, slash.
"Sorry... instinct..." He thinks I'm gonna buy that? We were doing perfectly fine with the wooden ones. What the hell made him draw his 'cut a tablecloth in half without fraying the fibers' katana?
"Man, that attack was 'this' close to cutting me in half." I emphasized my point by holding my claw up and putting the 'thumb talon' together with the pointer. "Well. I guess the point though is that it didn't. Still, I don't know what's going on in that head of yours, but you've been distracted since we left Canterlot. I can tell you've got something on your mind. I suggest you get your shit in order. Now, I think we're done for the day. Go get some rest. Staying up all night isn't good for you."
He sighs and shakes his head, putting his sword back in it's sheath and stowing it in his clothing.
"Off to bed with you, NOW. And don't even think about trying to slip out, or I'll get Nadene to come over, and you do NOT want that."
"Heh... do you always confine guests to their barracks?" I glared angrily. This isn't something to make light of.
"When they nearly kill me? YES. I know all about the whole insomnia deal, I've been through it, but if you don't get some rest I WILL drug you, so I suggest you lay down. I don't care if you sleep, meditate, or lay in bed awake all night thinking, but you're confined to your quarters till tomorrow at breakfast. I'll have one of the cooks bring you your lunch and dinner. Damn it Aoi, get your head on straight."