[AW] About Face
Training thread

The spear felt clumsy in his hands. The balance. The weight. It was now more evident than ever to Risa that his weapon of choice was nothing but a foreign body, and not the extension of himself that it needed to be.

Nothing had changed. Nothing of note to make any difference, he supposed. Yet, how long had it been since he'd picked up the spear? The days blended seamlessly into months; and the months had begun to blur. He chided himself for growing lax in his training. He could only imagine his father's disappointment in the lack of initiative.

Some things had to change.

Breath poured from an open maw, steam cutting through the bleak winter air. He ran the usual drills on his own by memory. Despite his clumsy footwork, he tread through the training arena's snow-swept ground with purpose, thrusting at invisible enemies like ghosts in the snow.

Under the shadow of the Courthouse, he danced.
[163/900] // Ooc Here
With it being winter, there was little for the herbalist to do as far as plants went, and no one was coming to him in need of healing, he’d already visited the stables that day, and he supposed that some training with his kids might be in order when he got back to the Hushhowl camp, but for the moment the man took the time to simply walk in the crisp winter air to try and clear his head. 

He had a persistent mild cough that came and went these days, and the cold seemed to agitate his lungs a bit, but the Knight wouldn’t let something like that stop him from performing to the fullest extent of his capabilities. 

Walking through the fort, things were quiet as they tended to be in the still cold air of winter, but before long a movement caught his eye and he found himself drawn towards the courthouse. There, a man practiced drills with a spear alone. The dust gold wolf did have his sword with him and getting in some extra practice never hurt, so he spoke up. ”In need of a sparring partner?” He asked nonchalantly, not outright volunteering himself but not seeming disinterested either.

One foot. Two. Thrust.

Turn and sweep.

It did not come easy, for instinct could only carry one so far -- and knowledge, it faded with disuse. Risa channeled his frustration, and with a final and guttural grunt, he landed a killing blow to his imagined opponent. When his eyes opened, all that remained of it were the snowy vespers that hung suspended in the harsh winter air.

Risa loosed a shuddering breath as ears perked toward the voice from beyond the ring.

"Of course," wheezed Risa in reply as he regained control over his breath. "Let me switch to something blunted real quick." He sat his spear carefully aside and selected a training spear from a nearby rack.

Remus, like many of Knight family, was a towering behemoth. Out of practice as he was, Risa knew he would be playing at a disadvantage, but one did not improve unless one was strained. A clumsy flourish of the practice spear followed as Risa motioned for Remus to join him.

[168] [331/900] // Ooc Here
The answer came without much hesitation and Remus smiled, cracking his knuckles to loosen up his hands as he stepped into the ring. Frost crunched beneath his feet as he stepped, he watched Risa claim his blunt training spear and took it as a signal to do the same. 

Unhooking his great sword from his belt, Remus left it leaning against the rack and took up a wooden sword of a similar size and weight to the one he was used to. 

Whipping the sword around his body in a quick figure eight motion, Remus focused his citrine gaze forward toward his opponent and held his sword up in mid guard position. ”Ready when you are.” The man spoke softly but his physique was tall and strong and lean, a mix of hard labor and just as hard training, his pelt dotted with battle scars. 

He hesitated for just a moment, side stepping and keeping his eyes locked with Risa’s to see where he was directing his gaze, watching for the quick eye movement that would come before the strike, not waiting too long before he himself lunged forward with a high arc of his blade.

"Aye," he muttered softly, signaling his readiness as the growing apprehension regarding this spar spread like hotly underneath his skin and into the deepest depths of his stomach. Risa's grip tightened around the training spear as he locked eyes with Remus. Waiting. Watching for the first move.

First, there was nothing as both men gave breadth to unspoken plans.

While Remus had size to his advantage, Risa had distance. The reach of the spear was his greatest asset, making up for what he lacked in technical skill. He supposed, as long as he could keep Remus in a safe range, Risa could perhaps maneuver in a way that would keep him safe from the swing of Remus' sword.

He held his readied spear tightly, and as Remus made his first move, Risa immediately went on the defensive. Eyes followed the arc of the Knight's blade. Reacting swiftly, Risa stepped back, positioning himself away before swinging the blunted edge of his spear to parry Remus' assault.

[167] [498/900] // Ooc Here

The older Cavalier Knight was tall and strong, but his opponent, although a bit smaller, was quick and likely had good reflexes from what he had seen of this man so far in their brief interaction. At the start of it all, both men had had the same idea to size the other up first by watching the eyes, resulting in a few moments of prolonged eye contact, yellow toned eyes locking across the training ground that had become their battle field for the moment, before Remus decided enough was enough and lunged in to make the first blow with a swing of his sword diagonally from his upper right to his lower left. True to form, Risa was able to step back in time to parry the blow, and Remus' sword was pushed wide, but his recovery was swift and with that the wolf aimed to use the momentum of the counter blow to swing his sword back around and down from above their heads. 

It was a risky move that might have given Risa an opening to strike at Remus' exposed core, but at the same time, if he took the time to do so, he would leave himself open for the incoming downward sweep of Remus' wooden training sword. For now, Remus knew that Risa's weapon had the advantage of reach against him, but the older man's tactic was to keep Risa on his toes. With a longer more unwieldy weapon, Remus banked on the fact that it would take the other male longer on average to position himself to be able to strike, so Remus continued to strike quickly, hoping that if he remained on the offensive he could continue to push the other male back and keep him able to do nothing but throw block after block in order to keep himself from getting struck. He was ready however, he used the fast and loose footwork that Zetsubo had taught him, though Remus was nowhere near as fast as that fleet footed boxer, the technique was not lost on him, and if it was necessary, Remus was ready to spring backwards at a moment's notice.

It was all moving so fast -- too overstimulating for conscious thought. Risa could not think to rationalize his next move, he could only act. He acted on instinct alone, but with every unplanned movement, he could feel his defensive position slowly ebbing away. He knew then that this was the purpose of training; to be able to fall back and rely on one's drills.

He could hear Honrin in his ear.

Fight boy. Watch your footwork. Keep applying pressure.

He hoped to fall back on this foundation, yet he found it particularly cracked. Blocking each of the Knight's blows proved difficult, demanding all of Risa's concentration. Though, he felt his resolve growing growing thin.

He would need to turn the tide; and soon -- lest Remus seize the space that lingered between them.

Shouting loudly, Risa hoped to break his partner's assault. Tucking his shoulder, he surged forward, thrusting out with the tip of his spear. A valiant attempt, but clumsy, and readily able to be taken advantage of by one with better training.

[177] [675/900] // Ooc Here

It felt tight, the muscles around Remus' chest had grown too tight for comfort, and he felt a strain in his throat as the male kept up a rapid blow by blow assault on the male who had become his opponent in this sparring match. He had to keep pushing, he wanted to keep pushing, but the cold air burned in his longs like fire, and the male fought with his mouth open now, panting and breathing deeply as he tried to steady his breath, but it was only growing harder and harder. This infuriated Remus, he didn't know why this was happening to him despite being one of the oldest healers in Casa with the most experience in herbalism and treating various ailments and injuries. He had all this experience and yet Remus could not understand why he wasn't getting better. It couldn't have been old age, no, Remus was far too young for that. He was much younger now than his father had been before his death, and yet he felt like he was in worse condition.

The fight dragged on for Remus as it did for the other male, and his resolve too began to waver. In the dust gold male's younger days, he'd been akin to an Adonis; tall, and strong, and with a physique that he could boast was broader and more muscular than any one of his siblings. But recently, that was no longer the case. Remus had begun to grow thin over the past several months. He ate more, and trained harder when it had begun, and for a time he thought that was the issue and that he could see some progress, but that, too, was quickly fading as Remus traded out his thick and muscular build for a long and lean one. The loss of weight alone wouldn't have given Remus much cause for concern if that were his only issue, but he struggled. He struggled to breathe some days, he had coughing fits on others, and most days now the healer found it tedious and grueling even to drag himself out of bed he was so tired all the time. None of the herbs he took seemed to be doing anything for him, and, unlike any of the other ailments Remus had treated over the span of his career, this one didn't seem to be going away.

The desperation of his thoughts and the raggedness of his breath was enough to make Remus falter in his precision when Risa lunged towards him with the point of his spear extended. Perhaps only a few short moons ago, Remus would have been able to exploit the maneuver to his advantage and create a broad opening with which to strike, but his body protested and his mind reeled, and the most Remus could manage was a hastily placed parry to try and push Risa's assault to one side before Remus would break off to the other, stepping back and standing up straight with a heaving chest and his sword down at his side, Remus held his hand up for a moment before bracing his other on one of his knees and leaning forwards. He needed a moment to catch his breath, that was all. "Not... bad... hah..." The older male gasped out between breaths, his ears and tail hanging low with the weight of his physical unease. "Y'know this is a lot harder than it used to be. Don't get old, it's a trap." The wolf joked with a half hearted chuckle before standing upright again and shrugging.

"Well then, round two?" He asked, sending a silent prayer up to Fenrir that his lungs would hold out.

Risa's chest seized as breath poured from his mouth in thick white clouds. Truly, the spar had ended as quickly as it had begun -- yet, Risa felt there was no clear victor. At first, he had thought himself the victor but, it seemed it was Remus that could not stand this war of attrition. It did not speak to a lack of skill, where Risa knew he was outclassed. Age truly was a terrifying force; he'd watched it ravage his grandmother first hand.

"Better than the alternative," Risa wheezed. Some things were more valuable than prowess in battle. It was time that made life worth living after all. Time with loved ones. Time pursuing passions. Risa wanted all the time he could get.

His grip on the spear loosened as he slowly caught his breath.

"Good fight old man," he chuffed jokingly before clapping his hand firmly against Remus' shoulder in camaraderie. His grip was tight, brotherly in its application. Risa smiled, grateful for the time that Remus had given him. After all, he could never improve without a guiding hand. He thought then to perhaps ask Honrin to resume his training. Proper training.

With a cold, crisp breath Risa nodded in reply to the Knight's offer before readying his spear for another round of rigorous combat.

[230] [905/900] // We can probs fade here!
[300] Fine by me ^^))

Remus took a few moments to catch his breath after the pair of men had broken away from their first round of sparring. He wasn't losing ground to the younger male, that much he still felt confident in at the very least, but the duration of time that the would could keep at it when he was hitting his hardest was steadily growing shorter and shorter, and his hardest didn't seem to be quite as hard as it used to be. At the other male's response to Remus' warnings about getting old, Remus couldn't help but chuckle. It was true, after all, even if time was sapping his strength from him steadily, he had to hand it to Risa, Remus was still alive and able to watch his pack continue to grow and thrive, and for the wolf who had trained to be an herbalist so that he could see other people thrive, that much was enough for him.

The large grey gold knight grumbled at being called old, however, and as Risa approached to clasp shoulders with the older Cavalier, Remus in turn gripped Risa and with a sideways smile he remarked, "Don't go around calling me old man until you can beat me fair and square." Wanting to at least retain some semblance of dignity while he could still stand up straight and walk on his own two feet and wield a sword to a satisfactory degree. Even if the near future would see Remus losing those abilities, for now, he would fight to the last breath. Stepping back to their starting positions, training sword in hand, Remus grinned, even while his lungs continued to wheeze a bit, and he held his weapon at the ready, lunging forward once the spar began anew.

Forum Jump: