The three remaining figures on the dais descended upon me and sat at my feet. I felt so nervous and yet I could feel the relaxation spread through me. The woman who first spoke to me
started to speak again.
"How about if we start simple Madalyne. We will start with our names. I am Celeste, the man beside me is Valance, to his right is Sulece and last but never least is Corbair. We are the Tribal Elders here in Avernis. The Goddess told of your coming and tols us exactly what to tell you, so listen closely to Valence."
I looked over at him as he reached for my hand. "We were told the broken daughter would come, that she would seek our aid. You came here in search of a way to end your pain. We welcome the chance to teach you. We are unclear for how long you will be with us, until the goddess calls you to move on. She told us that we are to teach you to defend yourself and break you free of the hold others have on you. She said that in worlds to come you will need this aid. Broken Daughter, she will meet with you when the time is right to explain to you further."
He melted back into the pile of elders and then Sulece cam forward. "Rest for tonight Madalyne for tomorrow you start your training and it will be grueling. We have so much to teach you in an indescernable amount of time."
I nodded my head and moved from towards the door. I rolled my neck and shoulders and found there was no pain. I looked over my shoulder to see that the wounds were completely gone. I smiled as I left the tent. Kylese came forward and caught me before I fell. "Madalyne are you alright. You are white as a ghost. Come let's get you settled for the night. You have been through so much in such a short amount of time. Rest is what you are in need of. Come, you can bunk with me for tonight, we will figure out more tomorrow."
She took my hand and pulled me through the throngs of people. I felt a canvas flap close behind me and it was all I could do to stay upright. Kylese slowly helped me find the floor and it wasn't long until I was down for the count.
Morning came sooner than I had hoped but at least I didn't dread waking up this time. I stretched out and got up. As I moved to sit up I bumped into something hard. As I rubbed my head I heard a voice next to me.
"Ow ow ow. Oh I am so sorry. I didn't think you would wake so soon. None of us expected you up until about high sun."
I looked over and saw what livewire it was I bumped into. I smiled and put out my hand. "Hello, I'm Madalyne, but you can just call me Lyne."
I waited patiently for her to shake my hand. After a moment she clasped my hand. "Calysta, Lys for short. Very nice to meet you. I hear you are training with Kylese, is that true?"
I shrugged. "I guess that is who they set to train me."
She looked at me with both confusion and surprise. "Ky is the best warrior among us, it is a great privilage for her to take you as a student."
I looked at Calysta. "I am still new to this, I met her yesterday and I like her. I hope she is patient, I am not the athletic type."
The canvas flap moved and Kylese stood there. "I can be patient, but you had better be ready to work from sun up to sun down. We don't know how long you are here for. I have to give you a lifetime of training in about a week."
I got up and faced her all hints of my jovial mood gone. "Then let's get started. If the goddess is going to see fit to send me to other places, I am going to need every weapon I can get in my arsenal."
Kylese held out her hand and I took it so she could pull me to my feet. I followed her out of the tent and down to a grassy field. She looked at me for a moment before she walked over to me and kneeled down in front of me. "Your baggy clothes will ginder you Madalyne. I need to cut these pants up to your knees so that you don't trip. I also need to cut the sleeves on your shirt. tonight I will find clothes more suited to our training."
I didn't argue even though I wanted to. I hated the way I looked and I hid well behind the canvas bags I bought. She worked quickly to get my clothes the way she needed them. She then moved my stance and then moved back.
"This is your basic fighting stance, a good way to protect yourself. Since this is the easiest stance we will stick with it. Now I am going to attack you and I want you to block me."
She moved quickly and it was all I could do to keep track of her. She hit me full on in the chest and I flew backwards. She didn't move to help me and at that point I didn't want her to. I got up and moved back into position. Each time she attacked me I felt the fear of my mother beating me or Culver kicking me unconcious. As she got close to me I would flinch.
Hours later I hadn't improved much and I could feel the bruises that would be on my body by nightfall. We kept at it until the sun had sunk behind the trees. I could see in her eyes that she was getting fed up with my progress or lack there of. I stood up slowly as the pain seeped into my body, yet got right back into stance. Ky looked at me for a moment before she put her guard down.
"We are done for today Lyne, you need food and rest now."
I shook my head. "No Ky, again. I need to overcome my fear. Until I can do that I won't be able to move on. Now come at me again."
Everyone that had gathered gasped. I stood my ground in a position that had become second nature to me. I waited, not letting my guard down, I awaited her decision. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Even if I didn't fight back, if I could just get rid of my flight urge, today would be a success. Moments passed and she waited for a slip in my defenses and I saw her move. Even after making the same movements all day, her speed remained. She came at me and I could feel the panic start to build in me and I tried so hard to force it down. I felt Ky's hands against my chest and I grabbed her wrist. She came down with me and I smiled. I heard laughing around us and then felt bodies all around me.
"You did it Lyne, you finally did it. You fought the urge." Everyone got up off Ky and I to allow us to breathe. I smiled for a second more before I got back into position.
Ky shook her head. "No Lyne, you have improved and I think that tonight you really need to reflect on what your fears truly are."
I stood my ground and shook my head. "Please Ky I want to continue, I want to gain some ground not feel like I am always coming up short. I am tired of half assed attempts and I won't do it anymore."
She looked at me for a minute. "Just a few more times, you need both food and rest." She came at me quicker than ever and I held my ground. I felt her hands at my chest as I crossed my arms to block, I pushed her back and started forward. I felt so much rage that I kept trying to punch her and get back at an invisable pain that had built in me. It took three people to pull me back.
She got in my face and held it tight. "Let it out Lyne, let it all out. YOu have held it in for far too long. This, this is what I wanted. Let it all go so you can move forward. Cry, scream and fight if you have to. I know you need to let it all go, I am here for you Lyne."
I looked deep in her eyes and broke free of everyone. I ran, until my lungs hurt, eyes burned and every movement I made was agony. I screamed at the top of my lungs and didn't stop until I was out of breath. I fell to my knees and cried. I was done and I wasn't going to take it anymore. I put my head between my legs and tried to breathe, but I had cried too hard and felt myself lose conciousness. In the distance I heard a warm voice that sounded so familiar. I followed the voice in the darkness until I cam to a warm light.
"Child I am here, you are safe now."
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