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Beatrice and Verrick

Mention: Thea, Prince Felix
Interact: Thea

Beatrice resisted the urge to yawn. All the people she wanted to strike a conversation with had left her, either to go enjoy the finest wine of Camillia or to talk with the other nobles within the party. She stood by herself while smiling idly, wondering if she should do either of the two. To other people, she would appear as if she was admiring the event and its attendees and she would always smile kindly at them which helped retain the idea that the Varian princess was as kind and courteous as she was confident and regal.

In truth, Beatrice was bored out of her mind. Aside from the fiasco that happened earlier, nothing noteworthy of excitement had happened. It was all the same old exchange of bows and perfect white smiles as the air was rich with the sounds of idle small talk and fake laughter. She honestly preferred to be in the company of children, hanging around in the Varian orphanage, teaching them life lessons, and singing songs of joy with them rather than feel her face getting tired from putting up a smile all night long.

She glanced over at her parents and no matter how much she was poised and elegant, her mom could always see right through her. Queen Rosa and Beatrice exchanged knowing looks and the queen nodded solemnly at her daughter, letting her know that she can relate on what she was going through but as women of and in power, they must continue through the end. King Alixandre saw the look on both their faces and looked at Beatrice worryingly, with the princess giving her father a reassuring smile to let him know everything’s okay.

As such, she continued to do her duties as a princess and mingled with the crowd until the announcement of the dances was made. All the men should draw lots and approach the women whose names appeared on their pieces of paper. Luckily and perhaps very strangely, no one drew Beatrice’s name. It was quite confusing to the other nobles that of all the men who picked a paper, none of them picked out the Varian princess. She also made sure to be the last to pick from the bowl so when it was her turn, there were no papers left to pick out. She acted disappointed but on the inside, she was very relieved.

Beatrice was content with just watching her peers dance with their partners while sitting beside her parents and taking a sip of her glass here and there. Her eyes were mainly on her brother and Verrick’s dances, particularly on the latter when she found out his partner was Thea. Beatrice knew of her and her family. So far, she knew they were one of the most respected families in Varian. She and Thea exchanged a few conversations here and there. Thea was a bit of a wildcard in Beatrice’s eyes but even she could tell Thea was sincere and kind in thought and in action, albeit she did have some tendencies that would make Beatrice raise her brow at once in a while.
For instance, Beatrice watched as Thea gave Verrick a kiss on the cheek. Thea seemed to be laughing while telling him something and her bodyguard acted flustered. Verrick, a man who always voiced his displeasure to the nobles even when he thought his princess could not hear him, was flustered because of a noble? Beatrice took a long sip of her drink, wondering what they were talking about.

As Verrick was half dragged towards the Princess, He noticed she was sitting with her parents while taking a drink. Having just ended their dance, it was clear that the princess didn’t actually dance at all. Was it a plot to embarrass her? A mistake? Did her partner…or she… refuse? He cursed himself for not paying more attention during his dance Yet at the same time, he felt slightly relieved.

The confidence Thea had shoved into him quickly left as they made their way closer. It didn’t help that she had to be next to her parents. Thea could probably feel him trying to slow down her pace even just a little bit. But before they knew it, they were there standing in front of his Queen, King and Princess. Arms linked with Lady Thea, he did not attempt to pull away from her as he stood there. He bowed slightly to the King and Queen. He then asked quite bluntly “Did they not offer her royal highness a paper for the dance?”

Thea looked over at Verrick and blinked, having expected him to ask something else entirely. She wanted to flick him, but she refrained and turned back to look at her King, Queen, and Princess. “Perhaps her Highness wasn’t fond of who she was to dance with or maybe she knew they were a bad dancer? If that’s the case, I think you deserve a dance with someone quite skilled. I know I got lucky with my dance as Verrick is a fabulous dance partner.” She glanced up at Verrick with a grin, but her eyes held a look that said ‘ask her or I will’.

Verrick glanced at Thea as she offered up other theories then around them continued as he normally did. However he for some reason didn’t listen to Lady Thea, for a moment. Not realizing she would literally jump right into it. He stood there for a moment in silence when he realized no one was talking. Looking back to the King, Queen and Beatrice, then quickly to Thea who was looking at him with a ‘look’. He pulled his head back and gave her a look as well ‘What NOW?’ as his brain finally gained some traction on what she was attempting. Looking to the princess, then to Thea, then to the Princess. He cleared his throat and tried to regain some composure.

” I agree, you do deserve a dance with a skilled partner… I would hardly say I am that skilled partner…” he paused again while he looked at Princess Beatrice… finding the words stuck in his throat he looked down and closed his eyes. Which turned into a very formal bow. “Would you honor me with a dance, your Highness?”

”At the very least I won't step on your toes…I think…”

My work here is done. Thea thought to herself happily and then curtsied to the group. ”And on that note I do believe I need to go find Prince Felix. Have a lovely evening.” She turned and left their company, feeling quite pleased with herself.

Beatrice smiled and nodded at them in greeting. ”Lady Thea. Verrick. You both were wonderful dancers.” She praised, then paused for a bit before replying to Thea’s question. ”I am afraid they ran out of papers from the bowl when it was my turn to pick but, no worries. It is much more fun to watch and enjoy the spectacle so I am not complaining.” She said.

She and her parents then listened to Thea and Verrick’s awkward way of explaining something. It was like Thea was trying to nudge Verrick to speak up but he looked too shy to even look at Beatrice. The two of them reminded her of the kids at the orphanage that were too shy to ask for something from her, and the thought alone made her resist laughing.

When Verrick did finally find his voice and asked Beatrice if he could dance with her, she was taken aback. King Alixandre awkwardly looked around and suddenly gained an interest on the ceiling while still listening in on the conversation, whereas Queen Rosa raised her eyebrow and smirked at the two of them. As Thea left with a confident spring in her step, Beatrice kept looking at Verrick the whole time. He had been a part of most of her life. No matter how nagging he might be sometimes, she knew there was never a bad bone in his body. She also knew he would never lie about the important things and with the way he was looking at her now, Beatrice could tell this was the most genuine and sincere she had seen Verrick yet.

It took her a good while to do something but eventually, Beatrice cleared her throat. ”Y-Ye… Yes. Yes, you may.” She stammered, reaching her hand out for him to take and guide her to the dance floor. ”I shall try not to step on your toes either.” Beatrice joked, chuckling and smirking at Verrick.

Verrick sighed inwardly as Thea abruptly left. She made it painfully clear she was here to make sure he actually asked Beatrice for the dance he almost felt like a child again.. Much like when mother dragged him by ear to apologize to Mrs Carrigan for breaking both of her boy’s noses due to them purposefully knocking his desert to the ground.

It felt like it was an eternity after he asked for a dance, so much he started to worry that he was right all along. He noticed out of the corner of his eye the King finding nothing on the ceiling fascinating while the Queen simply had a smirk. It only made the wait all the more awkward and brutal.

The princess cleared her throat and said yes. He felt a sudden wave of relief rush through him. He reached up and took her hand gently into his hesitating for a moment
, with a small hint of a smile when she used his same joke on him. ”I appreciate the thought, your highness... But my feet are already numb from the innumerable amount of times you’ve stomped on them when I was out of line.” He said with a warm tone.He looked to the King and Queen and gave a bow of his head once again before starting to lead the princess towards the dancefloor.

He felt another wave of nervousness come over him, but he pushed it to the side he turned again and placed his hand on the small of her back. He then looked into her eyes…as he has done many times before, but not this close. As they waited for the music to start he was at a loss for words. But he cleared his throat once more, looking around them and asking quite softly and Seriously in his gruff voice. ”This is…supposed to be a Jig right?”

As she was being guided to the dance floor, Beatrice could see eyes on her and Verrick. Most were probably surprised and confused as to what was happening. Out of all the plethora of rich and regal princes and nobles out there, why did the princess of Varian choose her bodyguard as her dance partner? Beatrice was also aware of her somewhat breaking tradition by not dancing with a prince which she knew she was supposed to do as a soon to be queen of her kingdom. However, she knew that her mother knew being a rebel sometimes did not hurt no one.

She felt Verrick's big, warm hand on her back and in turn she put one of her hands on his shoulder. They have never been this physically close together before and Beatrice was now only aware of that fact. She pushed down the nervousness and self-awkwardness she was feeling. As her mother would say, leave all that to the man.

"Jigs are for late-night parties at taverns. I am sure you know that." Beatrice teased and chuckled at him. She grabbed his other hand with her free one and put hers atop of his. Verrick's hand surrounded Beatrice's but there was nothing constricting about it. Rather, it made the princess feel safe and sound in his presence. His palm was rough from his experiences in life yet he was still very gentle with her. She looked up to him and smiled. "Deep breaths and remember to relax." Beatrice said just as the music was about to start.

Verrick nodded, feinting understanding. ”Of course…. You are right again.” He knew of course, he just used the line to throw her off a bit more for what he had prepared. When she looked up at him and smiled he felt more relaxed before she even said to relax. He simply smiled and took a breath like she said and when the slower waltz music started, he began as well.

Taking a large step forward, remembering to sweep his foot below her dress so as to not step on it, he guided her backwards a step and then a step to her left. Using his hands to gently indicate where he was going. Pausing for a moment before guiding her to her right and pivoting clockwise while taking another step to her left, before repeating the steps again. Each step was smooth and natural, as if he had been dancing for years. While he looked to his left mostly to make sure they didn’t run into anyone else, he carefully watched the princess' reaction.

Beatrice was trained in almost every type of dancing that was suitable for classy events like these; it was part of her training to be a prim and proper princess after all. She was familiar with the type of waltz that Verrick decided to do with their very first dance, and her being in awe at her loyal bodyguard would have been evident on her face.

"My, my. I did not know there is this side to you, Sir O'Hare." She said, smirking and sounding very impressed by her dance partner. "Come on then. Let us show these peasants what true dancing looks like." With that said, Beatrice flawlessly followed Verrick and the pair danced like they have been doing so for years. Despite their constant teasings from earlier, none of them stepped on each other's toes. They swayed to the soothing beat of the orchestra's music, dancing gracefully as if they were floating and gliding along the floor. During their dance, Beatrice would glance at Verrick with awe and confidence in her eyes as she was proud of him.

Verrick smiled more genuine than he normally had, after eight years. He could still surprise her. He was surprised at her reaction, she did not normally enjoy balls such as these, preferring to simply watch like she said earlier. But it made him feel more relaxed that she was so ready to show up the rest of the nobles with their dance. “As you wish…” he said with a slight bow of his head. Before beginning to spread out their steps more, as they started to cover more ground, passing other partnerships, he began to spin with her more. The motion caused her dress to billow out and shimmer more in the candlelight. The jewels on her dress sparkled as they caught each flicker of light and what showed more brightly was her violet eyes and smile.

Despite him keeping an eye out of where he was looking, if you were to ask him who else was dancing on the floor, he honestly would think there was no one else. Despite passing Thea and Felix multiple times. His eyes were on her. After the brief speed up of their dance he slowed down once again. He was at a loss for words, He wished to say something but he couldn’t. He was content with just seeing her smile

The pair continued to dance, their movements perfectly in sync with each other. Beatrice felt so at ease with Verrick, she could close her eyes in the middle of the dance and not have any fear about stepping on each other's foot. That was how in tune they were together, and it showed the unshakable trust the princess had with her bodyguard. She loved the feeling of the wind brushing past them as they moved along, the feeling of the music that seemed to soothe her to her core, and the feeling of Verrick's comforting, assuring presence with her.

King Alixandre watched the pair with his jaw dropped, completely in awe at their beautiful dancing. would often be his daughter's partner during her dancing lessons when she was younger, and he would not deny she was the better dancer of the two of them, and he would often watch Beatrice dance elegantly with her partner all the time. However, this was truly the first time he saw her being sincerely at ease, happy even. Queen Rosa, on the other hand, was still watching the pair in approval and amazement, but there was something else in her eyes as well. One could not simply tell what the queen was thinking, although from another's perspective, it might seem like she actually looked concerned.

Verrick soon realized the dance was coming to an end. As much as he didn’t want it to. He raised his leading hand up and guided her into a double spin, before guiding her same hand around his neck. In the same motion he wrapped his left arm behind her back, his hand just between her shoulder plates as they stood against each other and leaned her back into a low dip. While his right hand gripped her waist for added support. Their noses almost touched as he lowered her, and he held her there for three long seconds.

Those three seconds felt like an eternity for him as he looked into her eyes, before slowly bringing her up and to the final resting position. Clearing his throat ”Thank you for the ”Jigg”your highness.” he said with a smirk. He then took her hand and bowed, giving it a gentle kiss. “It shall be a memory I cherish for the rest of my life.”

Beatrice did not realize she was panting until the music has finished and their dancing was done. Everything about their dance felt electric, like it was something she could feel that she could do for hours on end and she would not regret a single moment of it. She enjoyed it just as much as playing with the children of her kingdom, but perhaps it was much more. She had never felt anything like this before with other men and she was confused as she did not know what exactly what this feeling was.

She smirked when Verrick thanked her for the ‘jigg’. While he bowed down to kiss the back of her hand, she picked up the skirt of her dress with her other free hand and bowed before him as well. A princess bowing before her bodyguard would be such a shocker to the other stuck-up nobles, it was something that they would not think an heir to the throne would not do. Beatrice paid them no such mind as her focus was only on the man before her. ”Well, at least you did not step on my toes after all. Good job.” She said, chuckling.

Finn sighed as walked to his door, exhausted from the day. From the journey, to dinner where he almost got into a fight with a jackass that knocked Selena over, now having a duel before school already started.

But then helping Selena settle in and teach her how to use the shower and started a bath for her. A fact that made him smile a little. She was already in a better mood once back at the room. And the fact there was hot piped water just made her wonder where it came from. And ask a bunch of questions.

He reached his door and heard the door unlock automatically, opening it he noticed one one in the room yet. That is until he heard a familiar voice.

"Welcome, Finn Reinheart," Athena spoke up. "This will be your dorm room for the foreseeable future. There is a bathroom in the door to your right that you and your roommate may share if you do not wish to use the public baths. While sleeping in the dorm room is not strictly required, sleeping in any non sanctioned area of the school is forbidden and may result in disciplinary action."

He heard the same message for Selena’s room and was already making for bed on the right side of the room where he saw his bags and a small work station for his prosthetics for minor repair. As well as a ring and hook for bow and quiver.

He easily slipped the bow off his back and slipped it into the ring on the wall, and the quiver off his hip and onto the hook. Then proceeded to grab an extra pair of undergarments and trousers. Taking it with him into the bathroom. Where he proceeded to take a nice hot shower. Leaving his prosthetics on due to them needing a good clean as well.

His shower only lasted a few minutes, at which he stepped out and proceeded to dry himself and head out into the room after putting his pants on. He knew it was coed here; he wasn’t about to be THAT guy. He didn’t know if his roommate was a female or male. Preferably the former.

He brought his towel and clothes out and put the clothes in a hamper and sitting down at his small workbench. Pulling his leg prosthetic off and Starting to detail clean/dry his leg first. Letting out a sigh as he pulled it off, rubbing his nub as it was sore.

He looked around, still his roommate wasn’t there. He wondered if he happened to get the drunk who couldn’t make it back to the room after that dinner….or if they were just lost.

Time: Early Evening
Location: Caesonia Castle Ballroom
Interaction: Princess Beatrice@baraquiel Shahazde Amir@Omni5876 Lady Thea@TaeLord Leo@Helo Prince Felix @MoleLady Charlotte@princess
Mention:Alidasht siblings
Attire:”FASHION” (with the cape.)

Verrick looked to his princess as she laid one of her hands on his arm, adding to her mothers words to enjoy the evening and to not worry. He huffed a sigh and his shoulders relaxed only slightly in defeat. Mingle with the crowd and enjoy it? While he was a Woodsman and this was well within his jobdescription to pull off. It was the worst part of his work, and to top it off… There wasn’t any coffee to be seen! Logical of course due to the event. But he much preferred the strong aroma of a good roasted coffee over any alcoholic beverage anyday.

He perked up when the princess’s hand slid from his arm as she mentioned it wouldn’t hurt to have him along to introduce herself to the Sultan and his children. He tilted his head softly into a bow at least allowing him to do that. Taking a step back so she didn’t have to walk around him.

As they walked she again tried to hammer in that they must show respect. He gruffly added in a low voice before they reached the Alidasht party “Respect should be earned… not given away freely to feed their delusions of grandeur..”

He however, did his part. Performing the same Alidasht custom bow to the Sultan and Vizier, however more quickly as to not be caught with his guard down. While he did not smile, he did have a less….scowly… neutral look on his face. When he was introduced he didn’t bow his head, but remained motionless, not making eye contact with them, but keeping his eyes moving between the guards and the sultan’s children. Watching as they began to break away to other parts of the ballroom.

He glanced back to his princess as she elegantly buttered up the sultan. Perhaps a small smile appeared on his face but if someone asked, he would deny it. But he always was more impressed with how she handled diplomacy. He personally felt that she was better than her younger brother. Who he still saw as a spoiled child at times. But far more tolerable than other nobles in the kingdom

He glanced over to the Prince and Lady Thea, he noticed her looking at him just before she looked away. He always remembered her as a sweet, soft spoken and kind girl who was the only one out of the family who didn’t ‘look down at him’ while he served his post at the Smithwood estate. It was a shame that because of her fathers disappearance, she had changed quite dramatically.

He glanced at Lord Leo, Lady Thea’s elder brother, who was much like his father…a spoiled little shit who looked down at him just because he wasn’t of ‘noble’ blood. Though, the thought of tossing his father out of the castle window into the moat still brought a small satisfied smirk on his face even after all these years. Perhaps one day, Lord Leo would irritate him enough to follow in his fathers…trajectory?

He looked forward again as one of the daughters of the Sultan, Nahir, spoke up after the Saltan moved on. Being a diligent diplomat, she was far more in control and civil in comparison to her sister and brothers. His father spoke about her during her few visit’s to Varian.

As Nahir decided to find the wine, and as all the other children have moved on to whatever interested them, Mayet with Prince Wulfric, Munir with Lady Mina. And Amir was off to the food tables next to Lady Charlotte. He seemed a bit more restrained than what the branches in the Alidasht kingdom explained in their reports, while spot on with the others. This made him wonder if something was up.

He looked to Princess Beatrice, now that introductions were over, and the main ‘threats’ were off and about. He remembered her previous instructions for him to ‘enjoy’ and mingle after introductions. Signing softly before looking at Prince Felix and Princess Beatrice.“If you will Excuse me I will return to sulking in the shadows this evening…” He opened his mouth as he was going to ask for one thing while looking at the princess… but his voice caught in his throat and cleared it as he decided not yet. “I do actually hope you enjoy this night, and not have it be all work..”
He said with a small smile…a rarity for sure.

He then bowed deeply towards Lady Thea. ”I haven’t had the chance today to say, but you look even more radiant than ever today Lady Thea…” He said with a polite smile. Twice in one night is amazing.

Standing straighter before looking at Lord Leo, Only giving him a polite bow. Before moving on. His smile went away in an instant and back to his neutral scowl. He cursed himself for honestly chickening out at the last moment. As well as having this awful taste in his mouth when speaking so ‘formally’. He rubbed his cheeks… perhaps he’s over working his muscles in his face?

He weaved his way through the crowd once more. Picking up snippets of conversations as he did. Until he realized he appeared just behind Lady Charlotte, looking up to see her offering a plate of food to Amir Kadir. “ Lady Charlotte…” He said as he appeared quite suddenly from behind her on her left. “Shahzade Amir. He bellowed his head slightly. “Forgive me for intruding on your conversation. I only wanted to see if the brave and lovely Lady Charlotte was quite alright after this ordeal.”

Verrick Grumbled to himself as he stood near the edge of the ball room as he tugged at the collar of his Woodsman formal attire. All while keeping his eyes scanning the room. Keeping his eyes mostly on Princess Beatrice as she moved about the room. Far enough not to be obvious he being a bodyguard, but close enough to be able to spring into action. Which annoyed him, apparently his glare was enough to unnerve some of the pathetic excuses of nobles that tried to woo the beautiful princess. For ‘diplomacy sake’ the princess told him to give her some room. He would often move to another spot if the Princess would move a bit too far away, but never too close that she would notice him.

While she was ‘safe’ he would scan the room more. Not for threats, but to read the people mingling. Noticing when nobles from separate kingdoms would speak, how long, and how friendly. Of course everyone was ‘friendly’ but it was easier for Verrick and his fellow woodsman to see past the mask. While he could not get direct information from hushed conversations, it was still intell. Over the years he had come to know most of the Noble’s in Caesonia. Not that they would know him. Despite being Princess Beatrice’s bodyguard for eight years, he still performs his duties as a Woodsman. Any little details that could give Princess Beatrice an edge when it comes to politics.

He also kept tabs on King and Queen Camille. Despite his father actively standing near them…as he was their advisor. As well as Prince Felix and his fiance Lady Thea. To make sure they were safe as well…and more. Lady Thea was one to get drunk quite quickly, then quite talkative, and always seemed to corner him to talk with him. While he had nothing against speaking with her per say… he couldn’t allow himself to be caught in a conversation just now. So he had also been expertly moving silently out of the Lady’s path. Just in case.

Suddenly the doors swung open, and a parade entered. Verrick was prepared for this, From what the Woodsman knew of the Alidasht kingdom, they were a very proud and dangerous people. Of course they would try to show how great they were with this stunt. As soon as he saw the armed guards, he instantly went for Princess Beatrice. Moving silently and unnoticed
As everyone’s eyes were glued to the spectacle. He reached into the inner forearm of his gauntlets and made sure both of his hidden blades were accessible.

As he reached Beatrice, he moved around on her right side and stepped in-front of her. Not enough to block her view, but to firmly place himself between her and the ‘threat.’ His father mirrored his movements on the left of the queen, though a bit more casually. He glanced back towards her with a ‘look’ as if he was proven right and let out a slow breath as he looked back towards the Alidasht group.

What happened next was a carriage wreck. Duke Lorenzo made the first move to try to flatter the Saltan. Only to get too close and cause an over eager guard to rush him… and somehow trip into one of the palanquin bearers and knock the Saltan over. ”Are you fucking kidding me…” Verrick said under his breath, just enough for maybe Beatrice to hear, resisting the urge to facepalm. He glanced at his father who gave him a look that said the same thing.

This led to the Saltan being enraged and demanding for his head, the king and queen of Caesonia trying to appease him in other ways, to Lady Charlotte trying to fix her fathers mistakes again. Despite not being a part of this kingdom, it pained him to see a woman lower herself to do what she offered. He began to look around, his mind looking for anything that could distract everyone to forget what happened. The few ideas he had would certainly embarrass the King of Caesonia just so that the Saltan might ‘call it even.’

But as others continued to try and fix what happened it came to an end with a strange demand. Clearly there was going to be something that happened at that dinner to utterly humiliate Duke Leronzo.

King Edin jumped at the opportunity and moved on with the party. As soon as the music started, Verrick’s Father sighed, but with the tiniest smug smile on his face. ”Verrick, what were our lovely Queen’s exact words about wanting to keep our weapons and having extra armed guards nearby?” He asked, his voice had a clear ring of amusement on it.

Verrick would narrow his eyes, as if to concentrate. Then he replied in a soft grumble. ”Every time we come to these court gatherings we show respect by not bringing weapons. We shall continue to do this.” He looked to the Queen and bowed his head gently, “With respect my queen.”

”All very good when dealing with Caesonia. But It’s pretty clear that the Alidasht don’t Respect us. This could have been a bloodbath with that oaf of a duke’s antics.”

“And Yet it wasn’t.” The queen Retorted.” You fret too much over what could have. Enough grumbling, Let us all enjoy the night now.”

Duke O’Hare bit his lip before he bowed his head and took a step back. ”Of course, It is a burden I must bear. I will not speak of it again.”

Verrick frowned slightly. It was their duty to make sure the royal family was safe at all times. The Woodsman plans for things to go wrong because eventually they will. He did turn to the princess and said softly. ”If you would allow me to stand by you, in light of this new development.I promise I will…try… not to scare away any ‘suitors’.”

Finn came to a stop after the run with only a slightly elevated breathing. He was glad his father put him through some grueling workouts before even attempting to come here. He turned his attention to the demonstration. And like Arn, he was entranced by the woman's ability. He was told by his mother and father that she was an amazing swordswoman, but still to see it for himself. He didn’t believe what he was seeing.

He only hoped she would be interested enough to come over to him to give him a few pointers.

When it came time for him to start, he glanced around. Taking in his surroundings and making a mental note where everyone was. ‘Always be aware of your surroundings.’ He heard his fathers voice in his head. Once he was ready he looked at his own training dummy which had a basic arming sword. Placing a hand on it and taking a step back as it stood up straighter.

“Student Finn Reinheart, are you ready to commence assessment and beginner routine?”

” Sure. I am ready.” He said simply as he got into a stance. Not pulling his bow from his back. He needed to practice everything. Even though it might be short.

The training dummy rushed forward with a basic right to left slash, to which Finn stepped forward, reaching out and stopping the blow by grabbing the wrist. Twisting into the dummy and jamming his elbow into the face. Very much like Selena… then twisted while pulling the dummy’s sword arm and toppled it over in the same manner. A little trick he learned from her.

However, the dummy quickly rolled around, despite its arm still held by Finn. When it got into a stronger position, it used Finn’s grip against him and pulled itself up and launched a punch with it’s free hand. Finn barely moved his head out of the way, receiving a grazing but still strong hit on his Jaw. He kicked the dummy square in the stomach and released it’s arm at the same time. Sending it rolling.

He took the moment to rub his jaw and shook his head before taking a breath. He probably would be able to dodge that sword again, but he wanted to push his luck. Rushing forward as the dummy did, he dodged two more attacks. And slapping away a third and very close one aimed for his gut. Though as if the mannequin read his thoughts, performed a kick to Finn’s gut just before he was about to kick its knee out. This time sending Finn rolling.

Coughing, as he rolled to a kneeling position. Quickly getting back up while holding his stomach. It probably wasn’t the best plan, but at least he managed to evade three attacks. He smirked to himself. He reached up and over his shoulder and flipped his bow over it and held it in his left hand. He could easily shoot it from this distance, but now there were students behind his target. While he was confident. He decided to wait till he managed to switch positions, as his back was near the wall of the Combat arena.

The mannequin rushed forward, attacking Finn with a flurry of attacks. Finn, doing much better now with his bow in hand, using it to match each attack. Deflecting and slapping away. Each time becoming slightly harder to block. He was starting to feel the exhaustion in his left arm, moving the slightly heavier prosthetic as quick as he was.

Finally he gripped the bow with both hands, using it more like a quarterstaff now, easily catching up to the speed of the training dummy, if but for a few moments. He managed to knock the sword to the dirt with a hard hit downwards, following up with a quick uppercut to the chin. Then spinning it around the back of the mannequin’s head and twisting, sending the mannequin stumbling forward where he once was. Finn didn’t hesitate as he pulled three arrows from his quiver and within three seconds fired all three.Two centermass and one aimed for the head, but just barely missed.

“You missed that one.” Dex said, standing almost directly behind Finn. The beak of his mask was mere inches away from the young man’s head. “Don’t forget to pay attention to your surroundings. The quickest way for a marksman to end up dead is by letting someone sneak up behind them.”

Finn flinched as he suddenly heard the teacher's voice behind him. He swore there wasn’t anyone right there before. Only students farther away. Not even his father was THAT quiet. He shook his head when he said nearly the exact same thing his father drilled into him, that and stating the obvious with his miss. As much as it irked him, he understood why he said it. It just reminded him too much of his father and brothers. Every single shot he missed, they would make sure he knew they saw it.

“I'll make up for that missed shot with extra training tonight.” He said before turning around and looking up at the mysterious teacher. That beak and blacked out eyes was a bit unnerving.“I thought I was paying enough attention, apparently not enough though, if I missed a big dark bird walking around.” He said with a Cheeky grin.

“My point exactly. You can never be too careful about what’s behind you. It’s a delicate balance, focusing on your opponent and paying attention to what’s going on around you, but it’s a vital one. Range user’s will always be a target in battle, so it’s important you learn these skills quickly” Dex cocked his head to the side ever so slightly. “As is making sure that you finish off an opponent before you turn your back on them.”

He knew this already, logically it made sense to get rid of the ranged fighters first. But it was a clear reminder that he still had much to learn if he couldn’t keep aware of the one teacher with a large beak.

Finn only smiled as he brought up turning his back to an opponent. He might have been caught unaware by Dex, but he could clearly hear the mannequin behind him. He turned quickly and raised his bow to deflect an attack before pulling and knocking another arrow within a second and firing at half pull. Hitting the mannequin dead center in the face.

He notice a glint of metal moving quickly towards him, looking to his right and just barely raising his right arm to block a dagger that was flying directly at him. The dagger sliced into his forearm, just below his elbow. He grunted in pain, holding his arm close to him before pulling himself out of it and dodging another attack, from his own Mannequin.

Of course this had to happen right after being told to watch his surroundings. He backed up more and more with each attack from his training dummy, barely knocking away some attacks with his bow in his left hand, as his right hand couldn’t grip anymore. Soon enough his bow was knocked from his hand, causing him to dive out the way with the follow up attack.

Finn pulled the dagger from his arm, and charged the dummy, who went for a right to left swing. Finn fell to his knees and raised his arm, the blade deflecting off his prosthetic, while slashing up his uniform in the process, but it deflected the sword just high enough to miss his head. He allowed his momentum to carry him into the training dummy’s stomach, stabbing it with his ‘new dagger’ just above the groin.

“Good. Adapting when you’ve lost your weapon is important as well. Although I’m sure you know what I have to say about watching your surroundings.” Dex pulled a small vial filled with a dark red liquid out of one of the many pouches that covered his suite. He tossed it to Finn, trusting that he would catch it. “That will heal up your arm in about a minute. Take a break. If I were you, I’d take that time to study some of your classmates. Many of them are dangerous in their own right. And there’s a good chance that some of them have been….provoked, recently.” Dex turned to walk away before pausing once more. “Getting too close to him is dangerous. He’s strong, and faster than he looks. Don’t let your guard down.” With that Dex walked off, seeming to move in the direction that the throwing knife had come from.

Finn smiled for only a split second at the complement, going away right when he brought up the surroundings again. He wanted to say that he was aware enough to notice the odd sound of the blade enough to block his face from being the target. But he held his tongue, only nodding slightly. He stood up and placed a hand on the mannequin again to stop it from restarting. Looking back just Dex tossed him the small vial. He winced as he tried to catch it with his right hand, managing to knock it up and unintentionally juggling it between his hands till he managed to catch it with his left.

He let out a sighing groan at the multiple attempts to flex his right arm and sent jolts of pain searing through his muscles. He looked back to Dex and said softly, Thanks.” before he continued on to give him a tip. It was clear who he was referring to. He nodded once again, indicating he understood. As he walked away, Finn popped the cork and tossed the potion in like it was a shot.

His neck tensed at the horrid taste, and he cleared his throat as if it would didn’t. He then slowly walked over to his bow and picked it up, while watching the one who he was to fight later that day.

Finn was up long before everyone else. While training with his father, he gotten used to sleeping about 4 hours a night, as he would train well into the night, and have to get up early to continue. It was like his mind had an internal alarm clock. Every morning at 4 he would just suddenly wake up. Usually to get ready for the day and train. After placing his prosthetics back on, he stood up and stretched his arms and legs to help wake him up some more.

Once he was ready, he quickly made his bed and threw on his normal tunic and trousers instead of his uniform. He also put on his bracers and quiver, along with the bandolier that held his bow. The whole amount of time that it took to get ready was ten or so minutes before he was out the door. Jogging to the stables to check on his own horse, quickly feeding him, and leaving a note that he did. He continued to the Hall of Combat Where he would find some targets to use.

It took him a bit longer to find what he needed, so he decided to use only one target. Aiming for different spots on the target as his bullseye’s. Proceeding to unload his quiver 3 times before knowing he needed to get back. Hopefully he could do this more quickly now that he knew where everything was.

Once he got back he noted his roommate was already gone. He paused as he saw the bread and crumbs on his bed. He took a deep breath and took it and tossed it in the trash, quickly wrapping up his blankets and taking them into the bathroom. Unfurling it in the tub he brushed his hand down it to knock off all the crumbs before placing it neatly on his bed once more. Only to see a grease mark from the butter that was left on it the night before.

Gritting his teeth as he controlled his anger, he tossed the whole sheet into the dirty clothes hamper before switching into his uniform. He didn’t sweat enough on his jog to take a shower, and he was now almost going to be late because of that. He also grabbed his small bag just in case. Basically wearing what he would normally wear while on a journey. (Except for the uniform.)

He managed to make it a few minutes before the class started, sighing he gave his roommate a glare (that his roommate of course didn’t see) Before falling in and taking it easy at first. It helped that he didn’t have any actual armor besides his uniform’s pauldrons Arn, and Valencia. He wondered how long they would last while doing this. But it wasn’t long before he decided to push himself, deciding to make up for the poor workout this morning. He suddenly started moving faster, not winded at all like many of the other students. As he passed each of the students from his table the previous night he would nod with an encouraging smile. Especially those who were looking like they were having a hard time already. Passing Valencia with a wink.

It was fairly quickly when Dex started pelting students with blunted arrows. Finn wasn’t too surprised. His father did similar things to him and his brothers. Perhaps they were both thought the same way? Finn watched as the dickhead from the night before pushed over his roommate who tried to help him up. He felt conflicted...almost justice for tossing a crumbly bread on his bedsheets. Almost. However it would seem other students from his table decided to take justice in their own hands...a bit more directly. Valencia clotheslining the dude, Lorelai roasting him after pantsing him. Though she received an arrow for her efforts. Impressively seemingly catching it. That’s something that took him forever to learn.

He shook his head as the blonde haired kid named Calven sped past him with Ixius in tow. He noticed Selena upfront near Vincent. As expected, she was always quick and agile. This pace would be easy for her. He decided to sprint up to the front of the pack to catch up to Cal, Selena, and Ixius. It was only after all this he started to sweat a little. But his breathing was controlled and collected.
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