Training the Sass
Helena and Athalus
Training grounds at the College
Helena watched the bigger girl head off with her head tilted in confusion. “Well okay then,” she said with a shrug of her shoulder and turned back to Athalus. “Lead on,” she said when he said that he’d just train her on his own. Which was probably the better thing anyways. At least in her opinion. She was a little too competitive sometimes to train with others.
She followed after him, braiding her hair as she went to make sure that it was out of her way while she was fighting. She could deal with it, but it seemed silly to have it hinder her when she had the chance to put it up. “Hmm I wonder if anyone would mind terrible if Annabeth and I do so naked?” she asked with a thoughtful little hum. She wouldn’t actually do that, but the idea was still appealing when it came to seeing Annabeth naked again. “I do not want to be that...buff…” she said after a moment. Her brother’s relied more on brute strength and force, but that wasn’t for her. She was too small for that really. Athalus was right in that speed was more to her taste and build.
“Hey, my dad didn’t train me to fight against zombies, okay?” she said with a huff. Because that’s all she could really clearly remember fighting. But even if she had remembered what had happened down in that darkness, she would have said the same thing. Her dad had certainly not trained her to fight against tentacle monsters made of shadows.
When they got to the training yard, she stood looking at her options for a moment, considering. “With pleasure,” she said with a wicked smirk. She had taken out her actual knives, or at least most of them, placing them to the side and pulling down a few and slipping them back into place where her other ones had been. Turning back to face Athalus, she pushed her glasses up her nose securely, holding a blade in one hand.
She watched him for just a moment before going in towards him fast. She knew she wasn’t going to succeed, she wasn’t stupid. But that didn’t mean she wasn’t going to try. He was a much better fighter than her, which is why she’d bugged him about training her. Holding back wasn’t going to help her any though if he couldn’t really see how she fought.
Althalus stepped quickly to the side, dodging her attack. “Good, you’re not holding back. That would have been bothersome.” He said lightly, stepping back again as she swung at him. “Since your based on speed you need to know a few rules of combat. Rule number 1; If you’re in a fair fight, you’ve already lost half of it. I suspect this rule is rather redundant to you, given you’re from Port Slaughter, but I’ll go over it anyway.”
He dodged another attack, smiling at her. “We’re not soldiers. We don’t do fair in any sense of the rule. Throw dirt, attack with superior numbers, kick them in the groin, what have you.” He kept a casual tone, dodging her as she went at him with a knife, an admirable look of determination in her eyes. “Rule number 2; End fights fast. Our speed is our greatest advantage, but it means in protracted fights against experienced fighters will go against us. We can’t dodge around blows forever. So be able to know where to stab and stab there quickly to end it quickly. That or just run away. Rule number 3; If you can, kill someone before it can even become a fight. If you can stab someone in the back of the neck before they even see you, do so. Honor is for those willing to risk death. We like living.” He dodged by her thrust and moved behind her, smirking lightly as she whirled around. “Rule number 4; If you have to fight, do it in a place of your choosing. Make them come to you, not the other way around.” He stepped to the side again, grabbing her wrist as she stabbed at him put a foot in front of her, and threw her to the ground.
“You’ve got some skill with knives. I can work with that. But not anything like you’ve had to use it often. Let me guess, ran with a gang in the Port? Usually had big thugs to do the manhandling, you were just the one to get the item and go? Only trained in it as a last resort, using your speed to avoid most fights there. Not an option anymore, though you should be letting people like Alaira, Annabeth, and Ssarak handle most of the fighting. We’re support. You still need to know how to kill people like Annabeth, Alaira, and Ssarak of course. Which is why I’ll have you sparring against them while I watch.” He looked down at her. “Still interested?”
She was breathing hard when he threw her to the ground, but she wasn't out of the fight just yet. “They didn't let me do anything until my magic activated,” she said with a huff as she got herself back up to her feet. She didn't deny that he was right otherwise. Because she had never been the brute force of anything so she'd never really had to fight outside of play brawling with siblings. Her dad has taught her more so she could defend herself from idiots who couldn't take no for an answer, not to actually seek out a fight.
She brushed herself off, taking the moment to look like she was thinking about it. But she had already decided that she was going to. He wasn't going to break her so easily and he wasn't going get her to stop just by besting her. When she straightened up, she placed her hands on her hips in a stance of defiance. “Of course I'm still interested,” she laughed. “I don't know why you think I'm going to give up so easily.”
Helena didn't give him a chance to reply or anything before coming in at him fast and low, aiming a shoulder just below his ribs, training knife in her other hand, aiming for his thigh, near to the artery that ran through his leg and up to his heart.
Althalus shrugged, stepping smoothly to the side as the girl rushed him. “Didn’t think so. Just wanted to make sure you knew what you were getting into. Alaira is gonna be much more interested in putting you on your ass than I am.” He held up a hand to stop her from charging him again, nodding towards the rack. “Put up your knife. Do you have any throwing knives, or am I going to have to give you my own personal supply?”
“Confirmed bottom,” she said softly with a little laugh when she turned back around to face him. She wasn't going to charge him again anyways, that would be practicable. So she stopped at his upheld hand and caught her breath a bit better.
She rolled her eyes a little bit at his implication that she wouldn't have any on her at all. “What kind of girl do you think I am?” she asked with a huff, pulling one out smoothly from her belt. “Where do you think I'm from? C’mon now.”
“No,” Althalus corrected with a raised finger. “I just already have a life long companion whose basically my wife, and I’m not interested in little girls. Sorry for your loss.”
He pointed at a wooden target, gesturing for her to get moving. “Stay as far away from that as you can and still hit accurately. Throw a few times.”
She made a face and then laughed at him. “One, it was a joke,” she started, holding up one finger and lifting another for every point she made after. “Two, you can still bottom. And three, while you’re handsome, I’m not interested. So no loss.”
With another little laugh she turned and headed towards the wooden targets, sizing them up as she walked, trying to decide what the farthest back she could go and still have a chance of hitting it would be. Once she had gotten where she thought she was good, she stopped, took a breath and set herself in a good stance before she took aim and threw. She smirked proudly when it did impact the target, even if it wasn’t where she aimed. It wasn’t accurate, no, but she had hit it, and that was something to her.
“It was close,” she said with a shrug of one shoulder, taking off her glasses to clean them off on the inside hem of her shirt before taking a step or two closer to try again. This time, when she threw, it was only a fingers with down from where she had aimed. And this time, her smile was even more smug, ignoring that she was sure he was going to shoot her down in a second.
“You’re slow.” Althalus observed, watching the knives hit the targets. “And you need to be in a certain position to throw. We’ll have to fix that. Other than that, good enough to work with. With enough practice you might be actually lethal from any position and point with those. Let's start, shall we?”
She rolled her eyes at him, but she did keep her tongue in check just then. He was being so very nice to train her for basically nothing in return. Well, the hope probably that she’d be of help if they ever ended up on the same mission again. “Yes,” she said with a sigh, going to gather her knives back up and put away most of her sarcastic comments for the duration of the training. It was hard, but she’d do it if it meant that she’d get better at this.