COLLABORATION WITH @Lunarlord34
Rivia’s arrival had perhaps been a blessing for Fer. Cole was already shouldering plenty and adding one’s own personal misgivings would be uncalled for. Auriel would defer to them or if not feel horrible for having to counsel them. He had already gotten a taste of that medicine and he did not care for it. Having to explain things to Rivia was sort of having a sounding board. By explaining things to the wolf girl it enabled him to think about it again.
Also, he could not help but smile at the cute way she tilted her head. It went very well with the two ears that twitched on top of her head and the tail that communicated what she was feeling. That very same tail let Fer know that Rivia felt happy about sparring. Those innocent eyes widened and sparkled and almost seemed to hunger. Fer could not help but chuckle. ”Ok Rivia. I am in your care.”
The Shield Hero took about ten steps away and then turned to face her. “Morph Shield!”
He called and the bracer in his left arm glowed green and a small heather shield. Fer gave Rivia a nod to let her know he was ready.
Brimming with excitement and joy, Rivia wasn’t overly too familiar with this whole stepping away from each other thing humans liked to do, but she seemed more than eager to copy Fer in that same motion, though she did it more half turned as if it make the fact she was copying even more obvious.”Rivia will try to be gentle, as Rivia hopes of Fer as well.”
With a brief nod of her head, she seemed to almost flick a switch. Gone were the excited swishing of her tails, the joyous twitch of her ears, that playful innocent sparkle in her eyes. All of it, gone. Instead it was replaced by a stone dead, cold gaze that was almost disturbing to experience. It might’ve been jarring if not for this being a similar disposition to back in the ball room before when she had gone to fight Rin’s bard.
Rivia had switched from being the sheep to being the wolf that Fer had always suspected was under that cute exterior.”Hunters Mark.”
Even her tone had changed to reflect the shift in attitude, though nothing apparent had happened it was all too obvious that she had activated a skill of some kind. At his gesture, she began to close the gap like a lioness going in for the kill on a gazelle. A swipe with a dagger from her right hand, followed by a shift in her footing to change into an elbow directed at his face was her opening move.
The Shield hero chuckled as he watched her antics. Copying his distancing and stating she would be gentle. The assertion was perhaps as truthful as it would come. A certainty in her voice made him think he would later be thankful that she made it. Not knowing the wolf girl’s abilities meant he did not know how skilled or deadly she was to be. Better safe than sorry. “Don't worry Rivia, I don't think there is much danger from my side but yes, I promise to be gentle too.”
Fer watched the cute puppy-like girl with all her quirks and broken speech disappear. The shift had not been as evident to him in the fight at the ball room because he was half blinded and getting beat up by the Bow Hero. The change was quite obvious. In comparison with Auriel, whose martial prowess was out of duty and honor, Rivia’s was out of survival.
The air around the Wolf girl was dangerous as she suddenly charged forward. He would be a fool to just present her his shield because it would mean he would lose sight of her. Instead, he rushed her too, side stepping the swipe. Not being a close combat kind of guy, even in his previous life where he killed from a distance with bow and rifle, her elbow made him jerk back and lose his timing.
His footing slipped some on the sandy ground of the practice yard making his stance unbalanced forcing him to touch his left knee to the ground. His shield was held flat in front of him perpendicular to the ground. “Good opening Rivia….my turn.”
He pushed hard with his right leg, looking to close the distance between them. Swinging his shield in a back hand motion trying to ram her. If she evaded that, he would try to follow up with a straight kick to the chest.
The Shield Hero hoped that his bigger mass and magically enhanced strength would be used to overpower the wolf girl. He also hoped that the fight would not be dragged on long because her speed and nimbleness was sure to win a fight like that.
Now, this was the first time Rivia was sparring with someone not from her clan. However there was a sense of familiarity as Ferr closed the distance on her. He was bringing the fight to her, something she was used to as was evident as when he went to backhand her with the shield, much like he had sidestepped her swipe she did much the same, though she also used her dagger to deflect it away to prevent any follow up much like she had done just before.
She had actually gone to grab the shield, but her instincts screamed at her not to for some reason. Right, she was sparring with a legendary hero. There was no doubt he was stronger than her, so trying to best him in physical strength was probably a no go. She had to try and use her more nimble frame to her advantage.
However the follow up attack was something else entirely. While trying to grab and grapple with his shield was bound to end poorly, taking this kick and holding his leg while something else entirely. She felt the wind go out of her sails for a brief moment as his heel connected with her, but she was quick to grab hold of his ankles and didn’t seem too keen on letting go anytime soon. She had him!
Now it was all too easy to just snap his leg from here, but she restrained herself. Like oh boy did she restrain herself, as evident by a slitch twitching of her eyebrows and right ear, instead going to pivot, spin and launch him as far she could throw him. Seeing as he literally was on one leg, there wasn’t much he could do about this.
Then once she had done that, she reached into her pocket and pulled out a half dozen of the exact same dagger she had been using. Like, the exact same thing. Same shape. Same design. Same sharpness no doubt as well. Well, he would be able to test that out if he didn’t do something quick as she threw three at him with one hand before throwing another three with the other while he was mid air.
Fer had been in one or two brawls. The hazard of being around drunken men with pent up frustrations. So he had learned a bit of the tricks to close combat fighting. It was expected that she would evade his shield, hence the kick. When he felt he connected with his foot, he felt a bit bad. The strength of his legs and the weight of boot pummeled the wolf girl. However, it would have been disrespectful if he held back too much. So there was nothing left than to fight with purpose.
He need not have worried too much however, Rivia handled the hit like a pro. No doubt, she had sparred against many opponents. She was so quick that it took him a second to react. That second would have been disastrous if she would have aimed for his knee. Soon enough, the Shield Hero was spinning in momentum with her throw. If he had wanted, he would have swung his supporting leg to try and get a heel near her face but it would have only been a glancing blow with not much force.
Instead, Fer opted to fling himself away from Rivia, tucking and rolling. As he landed, he presented the shield in her direction and huddled behind it. The three flying daggers clinked against the metal of his shield as they impacted. The sound caught him by surprise and he reared back in an unconscious reaction.
The daggers fell to the floor just in front of him. The Shield Hero reached for them out of habit and survival instinct. Unfortunately, the System issued him a warning and he was not able to pick them up. Gritting his teeth and cussing, he sprang forward again. Swung his arm in a back hand again hoping she would think he was doing the same front kick.
Instead, this time he launched himself in the air and would try to pinch her between his legs in a scissor take down. His weight and his momentum should help him bring her down. It was his intention to either mount her or if it was more practical, to grab a hold of one of her legs and submit her.
The fact he blocked her daggers came as no surprise. Though she didn’t even seem to scratch his shield…which was disappointing, however, he was a legendary hero. Suppose her weapons wouldn’t be enough to get through his defenses. Confused for a moment when he seemed unable to pick up her daggers, she didn’t get much time to dwell on that as he sprang forward again. Once again sidestepping the swipe with his shield, she went to slash at him with a dagger only to swipe at nothing but air.
She didn’t even have time to be confused as she quickly realized where he was, feeling his legs around her before she was slammed onto her back. Gasping as she felt the air leave her lungs, she began to beat into his leg with her fists, scratching, clawing at it to try and get him to let go of her. She wasn’t familiar with what he was doing, but she knew getting pinned like this was bad so she needed to get free.
As he flew through the air, his adrenaline already pumping, it was easy for Fer to forget he was sparring with an opponent that was probably much lighter than he. However, he would not give Rivia the discourtesy of not giving it his all. As his inner thighs collided against the wolf girl and his momentum brought them both to the ground, there was a slight wince, not in pain himself but hoping his armored body did not add too much to the impact.
There was a slight bounce as their bodies hit the ground. He felt her weight on his leg, as his back leg was trapped. Quickly he scrambled to try and pin her down. He could have chuckled if it had dawned on him that her reaction was like that of a feral canine. Her fluffy ears were pressed back, her teeth bared and her claws raking against his legs. Fabric tore but thankfully he was wearing his greaves which screeched as her sharp claws tried to help her free herself.
Deciding that climbing on top of her and straddling her to pin her would bring his face and other soft parts too close to those claws and seeing that the greaves were working well enough, he scooted backwards freeing his leg and at the same time wrapping the other one on Rivia’s own smaller leg. Fer aimed to force a leg lock on her. However, due to her quickness it was possible for the wolf girl to free herself.
Fer grunted with the exertion of keeping her pinned. Through gritted teeth and even though she was his current opponent the Shield Hero could not help but encourage her. “Come on Rivia…grrr….you can do it…argh…get loose girl…..”
His hands, sweaty already and dust turning into mud, were having a hard time keeping her ankles secured. His booted feet were having an easier time but Rivia was so toned and wiry that even that was taxing.
This was an issue. What she had been wishing to avoid happening was currently unfolding, trapped in the grip of the larger, stronger man which was Ferr. And while she was doing a number on his wardrobe, his greeves stopped the majority of the damage she was trying to inflict upon him. Even her squirming and wriggling, while it seemed more effective it too wasn’t getting her anyway. Well, she could try stabbing Ferr but she was at least conscious enough *not* to go that far. Her fathers words once more bubbling to the surface.‘You need to learn self control and restraint. Only then can you progress’
Letting out an annoyed grunt, she went limp in his grip and reluctantly tapped his leg as if to give up. She had miscalculated. Not that she had underestimated Ferr’s strength, after all he was a legendary hero, but she had been careless and let him get a hold of her. She should’ve just scooted away and kept chipping away at him.“Rivia gives up. Doesn’t want to hurt Ferr.”
To confirm her surrender, she spoke up, slumping on the hard ground beneath her. Yes, the only way for her to escape proper would be to go beyond what one should do in a spar. Had she already technically done that, with Ferr only being saved by his greaves? Maybe, but we don’t talk about that.
It did not occur to the Shield Hero that Rivia was holding back until she said so. It was true that they were only engaging in a friendly and that they both had agreed to not hurt the other. Fer let go of the wolf girl’s foot and gingerly got up. He felt a bit embarrassed. His voice indicated this as he spoke. “Thanks for the spar Rivia. Though I think that it benefited me more than you. I think it was unfair to limit you. From what I saw, you are a very capable fighter. I would not say you lost this bout. Instead, I would say that you tossed me an easy situation. I think if you had been fighting seriously, I would have not stood a chance.”
The young hero smiled at her awkwardly. “If you would do me the honor,I would appreciate your help in training me more.”
Over the next following days, Fer spent his days between the practice field besting and being bested by Rivia and the library learning about magic and how to cast it.