For the next two months, we trained. There was a disparity in our strengths and abilities so I had to improvise.
Flaer was the most inexperienced of us. She never fought using a weapon, in fact she never fought at all. No creatures around her home could harm her and she was always under surveillance. A sheltered kid. But her strength was on par with mine. If she was older, she would be stronger than me, but now we were about equal. She could take my hit and not have her bones broken. Her sparring with others was the problem, she couldn’t control her strength like I could.
Eclair was ok. She was taught by Lilith and she had some lessons with Meriden before, so she had some skills. The problem was, she didn’t have the speed or experience Nrogara had or the strength Flaer and I had. She could be considered the weakest of the group. Her style could have been superior to Nrogara’s if she did just as much fighting for he life as he did. But as she was, she needed to train diligently to catch up to him.
Nrogara was the strongest in terms of the skills. His speed was extreme and his reflexes were monstrous. Flaer could somewhat be on par with him, but only because she was a dragon. Dragons are freaking Titans, better than anyone else at everything. Screw the smug assholes. But not Flaer she is too cute and too little.
So, for starters I had everyone try and get accustomed to each other. Nrogara would spar with Elcair, to train her speed. He would do little in terms of damage to her, but deflect and dodge instead. Sometimes he would strike, but slow enough that she would see it and react properly. Over time they would speed up.
Flaer trained with me first. I was the only one who could withstand her strikes because she needed to learn control. I taught her the proper grip and stance for fighting and she would try and hit me. This was mostly done to get her accustomed to the weight of the weapon and to the backlash from hitting. Her hands would hurt from the shock.
Normal weapons would crumble from the very first strike, but thanks to Regios, we had four ebonthril shorts words. They were made from an alloy of mithril, deep obsidian and dark iron. Together they made lightweight, yet extremely durable metal, which was perfect for me and Flaer, as with our monstrous strength we were more likely to use them as clubs than as swords. They were extremely hard to bend or dent, even Regios had to use full force to bend it slightly. I was glad to have such a weapon.
The alloy was on the inferior side on the scale of power amongst other titan alloys. It was more durable than most, but you had to do forging in one take, the metal was impossible to melt or even heat after it cools and sets, not even dragon-fire can do it. The price of the perfectly forged blade would be that of a medium sized kingdom, but there were no such blades in the world. The alloy would be much more valuable, if not for the difficulty of handling it. Our blades were extremely simple in design and not even that sharp. They would cut, but you would need to put force into the strike. Perfect for me and the dragon girl.
After few weeks, Nrogara and Eclair could have a proper spar. The result might appear to be too fast if not for the potions made from my blood, which eased the pain and improved healing. We all did nothing but spar and sleep and eat for the entire time. Elcair had grown some muscles and so did Nrogara. The demoness became much-much faster, closing in on the troll. The troll on the other hand had his style evolve somewhat, taking some of the grace and precision of movement from the demoness. It couldn’t be called wild anymore.
Flaer got a grasp on her strength, she became accustomed to the weapon and would slowly incorporate some moves I tried teaching her. She could spar somewhat well, with all the limited moves she knew. The good thing was that we could have her spar with the others without maiming them badly.
After those two weeks we began sparring with one another, me going easy on them to get them used to my strength. They would go all out, pushing themselves to their limits. Sometimes I would strike their weapons or their limbs, breaking something in the process. This would be quickly fixed with ’ZernGara-lixer” a concoction Nrogara came up with which combined both of our blood and some herbs to make a concentrated non-viscous liquid that could be taken internally. To my surprise it was extremely potent, closing wounds and mending bones in minutes. It could also be applied externally, if somebody didn’t like the taste or smell, but with lesser efficiency.
Using the liquid frequently, we began sparring semi-seriously, breaking something every time and mending the injury. After a while, their bones grew denser and harder and would no longer break, unless I put my whole strength into the strike. Their muscles also grew denser, they were stronger then normal humans their size. Perhaps, some of my blood changed their bodies to be more like me. It was a good thing, but I thought about the morality of it. They were eager to continue, despite all the pain they went through.
I also began to teach them to meditate. It would help them to settle inner turmoil, which almost everybody had suppressed within. Elcair had the most difficulty, despite her previous knowledge on the matter. Even with experience she got from Lilith, she couldn’t get over the slavers and the murder of her family. I had to spend some long hours as her personal therapist. She got theraped thoroughly, har har har. Not really, I didn’t dare touch her, the girls who still remained loyal to me would kill me. The loyalty had to be mutual.
The training bore fruit, as all three of them sooner or later were able to navigate their inner landscapes. Their conflicts settled and their minds clear, it was easier for them to train and control their bodies. Their potential as warriors grew exponentially the more we did it. At some points they also managed to feel Ki and began to use it. They were becoming deadly and powerful.
During this time I also contacted Leah to ask her why would Frez follow my father. According to her, Frez feared that something would be done to his sons, which he believed were captured. In truth, they escaped with Bella when she ran. They just packed up and left leaving no notice. Leah insisted for it to remain a secret. Otherwise Frez would turn his blade on the Warlord, getting captured or worse. He had to remain exactly where he was.
So, we spent two months training and training, getting faster, stronger, deadlier. They were now stronger the Meriden, although not as good at fighting. When I get her out, she surely would want to employ the same method of training. Her one regret over the years was not being able to spar with me after I became too strong. She was willing to break a few bones, I was not willing to do the breaking.
Like that, we closed in on the date when Aedim would complete her basic training. She could ask to stay and learn more, but the Val and the human king were getting impatient. There were new talks of war. How did that idiot even get to the throne, I doubt he could come up with a half-arsed plan of assassination.
Now Aedim would be getting out soon and Elaya, Bella, Jacob and Edward with her. It order to save them from the hands of Val, I would need to sneak in and get them out. The plan was that everybody would camp outside Star-Whisperer academy or whatever they had for headquarters and I would sneak in and lead the group out.
If anything would go wrong, although it shouldn’t, the trio would go in guns blazing so to speak. Otherwise they would just be ready to get out and go to our temporary base. The girls were notified of our plan by Leah. I had to consider if that was wise, seeing that Leah was close to Eleanor and the king. She claimed to be on the rebellious side, but I couldn’t be entirely sure. But regardless of my worries she was the only way to contact Aedim safely.
Like that we prepared and bode our time. There was little else to do, most cities wanted us captured and executed, most of my tribesman had orders to eliminate me on-sight. The monster territories were too far away for us to travel there casually, so we just hid in our little lair. It got boring sometimes, so we would have some minor matches, like arm-wrestling, singing contest or embroidery, the last one courtesy of Flaer.
In the end, there was nothing we could do but wait.
I was anxious when the time came. Would we be successful or would we fail? Elaya’s and Aedim’s fate hinged on the success of this operation. It was easy enough to begin with, elves didn’t really deem us dangerous and had no additional patrols or guards. Getting into their territory was easy enough.
When we were a short distance away from the place Aedim studied at, I left the group and moved closer. Under the cover of the dark, even with the elven sight, I was hard to see. Leah would have no problem to move in and out, raising to alarm and stealing crowns and panties of all the elven leaders, but I was ok with just sneaking in.
I am a little proud about the fact that I was never seen. I was like a shadow, darker than the darkness itself, silent like a fart in a church. Silent and deadly…
Ok, I got in easily and found the girls. They were in a house, waiting to fall asleep. All the guards in the place were asked to help Amaruelle with something. We had a few moments to say hello. When Elaya saw me, she jumped on me, hugging me tightly and kissing me right on the lips. It was a very pleasant feeling, not seeing her for almost six months and getting greeted with such force and passion. She didn’t let me go for s solid minute.
When we parted, Aedim decided to give me a kiss as well. If Elaya was passionate before, Aedim had knowledge on her side. Her kiss was slower, more controlled but no less wonderful. It really is a good thing to have fiancée you can train from relatively early on. Although it begs the question, who had been trained all this time.
When the rounds of hugging and kissing ended we took whatever little belongings they had and set off to find Bella and Frez’ twins. They were in a room down the hall, all packed and ready. The boys seemed to be a little angry at one another, but we didn’t have time to sort out the kids’ angst. They would have to bottle it up and wait till later.
Before we stepped outside, Aedim cast a spell on us. She called it “Veil” and it was supposed to hide us from view and make it easier to sneak about. A convenient spell.
As we got out, we didn’t meet many guards either. I will have to thank Amaruelle when I see her next. Once we were beyond the immediate vicinity of the house the girls spent their six months studying and hiding, Bella and the boys decided to split apart from us. They had some plans to take care of, so they went on their own way. I didn’t stop them, they should be ok, I taught them well enough.
After we separated, we went towards where others were waiting for us. It took us about half an hour sneaking to safely reach them. When I got close, I could not see well in the dark, but when we got closer I could see their tensed faces. When I realized something was wrong, it was too late.
Two shadows appeared behind us, two blades at the throats of the girls I just rescued. The trio were held in place by Meriden, who had a slave color with gems on her neck. It was an ambush, planned and prepared in advance, and I played right into their hands. Previously, Aedim and Elaya could have been deemed victims, just led astray by the fiend. But now that I rescued them, they were my accomplices, they would be confined and shackled like Meriden.
I didn’t get to ask many questions, one of the shadows spoke with Leah’s voice.
“Meriden, knock him out.”
The girl didn’t hesitate, perhaps her collar didn’t allow such luxury. She came close to me, prepared to swing full-force.
“I am sorry Master.”
Ah, Laura comes ou…
I didn’t get to finish my thought as my temple was hit by an incredibly durable blade. Meriden had enough strength to knock me out cold. With the single strike, I fell, my perception clouded and filled with nothing but darkness. Betrayed once again…